Visit Cagliari, Sardinia on a budget! 9 ways how to do it

Cagliari is the biggest city and the capital of the island. It is usually an expensive destination. It tends to gather more of a “cashed-up” crowd, which is understandable with its 20 km long Emerald Coast. But today I will give you tips on how to lower the costs there and easily afford this destination.

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Cagliari is a vibrant city. It is full of life, many bars, restaurants, tourists, underneath the palms in the Marine.

1. Flights to Cagliari

My advice is to take a flight to Alghero, because it is much cheaper than flying directly to Cagliari. Then you can reach Cagliari with a car (around 5 hrs driving) or with a train, which takes a bit shorter time (13 Eur a ticket). The tickets you can buy directly at the station, since buying online is not that developed. You can also rent a car, and go around the island, which is very pleasant and most of the people prefer this.

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2. Rent a car in Cagliari

I advise you to use your flight company for renting the car because it will always offer a discount. I used Ryanair, and it offered me cheaper options than all car rental companies. Bear in mind, that in the peak season can be pretty busy to park there.

3. Where to book your accommodation in Cagliari, Sardinia?

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There are two options since the beaches are outside the city center.

a) inside the city center (which I choose).

You will stay in the center and have access to all the bars, restaurants, gelaterias, shops, and everything in the city, which I believe is more budget friendly. In this case, you will need to move with your car/bus to go to the beach. For me, that is better, because I love to go out in the evening and I did not want to miss the vibrant nightlife in Cagliari. Then I recommend you to stay in a place which is as close as possible to the Marina. You have the bus stop next to you and you are in the heart of the city. Do not search for a sea view, it is very hard to have it in the city and the prices are crazy. Furthermore, you can skip the search of accommodation with breakfast included, because at most of the places breakfast means just a snack you can grab, unless it is not specified what kind of breakfast you will have.

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b) on the beach, outside of the city .

In this case, you will have sea view, but you will be tight on buses and driving when you go out in the evening. The beach area was pretty amazing to stay in but you have to book it a lot in advance – 2-3 months just to make sure you have good prices and variety.The restaurants there should be either choose very carefully, or simply avoided and go around with your car. They are pricey and not on a great quality.

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Free things to do in Cagliari, Sardinia:

4. Free walking tour Catch the pink (tips based of course). You will learn a lot for the city and go through the most important places in the old part of the city. At the end of the tour, you will receive a lot of information about the traditional food, what kind of souvenirs you should buy and what other places to visit.

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5. Going up the hill Castello di San Michele

All you need to pay is few Eur for a ticket for bus number 5 and then on foot up the hill. All the visit can take a half day or even more. You will have beautiful views from the lagoon and the city and on top, there is a medieval castle.

6. Going to the park Monte Urpinu

One amazing experience for which you need few hours. The park is free, very well organized and has many spots for taking awesome pictures. It is totally worth visiting and you will see most of the city while getting there.

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7. Cattedrale di Santa Maria

The Cathedral, is one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen. It has stunning details and it is very peaceful.

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8. See the Pink Flamingos

You can take the bus, and go straight to The Regional Park of Molentargius. You will not be able to walk around the flamingos since it is protected area, however, you can see them pretty close.

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Interesting info: If you are thinking, how on Earth were these flamingos born pink? They were actually not… they were born grey but after eating a lot of shrimps, they turn their color.

9. Visit Poetto beach

Actually, all the beaches are free but this one is my favorite one. I visited it in bad weather and even then the watercolor was emerald blue.

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Restaurants and food in Cagliari, Sardinia:

The prices for food are not low. A dish with pasta would be between 11 and 16 EUR. However I can confirm that the food is absolutely amazing, and I had not even one bad dish during my 8 days holiday. We used mostly tripadvisor for finding places, and recommendations from the hotels where we staid.

Appetizers:
pizza pie
Pocorino cheese

Dishes:
Bottarga (cured fish eggs, granted on the pasta or with bred)
Malloreddus (short pasta like miochi)
Culurgiones (staffed raviolli, with tomato souse and may be sausages)
Burrida (dog fish with nuts and vinegar)
Fregola (like kus kus but thicker and sea food)
Roasted pig (the sardinian speciality)

Desserts: seada (seems to me like one big ravioli, fried and then they out sugar on it with honey)

Liquors: limonchello (the limonchello is typical for south Italy, so definitely try it in Cagliary)
mirto (made of small berries)

Wines: red – cannonau, white – vementino (it is a very fresh wine).

