Bodrum is renowned for its combination of sea, sand, and sun, yet it is also a treasure trove of historical sites. Despite the influx of tourists, particularly during the summer season, many visitors overlook the historical attractions that Bodrum has to offer. This oversight is a significant missed opportunity, as the peninsula is home to a wealth of historical landmarks.

Even a casual stroll through the district’s side streets, particularly in the central area, reveals numerous ancient ruins. It is worth noting that several parts of Bodrum are designated as historical protected areas. Additionally, the Halicarnassus Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is located in Bodrum, a fact that remains unknown to many.

Herodotus, renowned as the father of history, was born in Bodrum, formerly known as Halicarnassus. Following his exile by Lygdamis, he embarked on extensive travels during his youth.
Thanks to Herodotus, a wealth of detailed historical information about the region has been preserved to this day. According to his accounts, the initial settlement on the peninsula was established by the Dorians, followed by the arrival of the Carians and Lelegs. Given that Herodotus was born in 484 BC, it is evident that the history of the district dates back many centuries.

Upon arrival at the peninsula, which has been inhabited since ancient times, it is strongly advised not to depart without embarking on a captivating journey through Bodrum’s historical sites. Commencing our article, we delve into the intriguing historical landmarks that grace this district.

Bodrum Tarihi Yerler
Bodrum Castle looks even more stunning at night.


The Bodrum Castle, located in the center of the district, holds the top spot on the list of Bodrum historical places. Originally known as St. Peter’s Castle, it was built by the Knights of St. John in 1402. The castle derived its name from the first chief lord of the knights, Peter Gerard.

Within the castle, you will find various towers such as the German Tower, the French Tower, the Italian Tower, the English Tower, and the Serpent Tower. Additionally, there is a dungeon section that is highly recommended to visit. It is worth mentioning that the Bodrum Castle is quite expansive, requiring visitors to navigate numerous stairs. Therefore, it is advisable to allocate a full day for a proper exploration of the castle.

One of the most captivating areas within the castle is the Carian Princess Hall, where the belongings of Carian princess Ada, including her bones, clothes, and jewelry, are displayed. Princess Ada, the youngest sister of King Mausolos, was discovered in the 1990s when her tomb was accidentally found in the northern part of the peninsula. The craftsmanship of her jewelry, particularly her crown, showcased in the hall, is truly magnificent and is sure to captivate visitors. Additionally, there is a video presentation in the hall that provides insights into the discovery of the princess’s tomb and the reconstruction of her face. For more detailed information about the castle, please refer to our article on Bodrum Castle and History.

Where is Bodrum Castle : googlemaps

Bodrum Tarihi Yerler
The Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum stands out as one of the top underwater archeology museums globally.


The Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum, situated within Bodrum Castle, stands out as one of the rare underwater archeology museums worldwide. Within its premises, visitors can explore the most extensive collection of Eastern Mediterranean amphoras across 14 exhibition halls. This remarkable collection showcases amphoras dating back to 15 BC and beyond. Additionally, guests have the opportunity to marvel at the Bronze Age boat that met its fate in 1025 at the Serçe Harbor Glass Shipwreck Hall.

The Uluburun Shipwreck, a significant display in the museum, can be found in the second and third sections of the ‘Bronze Age’ hall. Alongside the exact replica of the Uluburun, which is recognized as the oldest shipwreck in the world, this exhibition also showcases numerous invaluable artifacts that were discovered from the shipwreck, including the golden seal of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti and the pharaoh’s golden wine glass.

Other shipwrecks on display at the Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum include the Gelidonya Shipwreck, Yassıada Shipwreck, Roman Merchant Ship Shipwreck, Satan Creek Shipwreck, Marmaris Serçe Harbor Shipwreck, and Tektaş Burnu Shipwreck. For more information, please refer to our article on the Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum.

Where is Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum : googlemaps

Bodrum Tarihi Yerler
Despite not being in its former glory, the Halicarnassus Mausoleum remains a must-visit historical site.


