Cagliari is an Italian metropolitan city and the capital of an autonomous region of the island of Sardinia. The city has about 155,000 inhabitants (2015), while its metropolitan area (including 16 other nearby municipalities) has more than 431,000 inhabitants (2017).
- 1 Infopoint, Via Roma n. 145 (Palazzo Comunale), ☏ , email@example.com. Apr-Oct: 09:00-20:00; Nov-Mar: M-Sa 10:00-13:00 14:00-17:00, Su 10:00-13:00.
You can download audio and PDF guides from the Cagliari tourist website organized by 6 walking tours.
- 1 Aeroporto di Cagliari-Elmas (CAG IATA) (next to Elmas, approximately 6 km West from central Cagliari). The busiest airport in Sardinia. Cagliari is served directly by a number of domestic and international flights, while well-connected Milan-Linate and Rome-Fiumicino airports can also serve as intermediate stops to this airport.
- By train
- 2 Stazione di Elmas Aeroporto (next to the airport). Trenitalia railways connect the airport to the city (10-min ride, every 20-min or so) and the rest of the island.
- By taxi
A number of taxi companies serve the airport.
- By car
The airport is on the SS130 road.
- 3 Stazione Marittima di Cagliari. Connections by Tirrenia ferries with Civitavecchia via Arbatax (the ferry leaves Civitavecchia at 19:00 and arrives at 08:00), Naples and Palermo.
- 4 Stazione di Cagliari (Cagliari railway station). Connections to Elmas airport, Sassari (and the ferry terminal at Porto Torres), Olbia (and the ferry terminal at Golfo Aranci), Oristano, Iglesias and Carbonia Serbariu.
While ARST is the main regional bus service provider to the city, a few other companies are also operate in the region. Notably, Turmo Travel runs buses to Olbia (and the airport) and Santa Teresa Gallura.
- 5 Stazione ARST Autolinee (regional bus terminal), Piazza Matteotti, toll-free: .
- Deposito bagagli (Left luggage) (at the bus terminal, next to McDonalds), ☏ . 07:00-20:00. There is no left luggage service at the train station, but the bus station is next to it. It's a short walk from the ferry terminal. Small item €1/hr, medium €1.5/hr, large €2/hr, 15% discount for 3 items.
CTM. Cagliari public transportation provides efficient and reliable (to Italian standards) services to get around the city and suburbs. There are about 30 bus and 3 trolleybus (filobus or trollino in Italian) lines in the city. As of Jun 2023, you can also download the CTM busfinder app, which allows you to buy tickets using your credit or debit card. The tickets must be validated onboard by scanning a QR code near the doors of the bus; follow instructions in the app. Single, valid 90 min €1.30 (sold on board €1.80); Single bus+metro, valid 2 hr €2 (sold on board €2.50); Day pass €3.30. Tickets must be validated on 1st boarding.
By light rail
Metrocagliari. A light rail system run by ARST. It has 2 lines that serve the town of Cagliari and part of its metropolitan area. Both lines run quite off the centre of the city. Single, valid 90 min €1.30.
It is really difficult to get parking and drive in rush hour even if the road network has been improved.
The best thing is to walk through the old city and discover it. Almost everything you have to see in a quick visit of Cagliari can be reached on foot. Plus there are some spectacular views, for example of the Gulf of Cagliari seen from the old city that are best seen from points that are not reachable by car.
The core of the old town is the Castello district which lies on top of a hill facing the Gulf of Cagliari.
- 1 Cattedrale di Santa Maria di Castello (Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Cecilia), Piazza Palazzo 4/a. Cagliari Cathedral is a beautiful 13th-century church with Neo-Gothic façade. Do not miss the Shrine of the Martyrs, excavated out of the rock. Free.
- 2 Palazzo di Città (Ex Palazzo di Città), Piazza Palazzo, 6. Sep-May: Tu W Th Su 10:00-18:00, F Sa 10:00-20:00; Jun-Aug: 10:00-20:00. €6.
- 3 Palazzo Regio (Viceregio). 9:00-19:00. The building was the residence of the royal representatives during the 14th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries it passed through some reconstruction and restoration stages. €3.
- 4 Bastione di Saint Remy (Piazza Costituzione). This impressive fortification was built in the late 19th century. Climb the huge stairways to be rewarded by a stunning view of the city, the sea and the mountains. Or use the elevator. free.
- 5 Bastione di Santa Croce.
- 6 Porta Cristina. The gate built in 1825 in neoclassical style.
- 7 Chiostro di San Domenico, Via XXIV Maggio. The cloister dates back to the 15th century. It was restored after World War II.
