Top 15 Attractions (plus some tips) in Bodrum

Bodrum is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Muğla, Turkey. With its amazing landscapes, beaches, and clubs as well as historical landmarks, it is preferred by so many tourists as well as locals. They say that the Aegean region people are different in a good way, and Bodrum is one of the best places to interact and meet with them.

Bodrum is one of the 13 counties of Mugla. It is called Halicarnassos in mythology and thought to be built by Carians. Bodrum has various civilizations’ traces in it including Rome, Ottoman, and Byzantine. Homeros referred to Bodrum as “eternal paradise of blues”.The name Bodrum comes from one of the builders of the castle, and the way that Turkish people pronounce it.

Whether you are going on a trip alone, with your boyfriend or girlfriend, your family or your friends, Bodrum has so many things to offer you. This article will inform you about some of the best places in Bodrum to visit, hopefully, to make your decision-making process a little bit easier based on your preferences. Let’s get started!

Bitez: City Life and Beach Life Combined

Besides including all those incredible features in all Bodrum beaches, this one has the feature of being the longest beach in Bodrum. This beach is also known for its famous and delicious ice cream. Additionally, this beach is the closest beach to the city center, approximately 10 minutes with public transportation and 5 minutes by your car, meaning that you can enjoy your beach experience without missing out on what other things Bodrum offers to you.

Camel Beach in Bitez, Bodrum
Camel Beach in Bitez, Bodrum

If you are going with children, you may especially want to choose this beach because the seawater is quite shallow and the waves are calm, not threatening at all. Your children can enjoy the sea without you worrying about them drowning – but still, keep an eye on them just in case!

It is great to visit with children due to being so close to the city center if your child needs something immediately you may just go to a shopping center and buy it easily.

Iasos Ancient City: Feeling History To Your Bones

Your reason to visit Bodrum may or may not be enjoying those wonderful beaches and soaking under the sun, but visiting this ancient city is strongly recommended. Iasos ancient city is a historical landmark with lots of archeological residues, besides its beautiful view. This ancient city is mostly known for its fish market.

Iasos Ancient City

Additionally, it has a lot of stories to tell you – Iasos Ancient City legends, and theatres, graves, harbor stones, and so on. Adding a little historical spice to your trip will beautify your trip. This ancient city built upon a peninsula is worth visiting. Yet it was not always a peninsula, there is evidence supporting that Iasos Ancient City was built upon an island, but this island transformed into a peninsula in time, it will not fail to amaze you with its geographic features.

Gün Batımı(Sunset) Beach

The name of the beach means “sunset” in English, and they gave this name to this beach for a reason. This beach is the best place to watch the sunset in Bodrum and can give you the best of both worlds – a calming, chill time with yourself or your friends, and crazy nightlife. Also, there are a lot of fish restaurants that you can enjoy a niche dinner and feel fancy.

Sunset at Gün Batımı Beach, Turgutreis, Bodrum

This beach’s sea is a mixture of Aegean and Mediterranean seas, in other words, it is in a unique place in which both seas have met each other. How cool is that?

And if you are a photographer, it is safe to say that this beach is the best to take photographs of sunset on a beach. Keep that in mind.

Bodrum Castle

Another historical landmark that Bodrum offers you is the Bodrum Castle. Like Iasos Ancient City, this historical landmark was formerly an island that transferred to a peninsula in time.

View of Bodrum Castle and Marina

It is built between two ports and has the best view. 

To arrive in the inner castle, you need to pass 7 doors which all of them have stunning riggings with different figures. If you pass those 7 doors and reach the inner castle, you will see various towers, and each of those towers named after a country, except one. The names of the towers are French, Italian, English, and Serpentine. 

This castle is now serving as a museum named “Underwater Archeology Museum”, which is the only underwater museum in Turkey.

If you have an interest in history and/or archeology, you should visit Bodrum Castle.

Tuzla Bird Paradise: For Bird Lovers

One of Bodrum’s wonders of nature, this bird paradise, is 25 km away from the city center. 

If you enjoy watching birds, or if you have a special interest in bird watching, this place is the very thing for you, with being a host to approximately 125 bird species.

Flamingos at Tuzla Bird Paradise

This place is especially a dazzling feast when it is time for birds to migrate – such that some individuals prefer to come here just to see birds migrate. And a lot of photographers want to witness those moments and immortalize them.

 Similar to Gün Batımı Beach, this bird paradise is also located at the intersection of 2 different water sources: the Aegean Sea and Tuzla Lake. 

Tuzla Lake is crucial for all birds living in that bird paradise since they met their needs from there.

You can see some birds that you have never seen before.

Cennet(Heaven) Cove: Heaven On Earth

The name of this cove is an absolute point shot since “cennet” means “heaven” in Turkish. This cove must be a piece of heaven. If you are not interested in crazy nightlife, or parties, this bay is for you. Away from the noise of the city, the environment is optimal for you to find your inner peace.

