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Bodrum: Some call it the St. Tropez of Turkey


Photo by iStock

Stunning beaches, ancient wonders, cosmopolitan flair, and fun-filled entertainment. 


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Whether you are a history buff, a culture lover, a nature enthusiast, or a party animal, this Turkish resort town will satisfy your every desire and expectation. It is a city that combines the elegance of St. Tropez, the fun of Ibiza and the warmth and hospitality of Turkey.


First, Bodrum is one of Turkey's most popular tourist destinations, attracting millions yearly visitors. It is a city with a rich and diverse history dating back to ancient times. Once the ancient city of Halicarnassus, the capital of the Carian kingdom and the birthplace of the famous historian Herodotus. It was also the site of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, built by the Carian king Mausolus in the 4th century BC.





Bodrum has a vibrant and cosmopolitan culture, influenced by various civilizations that have ruled or visited the region over the centuries. You can see the traces of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Turkish cultures in Bodrum's architecture, cuisine, music, and art. Bodrum is also known as the "little Istanbul" because many Istanbulites have second homes or spend their holidays there.


Photo by Kaan Kosemen

The peninsula has many picturesque bays, coves, and islands to enjoy swimming, sailing, diving, fishing, or relaxing on the beach. The arm has many charming villages to experience the authentic and traditional Turkish lifestyle.


The nightlife offers various entertainment options for all tastes and budgets. You can find bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes, and shops along the marina and the waterfront, where you can mingle with the locals and the tourists, listen to live music, watch shows, or dance the night away. You can also find quieter and cosy places in the old town, where you can enjoy a drink or a meal in a historical setting.


What to do and see in Bodrum?

Here are ten must-sees and do when here:


Visit the Bodrum Castle


Known as the Castle of St. Peter, it was built by the Knights Hospitaller in the 15th century. The castle is a magnificent example of medieval architecture and houses the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which displays fascinating artefacts from ancient shipwrecks and underwater excavations. From the castle towers, you can also enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the sea.


See the remains of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Once a colossal tomb for the Carian king Mausolus and his wife, Artemisia. The mausoleum was decorated with sculptures by famous Greek artists and was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Although most of the mausoleum was destroyed by earthquakes and plundered for building materials, you can still see some of the original stones, columns, and reliefs at the site. 


Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Photo by iStock

Admire the Theatre of Halicarnassus

It was built in the 4th century BC and could seat up to 13,000 spectators. The theatre is one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in Turkey and still hosts concerts and festivals during the summer. You can also enjoy a spectacular view of the city and the sea from the theatre seats.



Explore the market of Bodrum.

Photo by iStock

You will find a variety of goods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, cheese, honey, nuts, olives, textiles, souvenirs, and more. The market is a great place to experience the local culture, taste the local delicacies, and bargain for the best prices. The market is open daily, but the biggest and most colourful one is on Tuesdays.


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Try the local cuisine.

A blend of Turkish, Aegean, and Mediterranean flavours. Some of the specialities that you should try are meze (appetizers), kebab (grilled meat), kofte (meatballs), borek (pastry with cheese or meat filling), pide (Turkish pizza), mantı (dumplings with yoghurt sauce), gözleme (thin bread with various fillings), and of course, seafood. For dessert, you can try baklava (pastry with nuts and syrup), lokma (fried dough with honey), halva (a sweet paste made from sesame seeds), or ice cream. 


Discover the hidden neighbourhoods of Bodrum.

Photo by iStock

The old town, where you can see the traditional white-washed houses with blue windows and doors, the narrow streets with colorful flowers and shops, and the historic mosques and churches. You can also visit the Zeki Müren Arts Museum, the former house of the famous Turkish singer and composer, which displays his personal belongings, costumes, and awards.



See the century-old shipwrecks at the Bodrum Maritime Museum.

The maritime history and culture of Bodrum and the Aegean region. The museum exhibits models, paintings, photographs, and documents related to the ships, sailors, fishermen, and sponge divers of Bodrum. The museum also has a collection of shipwrecks that date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. They were recovered from the sea by underwater archaeologists.


Take a picture on top of the hill of windmills.


The iconic landmarks of Bodrum, The windmills, were built in the 18th century and were used to grind flour until the 1970s. They are abandoned but offer a charming and scenic view of the city and the sea. You can reach the windmills by walking or driving up the hill and enjoying the breeze and the sunset.


Enjoy the beach life.

One of the main attractions of Bodrum. You can choose from many beaches, each with its own character and atmosphere. Some of the most popular ones are Bitez Beach, which is ideal for families and water sports; Ortakent-Yahşi Beach, which is long and sandy and has many cafes and restaurants; and Gümüşlük Beach, which is a fishing village with a bohemian vibe. You can also take a boat trip to the nearby islands, such as Karaada, which has a natural hot spring, or Orak Island, which has crystal-clear water and rich marine life.



Photo by iStock


Have fun at the nightlife.

One of the reasons why Bodrum is called the "St. Tropez of Turkey". You can find various entertainment options, from cosy bars and pubs to trendy clubs and discos to live music and shows. You can party until dawn or just relax and enjoy the view of the illuminated castle and the marina. Some of the most famous places are Halikarnas, which is claimed to be the largest open-air club in Europe; Catamaran, a floating club on a boat; and Kule Rock City, a rock bar with live bands.


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