What to see in Cagliari in 3 days

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Cagliari, capital of the beautiful Sardinia, a city rich in history and culture, but also beautiful beaches and nightlife. The perfect mix for those who want to alternate days of visits and discoveries with a few days of pure relaxation. Between its historic center, the museums, the remains of the ancient castle and its walls, there are so many things to do and see. If you also add the wonderful surroundings, such as the Poetto Beach or the Sella del Diavolo, I assure you that you will not be bored even for a moment. So, if you are ready to go, let's discover the city and together what to see in Cagliari in 3 days.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Cagliari cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Citadel of Museums, San Pancrazio Tower

Let's start the day with a coffee and a brioche at the Luchia bar. First stop the Citadel of Museums, the largest museum complex in Sardinia, located in the Castello district. Here you can find some of the artistic treasures of the city and among the various buildings that compose it we recommend you visit: the archaeological Museum, which has as its mission to tell the archaeological heritage of Sardinia, to people of all ages; there National Art Gallery, which has in its collections mainly paintings from the fourteenth to the twentieth century; and the Ethnographic Museum, which preserves Sardinian artifacts and jewels from the Cocco collection. In addition to these three museums, the other two permanent ones are the Clemente Susini Museum of Anatomical Waxes and the Stefano Cardu Siamese Museum. In addition, every year the Citadel hosts temporary exhibitions, events and conferences. Each museum and exhibition has its own hours, but generally they are all open from 9:00 to 20:00. Each museum also has its own entrance ticket, but you can save money by purchasing cumulative tickets: for example, the Archaeological Museum + National Art Gallery ticket costs € 9,00.

Leaving the Citadel, you will pass between Porta Cristina e Porta San Pancrazio, ancient doors of the old castle walls, near which the Tower of San Pancrazio. This tower, 36 meters high, has a "twin" located in the center, the Elephant Tower. In white Bonaria limestone, it was built by the Pisans on the north side of the castle, around 1300, to counter the possible attacks of the Aragonese. Afterwards, get off and continue along via Alberto Lamarmora, to arrive in the center.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Bastion of Santa Croce, Tower of the Elephant, Bastion of Saint Remy

Stop for lunch at the restaurant L 'Imperfect, where you can taste typical Sardinian dishes prepared with excellent raw materials from the area (price € 20,00 / 25,00 per person).

Next stop on Bastion of Santa Croce just 5 minutes walk from the restaurant. Also called Bastion of "Santu Juanni", from here you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the city. This bastion was part of the ancient castle walls.

A few steps away is the Tower of the Elephant, the twin of the Tower of San Pancrazio. This too was built in the early 1300s to counter the attacks of the Aragonese and is in white Bonaria limestone. Compared to the other tower, this was located on the southwestern side of the castle walls.

Continuing towards the sea you will arrive in one of the most beautiful attractions of the city, as well as its symbol: the Bastion Saint Remy. Built at the beginning of the twentieth century, in honor of the first Piedmontese Viceroy, the Baron of Saint Remy, above the ancient ramparts of the Mint and the Sperone, dated around 1500. Today this bastion is the crossing point between the Villanova district and the fortified one of Castello and is also used as an exhibition space.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Bastion of Santa Croce

For dinner, stop at Bombas Hamburgeria Sarda, a place that will serve you excellent and creative burgers made with Sardinian meats and raw materials. The sandwiches all have Sardinian names or names that refer to areas of the city, such as Panino Villanova or Panino Saint Remy. As for prices, the sandwiches are around € 8,00 / 10,00, the chips € 3,50. With € 15,00 you will be very satisfied, excellent quality / price ratio.
For the evening we advise you to come back to the Bastion of Santa Croce, where a large part of the city's nightlife is concentrated. Enjoy a good cocktail in one of the many clubs with a breathtaking view of Cagliari.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,2 km / 32 min
  • Places visited: Citadel of Museums, Tower of San Pancrazio and of the Elephant, Bastion of Santa Croce, Bastion of Saint Remy
  • Cagliari City Tour: 4 Hours Shore Excursion Private City Tour Cagliari Cheese & Wine Experience around Cagliari
  • Breakfast at Bar Luchia (Get directions), Lunch at L'Imperfetto Restaurant (Get directions), Dinner at Bombas Hamburgeria Sarda (Get directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, San Michele Castle

We start the second day having breakfast at the Sechi Alessio & Simone Pastry Bar, in one of the streets surrounding the park of San Michele.

