Top 10 things to do in Bodrum

The ultimate guide!

Bodrum (known as Halicarnassus in Ancient Greece) is a seaside city in Turkey, opposite the island of Kos in Greece. If you’re wondering what to see and do in Bodrum, we have the ultimate list of top experiences for your trip to this amazing city!

From a vibrant nightlife and a bustling market to local restaurants and breathtaking historical sites, Bodrum is a top vacation destination for all tastes.

Here are the top 10 things to do in Bodrum:

  1. Explore the market of Bodrum
  2. Try local delicacies
  3. Discover the hidden neighborhoods
  4. Visit the castle of Bodrum
  5. See century-old shipwrecks
  6. Admire the Theater of Halicarnassus
  7. Walk among the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
  8. Take a picture on top of the hill of windmills
  9. Tour the peninsula on a boat
  10. Go bar-hopping all night long

View to Kos from the city center of Bodrum

The city of Bodrum in Turkey facing the island of Kos in Greece

1. Explore the market of Bodrum

The market of Bodrum is famous worldwide! Although it is not a traditional Turkish market, it is distinguished by the quality and variety of products.

We recommend that you get herbs and spices, as well as fabrics of superior quality. Don’t forget to haggle for a better price. It is part of the experience and the best way to save money!

2. Try local delicacies

Bodrum has a very long culinary history and it is definitely worth trying some of the tasty local delicacies. You can try traditional pies, desserts such as the deep fried lokma covered with delicious honey, pastirma, various cheeses, and of course the famous Turkish delight!

One of the best ways to explore the local cuisine is at the open-air stalls at the market of Bodrum, but there are also easy-going and fine-dining restaurants, where you can delve into the gastronomical secrets of the region. 

3. Discover the hidden neighborhoods

Bodrum is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Turkey. In recent years, it has developed into one of the major tourist hubs in the Aegean Sea and has grown a lot in terms of services and infrastructure.

Still, behind the large hotels lies the “secret” old area of the city. Full of peaceful alleys and traditionals cafes, it is the perfect place to unwind.

Dog lying down at the market of Bodrum

Doggo welcoming visitors at the market of Bodrum

4. Visit the castle of Bodrum

Bodrum is a place steeped in history! One of the must-visit attractions in Bodrum is the castle.

Built in the 15th century and originally called “Petronium”, the castle of Bodrum was created by the Order of the Knights Hospitaller to honor Saint Peter. 

5. See century-old shipwrecks

Apart from admiring the castle fortifications, you can also visit the Museum of Underwater Archaeology at the castle of Bodrum. It’s a world-renowned museum focusing on shipwrecks found close to the Turkish coast.

The museum hosts shipwrecks dating back to the 11th century and it is one of the most unique experiences for your bucket list.

6. Admire the Theater of Halicarnassus

The Theater of Halicarnassus was inaugurated in the 2nd century CE, and its construction started during the Hellenistic era. It is said that the ruler of Karia, Mausolus, was the mastermind behind its construction.

Experts say the theater’s architecture pays homage to the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus in Greece and it is nowadays being used as a performance venue year-long.

The theater of Halicarnassus in Bodrum, Turkey

The impressive Theater of Halicarnassus

7. Walk among the ruins at the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Did you know one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world is in Bodrum? Unfortunately, there are only a few ruins as evidence of its existence, but it is still worth visiting. We’re talking about the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, built by Artemisia to honor her dead husband and ruler of Karia Mausolus.

Although Artemisia died before the completion of the grand site, the mausoleum was known across the ancient world as one of the most marvelous constructions of all time!

Fun fact: the castle of Bodrum was built using stones and parts from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.

Not that much of a fan fact: Artemisia, Mausolus’ wife and ruler of Karia herself, was also his sister (Cersei Lannister has entered the chat…).

8. Take a picture on top of the hill of windmills

The 7 windmills of Bodrum are situated on a hill over the city. The site offers a fantastic view to the coast. The windmills were in use since the 18th century and stopped operating in the 70s.

Although they are now derelict, climbing up the hill to admire the view and take amazing photos is still one of the must experiences in Bodrum!

9. Tour the peninsula on a boat

If you’re staying in Bodrum for long, Ferryhopper suggests that you go on a boat trip to explore the peninsula. Boat trips usually take up a whole day and it’s the best way to discover remote beaches.

Tip: you can also go snorkeling!

10. Go bar-hopping all night long

In the city center of Bodrum there’s a lively street called “Bar Street”! As you can tell, this is the place to be for night fun in the Turkish city. Bodrum is famous for its crazy nights and this is where the heart of the party beats.

If you’re looking for a more peaceful night out, you can have that too! There are plenty of laid-back beach bars, where you can enjoy a cocktail and listen to relaxing music.

Tip: are you only visiting Bodrum for a day? Explore the best things to do in Bodrum in 1 day on Ferryhopper!

Night lights at the port of Bodrum

The lively promenade of Bodrum at night

How to reach Bodrum by ferry from Greece

If you’re getting to Bodrum from Greece, you can do so daily by ferry from the port of Kos island. Ferries to Bodrum from Kos are available twice a day during high season and it only takes 30 minutes to reach the port city.

On Ferryhopper, you can book ferry tickets to Bodrum easily at the same price with ferry companies and no extra fees

Tip: wondering what other Turkish destinations you can visit by ferry from the Greek islands? Check our guide!

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