The name Bodrum has changed many times over the years. The city was initially called Halikarnassus by the satrap Mausollos. After his death – in 352 BC – he was buried in the mausoleum, which is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Halikarnassos eventually became Petronion, which then became Bodrum in Turkish. In the 1920's, Bodrum was so remote that it was used as a place of exile. Perhaps this is why the city attracted artists and bohemians, and in the 1970’s, Bodrum developed into "Turkey’s St. Tropez," with a busy entertainment and night life. Numerous Turkish celebrities own holiday apartments throughout the city.
The city centre is small and easy to navigate, and most attractions are within walking distance. The city’s main street runs parallel with the coast, and the sea is never far away in Bodrum.
Even though Bodrum has developed into a jet-set favorite, it’s easy for the “ordinary” tourist to wander through the wonderful nature and find the popular sights in the city and get excited by the sheer abundance of history on display.
A stunning example of the greatness of the ancient city of Halikarnassus (present Bodrum), the amphitheater dates back to the 4th century BC and overlooks the Aegean Sea. This Bodrum landmark, one of the best preserved structures of ancient Halikarnassus is reachable by walk from the city center.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassis is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world still around. Few know what the mausoleum really looked like, but it is believed that the famous sculptor, Skopas, was responsible for parts of the decoration, but it was certainly extravagant. Today, the visitor can only see the remains of the building’s walls, as it was destroyed by earthquakes.
Halikarnas is well-established and one of Turkey’s most famous nightclubs. Being the venue that dominates the night time entertainment scene in Bodrum, it is a major draw for tourists, spinning upbeat tunes till the early hours and offering spectacular shows.
Good to know
Taking a dolmus is the best way to get around in Bodrum. These are minibuses – or large taxis – that depart when they’re full and stop where required. Buses leave from Bodrum bus terminal and run between Turgutreis-Yalikavak and Bodrum. They can be hailed as they pass.