48 Hours in Cagliari – 2 Day Itinerary

If you’re visiting Cagliari, the largest city of Sardinia, for two days and you’re not sure what to do there, worry no more! I’m sure planning will be a breeze with this two day itinerary.

As a European myself who has visited Cagliari many times and talked to other travellers about their experiences, I believe this guide will give you all the details you need for an amazing time in this stunning port city.

There are plenty of things to see and do in Cagliari, so let’s get started!

If you are planning a visit to Cagliari, the vibrant capital city of the stunning Italian island of Sardinia, you are in for a treat! Situated on the southern coast of the island, Cagliari is a treasure trove of history, culture, breathtaking architecture, and beautiful beaches.

Sunset on Cagliari, evening panorama of the old city center in Sardinia Capital, view on The Old Cathedral and colored houses in traditional style, Italy

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a delightful Mediterranean getaway, Cagliari has something to offer everyone. This 2 Day Itinerary for Cagliari will help you make the most of your time in this charming city.

When staying in Cagliari, consider staying in the historic center known as the Castello district. It will provide you with a convenient location and an authentic experience.

The area is filled with narrow cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, and offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the sea. Alternatively, the Marina district is another excellent option, providing easy access to the harbor and the beautiful waterfront promenade.

The city enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The best time to visit Cagliari is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) seasons when the weather is still pleasant and the city is less crowded.

The summer months can be quite hot and extremely toursity, but nevertheless, July and August are still great times to visit if that suits your calendar better.

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Overview Of 2 Days In Cagliari Itinerary

Cagliari, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the perfect place if you are planning a memorable weekend getaway. This carefully curated 48 hours in Cagliari itinerary will help you plan and explore!

You will find a diverse range of attractions here, from ancient ruins to vibrant markets and breathtaking beaches. This 2 days itinerary for Cagliari ensures that you make the most of your time, exploring the city’s charm and history all whilst indulging in authentic Sardinian cuisine.

Day 1 in Cagliari

  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale
  • San Benedetto Market
  • The Elephant Tower
  • Roman Amphitheatre

Day 2 in Cagliari

  • Via Santa Croce
  • San Pancrazio Tower
  • Poetto Beach
Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy coastal skyline on the Mediterranean Sea.

Day 1 in Cagliari

Museo Archeologico Nazionale

The Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum) in Cagliari is a must visit attraction for history and culture enthusiasts. Located in the heart of the city, this renowned museum showcases a remarkable collection of archaeological artifacts that span thousands of years.

As you step inside the museum, you will be transported back in time to the ancient civilizations that once thrived in Sardinia. The museum’s exhibits offer a comprehensive overview of the island’s history.

The museum is not only full of archaeological wonders but also a center for research and educational activities. It offers educational programs, workshops, and guided tours for visitors of all ages, making it a great destination for families too.

Whether you are an archaeology enthusiast or simply curious about Sardinia’s rich heritage, a visit to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale is a fun experience. Immerse yourself in the history of the island and gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural significance of this beautiful region.

The museum is open every day 8.45am – 7.45pm and tickets cost 9 euros per person.

San Benedetto Market

One of the best things to do in Cagliari is visit San Benedetto Market, especially for lunch! Considered one of the largest and most impressive food markets in Italy, San Benedetto Market offers a captivating glimpse into the culinary traditions and local flavors of Sardinia.

Located in the city centre, the market is a bustling hub of activity where everyone comes together to shop for fresh produce, seafood, meats, cheeses, and a wide variety of other Italian delights.

As you explore the market’s vibrant stalls, you will be greeted by a vibrant array of colours, aromas, and tastes that truly embody the spirit of the Mediterranean.

While exploring the market, be sure to immerse yourself in the local food culture by sampling traditional Sardinian treats. Indulge in savory pastries like pane frattau or carasau bread, or savor the distinct flavors of local cheeses, such as pecorino or fiore sardo.

You may even stumble upon unique Sardinian specialties like bottarga (cured fish roe) or mirto liqueur made from myrtle berries.

The market is open 6 days a week, and closed on Sunday.

Tour Pick
Cityscape of Cagliari seen from famous Saint Remy bastion. Sardinia, Italy

Food and Wine Tour

  • 4-5 hours 
  • Max of 8 people 
  • Brunch & wine
close-up of counter with beautiful and delicious cakes in Cagliari, Sardinia

The Elephant Tower

The Elephant Tower, known locally as Torre dell’Elefante, is an iconic landmark and a symbol of Cagliari’s historical heritage. Standing tall in the heart of the city’s historic district, this medieval tower wows visitors with its unique architecture and history.

Built in the 14th century, the Elephant Tower gets its name from the stone sculpture of an elephant that sits on the outside.

The intricate details and craftsmanship of this sculpture make it a remarkable sight to see. The tower itself served as a defensive structure, designed to protect the city from potential threats.

