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.
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.
You do not need to be interested in ancient ruins to take a trip to an archaeological site. En route, you will experience the countryside and the journey will take you through small towns and villages that you would otherwise miss. A few kilometers from the holiday resort of Altinkum, in Yenihisar, lies Didyma, a great temple to Apollo. Didyma was a religious site and the oracle there was as famous as the oracle of Delphi. The temple was destroyed by the Persians around 400 BC, and the existing ruins date from Roman times. The remains of 120 columns give an indication of the size of the temple.
Fora Bar is a dazzling combination of bar and disco. Located on a street near the castle that is renowned for its happening nightlife, it sees DJs playing the latest hits and both tourists and locals are mingling and having a whole load of fun.
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.