The Best Of Bodrum
A road at the countryside of Bodrum

How to Get to Bodrum

Many people reward themselves with a trip to Bodrum after a year of hard work. They know that this city is always ready to deliver what they need. If you are one of them, and wondering how to get to Bodrum, there are four main transportation options available, by car, bus, plane, or ferry.

Bodrum is well connected to the National transportation system, making it easily accessible. You can find scheduled intercity buses from almost all cities in Turkey, as well as regular flights to Bodrum’s international airport that operates throughout the year. This accessibility allows millions of guests to enjoy Bodrum every year.

Upon arrival in Bodrum, whether by bus, plane, or ferry, you will most likely find yourself in the town centre. If your destination is another town or village in the Bodrum Peninsula, there is also a reliable public transportation network that can take you there.

Fast Lane to Bodrum by Plane

If you are traveling a long distance and the time is of the essence, flying is the fastest and most convenient way to get to Bodrum. International Milas Bodrum Airport (BJV) serves Bodrum and the region, connecting major Turkish cities and some European destinations.

An aerial photo taken from a plane descending to Milas Bodrum Airport.
Flying to Bodrum is the most convenient way when considering how to get to Bodrum.

Once you arrive at the airport, you don’t need to worry about how to get to Bodrum. You can take a taxi, use a shuttle service, or rent a car from the airport for easy airport transfers. Some hotels also offer airport pick-up, so it’s worth checking if they provide this service before you arrive.

While there are other international airports in the area, like Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB) and Mugla Dalaman Airport (DLM), they may not be the most suitable choice if Bodrum is your main destination.

How to Get to Bodrum Affordably by Bus

Land transportation remains the most popular mode of travel in Turkey. Over 70% of Turkish people favour buses due to their affordability and extensive national network.

Bodrum is a highly sought-after domestic destination. Bodrum Intercity Bus Terminal, situated only 6 kilometres from the town centre, caters to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. You can easily find buses to Bodrum from any major city bus terminals across Turkey.

Buses are waiting for their departures at the old Bodrum Intercity Bus Terminal.
You can find a bus from any of the big cities of Turkey to get to Bodrum.

When considering how to get to Bodrum by bus, you have several coach companies to choose from. While the journey may take a bit longer, the buses have usually comfortable seats, air conditioning, and restroom facilities for a pleasant voyage. Moreover, bus trips offer an opportunity to see more of Turkey’s beautiful landscapes on your way.

If you have multiple destinations in mind, taking a bus can be the most convenient way to travel between them. Additionally, buses are a great option for day trips to nearby locations like Marmaris, Ephesus, and Didyma.

Road Trip Adventure by Car

If you value flexibility and independence when traveling, a road trip to Bodrum can be an exciting adventure. You can drive from different parts of Turkey or neighbouring countries, allowing you to set your own pace and explore the area along the way.

To begin your journey, you can rent a car at airports, or city offices of various rental car companies. Once you have your car, you’re ready to hit the road.

A road in the rural area of the Aegean.
A road trip to get to Bodrum can be quite fun.

Turkey has a well-maintained road network, allowing a smooth journey. If you’re starting from major cities like Istanbul or Izmir, just follow the highway signs that will guide you towards Bodrum. Even if you don’t have any idea about how to get to Bodrum, just follow the signs to take you to Mugla, Aydin, or Izmir. Once you arrive in one of these cities, the rest of the journey will be relatively short and fun.

Remember to check the road conditions and make sure you have all the necessary documents, including your international driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle registration.

Sailing into Serenity by Ferries

Traveling by ferry offers a unique and exciting experience. It allows you to enjoy breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and adds adventure to your journey. However, when considering how to get to Bodrum, the options for sea transportation are extremely limited.

The only domestic regular ferry line to Bodrum is from Datca, operating all year with more frequent services in the summer. You have been asking how to get to Bodrum by ferry from Istanbul, Izmir, or Antalya. Unfortunately, this is not possible. Isn’t that sad for a country surrounded by four seas on three sides?

Ferry Port of Datca.
Ferry Port of Datca, ferries between Bodrum and Datca run all year.

On the other hand, international sea travel alternatives are slightly better. Ferries from Greek islands and cruise ships visiting Bodrum regularly make Bodrum more accessible by sea.

Ferries between Kos and Bodrum are available all year. Additional routes like Turgutreis to Kalymnos and Turgutreis to Leros, however, are mainly available only in the summer. Similarly, ferries from Greek islands to neighbouring towns like Samos to Kusadasi and Rhodes to Marmaris can be a part of your travel plans. Upon your arrival at one of these towns, all you need to do is taking a bus to Bodrum from the local bus station.

In conclusion, although the options for sea travel to Bodrum may be limited, there are still opportunities for a scenic and enjoyable journey by ferry.

Trains to Nearby Cities

If you are wondering how to get to Bodrum by train, I have some bad news for you. Unfortunately, Turkey’s national railroad coverage is not extensive enough to take you directly to Bodrum. The main railroad routes connect the east to the west and the south to the north. Although there are busy routes between big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, they may not be the most convenient option for your trip to Bodrum.