The Halicarnassus Mausoleum, an integral part of Bodrum’s historical sites, holds a significant position as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This architectural masterpiece, constructed during its time, stands today as an open-air museum on Turgutreis street in the heart of Bodrum.

Although it may not retain its former grandeur, this historical landmark remains a focal point for tourists, enriching the city with its presence. Despite being overlooked by many visitors to Bodrum, an average of 20 thousand people still visit this remarkable structure each year.

The museum showcases reliefs and valuable artifacts from this magnificent edifice. For a more comprehensive understanding of the mausoleum, we invite you to read our detailed article on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.

Where is the Halicarnassus Mausoleum : googlemaps

Bodrum'un Tarihi Yerleri
Throughout the summer season, Bodrum Ancient Theater hosts a variety of concerts.


The Ancient Theatre, situated on the Turgutreis road in Yeniköy District, stands as the most ancient theater in Anatolia. Positioned on the main road of Bodrum and perched on a hill overlooking the sea, the Ancient Theater plays host to numerous concerts throughout the summer season. Naturally, one can also pay a visit to this remarkable theater.

Noteworthy aspects of the theater include its altar, where offerings were made to Dionysus prior to the performances, and the gaps between certain seats, possibly utilized for shade. With a seating capacity of 13,000 individuals, each seat is spaced 40 cm apart. The theater comprises a total of 55 rows, with 30 rows at the bottom and 25 rows at the top. The rows of seats are divided into 12 sections by 11 vertical staircases.

To reach the Ancient Theater, one can take minibuses departing from Bodrum bus station.

Where is Bodrum Ancient Theater : googlemaps

Bodrum'un Tarihi Yerleri
These ancient cisterns scattered across the peninsula were constructed centuries ago to gather rainwater.


While exploring the peninsula, one cannot help but notice the striking semicircular white structures that catch the eye of history and architecture enthusiasts. These remarkable buildings are none other than water cisterns or tombs, which can be found scattered across the peninsula.

These cisterns were constructed several centuries ago with the purpose of collecting rainwater. Some were believed to have been built during the Byzantine era, while others were constructed during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.

In the heart of Bodrum, there are two significant cisterns known as the 1st cistern and the 2nd cistern. To visit these historical sites, simply hop on the Gumbet minibus and disembark at either the 1st or 2nd cistern. As the two cisterns are located in close proximity to each other, it is convenient to explore both by taking a short stroll.


There exist numerous historical mosques constructed in the Ottoman era on the peninsula, with Kızılhisarlı Mustafa Pasha Mosque in İskele Square being one of them. Situated next to Bodrum Castle, this mosque was erected by Kızılhisarlı Mustafa Pasha in 1723. Drawing significant interest from tourists, this historical mosque stands out as a key attraction among the historical sites in Bodrum.

Where is Kızılhisarlı Mustafa Pasha Mosque : googlemaps

Myndos Kapısı
A pleasant 20-25 minute walk from Bodrum center will lead you to the significant Myndos Gate among Bodrum’s historical sites.


Myndos Gate, constructed by King Mausolos, stands between Bodrum center and Gumbet, holding significant historical value in the region. This site, famously known as the gate that Alexander the Great failed to conquer, showcases various ruins rather than a structured museum. Despite the lack of organization, informative signs are placed near the ruins to provide visitors with insights into the historical significance of the site.

To reach Myndos Gate, one can opt for a leisurely 20-25 minute walk from the bus station. Alternatively, taking the Gumbet minibus from the bus station, alighting at the Gumbet junction, crossing the road, and following the path next to the cemetery will lead you to the ruins.

Where is Myndos Gate : googlemaps

Pedasa Antik Kenti
Ongoing excavations at the Pedasa Ancient City continue to uncover new discoveries.


Pedasa Ancient City, situated in the Konacık District between Bodrum center and Bitez, is considered one of the most significant historical treasures of the peninsula. Despite being relatively unknown to many visitors to Bodrum, this ancient city holds immense historical value.

