Bari is the capital city of Italian region Apulia, known for its beautiful seaside, good food and landscape. It is also the second most important city in Southern Italy, after Naples.
Through the history, Bari was very important harbor and it is still today as a strategic point for travelers and traders from East.
Still today Bari represents its importance through all the sights, historic buildings and great history. The airport in Bari is named by pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyła Airport where you can hire a car.
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Basic info and car hire in Bari
- Location: Bari, Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia region, Italy
- Population: 325,056 (2014)
- Official language: Italian
- Currency: Euro (EUR).
- Weather: Climate in Bari is Mediterranean, the city with the region Apulia is facing the Adriatic Sea. Summers are hot and dry (average temperatures are between 20 °C and 30 °C from May till October, but highest temperatures can rise above 40 °C in June, July and August), winters are mild when temperatures are between 5 °C and 10 °C from December till February.
- Public holidays in Bari: All holiday dates in Bari and in Italy you can find here.
- Internet coverage: In Bari you can find a lot of public WiFi spots and restaurants, bars or shops have their own WiFi connection.
- Road conditions: Roads in Southern Italy are not well maintained as roads in Northern Italy. We prefer you to rent smaller car because streets in cities are narrow and roads outside the cities in country the same. Be careful while driving in heavy traffic because Italians are known as a chaotic drivers.
Driving in Bari
- Age limits: 18 (Minimum age may vary from one car hire company to the other. If you're younger than 23—in some cases even 25—you may encounter on young driver fee. The same goes if you are a senior driver).
- International Driving Permit: You do not need an IDP if your driving license is issued in EU.
- Additional papers: ID (or passport) and proof of insurance (it is advisable to purchase an additional insurance with your car hire provider as your car insurance is not enough in case of damages).
- Additional requirements: A warning triangle and a reflective vest.
- Children in the car: Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to travel in the front seat of a vehicle. Children between the ages of 2 and five must wear an appropriate child restraint and, if necessary, be seated in a booster seat. When making a reservation for your car hire in Venice, make sure to share your exact requirements for the child seat(s) you need.
- Driving side of the road: Right
- Lights: In Italy dipped headlights are recommended both night and day and when the visibility on the road is reduced.
- General speed limits: Motorways – 130 km/h (80 mph), urban freeways and wet weather – 110 km/h (70 mph), roads outside residential areas – 90 km/h (55 mph), residential areas – 50 km/h (30mph)
- Parking suggestions: In Bari you can park on the street if you are lucky to find a free space but you have to pay for it, the price depends on the zone where the park is situated. There are also public payable parking spaces inside the city, the list you can find here.
What to see in Bari
Our favourite spots
Basilica San Nicola
This church is the most important in Bari and still today is an important pilgrimage destination for Catholics and Orthodox Christians. The style is Romanesque and the whole church is similar to a castle.
Original name is Castello Svevo, built around 1130. It is surrounded by a moat and sea on a north side. In past it was also used as a prison but today is used mostly for exhibitions.
It is one of the largest theatres in Italy and still today very famous. It represents very important place for performances and operas but also is a building with very specific architecture, built in 1903 and rebuilt in 2008.
Lido San Francesco
It is one of the most important sand beaches in Bari, close to the centre and harbour. Especially in summer there is plenty of Bari citizens, swimming and sunbathing.
Hotels in Bari
Drive your rental car around Bari
Car hire in Bari is the best option for you to discover Bari outside the city centre and travel to other famous destinations of the region of Apulia. One of the most famous cities of Apulia coast is Monopoly, small ancient city with and old port, the Charles V castle and war heritage. The Abbey of St. Stephen is truly amazing, standing right at the seaside. Monopoly is less than one hour distant from the centre of Bari and the main road is smooth, passing through a several of small cities.
In this region is obligatory for you to go to swim in a beautiful Adriatic Sea and tourists are looking for the best beach spots. One of it is Polignano a Mare, only 40 min from Bari. You may find it difficult to park your car, but it is worth to visit one of the most beautiful beaches in Apulia, between rocks on which the ancient city with white houses and wall was build.
Another attraction is Alberobello, one hour from Bari. Driving through the cities and country side is a pleasure experience, looking at the fields of olive trees or cereals. But the city of Alberobello is truly amazing and famous for its white houses with roofs of stone in shape of a circle. We suggest you to park outside the city and walk in the centre. There is always a lot of tourists.
After Alberobello there is another very famous ancient city called Matera, only an hour and quarter away from Bari. The oldest part of a city was built in a rock and houses are literally carved in stone. The newest part of a city is also built with stone. The whole city attracts tourists through the whole year. We suggest you to hire a car in Bari and visit Matera, it is the easiest and quickest option. Parking spaces in Matera are also easy to find.
Where to eat, drink and party in Bari
Perfect place for a cup of coffee or a lunch. The place is spacious, with nice atmosphere and perfect for a cocktail in the evening.
Restaurant with typical Italian pizza and Mediterranean food. If you visit this place, you should try a special type of sandwich with octopus and mozzarella.
Bakery Santa Rita
Famous place with original Italian pizza. You can taste a different type of focaccia, a type of bread with tomato and olives.
This is a restaurant with one of the best views in the world, it is situated in the cliff above the Adriatic Sea. They serve original tasty Italian food and the stuff is gentle. A perfect spot for a romantic dinner, in Polignano a Mare.
Major events and festivals in Bari
Feast of Saint Nicholas7-9 may
Saint Nicholas is the patron of the main church in Bari where he also lived. Every year there is a great celebration, the whole city is decorated and full of visitors and pilgrims. Festival includes traditional mass, procession, fireworks and more.
Fiera Del LevanteNovember-end of February
It is one of the most famous Italian trade and commerce fairs. There are around thirty international events including expositions, congress and other events.
Bari in JazzFrom the middle of June till the beginning of September
The most popular music event in Bari, hosting exclusive guests of jazz music. There are several open-air stages with musician playing the greatest contemporary music.