Bari: sights, tips & favorite places

Posted on

Hello Bari! The second largest city in southern Italy and capital of Apulia awaits you with an authentic Italian flair. If you are planning a road trip through Puglia, you can hardly avoid Bari, because most flights land here.

Admittedly, we first had to warm up to Bari. Unlike other cities in Puglia, Bari is not that “dressed up” by a long shot. However, some impressive sights await you in Bari (above all the gigantic Cathedral of Saint Nicholas) and of course real, Southern Italian flair off the beaten track in Apulia.

In this blog article we present you the most important sights for your time in Bari Before. We also reveal our personal travel tips, such as recommended restaurants or great excursion destinations.

1. Bari: Useful information & travel tips in advance Exciting facts & interesting facts about Bari Bari is the vibrant capital and largest city of Puglia. Good 300. People live here. Bari is located by the sea and is an important port city.Bari is divided into old town (“Bari Vecchia”) and new town. While the old town is a sheer endless labyrinth is made up of dark, narrow alleys, the new town presents itself as quite modern. Until recently, Bari had a reputation for being quite dangerous. This has changed in the past until 15 years but changed a lot. We never felt uncomfortable in Bari. Of course, you should still follow the usual safety tips (stow away valuables safely, leave nothing in the car, etc.). Compared to other cities in Puglia, Bari is surprisingly quite untouristy. Of course you will also find the typical souvenir shops here, but on the whole the city has retained a very authentic flair. How much time should I spend in Bari plan? Bari is the largest city in Apulia, so we would like a full day for recommend the visit. In any case, you have enough time to visit the most important sights and to let the flair of the city work on you in a relaxed manner.

If you want to stay longer (i.e. overnight), that is of course also possible. From Bari you can do some excursions (e.g. to Polignano or Monopoli). However, we ourselves are of the opinion that you do not necessarily have to plan an overnight stop in Bari.

What can’t I miss in Bari? Before we introduce you to the individual sights in Bari in more detail in the next chapter, we would like to present you our small but fine bucket list for Bari . Here are a few tips for the perfect day in Bari:

Admire the gigantic Basilica San Nicola and visit the crypt below the basilica.Stroll along the pasta street (“Strada delle Orecchiette”) and maybe even buy pasta.On the Stroll along the old city wall and enjoy the view down to the harbor.Eat a delicious ice cream at Gelateria Gentile. At sunset the Visit the old port and enjoy the atmosphere by the sea. 2. Sights in Bari: Our tips Old Town of Bari Most of the sights, which we will present to you separately in a moment, are within the old town of Bari, also called “Bari Vecchia”. First of all we would like to say a few general words about this part of Bari.

Bari’s old town is on a promontory and is mostly closed to normal car traffic. What you quickly notice: “Bari Vecchia” is different from others Old towns in Puglia. Less spruced up. Even narrower, darker alleys.

Strolling through the lane labyrinth you can imagine how life must have been here a few decades ago. In some corners you actually have the feeling that little has changed.

Bari’s old town was able to retain its largely authentic flair. Souvenir shops can also be found, but not to the same extent as in other Puglia towns. (Which is of course also due to the fact that the old town of Bari is a bit more spacious.)

Basilica of San Nicola The most important sight in Bari is the Basilica of San Nicola, which – as the name suggests – is dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra. (Yes, exactly THE Saint Nicholas.)

The basilica is the largest and most important sacred building in Bari, accordingly we would definitely recommend you, not it only to admire from the outside, but also to take a look inside.

The huge interior of the church is very impressive due to its size, the mighty columns and arches and the magnificent baroque ceiling. For many, the highlight is in the basement. There is the crypt with the mortal remains of Saint Nicholas.

Entry: For free

Cathedral of San Sabino The second important church and also an important sight that you should not miss in Bari is the Cathedral of San Sabino. With its light facade made of white-grey limestone, it immediately catches the eye.

The Cathedral of San Sabino is famous for the associated museum in the basement. Archaeological excavations such as early Christian floor mosaics can be admired there. Attention: The opening hours for the museum differ from those of the cathedral.

