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Home » turkey » Ancient history meets nature: Discover amazing things to do in Bodrum (Turkey)

Ancient history meets nature: Discover amazing things to do in Bodrum (Turkey)

By Amitabh Das - September 13, 2020
Bodrum castle view from Aegian Sea

One of the upscale and charming port towns of Turkey, Bodrum is a dynamic city amalgamating the old and new. Interestingly the medieval fortress on the site of existing city was constructed using stones from Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, considered as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Apart from that clear waters between the twin bays make this city an ideal leisure vacation spot. There are a lot of things to do in Bodrum suited for all age groups. From historic castles and museums to upscale shopping malls and nightlife this place will never fail to mesmerise you.

Top things to do in Bodrum

  1. Visit the historic theatre and Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
  2. Check out Deniz Müzesi for understanding the Maritime history of the region.
  3. Plan a visit to the dreamy Bitez Beach.
  4. Admire the Bodrum Castle (St Peter’s Castle).
  5. Unique attraction: Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
  6. Marvel at the charming old windmills of Bodrum.
  7. Visit the Pristine Bardakci Cove.
  8. Take a trip to Pedasa Antique City.
  9. Shop till you drop at the Midtown Shopping Centre.
  10. Go yachting at Kara Ada.

1. Visit the historic Mausoleum and Theatre of Halicarnassus.

The site of Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The most famous of all the historical sites in Turkey, the term ‘Mausoleum‘ originated from here. An incredible 45 metres tall monument used to stand in a majestic podium built by famous Greek sculptors of the era for Carian satrap ‘Mausolus. Through, a series of earthquake rattled the structures between 11th and 14th centuries, many of the artefacts are safe in museums across the world. Rightly deserving the title as one of the original ancient wonders of the world, this was the last wonder from the ancient world standing tall till 14th century.

As befitting it might be, the marbles and stones from the site were used for building Bodrum castle. This instils a surreal feeling of the past still surviving well around us! Both the places are top in the list of must-do things to do in Bodrum.

Theatre of Halicarnassus overlooking Aegian sea
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

As you walk ahead of the historic ruins, your eyes can’t miss the grand theatre. Built-in Roman style, the theatre gives some unparalleled view of the Aegean sea from its cavea. Surprisingly the original structure is still standing. The rocks used to build are till date weather-resistant, again making us wonder the ingenuity of early Roman craftsmanship.

2. Check out Deniz Müzesi for understanding the Maritime history of the region.

The Deniz museum of maritime history
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

An interesting place to check out, the museum has models of the various ships build in Bodrum since the Ottoman era. Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı a Crete write took refuge in the city in 1925 donated his personal collection of 6000 shells from around the world. Commonly known as “Fisherman of Halicarnassus”, he was one of the founding fathers of the city raising it to a level of prominence in Turkey.

3. Plan a visit to the dreamy Bitez Beach.

The popular Bitez Beach
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

What’s a holiday without a beach! Though the city beach of Bodrum is quite popular and pretty, head out a little in the outskirts for Bitez Beach. It rightly takes its place as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Turkish peninsula. Its shallow, translucent blue waters and gravelly sand makes the ideal setting for that perfect beach destination and a must-do among things to do in Bodrum.

4. Admire the Bodrum Castle (St Peter’s Castle).

Panoramic view of Bodrum castle
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

As history entwines itself, the castle was actually built during 15th-century on the original site of Palace of Mausolus which stood during the 4th century. The stone and marbles used to build the castle came from the destroyed site of Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Also, the history of the site dates backs 3000 years the vantage points heavily protected and fortified. Interestingly, the castle also became a prison in 1895, but for a brief period.

5. Unique attraction: Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

A reconstructed scene at Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

A one of a kind attraction, it is present in the Bodrum castle only. With a unique and impressive collection of underwater artefacts, this place is a must-visit among things to do in Bodrum. The crown jewels of the museum are two reconstructed ships restored in almost entirety from medieval and bronze ages. Rare Egyptian symbols and coins, Roman amphorae, Mycenean copper tools and vases – these are some of the rare preserves that you won’t see elsewhere in the world.

6. Marvel at the charming old windmills of Bodrum.

The charming Old windmills of Bodrum
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The windmills dating back to the 17th century are a feast to the eyes and forms a striking feature in the backdrop of rugged brown land and pristine blue sea and sky. The white painted circular brick structures are in a state of disrepair giving them a weathered look. Stay on for a sunset panoramic view across the azure blue sea from one of the vantage points. Surely a must-do from things to do in Bodrum.

7. Visit the Pristine Bardakci Cove.

A view of a cove
Credits: Margaret King from Pixabay

As blue as the water can get, Bardakci cove is one of the well-known secrets of the Bodrum peninsula. Though you won’t get free access due to lack of public beach, the entrance fee of $9 keeps the place well maintained and less crowded. The waters are shallow, warm and the sand soft making this an idyllic beach getaway.

8. Take a trip to Pedasa Antique City.

Excavation site at Pedasa
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

An impressive city founded in 11th century B.C, it was a planned and organised settlement. The ruins are widely scattered and new discoveries are being made almost every year. As the city was constructed along the rough hills, you do get an awesome 360º views as you hike to the hilltops. Easily one of the best things to do in Bodrum for finding out the historian within you.

9. Shop till you drop at the Midtown Shopping Centre.

Shopping mall in Bodrum
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

An upscale shopping mall, it features traditional Turkish crafts along with all international brands of fashion and lifestyle. Also, Bodrum being a port town gets its share of discounted duty-free product from time to time. So here’s hoping you get seriously lucky finding some great things to buy at jaw-dropping prices. The centre also has a multicuisine food court and couple of movie screening theatres to keep you full and entertained.

10. Go yachting at Kara Ada.

View from Kara Ada Bodrum
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Searching for more things to do in Bodrum? Head out to Kara Ada, an island at the mouth of the harbour and a hidden gem for quite some time. It came to prominence largely due to its Yachting opportunities. Almost all major cruise lines stopover here as this route is regarded as part of the most beautiful Mediterranean cruising routes in Europe. If you are not quite interested in Yachting, the island does have some natural mineral springs to refresh your body and mind.

Also read: Throwback: An insider’s Turkish travel experience

Bodrum is increasingly becoming popular as it is getting prominence as a major port in Turkey. Along with places like Kayseri and Antalya which are known for their natural vistas, a trip to Bodrum will take you back in time to origins of our civilization. Plenty of luxury and beach resorts dots the city along with budget properties to offer something for every traveller. You can always combine a trip to Greece along with visiting Turkey.

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