An extensive guide to the Turkish St. Tropez.

For our latest travel guide, Nazly Firas (@nazlyfiras) takes us to Bodrum, Turkey. The Iraqi influencer – daughter of Dubai-based designer Dina Zaki – is not only a woman of high taste but a regular visitor to the city. Her guide is filled with all types of activities that you would do in a city by the coast – from relaxing at a spa to castle sightseeing. If you’re also the dine-and-shop type of person, you’ll find the best places here. And, of course, you have picturesque sundowners and beautiful beaches.

Let’s get to it.

WHERE TO VISIT 

Must visit cultural spots?  

Bodrum Castle: It’s one of the most iconic places to go and visit while being in Bodrum. I don’t do many cultural spots as I’ve been visiting for years on end. 

Must see beaches? 

Luca Beach: My 2nd favourite beach club. It has my favourite acai in Bodrum, and if you know me, you know I’m acai obsessed. I also love taking my dogs. 

Macakizi Beach Club: Macakizi is my absolute favourite beach club. They have the best Laham Ajeen in Bodrum, in my opinion. You have to stay for sunset because their DJ puts on some nice hits. 

Bodrum Edition Day Pass: I love going to Bodrum Edition to rewind and relax. It’s super quiet, but it’s the best place to go to recharge. 

Must-do activities?  

Beach, beach, and more beach – My favourite thing to do in Bodrum is going to the beach and tan. I always end up with the best tan for fall, which makes every photo you take that much better. 

Cooking Class: Bodrum offers some super cute cooking classes. Cooking Classes Bodrum offers a variety of different classes; I personally tried the Baklava cooking class because your girl is all about desserts. 

Boat trip! The best scenery ever. Several different companies can take you to different farther parts of Bodrum that serve you the best mussels! 

So many watersports everywhere.

Best places for shopping?

Yalikavak Marina is the place to go if you’re looking for luxury designers and luxury boutique stores. One of my favourite stores there is Beymen. Beymen is a department store with some of my favourite brands like Jacquemes, Missoni, Oseree, Bottega Veneta, Prada, and so much more. 

Turkbuku for some Turkish souvenirs and local designers. They have some super cute local designers. You know you’ll be the only one wearing that outfit. 

Best places for sundowners?

Mimoza for Sunset – Mimoza is my favourite local restaurant in Bodrum. They serve the freshest fish and ingredients that are caught the morning of. 

Turguteries Marina: One of the most beautiful beaches and sunset places to be in. 

Atelier di Carne, Mandarin Oriental: I love going to Atelier and having a cup of Turkish coffee with some Turkish delights as I take in the beautiful sunset. 

and Bodrum Harbour

WHERE TO STAY 

Best hotels to stay at?

Mandarin Oriental is absolutely stunning! It has one of the most beautiful and stunning views of the beach. They also have so many different restaurants you can discover and find. 

Macakizi Hotel: Macakizi is the place to be. Always. 

Ala Suites and Villas Yalikavak – It is located in the middle of Yalikavak. Close proximity to almost everything that is happening. They hotel has a really nice pool that can be enjoyed as well. 

Best spas? 

Mandarin Oriental Spa 

Bodrum Edition Spa 

METT Bodrum Spa

WHERE TO EAT 

Top must-visit food spots? 

For breakfast

Bozukbag Kahvaltici: The best Turkish breakfast you can come across in Bodrum. In addition to having the yummiest food, it’s also such a beautiful experience to go there. You have the option of actually cracking the eggs yourself on top of the basterma they have prepared. There’s also a cute little farm with different farm animals that most people tend to enjoy as well. I always love ending my breakfast with a cup of Turkish coffee at Bozukbag. 

Lunch 

Mimoza :Yummiest. 

Fiko is really known for its meat. They have the yummiest Turkish Kebab, and as soon who isn’t a meat fan, I absolutely love it. 

Dinner 

Bagatelle Bodrum: I have so much fun every time I go to Bagatelle. It’s one of the few places in Bodrum that also play English music; definitely a blast, and guys… it’s Bagatelle!! I’m not even going to explain the food. 

Zuma Bodrum: It’s Zuma & the DJ is always so on point. Make sure to go prepared to take the best photos because it’s very picture worthy. 

Luca by the Sea: Absolutely love ending my days at Luca by the Sea. It’s super fun and you can meet a lot of super cool people there.  

What should you avoid?

Avoid taxis! I would definitely recommend that if you’re visiting, you rent a car because otherwise it’s super hard to move around. Always put your car in valet as well because parking anywhere is super difficult. I would also recommend booking restaurants in advance and not leaving it last minute because Bodrum is only getting busier every year. Taxis also overcharge tourists way too much. 

Also, avoid paying in dollars because they might take more than needed. 

Rand Al-Hadethi is an art, culture, and fashion writer who approaches all her creative endeavours with a penchant for storytelling. She explores the intersection of fashion, culture, and society and sheds light on talent and cultural movements across the Middle East and the world. Rand also publishes a bi-monthly themed substack newsletter called WebWeaver™. To reach Rand, email her at rand@khamsa5.com or follow her on social media @rundoozz.
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