- 8 Chiesa di San Michele, Via Ospedale, 2. M-Sa 9-12, 19:00-21:00, Su 8:00-11:00, 19:00-20:30. This church was consecrated 1538, but its Spanish Rococo decoration dates back to the 18th century decoration and considered the best example of this style on the island.
- Pisan towers
The towers were built in the 13th century during the Pisan domination of the city.
- 9 Torre di San Pancrazio (Saint Pancras Tower). temporary closed. Built in 1305 by the Sardinian architect Giovanni Capula, who designed also the Torre dell'Elefante. Good view over Cagliari from the top. €3.
- 10 Torre dell'Elefante (Tower of the Elephant). 10:00-19:00. The tower was built in 1307. €3.
- 11 Torre dello Sperone (degli Alberti or di San Michele).
- 12 Anfiteatro Romano (Roman Amphiteatre), Viale Sant'Ignazio 19. 10:00-14:00, 15:00-19:00. €3.
- 13 Basilica di San Saturnino (San Saturno), Piazza San Cosimo. F 15:00-19:00, Sa 09:00-19:00, 1st Su of the month 09:00-19:00. This paleo-Christian complex dates back as early as to the 5th century. The church was built in Provençal-Romanesque style and consecrated in the 11th century, which makes it the oldest in the city.
- 14 Santuario di Nostra Signora di Bonaria (Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria). 06:30-19:30. An important religious complex. Some parts of it dating back to 1335, while the basilica was completed only in the beginning of the 20th century. Like many historical monuments in Cagliari it was restored after the WWII.
- Palazzata della via Roma. A collection of eclectic façades along the Via Roma including the Palazzo Civico.
- 15 Palazzo Civico (Palazzo Bacaredda). The edifice was built in 1907, then it was reconstructed from the World War II ruins between 1946-1953.
- 16 Palazzo Valdes, Viale Regina Elena. Its older section, facing the Bastion of Saint Remy with a granite plinth and terracotta decorations, was designed by Nicolò Mura. The more recent section along the Via Sulis was designed by Riccardo Simonetti, and has an interesting round wall facing the piazza Marghinotti.
- 1 Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari, Piazza Indipendenza 7, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 09:00-18:00. National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari. €5.
- 2 Galleria Comunale d'Arte, viale San Vincenzo, 2 (Giardini Pubblici). Sep-May: Tu-Su 10:00-18:00; Jun-Aug: Tu-Su 10:00-20:00. The art gallery of Cagliari hosts paintings and sculptures from the period between the 19th and 20th centuries. It also includes a so-called Stanze del Collezionista (Collector's Rooms), the Collezione d'Arte Francesco Paolo Ingrao (Collection of Art Francesco Paolo Ingrao) which contains works of art in the period between mid-20th century towards the 1980s. €6; combined ticket €8 (Museo d'arte simaese + Palazzo di Città + Galleria Comunale d'arte).
- 3 Museo d'Arte Siamese "Stefano Cardu", Piazza Arsenale, 1. See the collection of 15th-19th century Oriental art. Entry €3.
- 4 Pinacoteca Nazionale. Houses a collection of 16th-to 20th-century paintings by Sardinian artists, 15th- to 18th-century paintings of the Genoese, Neapolitan and Roman schools, a collection of Sardinian and Catalan altarpieces.
- 5 Museo delle cere anatomiche Clemente Susini (The Clemente Susini Collection of wax models of the University of Cagliari), Piazza Arsenale, 1. Tu-Su 09:00-13:00, 16:00-19:00. A collection of the wax models of the parts of the (not only) human body.
- 6 Centro Comunale d’Arte e Cultura Il Ghetto (Comunial Centre for Art and Culture of the Ghetto), Via Santa Croce 18, ☏ . Tu-Su 10:00-21:00. Displays about archichecture and city planning. Nothing about the ghetto. Free.
- 7 Giardini pubblici, largo Dessì. The 1st public park of the city dates back to the 1st half of the 19th century. There are about 60 centenarian trees there.
- 8 Orto Botanico di Cagliari (HBK -- Hortus Botanicus Karalitanus). Apr-Oct: Tu-Su 09:00-18:00. €4.
- 9 Orto dei Cappuccini (Garden of the Capuchins), Vico I Merello. 08:00-20:00. The garden was founded In 1595 by the Capuchin friars on the hill to the west of the ruins of the Roman amphitheater.
The best beach is the 8km-long Poetto Beach. You can get here by buses PF, PQ, 3P, and 9P. The beach is divided to the free parts and the beach clubs, the latter charging you with an entry fee but rent umbrellas, deck chairs, etc. Prices are around €3/entry, about €12 for an umbrella, a deck chair and a sun bed. The club beaches clean the sand each night and provide you with showers and toilets.