Cennet Cove

Unfortunately, there are no public transportation opportunities to go to this cove, and if you go by car you may be frustrated with the lack of parking spot. If you have the opportunity, going to this bay on weekdays in your car, which will take approximately 30 minutes from the city center, is recommended.

Another great opportunity that you may profit and have fun in this cove is the camping area. If you are bored from all of those five-star hotels, you may just want to hang out with your family, friends, or lover around a campfire with your marshmallows, next to your tent. How cozy!

Besides all these, there is a special path for you to enjoy your morning – any time of the day actually, jog or walking. Stating that the Lycian Way is one of the best paths to go for a walk is not exaggerating, it was chosen by an international magazine among the 10 best walking paths in the world.

Orak(Hervester) Island

Bodrum has a lot of opportunities for different kinds of interests and sports. Orak Island is one of the best places that you can go diving. This island is preferred by professional and nonprofessional divers very densely.

Orak Island

 You may go to this island within approximately 40 minutes of the boat journey, by watching the amazing view of Bodrum. Also, there is a hidden bay around this island that you may want to explore. So if you are feeling a little adventurous, if you are a professional or nonprofessional diver, if you have an interest in diving, if you want to try new things, or if you just want to enjoy the beautiful turquoise sea, this island is the best for you. Furthermore, you may even take diving classes on Orak Island.

Tavşan(Bunny) Island

Instead of being in a location where two different water sources intersect, this island is famous for dividing two beaches with a walking path. “Tavşan” means “bunny” in English, and this island name is bunny because there are lots of bunnies on the island. 

Tavşan Island

In contrast to Orak Island, you can arrive there by walking, which makes it easier to get to. Additionally, you may even go there by a hidden half-rundown underwater gate! You can observe and feed the bunnies and have a great time there. A piece of information for you to not get disappointed- there are not as many bunnies as it used to be, but if you are lucky enough you may see some.

Gümbet

Another popular destination in Bodrum that you may want to visit is Gümbet. Approximately 4.5 kilometers away from the city center, is mostly preferred by young adults and tourists, but has so much to offer for those of you who have children, too, such as a long beach with a shallow sea, making it possible and less dangerous to practice water sports, and children to swim. 

Windmills, Gümbet

There are lots of equipment and professionals in the water sports domain that are there to help you to try them out.  If you know how to do water sports, then just enjoy doing those sports in beautiful Gümbet water. 

Some tips for Gümbet:

  • If you want to explore around and see other things, join boat tours, which take around 6-7 hours, and visit lots of bays around.
  • Gümbet has a place in which there are old windmills. Probably, you cannot find any other place with windmills that offers you such a beautiful view.
  • Nightlife is also very energetic and fun, there are lots of night clubs and bars you can have a drink too.
  • Gümbet beach is appropriate for families with children, especially. It is one of the most popular beaches among families with children. So if you have children, consider Gümbet Beach.

Mumcular: A Cultural and Local Trip

Among the oldest residential areas in Bodrum, if you are bored with your typical trip patterns, it will provide you a unique experience. This place is not filled with crazy beach clubs, waterparks, etc. Instead, this place is a production center. Locals are producing honey, tobacco, and olives here.

View of Mumcular Village

You may visit the handmade carpet stores and shop carpets. These carpets will bring some mystic vibes to your living area. Supporting small businesses is important!

Mazı Village: Pure Nature

This village will surprise you as you see it by how it could remain so pure and untouched in those times. As you get closer to this village from the city center, you will not believe your eyes how your surroundings change.

Away from the crowdedness of the city, this village is perfect if you want to unbrace yourself. It is approximately 45 kilometers away from the city center. With its clean water, you can see your feet no matter how deep you went through the sea. You can explore wonderful bays around; this village contains 8 bays in it.

Some tips for Mazı Village:

  • If you want a full nature experience, it is recommended to bring a tent and camp for a couple of days. Weekdays are calmer compared to weekends.
  • It almost feels like you are among the woods with olive and pine trees around. It is such a mood changer, in the best way possible.

Bodrum Ancient Theater: A Trip To The Past

Another historical landmark in Bodrum is an ancient theater. If you want to get shivery, you must visit this ancient theater because it was used as a necropolis, which means graveyard. This theater is a typical example of pre-roman theater architecture. There are excavations done there in the past.

Bodrum Ancient Theatre

It consists of three parts: Cavea, which means the seating area, orchestra, in which they present presentations to Dionysus, and stage. You should include this landmark in your city tour for sure.

Bodrum Modern Turkish Bath

Have you ever experienced a Turkish Bath? If not, you cannot even imagine what you are missing out on. Luckily, you can experience this amazing bath in Bodrum, a Modern Turkish Bath. 

It is the best way to treat yourself like a king or queen. Do not forget to bring a swimming suit and a towel! 

Besides getting clean as a newborn, you will refresh and repair your body.

