Brimming with history, culture, and stunning natural scenery, Turkey is overflowing with destinations for tourists. From the iconic hot air balloons and caves of Cappadocia to the cultural allure of the powerhouse Istanbul – you may wonder, is Bodrum worth visiting? The answer is a resounding yes.
Sat on the Bodrum Peninsula, in Southwest Turkey, the port city is a famed seaside escape. Nurturing old-school Turkish charm, Bodrum strikes the perfect balance between tourist infrastructure and a preserved historical identity. The city has a lengthy history of occupation, undergoing capture by the Ottoman Empire in 1522 and Italy from 1919 to 1921. Earlier still, in 1402, Bodrum was itself was born – built on the remains of the ancient city Halicarnassus.
Nowadays, Bodrum offers beaches, cuisine, and nightlife in abundance. A true gateway to the Mediterranean, the city caters to all visitors and itineraries. But, for those still on the fence, here are seven unique reasons you should visit Bodrum.
Bodrum has an incredible climate
Bodrum offers the ideal climate for a summer escape. Like much of the Southern Mediterranean, visitors can enjoy long summers of heat, followed by mild autumns and winters of over 14 degrees Celsius. Bodrum’s mild year-round weather makes it perfect for those traveling off-season but still chasing the sunshine. Traveling off-season has lots of perks and is known to be more budget-friendly. Tourists can take advantage of cheaper flights and quieter hotels and attractions without sacrificing precious summer heat.
Bodrum’s climate is also more suitable for holidays than its Northern cities like Istanbul. Audley Travel found Bodrum’s average temperature in August to be 32 degrees Celsius, compared to 28 degrees Celsius in Istanbul. Choosing to visit Bodrum over Istanbul means you can enjoy a better average temperature and a warmer Turkish experience. The promise of a hot Mediterranean climate makes Bodrum definitely worth visiting.
|Average Temperature (Celsius)||20-25||29-33||19-24||14-16|
|Average Rainfall (mm)||23-38||3-18||53-94||79-168|
Bodrum has a rich history for tourists to discover
Although, Bodrum offers far more than an idyllic climate. From the Myndos Gate, which saw the siege of Alexander the Great, to the 15th Century Castle of St Peter – Bodrum is steeped in fascinating history and past cultures.
The city’s biggest claim to fame is that it homes one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is one of the world’s most tragic architectural losses. A spectacular columned monument, the Mausoleum was the tomb of Mausolus, the deceased ruler of the ancient district of Caria. The monument offered an elevated tomb situated on a hill overlooking the city. The structure rose into a pyramid set upon rows of columns – featuring a marble four-horse chariot on top.
Now, its glory is reduced to famous ruins, thought to have been destroyed by a series of earthquakes around the 15th Century. However, tourists can marvel at the remains that the destruction left behind. Open 8 am to 5 pm daily except Mondays, the site is easily accessible from the center of Bodrum and takes around fifteen minutes to reach on foot. Entry tickets cost approximately 1.63 USD or 14 Turkish Lira.
Aside from the Mausoleum, visitors to Bodrum are far from limited in historical attractions to explore. Visitors can visit attractions such as The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, the Castle of St Peter, and the Bodrum Amphitheatre. The city offers an additional array of cultural museums and galleries, which tourists can discover throughout their stay – making Bodrum certainly worth visiting.
Bodrum suits a variety of accommodation preferences
Boasting a diverse selection of luxury, five-star hotels, Bodrum has the upscale accommodation to host a perfect luxury vacation. Those planning a luxury trip should consider properties such as The Marmara Bodrum – which offers incredible room views over the coast, an in-house terrace Mediterranean restaurant, and a half-Olympic-sized pool with views over Bodrum. Prices for a single traveler in the Luxury Sea View room start at approximately 117 USD per night in the off-season and grow to around 273 USD in the summer season.
However, Bodrum also caters to backpacker travel, offering hostel-style accommodation central to the city and its quieter outskirts. The Bodrum Camp and Ecofarm offer idyllic and reasonably priced options for a more modest budget or slow-travel itinerary. Prices start at around 6.41 USD a night in the off-season for a standard five-bed female or eight-bed mixed dormitory. In the summer season, guests can expect to pay approximately 11.16 USD.
Despite Bodrum’s humbler population and size compared to Antalya and Istanbul, the city offers an impressive array of accommodation choices. Its variety makes it perfect for tourism, catering to a broad spectrum of travelers and their requirements.