Established by the Lelegs, Pedasa Ancient City stretches from the northern part of Konacık to the area overlooking the Torba port. The initial excavations were conducted by Italian archaeologists between 1919 and 1921, with subsequent excavations continuing intermittently. The city encompasses various Leleg settlements, including the Temple of Artemis, palace ruins, monumental stone tombs, cemeteries, and city walls.

Undoubtedly, the most notable feature of the ancient city is the Temple of Athena, recognized as the oldest temple in the Bodrum peninsula. This temple, serving as a significant sacred site in ancient times, holds great historical importance. In essence, Pedasa Ancient City is an essential addition to the list of historical sites in Bodrum, and visitors should not miss the opportunity to explore this remarkable city.

Where is Pedasa Ancient City : googlemaps

Iasos Antik Kenti
The Iasos Ancient City is situated in the Kıyıkışlacık District, within the Milas district of Muğla province.


Iasos Ancient City lies outside the boundaries of Bodrum. Nevertheless, due to its significant historical value, we deemed it essential to feature Bodrum in our article on historical sites. It can be accessed by car from Bodrum in approximately thirty minutes.

The Iasos Ancient City can be found in the Kıyıkışlacık District of Milas, which is located in the Muğla province. Situated approximately 26 km west of Milas district, this ancient city holds archaeological finds that date back to three thousand years BC. Among the earliest architectural remains are the wall ruins from a Bronze Age settlement, which can be traced back to two thousand years BC.

It is believed in mythology that the city was established by settlers from Argos and derived its name from Iasos, the leader of the colonists. There is no mention of Iasos in historical records until the 5th century BC. The city was originally situated on an island, which later became a peninsula after the isthmus connecting the island to the mainland was filled. Key structures of the ancient city can be found on this peninsula, including the impressive city wall, aqueducts, tombs, and the fish market building located outside the city walls.

Where is the Ancient City of Iasos : googlemaps

Bodrum Tarihi Yel Değirmenleri
The picturesque view of Bardakçı windmills is truly remarkable.


Bardakçı Windmills are among the foremost historical sites in Bodrum. Situated on Bardakçı hill, these windmills offer a captivating view of both Bodrum and Gumbet. Numerous ancient windmills adorn the hill, making it a significant destination for history enthusiasts. The windmills, which are no longer operational, serve as a captivating highlight of the peninsula. The primary factor contributing to their allure is the exceptionally picturesque location, rather than the mills themselves.

It is a popular pastime for residents of Bodrum to ascend the hill and savor a drink while taking in the breathtaking scenery. We suggest you do the same, as you can explore the historic windmills and appreciate the stunning view from up there. There are no stores on the hill where you can purchase groceries, therefore it is advisable to bring along some beverages if you plan on spending time there.

Regrettably, there are no public transportation options available to reach the Bardakçı windmills located on the hill, as it requires climbing a steep and lengthy slope. However, if you take the Bardakçı minibus from the bus station and inform the driver that you will be disembarking at the windmills, the minibus will stop at the base of the hill. From there, you can alight and make your way up the hill to reach the destination.

Where are Bardakçı Windmills : googlemaps

Bodrum'un Tarihi Yerleri
Windmills with a historical background.


Yalıkavak is home to several other historical windmills on the peninsula. One such mill, constructed by Karaibrahimoğlu Mehmet Efendi in 1850, stands proudly on a hill along the Bodrum – Yalıkavak road and continues to operate to this day.

Windmills erected on breezy hills are regarded as emblematic of the town. Solely one of the town’s prominent historical windmills remains functional. This particular historical windmill underwent meticulous restoration and was subsequently transformed into an exquisite restaurant.
The MMK Yeldeğirmeni Restaurant, located on the Bodrum – Yalıkavak road, is now housed in a windmill. This charming establishment offers a breathtaking view of Yalıkavak, making it an ideal choice for both breakfast and dinner.

We suggest that you visit this restaurant for breakfast or dinner, as it offers a stunning view. A short 10-minute drive will take you to the Windmill, located five kilometers from Yalıkavak Marina.

Where are Yalıkavak Historical Windmills : googlemaps

Bodrum'daki Aspat Kalesi
Aspat Castle is believed to have served as a dungeon in the past.


