Nestled between two picturesque bays on Turkey’s southwest coast is a beautiful and tourist-friendly ancient town.
Bodrum’s breathtaking ocean views, medieval buildings, fine dining establishments, and luxury hotels have been drawing in tourists worldwide for years.
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But like all Turkish cities, you may wonder, is Bodrum safe to visit?
In the guide, we’ll discuss how safe Bodrum is, what to look out for, and how to ensure you have an enjoyable and trouble-free trip.
- Bodrum is a safe destination for travelers.
- It is safe to travel to Bodrum right now.
- Practice common sense and awareness when traveling in Bodrum.
Is Bodrum Safe For Tourists?
Being a popular tourist town, Bodrum is generally very safe for visitors and is family-friendly. Crime is typically low, but corruption, bribery, and petty crimes like pickpocketing are common in Bodrum, like many parts of Turkey.
Therefore, although there is no reason to feel unsafe in Bodrum, you should always exercise caution.
To stay safe, stick to the touristy areas of town, don’t take anything offered to you by strangers, avoid getting too drunk, and don’t walk the streets alone at night.
Is Bodrum Safe To Travel Now?
Turkey has removed all its Covid-related travel restrictions, and the country is fully open and safe to travel to now.
While there have been terror attacks in Turkey in the past, the last one occurred in 2017. As of 2023, there are no immediate terrorist threats in Turkey, and tourist areas like Bodrum are very low-risk.
So while the United States advises exercising caution when traveling to Turkey, it is perfectly fine to book a vacation to Bodrum.
Why Is Bodrum “Dangerous”?
Bodrum is not dangerous, but like everywhere in the world, there are some potential dangers. Be cautious about pickpocketing, road safety, and scams from tours and local businesses.
This part of the country has a low terrorism risk, and severe crimes like robbery and armed attacks are uncommon for tourists here.
The Safest Areas In Bodrum
The good news is that most of Bodrum’s resorts and hotels are in the touristy areas and the center of town, which is highly safe. Downtown Bodrum, Bitez, Gumbet, Yalikavak, and Gümüslük are all excellent and secure areas to stay.
The only place I suggest avoiding in Bodrum is in the outskirts, but as there are no hotels in these neighborhoods, you will unlikely stay there anyway.
Moreover, all resorts and hotels have security guards and camera systems, so you don’t have to worry about things like burglaries.
However, if you are staying in a private house, such as an Airbnb, there is a little more risk of a break-in, so be sure to lock all doors and windows and keep your valuables locked away in the safe.
Things To Avoid In Bodrum
As mentioned earlier, there are a few things you should be cautious about when visiting Bodrum.
This is common in busy areas with large crowds, particularly at night when people tend to exercise less awareness of their surroundings.
To avoid this, keep your valuables in the hotel safe when going out at night and always keep your bag on you. You might want to use a cross-body bag or a money belt to store your money when out and about.
As in many touristy areas, some taxi drivers will try to rip off tourists by charging exorbitant prices. This is easily avoided in Bodrum by only taking rides with taxi drivers that turn the meter on.
In addition, it’s worth researching before your trip, so you know typical taxi rates.
There should be no difference between day, night, or weekend taxi fares, but depending on where you are going, you may have to pay tolls. Toll fares are charged to the passenger and are not included in the meter rate.
Like other parts of Turkey, you should be aware of some common scams aimed at tourists. Aside from the taxi scam mentioned above, many unexpected everyday scams, such as the picture scam, can occur.
This is when someone stops you and asks you to take their photo. When you return their camera, they purposely drop it and blame you for breaking it. They then demand that you give them money to fix it.
Another scam can happen at the ATM. When you withdraw money, a local will approach you, offering to help you avoid the local bank fees.
However, they are really trying to scan your card with a small machine in their pocket and watch you enter your pin number.
The best way to avoid common scams like this is to politely refuse to give or receive help from locals and not take anything they may try to hand you, even if it seems like something harmless.
