Where to stay in Bari, Italy: tips and best neighborhoods

Where to stay in Bari: best areas for tourists

Until a few years ago, even the Barese themselves, who lived in other areas of the city, were afraid to go into the historic center of Bari. Today, the whole city is relatively inexpensive and authentic places to stay. Let me tell you where to settle best if you come to Bari: in the historical center, near the train station, in a quiet area or near popular tourist routes.

Irina Sergeeva - Inwander.ru

Once poor and tourist underdeveloped Puglia was one of the cheapest regions where Italians themselves vacation, but every year more and more tourists come here. Bari airport is “loved” by low-cost airlines, planes fly here from all over Europe: from Greece and Norway. And only Russians a few years ago had to get to Bari with connections. In 2019, however, S7 and Pobeda began to fly here. The city’s tourist isolation is ending before our eyes. Prices in Bari are almost equal to the Italian average, but the rest here is still 1.5-2 times cheaper than in northern Italy.

Accommodation options and costs

Bari has a lot of inexpensive housing in all areas. In any part of the city hotels and apartments with a high rating, gesthouses or B&Bs. The cost depends on the area and the accommodation option.

Near the port or in the Old Town (Bari Vecchia) the price is higher, but this accommodation has many advantages. Here is the authenticity for which go to the south of Italy, proximity to attractions and non-boring nightlife.

On average, a double room in a hotel or apartment per night is 78 €. A bed in a hostel rated 8.5 or higher or a hostel is cheaper. I paid 35 € per night: a hostel without city tax and breakfast.

Bari neighborhoods.

Bari’s neighborhoods for overnight stays are varied, but all are comfortable accommodations. Everywhere is clean and, unlike some other cities in Italy, safe. The mayor’s office managed to clean up the city and make tourists rest easy.

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Bari Veccia (Bari Veccia, or Old Town)

Bari Vecchia.

Bari Veccia

Bari Veccia is the name of the historical center, which is a maze of narrow streets and medieval buildings. This area is the most authentic. Some houses were built in the XII century. In 90-ies they were restored. The buildings are now in excellent condition (as far as possible).

The old town is suitable to explore the traditional way of life of the inhabitants of southern Italy. There are old monuments and museums everywhere and a market with fresh seafood and cheeses. All the key attractions are here.

In Bari Vecchia there are cafes with traditional cuisine at affordable prices, pizzerias, bars and nightclubs. The area is small, everything of interest is within walking distance. There are bus stops with public transportation, which can quickly and easily get you to any area, train station or airport.

Murat (Murat, or New Town).

Murat district, hotel with a view of the sea

Murat, a hotel with a view of the sea

The Murat district stretches from the train station (Bari Centrale) to the city’s waterfront (Lungomare). It was built in the 19th century. According to the design, an orthogonal grid of streets with flat and wide avenues similar to Madrid and Barcelona.

Murat is the liveliest and trendiest district of Bari. In this part is the major university of Italy – University of Bari Aldo Moro. Nearby is the Teatro Petruzzelli, where opera singers and contemporary bands regularly perform.

Pompous houses where the local nobility once lived are everywhere. The first floors are now fashionable boutiques, hotels, hostels, and hostels. I spent the night in one of the houses on Via Abbrescia 97. It’s a quiet place not far from the coast and Bari Vecchia.

The Murat neighborhood is a great place to stay in Bari. It’s close to the train station, it has an atmosphere of luxury and non-boring nightlife, with stores and supermarkets everywhere. A whole street via Corso Camillo Benso Cavour is devoted to boutiques.

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Cruise port

The cruise port is almost in the center of Bari – the old town is no more than 1 km away and the public beach “Pane e Pomodoro” is 3 km. This is the best area to stay if you plan to travel by ferry. Any part of the city can be reached on foot or by public transport.

The residential area near the cruise port is one of the most beautiful in Bari. The architecture is varied, including ancient and modern structures. This creates a peculiar atmosphere.

Of the advantages of living is the proximity to the beaches of Bari and access to public transportation. Near the coast, fishermen sell their catch: fresh seafood or fish that is cooked on the spot.

San Nicola Stadium

In the southwestern part of Bari, not far from the center, the San Nicola Stadium is the second largest in Italy. The place for the national team training is sometimes used for city events, celebrations and festivals.

Around the stadium are modern houses with all amenities. Accommodation prices are lower than in the center. The area is suitable for those who prefer the quiet of Bari’s bustling center.

Bari Palese

The airport (Karol Wojtyla International Airport) is 8 km from the city. Hotels are concentrated in Bari Palese (Palese) – approximately 2.5 km from the airport. A bus stop in the center provides quick access to the airport and Bari.

Bari Palese is located on the Adriatic coast. It has stores, a park, pizzerias, cafes and its own little attractions.

Important points

  1. Bari itself is not very suitable for a beach holiday: there is only the city beach “Bread and Tomato” (Pane e Pomodoro). It’s sandy, but not the most luxurious beach in Puglia. If you’re going for a beach vacation, I recommend choosing a resort on the Adriatic or the Ionian coast a little further from Bari.
  2. But Bari is ideal for visiting the unique cities listed as heritage of UNESCO: Matera and Alberobello. Matera belongs to the Basilicata region, but it is best visited from Bari. From here you can also easily get to Polignano a Mare and Monopoli, which are among the most picturesque beaches in Puglia.
  3. Most of the economy lodgings are small bed and breakfasts and gesthouses, sometimes set up right in former apartments. In such mini-hotels there is no usual reception, the host comes by arrangement with you, so you need to name the time of check-in as accurately as possible.
  4. When booking accommodation on Booking.com pay attention to the full description of the hotel conditions and the letter that comes in the mail: possible “hidden surcharges. In my case there was an extra 10 € for cleaning and 10 € for a late check. They can tell me about it by e-mail, or they can do it only at registration. In total, instead of the 35 € announced on the site, I ended up with 55 €.
  5. Possible surcharges: for late check-in, for cleaning, for linens and towels. If you book an inexpensive accommodation and the description does not explicitly say “towels for free” or “towels for extra charge”, I recommend writing to the host directly.
  6. Bari does not charge a tourist tax. They are planning to, but they don’t yet. So trying to charge you a “city tax” is illegal.
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Top 5 excursions in Bari

  1. The Magic Bari (€80 per excursion)

Step by step uncover the main and secret spots of the capital of Puglia on a packed sightseeing tour

Excursion to the relics of Nicholas the Wonderworker and a journey through the ancient streets of the city

The main historical places of Bari

Visit the most interesting places and learn their history in the company of an art historian

Bari’s shrines and a walk through the city center

New to Bari?

Get a free guide with a selection of our tips and recommendations: we’ve carefully selected the best restaurants, guides, hotels, attractions and more in Bari.

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