10 Great Things to Do in Bari That You Can’t Miss

10 Great Things to Do in Bari That You Can't Miss

Heading to Puglia and wondering if Bari is worth visiting? I have collected the top things to do in Bari to inspire you to visit this beautiful gem in Puglia.

Bari is the capital of Puglia located in Southern Italy, but somehow it is often left behind as tourists head straight to places like Alberobello or Polignano a Mare. It makes it one of the best underrated destinations in Italy and there are a lot of fun experiences that you don’t want to miss.

During my trip to Puglia, I decided to use Bari as a base and I got to discover it inside out. There is something charming about this city and I want to share it with you, so let’s see what are some of the best things to do in Bari.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

But before we dive in…

The most popular tours in Bari:

  • 🍝 Team a walking tour of Bari with a cooking class in a local home, and discover the secrets of the local orecchiette pasta
  • 🏰 Visit the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, Bari Cathedral, Swabian Castle and other highlights on this rickshaw tour
  • 🍲 Tantalize your tastebuds and discover the great eats of Bari with this guided street food tour
  • 🏞️ Explore Bari and visit other important and beautiful cities of Puglia on this tour
  • 🚲 Pedal through Bari on a bike tour, then finish in the home of a local signora, cooking a pasta dish typical of the Puglia region

Where to stay in Bari?

Where to stay in Bari, Puglia, Italy

It is essential to find the right accommodation for your trip, so I have prepared a list of the best hotels in Bari for every budget. Depending on your travel style, I am sure you will find something suitable, so take a look and decide where to stay in Bari.


Photo credit: B&Z LUXURY via Booking.com
Photo credit: B&Z LUXURY via Booking.com

B&Z Luxury lies in the heart of Bari, close to the central station, and offers the chance to their guests to park their cars a few meters away from the property. It has stylish and fully equipped rooms to make your stay as comfortable as possible and give a guest a luxury treatment.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this luxury hotel in Bari.

UNIQUE: Sisuites

Photo credit: Sisuites via Booking.com

If you are looking for something extravagant and stylish, Sisuites boasts delightful suites decorated with taste and character. It is strategically located a few steps away from the Bari central station and offers parking. Also, the guests love the delicious Italian breakfast.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this unique hotel in Bari.


Photo credit: B&B Murex via Booking.com

B&B Murex stands in the heart of Old Bari and you can reach the train station in approximately 15 minutes walk. It is located in a very typical house of Puglia with great charm and character. Some rooms even offer a wonderful view. 

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this mid-range hotel in Bari.

AFFORDABLE: Residence Hotel Moderno

Photo credit: Residence Hotel Moderno via Booking.com

Residence Hotel Moderno is an affordable yet great choice if you base yourself in Bari. All the rooms are decorated in a fantastic and modern style and the hotel is located just a few steps away from the Bari Centrale.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this affordable hotel in Bari.

Best things to do in Bari

Eat orecchiette Italian way

Eat orecchiette in Bari with local grannies / 10 Great Things to Do in Bari That You Can't Miss

Let me tell you… this is one of the best things to do in Bari and it was the highlight of my entire Puglia trip. If you are staying only one day in Bari, make sure you add it to your to-do list.

In Bari, there is a street where Italian nonnas make orecchiette – local pasta – with their own hands. Put on your Google Maps Strada Arco Basso 11 and you will find Nunzia – she is the one that opens her house, invites you inside her kitchen, and cooks a simple dish of orecchiette for you.

But it is more than just food. Connecting with locals, getting an insight into their daily lives, and discussing their traditions & Italian recipes. Better than any guided tour! 

The price is 10 euros per person and it includes unlimited wine as well. You can also buy her pasta and taralli to bring home with you. Great souvenir to keep the memories alive!

Find the square of lovers

square of lovers or Largo Albicocca, Bari / most beautiful places in Bari

Also known as Largo Albicocca, Square of Lovers is the heart of Old Bari. You have to visit to understand the magic of this place. Especially once the sun goes down and lights come up.

Small square, but has a lot of character. Children playing around and locals chatting on the doorsteps. The smell of pizzeria and freshly done laundry hanging on the windows. You become part of the scene as you stand there and admire the surroundings. Scene from a romantic Italian movie I would say… maybe that’s why they call it the square of lovers?

