First-timer guide to Bodrum: what to do and where to eat
If this is your first time to this glorious peninsula on the Aegean coast, do not get lost amidst everything happening in Bodrum. Our simple guide will provide you with Bodrum’s musts for a thorough and fulfilling experience.

Bodrum history dates back more than 5.000 years. One of the long standing historical landmarks is Bodrum Castle. The centerpiece of the city, Bodrum Castle was built by the Knights of St. John in the beginning of the 15th century to protect their base on Rhodes. Today, Bodrum Castle is home to Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. The museum’s collection includes the oldest known shipwreck found in Bodrum, dating back to the seventh century, as well as an amphora collection and many other priceless excavated artifacts. A place that ties Bodrum’s past and present, make sure to visit Bodrum Castle again in 2020 when the renovation is complete.

Bodrum has always been a secret holiday spot for celebrities from Turkey and around the world. One of the most respected Turkish artists that sought refuge in Bodrum is Zeki Müren. Step into the Zeki Müren Museum to sneak a peek into the superstar’s glamorous life. The intricacy of his costumes and personal items will leave you in awe.

Bodrum Castle

When thinking about Bodrum, easily the first image that comes to mind is a landscape with white stone houses. When you stroll in the Eskiçeşme neighborhood, you will be captivated by the simplicity of these white houses with blue details, perfectly reflecting the Aegean aesthetic.

As you drive away from the center, you will find the most beautiful Aegean villages. On your way to Gümüşlük for dinner, stop by Dereköy. After observing the exceptional natural beauty, you can take home handmade gourd lamps as a souvenir.

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Besides having a rich historical and natural heritage, the culinary scene in Bodrum is alive with the best restaurants. When you wake up in the morning, nothing can replace the traditional Turkish breakfast. Start your day at one of our favorite country-style breakfast places in Bodrum. You can enjoy your breakfast amongst pink and purple bougainvillea at Balkon Bitez Cafe & Restaurant. Also, close to Yalıkavak at Gökçebel, you will find Dirmil Köy Kahvaltısı, serving the best gözleme. For dessert, opt for several scoops of ice cream at Bitez Dondurmacısı. We must warn you, you will have a hard time choosing from the countless natural flavors they offer.

Dirmil Köy Kahvaltısı

On the Aegean coast, having a seafood night is inevitable. For dinner, choose Orfoz, where the seafood tasting menu changes according to the season. Another option, adored by locals and celebrities alike, is the Bodrum classic Gemibaşı, known for its secret recipe mezzes, octopus rice, and local lobster.

In vino veritas. If you are a wine lover, make time to attend a wine tasting or a sangria party hosted by the creators of local wine brand Vinbodrum.

Of course, any trip to Bodrum must include a healthy share of Aegean wild greens. Although you can taste the best during the spring season, you can still buy wild greens at a local market or order mezzes made with them.

Whether you are looking for a beach day or a chill music event, consider attending Xuma Village’s famous sunset parties and special concerts throughout the summer season. Xuma Village is a center for good music, healthy food, and wellness. For beach days, Ortakent area is another attractive alternative. Although at times too windy for swimming, it is one of the best places to cool off and escape Bodrum’s hot summer sun.

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Without a doubt, the best way to end the day is to salute the sunset in Gümüşlük. Have a cup of coffee or a full course dinner at one of the many beachfront restaurants such as Mimoza, Gümüş Cafe, or Aquarium. You will not forget this captivating sight.

Xuma Village

Completed everything on the list but still in the mood to keep moving?  Don’t miss the 185 kilometer Bodrum Leleg Hiking Trail, inspired by the Leleg tribe, the oldest settlers to present day Bodrum. Turgutreis Park is an good option to begin your hike, but be sure to keep your eyes on the signs and stay on the trail. You will often find yourself imagining what the surrounding site looked like during ancient times. The Leleg trail is the perfect combination for those who like hiking and archaeology.

Since you have discovered everything on land, now you can dive into the deep Bodrum sea. Diving in the waters off Bodrum is an activity both calming and exciting. Whether beginner or professional, consider starting your exploration at Kaçakçı Koyu, where you can come across sunken amphorae and lots of fish.

Leleg Hiking Trail