Interested in the best things to do in Bari, Italy? In this guide I will describe 24 wonderful things to do in this vibrant and exciting town in Puglia, Southern Italy. The old town is filled with medieval buildings, churches and alleyways while the modern, vibrant streets are packed with locals going about their daily life.
I have visited the Puglia region of Italy several times as a solo traveller, and my most recent visit to Bari took place in April 2023.
I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate links.
Below are 24 wonderful things to do in Bari, from the historic Old Town with its imposing castle, beautiful churches and cultural sites, to the lively waterfront promenade and picturesque Adriatic Coastline.
In a hurry? Here are some quick Links for Bari:
Reserve your Bari Hotel early, before they sell out (Booking.com).
When in Bari, you must book a pasta experience!
This is the best street food tour in Bari (read my review here).
Remember to pack decent sunscreen and a packable sun hat.
Book your Private Bari Walking Tour here.
If you need a rental car, book one at Discover Cars and pick it up at the airport.
24 Wonderful Things to do in Bari, Italy
1. Stroll through Bari old town.
My favourite thing about the old town of Bari (also known as ‘Bari Vecchia’) is how authentically Italian it is. There are families going about their daily business and laundry hanging out to dry. There are elderly men in white vests sitting at street corners playing cards, and ladies sitting at their tables outdoors making pasta by hand.
Bari Vecchia is home to two historical squares, Piazza Mercantile and Piazza del Ferrarese, which are situated adjacent to each other. These are beautiful flagstone piazzas with lots to see and do.
Just to the south lies Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, which separates the ancient and modern areas. You can see the remains of the earlier walls at this point, as well as the remnants of the earliest street (from the 13th century). These streets used to have guarded gates that divided both sides in the past.
There are various walking tours which take you round Bari Vecchia. Try this small group guided walking tour of Bari old town.
2. See grandmothers making pasta in the street.
In Bari, you can observe the time-honoured tradition of grandmothers making fresh pasta in the streets – a skill which has been passed down through generations for centuries.
The street is colloquially referred to as ‘Strada delle Orrechiette’ (Pasta Alley) although its name on Google Maps is ‘Arco Basso’. It’s a medieval passage almost directly opposite Bari Castle. It is just off Corso Italia on the road that connects the old town to the harbour front.
The ladies can be seen rolling out dough on wooden boards, cutting it into thin strips, and then twisting them into traditional shapes like orecchiette, or ‘little ears’. Many restaurants in the city feature fresh homemade pastas made by these experienced artisans.
You can buy the pasta and tarallis straight from women in the street, even at night time. Usually they leave some of their wares on the tables outside their houses at night, and if you want to buy you can just knock on their doors to make your purchase.
Try this excellent private walking tour with pasta experience where you will do some sightseeing in Bari before learning to cook pasta with a local. This walking tour also passes down the street where the pasta is made.
Further reading: 78 Delicious Dishes from Puglia, South Italy.
3. Visit the Basilica of San Nicola.
One of the most popular things to do in Bari, the Basilica San Nicola is the city’s most renowned church. It has a 12th-century romanesque facade, with a golden frescoed ceiling that soars high above traditional wooden pews. There are mosaics and tombs to explore, as well as a rather famous resident.
The underground chamber below holds the remains of St Nicholas (also famously known as Father Christmas) after they were taken from Turkey in 1087. Orthodox pilgrims frequently come to this very site, which is further celebrated by locals each May during their grand festivities dedicated to Saint Nicholas.
The Basilica San Nicola is free to enter, and is open from 07:15 to 20:30 each day, with a later closing time on Sundays (22:15).
?Basilica San Nicola, Largo Abate Elia, 13, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
4. Say Hi to Saint Nicholas.
Even if you don’t go inside the church, you can still say Hi to the statue of Saint Nicholas, which stands diagonally across the piazza from the Basilica San Nicola. The statue is one of the most important religious artifacts in the country, and has been a symbol of faith for centuries.
The bronze statue was created by russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, and donated from Russia to Bari in 2003. The inscription on the plaque can be read in Russian or Italian.
On December 6th each year, thousands make the pilgrimage to Bari to celebrate the day that Saint Nicholas’ remains were relocated here in 1087. Various celebrations take place around the city during this time of year, including candlelight processions, concerts and fireworks displays.
