Top 7 Things to Do in Bari, Italy

If you saw my previous post, you will know that back in August, I won a two-night trip to an unknown destination with Wizz Air. We didn’t know where we were travelling to until we landed (you can read this post to find out more details about the whole experience), and we eventually landed in the southern Italian city of Bari, on the Adriatic coast. I still cannot believe I was one of the lucky winners, and it was incredible to explore somewhere I’d never been to before.

I thought I would put together a post to tell you about my top 7 things to do whilst in Bari. If you’re planning a trip to this beautiful city and need some inspiration on what to do, this is the post for you…


1. Explore the Old Town

Bari is known for its stunning old town, and I’d definitely recommend spending some time strolling the old cobbled streets at your own pace; embracing the traditional Italian culture along the way. The narrow streets are almost maze-like (so, easy to get lost in!) – just watch out for the Vespa’s! The local people tend to sit around outside with their neighbours, and there are lots of little souvenir stalls to have a look at, but it doesn’t feel like a tourist trap at all. Bari’s old town is authentic and wonderful to experience, and the best thing is that you can decide how long you’d like to spend there.


2. Cattedrale di San Sabino

Just a short walk through the old town will lead you to the beautiful Cattedrale di San Sabino (Bari Cathedral). Although we didn’t go inside, we did manage to catch a glimpse of a wedding about to take place (which was one of the missions on our task cards given to us by Wizz Air!) The steps that lead up to the entrance are a great place to have a seat and people-watch, when the cathedral isn’t busy, of course. We sat here for about 10/15 minutes to take a breather from the heat and drink some water, before venturing off into the old town…


3. Eat Gelato in Piazza Mercantile

Eating gelato is a must when visiting Italy, and we came across the most delicious gelato from Martinucci, in Piazza Mercantile. This square is in the old town, and it’s the perfect place to sit and eat gelato whilst taking in the atmosphere of Bari. There are a few restaurants nearby, which are mainly open in the evenings, but if you visit Piazza Mercantile, make sure you buy some delicious gelato – it’s all part of the Italian experience!


4. Castello Normanno-Svevo

We actually stumbled upon this Castle whilst simply wandering around Bari, which is definitely the best way to explore a destination you’ve never been to before. The Castle itself from the outside is spectacular, and well worth a visit just to see it. If you’re into history and architecture, you can actually go inside and learn more about it – we didn’t really have enough time to spend looking around, but to see it from the outside was amazing.


5. Take a Stroll Along the Lungomare Promenade

Bari is a coastal city in southern Italy, so make sure you take a leisurely stroll along the Lungomare Promenade for beautiful sea views, and a take in a breath of fresh air. We took a walk along the promenade in the early evening, just as the sun was setting, and this is a wonderful time to see the beauty of Bari. There is also a Ferris wheel along the seafront, which, annoyingly, we didn’t get a chance to go on, but if I was to return to Bari, I would definitely check this out, as I imagine the views would be amazing!


6. Visit the Harbour

The Bari Harbour is the perfect place to have a wander and admire the colourful fishing boats. There are lots of little cafés and souvenir shops nearby, and the atmosphere is totally relaxed which makes for the perfect lazy afternoon. We actually came across a reggae bar called El Chiringuito, which is right next to a fish market by the harbour. Naturally, it smells like fish, but we spent both evenings here with a couple of drinks sat outside by the harbour. It’s quite popular, which makes for a great atmosphere, but it’s also quite relaxing to sit by the water.


7. Polignano a Mare Beach

Depending on where you stay in Bari, you might find that Polignano a Mare is a bit of a distance to get to (we had to get a taxi from our hotel, which took around 30 minutes), but it was totally worth it! The beach in Polignano a Mare is stunning, and not like any I’d ever been to before. The beach area is quite small, but we managed to find a spot to sit, before heading into the sea for paddle. (I was going to go right in, but the water was freezing, and there are so many pebbles to walk across, it hurt to walk any further in!) You could easily spend a couple of hours here, and if you have enough time, I would definitely recommend going.

Bari is a beautiful place to visit, and it makes for the perfect destination for a short break. There’s enough to see and do to keep you busy for a few days, but I would say this would be enough time to explore the city and all it has to offer. If you would like to know more about my trip, you can read all about it here, and I also vlogged the trip, which you can watch here. I would definitely return to Bari, and with a flight time of just under 3 hours from London, it’s ideal for a short break / weekend away.


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