Bodrum, Turkey: Accommodations, Activities, and Travel Tips

The town of Bodrum Turkey sits on the southwestern coast of the Aegean. The pictureque town with its white buildings and purple bougainvillea are beautiful to see and explore. While Bodrum isn’t the most kid-friendly town to visit, it can be a nice romantic get away for parents and couples. You’ll find many of the luxury resorts are adults-only strengthening the view that you may want take your kids on down the coast. 

This Bodrum Turkey travel guide will take you through the top attractions, activities, restaurants, and accommodations for planning your trip.

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

Table of Contents

Bodrum Fast Facts

BEST TIME TO GO
April–October
POPULATION
181,000
CURRENCY
Turkish Lira (TL)
PLUGS
Standard C | 220 V | 50 Hz
CLIMATE
Hot humid summers
Mild spring & fall
Cold rainy winter
BEST TRIP TYPES
Beach
Nightlife
Food
Blue Cruise
Bodrum Turkey hillside

Brief History of Bodrum

Once known as Halicarnassus, this port city is now a popular summer getaway for many. This stunning city on the Bodrum Peninsula is fitted with a medieval castle, two bays, and a marina full of yachts for a trip on the Aegean Sea.

Halicarnassus once held the world’s seventh wonder, a mausoleum for one of its rulers – Mausolus. This site now remains in ruins as pieces were used years later to build the Bodrum Castle. This is an excellent metaphor for Bodrum – a location where reminders of the past remain alongside the modernized city.

Bodrum, Turkey Essentials

Museum Pass Aegean | 360 TL

Get access to 13 museums to visit over 5 days in Bodrum and the Aegean region, including Ephesus. You can purchase the card through the website, at the first museum you visit or on the Museums of Turkey app. If you’re traveling to other reagions, get the Museum Pass the covers access to museums in ALL of Turkey for 15 days for 600 TL. 

Download the Museums of Turkey App

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How to Get to Bodrum from Istanbul

The fastest way to get to Bodrum, Turkey on the southwestern Aegean coast is to fly there. You can take the 1hr 15 minute flight directly to Bodrum from the either airport in Istanbul

Also, you have the option of flying into Dalaman and then renting a car and driving a few hours up the coast to Bodrum. 

What to See

Even though Bodrum, Turkey is considered a summer destination, it offers more than beach resorts and sunbathing. These activities are a great way to explore the culture of Bodrum and step into its history, even if only for a few moments.

Museum of Underwater Archeology

This museum is a great add-on if you’re visiting the Castle of St. Peter (Bodrum Castle), as it’s located onsite. With a recent renovation, this museum is an even better place to visit for viewing underwater archeology found in excavation sites.

Among the findings in this museum are shipwrecks from the Bronze Age and ceramic pottery with ornate decorations. The main attraction at the Museum of Underwater Archeology is the Serçe Limanı Glass Wreck exhibit. This exhibit features a Byzantine ship and remnants from the boat, including artifacts made from glass.

bodrum castle

Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Castle towers over the marina and resting yachts. This impressive castle was built somewhere in the 1400s or early 1500s. It resides on a location that was once an island. Years later, it was attached to the city to create a peninsula.

You will need to travel through seven gates to reach this castle, as it was used as a citadel for its initial purpose. It features unique architecture, including five towers and a hammam structure, from its use as a prison.

Now, the castle is only used as a museum for various artifacts.

bodrum amphitheater

Bodrum Amphitheater

The restored Bodrum Theater is an impressive site, albeit slightly smaller than most other Roman amphitheaters. When used during Roman times, this theater fit about 13 thousand people.

This amphitheater continues to be in use during the summer with various events and live music performances. Depending on when you’re visiting, you may want to check out their program of available events.

As a note, if you trek to the top level of the amphitheater, you’ll be rewarded with pleasant views of Bodrum Bay.

Zeki Muren Arts Museum

Zeki Müren was a celebrity in Turkey who sadly passed away in 1996. During Zeki’s life, he was a singer, artist, actor, composer, etc. The Zeki Müren Arts Museum is located in his home and offers a peek into his life and art.

Zeki Müren was known for his colorful costumes worn on stage and out in public. This museum also features displays of his costumes, jewelry, and other memorabilia.

As a note, there’s a small shop behind the house in the garden. It’s easy to miss but is a fun, quick stop on the way out.

bodrum turkey windmills

Bodrum Turkey Windmills

On the hill between the twin bays, there once were glorious windmills that rose over the city. Now, the ruins sit atop the hill. While you can head up the hill to view the remains, it’s most commonly used as a place to watch the blue skies change as the sun sets over both bays.