Visit it and see it for yourself. But if you ask me, this is one of experiences in Bari that you don’t want to miss.

Visit Basilica San Nicola

Basilica San Nicola, Bari / free Things to Do in Bari That You Can't Miss

Bari is known for holding the body and relics of St. Nicholas in a majestic church and it is called Basilica San Nicola. The people of Bari are deeply devoted to St. Nicholas. In fact, you will notice altars all around the city and they celebrate him every year.

Apart from that, Basilica is massive inside. Make sure you pay attention to the roof and visit the tomb downstairs. It is Bari’s signature basilica and you can visit it for free. I advise you to plan around 30 minutes for this local treasure. Even more, if you are passionate about churches and religious attractions.

Get your entrance with tour of Basilica di San Nicola here

Try local goodies in the Fish Market of Bari

Try local goodies in the Fish Market of Bari / best things to do in Bari, Italy

Fish Market of Bari is located on the promenade, so the seafood doesn’t get better than this – fresh out of the water. Come here to indulge in the chaos of the South of Italy and buy some local goodies.

You should try sea urchins – a huge Italian delicacy. You might recognize them as Ricci di mare in the market and you can eat them raw straight from the market. Some of the fishermen have lemons ready, so you can try them on the spot. Widely used with pasta as well.

South will be South. While markets usually start early, in Bari it is open from 11 am until 2 pm from Monday to Saturday.

Enjoy espresso with a view of San Sabino Church

San Sabino Church, Bari, Puglia / what to see in Bari, Italy?

Espresso is another thing that you need to try in Italy, and Stefy’s Cathedral Coffee is a place that you don’t want to miss. It is located in front of San Sabino Church – another tourist attraction in Bari. 

The front facade of the church includes a comparable design and is made of white stone. It has a few models and luxurious windows. Since you are there, you should see the inside of San Sabino Church. It is very modest and simple, but certainly gives a feeling of something sacred.

I think it’s a perfect representation of Bari. White marble walls, beautiful details, and charm that you can’t explain. You simply have to see it.

RELATED100+ Best Italy Quotes and Italy Instagram Captions + Beautiful Sharable Photos

See Piazza Mercantile

See Piazza Mercantile / main attractions in Bari, Italy

In the center of the old town, you will find Piazza Mercantile overlooked by the 16th-century clock tower. The place that once served as a market now is home to a number of lively restaurants and bars.

The square arouses the visitor’s curiosity also for the presence of a 13th-century Column of Justice, also known as the ‘’column of infamy’’, featuring a stern-looking stone lion.

The column was used to punish loan sharks, and slackers who didn’t pay their bills. The condemned had to sit on the lion with their bare backsides up in the air and their hands tied to the column. They were left there for a day or two while those they had offended, along with the townsfolk, circled around them and called them names. Sounds harsh, but it is an important part of history that you should know when visiting this square.

Don’t miss the sunset on the lungomare

Bari, Puglia, Italy / best things to do in Bari

Bari is located on the sea and maybe it is not the first choice for beach lovers, you still should visit the promenade of Bari. Add sunset to make it even more magical. Look up Lungomare Araldo di Crollalanza and head to the coastline.

You can also grab a gelato at Antica gelateria Gentile (suggested by the nonna!), pass The Castello Svevo, and enjoy your walk with spectacular views.

At the beginning of lungomare, you will have a wonderful view of old Bari, so don’t forget to snap a photo and keep it as a beautiful memory from your trip to Bari.

 Go shopping in Murat


Via Sparano da Bari is famous for shopping. I personally liked this street, because it offers a bit of everything – local brands, fast fashion, and even luxury designers.

It is one of the busiest streets of Bari – even though it is for pedestrians only. In fact, locals call it the living room of Bari, because that’s where all the action is happening for locals.

This street also connects old Bari and the train station, so you might cross it at some point if you are moving around with public transport.

Taste your way through street food

Street food in Puglia - what to eat in Puglia
Photo from Monopoli

Wondering where to eat in Bari? Let’s talk about street food in Bari. Options are endless, but you can’t leave Bari without trying panzerotti, sgagliozze, and focaccia Barese. Same with orecchiette and taralli, but I assume that you already tried them from local grannies.

