If you are visiting Turkey and want to visit an area where you can swim and look at breathtaking views then Bodrum is a must-see. It is smaller than its counterparts in Antalya and other seaside cities in Turkey. But it is a must-see!
What to do in Bodrum
Get a flight from Istanbul
A flight from Istanbul to Bodrum can be from 50-100 dollars depending on when you book it. The plane is small and the flights are usually full so I would recommend booking in advance. As the planes are small depending on how you book you might get stuck with a 15 kg allowance. Additionally, in turkey, you have to do security check twice so don’t think oh it’s a domestic flight I can reach very late.
Rent an Airbnb or resort
We rented a villa with a pool and the views were amazing. Bodrum is mostly on a hill and you can see the water from up top. The landscape is insane! Our villa had an infinity pool looking over the ocean and hills. With Airbnb in Bodrum be careful regarding reviews. When there are fewer reviews people do tend to scam you so watch out for that. If you want to have beach access all the time and have children it might be a better option to choose a resort for your stay.
Deciding what area to stay in?
I would recommend staying here if you like being close to the old town and bars. Bodrum city is full of bars and restaurants. Everything, in Bodrum, is far from each other due to the narrow roads and hill landscapes. So, choose your area wisely based on what you want to do or you will be in the car for 30 minutes. For someone with motion sickness, this terrain is not amazing.
The posh area of Bodrum. The Marina is where you will see all the high-end brands and restaurants like Zuma. If that is your style and what you are going for then Yalikavak is the place to stay. If you are young and want to party all night this might not be the best area.
Gumbet is known for partying and is closer to Bodrum City. I personally would just stay in Bodrum city. It is close to the stores, marina, and restaurants. What more can you ask for?
Visit a beach club
If you aren’t staying at a resort doesn’t mean you can’t visit one. Instead, of spending money on a 5-star resort to stay at just visit it for one day to get private beach access. Beach clubs can be pricy and charge entrance fees so pick wisely. Also, if you are all guys it might be hard to enter as they are trying to keep a certain ratio.
Mandarin Oriental – Each Cabana is 600 euros. For normal entry, the cost is 1000 TRY. You can not use this for food or drinks.
Edition – Cabana for 10 people is 1100 euros and if you are more than 4 people you have to book a cabana
Cape of Bodrum – 500 TL per person entrance
Macakizi – 1110 USD for 10 people to reserve a cabana. The money can be used towards food so this was our best bet. Having food and drinks plus beach access. This is where I went. It was on a Tuesday so it wasn’t happening but a beach club isn’t what you would think a beach club is in North America where you are going to party. It is more for private beach access. Macakizi consisted mostly of rich old folks. The water access was amazing. The water was clear and calm so you could easily swim. The food was great I loved the brisket burger and truffle pizza. We were 10 people and the money we paid for entrance was enough for food and drinks. You could swim come back eat and then swim again. Can you describe a day better than that?
Zuma – 450 Lira entrance fee for beach access. They let you make reservations but I have heard they are a bit weird about their reservation. Zuma is also one of the cheaper beach clubs and seems like a young vibe.
Prices in this article are based on 2022 rates
Plan a boat day
When you see everyone on a boat you do get a bit jealous and want to get on one ASAP. You can book a private boat or join a group. For 600 euros you can book a private wooden boat with lunch. They will take you to different bays and let you swim there. This experience is unforgettable for me. Wooden boats are a vibe in Bodrum but if you are looking for something more luxurious you can rent a Yacht for 1000 euros.
Go to the marina
Walking on the marina whether it is Yalikavak’s fancy marina or Bodrums old school marina you need to do this. Don’t get tourists trapped though and any restaurant you sit in check their trip advisor reviews. Google reviews don’t lie in Bodrum anything below a 4 you can skip on it unless you are having a drink.
Full of fake high-end stores, mussels, ice cream stalls, and restaurants Bodrum city is a vibe in itself. It is like any old city you would find but with friendlier nicer people. I wouldn’t recommend shopping in Bodrum city as you will get some high-end prices for some cheap things. The only store I would recommend going to is Mori. It is a cotton and linen matching set and dresses. You can probably get your whole summer wardrobe from there.
Bodrum city is a place you eat and chill at a bar. Yula is very nice and has a beach view and house music playing. It is quite classy compared to the other places in Bodrum city.
Looking for a rachet night just walk along the streets with a drink in hand and hit some of the bars. They are more lively Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Want to move a little away from the hustle and bustle of main Bodrum City there are bars and restaurants a close distance away. Try out RAAT. Mahalle Pub. You can try out different beers and they give you popcorn. Who isn’t down for some free popcorn?
Wrap up for what to do in Bodrum
There is so much to do in Bodrum city if you love being near the water. You can probably sit on a beach for 5 days! So book for your flight to Bodrum ASAP!
Visiting Istanbul as well we have a what to do in Istanbul blog