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Is Puglia Worth Visiting? – Why it should be on your radar

Puglia is located in the heel of Italy. It is known for its food, wine, history, and culture. Travelers come here to enjoy a slow pace of life and relax. However, if you consider just how many tourist regions are in Italy you might keep asking one question. Is Puglia worth visiting? Let’s find out.

In our opinion, Puglia is definitely worth visiting. It has an old-world charm that only a few places on earth have. You can experience an Italy that’s quite different from the tourist-infested Rome or the villas of Toscana.

Puglia is slow. Puglia is relaxing. And above all Puglia is charming. This is the best world we can think of when we think of the region. From the friendly locals to the old buildings, the atmosphere is just amazing.

With cities like Bari, Lecce, Ostuni, or Alberobello there are plenty of world-renowned attractions here. Of course, some types of travelers will enjoy Puglia more than others. So let’s see who should definitely visit and who should consider a visit.

Is Puglia worth visiting for everyone?

With some notes to keep in mind, we do think that Puglia is worth visiting for everyone. The people who will enjoy Puglia the most are the people who enjoy a slow-paced holiday.

There is never a rush when you visit Puglia. Take your time when you stroll around the cities of the region and soak in the local atmosphere.

There is one type of traveler we think should also look at other regions of Italy though. If it would be your first time visiting Italy then Puglia might not be the best place to start.

It has everything you would expect from Italy, but we always recommend first-timers to start in a big tourist hot-spot like Rome of Firenze.

Visiting these bustling cities will make you appreciate the Italian countryside a lot more.

Location of Puglia
The location of Puglia on Italy’s heel

What type of travelers should visit Puglia?

We most recommend Puglia for those who have been to Italy a couple of times already. These kinds of travelers already know what they can expect from Italy and how to have a good time sipping Aperol Spritz.

Puglia is a great place to continue the journey of exploring Italy. The region has a unique charm to it due to the old buildings. It’s definitely worth visiting Puglia if you are a traveler like this.

When not to visit Puglia?

If you are planning to visit Puglia from the Amalfi region then we advise against it. On the map, it looks like a quick drive however in reality it’s quite a long drive (or a long train ride).

Puglia warrants its own holiday. Whether you spend a weekend in Puglia or a week it doesn’t matter. However, driving hours from one region of Italy to spend one day in Puglia is not a good idea.

If you want to visit Puglia you should fly to Puglia. Either Bari or Brindisi can be your destinations. More info in our article about airports in Puglia.

Reasons to Visit Puglia

Now that we’ve concluded that Puglia is worth visiting let’s take a look at some good reasons to visit. If you are planning a holiday in Italy in the near future then definitely consider Puglia.

1. Historic towns

Walking in Lecce

One of the best reasons to visit Puglia are the towns of the region. When you fly into Puglia you will arrive at either Bari or Brindisi.

Both of these towns are excellent places to start exploration. They are full of history and culture. Then you must hop on a train and make your way to Lecce.

Lecce is one of the best towns to visit in Puglia. We just love the charming atmosphere. The fact that Lecce has no airport makes it even more interesting considering it’s a pretty big town.

These are the three most important cities and they are all on the same railroad line making them easy to visit. However, if your time allows then you must definitely make a trip over to the other side of Puglia and see Taranto for yourself. The old town area of Taranto is just amazing.

After you are done with the big cities you can consider the smaller places. Polignano a Mare comes into mind as a cute seaside village with a famous beach.

Another perfect town to check is the whitewashed Ostuni. Standing on a hill, the white buildings of the city are a great sight.

And if you are really adventurous, you can visit Matera as well. Matera is located in the neighboring region but it’s a short drive from Bari.

2. UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Alberobello Truli

There are a total of 5 UNESCO Sites in Puglia. As always the UNESCO sites are interesting to see as they are usually culturally or historically significant.

The most well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site of Puglia is the Trulli of Alberobello. These little huts are almost always featured in images when it comes to Puglia. They are also among the most visited attractions in the region.

If you don’t mind the touristy activity then the Trulli alone can make visiting Puglia worth it. It’s unique to this part of Italy and it’s a culturally important sight. Plus you’ll get bragging rights if you photograph yourself among the Trulli.

The other most important UNESCO site in Puglia is Castel del Monte. It’s an impressive castle that showcases medieval fortress architecture.

The Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo, The Foresta Umbra Nature Reserve, and The Sassi and the Park of Rupestrian Churches are the other World Heritage Sites you can visit.

3. The rugged coastline

Cliffs of Polignano a MAre

Some people don’t seem to be moved by the dramatic coastline of Puglia but we absolutely love it. The rugged coastline of the east side of Puglia is a true sight to behold.

Visit Polignano a Mare where they’ve built a city on the coastal cliffside and you’ve got yourself some of the best views in Italy.

Do note that the famous cliffsides and rugged coastline are only typical for the eastern coast of the region. The western shoreline is more for beach days with sandy beaches and shallow water.

4. Amazing beaches

People Enjoying the Beach
Latiano81, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You would have to look for them on the western side of Puglia. Crystal clear water, fine gold sand, and perfect weather are the usual traits of beaches in Puglia.

We love coming to the small seaside towns for a relaxing beach day. You can enjoy the shallow water and the beautiful scenery that surrounds you.

There is even one beach that they call the Maldives of Salento as it is compared to beaches in the Maldives.

MORE: Best Beaches in Puglia

5. Weather is usually pretty good

Sunshine in Puglia

Puglia is strategically located in southern Italy. This comes with a huge advantage over the northern parts. That advantage is the weather.

During the summer you’ll have beach weather almost every day. It’s sunshine, clear skies, and hot air. If you want to visit during the off-season then you’ll still get pretty okay weather.

May and Sept are still beachable. It’s October when the weather starts to get a bit too cold for beach days but it’s still perfect for sightseeing.

6. Puglia has some amazing castles

Castel Del Monte

If you want to explore even more history then you will be pleased to learn that Puglia has a lot of castles from the middle ages.

Most of them are still standing and a good portion of them are in excellent condition. They usually host local museums.

MORE: Top 10 Castles in Puglia

7. Cheap airline tickets

Visiting Puglia is usually cheap. We know this should not be a factor but let’s be honest with each other: it is.

When we say cheap what we really mean is, cheap if you don’t mind flying ultra-budget airlines. Both Wizz Air and Ryanair have regular flights to Bari and Brindisi from all over Europe.

For some reason, Puglia is always among their absolute cheapest offers. So if you don’t mind flying these airlines then you can get some pretty good deals on visiting Puglia. Tickets can go as low as $10.

Is Puglia Worth Visiting? – FAQ

Is Puglia worth visiting?

Yes, Puglia is worth visiting.

What are the most important cities to visit in Puglia?

Bari, Lecce, Ostuni, Brindisi, and Taranto are all important and nice to visit.

Is Puglia cheap?

Generally speaking, Puglia is a bit cheaper than other regions of Italy.

Are there any good beaches in Puglia?

Puglia has awesome beaches.

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