One day in Bari Itinerary – Top Things to do in Bari, Italy

Bari, Italy, is a mesmerizing travel destination that promises an unforgettable experience, even if you have just one day to explore. Nestled on the Adriatic Sea, it’s a city where ancient architecture meets lively street life, offering a perfect blend of history, culture, and modernity. One day in Bari can take you on a journey from the winding streets of the old town, Bari Vecchia, to the majestic Basilica of Saint Nicholas. Indulge in the rich flavors of Apulian cuisine, and don’t miss the chance to walk along the seafront promenade for breathtaking views. Every corner of Bari brims with discoveries, making it an ideal spot for travelers seeking beauty and authenticity in every moment.

One day in Bari Itinerary

Bari: A Perfect Day Itinerary

Welcome to your one day in Bari! Follow our itinerary to discover the rich history, charming streets, and delicious cuisine that Bari has to offer. From ancient landmarks to bustling markets and scenic waterfronts, there’s plenty to see and do in just 24 hours.

Indulge in the Morning Magic of Piazza Mercantile

Begin your day in this enchanting Italian city by immersing yourself in its vibrant morning culture. Head to the historic Piazza Mercantile, where centuries of tradition blend seamlessly with modern life. Here, amidst the timeless charm of the square, you’ll find yourself drawn to the inviting ambiance of bars like Mercantile Nove or Martinucci. Take a seat at a quaint table, and let the aroma of freshly brewed espresso and warm pastries envelop you. Delight in the simplicity of a traditional Italian breakfast, featuring flaky cornetti filled with sweet creams or savory fillings, accompanied by frothy cappuccinos or robust espressos.

Piazza Mercantile, Bari
Piazza Mercantile, Author: L.C. Nøttaasen, Source: Flickr

Immerse Yourself in Bari Vecchia

After savoring breakfast, immerse yourself in the historic charm of Bari Vecchia, the old town. Start with a stroll through its labyrinthine streets, where you’ll encounter picturesque squares and quaint alleys adorned with colorful laundry hanging from balconies.

Bari Vecchia
Bari Vecchia, Author: Juan Antonio Segal, Source: Flickr

Marvel at the Romanesque architecture of the Basilica di San Nicola, home to the relics of Saint Nicholas. Take a moment to appreciate the intricate details of its façade before stepping inside to soak in the serene atmosphere.

Basilica di San Nicola, Bari
Basilica di San Nicola, Author: Jay Stewart, Source: Flickr

Don’t forget to visit the impressive Cathedral of San Sabino, a magnificent example of Apulian Romanesque architecture, and admire its stunning interior adorned with ancient mosaics and intricate stone carvings.

Bari Cathedral
Bari Cathedral, Author: Jay Stewart, Source: Flickr

Discover the Swabian Castle

After exploring the historic sites of Bari Vecchia, consider venturing towards the Swabian Castle, a formidable fortress that stands as a testament to the city’s rich history. Perched majestically overlooking the sea, this medieval stronghold offers a glimpse into Bari’s past as a strategic maritime center.

Swabian Castle, Bari
Swabian Castle, Author: Jay Stewart, Source: Flickr

Take the opportunity to explore the castle’s interior, where you can delve into exhibits detailing its storied past and marvel at artifacts from bygone eras. From the castle’s ramparts, soak in panoramic views of the Adriatic coastline, where the azure waters stretch to the horizon, inviting you to contemplate the timeless beauty of this coastal region.

Swabian Castle, Bari
Swabian Castle, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr

Indulge in Apulian Culinary Delights

After exploring the historic sites, embark on a culinary journey at Mastro Ciccio, where tradition intertwines flawlessly with innovation. Nestled in the heart of the city, this esteemed eatery beckons with its enticing array of Apulian delights. Treat yourself to freshly baked focaccia, mouthwatering stuffed panzerotti, or a tantalizing selection of bruschetta adorned with local ingredients. Whether you’re in for a quick snack or a leisurely meal, Mastro Ciccio promises an unforgettable dining experience.

Mastro Ciccio, Bari
Mastro Ciccio, Bari

Explore Bari’s Art and Culture Scene

After a satisfying meal, delve into Bari’s vibrant art and culture scene. Visit the Pinacoteca Metropolitana di Bari to admire its collection of paintings spanning various artistic periods. Marvel at works by renowned Italian artists and gain insight into the region’s cultural heritage. Stroll through the Murat district, named after Joachim Murat, King of Naples, and appreciate its elegant architecture and lively atmosphere. Browse the boutiques and artisan shops lining the streets, where you can find unique souvenirs and locally crafted goods to take home as mementos of your visit.

