Top 10 Things to Do in Bodrum

Beach at the Kempinski Bodrum
Beach in Bodrum

Bodrum is located on the famous Turkish Riviera, and the city and surrounding peninsula offer a wide variety of things for visitors to see and do. Whether you’re there to party at Bodrum’s best clubs or soak up the sun at the most pristine beaches, there’s something for everyone. To help you explore your options while you’re visiting Turkey, here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Bodrum.

Explore the Bodrum Peninsula
Bodrum is the jumping off point for the whole peninsula, which has a wealth of great towns, beaches, and coastal areas. Staying in the city itself can be tempting, but it’s worth getting out to see the surrounding area. Places like Yalikavak, with its glitzy yacht harbor and pretty old town are worth a day trip in themselves.

Visit the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
The historic ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus are one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the area is one of the most famous places in Bodrum. While there isn’t much left of the mausoleum today, for history lovers and those interested in all things archaeology, a visit to the mausoleum is a must on any visit to Bodrum.

Walk along the Waterfront
Bodrum’s harbor and waterfront have a picturesque promenade where visitors and locals alike can enjoy a seaside stroll. The path is lined with bars, restaurants, and cafes, so you can scope out places to eat and drink as you soak up the sun and admire the yachts. When you get to the castle, make sure to sit outside at one of the cafes for a meal or a drink.

Visit the Castle
Bodrum Castle is one of the most recognizable sights in the city. The castle, which sits right on the harbor, was built in the 15th century by the Knights Hospitaller. Its full name is the Castle of St. Peter the Liberator of the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Rhodes (a mouthful if there ever was one!). It has withstood the centuries and is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the city today. The castle now houses the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which showcases the oldest excavated shipwreck in the world.

Go to the Market
The covered market in Bodrum has a great variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, olives, and other Turkish produce for sale. It’s a great place to pick up a snack, learn about regional foods, or just soak up the local culture. Oh, and there are plenty of sweets like Turkish Delight for sale, too!

Go to the Beach
Bodrum isn’t known for its beaches, but there are a few around the peninsula that are great places to sunbathe on the Turkish Riviera. Over in Yalikavak, there are some nice sandy beaches, a few of which have sun loungers and umbrellas. Additionally, Akvaryum Cove offers a nice stretch of sand spanning three kilometers (1.5 miles), complete with crystal clear water.

Go Clubbing
Bodrum is famous for its nightlife scene, and the best clubs in Bodrum rival those in any major city. Whether you go to one of the big clubs along the waterfront or opt for something smaller, there’s a venue for every taste and musical preference. Some of the best clubs in Bodrum are the famous Halikarnas and the Club Catamaran, a nightclub on a boat.

Take a Day Trip to Kos in Greece
The Greek island of Kos is less than an hour away by ferry, and makes a great day trip from Bodrum. Kos has stunning ruins, great waterfront cafes and restaurants, and charming little streets to get lost in. The ferries are timed so that it’s easy to go for a day, but an overnight visit can be fun, as Kos has a good nightlife scene.

Go to the Spa
No trip to the Turkish Riviera would be complete without a trip to the spa. The best spa in Bodrum is at the Kempinski hotel in Barbaros Bay. Its spa is not only huge, but also has stunning facilities, including pools, steam rooms, and massage treatment rooms. It’s worth the indulgence to splurge on a spa day there.

Go Sailing
Given Bodrum’s location on the sea, it’s worth going sailing. Whether you have your own yacht (lucky you!) or charter a boat for a day, it’s a great way to experience life on the Turkish Riviera. There are also organized boat trips in Bodrum that you can take if you want a more relaxed and social experience. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a great time soaking up the sun.

Best Luxury Hotels in Bodrum

Kempinski Bodrum
Kempinski Hotel in Bodrum

If you’re looking for luxury in Turkey, Bodrum is the place to be.

The city and its surrounding peninsula are part of the proverbial Turkish Riviera, and jet setters from all over the world descend on the area and its marinas throughout the summer season.

If you’re not lucky enough to have a yacht to sleep on while you’re visiting, the many luxury hotels in Bodrum are the next best thing. Here are a few top picks.

Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay

The Kempinski hotel in Bodrum is located on the stunning, secluded Barbaros Bay. A short drive from the Bodrum city center, the hotel offers guests a private beach beneath its stunning hillside property. Most rooms have views of the sea, and the beautiful swimming pool, multiple restaurants, and spacious spa offer enough to do that you may not want to leave at all.


One of the exclusive Aman Resorts, the Amanruya numbers among the most famous luxury hotels in Bodrum. Located on a tranquil hillside offering breathtaking views of the sea and a winding pathway leading to a sheltered pebble beach, the hotel offers privacy in all of its 36 spacious and elegant Pool Terrace Cottages.

Casa dell’Arte

The famous Casa dell’Arte hotel in Bodrum is the first contemporary boutique art hotel in Turkey. Situated in the the historic fishing village of Torba, the beachfront property is home to over 200 Turkish paintings that rotate on display throughout the year. Whether you choose to stay at the residence, the family resort, a villa, or a yacht, there is something for every traveler at the Casa dell’Arte.

Maca Kizi

Design-led Maca Kizi is a luxury boutique hotel on the Bodrum Peninsula. Many of its modern rooms and suites have views of the sea, and its beautiful spa and wooden decks are great places to relax. Its restaurant offers fresh, flavorful food and wine, and its location in the town of Turkbuku means that it is close to the Bodrum city center while still retaining a sense of peace and seclusion.


The Marmara is a luxury boutique hotel overlooking Bodrum. Located high on a hill above the bustle of the city center, it offers guests a great balance between privacy and proximity to the city. Its 97 rooms and suites offer views of the land and sea from their balconies and terraces, and its restaurant, lounge, and pool bar serve Mediterranean cuisine befitting their location.

Turkey e-Visas

Turkish Flags in Bodrum

To make travel to Turkey simple for visitors, Turkey has an Electronic Visa Application System.

With the system, visitors are able to obtain an e-visa online. People travelling to Turkey can fill in their personal details, make a payment, and download their e-visa up to 24 hours before they travel. In the future, visitors will be able to obtain e-visas from some airline offices as well.

E-visa applications can be made from three months until 24 hours before visiting Turkey.

Visa fees for Turkey vary by country, and the length of the visa also depends on what country a visitor’s passport was issued in. The website will walk you through the process so that you can find out what fee and duration apply to you. E-visas are non-refundable, so make sure your travel plans are set before you apply for one.

A passport with a minimum of six months’ validity, an onward transportation reservation, and a credit card are required to apply for an e-visa for Turkey. Once you have obtained a visa, it will be emailed to you within 24 hours of completion of the application.

If you are on a cruise in Turkey, you do not require an e-visa if you stay on board the ship. Additionally, an e-visa is not necessary for cruise passengers who dock and only tour in their respective Turkish port city for 72 hours or less.

For more information about e-visas for Turkey, you can contact your nearest Turkish Consulate.