I also find the statue of Saint Nicholas to be helpful for purposes of navigation when you get lost amongst Bari’s winding maze-like alleyways!
?Estatua de San Nicolás de Bari, Str. S. Luca, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
5. Hang out in Piazza Mercantile.
This historic square was once the commercial hub of Bari, and is now a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. Its name means ‘Merchant Square’ and you can still find street vendors selling things – mostly delicious food – in the square today.
The vibrant Piazza Mercantile is surrounded by 16th century buildings such as Palazzo del Sedile dei Nobili, and historical attractions like the majestic Pigna fountain (also known as ‘of the 4 faces’) and the ominous Column of Justice (or colloquially ‘infamous column’).
I love spending an evening here just soaking up the atmosphere. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and street food vendors to keep you busy (one photo below of ‘popizze’ street food, but do check out my post on Bari street food if you are interested in further Bari specialities).
Also in Piazza Mercantile you can see the haunting Colonna della Giustizia (Column of Justice), also known as Colonna Infame, which was previously used as a form of punishment for debtors during the 16th century. These unfortunate individuals were bound naked against this column for three days to punish them for their debts. You can still see marks from the ropes on the stone today.
?Piazza Mercantile, 29, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
6. Sample local cuisine – street food.
One of the best things to do in Bari is try some of its amazing street food. I recommend taking a street food tour of Bari with Do Eat Better – you can see my review of their Bari street food tour here. The focaccia Barese was the best focaccia I have ever tasted!
Bari’s cuisine is renowned for its delicious, locally-produced dishes and you won’t want to miss out on trying some of its authentic specialties. In addition to Focaccia Barese, you can try Panzerotti (fried pocket pastries filled with cheese and tomatoes), sgagliozze (fried polenta), popizze (fried focaccia dough) and many other delicious street treats.
Below is a collage of *some* of the food I ate on my last visit in 2023.
Further reading: My street food tour of Bari (with photos).
7. Visit the cathedral of San Sabino.
Although Bari Cathedral may be somewhat overshadowed by the nearby Basilica San Nicola, it contains a remarkable history of its own. The grand structure (also known as Il Duomo) was finished during the late 13th century after William the Wicked demolished its predecessor whilst pillaging through town.
There are Byzantine mosaics inside, depicting scenes from the bible, as well as its stunning stained glass windows. It also houses a number of important relics such as the skull of St. Sabinus, the patron saint of Bari.
Over the years, several artworks and statues were added, with the intention of turning the Cathedral’s interior into a Baroque-style church. However, it was decided that these changes should be undone so that the original vision could be restored. Consequently, all additional features were removed. You can see some of these articles in the museum underneath the church (see number 20 below).
Entry to the cathedral is free, but it is closed in the afternoons.
?Piazza dell’Odegitria, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
8. Grab a coffee at Stefy’s Cathedral Coffee.
Stefy’s is a well-loved coffee place right opposite the cathedral. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick coffee or indulge in a relaxing breakfast while admiring the stunning view of the Cathedral of San Sabino. The café is run by Stefy, who has been in the business for over a decade, and her team of passionate baristas who make every cup with love and care.
Stefy’s Cathedral Coffee is well-known for its exceptional coffee, which is brewed using premium quality beans sourced from local roasters. Whether you prefer a classic espresso or a frothy cappuccino, their baristas will make it to your liking.
In addition to coffee, Stefy’s Cathedral Coffee serves a variety of sweet and savoury treats plus a range of sandwiches and paninis too.
One of the best things about Stefy’s Cathedral Coffee is its location. Situated just a stone’s throw away from the Cathedral of San Sabino, it offers a stunning view of the iconic church. The outdoor seating area is the perfect place to enjoy your coffee while taking in the sights and sounds of Bari.
?Piazza dell’Odegitria, 26, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
9. Visit Bari harbour.
Bari harbour has a long and fascinating history that dates back to ancient times. It was an important centre for trade and commerce in the Roman era, and was later a key port during the Byzantine and Norman periods.
During WWII it was the site of a huge mustard-gas explosion which was promptly covered up by allied forces. It was a disaster, but it also inadvertently led to the discovery of a cancer treatment. You can read more about it here.
