Bari on his own
Here we have compiled information for shore excursions in Bari on your own. The southern Italian city has about 325,000 inhabitants and is an important port and university city on the Italian Adriatic coast. The big port of the city is in particular an important ferry port with various moorings for passenger ships. Many cruise ships from Venice come here for a few hours or a whole day. The two Italian shipping companies MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises also offer Mediterranean cruises from / to Bari. In the meantime more than 600,000 land-recievers come to the capital of the Italian region Puglia every year. The stroll through the narrow streets of the picturesque old town Citta Vecchia around the Basilica San Nicola or drive into the countryside. For example, to Alberobello with his trulli or the octagonal Castel del Monte of the legendary Hohenstaufen emperor Friedrich II. Older football fans may still remember the futuristic San Nicola stadium, which had been rebuilt for the 1990 World Cup. The stadium and the local football club are probably the best times behind them. Many cruise ships stay only half a day in the city, which is a pity. Bari and the Apulia region are an exciting destination for shore excursions. Further information can be found on the Portale ufficiale del Turismo in Puglia. (As of September 2019)
The cruise port of Bari
Cruise ships make up mainly at the terminal Crociere in the new port of Bari. The Cruise Terminal is a modern square structure made of steel, glass and bricks, equipped with every comfort. There is a tourist information office, ATMs and some shops. In front of the building there is parking for buses and taxis.
By 2021, a second cruise terminal will be built on Darsena di Ponente. The exact location of both cruise terminals can be seen on the map of the port. At the terminal Crociere is a cruise ship. The new building is created directly under the word “Ponente”.
Mobile in Bari on your own
The issue of mobility is central to all crusaders who are planning their own cruise excursions in Bari. Ultimately, it is about the question of how to get from the port to the desired land destinations. For this we have compiled information here:
The old town Baris can be explored very well on foot. The distances are short. The edge of Citta Vecchia can be reached after about 500 meters from the harbor. It may be a kilometer to the Basilica of San Nicola. In the streets of the old town you can move on foot anyway.
Bimmelbahnen the company Bari City Tours (baricitytours.it) offer guided city tours. The flags start at the harbor exit and are about 90 minutes on the way. The fare is ten euros. The tourist train stops at important sights in the old town and continues on foot. The mostly young tour guides sometimes speak quite good German and make the trip and the tour funny and interesting.
On days when a cruise ship is in port, an open-topped bus passes through the city. It starts at the cruise terminal, the fare is ten euros. It is a service of a local transport company. A website with a reasonable description of the offer does not exist. We have been told that the bus in principle drives around the old town and stops twice. In the Piazza Ferrarese and the Basilica of San Nicola. One lap takes about 90 minutes
The taxis at the cruise terminal offer standard tours at fixed prices. For example, a one-hour tour of Bari costs 60 euros. Three-hour tours to destinations in the area usually cost 120 euros. Radio Taxi Bari has an English language website with fares for cruise passengers.
Bicycles and rickshaws
In the area of the port, bicycle tours and rickshaw tours of varying duration are offered. You can also rent a bike. Organizer is the company Veloservice. The tours can be booked in advance via GetYourGuide * (see below). Bike rides and rental bikes are also available at Baja Bikes *.
Book shore excursions in Bari
If you do not want to spend your holidays with local taxi drivers, you can choose from a wide range of organized land excursions. Corresponding offers can be found aboard the cruise ship or at local tour operators. By way of example, we include the land excursion program of the popular German shipping company AIDA Cruises for Bari. There is something for everyone. Other shipping companies have a more or less similar program. For the shipping companies, these cruise excursions are an important business. Accordingly intensive is advertised.
Those who like it more individually or who are deterred by the high land prices on board should take a look at the offers of local tour operators. Organized land excursions with harbor pick-up, punctual-back-to-ship-guarantee and German-speaking tour guides (with most tours) are available at Meine Landausflüge * (see above). More offers from GetYourGuide * can be found at the bottom of this page.
Highlights for shore excursions in Bari
In the city and in the surrounding area there are many interesting land destinations. A walk through the winding streets of the old town of Bari is a worthwhile land destination, which can even be reached on foot. The area is full of well-known attractions such as the famous Castel del Monte, the trulli of Alberobello or the Sassi of Matera. All World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The old town certainly attracts most of the hikers who want to spend a few hours in Bari on their own. Given the narrow and winding streets with the whitewashed houses, one almost has the feeling of moving in an Arab kasbah. However, everything looks very well-kept and – if you pay attention to pickpockets – you can move quite safely. Many fellow travelers are also traveling in the old town, which gives additional security.
