If you have headed to Bari, Italy, for your vacation, you probably already know that there are many fun things to see and do here in this beautiful part of Italy. There are so many great hikes to go on and unique things to do in this city with kids as well. You will love the ease of access from Bari Centrale and everything that the rest of Old Town has to offer as well. Despite being a tourist town, there are lots of free things to do here as well which is great if you are on a budget when you visit.
Bari is a beautiful coastal city in Italy and is home to some amazing historical landmarks and architecture. Simply touring the outside of a beautiful cathedral, like the Saint Nicholas Basilica, the Cathedral of San Sabino, or the Bari Cathedral can be very rewarding. The city is also home to a number of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. If you're looking for some free things to do in Bari, Italy, then you've come to the right place. Here are just a few of the many free things to do in Bari, Italy.
The Top Free Things to do in Bari
When you are in Italy, Bari is one of the best places to head to for a walkable city with lovely architecture and historical sites to see. From the Old Town area that dates back to the 12th century to places like the Piazza Mercantile or the Lungomare Nazario Sauro, there are many things to see that do not require that you spend any money. The Bari Airport is not far from the Old Town, so you will be immersed right in the feeling of a historic Italian city as soon as you land here.
Most of the museums and other collections of artifacts and art cost money, but there are so many things to do here that are reasonably priced. You can pick and choose what to spend your money on and then choose to walk around and just see the sights to save some money. The narrow streets will give way to sites like Bari Castle, which are just as moving and special as the interior locations that you would need a ticket to enjoy.
Bari Old Town
The Old Town section of Bari is one of the most interesting and exciting places to visit in the city. You will enjoy access to the land side of Old Town, which was rebuilt and remodeled extensively in the 19th century, and also the oldest part of the town that is connected to Bari Harbor and faces onto the sea. Both sides of the city give you access to many exciting things to see and experience, and you do not have to spend a dime to walk around this area and take in all that the city has to offer. If you like walking, there are also plenty of hikes in and around Bari that will keep you busy free of charge.
Shopping, affordable food, street performers, and lovely Romanesque architecture is around every corner in this part of the city and all free to look at. It is clear why this is the capital city of the Puglia region, and you will love that the local food and culture are so easy to access in Old Town.
This site dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries, and it is a prime example of the religious history of southern Italy. This location, as well as other Unesco world heritage site locations around Bari, are stunning in their preservation and what they can show us about the past. This is one of the most compelling buildings in the Old Town, and you will want to be sure to visit this spot even if you can't afford to pay to head inside.
Cathedrals are common in Italy, but they are not usually as old as this building. You will love that this site has remained unchanged for so many years, and the feeling of antiquity lies heavily over this spot. Even if you are not going to go inside, this building will give you a taste of what Bari was like many generations ago.
This historical spot in Bari was originally the heart of the city, and it's directly connected to Bari Old Town. Lots of important events happened here when the city was first created, and this would have been where products were sold, markets and fairs would have cropped up, and trading was done. This location shows you just how important the Adriatic Sea was to the original economy of Bari, Italy, and you can head here to simply soak up the view. The Piazza Mercantile was almost entirely rebuilt following a fire in the 1600s, but the original buildings were duplicated for the most part. The charm of the spot has not been lost, and many Bari tours head here due to the relevance of the location to Bari's history.
Basilica San Nicola
Basilica San Nicola is home to the relics of Saint Nicholas, and the building dates back to the earliest days of Bari, Italy. You might not have the cash to head inside and see the relics of San Nicola, but you can enjoy the view of the Basilica San Nicola as well as the surrounding area. Bari Old Town is an excellent place to visit for so many reasons, and the Basilica di San Nicola is one of them. This Bari Cathedral is a huge part of the fabric of the town, and you will want to check this location out and at least take a picture when you visit.