Torre dell Elefante (meaning Tower of the Elephant) in Cagliari, Italy

Roman Amphitheatre

Dating back to the 2nd century, the Roman Amphitheater in Cagliari once served as a venue for gladiatorial contests, public spectacles, and theatrical performances. Today, visitors can explore the ruins and imagine the vibrant scenes that once unfolded within its walls.

As you step into the amphitheatre, you will be struck by the sheer size and grandeur of the structure. The elliptical shape, tiered seating, and the remains of the stage transport you back to a time of ancient entertainment.

Take a moment to imagine the roar of the crowd, the clash of swords and the captivating performances.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a lover of architecture, or simply seeking a unique cultural experience, this archaeological gem promises to leave a lasting impression on your visit to Cagliari.

ancient roman amphitheater, historical ruins ancient arena

Day 2 in Cagliari

Via Santa Croce

Whether you are seeking a leisurely stroll, a shopping expedition, or a glimpse into the local culture, Via Santa Croce is a street that will not disappoint.

Via Santa Croce is a charming street that is full of atmosphere. Lined with picturesque and colourful buildings with balconies, this cobblestone street is a delight to explore.

You will also find that the street is dotted with quaint shops, boutiques, and artisan workshops, offering a wide range of unique products and locally crafted goods. Explore the small shops selling handmade ceramics, traditional textiles and stylish fashion items.

Indulge in some retail therapy as you discover one of a kind treasures. You may come across small cafes and charming restaurants, providing the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax, and savor some traditional Sardinian delicacies.

Tour Pick
Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy coastal skyline on the Mediterranean Sea.

Cagliari City Tour

  • 3-4 hours 
  • Max of 8 people 
  • Food tasting included
Bird eye view of Cagliari old town, Sardinia, Italy. Cagliari is the capital and the largest city of Italian island of Sardinia

San Pancrazio Tower

This medieval tower, also known as Torre di San Pancrazio, offers visitors a glimpse into Cagliari’s past while providing panoramic views of the surrounding area. Dating back to 1305, the San Pancrazio Tower was originally built as a defensive structure to protect the city from invasions.

Its strategic location atop the historic district of Castello now provides breathtaking views over the rooftops of Cagliari and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea beyond.

From this vantage point, you can marvel at the city’s ancient walls, the bustling harbor and the rolling hills that surround Cagliari. On clear days, you may even catch a glimpse of the distant mountains and the coastline, creating a panorama that captures Sardinia’s natural beauty.

Cagliari: San Pancrazio gate, access to the castle district - Sardinia

Poetto Beach

If you are after the best beaches in Cagliari, look no further than Poetto Beach. Poetto Beach is a haven for sun seekers and water enthusiasts. With its crystal clear turquoise waters, soft sand and gentle sea breeze, it provides the perfect setting for relaxation and leisure.

Whether you are looking to bask in the sun, take a refreshing swim, or simply stroll along the shore, Poetto Beach has something for everyone. This long stretch of golden sand, extending for approximately eight kilometers, offers a picturesque coastal escape right on the doorstep of the city.

With its close proximity to the city center, Poetto Beach is easily accessible by walking, public transportation or a short drive. It provides a convenient and idyllic escape from the urban bustle, allowing you to unwind and soak up the beauty of nature.

The beach is well equipped with facilities, including beach bars, cafes, and restaurants, ensuring that you can enjoy a delicious meal or a refreshing drink during your beach day. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are also available for rent, providing comfort and shade for those seeking a more laid back experience.

As the sun begins to set, Poetto Beach transforms into a vibrant social hub. Locals and visitors gather to enjoy the lively atmosphere, especially during the summer months when the beach becomes a hotspot for evening gatherings and entertainment.

CAGLIARI, ITALY - People sunbathing on the Spiaggia del Poetto beach in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

Tour Ideas in and around Cagliari

Mountains And Beaches 4×4

This thrilling adventure combines the natural beauty of mountains and beaches. This guided tour takes you on an exciting off road journey through rugged terrains and scenic landscapes. You will embark on a 4×4 vehicle and explore the mountainous regions surrounding Cagliari.

You will witness breathtaking panoramic views of the countryside, forests and hills. The experienced guide will provide insightful commentary about the area’s history.

The tour also includes visits to stunning beaches, where you can relax and unwind amidst the picturesque coastal scenery. You will have the opportunity to swim in crystal clear waters, go snorkeling, see flamingos in their habitat, sunbathe on the sandy shores and soak up the ambiance of Sardinia’s coastal paradise.

Chia beach at the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia, Italy

Small-Group Food and Wine Tour from Cagliari

The Food and Wine Tour takes you to Sardinia’s Parteolla region, known for its olive groves and vineyards, for a delightful morning of culinary exploration.