If you head here early in the morning, you can escape the hot weather at midday. Plus, you’ll be able to catch pretty views as the sun rises.  

Mausoleum of Mausolus

Visiting the Mausoleum of Mausolus, built in the fourth century BC, is a must when in Bodrum, Turkey. This historical site was once one of the seven wonders of the world. The mausoleum was crafted to be the final resting place of King Mausolus.

It featured incredible columns and detailed statues built by Greek sculptors. Now, it sits in ruins after pieces were used to build Bodrum Castle. It’s still a magnificent sight, and there’s a model of what the mausoleum once looked like onsite for a better idea of its grandeur.

What to Do

Besides visiting the above attractions, Bodrum, Turkey has additional activities to pursue. This location is well-known for its exceptional nightlife offerings and lovely beaches.

Bodrum  Nightlife

Bodrum Turkey is well-known for its nightlife opportunities. This city is filled with clubs, beachside bars, and pubs that offer a fun party scene. During the summer, it’s especially lively when visitors and locals from nearby cities come to enjoy Bodrum.

Often, the festivities start in the afternoon and go through the night. If you’d like to enjoy the nightlife in Bodrum, visit Bar Street. This mile-long area has some of the biggest, most popular clubs for a fun night out.

Beaches

The beaches on the peninsula feature white sand and crystal-clear water, making it easy to see why travelers and locals love spending their time here. The more popular beaches are found outside the downtown area in the nearby towns.  

Ultimately, these spots get very busy in the summer, especially in September and August. Be prepared for large crowds on the sand during these months.

Bitez Beach

Bitez Beach is one of the best beaches for families. Since the bay’s horseshoe shape protects the beach, it offers calmer waters for children to swim in. Bitez Beach is lined with hotels and restaurants, making it easy to take a break from the sun for a snack or meal at one of the eateries nearby.

Parasailing and boating are popular activities here, with rental companies located right on the beach. This beach also offers full facilities, so you won’t need to leave the beach for restrooms between sunbathing and swimming.

blue cruise from bodrum

Bardakci Beach

You can access Bardakci Beach via water taxi or a 15-minute walk from Bodrum Bay. This cove is a smaller beach that offers clear, clean, warm water to swim in. The beachside bar offers local drinks like Efes and coronas to enjoy.

Consequently, if you’re staying at one of the hotels that line this sandy beach strip, you’ll have direct access to the beach.

Blue Cruise from Bodrum

A highlight for this area is blue cruising from Bodrum is typically done with a gulet, a wooden yacht typically made in Bodrum. This specific type of cruising is done along the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas.

You can rent a gulet and travel through the beautiful bays and coves of Bodrum to see its natural beauty. The typical timeframe for these recreational trips is from May to October. Most take this trip to travel through Fethiye, Antalya, and Gokova.

bodrum beach resort

Where to Stay

We’ve gathered accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly to luxury to aid you in planning your Bodrum trip. Below, you’ll find options to stay on a Bodrum getaway that you’ll want to head to right after arriving at the Bodrum Airport.

Luxury

Casa dell'Arte The Residence

The Casa dell’Arte is a more intimate stay, with only 12 suites available to rent. These modern rooms are roughly based on the zodiac signs, providing a unique decoration style.

As the name suggests, this accommodation is filled with Turkish art-covered walls. Though, there are other major draws to staying here. In the garden, guests can lounge in the hot tub. You’ll also have access to a private pier and beach when staying at the Casa dell’Arte.

This luxury accommodation books up fast during peak season and has a rate of about $960 per night. After peak season, rates drop down to about $360 per night.

The Marmara

This luxury hotel offers breathtaking panoramic views from the rooftop pool, restaurant, and rooms. The Marmara has lovely, understated rooms with fun throw pillows, minibars, and terraces.

Each morning, guests can enjoy a breakfast buffet before heading outside to catch the complimentary beach shuttle. These shuttles run only in the summertime but make it easy to spend a day or two basking in the sun.

The rooms are typically around $200 per night, depending on your room of choice. As a note, this location is an adults-only hotel.

Voyage Bodrum

If you’re looking for a romantic stay, try the Voyage Bodrum. This adults-only luxury stay is all-inclusive and offers quite a few amenities. It’s nearby Bodrum Castle and offers beautiful views of Bardazci Bay and the Mediterranean Sea.