Streets of Bari
Streets of Bari, Author: Person-with-No Name, Source: Flickr

Relax by the Adriatic Sea

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a serene interlude by the Adriatic Sea. Head towards the Lungomare Nazario Sauro, Bari’s scenic waterfront promenade, and find a peaceful spot to unwind. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, breathing in the salty sea breeze and listening to the soothing sound of waves lapping against the shore. Find a cozy café or gelateria overlooking the sea and treat yourself to a refreshing gelato or espresso while enjoying the coastal views. Whether you choose to lounge on the sandy beaches or simply sit and contemplate the beauty of the sea, this tranquil moment by the Adriatic will rejuvenate your spirit.

Lungomare Nazario Sauro, Bari
Lungomare Nazario Sauro, Author: Jay Stewart, Source: Flickr

Indulge in Authentic Bari Cuisine

Immerse yourself in the flavors of Bari at Origini – Evento in Purezza. Begin your culinary journey with a selection of antipasti, featuring creamy burrata, savory taralli, and local cured meats. Dive into the first courses with orecchiette alle cime di rapa or cavatelli con le cozze, showcasing the simplicity of regional ingredients. For the main course, indulge in seafood delights like pesce al forno or polpo alla griglia, accompanied by seasonal contorni. Conclude your meal with traditional desserts like pasticciotti and cartellate, paired with fine Puglian wines such as Primitivo or Negroamaro. Throughout the evening, embrace the vibrant atmosphere and savor the authenticity of Puglian cuisine. Buon appetito!

Origini - Evento in Purezza
Origini – Evento in Purezza

Wrap your Evening with Aperitivo and Passeggiata

Start your night with an apertivo at one of many bars around the city centre where you can enjoy cocktails and nibbles while mingling with locals and fellow travelers. Afterwards, make your way to a lively piazza or street corner where street performers entertain passersby with music and dance. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere as you join in the spontaneous celebrations. End your evening with a leisurely passeggiata (evening stroll) along Bari’s illuminated streets, savoring the magic of the city under the night sky.

Bari Vecchia
Bari Vecchia, Author: Evelyn Hill, Source: Flickr

Where to stay in Bari?

Grande Albergo delle Nazioni

Grande Albergo delle Nazioni

Lungomare Nazario Sauro 7, 70121 Bari

This luxurious 5-star hotel offers elegant rooms with modern amenities and stunning sea views. Located in the heart of Bari, it boasts a rooftop pool, spa facilities, and gourmet dining options. With its impeccable service and lavish surroundings, Grande Albergo delle Nazioni ensures a memorable stay for discerning travelers.


Hotel Boston

Hotel Boston

Via Piccinni 155, 70122 Bari

Hotel Boston offers affordable accommodation in the heart of Bari, within walking distance of major attractions such as the Basilica di San Nicola and the Swabian Castle. The hotel provides clean and cozy rooms, complimentary breakfast, and helpful staff to ensure a pleasant stay for budget-conscious travelers.


Habari We Dorm

Habari We Dorm

249 Via Alessandro Maria Calefati, 70122 Bari

Habari We Dorm offers budget-friendly lodging in the heart of the city, ideal for solo travelers and backpackers. With dormitory-style rooms and shared facilities, alongside private options for more privacy, it fosters a sociable atmosphere. Guests can mingle in communal spaces like the kitchen and join organized social events, making it a perfect base for exploring and connecting with fellow travellers.


A few facts about Bari

  • Saint Nicholas Basilica: Bari is famous for housing the relics of Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus. The Basilica di San Nicola, built in the 11th century, is dedicated to this revered saint and serves as an important pilgrimage site.
  • Gateway to Southern Italy: As the capital of the Apulia (Puglia) region, Bari serves as a major transportation hub and gateway to Southern Italy. Its port is one of the largest in the Adriatic Sea and connects Italy to destinations such as Greece, Croatia, and Albania.
  • Old Town Charm: Bari’s historic center, known as Bari Vecchia, is a maze of narrow streets, ancient churches, and traditional homes adorned with colorful laundry. It offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and authentic Italian culture.
Teatro Petruzzelli, Bari
Teatro Petruzzelli, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr
  • Culinary Delights: Apulian cuisine is celebrated for its fresh and flavorful ingredients, and Bari is no exception. Visitors can indulge in local specialties such as orecchiette pasta, burrata cheese, seafood dishes, and delicious pastries like pasticciotto.
  • Modern Marvels: While Bari boasts a rich historical heritage, it also features modern amenities and attractions. The city center is lined with elegant shops, bustling markets, and contemporary art galleries, offering a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication.
  • Festivals and Events: Throughout the year, Bari hosts a variety of festivals and events that showcase its cultural diversity and vibrant spirit. These include the Festa di San Nicola in May, celebrating the city’s patron saint, and the Fiera del Levante, one of Italy’s largest trade fairs, held annually in September.
  • University City: Bari is home to one of Italy’s oldest universities, the University of Bari, founded in 1924. With its prestigious academic programs and vibrant student population, the city has a lively and dynamic atmosphere, especially in the areas surrounding the university campuses.

