Top 23 Things to Do in Bodrum: Explore Bodrum!

 In Adventure, Bodrum, Places To Visit, Things to do, Travel, Turkey

Bodrum is a beautiful coastal town in Turkey that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday, a journey into history, or a lively night out, Bodrum has it all. This guide will help you explore the best things to do in Bodrum and make the most of your visit. First, Bodrum’s beaches are a must-see. The town boasts several stunning beaches with clear blue waters and soft sand. Spend a day soaking up the sun, swimming in the sea, or trying out water sports like windsurfing and jet-skiing. Some of the most popular beaches include Bitez Beach, Gumbet Beach, and Camel Beach.  Some of the known  places to visit in Istanbul are at a domestic flight distance.

For history lovers, Bodrum offers a rich past to explore. Visit the ancient ruins of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Bodrum Castle, built by the Knights Hospitaller in the 15th century, is another highlight. This impressive structure now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, where you can learn about shipwrecks and ancient maritime history. Shopping in Bodrum is another delightful experience. Wander through the bustling Bodrum Market to find local crafts, fresh produce, and unique souvenirs. Don’t miss the chance to visit the town’s many boutiques and shops for stylish clothes, jewelry, and Turkish carpets.  You must also check out the best Places to Visit in Cappadocia

Finally, Bodrum’s nightlife is legendary. As the sun sets, the town comes alive with bars, clubs, and restaurants. Enjoy a cocktail at a beachfront bar, dance the night away at a club in Gumbet, or savor delicious Turkish cuisine at a seaside restaurant. In Bodrum, every day is a new adventure. From its beautiful beaches to its historical sites and lively nightlife, there’s always something exciting to do with our Turkey Tour Packages

Top 23 Things to do in Bodrum

  1. Visit Myndos Gate
  2. Explore Bodrum Old town
  3. Take a boat trip
  4. Take a Cruise on the Dalyan River
  5. Scuba Dive 
  6. Take a Day Trip to Greek Island
  7. Visit Karnas Vineyards
  8. Relax in Karaada Hot Springs
  9. Explore Bodrum on Horseback
  10. Take a Segway Tour
  11. Visit at Zeki Murex Arts Museum
  12. Visit Bodrum Castle
  13. Climb up to the Bodrum Windmills
  14. Browse the Saturday Night Market at Turgutreis
  15. Enjoy the Nightlife
  16. Sample Michelin Starred Food
  17. Catch Open Air Screening at Dibeklihan Culture Village
  18. Experience ART Hill 
  19. Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology
  20. Watersports at Gumbet Beach
  21. Visit the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  22. Explore Bodrum Bazaar
  23. Bitez Beach

1. Visit Myndos Gate

visit-myndos-gate

In the eastern part of the modern city, you’ll find the ruins of Halicarnassus, built in the 4th century BC and considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Its most famous landmark was the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, when it was destroyed by earthquakes in the 11th century, some of its stones were incorporated into the walls of Bodrum castle. 

The city was surrounded by walls for protection against the invaders and could be entered through two monumental gates; one of which, the Myndos gate, is still partly intact. Inside, you’ll find the foundations of the mausoleum. It is among the best things to do in Bodrum with family.

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2. Explore Bodrum Old Town

explore-bodrum-old-town

The Bodrum Old Town is a picturesque sea-facing part of Bodrum filled with narrow streets with beautiful mosaics. The brick-laid streets are lined with shops and houses. 

Initially a fishing village, the old town is now a Santorini-like area with white-painted houses covered in flowers and greenery. The town is lined with shops for traditional Turkish handicrafts, lampshades, antiques, clothes, jewelry, and much more. There are several sea-facing cafes, restaurants in Turkey, and bars throughout the town. It is among the best things to do in Bodrum with family.

3. Take a Boat Trip

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Bodrum is a coastal city famous for its boat tours and water sports. One of the most popular boat tours is to Orak Island or Black Island. The Black Island is famous for its caves, hot springs, and mud baths. Boating charges depend on the distance and destination. Boat tours also offer facilities and guides for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving in crystal-clear turquoise waters. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

4. Take a Cruise on the Dalyan River

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The Emerald Green Dalyan River winds its way from the Koycegiz Lake to the sea, taking in Ancient ruins, mud baths, and natural beauty along the way. It’s a couple of hour’s drive from Bodrum but easily doable on a day trip, and there are lots of operators that will pick you up from town or your hotel. 

