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What to Do in Bari, Italy: The Capital of Puglia

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Want to know what to do in Bari, Italy? Puglia's capital city has plenty of fun things to do, and is definitely worth a stop for your Italian trip.


In this article we're going to go over how to get there and around town, safety, and what to do in Bari, Italy. Let's jump right in!

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Where is Bari Exactly?

Bari is located in the Puglia region of Italy, all the way in the south. The coastal city sits along the east side of the country, close to the heel of the boot. Check the map below to see where Bari is.

where is Bari Italy

Bari is close to the heel of the boot in Southern Italy.


How to Get to Bari, Italy

Bari is the capital of Puglia, and the easiest city to reach in the area.


Flying to Bari, Italy

Bari has an airport just outside of the city, and has flights from various destinations in Europe and all through Italy. It is also well connected by train from the other cities throughout Puglia.


Domestic cities that fly direct to Bari include Alghero, Bologna,  Brescia, Cagliari, Catania, Cuneo, Genoa, Milan, Palermo, Pisa, Rome, Trieste, Turin, Venice, and Verona.


Other cities in Europe that fly to Bari include Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Krakow, Ibiza, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Malta, Marseille, Munich, Paphos, Paris, Sofia, Stuttgart, Tirana, Valencia, and Warsaw.

Sailing to Bari, Italy

Another option for visiting Bari is actually to get there by boat! There are ferries that go from Dubrovnik to Bari during high season (April to November) once a day. Boats depart 9 pm and get in the following day at 7 am. Tickets cost between 300-330 Kuna (around 40-44 euros).


Other Ways to Travel to Bari, Italy

If you plan on traveling to another part of Italy first, you can also visit Bari by bus or train from many different cities. 



Want to book a ticket to Bari from another Italian city? Here are a few popular routes you can book:

Rome to Bari

Matera to Bari

Florence to Bari

Naples to Bari

Milan to Bari

Wizz Air

Wizz Air has cheap fights to Bari.


Entry Requirements

With the world changing every day, it can be complicated traveling to a new country. That's why we're here to share everything you'll need before traveling to Italy.


Visa Requirements

Italy is part of the European Union, so all European citizens are exempt from any restrictions. Many other citizens from countries around the world are allowed visa free for up to 90 days.


The countries that do need a visa, need to apply for a Schengen Visa. The countries that need to obtain a Schengen Visa should apply well in advance.


The 90/180 Rule

It's also important to note that because this is part of the Schengen zone, you'll need to follow the 90/180 rule. This means that you can only spend up to 90 days within a 180 day period in the Schengen Zone. These 90 days are valid for all countries in the Schengen area, which means if you spend 20 days in Spain (also part of the EU), you will then only be able to spend a total of 70 days in Italy within that 180 day period.


We use the Schengen visa calculator, which is super helpful for those who are planning on traveling in and out of the EU for a long period of time.


Covid Entry Requirements

Italy has been one of the stricter countries when it comes to Covid. However, now all restrictions have been dropped for entering the country. We do suggest bringing a mask though, as some places still require it, particularly public transportation.


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Local Adjustments

Whenever you travel there are things that you may forget about, that could be different from where you are coming from. Here are a few of the local adjustments to keep in mind when traveling to Italy.


The language in Bari is Italian. This may sound obvious, but there are actually plenty of areas of Italy that speak their own dialects, If you speak Italian however, you will be good to go. There are also plenty of people that speak English, so there's no need to stress if you don't speak Italian. However, it's super helpful and appreciated to speak at least a little of the local language.


Currency

The currency in Italy is the Euro. Currently (February 2023) the exchange rate is almost a 1:1 ratio for the dollar to euro. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere, with the exception of a few local vendors.


Outlets

Just like other countries in Europe, Italy uses types C, F, & L. Plug type C is the one which has two round pins, plug type F is the one that has two round pins and two earth clips on the side, and plug type L is the  type which has three round pins in a line. Italy operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. 

Water Potability

The water in Italy is perfectly safe to drink from the tap. It is custom for restaurants to only serve bottled water though. You can ask for tap water, but it is not very likely that they will bring you anything other than bottled water. We definitely suggest bringing a reusable water bottle for walking around during the day.

