Bodrum is the largest town on the peninsula. Bustling and colourful, it has a wonderful harbour and marina and is renowned for its bars, restaurants and nightlife as well as the beautiful St Peter’s Castle, which is undoubtedly the focal point of Bodrum. The main bazaar lies in the pedestrian precinct, at the foot of the castle but little shops of every sort abound in all the narrow streets. There is an excellent market beside the bus station on Tuesdays for fabrics and clothing and on Thursdays and Fridays for food. There is a regular ‘dolmus’ (minibus) service from Gumusluk to Bodrum. The journey takes just over half an hour.
St Peter’s Castle
Over the period of six centuries it has served as a military garrison, a compound enclosing a tiny village, and even as a fortress prison. Today it houses one of the finest museums of nautical archaeology in the world.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am – 12noon and 2pm – 5pm
(Caria Princess Exhibit and Glass Shipwreck Exhibit open Tues to Fri 10am – 12 noon + 2pm – 4pm)
The Mausoleum Museum
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Mausoleum is the tomb of King Mausolus, dating back to around 350 BC. However, after surviving many centuries the Mausoleum was demolished by an earthquake in 1304 and the Knights of Saint John later used the site as a quarry to rebuild the castle. The area where the structure of the Mausoleum once stood has now become an open-air museum but little remains apart from the foundations.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am – 12noon and 1pm – 5pm
The Ancient Theatre
Located on the main Bodrum road (on the left as you approach from Gumusluk) is the well preserved Roman Amphitheatre with great views of the castle and the town. Concerts are performed here in the summer.
Open daily 8.30am – 5pm
Myndos Gate and Ottoman Tower
A relic from King Mausolus’s time, the gate and tower are the most significant remaining parts of the original city wall. Located on the west side of Bodrum, this was one of two entrances to ancient Halicarnassus. The gate is named after the town it faces – Myndos, the present day Gumusluk.
Open 24 hours. Visit in the evening when the ruins are illuminated.
The Zeki Muren Museum
19, Zeki Muren Caddessi
Zeki Muren was a legendary Turkish vocalist and came to Bodrum when he retired. You can visit the late singer’s home and listen to his recordings of traditional Turkish music.
Open daily 8.30am – 12 noon and 1pm – 5pm
The classy ‘Yacht Club’ along the marina has some excellent live bands performing during the summer months and is definitely worth a visit. Entry is usually free but drinks will be expensive.
Ferries run daily from Bodrum to the Greek island of Kos, crossings taking an hour (or only half an hour on the hydrofoil). Trips to places further afield include Marmaris, Didim and Rhodes.
Boat trips run from Bodrum Harbour. Typically the boat stops in a number of bays for swimming and you visit some hot springs and even try a mud facial on some trips. Loud music downstairs, but soft padded deck upstairs for drying off/sun bathing. Lots of Turkish holiday makers too. A fun day out. Lunch included. Costs about £15 per person.