Most will give you time to slather yourself in the healing mud and spend some time on Iztuzu beach, where the river meets the sea. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

5. Scuba Dive

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There are dozens of dive sites around Bodrum with plenty of well-run schools that cater to everyone from pros to total beginners. The area under the sea is as striking as the town itself — there are several shipwrecks, a sunken plane, and caverns and reefs. 

Venture a little out of town and you can dive among sandbar sharks and the endangered Mediterranean monk seal at Gokova Bay. Most dives are packaged as day trips where you’ll be taken to two or three different sites, with lunch included. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

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6. Take a Day Trip to Greek Island

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The Greek island of Kos is only a mile away across the water and you can reach there, and the nearby island of Rhodes, in a trip so quick and easy that locals on both sides regularly go shopping or a day out. 

There are services from both Bodrum and Turgutreis, but check the times and book in advance in peak season, remember that you’ll be crossing a border, so factor in the time needed for passport and visa checks. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

7. Visit Karnas Vineyards

visit-karnas-vineyards

Turkish viticulture has undergone a renaissance in recent years, with a growing number of vineyards opening up to the public. Karnas is a short distance from Bodrum town and offers the full wine-tasting and dining experience, set in an Instagram-worthy backdrop. 

The friendly owners will show you the cellars and explain how they produce their wine using traditional methods. Karnas’s zinfandel is the first to be planted in Turkey, and its syrah is award-winning. Get your supplies at the onsite shops.

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8. Relax in Karaada Hot Springs

relax-in-karaada-hot-springs

Karaada or Black Island is a small outcrop close to Bodrum Harbour where you’ll find a cave with mineral springs made for bath-warm dips. Like most thermal pools, it has a strong sulfurous smell, but a quick splash is said to do wonders for skin ailments. 

The only other thing on the island is a waterside restaurant where you can get a quick lunch before heading on. Many of Bodrum’s boat trips include Karaada in their itineraries or you can find a private boat to take you out there. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

9. Explore Bodrum on Horseback

explore-bodrum-on-horseback

There are few better ways to take in Bodrum’s beauty spots than on horseback. You’ll trek through olive groves, shallow rivers, pine forests, and hills. Some tours will take you down to the beach, too. Several ranches in the area keep well-trained and friendly horses, so you can hop in the stirrups for an adventure with them even if you don’t have any riding experience.

10. Take a Segway Tour

take-a-segway-tour

Part of Bodrum’s charm is its geography, with a wave of blue-and-white houses ranging over the hills around the harbor. However, these striking hills can also make walking here an effort, particularly in the hotter months. Instead, take a Segway tour to whizz around the smaller lanes and pathways and admire the town’s beauty from all angles. There are several operators in Bodrum and the local area that will provide you with a guide, short training, and protective gear as part of the package.

11. Visit the Zeki Murex Arts Museum

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Image Source : holidaystobodrum.com

Zeki Muren was a true Turkish legend who started as a strait-laced, suited singer in the 1950s and evolved into a flamboyant, cross-dressing icon whose music still rings out everywhere in Turkey today. 

Bodrum was his adopted home, and when he died in 1996 the Ministry of Culture turned his house in the centre of town into a museum. Go to see a collection of his outfits, learn about his life and work, and find the house preserved exactly as it was when he lived here. His impressive drawings and paintings are also on display.

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12. Visit Bodrum Castle

visit-bodrum-castle

The Bodrum Castle is a 15th-century military fort in the historical city of Bodrum. It is popularly known as the Castle of St. Peter and is home to the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. The castle is known for its stunning views of Bodrum from its ramparts. The historical monument has five towers, a mosque, and a tall minaret with elements inspired by Gothic architecture. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

13. Climb up to the Bodrum Windmills

climb-up-to-the-bodrum-windmills

The white windmills on the hilltops, built in the 18th century and still in use as late as the 1970s, are an unmistakable Bodrum landmark. The best known are the seven that line the ridge of the peak between Bodrum and Gumbet, and they are the perfect backdrop for pictures snapped at sunset or sunrise. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

14. Browse the Saturday Night Market at Turgutreis

browse-the-saturday-night-market-at-turgutreis

Turgutreis is a sleepy little resort town at the end of the peninsula — only half an hour from Bodrum and well worth a visit. Do so on a Saturday when the center comes alive with one of the best street markets in the area. Haggle over street food, fresh produce, handicrafts, clothes, textiles, and trinkets — and be aware that, if you see cheap designer labels, they’re likely to be remarkably well-made fakes. It is one of the best things to do in Bodrum at night.

15. Enjoy the Nightlife

enjoy-the-nightlife

Bodrum’s clubbing scene is one of the best places to visit in Turkey, with a huge range of venues attracting big-name performers in the summer. Choose your destination according to your tastes — the main drags in Bodrum town and Gumbet are aimed firmly at the young, package tourism market, with cheap drinks and loud music the main selling points. 

