Bodrum is the site of the ancient city of Halikarnassus, the location of the famous Mausoleum of Halikarnassus (built after 353 BCE) – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, the ancient monument was destroyed by earthquakes in the Middle Ages – some of the remnants can be seen in London’s British Museum.
Modern Bodrum strangely seems to have two contrasting sides to it.
The east half of the town has a long thin but reasonable beach. Behind the beach lay all the bars restaurants and night clubs that are typical of Mediterranean resort towns. This means open fronted bars that do not come alive until 10pm when everybody goes out.There are great nice beach fronted bars (e.g. cafe del mar being a reasonably chilled out and attractive bar, with attractive staff so that helps) Halikarnas being the obvious one as it is huge (4000 people). It also is mostly outdoors and hosts foam parties on regular occasions. In addition to that there is the Katamaran Boat which leaves the land around 12:30 am and comes back at 5 . It is a open boat disco where you can enjoy the music with the view of the city from the sea.
The other half of the town is the west side. This manly revolves around the harbour and yacht club. Here life is a little more sedate with shops catering mainly to those who have stepped of their boats. Supermarkets with proper wine and olive oil and many other goods can be found. There are many nice restaurants and nice clothes shops as well.
Known as one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World, The Mauseloum was built by Artemisia, the sister and the wife of King Mausolos, B.C. 355.
This work of art, stood on a 21 stepped pyramid which was 46 metres high and carried a horse car symbolising victory on it, had 36 marble columns in Ionian style.
The mauseloum was destroyed in an earthquake; and the ruins were used in building of the Halikarnassus Castle. Many statues and reliefs from the mauseloum were carried to The British Museum by archeologist C. Newton, in 1856 and now lies there for public viewing.
The castle is quite pretty and the views are spectacular.
Bodrum Castle / the Castle of St Peter (Bodrum Kalesi) – built from 1402 by the Knights Hospitaller, the Castle is easily the most prominent landmark in the city. The castle now operates as a museum, with the focus on the Museum of Underwater Archaeology (see below). It is one of the world’s best preserved monuments dating back to medieval times. The supervision of the construction of the castle was assigned to the German architect Heinrich Schlegelholt, so that the latest developments in castle design were included.
The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology , inside Bodrum Castle, (phone +90 252 316 25 16, fax +90 252 313 76 46, open Tu-Su 9am-12pm, 2pm-7pm, closed Mondays) established in 1961, this great museum has won numerous awards, and displays amazing finds from underwater excavations along the Turkish coast. Includes the famous Uluburun Shipwreck, one of the earliest and richest wrecks yet discovered. Not to be missed.
Further a field there are the mud baths to visit. You go down the river on a rickety of chug-chug jump in bit baths of mud and roll around (The fun bit) and then clean off and go home. It’s also easy to go across to Kos or Rhodes for a day or two. When arriving there get a scooter (very dangerous but the best and easiest way to get around). There is of course loads of old architecture to visit around if you like that kind of thing.Hamam — Bodrum has a fine hamam, also known as a Turkish Bath, located a few blocks inland from the harbour. Facilities are separated by gender with both sexes enjoying the same hours of operation.
Windsurfing— There are some good possibilities for windsurfing at nearby Vass. It has a bit of a hippy air to it with lots of hire stands for boards and sails. Some may find there are just too many people around in high season for it to be much fun, especially when there are competitions running.
Diving – There are many diving clubs doing daily scuba diving tours all around the region, fees usually include lunch and snacks prepared on boat.
Boat Tours – Public boat tours are arranged from almost all the beaches. Alternatively, you can make early reservation with the tour operator of your choice, many tour operators are located in the Bodrum Marina. Boat tours are a good way to explore various beaches surrounding Bodrum, as well as some must see island strands you can’t reach by road.