Bodrum has an excellent Riviera location
The Turkish Riviera stretches across the Southwestern coast, including popular hotspots such as Antalya, Dalyan, Marmaris, and Fethiye. Famed for sun, sand, luxury, and nightlife, the Turkish Riviera offers plenty of resorts and tourist infrastructure. The stunning beaches and dramatic coastline, and greenery makes it easy to understand why tourists flock in their masses.
Bodrum is a perfect location on the Riviera. The city’s functional port makes it a worthy base to explore other spots on the Riviera, either by cruise or ferry. Smaller than the popular Antalya but closer to an airport than Marmaris, Bodrum offers an easy yet beautiful encounter with the Riviera.
And for tourists who shy from independent exploration, Bodrum hosts plenty of reputable tour operators. Tour websites such as GetYourGuide and Viator advertise a plethora of Riviera discovery tours and cruises departing from Bodrum, which you can book in advance for peace of mind. Many tours combine a cruise with unique encounters, such as the ‘Dalyan River Cruise with Sea Turtle Watching‘.
Bodrum is highly accessible for visitors
Only 36km Southwest from Milas-Bodrum Airport, Bodrum is highly accessible by flight. Compared to smaller Riviera towns such as Kas, traveling to Bodrum is much easier. The nearest airport to Kas is Dalaman, approximately 148km away, or Antalya, which is 203km. Bodrum offers a more relaxing transfer experience for tourists through its optimal air travel connections.
Bodrum boasts an excellent ferry and water taxi network, making the city accessible by sea from domestic and international destinations. Rested on the Aegean sea, Bodrum offers easy return trips to Greek Islands and the Turkish coast.
Car and passenger ferries link Bodrum to Rhodes, Kalymnos, Symi, and Kos. The option of a car ferry means visitors to Bodrum could organize a cheap car rental and explore a Greek Island independently in the same period. Ferry prices are dependent on travel season, but the table below details the approximate price ranges.
|Island||Cost from Bodrum by ferry (USD)|
Bodrum also has a well-connected bus system, with a bus terminal situated conveniently in its center. The city’s fleet of minibuses connects the entire Bodrum peninsula, with further coach services available to major cities. Visitors planning domestic travel can easily book tickets online with websites such as FlixBus, which show one-way tickets from Bodrum to Istanbul for around 45.40 USD.
Bodrum has an impressive entertainment scene
Bodrum’s fascinating recent history boasts an iconic collection of entertainment and nightclub venues. Its past venues include Halikarnas The Club, a world-recognized nightclub that opened its doors to party-goers back in 1979.
Today, visitors should head to the nicknamed ‘Bar Street’. In the heart of Bodrum’s Old Town district, Bar Street is a mile-long stretch, jam-packed with extravagant and lively club and bar venues. For a classic Bodrum pub crawl, Bar Street is the ideal tourist spot. Its many venue options make for a diverse selection of price ranges to suit all visitors. And, for those who prefer to avoid alcohol, visitors can sample local shisha in the hookah bars. The city’s distinct nightlife definitely makes Bodrum worth visiting.
And, off the Bodrum shore, visitors can find lively entertainment still. Yacht and catamaran parties leave from Bodrum’s harbor daily in the summer season, with tickets available last-minute and in advance. The most famous boat party in Bodrum is the Club Catamaran, which has a capacity of 2500 partiers. The party boat boasts a transparent dance floor, complete with VIP booths, renowned DJs, and incredible dance performances.
Bodrum has a stunning coastline
Last but not least, the sun-soaked coastline is a definite reason why Bodrum is worth visiting. Tourists are spoilt for choice by gorgeous surrounding beaches and the crystal-clear Aegean sea.
Less than a 20-minute walk from the city center, Bodrum Beach offers a central location and extensive dining options along its adjacent promenade. A 10-minute drive from Bodrum will take you to the popular, family-friendly Gumbet Beach. At Gumbet Beach, you can enjoy an exciting range of watersports. Tourists can choose activities such as parasailing, scuba diving, water skiing, and fly fishing – or just a beach club to relax with a cocktail in hand. Slightly further afield, Kadikalesi Beach offers an unspoiled, peaceful small-town experience. Visitors can indulge in traditional Turkish foods from family-run cafes – a stone’s throw from the sandy strip.
Bodrum’s combination of extensive coastline and easy access between towns highlights it as an elite contender for your next beach holiday destination.