Smart promenades
A sprinkling of Roman remains
The old Castello quarter

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The characteristic hills of the ancient village

From an MSC ship on the Mediterranean Sea, the view of Cagliari, Sardinia’s capital and main port, is striking. Crowned by its historic nucleus squeezed within a protective ring of Pisan fortifications, Cagliari’s setting is enhanced by the calm lagoons to the east and west of the city, a habitat for cranes, cormorants and flamingos.

During your excursion to the centre of Cagliari, the promenades along Via Manno are the smartest you’ll see in Sardinia. These then drop down to the noisier Piazza Yenne and Largo Carlo Felice, around which most of the shops, restaurants, banks and hotels are located. At the bottom of Cagliari, the porticos of portside Via Roma shelter more shops and bars.

Cagliari’s main attractions are the archaeological museum with its captivating collection of nuraghic statuettes, the city walls with their two Pisan towers looking down over the Mediterranean Sea and the port, and the cathedral – all within easy distance of each other. There are also a sprinkling of Roman remains, including an impressive amphitheatre, while nearby excursions include Nora, the most complete ancient site on Sardinia, and the islands of Sant’Antioco and San Pietro.

Almost all the sightseeing you’ll want to do on your holiday in Cagliari is encompassed within the old Castello quarter, on the hill overlooking the port. The most evocative entry to this is from the monumental Bastione San Remy on Piazza Costituzione, whose nineteenth-century imperialist tone is tempered by the graffiti and weeds sprouting out of its walls. It’s worth the haul up the grandiose flight of steps inside for Cagliari’s best views over the port and the lagoons beyond.

Must see places in Cagliari

  • The Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria

    The Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria

  • Nora


  • Nuraxi


Discover our excursions

5 results found


      • Duration
        4 h


      Spend half a day exploring the historical port of Cagliari, Sardinia’s capital city, on a tour that begins with a coach ride past such notable landmarks as the 18th-century Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria and the 8-km (5-mile) stretch of uninterrupted shoreline called Poetto Beach en route to your first stop: Parco di Monte Urpinu. This lovely park not only provides city dwellers with a welcome oasis right in the middle of town, but also affords wonderful views of Cagliari old town. After this short break, you’ll move on to the city centre to begin a guided walk around the old quarter. With the 17th-century Porta Cristina forming your starting point, the walking route will include outside viewings of the city’s 13th-/14th-century cathedral and the 14th-century Elephant Tower, so named after a small marble elephant that sits on one corner. You’ll also have some time to go shopping on your own before you return to the ship. Please note: this tour includes walking on uneven ground therefore; it is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • NORA

        • Duration
          4:15 h


        Spend half a day enriching your Sardinian experience with a peek at its distant past by visiting the archaeological site of Nora, situated on a peninsula to the south of Cagliari. A relaxing coach ride will first take you to the former Phoenician colony and port, whose history has been traced back to around the 8th century B.C.. Having spent the 5th to the 3rd century B.C. under Carthaginian rule, Nora then grew into a key trading post and one of Sardinia’s major cities under a subsequent period of Roman rule. Excavation work carried out since 1952 has revealed theatres, temples, thermal baths, the houses of noblemen and the remains of decorative mosaics, all of which point to highly developed societies that valued their creature comforts as much as we do today. Your guided tour around the fascinating complex will provide an entertaining look at the life and times of this ancient city before you return to your ship. Please note: this excursion includes a walking tour on uneven ground and is therefore unsuitable for guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair.

          • Duration
            5 h


          Sardinia is home to a unique set of around 7,000 mysterious and ancient stone towers called nuraghe, which were constructed between the Bronze Age (18th century B.C.) and the 2nd century A.D.. Although little is known about the origins of these strange structures, they are thought to have served military purposes as suggested by their shape and strategic locations. After leaving the ship, a coach will take you inland to reach the small town of Barumini and its nuraghe complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your informative visit will see you first get a closer exterior look at the mysterious stone structures, followed by an inside viewing of a 3-storey tower. You’ll then return to Cagliari for a final drive-by roundup of the city’s key sights, including a brief photo stop at the inner-city Parco di Monte Urpinu for fabulous views of the Golfo degli Angeli, or Gulf of Angels, on whose shores the city lies. Please note: this excursion includes a walking tour on uneven ground and is therefore unsuitable for guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair.

