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Bodrum has been set on the Aegean's turquoise coast since it was known as the Ancient Greek city of Halicarnassus. Today, it's a popular destination, with pumping nightlife and seafront restaurants. Its twin bays are overlooked by medieval Bodrum Castle, and filled with water so clear that boats sailing in and out appear to be hovering. Its cafés full of flowers, cobbled back streets and beaches are the perfect spot to make your base for sun-kissed trips along the coast.
You can stay in a Bodrum hostel with a tangerine garden in the heart of the city, a contemporary hostel 50 metres from the beach, or upscale accommodation in a lively shopping district. Many Bodrum hostels have a central swimming pool, creating a feeling of coolness and serenity, even in the busiest areas. Most hostels in Bodrum offer free breakfast, often outside in the courtyard or terrace, and you'll even find some which include homemade dinner.
Bodrum's photogenic Old Town is a rambling collection of blue-shuttered houses, pink bougainvillea tumbling down whitewashed walls, street art and the marina. One side of the city has restaurants and upscale shopping. On the other, Gümbet is known for its party scene, and you'll find everything from casual bars to thumping nightclub beats here. It's also worth checking out the Lunapark, with its rides and amusements. Other places to explore include glitzy Türkbükü for beach clubs, and nearby Kos, a Greek island known for its sandy beaches and ancient ruins.
One of Bodrum's most sought-after experiences is a visit to its Turkish baths. Call into Bardakçı Hamam, in use since the 18th century, to relax in the steam. Foodies should try a kebab on Atatürk Caddesi, a street renowned for this Turkish specialty. If you want to get active, you can sail, windsurf, or scuba dive at nearby Rabbit Island. Dalyan is worth a day trip for its mud baths and rock tombs. Back in town, delve into Bodrum Castle's Museum of Underwater Archaeology to reveal buried treasure from centuries-old shipwrecks.
Milas–Bodrum Airport has regular buses to old town, with a journey time of around an hour. They're timed to coincide with flight arrivals, so there's no need to worry about missing the last bus. Bodrum is connected by bus to many Turkish cities; the journey to Istanbul taking around 13 hours. During the summer months, you can also catch a boat from Kos or Rhodes. To get around Bodrum, take a taxi or dolmuş (minibus).