10 Best Things to Do in Cagliari

What is Cagliari Most Famous For?

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    Cagliari is sunny Sardinia’s fantastic capital with history, culture and spirit to boot. The city’s unique backdrop of towering mountains and rolling hills against the Mediterranean Sea makes it a place unlike any other in Italy. Layers and layers of rich history result in some captivating architecture throughout the city… and even the city’s cuisine exemplifies this.

    Walk along the charming curves of the city, visit historical sites or simply sit in the sun with an aperitivo. Whether on a city break or heading for the rest of Sardinia afterwards, this city knows how to treat its visitors well. Below, we’ve compiled some of the best things to do in the vibrant Sardinian capital.

    What are the best things to do in Cagliari?

    1

    Start the day at San Benedetto Market

    Fill your tummies with delicious local produce

    San Benedetto Market is the place to go if you’re looking to taste and buy the very best of locally-grown fresh produce. As one of Europe’s largest fresh markets, you’ll be easily impressed with its rows and rows of freshly baked bread, cheese and organic fruit and vegetables. Its seafood section is just as endless – though not odourless…

    Each of the 240 stalls that have set up shop here is equally as enthusiastic and welcoming as the next and they’ll often let you try their samplers. Foodies will end up spending a few hours here admiring the freshness of the food. Just don’t forget to bring an empty stomach.

    สถานที่ตั้ง: Via Francesco Cocco Ortu, 46, 09128 Cagliari CA, Italy

    เปิด: Monday–Friday from 7am to 2pm, Saturday from 7am to 3pm (closed on Sundays)

    โทร: +39 070 677 5602

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    2

    Grab a pizzetta sfoglia

    Try the local-favourite pastry

    Pizzetta sfoglia is a small puff pastry stuffed with tomatoes, oregano, capers (and often, anchovies), which is then baked to golden perfection. This small parcel of deliciousness can be found during breakfast, for an aperitif and in almost any bar you come across in Cagliari.

    If you’re spending a day walking around the city or heading to the beach – or, simply if you’re just feeling a bit peckish – this is the homegrown go-to snack. Conjuring a feeling of nostalgia and fondness for any local, it’s more than just a tasty snack – it’s a shared experience and a great way to get a snippet of local life.

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    ภาพโดย fugzu (CC BY 2.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    3

    Explore the Villanova neighbourhood

    Wander around narrow, pastel-coloured streets

    Villanova is one of the more recent of the 4 historical quarters of the city, which dates back to the 13th century. The neighbourhood makes for a gorgeous day out strolling around its narrow streets and alleyways, which is saturated in pastel shades with a small-village charm.

    This feeling lives along Via San Giovanni, which is decked out with a spectrum of blossoming flowers. Pop into the churches of St James and St Dominic for this same peaceful atmosphere. As you wander around these cobbled streets, you’ll come across carpenters and small artisanal shops. For those looking for a spot of high-end shopping, head to Via Garibaldi or Via Sulis, near Saint Remy Bastion.

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    4

    Visit the National Archaeological Museum

    Uncover Sardinia’s rich history at the island’s very best

    The National Archaeological Museum is a history lover’s paradise in Calgiari with a huge collection of objects from the Neolithic to the Roman period, including the island’s emblematic and mysterious Nuragic civilisation. Part of the Cittadella dei Musei, this is the undisputed star of the 4 museums.

    For a family day out or if you’re just interested in learning more about Sardinia’s history, this museum is your port-of-call. Highlights of the museum include a series of colossal figures known as the Giganti di Monte Prama and an excellent collection of bronzetti, which are also linked to Nuragic culture.

    สถานที่ตั้ง: Piazza Arsenale, 1, 09124 Cagliari CA, Italy

    เปิด: Tuesday–Sunday from 9am to 7.15pm (closed on Mondays)

    โทร: +39 070 655911

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    ภาพโดย Unukorno (CC BY 4.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    5

    Must-See: Cattedrale di Santa Maria

    Admire the exquisite and varied architecture

    The Cattedrale di Santa Maria is a graceful 13th-century beauty that stands on the charming Piazza Palazzo. The only thing remaining of its original Gothic structure is the belltower. A wander inside sees its sweeping walls covered in decadent Baroque-style decor, which was added in the late 17th century.

    The Pisan-Romanesque facade is a 20th-century imitation, added between 1933 and 1938. Get lost in a flurry of whirls and frescoes as you float around in the majestic atmosphere of the cathedral. Visit the crypt to see the Santuario dei Martiri – 179 martyrs lie here.