Today, the port is a modern and dynamic hub of activity, with ships and boats coming and going throughout the day.
One of the most popular activities at Bari Harbour is simply strolling along the promenade and watching the ships and boats come and go.
Further reading: Must See Sights: The 30 Best Places to Visit in Puglia.
10. Stroll along the Lungomare Nazario Sauro.
Lungomare Nazario Sauro is a scenic promenade running along the coastline of the Adriatic Sea. The promenade stretches for approximately 2 kilometres and offers breathtaking views of the sea and the city.
Named after the Italian admiral Nazario Sauro, the promenade is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The promenade is lined with palm trees and benches, providing a tranquil and picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or bike ride.
Along the Lungomare Nazario Sauro you will find the famous Pane e Pomodoro Beach, which is one of the most popular beaches in Bari. The beach is clean, well-maintained, and offers stunning views of the sea. There are also several cafes, restaurants, and gelato shops in the area, offering visitors a chance to sample some of the local cuisine.
Another popular attraction on the promenade is the Castello Svevo, a medieval castle that was built in the 12th century. The castle was used as a residence by the Norman, Angevin, and Aragonese rulers of Bari, and is now open to the public as a museum.
Further reading: 14 Beautiful Towns in Puglia, Italy.
11. Admire the Teatre Margherita.
The Teatro Margherita is an historic former theatre located in the heart of Bari. Built in the early 20th century, the theatre has been an important cultural landmark in the city, hosting a wide range of theatrical and musical performances.
The theatre was designed by the architect Luigi Santarella, and was built between 1912 and 1914. It was named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, who visited Bari in 1898 and was a patron of the arts.
Over the years, the Teatro Margherita hosted many important cultural events, including opera performances, ballets, concerts, and theatre productions. During WWII it was occupied by allied forces and used as a venue for entertaining troops. After 1979 it was used as a cinema.
Unfortunately the Teatro Margherita fell into disrepair and was closed to the public in the early 1990s. However, in recent years it was repurposed and transformed into a museum called the Museum of the Twentieth Century (Museo del Novecento) which opened in 2018. It now hosts excellent art and photography exhibitions.
?Teatro Margherita, Piazza IV Novembre, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
12. Sample local cuisine – restaurants.
No trip to Bari would be complete without sampling some of its delicious local cuisine. From freshly caught seafood dishes to traditional orecchiette pasta, you won’t be short of culinary delights to choose from.
These photos show restaurants situated on Piazza Mercantile, but another good option is to head down to one of the many eateries along the promenade to try out the local cuisine.
13. See the Norman castle of Bari.
Of course no list of things to do in Bari would be complete without the Norman Castle, also known as the Castello Svevo di Bari. It was built by the Normans in the 12th century and has since undergone several renovations and additions.
The castle was an important defensive structure during medieval times, as it protected the city from invaders and provided a safe haven for its citizens.
The castle has undergone numerous renovations over the years, including the addition of a courtyard and the construction of the Aragonese Tower in the 15th century. There is a museum inside, with exhibits on the castle’s history and the city of Bari.
Right opposite the castle is the best place to get gelato in Bari – Antica Gelateria Gentile (see my post on street food in Bari for more details). You are also right next to Pasta Alley here too.
?Piazza Federico II di Svevia, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
14. Go for an evening stroll in Largo Albicocca.
One of the more little-known things to do in Bari, Largo Albicocca is a charming square located in the old town. The square takes its name from the apricot trees that once grew in the area, and it is known for its lively atmosphere and delicious street food. In the evening, the square is lit up with twinkling lights, creating a magical ambiance that is perfect for an evening stroll.
Quite randomly, the square seems to have entered into a collaboration with Swedish furniture giant Ikea (that’s where the lights are from) and you can see Ikea is credited on the wall plaque as you enter the square!
One of the highlights of Largo Albicocca is its street food scene. Visitors can sample a variety of local specialties, such as panzerotti, fried dough filled with tomato and mozzarella, or sgagliozze, fried polenta slices. There are also several street food stalls that offer fresh seafood, grilled meats, and vegetarian options.
