Bodrum is located on the south Aegean coast of Turkey and is now a very popular travel destination. In ancient time , it was the site of Halikarnassus, home to the famous Mausoleum of Halikarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The ancient monument was destroyed by an earthquake in the Middle Ages, but remains of it can still be seen in London’s British Museum.
Currently, Bodrum is one of the centers of the Turkish tourism industry. The east half of the town is where the beaches, bars , restaurants and everything else relative to a resort town are located. The other half caters for the richer crowds, typically those arriving here by yachts.
Istanbul is the most populous city in Turkey and also its transportation hub. Unless you manage to find a very good deal into the airports serving the Turkish Riviera, you are most likely going to land on one of the Istanbul’s airports. And from here, plan the rest of the journey in Turkey.
If you don’t mind paying for the transfer to/from the airports and spending some time getting from the hotel to/from the airports, then flying is an option to consider when traveling from Istanbul to Bodrum. Another cheap option, which takes you from city center to city center, is the bus. But it takes a lot longer.
Flights from Istanbul (airport code: IST) to Bodrum
Milas-Bodrum Airport (BJV) is located 35 km from the city of Bodrum and handles both domestic and international flights.
Istanbul is served by two airports:
- Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) is located 20 km from the city center, on the European side, and is the main gateway into Turkey. It is Europe’s eighth busiest airport and a hub for: Atlasjet, Onur Air and Turkish Airlines. Flights to/from Bodrum are operated by Atlasjet, Onur Air, Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
- Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) is the second airport serving Istanbul, located on the Asian side and it’s where the low cost carriers usually fly. Flights to/from Bodrum are operated by Borajet and Pegasus Airlines.
In terms of finding the cheaper option, whether you fly from Istanbul Ataturk or SAW, the flight fare is about the same (€22 one way on Pegagus from SAW and €23 one way on AtlasJet from Ataturk, in early February 2012). The flight time is also similar (1h 5 min to 1h 10 min). However, you need to take into account the transfer to/from both airports you’ll be flying into/from.
The same fares are available for flights in early March 2012, but by early April the prices increase and it gets slightly more expensive to fly from Ataturk (€36 one way) than from SAW (€27 one way). But even during the high tourist season, the prices stay around €30-€40 one way regardless of which airport you fly from.
Read more about:
>>Cheap flights to Istanbul
>>Airports in Turkey
Buses from Istanbul to Bodrum
The otogar (bus terminal) in Bodrum is located right in the city center next to the municipal market. In Istanbul the buses stop at Istanbul Buyuk Otogar. Many companies operate on this route but your best bet is to grab a seat in a luxury bus. Different companies have different fares.
Metro Turzim is one of the companies operating on this route. The fare is 70 Turkish Lira / €29.50 or 75 Turkish Lira / €31.65, depending on the type of ticket. Buses depart Istanbul at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The travel time is 14 h.
>>read more about Bus Travel in Turkey
Trains from Istanbul to Bodrum
There isn’t a direct connection between Istanbul and Bodrum but you can catch a train from Istanbul to Izmir and then a bus to Bodrum. There is also the option to take the ferry train but going only by train is faster.
Express trains depart Istanbul at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. You’ll stay about 4 hours in Eskisehir. In total, the travel time is 19 hours. From Istanbul to Eskisehir the fare is 20 Turkish Lira (€8.40) and from Eskisehir to Izmir it’s another 21 Turkish Lira (€9).
From Izmir, catch a bus for another 4 h to Bodrum. The bus to Bodrum costs another 20 Turkish Lira (€8.40).
>>read more about Train Travel in Turkey
Driving from Istanbul to Bodrum
You can rent a car in Istanbul and drive the 790 km to Bodrum. The total travel time is about 11 h but make sure to plan some stops along the way. Bursa and Izmir are on the way (if you take D565), so you can stop there for some hours or even stay overnight.