"BODRUM, TURKEY" Top 5 Page for this destination Bodrum by Lyndra
Bodrum Travel Guide: 705 reviews and 1,641 photos
“I have travelled the whole world but found nothing in heaven or earth as beautiful as the Aegean” Herodotus
Merhaba fellow VTer's! I decided my Bodrum page was long overdue for an update. I have lots more tips to add and so many photos I don't really know where to start. I am happy to answer any questions about Bodrum in particular (or the nearby towns) or Turkey in general, I am as much of an expert as the next man but have a deep rooted love for this country and its people, here goes...
I absolutely love Turkey and Turkish people. I have had 22 holidays to Turkey and 18 of these have been to Bodrum. "Get a life"- I'm sure you are thinking but wait... Bodrum really is the most brilliant place to visit in the most wonderful country on earth and offers me everything I need for a relaxing summer get away. It is hot, inexpensive, has kind and friendly people, has Efes, has great archaeology and history, did I mention the cheap beer? I spend 2 - 6 weeks here every summer to unwind (I have a fairly stressful job!).
Bodrum is an eclectic mix of fishermen, barmen from the East of Turkey working to send money home for their families, bars and restaurants serving all tastes and price ranges, archaeology, shopping, a bustling marina scene and the reinvention of the world famous Halikarnas nightclub. No where quite like this town in the world for me! My own tastes have changed as the town has and now I eat and drink in different places. I will update the food and drink tips slowly and unfortunately remove those that are out of date, time has closed some very great places (the memories remain however!).
For culture and learning I probably have done Bodrum to death but I just love the place. I hope to eventually retire to Turkey, can't wait! (To live in Turkey that is - not to get old!).
Food in Bodrum is a pleasant surprise and if you look you can find some quality restaurants. For cheap food go to the bar street area in the day but for nicer food explore some of the fish restaurants the town has to offer (Bodrum was a fishing town before it ever became a holiday resort and the fishermen still do their stuff!). There is an up and coming market for 4* and 5* restaurants catering to the high end tourist or special occasion. It's really not about who shouts at you the loudest to get you in there. Once you have eaten a real kebab in Turkey you may not want to eat the ones from the local chip shop anymore! Warning however, eat kebab where the locals do and inspect the cleanliness to avoid dodgy tummy!!
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is right in the middle of Bodrum - the mausoleum (for Mausolus). You need to use your imagination to imagine what this unique structure may have looked like... but if you pop to Ephesus too, you will have done the second wonder to be found in Turkey (the Temple of Artemis). Who said its all about the Efes??
Oh just as another bit of culture ;-) The Seven Churches of Asia Minor (mentioned in the Book of Revelation) are all in Western Turkey! One of these was Ephesus too.
Bodrum Castle (Bodrum Kalesi: Castle of St Peter) makes a great day out if you are interested in archaeology and history (Bodrum is a world leader in underwater archaeological techniques and many wrecks have been explored off the Aegean coast, which was a centre of trade for many ancient civilisations!!!).
For those of you with a burning desire to find out more about Bronze Age shipwrecks: the ULUBURIN was discovered fully laden off the Turkish coast. It was most likely a trading ship between the many civilisations in this area. Turkey was surely at the hub of Ancient buying and selling (nothing changes!).
The Amphitheatre is on the outskirts of the town and is an open air concert venue as well as being a significant historic site. Look out for boards and posters advertising the events - there was an opera staged there last summer. It is free to get into this site and while not on the same scale as the great Roman amphitheatres found across Europe, it is worth a look.
This is a Turkish proverb and so true. No holiday to Bodrum would be complete without my trusty side kicks - my sister (affectionately known as Bob and she is bob75 on VT too)! She is a great travel companion (when we can get her out of bed that is!!) and loves the Efes nearly as much as me ;-).
I've managed to get my brother on the Turkish band wagon too and he has had his first visit to Turkey this August (a chance for me to experience it through his fresh eyes). He had a great time in Bodrum but the relentless Efes drinking was even a little too much for him!! Who knew that the baby in the family would struggle to keep up with his big sisters :o)
My other half is now a reluctant fan having been brow beaten for 13 years!
Each summer we say that we are going to bite the bullet and start to look for a nice house or apartment to buy. There are still some great bargains to be had in the area. We attended a holiday homes exhibition and this has just made us more positive to invest in Turkey while there are bargains to be had. Hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later... We did a viewing trip to Kusadasi in May 2008, but it may not be the city for me! Gorgeous houses, beautiful national park and amazing beaches. Cheap houses but...it's not Bodrum!
