Fascinating and cosmopolitan
Bodrum is a boaty, artsy, fun-filled place to spend a holiday. This former fishing and sponge diving community has been transformed in the last three decades into one of the hotter spots on the Turkish Aegean coast. Hugely historic – it was home to one of the original Seven Wonders of the World - there’s plenty to get your teeth into besides the attractions of the local coastline, onshore and offshore.
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Head to the marina area to explore Bodrum's shopping potential. The main road (Neyzen Tevfik Caddesi) is packed with boutiques selling the latest beachwear as well as plenty of local ceramics, carpets and jewellery. For more craft shopping, the narrow pedestrian alleys behind the castle are a fine hunting ground. Bodrum Market is next to the bus station and should be your first port of call if you want to shop with the locals. Every Tuesday, this sprawling space is devoted to textiles with loads of bags and clothing on offer, while on Fridays the market is transformed into a colourful feast of fresh, local produce.
Food & Drink
The best table in Bodrum is at Orfoz (Cumhuriyet Caddesi 177), which boasts a menu filled with tasty Turkish staples. The Fish Market (Cevat Şakir Caddesi) is Bodrum's liveliest, most interesting place to pull up a pew, with the catch of the day coming direct to your table from the local fishmongers. For a cheap eat, hunt out Nazik Ana (Hukumet Sokak 7), which serves up rustic local dishes packed with flavour. Bodrum is a party town and there's no shortage of bars. Küba (Neyzen Tevfik Caddesi 62) is the club of choice for the young and beautiful, while Mavi Bar (Cumhuriyet Caddesi 175) is a more low-key, relaxed evening choice.
Bodrum Diving Festival
Organised by the Bodrum Underwater Society, this diving festival celebrates the world below the sea's surface with exhibitions during the day and live music from DJs and rock bands during the night.
Bodrum Jazz Festival
This free programme of sunset concerts is staged at the marina's yacht club and features both up-and-coming and well-known jazz musicians.
Bodrum Bike Festival
Bodrum's quirkiest annual event sees the community get together for a mass bicycle ride through town. There is lots of family-friendly carnival action thrown in along the route, and music and dance performances to enjoy once you've finished the ride.
Bodrum International Ballet Festival
Held amid the gorgeous surrounds of Bodrum Castle, this festival brings Turkey's national opera and ballet companies to town for a series of performances.
A fitting end to the yachting season, the Bodrum Cup is a gulet (Turkey's traditional wooden yacht) regatta with a course route that takes in some of the most stunning coastline to sail through in the world. A series of parties and live music events are also hosted at the marina in the evenings.
This village of whitewashed cottages draped in vines and tinged with fresh seaside air scores highly on the holiday card with everyone. Up on the hillside, the Manastir Hotel (Mustafa Kemal Caddesi 37) offers chic seclusion for luxury lovers. Asmin Hotel (Alibaba Sokak 9) offers mid-range accommodation seekers a central, comfortable choice with rooms right beside the castle. Or if you want to be near the beach, Gulet Hotel (Cumhuriyet Caddesi 177) has clean, spacious rooms. Budget travellers are in for a treat in Bodrum as well because Melis Pansiyon (Turkkuyusu Caddesi 42) is one of the friendliest places in town.