The pretty city of Bari in the Apulia region of Italy is a contrasting sanctuary of winding medieval streets, deep blue waters and a romantic palm-lined promenade. The magical Old Town at the heart of Bari is a maze of alleys, complete with historic churches and a colourful food market. The New Town in Bari still dates back to the early nineteenth century, so it is a lively mix of elegant old buildings and commercial retailers.
The idyllic region of Apulia is simply stunning, with a gorgeous coastline of sandy beaches, groves of olive trees and golden wheat fields. There are also quaint towns across Apulia, like the Venetian trading post of Monopoli and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello.
Bari has become an increasingly popular cruise destination, included on the Italian and Mediterranean itineraries of companies such as Celestyal, Costa, Fred Olsen, MSC, Ocean, Regent Seven Seas and Thomson Cruises.
The cruise terminal at the port of Bari is located northwest of the Old Town. It is only about a 15 minute walk from the port to the entrance of the Old Town.
The Bari cruise terminal has convenient amenities for visitors, including:
- Toilet facilities
- Souvenir shop
- Drink machines
There is also an Internet café just across the road from the gates of the dock, where access costs around 2 Euros an hour. Also, the Banco Popolare di Bari (the local banking facility) is only a 2 minute walk away.
Though it is easy and pleasant to walk into town, some cruise companies offer shuttle buses into Bari’s New Town. There are also taxis at the dock gates. Bari has plenty of eateries and shops to enjoy, and there are a few places to eat just outside the old walls for a quick stop on the way into the city.
How to Get Around
The best way to see the city of Bari is on foot. It’s very easy to walk around town, with much to enjoy just by wandering through its majestic streets.
For those not wanting to walk around, there are a few mini-train tours that begin right at the entrance of the dock. Trenino Tours, for example, has a 90 minute journey around the main sights of Bari, including the harbour and the Old Town.
For many, the appeal of Bari actually lies outside its walls. The village Alberobello is a popular tourist attraction about 70 kilometres from Bari. Most cruise companies will arrange an excursion to the village, however there are options for a self-guided expedition.
Travel times from the port:
- It is a 10 minute journey to Old Town.
- It is a 15 trip to Bari Stazione Centrale.
- It is a 60 minute journey to Alberobello.
- It is a 60 minute train ride to Trani
- It is a 90 minute journey to Alberobello.
- Currency - The official currency in Bari is the Euro (€). Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent denominations, as well as €2 and €1. Bank notes come in €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5 denominations. There is an ATM in the port, as well as a few in the city itself.
- Time Zone - Bari operates on Central European Time (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Universal Standard Time (UTC). Daylight Savings begins at the end of March, when the clocks are switched forward 1 hour. Daylight Savings ends in late October.
- Weather - Bari has a typical Mediterranean climate, enjoying hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The average maximum temperature in summer is between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius, and in winter, temperatures still reach between 5 and 9 degrees.
- Alberobello - Home to the fantastic Trulli architecture, with its distinctive conical design and white limestone structures, Alberobello is well worth a visit. These houses are now mainly hotels and souvenir ships, but the original charm of the buildings has been preserved. The scenic, almost fairytale-like, village is photogenic at every turn. There is also a Trulli museum that offers a glimpse into the history of the region and the traditional Trulli lifestyle.
- Old Town - Bari’s magical Old Town is still a proper working community, giving the area an authentic, friendly bustle. There are many great places to eat, markets to browse and steep cobblestone alleys to explore under balconies, arches and village clotheslines.
- Trani - The elegant fishing port of Trani is the place to go to enjoy peaceful harbour views and to wander around streets that seem to be straight out of a 1950s Hollywood film. Trani is approximately 30 kilometres outside of Bari and can be easily reached by train or taxi.