Bodrum is a seaside city in Turkey’s Bodrum Penninsula which stretches from the country’s southwest coast to the Aegean Sea. Bodrum City features two bays with views of Bodrum Castle.
Bodrum City serves as a gateway to beach towns and resorts in the area. The city has also become a popular port of call for some cruise ships who ply the Med and Aegean Seas.
Bodrum means sun, sea, history, and shopping. It’s a perfect destination for everyone!
We recently spent a day in Bodrum, it was a port of call on our cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection. The cruise terminal is located at one end of town and is an easy walk to all the sights in the city. And if you’re just looking to stay in the city, no worries, there’s lots to do to fill your entire day!
Here are 6 things to do in Bodrum City!
Visit the Bodrum Castle.
Also known as St. Peter’s Castle, it is medieval fortress completed in the 4th century B.C. which was partly built with stones from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The castle is a great example of Crusader architecture. It is built on the site of the ancient city of Halikarnassus. The castle grounds host several towers and halls which house different exhibits.
A must see is the Carian Princess Hall which showcases a gold crown, necklace, bracelets, rings and an exquisite wreath of golden myrtle leaves. They belong to a woman of high status, possibly associated with Ada, the last Carian Princess. The jewelry owner’s skeleton was found in the heavy terracotta sarcophagus on display here.
While at the castle don’t forget to walk the ramparts for awesome views.
Admission is 10TL about $6 and includes the Museum of Underwater Archaeology (Sualtı Arkeoloji Müzesi) which is housed within the castle.
Visit the Museum of Underwater Archaeology (Sualtı Arkeoloji Müzesi).
This museum is housed in the Bodrum Castle. It is the largest museum in the world devoted to underwater archaeology.
Here you will see finds from ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean. This museum has a fine collection of amphoras, ancient glass, bronze, clay, and iron items.
Most of the artifacts date from underwater expeditions by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) after 1960. The INA excavated several wrecks, some dating back to the 14th. Century BCE.
The glass collection is a definite must see!
Wander thru the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
If you haven’t had your fill of historic structures you can walk over the the site of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, it’s about a 13 minute walk inland from the Bodrum Castle.
The once magnificent monument tomb was built by order of King Mausolus of Caria. It was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.
Unfortunately today not much remains of this ancient wonder. It was destroyed by the earthquake of 1304 and many of its stones were used to build the Bodrum Castle. You can wander thru the excavation and the gardens, and have a look at some of the battle scene freizes on display.
Window shop or shop at the town’s bazaar.
You can’t miss the bazaar, you pass it on your way to Bodrum Castle! It’s filled with all sorts of things from “original fake” bags to Turkish handicrafts and souvenirs.
Before you decide to make your purchase remember to bargain! It’s expected!
While you’re there try some Turkish street food. I love Turkish Lokma, sweet fried dough balls!
Doner Kebabs are delish too!
Grab a meal or snack at one of the seaside restaurants.
All of them have comfy seating under an umbrella and awesome views of the castle!
Find a table right by the beach and you can dip your feet in the water while waiting for your meal. I did!
Stroll along the wide seafront corniche.
It’s a pretty stroll with views of the castle and the town. There are even playgrounds along the way so stop by and let the kids play for a while.
There are many cafes and bars along the way if you want to stop and have a drink or snack.
Small fishing boats dock along the corniche. You might catch a local fisherman fixing his nets. Stop by and say hello, they’re very friendly!
There are many more things to do in and around Bodrum if you have the time. You can spend some time walking the harbor in front of the castle, that’s where the big yachts are!
Or you can go on a boat trip along the Bodrum Penninsula for the day. You’ll see the coastline from a different perspective and stop at some popular beaches.
If boating isn’t your thing take a day trip to one of the surrounding villages or resorts. You can take a road trip to the ancient city of Ephesus, it’s just 2 1/2 hours away.