Buffet meals are included throughout your stay, with the option to add a la carte items. The contemporary-style rooms offer stunning views from the balconies. Staying at the Voyage Bodrum also provides private beach access and a pool to lounge in during the hot summer months.

During high season, rooms start around $315 and go up depending on the room chosen.

Boutique Hotels

El Vino Hotel & Suites

This family-friendly hotel and suites are nearby Bodrum Castle, making it easy to travel to the historical site. The outdoor pool area is especially appealing, with gazebos and large umbrellas to relax under.

The rooftop restaurant provides views of Bodrum Castle as you enjoy Mediterranean and seafood dishes. El Vino Hotel & Suites has simple, modern rooms with enjoyable views.

You can expect rates to start at about $154 per night. 

Villa No 5 Boutique Hotel

This boutique hotel has cool vibes and was created with the intention of guests feeling at home. A lovely pool area in the back features plenty of seating and views of the pretty onsite garden.

The Villa No 5 Boutique Hotel has artwork strewn throughout and little extra touches like slippers included during a stay. This hotel is located in Bodrum City’s downtown area for easy access to the beaches and nearby attractions.

The pricing per night is about $150 per room.

Budget Accommodations

Bircan Hotel

The Bircan Hotel is family-run and features simple yet comfortable rooms. Breakfast is included in the lovely onsite garden, making it easy to keep your budget down.

It’s nearby some of the best beaches, and the hotel can also arrange for a free shuttle the Bardakci Bay if needed. A 24/7 front desk and free parking make it convenient to check in to the Bircan.

Rooms are around $30 per night here.

Sevin Hotel Pension

You’ll be greeted by live music as you walk into the lobby of the Sevin Hotel Pension. This budget-friendly hotel is in the heart of Bodrum and nearby some of the best bars and beaches. You’ll also find this hotel close to Bodrum Castle and other historic sites.

Breakfast is also included with this pick, including a large breakfast buffet. Between seeing Bodrum’s sights, you can lounge in the grapevine-covered garden on the available hammocks.

Pricing for this hotel starts at $40 per night.

Where to Eat

Since Bodrum has so many food offerings, it can feel overwhelming to choose one. Below, you’ll find a few highly-rated options that offer incredible food and friendly staff.

Avlu Bodrum Bistro & Bar

Avlu Bodrum Bistro & Bar is a favorite of locals. You can enjoy traditional Turkish food in a restored Bodrum stone house at Avlu.

While located in a house, the restaurant has an elegant feel and is an excellent spot for a romantic dinner or special occasion. Excellent service and delicious menu items await you at Avlu Bodrum Bistro & Bar.

La Pasion Restaurant

La Pasion Restaurant is a great choice for those craving international food options. You’ll find a combination of Mediterranean, Spanish, and Turkish fare here.

The outdoor seating is airy and filled with natural light during the day. The restaurant turns on its light strings in the evening to create a romantic feel. The paella comes highly recommended when eating here.

Annalivia Restaurant

Annalivia Restaurant is found in one of Bodrum’s small towns – Gumbet. The covered outdoor seating offers a lovely view of the bay and village as you enjoy a meal.

This steakhouse has friendly staff with an owner who will make you feel at home. If you visit a few times during your stay, don’t be surprised if the owner remembers your favorite appetizer!

El Vino Restaurant

El Vino Restaurant is found on the rooftop of El Vino Hotel, offering incredible views of Bodrum Castle. This is a treat at sunset. Be sure to get there early or make a reservation so you can get a seat. El Vino serves regional fare with seasonal options included.

Also, this restaurant prides itself on using high-quality ingredients for every meal while still offering meals at affordable prices. If you have time, you can schedule a private wine tasting here.

Conclusion on Bodrum Turkey

In conclusion, with Bodrum’s stunning natural offerings of multiple bays, stunning beaches, and the ability to take to the seas with a private yacht, it’s easy to see why many people travel to this city every year. While its not the most kid friendly beach town, its still worth visiting. With this Bodrum city guide, you’ll be able to navigate the city and its small towns with ease for a perfect trip.

For more coastal towns like Kas, or trips down the Mediterranean Coast, you can check out guide to the Mediterranean in Turkey

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

guide to bodrum turkey

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Family Travel to Turkey: Enes and Dania

Hi, we're Dania & Enes

We’re an American Turkish couple who’ve worked in the tourism industry and traveled extensively in Turkey. We understand that it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Turkey when you don’t know where to go, where to stay and the best way to get there. We’re dedicated to helping you confidently plan a trip to Turkey and have a more authentic experience when you get there.

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