Other things to visit in Cagliari, Sardinia

Bastion de Saint Remy – the icon of Cagliari. This is the front of the Citadel area which housed the Cathedral and Arsenal. You will see it as well during the free tour guide.

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Visit Via Stretta the narrowest street in Cagliari. It is in very cute, and scenery.

Museo Archeologico. I received many recommendations for it, in case you have a bad weather day, definitely visit. The ticket is 7 EUR and you can find more information here.

Torre dell`Elefante. It is one of the stops of the free tour guide. There is a bit of a climb, and you will see the tower with little elephants, which was one of the main entrance to the city once a upon a time, and you will have the chance to overlook towards the whole city and sea from one side.

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Thanks for visiting,
xx

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Extensive tourist guide to visit Barcelona

Hello everyone, I am back after taking some long break from my blog due to Dutch exams and preparing for another step in my 9 to 5 career. I am back with some new articles to share after checking all of the questions you sent me.

So let`s talk about one of my favorite destinations in Europe – Barcelona! I will share with you my Barcelona tourist guide so you do not miss anything there and I will list 7 reasons why you need most certainly to visit Barcelona!

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What is the best time to visit?

The weather will be nice any time of the year, but mostly from March to November. I would advise visiting in June, September, October. Barcelona is more of a city trip and exploring sights-seeings than an all day long beach vacation. Save your summer holidays for a place where you go with the only purpose – beach time, and use Barcelona as a start or an end of your summer.

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Cheap flights to Barcelona?

Barcelona is among the cheap European destinations to fly to, but according to the trends this year, the flight tickets to Barcelona are evidently more expensive. You can use Transavia, EasyJet, Vueling or just use Skyscanner to compare the prices. Bear in mind that normal flight tickets would be 130-150 EUR from central Europe.
Moving from the Airport to the city is relatively easy. You have to take a bus – tickets you can take next to the bus or on the bus and then transfer to the metro which will take you straight to the heart of Barcelona.

Here are my top 7 reasons why you have to visit Barcelona.

1. Charming big city

Barcelona is a big city, but it gives you the vibe of a very charming and lively city with tiny streets and cute squares, with different neighborhoods soaking in very cozy, holiday atmosphere.

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A must visit place is Rambla, where you will find never-ending buzz of walking, dining, shopping, laughing and talking visitors.

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El Raval is another neighborhood where you will feel this chill vibe, filled in lade-back coffees, a lot of artists and hip design shops. There are many things to visit and see, as you can see from the link I gave you.

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Gothic quarter is my favorite neighborhood. You can spend hours here just walking around, taking pictures and chilling in the coffees. It seems like a labyrinth with tiny, narrow streets and many street artists.

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In Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol where you can find street musicians, who gives incredible atmosphere and art exhibitions every week.

2. Best restaurants in Barcelona

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Sangria all day, long lunches and late dinners…in Barcelona, the foodie people will glow and find their heaven.

Barcelona is famous for their seafood. Here are some amazing places where you will fall into seafood coma:

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La Cova Fumada has great authentic eating experience. They have absolutely great food!

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Dos Palillos I suggest you take the seats in the food preparation area. We had the 45 € lunch menu, water 50 cl (3 €), Sencha (3,90 €), café (2,40 €). All the courses in Dos Palillos are interesting, however, they are more of an “out of the box” taste and going closer to the Asian cuisine.

If you want to eat GREAT seafood in a nonpretentious environment please do go to “El Rey de la Gamba” at the end of La Barceloneta. The food is amazing, the prices are good and the speed of the service is great.

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For the typical Spanish tapas for lunch or dinner, head to the Borne neighborhood.

Do you want a break from the seafood and tapas? If you want to jump to a place with great meat, please visit La Malandrina you would never guess how amazing this restaurant is from the outside look. This is NOT a touristic place with very good (low) prices and really focused on serving amazing meat. I suggest that you spent one lunch here.

If you like to try some other taste: Niño Viejo (Mexican restaurant). I recommend you the: the guacamole, cheese fondue, and tuna tostadas.

Bar Cañete – great service, food and wine. Keep in mind the prices are a bit higher, however, it is totally worth it. I received many many recommendations for this place.

Markets:

La boqueria market yes, yes and yes! you need to visit, just be careful with the pickpockets. It is very crowded, but please visit and try different stands. The food is freshly cooked in front of you and it is a celebration for the eye.