The marina is the centre of a new group of rich visitors to Bodrum and life at this end of the town is vibrant and exciting. Bars and restaurants are starting to feel more cosmopolitan and European (for good or bad?) where the dress codes are swisher and the bills are pricier. The improved presentation of this end of the town is part of the administrations efforts to make Bodrum a more outdoor and sophisticated place to visit, it is a successful ploy and a stroll along the Marina road is a lovely way to people watch in the early evening.
The entire peninsula is outlined by delightful fishing villages and towns that are now holiday destinations in their own right - Yalikavak, Torba, Gumusluk etc. It will be hard to choose with so much nice land to consider but I have a dream of building my own place on a hill between Bodrum and Gumbet, and waking up to the glorious Aegean every day...I can only hope :o)
Turkey is a cultural melting pot but is not as cheap as it once was so if you are going hoping that it a cheaper alternative than the EU for a summer break you will be surprised. While there is cheap and cheerful to be found in Bodrum and the neighboring coastal resorts of Gumbet, Turgetreis, Bitez, Yalikavak etc but generally this area has become increasingly expensive over the last 5 years and shows no signs of getting cheaper anytime soon. Efes (a good indicator of financial change!) has increased in a bar on the front from 3TL to 8TL (bearing in mind 8TL is approximately £3 for a pint of moderately mediocre but quite addictive beer). I have also noticed that shop keepers and businesses are less likely to haggle, one of the true joys of a holiday in Turkey. This can only be a reflection on the current recessional climate which is hitting everyone.
"The land of eternal blue." (Homer on Bodrum)
"The heavenly bliss of life in Bodrum is better than any eternal bliss that may await us." (Cevat Sakir)
Bodrum has planty of bars and clubs to satisfy the party animal and every visitor who likes a drink and some people watching should get off the beaten track and visit some bars that Turkish people spend their free time in - try Kule Rock Bar, Alem Bar, Fora Bar and Korfez, each has a range of music (rock, pop, Turkish) and I always think you get a better feel for a place when you actually stop being a tourist and start to be a traveller (very philosophical but true). Halikarnas is supposed to be the largest open air night club in "Europe" (I know Bodrum isn't in Europe!!) however it is very expensive and frequently very quiet - tourists don't always want to pay 35TL to get into a club. Look out for any international DJ's and then it might be worth the effort. It is an experience and should be tried once! The club was shut for some time but opened successfully again with a flurry of international guests and DJ's.
Modern Bodrum sits on top of the ancient city of Halikarnassus and around Bodrum you can still see evidence of the original city (some of these sites are in my tips). The word Bodrum means "Dungeon".
The oldest signs of habitation have been found on the site of St Peter's Castle, which was once an island next to the mainland.
Bodrum was home to some significant people in the history of Turkey and in some cases the world:
* Herodotus, also known as the Father of History, was born in Bodrum (some people have called him the Father of Lies due to his slight bias in writing)
* King Mausolos was the ruler of Caria and had a massive mausoleum built to house his remains (this is where the word mausoleum comes from)
* Artemisia II, sister and wife of King Mausolos and was a warrior in her own right (she conquered Rhodes)
* Alexander The Great battled ferociusly in Bodrum, damaging the city walls and Myndos Gate in the process
* Anthony and Cleopatra stayed over in Bodrum on their travels
* Dionysius - the historian who wrote a 20 volume history of Rome came from Bodrum
* Cassius (who helped to murder Ceasar with Brutus) fled and lurked in Myndos harbour after the murder and ransaked the supplies of the people of Myndos - much to their disgust!!
* Scylax was an explorer who travelled extensively around the middle east
* Suleiman the Magnificent conquered Bodrum for the Ottomans in 1522
* Turget Reis was an Ottoman admiral and he was born near Bodrum - the town of Turgetreis just along the coast is named after him as is the main road in and out of Bodrum.
* Cevat Sakir Kabaagaçli also known as "The Fisherman of Halikarnassus" was outcast in Bodrum and ended up loving the town so much that he stayed and wrote about the place. His grave is just outsde the town.
* Neyzen Tevfik, a Turkish poet and musician, was born in Bodrum (one of the main streets in town is named after him - down by the marina)
Here are some web addresses for anyone considering a visit to Bodrum who might like a little more information, just in case my tips are not informative enough:
My Bodrum Tips include all excellent archaeology or places of interest within 50km of Bodrum as these places are the easiest to get to by car and bus when you visit the Bodrum Peninsula.
If you are going to Bodrum and want some advice, give me an email :o)
- Pros:Sun, bluest sea, friendly people, wonderful history, culture and archaeology!
- Cons:None for me!!
- In a nutshell:The St Tropez of Turkey - Apparently!
Alem Bar is a delightful find not far from Cumuriyet Caddesi. It has wonderful Turkish music many nights of the week.... more travel advice
Very fun pub that has a karaoke bar underneath and a night club/dance area next door (3 part complex). Friendly staff,... more travel advice
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