Often in search of dreamy European vacay destinations, we tend to overlook Middle-Eastern countries that are melting-pots of unexplored culture, history, tradition and cuisine. Bodrum in Turkey is one such place that is yet to receive the attention its castles, marina, beaches and markets deserve. Now that you’ll know about this comprehensive tourist experience, consider venturing further from the domes of Istanbul. By Shubhanjana Das

1. Yahsi Beach

Beaches in Bodrum are all about lounging in deck chairs with a drink in your hand and the horizon in site. The shallow waters, golden sands and the mild breeze are perfect for a picnic sprawl as well. What else do we need at beaches anyway!

2. Day Trips On The Boat

Hire a private boat to take you around the Aegean, which promises views the mainland cannot. With authentic Turkish Mezze platters as well as BBQ and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, this is the best way to know Turkey a little better. Ask your Captain anything and we can assure you that you will be answered with a smile as heart-warming as the food and the sites visible from the board.

3. Zeki Muren Arts Museum

Dedicated to the much renowned and respected Turkish classical musician Zeki Muren, this museum is the pride of the people of Bodrum. The man was Turkey’s first gay icon and the museum, which is located in his last residence before death, houses personal souvenirs and memorabilia, which pays homage to the life of this revolutionary Turkish musician, composer, and actor who defined contemporary music in the country.

4. Bodrum Amphitheatre

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Overlooking the azure water and the open blue sky is the Bodrum Amphitheatre, a place where the past and the present comes together, signature of Turkey. The sun-bleached stones are perfect to sit back and ogle at the history that unfurls right from under your feet at this amphitheater, which was built hundreds of years ago. Climb up the stairs to look at the view from above and don’t forget to click enough pictures here for an envy-worthy Gram.

5. Turkbuku Shopping

If your idea of a perfect day is strolling aimlessly through winding, cobbled streets of a superbly aesthetic Turkish town, which ends up in some much-needed retail therapy, Turkbuku market by the shore is the perfect place to get your hands on artisan jewellery, souvenirs, designer clothing, and etc. After you are done shopping, head to the shore for enjoying some cold champagne, sitting on a recliner, and getting that sexy tan.

Related: Fatima Sana Shaikh’s Pics are Enough Inspiration to Plan a Holiday in Turkey