Generally, if you politely say no and walk away, they will leave you alone.
You could also use the Revolut travel card to easily block and unblock your card during your trip.
Driving In Bodrum
The roads in Bodrum are well-maintained and signposted, so if you are a confident driver, there is no reason not to rent a car during your vacation.
However, it’s important to note that some drivers in Turkey do not respect the traffic signs, and driving here will likely feel very different from in your home country. So if you do decide to drive, be extremely careful.
You can also rent scooters and motorbikes in Bodrum, and this can be a fun way to explore. There are many narrow streets in Bodrum, which are hard to navigate with a car, so a scooter can be a more convenient option.
However, I only recommend renting a scooter if you already have lots of experience riding one, ideally in Turkey.
Personally, I think getting taxis is a better way to get around Bodrum than driving. Taxis are relatively cheap, readily available, and safe; just make sure they turn the meter on!
Bodrum For Solo Travelers
Bodrum is a fun and safe destination for solo travelers. That being said, Turkey is a male-dominated country, so it is safer for male solo travelers than female ones.
Regardless of gender, if traveling solo, it is best to make friends at your hostel to go out at night with.
I don’t recommend going to bars alone; guys on their own can be at risk of scams, and women on their own will have a higher personal safety risk.
There are plenty of hostels in Bodrum, but some are more social than others, so research beforehand.
For your safety, it’s best to keep yourself connected and with access to GPS by always being online. Check out our guide to buying a Turkey SIM card before you travel.
Bodrum For Female Travelers
As mentioned, Turkey is a male-dominated country, and many local males do not have the same respect for women that you may be used to. As a result, things like cat-calling are common, and sexual assaults happen here.
Therefore, if you are a female looking to go to Bodrum, it would be better to go with a friend than alone.
Moreover, you should be extra cautious at night and don’t accept drinks from local men as drink spiking is common.
You should also avoid wandering the streets at night. Even if your hotel is a 5-minute walk, getting a taxi is safer than walking.
The good news about Bodrum is that the police are often out at night. Plus, as it’s a bustling town with many bars and clubs open until late, the streets in the tourist districts are usually well-lit.
Bodrum For Digital Nomads And Expats
Bodrum is not a major digital nomad hub, but it can be a nice place to work remotely for a few months.
It is affordable, the internet connection is good enough, and there are plenty of places to work from, including a coworking space.
There is a fairly thriving expat community in Bodrum, though, so if you want to stay long-term, it’s a great option.
There are all types of expats in Bodrum, ranging from young families to retirees, most of which live in the Yalikavak area.
Here are a few additional things to bear in mind when visiting Bodrum:
- Only carry around as much money as you need for that day – Leave the rest of your valuables in the hotel room safety box.
- Respect the country’s culture – Turkey is very conservative, and the local women tend to dress modestly. While it’s totally ok to be in a bikini at the beach, wearing skimpy clothes when walking around the streets could draw unwanted attention.
- Ensure your food is fully cooked – Although food poisoning is not as common in Turkey as in Asian countries, it is still one of the most prevalent complaints among tourists. It mainly occurs when meat is not thoroughly cooked, so if you’re a meat eater, pay attention to your meal before you tuck in.
Bodrum Travel Insurance
Although Bodrum is pretty safe, travel insurance is still vital. Travel insurance will protect you should you get sick and need medical treatment, and it will also cover things like lost luggage or flight cancellations.
We recommend SafetyWing as they offer the most comprehensive coverage and straightforward application process.
SafetyWing is particularly fab for frequent travelers and digital nomads, as you can take out a policy wherever you are in the world and tailor it to your needs.
Final Thoughts On Safety In Bodrum
So, is Bodrum safe? In short, yes. It is generally a very safe and enjoyable destination to visit.
There are no significant dangers, but like most countries, being cautious and aware of your surroundings is essential. Following this guide’s advice, you’ll enjoy a safe, stress-free trip!
To be more prepared, it’s best to book your tours and activities in advance.
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