Tipping Culture

The tipping culture throughout Italy is typically 10%. Make sure to have cash, as it is not usually added to the bill beforehand.

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What to Do in Bari, Italy

Now you've made it and wondering exactly what to do in Bari, Italy. Well we have a list of fun activities, as well as awesome towns surrounding Bari to check out.


What to Do in Bari, Italy #1: Roam the Old Town

Bari has two different areas- the old town, and the new town. The old town is full of picturesque alleyways and cobblestone streets, perfect for aimlessly wandering and enjoying the architecture.


Spend some time to enjoy each corner, and don't forget your camera!

What to do in Bari, old town

The old town of Bari is super charming.

Want to have a guide bring you around the Old Town to learn a bit about the history? Here are a few different tours to choose from:


What to Do in Bari, Italy #2: Check Out the Seafood Market

Head over to the pier and you'll get a truly unique experience. The local fisherman are all lined up catching octopus that they'll prepare right in front of you. This definitely isn't for the faint of heart, but it's definitely something to check out for a local experience.


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What to Do in Bari, Italy #3: Explore the City by Bike

One of the best ways to explore the area is by bike. Our friends at Velo Service offer rentals for bikes, scooters, Segways, and rickshaws. They also offer various tours to discover the best of Bari.


We love this company for the personalized service, friendly staff, and great prices.

 

What to Do in Bari, Italy #4: Have the Ultimate Pasta Experience

You know the feeling of having a home cooked meal by your grandma? Well the Nonas (grandmas) of Italy are some of the best cooks in the world, and you can actually have them cook for you! 


Now you don't need to wonder what to do in Bari, Italy for lunch- because this spot has everything figured out for you.

orecchietti street
orecchiette street, what to do in Bari

Learn about the traditional pasta in Bari and have an amazing lunch at Nuncia's.

Head to Nuncia's in the Old Town and you'll find a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Nuncia is an old Italian woman who makes fresh orecchiette (ear shaped pasta local to Puglia), and other delicious local dishes to feed her guests. You can watch her and learn how to make orecchiette, and then have a full sit down lunch right in her home.


Could you think of a better dining experience to have in Italy? We can't! 


Want to see some other food tours in Bari? Here are a few more you can add to your list!


What to Do in Bari, Italy #5: Stroll Along Bari Lungomare

Bari may not have sandy beaches, but it does sit right on the Adriatic Sea. Bari Lungomare is a beautiful area where you can admire the turquoise waters, and the tiny colorful wooden boats floating along them.

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What to Do in Bari, Italy #6: Meat Your Heart Out

One of the best restaurants we've ever eaten at was in Bari, and it wasn't anything like the typical Italian restaurant you're thinking of.


This restaurant has all different types of meat uncooked. It may not sound appealing or healthy- but we promise your mind will be blown away. We had everything from beef tartar to raw Italian sausages, and the food was insanely flavorful. Our favorite part? They had smoked salt to put on the meat, enhancing the flavors even more!

beef tartar in Bari
meat in Bari

What to Do in Bari, Italy #7: Take a Day Trip

Wondering what to do in Bari, Italy outside the city? Well some of our favorite spots in all of Italy are just a stone's throw from Bari. Here are a few of our favorites.


Polignano del Mare

Polignano is hands down the most popular spot to visit outside of Bari. Just a 20-30 minute drive away, lies a stunning coastal town. 


Polignano al Mare is full of picturesque buildings perched high on a cliff over the deep blue waters of Puglia. The town is full of cute shops and great restaurants. One of the most unique restaurants is actually built inside of a cave! 

Polignano Cave Restaurant, what to do in Bari
cave restaurant in Polignano

In Polignano you can dine inside of a cave!

Grota Palazese is extremely exclusive, so make sure to make a reservation well in advance!

You can easily come to Polignano al Mare by hopping on the train. We suggest even spending a night to truly experience all that this stunning town has to offer.

Polignano beach, what to do in Bari
beach of Polignano, what to do in Bari
Polignano, what to do in Bari
cliffs of Polignano

Polignano is the most beautiful city located on a cliff.

Don't want to go alone? Here are a few different tours to Polignano from Bari: 


Alberobello

Alberobello is one of the most Instagrammable locations in Puglia, and definitely one for the bucket list.