Sights include the Cathedral of San Sabino, the Basilica of San Nicola and the Castello Svevo. The Basilica of San Nicola was built in 1087 for the relics of St. Nicholas, which had previously been stolen in today’s Turkish Myra. Even today, many pilgrims come to the city.
In the alley Arko Basso you can watch local women noodles. With great skill, the Orecchiette (ears), which are very popular in the region, are made here outdoors. A particularly good ice cream parlor is the Antica Gelateria Gentile at the Fortress (Piazza Federico II di Svevia no. 33).
In contrast to the old town is the modern city center, which was created according to the checkerboard pattern in the 19th century. There are many shops in Via Sparano and Via Argiro.
Alberobello and the Grotte di Castellana
Alberobello is arguably the most important destination for shore excursions around Bari. The small city with less than 11,000 inhabitants is located just 60 kilometers from the port. The reason for the visitor rush and the World Heritage status of the UNESCO are the so-called trulli, which dominate the cityscape of the small town. Trulli are small round houses with conical roofs made of limestone slabs.
Just over 15 kilometers from Alberobello, you will find the Castellana Cave, first discovered in 1938, which is also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Apulia today. A complete tour (16 euros) is 3 kilometers long and takes about 2 hours. But there is also a shortened route (12 euros), which can be mastered in just under 50 minutes.
Castel del Monte
Everyone has already seen the striking 13th-century Castel Monte Castle. It dates from the time of the famous Hohenstaufen Emperor Friedrich II and has an octagonal floor plan. At each of the eight corners there is a tower, which in turn has eight corners. You probably do not really know for what purpose the castle was built. The interior was obviously not ready. A visit to the remarkable building is worthwhile, even if the Castel del Monte is already about 60 kilometers from Bari. The castle is UNESCO World Heritage listed on the Italian 1 cent coin.
A little further, about 75 kilometers, you drive to Matera. The old town of the small town with its approximately 60,000 inhabitants consists mainly of cave settlements, which are here called Sassi and have been declared by UNESCO since 1993 as a World Heritage Site. After the trulli now also caves. The apologists were in the past apparently open to alternative forms of living. The small town is also the European Capital of Culture 2019 in Europe.
Polignano a Mare
An enchanting resort in the region is Polignano a Mare, perched on 20 meter high limestone cliffs overlooking the Adriatic Sea and about 35 kilometers south of Bari. In the alleys of the old town you can stroll wonderfully and eat an ice cream that is considered particularly good. The small town has often been one of the venues for the World Series of Red Bull Cliff Diving and is the birthplace of Domenico Modugno. The singer and politician was u.a. famous with the song Nel blu dipinto di blu, also known as Volare. On Italian shipping companies one hears the song frequently. There are also beautiful beaches around Polignano a Mare.
Beaches in Bari
In Bari there are two beaches, which are about 4 kilometers away from the port. If you turn right at the harbor exit, after a few kilometers you will reach the Lido San Francesco alla Rena. A very nice and clean beach. For an entrance fee you get beach chairs and umbrellas. There is also a beach bar, showers, toilets and lifeguards. The taxi drivers demanded in the harbor last a fixed price of 20 euros each way. If you go to the port exit to the left, you will eventually reach the noticeably less beautiful Spiaggia Pane e Pomodoro. But even here you can jump into the water and lie for one or two hours in the sun.
Outside of Bari there are also numerous beaches that have been awarded the blue flag (Bandiere Blu). This applies in particular to Polignano a Mare and the surrounding area. Information can be found on the website of the local tourist office (link above). A popular beach club in the area is the elegant Coco Beach Club in Cozze near Polignano a mare, which has already been the destination for shore excursions by AIDA Cruises.
Further cruise trips by local providers
Many local tour operators offer their activities on GetYourGuide *. The offer is huge and not designed only for land-based travelers. Here you will find u.a. Tickets without queuing for famous attractions, guided tours with local guides, culinary tours and much more. There is a selection below. If you click on one of the offers, a new window opens with the complete program for this harbor.
The links marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called affiliate / advertising links.
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