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Things to do in Bari

Things to do in  Bari

Welcome to Bari

Its sprawling modern cruise-ship and ferry port may be daunting, but Bari’s old town (Bari Vecchia) captivates with historic churches and castle, narrow lanes lined with nonne (grandmothers) rolling out fresh orecchiette pasta, and vibrant atmosphere around Piazza Mercantile and along the waterfront. Top things to do in Bari include city sightseeing tours on foot or by bike, rickshaw, or Segway; street food experiences and cooking classes; and day trips to Castel del Monte, the villages of Polignano a Mare and Conversano, and the ancient ruins of Gnatia.

Top 5 attractions in Bari

Trulli of Alberobello World Heritage Site (Trulli di Alberobello)

Feel like you’ve been dropped into a gnome village with a visit to Alberobello, one of the most unique towns in Italy and home to over 1,000 roundtrulli, fairy-tale-like whitewashed cottages topped with conical roofs. The trulli of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a top destination in Puglia’s Itria Valley and a must for photographers.More

Piazza del Ferrarese

Piazza del Ferrarese is, along with the adjoining Piazza Mercantile, the main square in Bari’s historic center (Bari Vecchia. Today the largest city in Puglia, Bari has a rich history and vibrant local culture; experience both with a visit to the bustling cafès and shops on this newly renovated 17th-century square.More

Swabian Castle (Castello Svevo)

The 12th-century Swabian Castle (Castello Svevo), with its fortified ramparts and vaulted halls, is one of top sights in Bari and a refreshing break from the port city’s Romanesque churches and art collections. Climb the Hohenstaufen tower and Aragon walls for sweeping views of the city and sea.More


This unassuming seaside town on the coast of Puglia was a major maritime power in the Middle Ages, and home to one of the largest Jewish communities in southern Italy. Today a relaxed port city, Trani is dotted with vestiges of its former glory, including the romanesque cathedral, Scolanova Synagogue, and medieval fort.More

Gravina Di Puglia

Considered one of the prettiest hill towns the region, Gravina di Puglia is home to a historic duomo, aqueduct, and castle, but its most remarkable treasures are hidden deep underground. Head below the town to tour the rupestrian churches, cave dwellings, and ancient tunnels dug out of its soft tufa stone.More
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All about Bari

When to visit

Scorching in summer and buffeted by sea winds in winter, Bari is at its best in the spring, when the days are mild and long. The most important local festival, the Feast Day of San Nicola, is held each year in early May. Locals celebrate their beloved patron saint with processions on land and sea and fabulous fireworks. Bari is also an ideal spot for a final swim at the end summer; the sea here holds its warmth through October.

Getting around

Bari is Puglia’s main transportation hub, with an international airport, a train station, a bus terminal, and a ferry port. It’s also easy to explore. The historic center is small enough to walk around, and local buses cover the rest of the city and link to outlying towns. The terrain in this coastal area of Puglia is flat, so biking is also an attractive alternative, even for casual cyclists.

Traveler tips

Vegeterians and vegans will be pleased to learn that Bari is one of the few cities in Italy where the most famous local specialty contains no meat or dairy. Orecchiette com cime di rapa is made with fresh pasta tossed with sautéed turnip greens, a bit of olive oil, chili pepper, and garlic. Some versions do add anchovies or sausage for extra flavor, so check with your server before orderings … then dig in!

People Also Ask

What is Bari known for?

The port city of Bari serves as a gateway to (and the largest city of) the Puglia region. It’s known for its charming Old Town, bustling street food scene, and for hosting the bones of St. Nicholas—aka Santa Claus—in its Basilica di San Nicola.

Is there anything to see Bari?

Yes. Though it’s largely known as a gateway to villages such as Alberobello and Polignano a Mare, Bari itself has historic sites worth visiting. Check out the Old Town with historic buildings and churches such as the Basilica di San Nicola, Bari Cathedral, and 12th-century Bari Castle.

How do I spend a day in Bari, Italy?

Explore the waterfront and taste local food. Sign up for a cooking class, street food experience, or guided market tour and get to know this charming city in Puglia. Don’t miss Bari’s Old Town, including historic churches and a castle.

How many days are enough for Bari?

Many travelers will spend only a single day in Bari. This city in Puglia is a gateway to the region’s charming villages such as Polignano a Mare or Alberobello. It is possible to explore the Old Town of Bari, with its historic churches and castle, in a single day.

Is Bari a beautiful city?

Yes, many consider Bari to be one of the prettiest cities in Italy’s southern region. From its setting on the turquoise Adriatic Sea to the charming streets and elegant piazzas of its Old Town, Bari is striking in a variety of ways.

Is Bari touristy?

Yes, Bari can be touristy around the modern cruise ship and ferry port. But this city is also home to a charming Old Town where grandmothers roll out fresh orecchiette pasta in narrow lanes. Explore the waterfront to see Bari’s vibrant side or get lost in the Old Town for a quieter experience.


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