Here, you can visit the renowned Di Cosimo pizzeria and top off your meal with a delicious scoop of gelato while soaking up the utterly Italian ambiance in this delightful square. Strada delle Orecchiette is also just a few steps away
Largo Albicocca is also known as the ‘Square of Lovers’.
?Largo Albicocca, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
15. Visit the Teatro Petruzzelli.
The Teatro Petruzzelli is an iconic opera house located in Bari which was inaugurated in 1903.
The theatre is named after its founders, the brothers Onofrio and Antonio Petruzzelli, who wanted to create a space that would showcase the best of Italian opera and theatre.
The Teatro Petruzzelli is a magnificent example of neoclassical architecture, with its impressive façade, ornate decorations, and grand chandelier. The theatre has a seating capacity of 1,700, and has hosted some of the world’s most renowned acts, including Maria Callas, Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti.
The theatre’s interior is adorned with frescoes, statues, and ornate carvings, creating a truly magnificent atmosphere.
The Teatro Petruzzelli is also the venue for the annual Bari International Film Festival, which attracts filmmakers and movie lovers from around the world.
?Corso Cavour, 12, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
16. Relax at Bread and Tomato beach.
Bread and Tomato Beach, also known as Pane e Pomodoro Beach, can be accessed via the Lungomare promenade. The beach takes its name from the traditional Puglian snack of bread and tomatoes, which is often enjoyed by locals and tourists alike while soaking up the sun and taking in the beautiful surroundings.
It’s a lovely beach although it does get very busy. However it is free of charge; though bear in mind you’ll need your own chairs and umbrellas if you want seating.
It’s a 30-minute walk from Bari Vecchia, or there is a paid car park nearby.
For a less crowded option, you could head south to Spiaggia Torre Quetta. Here you’ll find a tranquil stretch of sand and sea. There are also many beautiful beaches in Puglia if you venture further out, for example to Polignano a Mare or Monopoli. Many of the beaches in Puglia have breathtaking landscapes, but bear in mind some of them are actually lidos – they will require an entrance fee.
?Corso Trieste, 70126 Bari BA, Italy
17. Take a boat tour.
Taking a boat tour from Bari is a fantastic way to explore the beautiful coastline of the Apulian region. The city is situated on the Adriatic Sea, making it a perfect starting point for a range of sea excursions.
One popular option for a boat tour from Bari is to visit Polignano a Mare, a charming coastal town known for its stunning sea cliffs and crystal-clear waters. Another popular destination is the seaside town of Monopoli, which boasts a beautiful historic centre and several picturesque beaches.
A boat tour from Bari also offers the opportunity to visit the fascinating sea caves, which are only accessible by boat and are known for their unique geological formations and crystal-clear waters. Many boat tours also include stops for swimming and snorkelling, as well as onboard refreshments and snacks.
Here is a good boat tour from Bari to Polignano a Mare.
18. Experience Bari’s nightlife.
When it comes to things to do in Bari in the evening, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are bars and nightclubs to live music venues and wonderful restaurants in Bari.
The narrow streets and charming alleyways come alive in the evening, with locals and tourists alike enjoying the city’s many restaurants, bars, and cafes.
The city’s historic centre is also home to several important landmarks, including the Basilica of San Nicola, which is beautifully illuminated at night.
Bari is home to many great restaurants and food stalls. You can enjoy a range of local specialties, including orecchiette pasta with turnip greens, focaccia bread, and the famous Puglian burrata cheese.
Another great option for an evening activity in Bari is to attend a live performance at the Teatro Petruzzelli. The theatre hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year, including opera, ballet, and theatre.
19. Take a ride on the Bari ferris wheel.
The ‘Ruota Panoramica’ in Bari is located in Largo Luigi Giannella, in between the harbour and the old town. The wheel rises to a height of 55 metres and offers stunning views of the city and the Adriatic sea. On Google maps the wheel is called the Blue Sky Wheel.
You can ride the wheel during the day, but it is wonderful at night when the city is beautifully lit up, or even better, try to visit at sunset for a magical experience.
?Largo Luigi Giannella, 70121 Bari BA, Italy
20. Admire the Russian Church.
The Russian church is officially called the Chiesa Ortodossa Russa di San Nicola, or the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas. This holy place was erected as tribute for Saint Nicholas, and serves as a pilgrimage site for countless Russian pilgrims.