An old steam locomotive in the train museum in Selcuk, near Ephesus.
The train museum in Selcuk, near Ephesus.

The closest cities to Bodrum that have railroads are Izmir, Aydin, and Denizli. Izmir is the largest railroad hub in the region. From there, you can find trains to Aydin and Denizli. However, it is much easier and faster to take a bus from Izmir to Bodrum instead. Waiting for Denizli train at Izmir station, spending time traveling on the train, and then finding a bus to Bodrum can be time-consuming. On the other hand, buses to Bodrum from Izmir are available every half an hour and it takes only 3.5 hours to get there. However, finding a scheduled bus from Aydin and Denizli may not be as easy.

It’s always more convenient to consider alternative transportation methods like buses or flights to reach Bodrum. However, if you are a train enthusiast and travel to Bodrum by train anyway, you need to plan your trip carefully and consider the time lost.

How to Get to Bodrum from Major Cities in Turkey

If you are currently in Turkey, you may be exploring one of the seven regions of the country. Before you leave, you might want to consider visiting Bodrum to relax in the beautiful azure waters of the Aegean and experience the unique culture of the area. However, you might not be sure about how to get to Bodrum from your current location.

A bus in a bus station waiting for departure time to get to Bodrum.
Buses are the most common transport option in Turkey.

The first thing you should know is that no matter where you are in Turkey, there are always buses and minibuses available to take you wherever you want to go. Getting to and around the peninsula is not a problem at all. Even if you find yourself in a remote village in the Eastern Anatolian Region, you can easily find a minibus that will take you to the nearest city. From there, you can either find a bus directly to Bodrum or, if necessary, to one of the major cities where you can always take a direct bus to the town.

From Istanbul to Bodrum

Istanbul is a big and interesting city with a lot to offer. Its rich culture, beautiful views, and fascinating history have been attracting travellers for centuries. In such a large city with over 15 million residents, no need to worry about how to get to Bodrum because there is always a way to get there.

Istanbul is located on two continents, Asia and Europe. The Bosphorus divides the city into two parts, which we call Asian and European sides. Even the area codes of both sides are different. Crossing between the two sides can be challenging and time-consuming due to heavy traffic, especially during rush hour. It is important to consider the traffic when making your travel plans. For example, if you are at Istanbul Airport on the European side, it would be wise to choose a bus that departs from the same part of the city.

There are two international airports in Istanbul, Istanbul Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW). They both offer scheduled flights to Bodrum throughout the year. Istanbul Airport is one of the largest airports in the world and is located on the European side of the city. Sabiha Gokcen Airport is on the Asian side and generally has more domestic flights than Istanbul Airport. Depending on which side of the city you are on, Asia or Europe, you should check flights from the airport on the same side. The flight from both airports to Bodrum will take less than an hour.

One of the bridges that connect Asian and European sides of Istanbul.
The Bosphorus divides Istanbul into two parts.

Buses around the Clock

Another option is using couch companies for Bodrum. Regardless of the season, there are always buses available. The key is to find the right bus terminal. In Istanbul, there are 8 large bus stations on both the Asian and European sides of the city. I have checked the websites of two popular national bus companies, Pamukkale and Kamil Koc, for you. They depart from Esenler and Alibeykoy Bus Terminals on the European side, and Dudullu and Harem Bus Terminals on the Asian side. Of course, there are many more companies to choose from, but these two should be sufficient in terms of frequency and national coverage. If all buses are fully booked, you can take a bus to Izmir, where you can always find a bus to Bodrum every half an hour.

The bus trip to Bodrum will take approximately 8-10 hours, depending on the season and the side of Istanbul you depart from. If you depart from the Asian side, the trip will be shorter.

If you are pondering how to get to Bodrum by train from Istanbul, unfortunately there is no direct line as Bodrum is not part of the national railroad network. However, you can take a train to Izmir and then catch a bus to Bodrum from there.

As for ferries, I’m afraid they are not an option too. The ferries from Istanbul only operate to a few destinations in the Marmara Sea, not to Izmir or Bodrum.

From Ankara to Bodrum

The most convenient option is to take a flight from Ankara, the capital of Turkey, to Bodrum. There are usually 2 or 3 flights available every day, and even more during the summer. However, as someone living in Ankara, I find the departure times during the offseason quite inconvenient. In the summer, there is a flight almost every 2-3 hours, but for the rest of the year, flights are either early in the morning or late in the evening. If you choose a morning flight, you will arrive your hotel before the check-in time and have to wait for your room. On the other hand, if you choose the evening flight, you will arrive in Bodrum very late, which might not be ideal for exploring the city.

I am waiting at the domestic departures lounge at Ankara Esenboga Airport to get to Bodrum.
Waiting for my flight at Ankara Esenboga Airport to get to Bodrum.

