How to spend 2 or 3 days in Puglia
Whether it is for a weekend or more, the splendid natural landscapes , the walks by the sea , the historic towns and the villages with their very particular architecture await you for a stay full of discovery!
To help you prepare your 2 to 5 day circuit in Puglia , I have prepared itineraries for you according to your length of stay.
To organize your trip to Puglia, it’s very simple:
- Choose your route based on duration.
- Click on the links to all of our in-depth articles for each step. What to do and see, where to sleep, where to eat, you will know everything!
- Book your hotels with our selection of the best accommodation in each city and for all budgets.
2 day weekend in Puglia
For your 2-day stay in Puglia , the international airport where you will land is the city of Bari .
If you only have a weekend in Puglia, the best way to visit will be to focus on discovering the city and its surroundings.
Here is an idea of program for your first day in Bari:
- Walk in the Old Town district: Bari Vecchia
- Discovery of the Basilica of San Nicola
- Passage through the Norman castle
- Visit to the Cathedral of San Sabino
- A well deserved lunch break
- In the afternoon, you can visit one or more museums in Bari among the Simi Palace, the Pinacoteca or the Diocesan Museum
- Walk along the lungomare
- Watch a performance in the beautiful Petruzzelli Theater
For the second day , explore the surroundings of Bari.
Start by reaching Polignano a Mare , just 35 minutes by car or 40 minutes by train from Bari central station.
Polignano is famous for its houses with white facades , built directly on the sides of cliffs . A landscaped promenade with several viewpoints and panoramic terraces allows you to admire them.
If the season allows it, you can also take the opportunity to swim on the town’s pebble beach . It is located at the bottom of the cliffs, near the entrance to the city when arriving from Bari.
After a lunch break, head to Monopoli, the village after Polignano, just 15 minutes away by car or train . In Monopoli, you can stroll through the historic center to admire the many monuments.
At the end of the day, return to Bari.
To find all our ideas for visiting Bari and its surroundings in 2 days , do not hesitate to consult our article: The Top 12 things to do in Bari . You will also find our selection of the best hotels in the city and tips for eating well!
3 days in Puglia
To visit Puglia in 3 days, you will be able to push the discovery a little further while still staying in the vicinity of Bari so as not to travel too much.
I then recommend the following route:
- 1 day in Bari: walk in the old town to discover the Basilica, the Cathedral or even the Norman castle. You can use the program idea presented above or take inspiration from our article: Visiting Bari.
- 1 day in mini road trip mode to discover Polignano a Mare and Monopoli . Then reach the village of Ostuni at the end of the day (40 minutes by car from Monopoli) to spend the night there. You can sleep in one of the hotels we have selected for you: Hotels in Ostuni.
- 1 other day on a road trip: visit of Ostuni, the famous white city of Puglia; passage through Cisternino and Locorotondo classified among the most beautiful towns in Italy; discovery of the most famous village of Puglia: Alberobello . Its particularity are the trulli, small circular houses covered with lime and with conical roofs.
Find our tips for visiting Alberobello in our article: What to do in Alberobello.
4 days in Puglia
For the program with a visit to Lecce , you can for example organize your 4-day circuit like this:
- 1 day in Bari to visit the capital of Puglia: the Swabian castle, the Basilica of San Nicola, Bari Vecchia, the cathedral of San Sabino, the lungomare, so many places of interest not to be missed in Bari!
- 1 day discovering the most beautiful villages around Bari: Polignano a Mare, Monopoli and Ostuni. All the things to do in Ostuni are in our article: The 10 places to visit in Ostuni.
- 1 day in Lecce: baroque city, here you will find countless beautiful buildings, palaces and churches made of Lecce stone. Do not miss: Piazza Sant Oronzo, the Duomo, the Basilica of Santa Croce…You can find all the information to visit Lecce in 1 day in our article: What to do in Lecce.
- 1 day to discover the villages of the Itria Valley: Cisternino, Locorotondo and above all Alberobello which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its famous trullli. If you don’t know what a trulli is and want to know more about Alberobello, it’s in our article: What to do and see in Alberobello, Puglia?
The other possible option for a 4-day trip to Puglia is not to visit Lecce and prefer Matera instead . The city is not really located in Puglia but right next to it in the region of Basilicata. However, it is only 1h10 drive from Bari and can therefore be integrated very easily into your circuit.
I therefore recommend the following visits:
- 1 day in Bari (as above)
- 1 day for Polignano, Monopoli and Ostuni (see above)
- 1 day in Cisternino, Locorotondo and Alberobello (see above)
- 1 day in Matera: visit one of the oldest cities in the world, famous for its Sassi, troglodyte dwellings. The city is simply splendid and unique in the world. They own several thousand Sassi. To know everything about Matera and the places to see in 1 day, see our article: How to visit Matera . And of course, I also give you my tips for accommodation!
5 days in Puglia
To visit Puglia in 5 days , 2 options are available to you: an itinerary centered on the tourist towns and villages of Puglia or a circuit more oriented towards landscape and nature.
For the typical towns and villages of Puglia version:
- 1 day in Bari: you will have time to discover the 10 main places to see in Bari that I tell you about in my article dedicated to the city: What to do in Bari. You will also find an idea of an itinerary to visit the city in 1 day.
- 1 day in Polignano and Monopoli, 2 very beautiful seaside towns + visit to Ostuni , nicknamed the “Citta Bianca” for its many white houses.
- 1 day in Lecce where you can stroll through the whole city to admire its splendid Baroque monuments.
- 1 day to tour the villages of the Itria Valley: Cisternino, Locorotondo and Alberobello.
- 1 day in Matera to learn more about the cave dwellings that make the reputation of the city: the Sassi of Matera.
For nature and park lovers , the second choice for these 5 days in Puglia is to visit the Gargano Natural Park , the largest national park in Italy. The gateway is the town of Manfredonia which is about 1h40 by car from Bari.
Huge park, the Gargano allows you to make beautiful hikes in nature, to swim and enjoy the beach, but also to discover very small typical villages whether by the sea or in the mountains.
4 days is a good time to visit Gargano , you will have time to do and see everything I tell you about in my detailed article: Top 10 things to do in Gargano.
The fifth day will be devoted to the return to Bari , because, especially if you are staying near Vieste (at the top of the park), it will take about 2h45 to reach Bari . Depending on the day and time of departure of your plane, you can take the opportunity to visit the city a little.
Rent a car in Puglia
For your 2, 3, 4 or 5 day tour in Puglia, you will definitely want to rent a car. This is the best way to see as many things as possible during your stay!
Are you going to Puglia? Also to read
Discover all our articles on Puglia : all our articles of Puglia are listed here.
- Alberobello: Visit the village of the trulli thanks to our complete guide
- Bari: Top 12 things to do and see
- Gargano: The 10 things to do and see!
- Lecce: The 12 must-see things
- Matera: The complete guide to visit the Sassi di Matera
- Ostuni: Top 10 must-do things