What’s the best time to visit Bari?

The best time to visit Bari is during the spring and fall months, from April to June and September to October. During these times, the weather is mild and pleasant, making it ideal for exploring the city’s attractions and enjoying outdoor activities. Temperatures typically range from comfortable highs in the 70s°F (20s°C) to lows in the 50s°F (10s°C), with fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season.

Bari, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr

Springtime in Bari brings blooming flowers, lush greenery, and a festive atmosphere, with various cultural events and festivals taking place throughout the city. It’s a great time to wander through Bari Vecchia’s charming streets, dine al fresco at local trattorias, and soak in the vibrant energy of the city.

Similarly, autumn offers mild temperatures and fewer tourists, allowing visitors to explore Bari’s sights at a leisurely pace. The changing colors of the foliage add to the city’s beauty, creating picturesque landscapes perfect for sightseeing and photography.

While summers in Bari can be hot and crowded, with temperatures soaring into the 80s°F (30s°C) and higher, it’s still a popular time to visit for those who enjoy beach holidays and outdoor activities. However, be prepared for larger crowds and higher accommodation prices during this time.

Day Trips from Bari

  • Alberobello: Just an hour’s drive from Bari lies the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello, famous for its picturesque trulli houses. Explore the winding streets of this unique town, marveling at the whitewashed buildings with conical roofs. Don’t miss the Trullo Sovrano, the only two-story trullo open to the public, and immerse yourself in the fascinating history and architecture of these traditional dwellings.
  • Polignano a Mare: Situated along the stunning Adriatic coastline, Polignano a Mare is known for its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and charming old town. Spend a day lounging on the beaches, exploring the sea caves by boat, and wandering through the narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses. Be sure to visit the famous beach of Lama Monachile, known as Cala Porto, and enjoy panoramic views from the scenic viewpoints overlooking the sea.
  • Matera: Discover the ancient city of Matera, located about an hour and a half from Bari. This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its Sassi di Matera, cave dwellings carved into the rocky cliffs. Explore the labyrinthine streets, visit historic churches, and learn about the city’s fascinating history dating back thousands of years. Matera’s unique landscape has served as a backdrop for numerous films, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and film buffs alike.
  • Castel del Monte: Venture inland to explore the mysterious Castel del Monte, a medieval fortress perched atop a hill in the Apulian countryside. Built in the 13th century by Emperor Frederick II, this UNESCO World Heritage site boasts a unique octagonal design and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Explore the castle’s interior, admire the intricate architecture, and uncover the secrets of this enigmatic landmark, which has inspired countless legends and theories throughout the centuries.

Extra tips for visiting Bari, Italy

  • Try the Street Food: Bari is renowned for its delicious street food, so don’t miss the opportunity to sample local specialties like panzerotti (fried pockets of dough filled with cheese and tomato), focaccia barese (a type of flatbread), and sgagliozze (fried polenta squares). Head to the old town or the city’s bustling markets to find these tasty treats.
  • Respect Dress Codes: When visiting religious sites such as churches or basilicas, remember to dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees. This applies particularly to the Basilica di San Nicola, where Saint Nicholas’s relics are housed. Carrying a scarf or shawl to cover up can be handy.
  • Explore Beyond Bari: While Bari itself has plenty to offer, consider exploring the surrounding area to discover charming coastal towns, beautiful beaches, and picturesque countryside. Places like Polignano a Mare, Monopoli, and Alberobello with its unique trulli houses are all within easy reach and make for wonderful day trips.
  • Learn Basic Italian Phrases: While many people in Bari, especially those in the tourism industry, speak English, learning a few basic Italian phrases can go a long way in enhancing your experience and showing respect for the local culture. Simple greetings like “buongiorno” (good morning) and “grazie” (thank you) are always appreciated.
  • Stay Safe: Bari is generally a safe city, but like any urban area, it’s important to remain vigilant, especially in crowded tourist areas and at night. Keep an eye on your belongings, avoid poorly lit or deserted areas, and be cautious of pickpockets in busy areas.
  • Experience the Nightlife: Bari comes alive at night, with plenty of bars, cafes, and restaurants offering a vibrant nightlife scene. Join the locals for an evening passeggiata (stroll) along the Lungomare Nazario Sauro or head to one of the city’s trendy districts like Piazza Ferrarese or Piazza del Ferrarese to enjoy live music, cocktails, and socializing.
  • Try Local Wines: Apulia is known for its excellent wines, so be sure to sample some of the region’s finest while in Bari. Look out for Primitivo di Manduria, Negroamaro, and Castel del Monte wines, which pair perfectly with the local cuisine.

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

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