Nightlife here is legendary, causing people's eyes to glaze over longingly whenever you mention Bodrum (and a different type of glazed the morning after). The games begin behind the castle along Dr. Alim Bey Caddesi, a narrow health hazard full of crowds working their way past bars, eateries, clothing shops, and booths where you can get an exaggeratedly garish temporary tattoo. This overcrowded stretch reaches full capacity at Cumhuriyet Caddesi, the broad walkway along the Outer Harbor thick with outdoor cafes, bars, loud music, and groups of young party-seekers. Near the entrance to "bar street," (or Barlar Sok., the colloquial name for Dr. Alim Bey Cad.) is Club Catamaran (Dr. Alim Bey Cad. 1025 Sok 44, tel. 0252/313-3600). True to its name, the boat hosts a floating party every night in summer, offering revelers the chance to dance on a glass-bottom floor above fish waiting for food scraps below. The catamaran is there every year, but every few years the setup changes management (and names).
There's also a sophisticated side to Bodrum, if you know where to look. With St. Peter's Castle practically illuminating the entire bay, it's just a matter of choosing your own front seat. Several of the hotels listed (Antique Theatre, Marmara Bodrum, Marina Vista) take advantage of perfectly sited terraces or rooftops. The Marina Yacht Club (next to the Karada Marina) serenades visitors to the complex of four bars and two restaurants with jazz and Latina tunes. In summer, the roof bar offers a sparkling vista of the marina and castle. If you're feeling ambitious, drive to the village of Gümüslük for a romantic seafood dinner, or head after sundown to one of Göltürkbükü's dazzling beach club parties.
As the epicenter of Turkish nightlife during the summer months, Bodrum offers an ample selection of top-notch concerts and performances set in the castle or in the restored Antique Theatre. Major events to look out for are the International Bodrum Film Festival (www.bodrumfilmfestival.org) in June and the Bodrum Festival, running for a few weeks starting in late July. The events peak in August with the Gümüsluk International Classical Music Festival (www.gumuslukfestival.org) held in the evocative Byzantine-era church, the Aegean Festival in Yalikavak's marina (where you'll see folksy music and dance), and the Bodrum International Ballet Festival at St. Peter's Castle in late August. In late December, well after the summer party has come to an end, famous musicians and up-and-comers alike come in for Bodrum Jazz Days (www.hadigari.com.tr). Tickets are available through Biletix (www.biletix.com) or at the castle or ticket booths along Iskele Meydani in Bodrum.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.