Published on: 7 February 2017 | Last updated: 4 January 2020
The heart of Cagliari’s centro storico is the castle. So much so that the name in the Sardinian language is simply Casteddu (castle). The castle was first built by the Pisans and later taken over by the Genovese who gave way to the Aragonese.
Don’t miss the view from the top of the Torre San Pancrazio which overlooks the city. If you haven’t already seen enough towers you could climb to the top of the Torre dell’Elefante. There’s enough to see in Cagliari that you could fill a couple of days with sightseeing. If you have the time there’s:
- sardegnaturismo.it (it/en/de/fr/ru) is the tourist information site run by the region
- cagliariturismo.it. The download area (cagliariturismo.it: download area includes a useful city guide (available in 10 languages) as well as audioguides and maps
- the Cagliari tourism site has a whole section devoted to the Festa di Sant’Efisio cagliariturismo.it: 360th Feast of Sant’Efisio. This includes downloadable pdf brochures (it/en, fr/de)
Or you could head for the beach. The city’s main beach is the Poetto beach which goes on for about 6 or 7 kilometres. If you haven’t had enough cycling you could ride the flagship cycleway which runs beside the beach, or alternatively there’s a cycleway that runs through the Parco Molentargius beside the old salt lagoons.
But if you want to see something that you won’t see anywhere else then head for the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari with its collection of little bronze sculptures. The tiny bronzetti provide precious clues to the life and culture of the people who built the nuraghe.
And as well as the heritage from the nuraghic era there are some objects left by the Phoenicians including this mask.
Places to stay
Hotels and B&Bs
If you’re planning to stay in Cagliari my recommendation would be the Locanda dei Buoni e Cattivi. A really nice 5-room B&B that’s run by a charitable foundation set up to help young people who deserve a second chance (“ragazzi che meritano una seconda possibilità”). The restaurant itself is very good too. Also bookable via booking.com (booking.com: Locanda dei Buoni e Cattivi)
Find and book places to stay with Booking.com
Booking.com city page for Cagliari
The Hostel Marina housed in a former 16th-century monastery in the centre of of town. It has double and single rooms as well as 6-bed dorms.
There isn’t a campsite in Cagliari. The nearest campsites are at Pula. You could stay in Pula and travel by bus into Cagliari.
Transport and services
There are good rail connections between Cagliari and the other main towns on the island: Olbia, Golfo Aranci, Oristano, Sassari and Porto Torres. You can also get trains from Sassari to Alghero - but note that these services are operated by the regional ARST company, and not by Trenitalia.
Cagliari airport is not easy to get to by bike. If you’re travelling from the centre of Cagliari then the best option is to take the train. If you are planning on riding direct then the best bet might be to take minor roads to Assemini and then head for the airport via Elmas.
As the island’s capital Cagliari is a good place to find a bike shop and to rent a bike For more information see the Sardegna section of the page on renting a bike: italy-cycling-guide.info: Renting a bike