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You can visit also the less crowded but also amazing: Santa Caterina Market in the Barri Gothic area. They have an great collection of seafood vendors, meat purveyors, various candy and vegetable. It is easier to move around and talk to people.


3. City beach holiday

In Barcelona, you have city experience and then go to the beach within 15 min walking. The beachside looks like a vacation town and city part is like a European capital. It is absolutely awesome how you can decide one day to lay on the beach and the other explores sigh-seeings, without the need of a car and the hassle of a big European capital.

Try: Barceloneta beach. It is very crowded, very touristic, however the most entertaining one, with sand artists, drums, and music all over the beach.

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Nova Icaria beach: it is close to the Icaria shopping center, so there will be something to do after beach time for sure. This beach is good for water-sports and it is less crowded.

4. Barcelona Nightlife

Everyone knows that in Barcelona, there is an amazing nightlife. You can go out all night, chilling in a beach bar, going to clubs, or just having sangria and dancing.

Razmataz club. In case you want to go big, this is the place. There are 5 rooms of different genre music and it is pretty impressive place.

Very chill and fun place is: Placa Reial – a hidden gem in the middle of the city, where you can see live music shows and enjoy few drinks.

In case you would appreciate some jazz music, which Barcelona is great with, you can find jazz showtimes here.

Flamenco shows you can book via this link, the tickets are 15 Eur and it is great for starting the night with.

5. Barcelona weather

I started appreciating the weather on my holidays, since I had few beach vacations, planned to be sunny, but then arrived and spent many days in rain and stormy weather. However, Barcelona is one of the cities having great weather all year long. Here is some information for their annual temperature, based on www.holiday-weather.com:

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6. Barcelona attractions

The Olympic port is an amazing pictures place for dinner or walk.

Sagrada familia even that is not yet finished, the details are amazing and you can sit there and enjoy the lights. This is a must see attraction, the most iconic sight of Barcelona. You can check tickets here.

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Park Guel. Same goes for Park Guel, it is a must see attraction if you want to get taste of Barcelona. There is amazing view, and if you go before sunset you will have great photos and videos.

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Bunker del Carmel. Another pictorous place, which will give a lot to the soul and your insta feed 😉

Barcelona is compact enough that you can do a bike tour and get a great impression of the land. However if you choose hop on hop off Barcelona, do it on the first day, then you get an overview of what you would like to go back and see. It has a fixed price and you can use it as many times as you would like for the whole day. Check tickets here.

For a walking tour, I highly recommend Runner Bean tours. Humour, energy, charisma, educational all in one. The tour guides are guides with years of experience under their belt. It’s free (i.e. tip based) like all of the others, but the quality difference of every other free city tour I have visited is huge.

In case you want to do something a little bit more challenging and less tourist – Tibidabo it`s a long climb but so worth it. It is beautiful and you have an amazing view.

Monserrat. You will spend some time climbing, but it will really give you an overview of the beautiful nature of the region, outside of Barcelona.

I would also suggest you see the lights show at Barcelona Magic Fountain of Montjuï. It is beautiful, but check the times/days as it is not on a daily basis.

7. Shopping in Barcelona

Barcelona has awesome shops in the city center which are not too pricey. I got a suitcase for 30 EUR, which normally would be 60 Eur, Ray Ban sunglasses on huge discount, and a lot of makeup and clothes. Every time I go to Barcelona, I prepare an extra budget for shopping and extra space in my new suitcase 😉

Avinguda Diagonal if you are up to fancy shopping and big designer names.

Les Glòries is a shopping center with more than 200 known shops, cinema and bars.

The Centre Comercial Maremàgnumis is a mall, and in case you need a shopping place on sunday, it is the only mall open on Sundays.

El Bulevard Rosa-is a place with more than 100 boutique shops for clothing and it is located in the center of Barri Gotic area.

El Corte Inglés-situated at plaza de Catalunia, with its 9 floors will give you the most famous chains in Europe.

Attention: I received many suggestions to watch for the pick pockets. Nothing bad happened to me, however all my collegues are stressing to be very careful in crowded places and to minimize yourself as a target for thieves. Bring a fake wallet to carry in your bag and instead keep your money somewhere else. Wear your backpack or bag in front of your body, especially on the metro, beach areas, plazas, monuments, terraces. Don’t trust those trying to reach for your attention in touristic areas, it might be just a distraction.

Thank you for reading,
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