Old Bari offers many famous pastry shops and friggitorie where you can try these tasty (and unfortunately unhealthy) things. Then again, you are on holiday, so who cares, right? 

I can suggest Bakery Santa Rita, Maria delle Sgagliozze, and Rosticceria Dirello. If street food is not your thing, I highly suggest La Tana del Polpo in Bari. It is hands down one of the best restaurants in Bari.

You can also discover the great eats of Bari by joining one of the food tours:

—> Street Food Tour in Bari old town
—> Bari Street Food Bike Tour
—> Bari Street Food Walking Tour

Don’t miss Museo Teatro Margherita

Don’t miss Museo Teatro Margherita in Bari / best things to do in Bari

Established in 1914, Museo Teatro Margherita is a beautiful museum that is located by the Adriatic Sea. Overlooking the port, the museum sits on stilts and is surrounded by water. 

Until the year 1979, this museum was used as a theater. Built in Art Nouveau style, it is known to showcase artworks by the renowned Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. They also offer space to host interesting photography exhibitions.

If you are looking for an actual theater in Bari, look up Teatro Petruzzelli. The design inside is spectacular!

Considering to rent a car in Puglia?

I always use Rentalcars which is an international online car booking service. They match you with the best prices and have a flexible cancellation policy – you can cancel or change most bookings for free up to 48 hours before the pick-up. I only had the best experience with them, so I can recommend this company, but there are endless opportunities online or at the airport arrivals.

Click here to find your car rental for Puglia.

Looking for travel insurance for Italy?

Take advice from someone who travels full-time and get travel insurance. Unexpected situations can happen at any time, so having travel insurance will give you a piece of mind during these situations and won’t ruin your travel experience or break your wallet. Especially during these unpredictable times.

After long research, I decided to settle with Heymondo and I highly recommend that you check them as well. Heymondo offers:

  • 24/7 worldwide assistance
  • Extended Stays
  • Cover for non-refundable expenses
  • Heymondo assistance app

Click here and get 5% off when purchasing your travel insurance. Please note that I joined the affiliate program only after I purchased it myself, so this is not paid content.

In conclusion… 


Even after leaving Bari and visiting the highlights of Puglia, I couldn’t stop thinking about Italian nonnas making orecchiette, beautiful churches, getting lost in the bright streets of the old town, and enjoying the street food scene in Bari. I hope that once you try these top things to do in Bari, you will leave with the same feeling as I did.

If you are planning to travel beyond Puglia, make sure you check the most beautiful places in Puglia.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

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Pin it for later and save the best things to do in Bari!



  1. The orecchiette and street food! Yum. I love quiet and under the radar places that really capture the essence of the community. Bari seems to be just that. Amazing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Exactly!! So I’m sure you will love Bari once you get there 😍

  2. I think learning how to cook orecchiette would be the highlight of my trip also. Getting to learn from the locals on how to make a meal + enjoying a delicious meal is always a good time.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Totally 😍😍😍

  3. I’ve actually considered going to Bari when I read an article about the amazing bread and focaccia that they bake there. The orecchiette also looks so delicious. I love your list and your great suggestions.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! You really shouldn’t miss that nonna experience! I see you like food, so Bari won’t disappoint 😍

  4. This list is great, so many great things to do in Bari. Thank you for sharing ❤️

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much ❤️

  5. Quelle orecchiette sembrano davvero buonissime!!! E comunque complimenti ancora una volta per le foto e l’articolo! mi hai fatto scoprire Bari con altri occhi!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Grazie mille, Rita! ❤️

  6. Food is always top of my list, especially in Italy! These Nona’s are so special! I love your photos of Bari!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I’m the same! So I guarantee that you would love this experience and local street food! And thank you so much ❤️

  7. What a cute village to explore, looks like you had a great time! The photos really make everything come to life 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh thank you Anushka! I’m glad you say that ❤️

  8. What a fabulous place – your photos bring the place alive on the page.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Sharyn ❤️

  9. I’ve always wanted to visit Bari and this list has convinced me to book my trip! thank you so much 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      So happy to read that! Yay, enjoy Bari ❤️