Admission: Free, 3 euros for the church museum

Piazza Mercantile & Piazza del Ferrarese Two of the most famous squares in Bari’s old town are the Piazza Mercantile and the Piazza del Ferrarese. They are in close proximity to each other, which is why we summarize them in this chapter. Both are located to the east of the old town, near the sea.

The Piazza Mercantile has been used as a marketplace since the Middle Ages. Today, many cafes, restaurants and bars are located here. The square is a place to come together and linger. Here is also the Colonna infame (column of shame), the ancient pillory of Bari.

If you walk further south you will reach the spacious Piazza del Ferrarese. This square is lined with some pretty buildings, such as the former fish market building. The tourist information office can also be found in the Piazza del Ferrarese.

City walls of Bari There are still parts around the old town of Bari the historic city walls. You can walk along the Via Venezia in the east of the old town on the city walls.

From up here you have a nice view of the port (especially from the square near the fort Il Fortino di Sant’Antonio) and you can also see some sights from a new perspective – such as the back of the mighty Basilica San Nicola.

We personally really enjoyed this short walk. You can get on, for example, at the Piazza del Ferrarese (from here you go north) or at the Museo Archeologico di Santa Scolastica (from here you go south).

Santa Maria del Buon Consiglio A sight of a special kind are the ruins of the church of Santa Maria del Buon Consiglio, in the middle of a labyrinth of alleys, on a small square

The church was probably built in the 9th or 10. century built. Today only a few columns and remnants of the mosaic floor are reminiscent of the church at that time. All in all, a very atmospheric place that is worth stopping by for a moment.

Castello Svevo di Bari Pre At the gates to the old town towers another important sight of Bari, the medieval fortress called Castello Svevo di Bari. You can walk around the fortress along the former moat to get a feel for the size.

The mighty castle complex dates from the 13. Century. Its purpose has changed over time, including from a military base to a prison and barracks.

Today the premises are used for exhibitions. Archaeological finds, ceramics and sculptures are mainly on display. Overall, definitely something for people interested in art.

Strada delle Orecchiette Just a stone’s throw away from Castello Svevo di Bari you reach the so-called Strada delle Orecchiette, i.e. the Orecchiette Street. The official street name is “Arco Basso”.

What awaits you here? Yes, that’s right: Orecchiette, the pasta specialty of Apulia. In this narrow, dark alley, ladies are sitting and preparing in front of your A Add orecchiette and other pasta. They knead, shape and chat with their neighbors.

Locals and tourists can take the fresh orecchiette home with them. But be careful: the pasta is not completely dried, so you have to prepare it as quickly as possible. So unfortunately no souvenir to take home.

Old Port & Fish Market To the east of Bari’s Old Town you will get to the Old Port, Porto Vecchio called. During the day, Bari’s famous fish market (“N’ dèrr’a la lanze”) takes place on a mole (Molo San Nicola) jutting out into the sea.

You can watch the fishermen taking the fresh catch off the boat and preparing it for sale. There is also the possibility to eat something directly on site.

We ourselves were here in the evening at sunset, when the traders had already packed up. Then you can look forward to a really great sunset mood .

Lungomare (seafront) & City Beach South of the Old Port you get to the next attraction of Bari, the Beach promenade – called Lungomare. It takes you south to the city beach of Bari called Pane e Pomodoro.

The promenade is considered one of the longest in Italy. However, good to know: It not only runs directly along the sea, but also next to a busy road. So there are probably more pleasant places in Bari, especially on a hot summer’s day.

And: Actually, it’s nicer to go in the opposite direction (from the beach towards the old town) because you always have Bari in view. The walking time (old town to the city beach) is approximately 20 until 25 minutes (one way).

If this is too long for you, you can just walk to the small viewing platform (“Largo Luigi Giannella”). This only takes a maximum of from the old town Minutes.

Shopping Street & Palazzo Mincuzzi If you want to see the modern part of Bari, you should walk south from the old town and head for Via Sparano da Bari, so to speak the top shopping street in the city.