Aspat Castle in Akyarlar is one of the historical castles situated on the peninsula. However, it is worth noting that not much remains of the castle, as it was constructed on a hill that offers a scenic view of Aspat Bay.

The fortress, constructed under the rule of King Mausolos, served as a lookout tower. Situated in the Termera Ancient City, it is worth noting that only a handful of remnants remain in the ancient city of Termera.

Accessing the castle does not involve a road; instead, you must ascend it. Although the ascent may prove challenging, the breathtaking panorama awaiting you at the summit will erase any fatigue. Climbing the castle, exploring the ruins, and marveling at the exceptional scenery can create unforgettable memories.

Where is Aspat Castle : googlemaps


Termera Ancient City, established by the Lelegs who have left behind numerous ruins on the peninsula, is situated on Asaralık Hill close to Mandıra Village in Turgutreis. Access to Termera can be made from Turgutreis through an unpaved road, or alternatively, one can drive to Mandıra Village and then proceed on foot, walking for approximately thirty minutes.

This city, which has been mentioned by the historian Herodotus, is recognized as the wealthiest among the Leleg cities. Despite the fact that there are only a few graves, wall ruins, and a cistern remaining in the city today, it is impossible to overlook its significance among the historical sites of Bodrum without acknowledging its name.


The historical city of Madnasa, situated on the slopes of Pazar Mountain (despite being referred to as a mountain, it is more accurately described as a hill) in Göltürkbükü bay, was documented by ancient historians such as Byzantine Stephanos, Pliny, and Herodotus.

While the precise establishment date remains unknown, historical records indicate that the inhabitants were compelled to relocate to Halicarnassus, leading to the complete abandonment of Madnasa in the 4th century BC. Present-day remnants of the Ancient City of Madnasa consist of cisterns, rock tombs, a stone tower, and remnants of city walls.


Apostol Island, located just a 15-minute boat ride away from Gündoğan, boasts one of the few remaining historical architectural gems of the peninsula; the Apostolic Church. Some daily boat tours make a stop at this island, providing you with the opportunity to visit either by joining one of these tours or by renting a boat. Situated at the peak of the island, the church is accessible after a roughly half-hour walk. The history of this basilica-style church dates back to the 2nd century BC, with the frescoes adorning its walls being of particular interest. For history enthusiasts, make sure to include a visit to the Apostolic Church on your travel itinerary.

Where is the Apostolic Church : googlemaps

Theangela Antik Kenti
Visitors can explore the castle ruins and walls of Theangela Ancient City. (Photo: Bodrum Municipality)


The founding of Theangela Ancient City is believed to have taken place in the first half of the 4th century. Situated on a hill 1.5 km above Etrim Village, near Pınarlıbelen Village on the Mumcular-Bodrum road, this city was established by Mausolos to provide a settlement for the people of Syangela.

The ruins of the castle and city walls of Theangela Ancient City are a prominent attraction among the historical sites in Bodrum. The surviving remnants from the city include notable structures such as bastions and city walls, similar to other Leleg cities. Additionally, you can explore various features within the city that bear the influence of Hellenic civilization, such as a Stadion-like structure, monumental tombs, public buildings, houses, wells, and cisterns.

Myndos Antik Kenti
The ruins of Myndos Ancient City in Gümüşlük and its surroundings are open for exploration.


The Ancient City of Myndos in Bozdağ, near Gümüşlük, which is a popular town in Bodrum, is believed to have been established during the reign of King Mausolos. However, it was actually founded by the Lelelegs.

Under the rule of Mausolos, the city was relocated slightly northwards and reconstructed. Unfortunately, the city was later submerged due to earthquakes. Today, the remnants of this city can be observed along the road that stretches from the Gümüşlük coast to Tavşan Island. While access to Rabbit Island is prohibited, we suggest taking a stroll along the sea to witness the ruins of this ancient city.

Where is Myndos Ancient City : googlemaps

Karakaya Village, established 800 years ago as a refuge from pirates.