  10. I had never even heard of Bari!! Looks so beautiful and I’m always keen for street food

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Happy to see that you discovered something new! Hopefully you can visit ❤️

  11. I absolutely adore visiting beautiful churches on our travels so the Basilica San Nicola would definitely be my pick of the list.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I hope you can manage to do that soon! ❤️

  12. This is a great list for anyone wanting to visit Bari. I hadn’t heard of the town before but after this post I’m definitely adding it to my list of places to visit in Italy!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad to hear that! Thanks ❤️

  13. I had never heard of Bari until reading this. Wish I could add it on to my upcoming trip to Italy. By the way that green dress is stunning on you!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thanks, Ashley! I’m happy that you discovered something new and hopefully can visit soon. ❤️

  14. Thank you for introducing me to Bari! So beautiful and charming. And the food looks amazing. I would love to do all 10 of your recommendations!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh really? I’m so happy for it! Snd I hope you can do it all one day very soon!

  15. Bari sounds like such an underrated city! I’m visiting Italy for the first time this summer and this post made me even more excited for my first visit.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! I’m glad to hear that! And I hope you can manage to visit Bari as well.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a perfect plan!

  16. I haven’t thought about visiting Bari before reading your post but now I am intrigued. From the food to strolling through the streets, or sightseeing, I could see spending a few days in Bari.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a perfect plan! Glad to see I convinced you to visit Bari ❤️

  17. Wow, the food looks amazing! I would love to taste my way through the street food there – thanks for sharing. Also, LOVE your green dress.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! I see you have a passion for food, so Bari certainly has a lot to offer for you!

  18. Amazing photos! We weren’t able to visit Bari during our recent visit to Italy, and now I’m really regretting it. Definitely adding this to my list for our next visit.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I hope you can come back and visit Bari as well! I mean, who can get tired of visiting Italy, right? ❤️

  19. Beautifully written and fantastic photos! This has me dreaming of my next trip…

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! That’s exciting! And thank you for the feedback ❤️

  20. That is an amazing article. To be honest, I had no idea such a place exist! It may not not be the most instagrammable place in the world but I agree it has it’s own charming vibe. But then again, I have a soft spot for old towns and I just love spending days wandering around, looking for surprises at every turn. That’s another destination added to my bucket list.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Makes me so happy to read that! Seems like you discovered something new and something that you might love. Sounds like Bari is waiting for you ❤️

  21. So beautiful, would love to visit. Small little squares where you can people watch and enjoy a coffee are my favorite part of travels

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you! Sounds like Bari is waiting for you ❤️

  22. Bari looks like a beautiful historic village to explore. I love the look of the streets and the food stalls.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s actually biggest city in Puglia, but it has a charm of a village so I understand what you mean!

  23. I Love Bari so much! There is something a lot more authentic about visiting Southern Italy than Nothern! Love your guide and all of your photos!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I think I have to agree with you! It comes with chaos, but it has a certain charm as well❤️ Thank you so much!

  24. My best friend is from Bari so I have heard many great things about it. Sadly, we have travelled all through Italy, but never made it to Bari! Of course, the food caught my eye! We will make it there someday!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Fingers crossed! And you have a great reason to do that… you can combine it with meeting your best friend ❤️

  25. We had a quick stop in Bari when we were in Puglia. It looks like we will need to spend more time when we go back. We would love to wander the streets. And check out some of the great local food. Hubby will definitely look for sea urchins! I can’t wait to get back to this area.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Certainly! And I’m glad to see that this article made you say that. Hope you can visit Bari soon ❤️

  26. I visited Bari a few years ago and loved it. It’s such a charming but unassuming town, one where you can really connect with people who live there. Great recs – pinning for my return trip 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! I agree with you… it’s such a local and authentic vibe – you have to be there to understand it!

  27. Finally a guide of Bari, what i saw online it was not so satisfying but this is very complete! I look forward to go back to Bari and visit (and eat of course) more of Puglia and step to the next region Basilicata to visit Matera 🥰 .
    My favorite thing was food related of course, eating orecchiette at Nunzia’s place was a fantastic experience 👌🏼

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Flavio! You are right, food in Bari was spectacular 😍 And can’t wait to visit Matera ❤️

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