Bari is one of the best Italian cities to visit if you are exploring the gems of southern Italy. With centuries of history, plenty of foodie spots and a great center for wandering, Bari is the perfect Italian city to visit. In fact, there are heaps of the best things to do in Bari scattered all over the city. All this makes it perfect for a long weekend getaway – or the starting point for your adventure in Puglia. For most of us, Bari will be the starting point for exploring the wider region of Puglia (which is great by the way) because of its airport. We finished our visit to Bari with our road trip around Puglia and the famous city of Matera. It’s an ideal starting point (or end point) for a trip and well worth spending a few days there. So, to make your trip a little easier, I’ve shared some of the top things to do in Bari that we loved. Take a look at the best things to do in Bari. I wish you a wonderful trip! 1.) Bari Vecchia Visiting Bari Vecchia (the most historical part of the city) is easily one of the best things to do in Bari when strolling around the city. As you can see, its narrow streets, squares, and stunning cobbled streets are just picture perfect and absolutely beautiful to wander around. Now, I usually hate to say things like ‘get lost on city streets’ (I mean, no one really likes to get lost actually) but Bari Vecchia is the perfect place for that. Truth be told, even without trying, you are likely to get lost navigating small alleys. All that said, it’s part of the fun – just like in Venice (where we always get lost). Now, if you’re driving, there’s usually a parking lot along the Corniche (before you walk into the old part of town. Although if you’re struggling for space, there’s also this parking area a stone’s throw from the walls From Bari Vecchia.Once you enter, be sure to discover the Basilica of San Sabino and di Sant’Antonio that was built to protect Bari, throughout the 16th century.Oh, and don’t forget to visit one of the delicious trattorias lining the streets here.We loved the Osteria Le Arpie, it’s unforgettable Quite formal and serve up some delicious pasta from Orecchiette (which is actually from Bari.) READ MORE: Best Cities to Visit in Southern Italy 2.) San Sabino Cathedral As I mentioned above, you have to visit San Sabino Cathedral which is perched in the heart of historic Bari. . It is one of the most impressive churches in this part of Italy and is worth checking out the interior while you are visiting Bari. First erected, all the way in the 11th century, it is a stunning example of Baroque architecture (especially in the basement) that proudly overlooks Bari. Once inside, wander down to the crypts, where you will see where Madonna Odigitria is revered and is great to see. It is one of the best things to do in Bari, especially if you are interested in Italian history. Not too far (about an 8 minute walk) you have Antica gelateria Gentile, which serves up some of the most delicious gelato in Bari. It’s quite unassuming on the outside, but the flavors speak for themselves. In fact, on a gelato note, take a look at our guide to discovering the best gelato in Italy. They are our key pointers that will always help you choose the best gelato spots when exploring. 3.) Lungomare Nazario Sauro The coastal road of the “newer” part of Bari, Lungomare Nazario Sauro is a long hiking area perfect for an early morning (or evening) stroll. Great for sunrise walks (but I hate early mornings), so I always choose the sunset version instead. Yes, it faces northeast but you can still see a wonderful change of sunset Barry with its gorgeous orange hues. Oh, and if you’re looking for a city beach in Bari, head to Lido San Francesco. It is one of the most popular beaches in Bari and is ideal if you are not exploring the wider coast of Puglia. One tip to remember, don’t expect it to be quiet on weekends, this place fills up on a warm weekend. All this being said, if you’re escaping from the city, take a trip (in the car) to Parco Nationale Alta Murgia. Here, you’ll see Castel del Monte, a historic castle just outside Bari that has been around for centuries. 4.) Teatro Petruzzelli If you can, in advance, book tickets to see the orchestra at the Teatro Petruzzelli. It is one of the best things to do in Bari if you are looking to experience world class theater or classical music. All that said, if you can’t make the show, take a tour inside the Teatro Petruzzelli itself. he deserves it. If that’s not interesting, take a day trip to visit the ancient ruins of Ignazia. Dating back to the 8th century BC, learn about the history of the Messapii people and explore what life was like in this region of Italy. It’s worth it, and you can easily tick off a visit to Monopoli (a great city) too. Further Read: Best Cities To Visit In Southern Italy 5.) Castello Svevo There are many famous castles in Italy that you can visit, and Bari is no exception. Once you get here, be sure to step inside and see the artifacts and exhibits that make this place so special. Additionally, you can explore the central courtyard, guard towers, and a moat. There is an entrance fee, around 10-15 euros but don’t let that put you off, it’s one of the best things to do in Bari if you’re exploring the city. 6.) St. Nicholas Church St. Nicholas Church is an icon in Bari, with hundreds of years of history inside and out. Dating back to 1197, the church stands proudly above the city of Bari and the port itself. It may look a little mediocre on the outside, but it’s steeped in history. In fact, the Basilica of St. Nicholas houses the most important Roman artwork in all of southern Italy. It is an amazing bishop’s throne that is about 1,000 years old. Also, don’t forget to look up, the ceiling is just beautiful. Further Read: Best Cities To Visit In Southern Italy 7.) Sail The Puglian Yep Coast! You can easily sail the Puglian coast directly from Bari by booking this fantastic half-day tour that will depart directly from the city itself. Hop on board at the marina, you’ll be able to sail the wonderful waters around Bari and have the chance to swim in stunning bays in the summer. If you are feeling adventurous, the captain will help you sail the boat by yourself! It’s so much fun and one of the best things to do in Bari on a sunny day. 8.) Bari Museum Housed in a historic mansion in Bari, the museum may seem relatively intimate but it is one of the best things to do in Bari to explore the history of the area. Filled with paintings, artifacts, and more, this is a small focal point that will take you about 20-30 minutes to fully explore. Though, don’t visit and sign some great hall or an extensive collection. Like I said, this place is intimate and small. 9.) Archaeological Museum of Bari Yes, I know, another museum – but this area of Puglia is full of unmissable history. With the free entry, you’ll be able to tour the exhibits, which have all been restored. Perfect for a picnic when the afternoon sun is too hot! 10.) Try Orecchiette Pasta Remember I mentioned Orecchiette Pasta? Well, you can’t miss it in Bari. To learn more about its history (and experience the pasta), book this great walking tour of Bari. The tour will not only take you through the cobbled streets of Old Bari, but you will also try to make your own Orecchiette and have a little wine from Puglia as well. It’s so much fun. Just be sure to book your tour in advance. Places are full at peak times. Further Read: Best Cities To Visit In Southern Italy 12 Beautiful Cities In Southern Italy That You Must Visit Check out the best of Great Britain! Head over to our YouTube channel to watch travel videos!