Karakaya Village, situated on the hills of Peksimet Mountain, is a significant historical site in Bodrum that should not be missed, especially when visiting Gümüşlük. With a rich history spanning 800 years, this village is known for its stone houses, which were built to provide shelter from pirates. However, it is important to note that access to Karakaya Village is only possible by foot.

Notably, Karakaya Village offers a breathtaking view of Gümüşlük Bay and is considered a protected area. Within the village, there is a special place called Karakaya Retreat, which hosts a variety of retreats, workshops, trainings, healing arts, and therapies throughout the year. This retreat is particularly favored by individuals seeking personal growth and inner peace, making it a popular destination for both local and international tourists.

Where is Karakaya Village : googlemaps

Bodrum Osmanlı Tersanesi Sanat Galerisi
The Ottoman Shipyard is believed to have been established in 1775.


Bodrum is often underestimated for its historical significance as a maritime hub dating back to ancient times. It is worth noting that the renowned Ottoman sailor Turgut Reis hailed from this district.

The Ottoman Shipyard stands as a crucial landmark in the maritime heritage of the region, with the tower at its entrance, believed to have been established in 1775, now functioning as the Ottoman Shipyard Tower and an art gallery.

Where is Ottoman Shipyard Art Gallery : googlemaps

Bodrum Deniz Müzesi
A visit to the Bodrum Maritime Museum, located in the heart of Bodrum, is highly recommended.


The museum, established in 2011, showcases authentic replicas of the “Bodrum type” boats, which hold significant importance in the region’s economic, social, and cultural life. On the upper floor of the museum, a dedicated section was inaugurated on December 23, 2011, allowing visitors to explore the remarkable and extensive “Hasan Güleşçi Seashells” collection. This collection, curated by Hasan Güleşçi over a span of approximately 40 years, comprises nearly 6,000 shells from 168 different families, sourced from various parts of the world.

The museum also houses a collection that belongs to Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, who was deeply cherished by the residents of Bodrum and dedicated himself to transforming Bodrum, the place where he sought refuge, into a paradise.

The “Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı Collection” section showcases various aspects of his life, starting from his family lineage, childhood, carefully chosen photographs from his family album, glimpses into his life, historical documents, his own writings, drawings, and personal belongings. To gain a deeper understanding of Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, we highly recommend reading our article titled “The Fisherman of Halicarnassus.”

How to Get to Bodrum Maritime Museum : googlemaps

Zeki Müren Sanat Müzesi
Zeki Müren Art Museum observes closure on Mondays.


The Zeki Müren Art Museum holds a significant position in our article on historical places in Bodrum. Zeki Müren, the renowned figure of Turkish art music and the Sun of Art, played a major role in promoting Bodrum and contributed greatly to its popularity. After his passing, the house where this legendary artist resided in Bodrum was transformed into a museum, which has now become one of the most frequented attractions in the city.

The museum showcases various items such as Zeki Müren’s clothing and awards. Additionally, visitors can catch a glimpse of the artist’s car in the museum’s garden. Situated in the Kumbahçe District, the Zeki Müren Art Museum is conveniently located in the heart of Bodrum.

To reach the museum, one can enjoy a pleasant journey along Cumhuriyet Street. It is important to note that the museum remains closed on Mondays.

How to Get to Zeki Müren Art Museum : googlemaps


If you are not intrigued by the historical sites of Bodrum or if you have limited time for a brief Bodrum vacation, we recommend reading our comprehensive article on the Top Attractions in Bodrum. This informative piece not only highlights the must-visit tourist spots in Bodrum but also provides a detailed overview of the city itself.

We mentioned in the introduction of our article that Bodrum boasts a wealth of historical sites. If you plan to visit Bodrum not only for a summer getaway but also to explore its historical landmarks, we suggest visiting in April-May or September-October. June, July, and August are the hottest months in Bodrum, making travel during this time quite challenging. For more detailed information, please refer to our Bodrum Weather Guide article.

Lake Bafa and its surroundings, located near Bodrum, are a must-see destination due to their historical significance and picturesque views. We encourage you to check out our Bafa Lake Travel Guide article.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday in advance…

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