The church is a stunning example of Byzantine-style architecture, with its distinctive onion domes and intricate decorations. It was built in the early 20th century to serve the Russian Orthodox community in Bari, and it remains an important religious and cultural centre in the city.
The interior is adorned with frescoes, icons, and other works of art. The church also holds regular religious services, which visitors are welcome to attend.
If you would like to enter the church, it is required to dress appropriately, and women must have their head covered. I recommend taking a scarf like this one to use as a cover-up.
?Corso Benedetto Croce, 130, 70125 Bari BA, Italy
21. Shop till you drop on Via Sparano.
If shopping is your thing, then head to Via Sparano, which is one of the most famous and bustling shopping streets in Bari. There are beautiful ornate buildings (such as the Mincuzzi building below – originally a department store) along with designer shops and independent boutiques.
One of the highlights of shopping on Via Sparano is the opportunity to discover local fashion and design brands, as well as international brands. Many of the shops here are owned by local designers and artisans, offering unique and authentic products that are not available anywhere else.
In addition to shopping, Via Sparano also offers plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars along the street, making it the perfect place to take a break and enjoy a coffee or aperitif after a long day of shopping.
22. Be amazed at the Museo del Succorpo della Cattedrale.
This is definitely one of the more little-known or under-appreciated things to do in Bari. The Museo del Succorpo della Cathedrale, also known as the Cathedral Museum of Bari, is hidden in the basement of the Cathedral of San Sabino.
It houses an impressive collection of Byzantine and Romanesque sculptures and reliefs, which date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. These pieces were originally part of the cathedral’s façade and interior, but were removed and preserved over time.
One of the highlights of the museum is the underground crypt, which contains the remains of the original church that stood on the site before the current cathedral was built.
?Piazza dell’Odegitria, 24, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
23. Visit Bari fish market.
The Bari fish market, or Mercato del Pesce, is a bustling and vibrant marketplace located in the heart of Bari’s old town. Every morning, boats full of freshly-caught fish arrive and are unloaded onto the market’s tables. There is a wide selection of freshly caught seafood on offer, including fish, clams, mussels, squid, and octopus. The market is known for its high-quality products, which are sourced from local fishermen and sold at reasonable prices.
One of the highlights of visiting the Bari fish market is the lively atmosphere and bustling activity of the market. The vendors are known for their friendly and enthusiastic approach to selling their products, and the market is always busy with activity.
In addition to buying seafood, you can also enjoy a meal at one of the market’s many seafood restaurants. These restaurants offer a range of fresh and delicious seafood dishes, often prepared right in front of the customer.
?Piazza del Ferrarese, 13, 70122 Bari BA, Italy
24. Go on a day trip from Bari.
I have refrained from including ‘nearby places’ in my list of things to do in Bari, because too many lists do this, and nearby places are not actually in Bari itself! But I will use my last entry to talk about three day trips you can take from Bari.
Further reading: 10 excellent day trips to take from Bari.
One option is Castel del Monte, an architectural masterpiece built by Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century. It’s located roughly 50 miles southeast of Bari and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The castle itself is striking, with eight towers connected by curtains made of limestone blocks.
Another popular trip from Bari is Alberobello, in the Valle d’Itria region. This small town has a unique history and architecture; its traditional trulli houses have conical rooftops that were once used as temporary dwellings during times of religious persecution. Today, Alberobello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Further reading: Your Ultimate Guide to visiting Alberobello.
Another must-see destination is Matera, another UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its ‘Sassi’ or ancient cave dwellings. This city has an ancient history; it was first settled in the Middle Paleolithic period and its old town is now filled with churches, cathedrals and other buildings dating back to the 13th century.
Tickets for day trips from Bari
Use these links to book your tours and day trips from Bari (the links will takes you to Viator, with no payment required up-front and free cancellation).
Polignano a Mare – boat trip to see caves and Polignano a Mare with refreshments and swimming stop.
Alberobello, Monopoli & Polignano – all three towns in one private trip.
Castel del Monte and Trani – including cathedral visit.
Alberobello and Matera – see two UNESCO sites in one day.
You can read more in my guide to the best 14 towns to visit in Puglia.
Map of things to do in Bari
FAQs about visiting Bari.