Bodrum Dolphin Park

Have you ever imagined having a dolphin as a pet? Wouldn’t that be great? But unfortunately, it is not possible, but you can interact and have a good time with dolphins in the Bodrum Dolphin Park, which is nearly 20 km away from the city center. If you have time for that, your trip would be kind of wasted if you skip this destination. Do not forget to bring a towel, swimming suit, and a camera. You will want to immortalize those moments for sure.

 This dolphin park adventure consists of:

  • First, successfully educated dolphins will amaze you with what they are capable of. Taking a poor view is nearly impossible
  • Then you can get into the water with the dolphins, pet them, kiss them on the forehead and play with them.
  • Do not worry, you will be in the water with professionals there just in case something unpredictable happens.

Bardakçı Cove

Not having a car might be a problem while exploring the coves, but this one is about 15 minutes walking from the city center so that you can access it easily. There are lots of opportunities for water sports. Even though there are no public beaches there, yet you can go to one of the beaches that are owned by hotels. You must try delicious food in surrounding restaurants.

Bardakçı Cove

It is also as known as “Zeki Müren Bay” since famous Turkish singer Zeki Müren used to come here a lot.

One-day activities in Bodrum

Not having enough time might be a problem while planning your vacation. Still, you can join one of the tours and other activities in Bodrum to get rest, have fun and regenerate. These are some options for one-day tours in Bodrum:

  • One- day boat tours: Those will take less than a day to complete and you will be able to see so many beauties in Bodrum bays.
  • Diving tours: Exploring the underwater sounds a great way to spend your short term vacation. You will be able to dive with professionals. You can go on diving tours on the beach of your choice and have a great experience. You do not even need to know how to swim professionally, the trainers are there for you. These tours are between 09:30 AM and 04:30 PM. Please read the health warnings before booking a tour.
  • Jeep safari tour: The sea and the bays of Bodrum are impressive, but so does its land. You can join this tour and see the land beauties of Bodrum from 09:00 AM and 04:30 PM. You will have coffee and lunch breaks in nice cafes and restaurants and even a swim break. So that you will not be missing out anything
  • Pirate boat tour: Different from your typical boat tours, pirate boat tours are mainly focused on partying. You will have so much fun with bubble parties, DJs, endless music, swimming breaks on different beaches. Drinks and beverages are included. The tour starts at 10:00 AM.
  • Rafting tour: Bodrum has one of the best rafting parkours in Turkey. If you have a limited time in Bodrum, this option must be considered. High adrenaline and lots of fun with professionals and safety precautions. The tour is between 07:00 AM and 07:30 PM. Breakfast and lunch included.
  • Dalyan tour: Spending your limited amount of vacation with a cultural tour: wouldn’t it be amazing? It is conducted on pre-determined days and has a lot of demands. Culture, history, nature, as well as calmness, is waiting for you at Dalyan one day tour.
  • Fishing tour: Bodrum is fish heaven, and if you are interested in it you can catch some. Another activity that you can do in one day on Bodrum is joining a fishing tour. A boat and a fishhook and nothing can stop you. You can eat the fishes you have been caught for lunch. The tour is between 09:00 AM and 04:00 PM.

What other destinations you should visit around Bodrum?

These are some of the best places to visit if you have enough time to explore the surroundings of Bodrum. The beauties of Aegean territory are endless, you would want to see as much as possible.

Selimiye

You can go to collect fruits in fruit gardens, relax in hammocks in the gardens and try out famous food (fish, especially) and deserts. Also, Selimiye is famous for its ceramic shops. You can go to those ceramic shops and get custom gifts for your family and loved ones.

Datça

In the villages of Datça, honey almonds are very popular. You must try out the honey almonds from those villages. Also, you must visit the Deveboyu lighthouse which is at the highest point of Datça. Even though the path of this lighthouse is hard to accomplish but worth the misery. There are lots of bays in Datça, so make sure that you have your swimming suit with you.

Visiting the International Knidos Academy of Culture and Art would have so many improvement effects on you, just go there and wander around, talk with people, watch art and rest your soul.

Marmaris

Marmaris is mostly preferred for its nightlife. There are lots of clubs, discos, pubs. It is famous for the Pubs Street in Marmaris, in which there are lots of pubs, clubs, and discos to choose from which are open until 04:00 AM.

If you are looking for something to connect with nature, a bicycle tour is recommended. You can explore Marmaris with a mountain bike. This activity is best when you do it with your friends.

İçmeler

Shopping is the best at İçmeler! There are various shopping centers in the streets, along with bars and modern restaurants. You have all you need in İçmeler, so you can go for a while without even leaving there. The most beautiful feature of this place is the eight-kilometer walking route between it and Marmaris. The entire eight-kilometer road runs from the seaside. Moreover, you can go all the way with your bike, because there is a great bike path. İçmeler is generally preferred by those who want to spend their holidays more quietly. Those who want to increase the fun a little more prefer Marmaris. But still, if you are feeling adventurous, you must try parasailing in İçmeler. 

Conclusion

To do’s are endless in Bodrum and it is one of the best places you can ever imagine. Do not miss the chance to be some of those mentioned in the article.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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