About Bari Airport and flights
Bari Airport is just outside the big port city of Bari, on Italy’s Adriatic coast in the southern region of Puglia. The airport makes a good gateway to the south of Italy, as Bari has transport links to many of the most interesting destinations.
> More about Bari.
Bari airport is located at Palese, around five miles to the west of the city, and is also known as Bari Palese. It is officially named Aeroporto di Bari Karol Wojtyla after the late Pope John Paul II, and its IATA code is BRI. The airport is an international one, with flights to several European countries including the UK, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Greece. There is also – at the time of writing – a once-weekly flight between Bari and New York, operated by Eurofly.
Currently Ryanair offer fairly cheap flights from the UK (London Stansted) to Bari Airport, making this a good budget way to reach the south of Italy. They also operate flights to and from Brindisi Airport, which is near Lecce, further south in Puglia, meaning that you can fly into one airport, tour the region, and fly out of the other. The airport is also served by British Airways flights from London Gatwick.
When we travelled, Ryanair’s flights arrived in the evening. Without a hire car, the only really practical option is to stay in Bari overnight, or – if you don’t mind spending money – catching a taxi to out-of-town accommodation.
The airport is modern, busy and smart, with shops, cafes and a tourist information point – although these do keep limited opening hours.
Airlines and destinations from Bari
Ryanair: Bari – London Stansted, Frankfurt Hahn, Malta Luga, Milan Bergamo, Pisa.
British Airways: London.
TUIfly: Basel, Cologne-Bonn, Munich, Stuttgart.
Eurofly: New York.
Note that airline routes change frequently: check the airlines’ websites for their latest details.
Travel into Bari
The cheapest way of getting into Bari is to take the urban bus service run by Bari transport company AMTAB. This bus, the number 16, runs from the airport to Piazza Aldo Moro, by Bari’s main railway station, Bari Centrale. It stops several times along the route through the city centre. Timetables are available on the AMTAB website. Unfortunately, at the time of writing the last service from the airport, around 9:30pm, is too early to be of use to Ryanair passengers.
A faster but more expensive alternative is the Tempesta shuttle bus, which runs directly to the railway station, stopping outside in Piazza Aldo Moro. This speedy service runs until 11:20pm at the time of writing, costs 4.15, takes 20 minutes, and unlike most Italian bus services, you can pay the driver. Both the Tempesta shuttle and the AMTAB 16 bus depart from right outside the terminal building, and there are big signs to make the bus stops easy to find. Timetables are displayed on the bus stops.
The destination for both the bus services – Piazza Aldo Moro, outside Bari railway station – is ideal if you are planning onward travel. Three different railway stations are alongside each other in the square, giving you a good range of destinations just a cheap ride away. See our main Bari page for more about travel from Bari.
A third option is to catch a taxi into Bari or to one of the nearby suburban railway stations. If you wish to hire a car – a good option if you are staying or touring in the remoter parts of the region – you can pick up your rental car here at the airport.
> Auto Europe – our car hire partners
Pugliairbus – free summer buses
If you are travelling in the summer months, check the airport’s official website for the Pugliairbus service. This initiative offers free shuttle bus services from Bari Airport to a few larger towns in Puglia, and to the cave-town of Matera in the neighbouring Basilicata region. You should book in advance online, providing your flight booking reference. The service is rather limited – the timing is inconvenient for Ryanair passengers; the bus doesn’t operate on Sundays; there’s no service to the Alberobello area, nor to Lecce. However, it provides an additional option for travellers, who will be hoping the service is expanded in the future.
Bari doesn’t have a great range of hotels but it is still the most practical place to stay on arrival, particularly if you have a late flight. The city makes a decent base for a day or two’s sightseeing and day trips before you move on to Puglia’s more picturesque destinations. If you are arriving from the airport late by public transport, consider choosing a city centre hotel which is close to the railway station, the terminus for airport buses. If you are picking up a hire car, a hotel outside the centre with its own parking will be more practical (check this when booking as there is often an additional charge for parking in Italy).
Bari Airport is useful for visiting both the Puglia region and its neighbour, Basilicata. Using public transport or driving from Bari you can easily reach the attractive Gargano peninsula and Tremiti Islands to the north-west. Between this popular holiday area and Bari are a string of seaside towns, the most pleasant of which is probably Trani. The famous UNESCO-listed castle of Frederick II, Castel del Monte, is one of the most important sights of this area. Heading the other direction, deeper into Puglia, you reach the trulli area around Alberobello. There is a private railway line from Bari to the cave-town Matera in Basilicata.
Useful external links
Bari Airport – official website
AMTAB urban buses (for timetables look under ‘Servizi di Trasporto ‘ and ‘Linee e Orari’