Q: What is the best time to visit Bari, Italy?
A: The best time to visit Bari is during the spring and fall seasons, which are typically from April to June and September to November, respectively. The weather is mild, and there are fewer crowds than during the summer months.
Further reading: Ultimate Puglia Travel Guide.
Q: How do I get to Bari?
A: Bari has an international airport, Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport, which is served by several airlines. Alternatively, you can reach Bari by train, car or bus from other parts of Italy.
Further reading: How to Get to Bari by Plane, Boat, Bus, Train & Car.
Q: Do I need a car for a trip in Puglia?
A: Renting a car is highly recommended for a Puglia Italy trip, as it provides the flexibility to explore the region at your own pace and reach the more remote areas. It allows you to add multiple destinations to your Puglia trip itinerary and access the beautiful countryside and coastal areas with ease. I always use Discover Cars, which is a brilliant car comparison site.
It is possible to travel in Puglia using public transport, but it would take a lot longer.
Further reading: Ultimate Guide to Renting a Car in Puglia, Italy.
Q: What are some must-see attractions in Bari?
A: Some must-see attractions in Bari include the Basilica di San Nicola, the Castello Svevo, and the historic old town. Visitors should also explore the city’s vibrant markets, such as the Bari fish market.
Further reading: Must See Sights: The 30 Best Places to Visit in Puglia.
Q: What are some traditional dishes to try in Bari?
A: Bari is known for its delicious cuisine, and visitors should try some traditional dishes, such as orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe, tiella di riso (a baked rice dish), and focaccia barese. A popular street food Bari dish is panzerotti (or panzerotto singular).
Q: Is Bari safe for tourists?
A: Bari is generally safe for tourists, but like any city, visitors should take basic precautions such as being aware of their surroundings and not leaving valuables unattended. It is also recommended to avoid walking alone at night in less populated areas.
Here are some of my favourite travel safety recommendations from Amazon:
Use an anti-theft sling bag or an anti-theft backpack.
Keep bank cards safe with an RFID blocking pouch or an RFID travel wallet.
Use a portable door lock to lock your room from the inside.
Try using an alarmed door stop for extra peace of mind.
Use a compact travel safe (I have used this one and this one).
You can also get hidden travel safes, for example in the shape of a water bottle, coke can, hairbrush or even a holy bible.
A waterproof and fireproof document pouch will protect your travel documents.
Where to to stay in Bari.
I recommend staying in the Bari Vecchia area because it is so beautiful. This is the old town, and it is full of charm and history. However it can be more expensive than other areas.
For a luxury hotel in Barri Vecchia, try B&B Vin e Va or B&B dei Cardinale.
For mid range, try B&B Murex or Il Trespolo Degli Angeli.
For budget, try Palazzo del Carmine.
Other great neighbourhoods include the Murat Quarter, Bari Palese and San Nicola Stadium neighbourhood.
Hotels in the Murat Quarter are centrally located, close to the promenade and perfect for first time vistors. Murat is within walking distance of most restaurants, attractions, the train station and Bari Vecchia.
For a luxury hotel in Murat, try Dilman Luxury Stay.
For mid range, try Il Pumo or B&Z Luxury.
For budget options, try Gatto Bianco le Dimore.
Hotels in Bari Palese are good for those who like a slightly quieter trip, there is still lots to do but it is not in the city centre so it is less touristy. It’s also close to the airport, and there are lovely beaches.
For luxury, try Casa al Mare.
Mid range options include Vittoria Parc Hotel and Principe.
For budget stays, try La Dimora Benedetta.
San Nicola Stadium
Hotels in San Nicola stadium are good for events at the stadium, plus it’s well connected so you can get slightly cheaper accommodation with easy transport links.
For a luxury hotel in San Nicola, try the Nicolaus Hotel or Hi Hotel Bari.
For mid range try Ditesco.
A budget option is Comeacasatua.
Finally if you just need a room very close to the airport for a quick layover, I recommend the B&B AIRPORT BARI DELUXE28. It’s a 20 minute walk to the terminal or 2 minute taxi ride. The location instructions are easy to follow and they provide a continental breakfast in the room, plus some communal breakfast services too.
