Believe it or not, if you’re heading to Kos you’ll be just a quick ferry ride from Bodrum Turkey. One of the most popular activities is to hop on a boat across the Aegean Sea to this famous Turkish seaside town. Here’s everything you need to know about the crossing based on our own experience. So whether you’re taking a Kos to Bodrum day trip or staying in Turkey, we got you covered!
About the Kos to Bodrum Ferry
From the main port of Kos, there are several ferry companies making the journey. Most leave the island in the morning and come back in the late afternoon. If you’re not taking this adventure with a tour company you’ll want to buy the tickets directly from the ferry stands in Kos port.
The location for getting on the boat is different than where the domestic Greek ferries arrive. Make sure to go to the international port that is for this exact Kos to Bodrum route.
One thing to note is that it is the same price for a one-way ticket as a round trip. The majority of this route is for travelers who are making a Kos to Bodrum day trip. This means the price is set whether you get on the return ferry or not. It clearly didn’t work in our favor since we chose to stay in Turkey for 2 weeks, but it is what it is!
If you are traveling in the peak summer months be sure to buy your tickets in advance. You can book the round trip ferry ticket online and collect them at the ferry terminal before boarding. There is also an add-on option if you are not staying close to the ferry port and want to include a round-trip transfer.
Kos to Bodrum Day Trip Tour
One way to do the trip from Kos to Bodrum is by taking an official tour. Your guide will meet you on Kos and take the ferry with you to Bodrum. This is a fantastic option if you want to see all the sites in Bodrum Turkey with a tour guide. It’s also a great way to get the most out of your time if you’re only going for one day.
There are even smaller tour groups that go on sailing boats. You won’t spend nearly as much time in Bodrum this way as it makes other stops. However, it’s a fun idea for travelers who prefer to see the islands and Bodrum in a more intimate setting.
You can find tours like these being offered all around the port of Kos. Still, know that the small or private tours will cost you a lot more than taking the Kos to Bodrum ferry on your own.
Do You Need a Visa to Go From Kos to Bodrum?
At the time of our visit, you did not need to apply for a normal visa to take a Kos to Bodrum day trip. Keep in mind, this is what we were told as USA passport holders. It may vary depending on your home country.
Turkey offers one day visa-free travel for the purpose of cruise ships and trips from Greece to Turkey. When we got to Turkey everyone still had their passports scanned and return tickets confirmed.
Missing your ferry back is a massive no-no because then you are essentially in the country illegally. This is obviously something you don’t want to mess with! Double-check these regulations before your travel as they can change quite frequently.
Our Kos to Bodrum Ferry Adventure
As we mentioned earlier, the majority of travelers using this ferry are making a Kos to Bodrum day trip. Still, we actually decided to stay in Turkey for much longer. After spending some time in Bodrum we had two weeks to travel down the famous Turquoise Coast.
This was an incredible trip and highly recommend it to anyone visiting this region. Nonetheless, a day trip is still worth it if you only have one day. Planning to travel to Turkey one way like we did? Here are some important things to know first.
Turkey Visa: You will most likely need a visa to enter Turkey. As we mentioned, this all depends on your the country you call home. We got ours three days in advance and paid 50 Euros each for an electronic visa on the official website. While it said it could take up to 48 hours, we got them almost instantly.
Check In: When you check-in and get your tickets the company will confirm that you are traveling one way with your visa. They made a mark on our ticket to show that we were staying in Turkey so we would receive an exit stamp from Greece.
Arrival in Bodrum: Upon arriving in Turkey, there was some confusion as to why we didn’t have a return ticket. Thankfully, someone spoke English and was able to explain that we had our visas and were staying in the country.
Duration of Stay: Our visa was good for 90 days within 180 even though we only were staying for 2 weeks. This is very similar to the Schengen area rules if it sounds confusing to you.
Boarding the Kos to Bodrum Ferry
The trip is advertised as a 20-minute crossing, but that certainly doesn’t account for the entire process. We were told to be at the ferry terminal 40 minutes before departure to get our tickets and pass through immigration.
There is a small waiting area on the Kos side for all the travelers visiting Turkey with different companies. It can be a little strange because some boats are able to board immediately. Other passengers had to wait a bit longer.
It looked like they boarded the smaller boats first before our larger vessel. This could be an advantage to taking one of the smaller sailing ships that go from Kos to Bodrum.
Arriving in Bodrum Turkey!
The crossing was set for 9:30am but our boat took off closer to 10am after everyone boarded. The actual ride from Kos to Bodrum felt quick and did take 20 minutes.
Our best tip is to try and be the first off the boat. Remember that you’ll need to go through customs on the Turkish side afterward. If you’re not one of the first ferries arriving the line can be pretty long.
All said and done, we showed up at the ferry terminal in Kos at 9am and actually entered Turkey through immigration just before 11am. This is not to say it’s not worth it to take the Kos to Bodrum day trip. At least you’re more prepared now for the actual time schedule.
One Day Kos to Bodrum Itinerary
We found out quickly that it doesn’t matter if you have one day or several in Bodrum. There is so much to see and do right in the center of the city! Bodrum is such a special destination and makes for a great afternoon of exploring.
Bodrum Castle & Museum
Just across the street from where the Kos to Bodrum ferry docks is the castle and Underwater Museum. Experiencing the castle first is a fun way to have a deeper understanding of the area.
This will also give you some epic views of Bodrum and Kos off in the distance! You’ll be able to see the beautiful coastline and mountains from the tower walls.
Strolling the Harbor
One of the most fun things to do is to walk along the beautiful Bodrum harbor. There are literally hundreds of boats that fill the waters of this massive port. There is also a small shopping gallery on the end and upscale coffee shop.
If you are looking for a quick pick-me-up, the Creparie has a rooftop seating area that is super unique. Here you’ll have a view over the marina with the castle in the distance.
Shopping at the Bodrum Market
Dozens of shops fill the pedestrian-only walking market in the central part of the city. We were warned beforehand that most of the designer clothes and accessories were fake.
However, it’s still fun to take a stroll through. There are some great doner kebab restaurants and pubs in the covered outdoor market, too.
Once you make your way through the market you will come to the main town beach. This section of Bodrum has cafes, restaurants, and lively beach bars. Spend the rest of the time you have in a beach chair overlooking the ocean with an ice-cold drink in hand.
Is the Kos to Bodrum Ferry Worth it?
Yes! I mean how often do you have the chance to take a boat to a whole new country on a day trip? Bodrum is a city that’s very walkable and somewhere you can have an awesome afternoon exploring.
Now we do highly recommend staying longer and traveling down the scenic Turquoise Coast. Yet, taking a day trip on the Kos to Bodrum ferry will give you a small taste of Turkey to get excited about.
Have any questions about making the trip from Kos to Bodrum? How about any tips from your own visit? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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Greece Travel Planning
For island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. The fast ferries like Sea Jets will cost more but often takes half the time of slower ferries like Blue Star.
Rental Car: You can book a rental car for as little as $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.
Tours: Go to Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities in Santorini. You can find everything from group sailing tours to private catamaran cruises. Go wine tasting around the island, horseback riding down the beach, or even jump on an ATV tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.