Cagliari is located on seven different hills and on one of these stands the San Michele Castle. The period of origin is not well known, according to some studies the castle was built between the end of the Byzantine age and the beginning of the Giudicale age, around the tenth century, others instead argue that the origins are to be placed in the Giudicale age or Pisan, around the th century. Today the castle is used as a museum, where there are always numerous temporary exhibitions. All around there is a huge park, the Park of San Michele, so please wear comfortable shoes, because the road is all uphill. But once you get to the top you can enjoy a magnificent 360 ° view over the city of Cagliari and on clear days, on the horizon, you can see more distant points such as the Sella del Diavolo and the Poetto. Admission is free, but to view the various exhibitions you must pay the appropriate ticket. The opening hours are as follows: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00

Once your tour is over, we advise you to return to the historic center to find a place to have lunch and regain your energy. To return to the center you can use public bus line 20.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, historic center, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Sanctuary of Our Lady Bonaria

For lunch, go to Pani e Casu Cagliari, where you can taste typical traditional dishes such as suckling pig and seadas, on a terrace that overlooks the gulf (prices on average between € 15,00 / 20,00 per person).
Next stop, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and Santa Cecilia. The construction of the church dates back to the thirteenth century and is dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption and to Santa Cecilia Martire, while in 1258 it was recognized as a Cathedral. Initially in Pisan style, it was modified several times over the years, undergoing transformations on the Gothic style. A major renovation in the twentieth century brought to light two medieval chapels, one Pisan and one Aragonese. Admission is free and the opening hours are from Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 20:00 and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 16:00 to 20:30.

At the end of the visit, we advise you to jump on the shuttle of line 5 (which leaves from Rome-Molo Dogana) and to get off at the Bonaria stop to visit another of the most famous points of the city, the Sanctuary of Our Lady Bonaria. The sanctuary, in Gothic-Catalan style, was built at the behest of Alfonso of Aragon and is dedicated to the Patroness of Sardinia. Behind this place and its name there is a legend: it was March 25, 1370 when, on the beach of Bonaria, a chest was found containing a statue of the Madonna and Child, who held a candle in his right hand. This box was probably thrown into the sea or lost by a Spanish sailing ship that was passing by. Admission is free and is open from Monday to Sunday from 6:30 to 12:00 and from 16:30 to 19:30.

3 - Evening: Dinner, historic center

For this evening we recommend Su Cumbidu, a rustic restaurant located in the historic center, in a small street near the sea. This restaurant is now an institution in Cagliari for Sardinian meat dishes. One of their specialties, for example, is pasta with sheep's sauce (prices from € 15,00 to € 25,00 per person)

Once dined, we advise you to take a nice walk in the historic center, maybe to stop for a drink in one of the many characteristic places.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 8,8 km / 2 h 3 min
  • Places visited: Castle of San Michele (free), historic center, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (free), Sanctuary of Our Lady Bonaria (free)
  • Cagliari: Historical Walking Tour with Local Market Tastings Cagliari: 2-Hour Private Guided Walking Tour Dolianova Cheese Tasting from Cagliari
  • Breakfast at Bar Pasticceria Sechi Alessio & Simone (Get directions), Lunch at Pani e Casu Cagliari (Get directions), Dinner at Su Cumbidu (Get directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Molentargius-Saline Natural Park

Last day in Cagliari and we advise you to go and discover the surroundings. In this case, however, it is more convenient to rent a car for travel, as it could be difficult to reach the various destinations by means of transport. The Molentargius-Saline Natural Park is only 20 minutes by car from Cagliari. But first, we recommend that you stop for breakfast at Caffè De Curtis, just 3 kilometers from the park's car park.

