The medieval historic center of Bari is one of the most fascinating in Puglia. Once completely enclosed by walls, the old town is a warren of narrow, winding streets and small squares. Parts of the walls and gates remain as does the castle on one side of the old town. A little way from the castle, near the ferry port (Corso Antonio de Tullio 8), Hosteria al Gambero is a good place to stop in for a moderately-priced fish meal.
To get to the historic center, or centro storico, from the train station and Piazza Aldo Moro walk along Via Sparano, a pedestrian street lined with shops. Via Sparano is known as a great place to shop, especially for women’s clothes, although you’ll find all kinds of modern shops along this street as well as a few cafes and ice cream stores. Or cut over to Via Roberto da Bari and stop for a coffee at il Baretto historic caffe. It’s about a ten minute walk to the old town.
There are several interesting churches in the old town including the Basilica of Saint Nicholas and the Cathedral but the most intersting thing to do really is just wander. Be sure to walk along Strada Arco Alto where you’ll see orecchiette pasta (a typical food of Puglia) for sale, drying on racks outside houses. A good place to stop in for a meal is Osteria delle Travi.
Outside the walls, it’s nice to walk along the Lungomare that runs between the walls and the sea. You can see the fishermen bringing in their daily catch in the small harbor.
Bari is a major stop on the rail line and it has an airport, making it a good starting point for most itineraries in Puglia. From the airport there’s a bus connection to the city.