Published on:  | Last updated: 4 January 2020

Cagliari skyline from the Torre di San Pancrazio

Cagliari skyline from the Torre di San Pancrazio

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:

    Cagliari: Torre dell'Elefante

    Cagliari: Torre dell’Elefante (the elephant is at the bottom left of the picture)

    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.

    Flamingos in the Stagno di Molentargius park. The city of Cagliari is in the background.

    Flamingos in the Stagno di Molentargius park. The city of Cagliari is in the background. Picture by Stefano Marrocu from Wikimedia Commons

    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.

    Bronze model of a boat from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Cagliari

    Bronze model of a boat from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Cagliari

    And as well as the heritage from the nuraghic era there are some objects left by the Phoenicians including this mask.

    Phoenician mask from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Cagliari

    Phoenician mask from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Cagliari

    More information

    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 ( Locanda dei Buoni e Cattivi)

    Find and book places to stay with 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.

      Campsites map:  FT-Sardegna-West-Coast-campsites-map
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    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: Renting a bike


    Tourist information websites

    Places of interest


    • Sardinia. Moby Lines offer services to Civitavecchia (near Rome), and Napoli
    • Tirrenia offer services to Civitavecchia, Napoli and Palermo. There’s also a Tirrenia ferry to Arbatax from where you can get a ferry to Genova.
    Cagliari: cycleway by the Poetto beach

    Cagliari: cycleway by the Poetto beach

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