The town is full of white washed stone huts with conical roofs, making it feel like you jumped into a fairytale. To get here you can easily hop of the train that goes directly from Bari to Alberobello.


Matera

Here is another stunningly unique city, and one of the most beautiful in all of Italy. Matera is known as the "town of stones" as its restaurants and shops are carved into a mountain. 


Roam through the town and explore all of the establishments built into caves, and admire the view of this gorgeous ancient city.



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Monopoli

Just a bit further up the road from Polignano is another picturesque coastal town called Monopoli (like the game!). Head here to enjoy the quiet fishing village, or to roam the quaint streets intertwining through the center.

Monopoli, what to do in Bari
Monopoli street art
Monopoli, what to do in Bari

Monopoli is a beautiful town just an hour from Bari.

Rather go on a tour than on your own? Here is a tour that you can do:


Castel del Monte

This 13th century castle and citadel is located on a high hill in Andria, an hour inland from Bari. Tickets can be purchased online by click here. Regular admission tickets are 7 euros, and reduced admission is 2 euros for 18-25 year olds from the EU. Castel del Monte is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.


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Altamura

Another picturesque village outside of Bari is Altamura. Located just 45 kilometers southwest, it makes for a great day trip. Simply walk around the quaint historic center and enjoy the beauty of this small city.



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What to Do in Bari: Local Food & Drink

Italy has one of our favorite cuisines throughout the world, and if you're looking for what to do in Bari for food, we've got you covered!


Of course you'll want to indulge in plenty of pasta and pizza, but another thing to make sure you try is the local seafood! when it comes to local pasta dishes, orecchiette is a must. This ear shaped pasta is typical to the area, and if you head to Nuncia's then you'll get to even learn how it's made.


We highly suggest taking a food tour so that you can really experience all of the great flavors of Bari. If you missed them before, here are some more food tours that you can find throughout the city.

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What to Do in Bari: Getting Around

Most of the things inside the city itself are walking distance. However, we also love exploring this city by bike! Our friends at Velo Service offer rentals for bikes, scooters, Segways, and rickshaws. Additionally, they offer various tours to discover the best of Bari.


When it comes to exploring the towns around Bari, we think renting a car is a great idea, or simply relying on the trains or buses. Bari is pretty well connected, and the main train station is just a short walk from the center of the city.


Want to book a car? Take a look below for the most affordable options:

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Where to Stay in Bari, Italy

The city of Bari isn't too big, so whether you stay in the new town or the old town, you'll be able to easily get around. We definitely loved staying in the old town though, and highly recommend it. If you'd like to check out places to stay in Bari, you can simply check the map below.

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Safety in Bari, Italy

Italy is known as being a rather safe country. However, there are a few spots in which you should be a little extra careful, and Bari is one of them.


Don't get us wrong- it's not unsafe to the point that it should dissuade you from going. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, if you rent a car don't get a fiat, as these are the cars that are stolen the most.


Be careful with your belongings, and beware of pickpockets. This is basic safety for most large cities throughout the world, so treat it just like that. (Despite Bari not having a big city vibe, it is known for this).


Other Things to Know For Visiting Bari, Italy

Now that you know what to do in Bari, how to get around, and about the safety, we have just a few more things to cover.


The Best Time to Visit Bari, Italy

The summer is a great time to explore the coastal cities of Italy, but can definitely get a bit packed. We suggest heading there in early fall or late spring to experience nice warm weather, but without the crowds.


Weather in Bari, Italy

Being in the south of the country, there is more sunshine in this part of the country. You can expect to even experience pleasantly warm temperatures throughout the fall into October, and get warmer temperature as early as March or April.


How to Pack For a Trip to Bari, Italy

Being that Bari is full of sunshine and warmth, we definitely suggest bringing a swimsuit and light clothing. We also suggest bringing comfortable shoes to explore, and a reusable water bottle to fill up, rather than buying plastic water bottles.


Packing List for Bari:


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Now you know what to do in Bari, how to get around, and more! We hope you love this small city as much as we did, and truly explore all of the beautiful towns that surround it.


Traveling through other areas of Italy? We have guides from cities all the way in the South, as well as all the way to the north of the country.


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