If you want to check out Roman ruins, Citta Vecchia is a great place to add to your itinerary. Bari Vecchia is also on the coastal side of the city center, and you will get great views of the sea as well as intriguing access to one of the older parts of the southern Italy coast. While you might have to pay to see most of the Roman ruins up close, you can easily get a sense of the drama and sweeping size of the Roman Empire when you check out the ruins in this part of the city. When balanced against locations like the Bari Cathedral, you can see the evolution of this town from the rise and fall of the Romans to its rebirth in the 12th century.
Lungomare Nazario Sauro
This promenade along the waterfront is so quintessentially Bari, Italy that you will want to make it a priority. The perfect location for ocean views and a charming walk following the edge of Old Town makes it easy to incorporate the Lungomare into your travel plans. Check out the Bari Ferris wheel, or duck off the path and head into the middle of the city for lunch, a drink, or dinner. Lungomare Nazario Sauro is a great place to take pictures of the Adriatic Sea, enjoy the sun, and see the sights at the edges of Bari.
While nearly all of the museums in Bari charge for entry, there are free entry days scattered throughout the month at many of the locations. Pinacoteca Corrado Giaguinto, for example, is free on some Sundays of each month. You can sometimes gain free entry to locations like the Russian Orthodox Church as well. Certain holidays and other festivals might make some of the various attractions around the city free. Make sure that you ask at your hotel about very affordable or free entry to some of the local things to do in the city during your stay.
Piazza del Ferrarese
This piazza is beautiful and it is also a really great place to head for access to local vendors that might be selling wares near the historic buildings around the piazza. Sometimes there are performers in the piazza and it is simple to access Old Town from the narrow lanes that empty into the piazza. Just like the Piazza Mercantile, this spot used to be one of the places around the city center that were used for various business processes. These piazza locations are like large walkways today, but when the city was first built, they were built for vendors to do business and for necessary municipal work. Now, they remain a picturesque and vibrant spot to enjoy a picnic in the heart of the city.
Pinacoteca Metropolitana di Bari
Now converted to an art museum, this location was originally a spot where city business was conducted. This building still retains the appearance of a government building even if it houses works of art today. You will have to pay to enter the building itself, but you can see the lovely architecture from the outside as you walk through this area. This is another building that is located in Old Bari that still shows the lovely facade that it was built with.
Pane e Pomodoro Beach
This beautiful beach is free, and it is one of the loveliest places to enjoy the coast and the sea when you are in Bari. You can head here to enjoy the sun, the ocean, and some rest and relaxation most days of the week. Day trips to the beach are common in this area because the coastline is so famous for its lovely soft sand and soft and soothing ocean waters. This is a great place in Bari worth visiting, and you can spend an entire day here warmed by local wine and food, and the gentle sun. It's also one of the top things to do with kids in Bari.
Also, a location that is not free in Bari Old Town, this is still a site that you want to at least lay eyes on. This is one of the most memorable and special castles in all of Italy and the crenellations, the view of the sea, and the courtyard are all quite lovely. This is a southern Italy landmark that will make you think of a medieval castle in a fairytale. When you come to Bari, Italy, you'll want to make sure that the castle and Old Town are on your must-do list. Built by a Norman king, this Norman castle is one of the finest examples of architecture from the 12th century that is still in existence.
Centro Storico Promenade
Another famous walking promenade in the oldest part of the city, this spot will give you views of the harbor and the many small, quaint shops that cluster near the water. You can window shop here, enjoy the colors and smells, and get some sun. This part of the Old Town has long been a shopping street, and you will see signs of the ebb and flow of the narrow streets that might have governed the city when it was first born.
When you are planning a trip to Italy, you might be worried about the cost of everything. It can be spendy to get around the country but don't worry. There are many free things to do in this lovely coastal town, like a day at the beach, ancient buildings, and the overall atmosphere without having to spend any money. This city is highly walkable, which makes it easy to stick to a budget with regard to getting around the city as well.
Make sure that you place your bags in secure storage before venturing out to see what the city has to offer. You will not want to be dragging your luggage through the narrow streets, and you'll be able to do and see so much more without being burdened by luggage. Once your bags are safe and secure, you are ready to see all that Bari has to offer to you!