Well, I suppose at least I should be thankful that there is a flight to Bodrum available every day. 15 years ago, when I first fell in love with the town, we only had two flights per week from Ankara to Bodrum. At least we have the freedom to choose the most suitable day for our trip now.

Buses are always accessible, offering an affordable alternative. Ankara has only one intercity bus terminal where all buses to Bodrum depart. In fact, this is the same place where you can catch airport shuttles if you decide to fly. The voyage usually takes around 9-10 hours because buses make stops in other cities along the route, which increases overall travel time. If you prefer driving, it takes approximately 8 hours.

Like Istanbul, getting to Bodrum by train requires bus transfers in Izmir. Therefore, unless you have a special interest in trains, it is not the most practical option.

From Izmir to Bodrum

If you’re already in Izmir, you don’t need to worry about how to get to Bodrum anymore. You’re almost there!

I have come across some articles on the internet that discuss the transportation options to Bodrum. Some of them suggest flying from Izmir to Bodrum, claiming that the flight is quick and comfortable. Can you believe it! Well, the flight would indeed be short if there were direct flights from Izmir to Bodrum. But there isn’t any!

Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport.
When considering how to get to Bodrum from Izmir, keep in mind that there are no direct flights from Izmir Airport.

The distance between these two places is approximately 230 kilometres, which can be covered by bus in just three and a half hours. That’s why no airline attempts to offer direct flights between these two destinations.

Of course, you can choose to book a connecting flight from Izmir to Bodrum. First, you would need to fly to Ankara or Istanbul, then wait for your connecting flight, and finally board it to get to Bodrum. Considering the waiting time at the airports, your total travel time would be 6 to 10 hours, and it would cost 4-5 times more than taking a bus. Don’t do it!

If you find yourself in Izmir, your best option is to take a bus from the bus terminal. Taking a train to Aydin or Denizli would also be a waste of time because the time it takes to reach Bodrum from Izmir is almost the same as from Aydin or Denizli. Moreover, finding frequent bus services to Bodrum from Denizli or Aydin might be a bit difficult compared to Izmir.

From Antalya to Bodrum

Getting a direct flight to Bodrum from Antalya may not be as easy as it is to Ankara or Istanbul. These flights are typically available during the summer season. For the rest of the year, you might need to book connected flights via Ankara or Istanbul. However, this is not always the case. Once your travel dates are confirmed, you should check the availability of Antalya – Bodrum flights.

Buses are your best option when considering how to get to Bodrum from Antalya. Finding a bus to Bodrum will not be a problem. The journey usually takes around 8-9 hours.

Unfortunately, ferries and trains are not viable options due to lack of available routes.

A beautiful scenery from the road between Antalya and Bodrum.
Driving from Antalya is an option when planning how to get to Bodrum.

A Little Recommendation

In my opinion, driving is something to consider when planning how to get to Bodrum from Antalya. Although returning a rental car can be a bit tricky and expensive, a road trip would definitely be an exciting experience.

You can reach Bodrum by following the road along the coastline. As you drive, you can enjoy the stunning beauty of both the Mediterranean and Aegean regions. Along the way, you will pass through popular destinations such as Kemer, Kas, Cirali, Dalyan, Kekova, Fethiye, Gocek, Marmaris, and many more. The trip should normally take around 8 hours of continuous driving. However, my personal record is 4 days because I like to take my time and spend a night at Cirali, a few nights at Kekova, and another night at Fethiye. If you have the luxury of time, I recommend sparing 6 days for this route.

Choosing the Right Mode of Transportation

A cruise ship at the Bodrum Cruise Port.
Cruise ships visit Bodrum on a regular base.

When deciding how to get to Bodrum, take the following into consideration:

  1. Travel Time: If you’re short on time and prefer a swift journey, direct flights to Bodrum are usually your best bet.
  2. Budget: Bus travel is typically the most budget friendly option, ideal for budget-conscious travellers.
  3. Independence: If you want to explore other destinations along the way, a rental car gives you the freedom to do so.
  4. Scenic Experience: Ferries offer a unique and comfortable journey with beautiful scenery to enjoy.
  5. Convenience: Your current location directly affects your choice cue to the availability of transportation options.

Tips for Smooth Travel

Keep these tips in mind to ensure a smooth journey to Bodrum:

  1. Advance Booking: Regardless of your chosen mode of transportation, I recommend booking your tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  2. Language: Not all the locals can speak English. Learning some basic travel vocabulary in Turkish can be helpful.
  3. Currency: Make sure that you have some Turkish Lira in your wallet. You may need it for tolls, small purchases, or tips.
  4. Navigation: A smartphone with GPS capability can be an asset when trying to find your way, especially when driving.
  5. Local Cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy Turkish cuisine at local restaurants.

Just forget about how to get to Bodrum and focus on the journey itself.

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The Best of Bodrum

Hi there!

My name is Akinsal, and I created The Best of Bodrum, a travel blog to help you to get most out of your time in Bodrum and the Aegean Region.

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