Bodrum market, or bazaar, fascinates almost everybody who stop by. It is one of the top items of the “Things to Do” lists of travellers. Beyond its authentic atmosphere formed by various scents, colours and voices, this is a place where you can observe an indispensable part of the local daily life.
This type of open markets are common in Turkish shopping traditions and we call them “pazar”. They can be found in any city or town across the country. Although its origin stretches back to Persian civilization, they are everywhere in the world but they are an important part of the culture in Middle East and Asia.
Although markets in big cities are getting rare as a result of increasing number of national supermarket chains, people in smaller cities and towns are still shopping in bazaars for their kitchen needs.
Bazaars are set up once a week on a certain day in each town. In Bodrum Peninsula, you can visit a “pazar” every day of the week in a different location. The biggest one is in Bodrum. It traps the attention of both locals and tourists with its oriental scenes and fresh products.
A large area with tarpaulin roof is allocated for Bodrum market and it is next to the Bodrum Intercity Bus Terminal. Ironically, it is right in front of one of the biggest market chains of Turkey.
There are two different types of markets: food bazaar and clothing bazaar. Although each of them has a separate day in Bodrum, they can also be mixed markets being set up at the same day as they are in Turgutreis and Milas.
Zabita, municipality police, is responsible from auditing all market activities so if you have any complaints, you can always get help.
Making observations in Bodrum market is a good start to learn about the local life. It is a kind of social event where various people from different income levels get together. People around you are real characters running in their daily routines without tourism make-up.
Bodrum’s local cuisine, like the rest of the Aegean region, mostly depends on herbs, vegetables and olive oil. Bazaar is where you can find all the ingredients to cook local food. To be honest, I had no idea that so many green things even exist until I came here.
Market in Bodrum is your all-in-one stop to buy fresh fruits, herbs, vegetables, all kinds of local cheeses, olives and olive oil and many more. Still, keep in mind that meat and beverages are not available in bazaars.
Bazaar in Bodrum is set up on Fridays and gets really crowded in the afternoon. The thing which most travellers doesn’t know is the “early comers”. The sellers start to set up their stalls on Thursday afternoon. Their preparation for the next day continue until midnight and they don’t reject customers who would like to make some shopping. For me, it is better to go there on Thursdays. It’s relatively quiet and I have the advantage to pick the crops first over tomorrow’s customers.
Clothing bazaars are set up only in Bodrum, Turgutreis and Milas. In Turgutreis and Milas food and clothing markets are mixed together. Bodrum has a separate day for textile market and it is Tuesday in the same location with the food market.
All kinds of textiles with considerably low prices are available in clothing market with varying qualities. But I would keep in my mind that if I am buying an expensive brand for one-tenth of its original price, there is always a good chance that it may not be genuine. I don’t know if I could be clear enough.
These are popular markets and have direct influence on local tourism. Tourists usually don’t come here for visiting Bodrum market, they visit it when they are here. But they do for clothing market.
Summer or winter, every Tuesday in Bodrum means a lot more visitors. Small business owners from Greek Islands pour into the textile bazaar to buy cheap and quality products from jeans to table tops and Turkish hand made products to sell them back in their country. That is the reason why you can find a ferry to Kos every Tuesday all year.