Bodrum was such a great experience. True to my travel style thus far, Turkey was a last minute decision and I’m so glad that I decided to go. The south of Turkey did not disappoint, nestled on the Aegean sea with panoramic views of the Marina and neighboring Greek island, Kos. Bodrum has a little bit of everything, from stellar restaurants, to secluded beaches and a vivid nightlife. Although I didn’t make it to the nightclubs, they’re conveniently located in a row along the Marina and looked like so much fun! My grandma tendencies got in the way of any partying but rest-assured there’s a lively night scene for anyone looking for that! After spending over two weeks in Bodrum, I’ve listed out my favorite food and beach options:
Ox Burger –
The atmosphere is good for a lunch spot and the prices are great. I got the Ox Burger (mainly because it came with fries 😂) and it was pretty good. Places in Bodrum can really range from a pricing perspective and this was one that didn’t hike up their prices.
Red Pan –
I frequented this place more than once during our trip. It has a great menu selection – I highly recommend any of their pizzas, the falafel wrap or the arrabiata pasta (spicy!). The prices here are a little closer to U.S. prices but you still get more than what you would in the U.S.
Arka Pizza –
This place came highly recommended and it was absolutely delicious. It has a cute little garden area in the alleyway, tucked away from the busy street traffic along the marina. Honestly, I’d suggest just about any pizza & traditional Turkish salad.
YUM! This is one of the top rated restaurants in Bodrum and for good reason! We went in late August, and twice we showed up without a reservation and were able to get sat right away. The cheese plate is 🤤 and literally anything on the menu is a good choice.
La Pasion –
This Spanish restaurant was a nice change of pace, given all of the middle eastern-type food (no complaints given I could surely eat falafel and kebobs for every meal). The sitting area itself is adorable, dimly lit and perfect for a group dinner. We ordered a number of tapas, which were all delicious, but very, very small (even for tapas). I had intended to visit again before leaving, to try the paella, but ran out of time. I still highly recommend!
I would recommend this place mainly for the drinks. The food was good, but the drinks and scenery are better ;). Perfect for an evening drink to watch the sunset or casual late night drinks on the beach.
Nazar Patisserie –
The cutest little pastry shop there ever was! This place was on a busy corner of the street shops and was like a little French boulangerie in the midst of Turkey. All of their pastries looked amazing.
Xuma Beach –
This was essentially the #1 beach in Bodrum that was recommended by both friends and locals. It was about 40 minutes away from where we were staying in Bodrum but the beach is nice and secluded. There were plenty of spots to either catch some sun or drink and snack under a cabana. There’s also a nice dock and swimming area with perfect views.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Blue Beach & Kai Beach) –
This was by far my favorite part of the trip. After spending the morning getting a massage and relaxing at the spa, we ventured over to Blue Beach, and it was g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. Both of the beaches at the Mandarin Oriental have an entrance fee but in my opinion, it’s absolutely worth it. Kai Beach was explained to us as the ‘party beach’, with Blue Beach denoted as the ‘quiet beach’. We opted for Blue Beach and the level of detail and perfection was far beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before. Although we weren’t guests at the hotel, we received the ultimate pampering and concierge services. The entire staff was so friendly and accommodating that we honestly felt like royalty. I highly, highly recommend, even if it’s just for one day!