This half day tour is perfect for food enthusiasts looking to discover local specialties in a shorter timeframe.

The tour includes a visit to a medieval church, adding a touch of history to the experience. Afterward, you will be treated to a wine and delicacies tasting at a Soleminis vineyard, where you can sample two Parteolla wines paired with tasty snacks.

It is an opportunity to indulge in the flavors of Sardinia and learn about the region’s winemaking traditions.

vineyards of Carignano and Cannonau wine, Santadi, south Sardinia

Cagliari: Day Trip to Cave of Neptune Private Experience

This tour takes you to the stunning Cave of Neptune, a mesmerising sea cave located on the Capo Caccia peninsula.

The tour starts with a scenic drive along the beautiful coastline, allowing you to admire the panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. Upon arrival, you will descend a staircase with a whopping 660 steps carved into the cliffs to reach the entrance of the cave.

Inside the Cave of Neptune, you will be amazed by the cool stalactite and stalagmite formations, underground lakes, and awe inspiring chambers. The guide will provide fascinating insights into the geological history and legends surrounding the cave.

To fully experience the beauty of the cave, you will take a boat ride through its blue waters, marveling at the stunning reflections and colours created by the sunlight filtering through the openings above. The boat ride allows you to explore different sections of the cave.

Scenic view of Neptune's cave. Sardinia. Italy

Cagliari Walking Tour: A Walk Through the Ancient Districts

Led by a knowledgeable guide, this walking tour takes you to the top sights of Cagliari, including the Saint Remy Bastion, the Cathedral, and the Royal Palace.

It is a convenient way to tick off multiple landmarks in just a couple of hours, allowing you to maximize your time in the city. By exploring the city on foot, you will have the opportunity to visit places that are inaccessible to cars, ensuring a more immersive experience.

Cityscape of Cagliari seen from famous Saint Remy bastion. Sardinia, Italy

Half day boat tour in Cagliari

Climb aboard a skippered dinghy and embark on a three and a half hour excursion to explore Cagliari’s most beautiful beaches, including Calamosca, Sella del Diavolo and Poetto Beach.

During the tour, you will have the opportunity to snorkel and surround yourself in the stunning marine environment. The warm and relaxed atmosphere of the Cagliari coastline sets the perfect backdrop for this memorable experience.

You can choose between morning and afternoon departures, allowing you to enjoy either the scenic beauty of the coastline under the morning sun or the magical sunset over the sea.

The tour provides a truly fun and refreshing experience. The morning tour runs from 10 am until 1:30 pm, while the afternoon tour runs from 2 pm until 5:30pm p.m.

Recommended tours in Cagliari

View from above on the sea with transparent water and sea floor. Location La Sella del Diavolo - The Devil's Saddle in Cagliari Sardinia, Italy.

FAQs About 2 days in Cagliari

What are the best attractions to visit in Cagliari?

When in Cagliari, be sure to visit the Castello district, the Poetto beaches and promenade, and the botanical gardens at Villa Bonanno.

How can I get around Cagliari?

The public bus system is an inexpensive option for getting around Cagliari. Taxis are also available and you can rent cars. You can also opt for a guided tour of the city or explore it on your own walking or biking.

Where can I enjoy local cuisine in Cagliari?

There are numerous restaurants throughout Cagliari serving local delicacies like Seadas (fried ravioli stuffed with cheese), Porceddhuzzu (grilled pork) and Pane Carasau (flatbread).

How many days to spend in Cagliari?

Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, is a beautiful city that offers something for everyone. Depending on what you’re looking to get out of your trip, you could spend anywhere from one to five days exploring its sights and culture.

To truly make the most of your time in Cagliari, we recommend staying at least three days so you can experience some of the top attractions such as the Cagliari Cathedral or take a day trip to nearby beaches like Poetto Beach.

If you’re pressed for time, a one-day itinerary could include visiting some of the city’s most iconic sites such as St. Remy Bastion and Bastione Saint-Remy or taking an afternoon boat ride around Coghinas Lake.

Final Thoughts: 2 Day Itinerary for Cagliari

No matter what kind of traveler you are, Cagliari is the place for you. With markets, beaches, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from, it really does have something for everyone.

Our two day itinerary has only scratched the surface of what Cagliari has to offer. If you’re looking for more ideas on where to stay and what neighborhoods to explore further, make sure to check out our guide on the best places in Cagliari.

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  • Alice

    Meet Alice, a seasoned traveler and marketing consultant from Derbyshire. Her adventures stretch from Singapore to Bulgaria, uncovering unique destinations. Despite her busy marketing career, she indulges in luxurious trips with her partner, offering insightful and engaging travel perspectives through her writing | | Specializing in luxury travel, couples' retreats, crafting detailed itineraries, and offering expert advice on select tour experiences and beach destinations, Alice brings a wealth of expertise to the table.

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