You’ll find a more sophisticated vibe in Turkbuku, where some of the clubs are so exclusive that if your name’s not on the list, you might not be getting in. It is one of the best things to do in Bodrum at night.

16. Sample Michelin Starred Food

sample-michelin-starred-foodsample-michelin-starred-food

Bodrum has long been known for its fine dining, but it wasn’t until October 2023 that the Michelin guide took note. The guide lists 19 restaurants in the area, but only two have received a star Kitchen and Macakizi both of which offer modern takes on Turkish cuisine. 

New places are opening all the time, many of them run by the best chefs in Turkey, so don’t despair if you can’t get a table. Ask your server to recommend the best local wine to accompany your meal. Turkish vintners have upped their game in the past few years. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

17. Catch Open Air Screening at Dibeklihan Culture Village

catch-open-air-screening-at-dibeklihan-culture-village
Image Source : dibeklihan.com

This Ottoman-era han, a complex arranged around a courtyard that once functioned as a resting place for traders and their camels as they traveled the Silk Route, now houses numerous independent artisans selling ceramics, silk scarves, and rugs. Fuel up after shopping at one of several small cafés, and stay until the evening to see the open area transformed into a stage for concerts and exhibitions. From May to October, a film bar pops up and you can watch classics over a glass or two of vino.

18. Experience ART Hill

experience-art-hill

This museum exhibits the work of local artist Ender Guzey, much of which takes the form of impressive installations and performances set among its stirring surroundings. The building itself, a modernist cube that seems to float above the hillside, will also impress. Leave some room in your case before you visit, there’s a reasonably priced selection of ceramics decorated in his signature, runic style in the shop. Call ahead to check on upcoming events and opening hours.

19. Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology

bodrum-museum-of-underwater-archaeology

The Bodrum Museum Of Underwater Archaeology is one of the largest underwater archaeology museums in the world. Located inside Bodrum Castle, the recently renovated air-conditioned museum displays a variety of exhibits featuring recovered underwater archaeological artifacts. The exhibition’s highlight is a 2nd-century Byzantine ship, which holds the world’s oldest shipwreck title.

20. Watersports at Gumbet Beach

watersports-at-gumbet-beach

The Gumbet beach is a small yet crowded beach located in the Gumbet resort area close to Bodrum. The beach is known as the hub for all varieties of watersports ranging from simple paddle boating and banana boats to more thrilling sports like windsurfing, water skiing, and parasailing. The beach is a popular family destination due to its shallow waters. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

21. Visit the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

visit-the-mausoleum-at-halicarnassus

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is the final resting place of Mausolus, the 4th-century ruler of Halicarnassus. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Mausoleum was built in the ancient city of Halicarnassus, now known as Bodrum. A small model recreation of the original Mausoleum is on display.

22. Explore Bodrum Bazaar

explore-bodrum-bazaar

The Bodrum Bazaar is a popular marketplace in the Old Town part of Bodrum located right behind the Bodrum Castle. The Bazaar is renowned for Turkish handicrafts, woodwork, souvenirs, and gold. There are several restaurants and food stalls across the Bazar serving Turkish food. It is among the best Things to do in Bodrum.

23. Bitez Beach

bitez-beach

Bitez Beach is one of the best family beaches in Bodrum. The scallop-shaped bay is popular due to its calm and shallow waters and is known as the hub for water sports such as parasailing, windsurfing, and paddle boating. It is also popular for a big swing in seawater. The beach is also a starting point for several boat tours and cruises to Orak and Black Islands.

What is Bodrum famous for?

Bodrum is renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, ancient ruins like the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and the picturesque Bodrum Castle. It’s also known for its luxurious resorts, bustling marinas, and as a popular destination for sailing and yachting.

When should I visit Bodrum?

The ideal time to visit Bodrum is from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny. July and August are peak tourist months, while May, June, September, and October offer pleasant weather with fewer crowds.

Are there any notable festivals or events in Bodrum?

Bodrum hosts several notable events, including the Bodrum Ballet Festival in August, the Bodrum International Film Festival in September, and the Bodrum Cup, an annual sailing regatta in October. These events attract both locals and tourists for cultural and recreational activities.

Where can you experience the best nightlife in Bodrum?

Bodrum’s best nightlife can be experienced in areas like Gumbet, with its lively bars and clubs, and the Marina Yacht Club. Bar Street in Bodrum Town is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, hosting numerous bars, discos, and live music venues.

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