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A Marmaris city guide – ancient ruins, lively bazaars, a medieval castle and the Turquoise Coast

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With sandy beaches, historic structures, buzzing bazaars and exhilarating water sports, visitors to Marmaris are spoilt for choice. Head to the Grand Bazaar to soak up the local culture, shop for leather goods or try a delicious kebab. For a day out, travel over 2,000 years back in time by exploring the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Knidos or take a dip from a beach like no other on Cleopatra’s Island. 

Mehmet Gozen

My Destination local expert on

Marmaris (Aegean Coast)

Historic treasures


With its origin dating back to the 6th century B.C. and its former Hellenistic and Roman rule, Marmaris is truly a history lover’s paradise. The most iconic landmark of the town is Marmaris Castle, which was used by Ottoman ruler Suleyman to wage war on the island of Rhodes. After undergoing countless restorations, today the castle is also a museum that houses 5,000 years of history. If you don’t mind a long day out, the Ruins of Knidos are an unmissable attraction in Datca and an opportunity to relish in the Carian architecture in the large amphitheater and necropolis.


Turquoise beaches


The paradisiac beaches of Marmaris attract sun-worshippers from far and wide. While the beach in the town center has dark sand and gets crowded in the summertime, quieter beaches on the surrounding coastline are perfect to escape the masses, and explore small coves and blue bays. The nearby Cleopatra’s Island is a common stop for boat trips leaving daily from the harbor. Here you’ll find one of the most special beaches in the world with smooth white sand. Its turquoise clear waters are perfect for snorkeling and swimming, while the Mediterranean weather makes it the perfect place to sunbathe in the summer.


Where to eat


Food-loving Marmaris features an extensive choice of restaurants with varied menus. From international cuisine to traditional food, there are options for all tastes and budgets. Have a romantic dinner in a fine restaurant at Netsel Marina Mall or head over to the little lokantas behind the Bazaar where you’ll find Turkish food at cheap prices. For fresh seafood, head to Marmaris Harbor, the perfect place to get a taste of the Mediterranean region.


Exciting activities


The coastal town of Marmaris is awash with water sports and exhilarating attractions. Set in a green lush valley and surrounded by crystal clear waters, Marmaris is a popular bay for cruises and yachts exploring the Turkish Riviera. Step onboard and discover turquoise coves, the mountainous shoreline, ruins of ancient cities and caves that are only accessible from the sea. Discover the mysteries of the underwater world by scuba diving in the clear waters or drive around the mountains instead, and visit waterfalls, hills and small rural villages on a Jeep safari.




With all the buzzing nightclubs and bars downtown, partygoers will have the time of their lives in Marmaris. For pre-party drinks, head over to one of the many small bars along the beachfront and sip on something refreshing while watching the sun set behind the sea. Then you’ll be in the mood to explore Marmaris’ fantastic nightlife. Many party troopers dance the night away in the lively beachfront, but it is behind the harbor, in Bar Street, that the night really heats up. Over 100 bustling clubs and bars play different music and cater to different tastes in this street.