    สถานที่ตั้ง: Piazza Palazzo, 09124 Cagliari CA, Italy

    โทร: +39 070 663837

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    6

    Watch pink flamingos at the Molentargius-Saline Regional Park

    Experience some of Sardinia’s most outstanding natural beauty

    In the deep south of Sardinia, the Molentargius-Saline Regional Park exists in unrefined beauty. Made up of a wetland of shallow pools, salt was once harvested here but it now serves as the home to an array of birdlife. This protected territory contains ancient salt mines, which dates back to the Roman times, and the Molentargius Pond — the go-to hangout for the park’s birds.

    The park is found between Urpinu Hill and Poetto Beach, so you can spend the morning in the park and spend the afternoon snoozing on the beach. A great and quick way to explore the park is by bicycle, which can be easily rented throughout the city.

    สถานที่ตั้ง: Via la Palma, 09126 Cagliari CA, Italy

    เปิด: Daily from 8.15am to 8.15pm

    โทร: +39 070 379191

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    ภาพโดย Stefano Marrocu (CC BY-SA 3.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    7

    Pop over to Poetto Beach

    Hop on a bus to this nearby natural beauty

    Just a hop, skip and jump away from Cagliari, Poetto Beach is a 7-km-long stretch of glimmering sand and sea. As one of the longest beaches in Sardinia and Italy, you’ll find a host of activities stretched out across the sand: bars, restaurants, lively beach clubs, food and drink vendors, sun loungers and umbrellas available to hire. Families will enjoy the range of water sport activities available, as well as its shallow, clean water.

    In summer, come early to nab a good spot, as much of the city’s youth hurry over to bake in the sun and party on the beach. To reach the beach, either hire a car and park along the beach or take the bus from Piazza Matteotti. For a little something extra, walk to the end of the beach towards Sella del Diavolo, a small rocky cape: a little wander around will make for an enjoyable 2-hour walk with the view of the bay adding that sweet cherry on top.

    สถานที่ตั้ง: Poetto, Spiaggia del Poetto, Italy

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    ภาพโดย claire rowland (CC BY 2.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    8

    Take in the view at Saint Remy Bastion

    Relax on a sun-drenched terrace

    Saint Remy Bastion is one of Cagliari’s most monumental landmarks and forms part of the Sardinian capital’s ramparts, which date back to the Middle Ages. Walk up the massive staircase to this antique building and enjoy the breathtaking views from the Umberto I terrace. Take in the cluttered and coloured rooftops as well as the beautiful hues of the ocean and curve of the mountains.

    To get to the terrace, take the stairway on Piazza Costituzione or take one of the elevators found on either Giardino Sotto Le Mure or Piazza Yenne. If you’re visiting during summer, sit at the café and enjoy live music until the city lights up in a hearty gold.

    สถานที่ตั้ง: Piazza Costituzione, 09100 Cagliari CA, Italy

    โทร: +39 070 6771

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    9

    Enjoy the sunset from Via Santa Croce

    See where the coast meets the city

    The terrace on Via Santa Croce in Cagliari will satisfy visitors who are keen on enjoying a dramatic sunset. Roam the slender streets around the Church of Santa Croce down Via Santa Croce and onto the elegant terrace that’ll bring you to breathtaking views.

    Everyone knows a sunset view calls for a drink or 2, so grab a bottle of wine and perch on the terrace or pay a visit to Libarium Nostrum, where you can sit and drink cocktails while taking in the views and vibes. The view of Stampace’s jumbled roofs and the coast is a sight for sore eyes — get your cameras ready.

    สถานที่ตั้ง: Via Santa Croce, 09124 Cagliari CA, Italy

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    10

    Experience the local nightlife

    Head out for a drink on the cobbled streets

    As the sun sets over Cagliari and the night comes alive, follow the chatter and the locals to find the best spots in the city to drink and dance. The city’s residents take aperitivo hour very seriously and tend to flock towards Saint Remy Bastion.

    Another good area to head to is near the university in Cagliari’s historic centre. Caffe degli Spiriti near Saint Remy Bastion has live music, hammocks and pretty views of the city.

    For chill vibes and well-priced drinks, head to Cafe de Candia. For an Italian version of a dive bar, visit Al Merlo Parlante. To enjoy a range of music and crafted cocktails, hit up Muzak. For excellent live jazz music, visit B Flat Jazz Club, which is open every Thursday to Sunday. For some of the best live DJ sets, dance the night away at Ritual Caffe, found in a grotto near the university.

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    ภาพโดย Cristiano Cani (CC BY 2.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    Sophia Macpherson | นักเขียนประจำ

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