You can use this link to check current availability for all hotels in Bari on Booking.com, or use the interactive map below.
Booking.comWhere else to stay in Puglia
You may prefer to stay in one of the nearby towns in Puglia, and just visit Bari for a day trip. I advise checking my post about the best towns in Puglia first, and then when you have decided where you want to stay, you can use the links below to get the best deals on Booking.com
Book hotels in Alberobello | Book hotels in Bari | Book hotels in Brindisi | Book hotels in Cisternino | Book hotels in Gallipoli | Book hotels in Lecce | Book hotels in Locorotondo | Book hotels in Martina Franca | Book hotels in Matera | Book hotels in Monopoli | Book hotels in Ostuni | Book hotels in Otranto | Book hotels in Polignano a Mare | Book hotels in Trani | See all hotels in Puglia.
Further travel advice for your trip to Puglia
For more in depth travel advice for your trip to the Puglia region of Italy, please see my main Puglia Travel Guide. This guide contains information on things like currency, weather, best time to visit Puglia, tourist seasons, safety and general travel advice for the region.
It also contains a list of every Puglia post I have published, all in one place.
Further reading: Ultimate Puglia Travel Guide.
Climate and tourist seasons in Puglia
Puglia enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. Tourist season peaks in summer, while spring and autumn offer pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds. The longest beach season lasts from May to September, with daytime temperatures ranging from 18-25°C (64-77°F) and nighttime temperatures around 15-20°C (59-68°F).
Winters are mild, ranging from 7-14°C (45-57°F), and snow is rare but possible in higher areas. Rainfall is moderate throughout the year, with autumn experiencing the heaviest precipitation. Many hotels in Puglia close during the winter months (November to February), and rates may be higher due to limited availability, so it’s best to check with individual hotels for winter hours of operation.
Getting around in Puglia
Puglia offers great opportunities for exploration by car, which is the preferred choice for many tourists. Renting a car from Discover Cars at Bari airport allows you to easily navigate the region and visit multiple destinations in a day. See my Ultimate Guide to Renting a Car in Puglia, Italy for more advice.
Further reading: Hazel’s Guide to Driving in Puglia, Italy.
Alternatively, train travel provides an affordable option, although it may not be as accessible as driving. The main railway connects major towns in Puglia, while buses offer regular services between cities and towns.
Boat trips along the picturesque coastline, visiting charming fishing villages and impressive harbor towns like Gallipoli and Otranto, offer an even more scenic experience.
Further reading: 14 Beautiful Towns in Puglia, Italy.
Currency in Italy
Currency in Italy is the Euro (€ EUR), available in both paper notes and coins. Coins range from 5 cents to 500 euros. Credit cards are widely used. Italy has ATMs called ‘Bancomat,’ similar to those in the UK or USA, providing convenient cash access. Cash is generally preferred, although some places accept card payments. Banks operate from 08:30 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday.
Reserve your Puglia Hotel early, before they sell out.
Remember to pack decent sunscreen and a packable sun hat.
There are many Puglia tours you can book (no payment required up front).
This is the best quick-dry sand-repellent beach towel.
Packing cubes are a traveller’s best friend. I recommend these ones.
Going hiking? These are the best hiking socks.
If you need a rental car, book one at Discover Cars and pick it up at the airport.
Need something to read on the beach? 10 Books and novels set in Puglia.
Road trip itineraries in Puglia.
I have published a series of done-for-you road trip itineraries for Puglia, along with guides for driving in Puglia and how to rent a car in Puglia.
My itineraries come in 7 day, 10 day and 14 day versions, but of course you can amend them to suit your own preferences. They all contain driving instructions, maps and suggestions for things to do and places to stay.
Whistlestop 2 week road trip itinerary for Puglia.
Relaxed 2 week road trip itinerary for Puglia.
Whistlestop 10 day itinerary for Puglia.
Relaxed 10 day itinerary for Puglia.
Whistlestop 7 day road trip itinerary for Puglia.
Relaxed 7 day road trip itinerary for Puglia.
All Puglia itineraries in one place.
Related reading for Bari, Puglia
Pin for later – things to do in Bari
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Travelling soon? Check my 20 Must-Have Travel Essentials post before you go.
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Tags: Bari, Europe, Italy, Puglia