HOW TO SPEND 2 DAYS IN CAGLIARI
If you are lucky enough to visit Cagliari but you have limited time, this article is for you! We will try and keep in short and sweet, and list the best things to see in Cagliari in just 2 days. The city is not very big and you can visit it comfortably on foot and if you prefer, by means of transport (underground and bus) to reach the most beautiful beaches of Cagliari and its surroundings. Enjoy reading!
Historical Cagliari, shopping and nightlife.
First stop: Starting from Piazza Constitution, we start our tour from the symbolic district of the city: the so-called “Castello”. First we visit the Bastion Saint Remy, a relatively recent fortification monument (it was built at the end of the 19th century on the ruins of the old walls).
A long flight of stairs takes us up to the large terrace above: from here we can stop to admire a breathtaking view from which you can appreciate most of the city, the famous Sella del Diavolo (a peninsula that rises south and divides the beach of Cagliari, the Poetto , from the smallest but no less beautiful of Calamosca), the international port and the most central districts.
A good breakfast among the various bars and clubs in this area is a must (Caffè De Candia).
After leaving the terrace, proceed up the nearby Via Università until you come to the famous Torre dell’Elefante (built in 1307 during the Pisan domination) which can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday at a price of around 4 euros; the view from up here is really wonderful so our advice is to arm yourself with a digital camera and take pictures of everything!
Continuing along the Via Santa Croce, we come across the Jewish Ghetto, so called because it hosted the Jewish community in the Middle Age. Today it is home to cultural initiatives, exhibitions and conferences. From here on it is possible to wander through the small alleys of the neighborhood between shops and small artistic workshops.
In the same area, an obligatory stop is the National Archaeological Museum (open every day except Mondays), located within the museum complex of the Museum Citadel in the Arsenal square (there are exposed most of the materials from the excavations carried out throughout the island from the prenuragic period up to the Byzantine era and the famous Giants of Mont’e Prama).
The cost for a visit to the museum and to the exhibition of the statues of Mont’e Prama are 7 euros for the whole ticket (3.50 euros for reduced tickets – correct at time of writing). It is possible to buy combi tickets to visit the museum and art gallery at a price of 9 euros, or 4.50 euros reduced (from 18 to 25 years); admission is free for children under 18. We raise our eyes to the sky and appreciate the nearby Tower of San Pancrazio, also of Pisan origin (full ticket 3.00 euros, reduced 2.00 euros).
At this point we stop to eat something in the nearby area of Buoncammino among the tables of the many bars in the area.
Having drunk a good cup of coffee, we can visit the Roman Amphitheater which is just below (this is a building built between the first and second century AD, when Sardinia was under Roman rule). In summer it is home to important concerts and theatrical events.
Afternoon: After catching our breath, and maybe a siesta in one of the many hotels in Cagliari that you would probably have booked, we go down again into the Constitution square to start the shopping tour (most of the shops and boutiques are open all day). Via Garibaldi on one side and via Manno on the other offer solutions for all budgets, big brands and outlets for those who want to save on purchases.
At this point we can opt for one of two different itineraries:
Route 1: take the via Manno and go down to Piazza Yenne, where we advise you to stop in one of the many artisan ice cream parlors around you. Then on to the Largo Carlo Felice, a beautiful boulevard which has many shops on both sides. Going down the Largo Carlo Felice you get to the famous via Roma, which is full of a variety of shops, bars, cafes and souvenir shops, a good place to buy some mementos for your friends and relatives.
Route 2: walk along Via Garibaldi, which is full of shops and get off at Via Alghero (here you can find all the major brands stores) until you reach the light rail station, located in Piazza Repubblica, which connects the city to the villages and to the nearby hamlets. For the more athletic the tour continues through the very long via Dante, dotted with shop windows, sandwich shops, pizzerias and other activities of all kinds.
Time must be passing quite quickly, and you must be feeling hungry!
It’s time for dinner and the Sardinian cuisine awaits us! Typical restaurants are concentrated in the area around Via Roma. Our advice is to start from via Sardegna (neighborhood “Marina”) and get lost among the many places that the area offers us: buffet menu, specialties and international cuisine for those who have other tastes! Our advice is to try the famous dumplings Campidanese (made of semolina and flavored with saffron, seasoned with tomato sauce, grated pecorino sardinian and sausage in pieces), fregola (balls of handmade pasta and toasted in the oven) and the famous Sardinian pork (Trattoria Gennargentu, Ci thinks Cannas, Su Cumbidu). Buonissimo!
For those looking for nightlife, once dinner is served you can stop at the many nightclubs in the area, irish pubs, cocktail bars but and (best of all) outside tables where you can enjoy a refreshing mojito or another cocktail before ending the day in one of the city’s discos or in the nearby towns of Pula or Villasimius.
The beaches and the coast..
If you’re legs are still aching from the day before, our advice is to take it easy and treat yourself to a lie-in. In Cagliari the sun shines all day and the sea is always ready and waiting to welcome us!
The beach of Cagliari is the Poetto, home to some “kiosks” for light refreshment or to enjoy an ice cold beer. In summer it is home to important musical events and a place of entertainment hosting discos on the sand. Hotels and various restaurants start from the port of Marina Piccola and continue onwards, reaching the Quartu Sant’Elena. If the temperature allows it, a nice dive is a must; the crystal clear water, the fine white beach could make us lose track of time and keep us for hours under the sun. Good sun protection is highly recommended, especially in the warmer months!
After a nice fresh shower, we can refresh with a cooling aperitif in the area around the coast (Emerson Cafè, Caffè Puccini), in the nearby Piazza dei Centomila, at the foot of the majestic Basilica di Bonaria, or opt for the many bars that crowd the area around at the port (Via Roma).
At this point our whistle-stop tour of Cagliari is over and you will probably be left wanting more, having seen only a fraction of the many beautiful sights which Cagliari offers. We are positive, however, that once your short time in Cagliari ends, your mind will be occupied with plans of returning in the not too distant future, maybe next time for a week? See you soon!