We personally came mainly for a very special sight: The Palazzo Mincuzzi. This magnificent Art Nouveau building was built in the 30 years as a noble department store and houses today a Benetton store.

A detour to the Teatro Petruzzelli is also highly recommended, which is only a stone’s throw away from the shopping street. It is a famous opera house which 1880 was destroyed by fire and then rebuilt.

3. Food & drink: Culinary tips for Bari Gelateria Gentile: Excellent ice cream is available in this traditional gelateria, which is located directly at the Castello. Since 1880 ice cream is already being made here. The shop is now designed very hip and the prices are correspondingly rather high. Our favorite: Pistachio!

Vettor Ristorante: If you want to treat yourself to a special dinner, this is the place for you. Italian fusion cuisine (e.g. with an Asian touch) is served in a stylish ambience. The price level is high, as is the quality.

Flowerburger: This tip goes out to all those who eat vegan/vegetarian. This fast food place has very good burgers. Everything is purely plant-based and very delicious. Perfect for a no-fuss lunch or dinner.

Flower Burger Gelateria Gentile 4. Excursion destinations around Bari Polignano a Mare Approximately 25 drive southeast from Bari you reach one of the most famous places in Puglia: Polignano a Mare. The town has developed into a magnet for visitors due to its imposing location on the steep coast.

In the heart of the old town is one of the most photographed beaches in Apulia, the Lama Monachile. You have a great view of the beach from the viewpoint “Belvedere su Lama Monachile”.

A little tip: For dinner we can Restaurant Mint Cucina Highly recommend Fresca. There is no classic Italian cuisine here, but rather modern, very creative fusion cuisine.

See our detailed article for more tips: Polignano & Monopoli

Monopoli Monopoli is only about 15 Further by car than Polignano, so it is perfect to combine these two places.

Here you can expect a really spruced up, charming little coastal town, which is simply photogenic with its whitewashed house facades. Classic sights are not so much in focus here, although the Monopoli Cathedral is admittedly quite worth seeing.

In our opinion, it’s more the special flair of Monopoli with the really nice city beach, the many cacti and pretty little streets that make the town makes it so special.

See our detailed article for more tips: Polignano & Monopoli

5. Stay in Bari Our tip: Overnight stays outside of Putignano We ourselves have pitched our tents in the small town of Putignano and traveled to a wide variety of travel destinations from there and sights in this part of Apulia explored – including Bari (approx. 45 minutes away). It was perfect for us to visit Bari “only” as a day trip and we would do it that way again at any time.

We stayed in the wonderful Dimora Clementina – a jewel of accommodation, which we can only warmly recommend. Here you get the highest standard at a really very fair price.

In terms of design and equipment many a hotel chain can learn something from it. Starting with the most comfortable bed of our Apulia trip, slippers and heating/air conditioning – you really feel at home here.

The accommodation is managed by an incredibly lovely lady who is very accommodating and serves up a great breakfast in the morning. Everything is homemade with lots of love. And if you also have tiramisu: definitely try it! It tastes delicious.

The only small downer: Our room was quite badly soundproofed due to a connecting door. But that’s whining on a high level. All in all we were really enthusiastic.

You can book the accommodation here: Dimora Clementina

Hotel tips for Bari You prefer direct stay in Bari? We have selected two great accommodations for you in different price ranges.

VIS Urban Suites&Spa This stylish, small design hotel was only built in autumn 2022 opened. It is quite central, so you can walk to all the main attractions in Bari.

You can book the hotel here: VIS Urban Suites&Spa

B&B Murex A lovingly furnished bed & breakfast with a very good price-performance ratio. It is very close to the old town of Bari.

You can book the hotel here: B&B Murex

6. Map: Sights and tips for Bari at a glance To see the Orientation on site, we have marked all the sights and our tips for Bari on this map. A little tip: Click on the rectangle at the top right to save the map in the Google Maps app on your smartphone.

Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you already been to Bari? how did you like the city? Do you have any other tips for attractions, restaurants or other places that you would like to share with us? We look forward to hearing about your experiences.