Once in the park, you can leave your car in the parking lot, from which you can access it. The Molentargius-Saline Natural Park, an area that extends for 1.600 hectares, mostly covered by large water basins with very different salinities as well as hosting various plant species and protected animals. A typical animal of the park is the pink flamingo. We advise you to rent a bicycle to better discover the park. It is possible to request a tour guide or take part in some organized tours. The park is open from Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 18:00 and admission is free. Obviously, if you take part in some tours, you will have to pay for the experience and the prices vary according to the different types of packages offered.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Sella del Diavolo / Poetto beach

For lunch, go to Poetto Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Here you can have lunch at the Dal Corsare al Mare restaurant, a restaurant with a beautiful terrace overlooking the sea and with various fish specialties. On average you will spend about € 20,00 per person.

If you've come across a nice day, after lunch we recommend spending a relaxing afternoon in the Poetto beach, sunbathing and drinking some cocktails in one of the many cafes on one of the most beautiful beaches of the Cagliari coast. The beach can also be reached by bus with the PF line in about 26 minutes.

Alternative: if you don't want to stay in the open space, we recommend you go and explore the Saddle of the Devil, to continue this day full of sport, adventure and nature. In this area, history and nature mix to give visitors a unique experience: you will come across old trenches dating back to the Second World War and the historical-naturalistic path traced in 2002 will take you to the Tower of Sant'Elia. For dinner we advise you to return to the city.

3 - Evening: Dinner, historic center

For dinner, we recommend the Sa Domu Sarda restaurant, a tavern near the Church of Sant'Agostino, reachable by the PQ and PF bus lines. Here you can enjoy your last Sardinian dinner, with traditional dishes, from fregola to culurgiones, just like their main dish, culurgiones walnuts and pine nuts. On average, you will spend around € 20,00 per person.

Always being in the historic center, there are many ideas on how to spend the evening, but we advise you to go to the place you liked the most and to experience the last moments of these wonderful three days in Cagliari.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 18,7 km / 3 h 49 min
  • Places visited: Molentargius-Saline Natural Park (free), Sella del Diavolo / Poetto beach (free)
  • Cagliari: 2-hour bike tour in the oasis of flamingos South Sardinia half day Faro Tour from Cagliari Cagliari: electric bike tour in nature Cagliari: guided kayak tour from Poetto beach
  • Breakfast at Caffè De Curtis (Get directions), Lunch at Dal Corsaro al Mare (Get directions), Dinner at Sa Domu Sarda (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Cagliari cost

Being one of the most important and visited cities in Sardinia, besieged especially in summer, prices will not always be affordable. But with a little attention you can find beautiful places with good food where you can eat without spending too much, same reasoning for accommodation:

  • Costs to eat: about € 40,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: about € 10,00 per person following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: about € 15,00 per person
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: from € 50,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 50,00 per person
  • Total cost of a weekend in Cagliari: from € 390,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Cagliari: during spring and autumn, if the sea is of your interest, July and September are the best months - find out more
  • the airport of reference is the international Mario Mameli which is located 7 km from the city center, reachable by bus, with lines 9 and 19, the ticket costs only € 1,30; by train, with a cost of € 1,30; by taxi, which will take you directly to your accommodation in 15 minutes and at a cost of around € 15,00. Flights starting from € 42,00 -
  • the historic center, like the Castello district, is the best solution as all life is concentrated here and can be visited on foot (restaurants, shops). Another great neighborhood is the Marina along the harbor. If you are looking for tranquility, we recommend the neighborhoods of Stampace and Villanova, not far from the homonymous port, ideal for a romantic stay. Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
  • Getting around: the center can be perfectly visited on foot. For the more external and peripheral attractions, use public transport such as the light rail, active from 6:00 to 22:30, a 90-minute ticket costs € 1,20, or the 12-ride cabernet for the price of € 10,00 or the integrated day ticket for € 3,30; city ​​and suburban buses, active from 8:30 to 18:30, the 90-minute ticket costs € 1,30, the integrated timed ticket € 2,00 (valid for 2 hours), the integrated day ticket for € 3,30 , 12, the multiple ticket from 13,00 rides for € - find out more

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