- Football: Cagliari Calcio were promoted in 2023 so they now play in Serie A, Italy's top tier. Their home ground is Unipol Domus or Sardegna Arena (capacity 16,400) 2 km south of town centre.
- Flamingoes: Cagliari is the only city in the world visited by migratory flamingoes. The wild birds can be seen in the salty and shallow Saline di Quartu Sant’Elena every summer. A nature reserve has been created alongside these artificial salt pans with paths that allow viewing of the flamingoes.
Most of the shops are concentrated in a couple of areas: Via Roma and Largo Carlo Felice, the pedestrian roads Via Manno and Via Garibaldi, and the part of town around Via Alghero, Via Paoli and Via Dante. Lots of beautiful shops are concentrated in these areas which could remind you of Copenhagen's Strøget.
There are many of restaurants in the old town area, mostly along via Sardegna and via Napoli. A dinner for two with a little house wine will set you back €40-70.
Around the Marina
- 1 Ci Pensa Cannas, Via Sardegna 37, ☏ . This small family trattoria near the port offer a €15 set lunch (spaghetti with seashells, fried seafood, a glass of wine and a cup of coffee). Service unassuming, but the food is good. €15-20 (Sept 2017).
- 2 La Bottega del Panino, Viale la Plaia, 38.
- 3 Makito Casteddu, Via Giovanni Maria Dettori, 26.
- 4 La Mallicca, Via Goffredo Mameli, 34.
- 5 Bria La Focacceria, Via Napoli, 7. A pizza restaurant
- 6 Osteria Cagliaritana, Via Sardegna, 40.
- 7 Ci Pensa Cannas, Via Sardegna, 37.
- 8 Namastè Indian Tandoori Food, 63, Via Barcellona.
- 9 Napul'é, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 95/a, ☏ . Pizzeria. Good neapolitan pizza. Around €20 for pizza and glass of wine.
Around Torre dell'Elefante
- 10 Metzcal Di Ambu Veronica Luisa, P.za Yenne, 15.
- 11 La Kasbah di Bebbo, Via Santa Margherita, 10.
- 12 Ristorante Maua Poke, Via Santa Margherita, 19/A.
- 13 Cardia Alessandro, Via Eleonora D'Arborea, 43. A pizza restaurant
- 14 Cucina di Mariam, Via Oristano, 25. A Deli
- 15 Tokyo, Via Iglesias, 13. A Ramen restaurant
- 16 Pizzeria Il Pepe Rosa, Via Della Pineta, 108, ☏ . Pizzeria-café Italian cuisine. A bit noisy place, very popular with locals due to the outstanding cuisine. €30-40 (Sept 2017).
- 17 L'Oca Bianca, Via Napoli, 38 (Marina District), ☏ . A good pizza place tucked away in the side streets. Make a reservation, though.
There are a few places to enjoy lunch salads at the Piazza Yenne and wonderful Gelaterias if you don't want to eat too heavily during the day. These places double up as decent eateries by night.
- Convento San Giuseppe, Via Paracelso snc - Prolungamento Via Parigi, ☏ . It's said it is one of the best restaurants in the city, located in a building dating back to 1270. There are more than 250 dishes to choose from. €40-80.
The whole area around Cagliari gives host to a number of accommodation options including the Forte Village[dead link], and Le Meridien Chia Laguna on the white sandy beaches of Chia.
- Hotel Tanca Irde, Strada per Poggio dei Pini Capoterra. Hotel Tanca Irde is on a small hill between the mountains and the sea, within the area of Capoterra, a few kilometers from Cagliari and its airport. The hotel, which is open all year round, is surrounded by ample grounds containing a swimming pool and private car park. From €58 double.
- 1 Bed and Breakfast del Fiore, Via Sebastiano Satta 29, ☏ , email@example.com. A few nice rooms with private bathrooms. One with a balcony. €70.
Wear comfortable shoes. The old town of Cagliari is somewhat hilly, so you will be walking uphill or downhill most of the time.
There are clean public toilets in the building on the Pontile Sanita ferry wharf, near the bus terminal.
Cagliari is a very safe city both day and night. Visitors will be very unlikely to have any issues providing they follow the same precautions they would at home. The only suspicious place is around the main bus/train station, where homeless people linger.
As of June 2023, Cagliari has 5G reception from all major Italian telecom carriers. Wifi is ubiquitous in all public spaces, cafes, hotels, and transit.
- Barumini for the Su Nuraxi the only UNESCO-listed site in Sardinia
- Alghero, also known as Barcelonetta (Little Barcelona), is a pretty city with a strong Catalan influence, and is also known for its beautiful beaches and very good food at reasonable prices (4-hr bus trip from Cagliari).