          • No guide available

          • Snack included

          • Limited seats

          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level

          • Duration
            5 h


          Just a short coach ride to the north of Cagliari will see you reach the pretty little market town of Dolianova, the local centre for olive oil and wine production. The enjoyable half-day tour begins with a visit to an olive mill for a chance to acquaint yourself with the oil pressing process. You will then move on to the 12th-/13th-century Dolianova Cathedral, which is dedicated to the all-compassionate Saint Pantaleon and was built in largely Pisan-Romanesque style. However, further features were later also added in Gothic style. Next, board the coach again and drive to the village of Serdiana to visit Argiolas vineyards, famous for producing the best Sardinian wine and the the cellars excavated underground and formed by several vaulted rooms. Last up on the itinerary is a tasty treat of local sausage, cheese, olives, wine and a super-crisp, twice-baked type of Sardinian flatbread known as pane carasau. The tour then draws to a close with your return drive to Cagliari. Please note: this tour includes is not suitable for guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. Conservative attire recommended for visiting sites of religious importance.

          • No guide available

          • Limited seats

          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level

          • Duration
            5 h


          The sights, sounds and tastes of Cagliari and its appealing hinterland are on the itinerary of this half-day tour, beginning with a coach-based sightseeing drive around the city’s main sights. The first stop will be at Parco di Monte Urpino, a lovely park not only providing city dwellers with a welcome oasis right in the middle of town, but also affording wonderful views of Cagliari old town. After your city tour, you will continue on to the Museum Village of San Sperate hosting many works of important Italian and foreign artists. Pinuccio Sciola painted all the walls in white color on the occasion of the Corpus Christi feast and invited several artists to paint their works on the village walls hence, in 1966, San Sperate turned into a Museum Village. Enjoy a walk in the village and some time at leisure before returning to Cagliari for a stop at “Piazza Costituzione” and to go up on the spectacular terrace of the Bastion Saint Remy. The tour ends with the coach drive to the port. Please note: this tour includes approx. 2 hours of moderate walking/standing it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.

        The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
        Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
        Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

        Reach the port

        Port of Cagliari

        This section contains information on how to reach the port.

        Cruise Terminal

        Check point: Via Sant'Agostino

        Reach the port by

        • Car

          The SS.131 superstrada fast road between Sassari and Cagliari is Sardinia’s principal road. On approaching Cagliari, follow the signs for "Cagliari Port" (centre).

          Parking information

          Port of Cagliari - Molo Rinascita
          Tel. +39 342 392 5176 / +39 070 0991120
          • Valet service 
          • Outdoor Parking 
          • Security-monitored parking lot 
          • Insurance included
          Book your parking with MSC


          Car 8 € 70
          Suv 8 € 70
          Minivan 8 € 70
        • Train

          The port of Cagliari is well served by train and bus services from Sardinia’s other ports and main airports. If travelling from Olbia or Porto Torres, you can reach Cagliari by either bus or train. From Arbatax or Alghero, there is a bus service only. The buses stop in “Piazza Matteotti”, just a short walk from the port gate.
        • Plane

          Cagliari Elmas is Sardinia’s main airport, with regular flights to and from most major Italian cities, and Rome and Milan in particular. The airport is around 8 km from the port and the journey takes about 15 minutes by taxi. A bus service operated by the ARST bus company is also available, with buses running approximately every 30 minutes. The bus stops in “Piazza Matteotti”, just a short walk from the port gate.


        History, gastronomy and fashion
        History, gastronomy and fashion

        A cruise to Italy is an emotional roller coaster. Rome is a tremendous city quite unlike any other, and in terms of historical sights outstrips everywhere else in the country by some way.
        Liguria, the small coastal province along the north-west coast, has long been known as the “Italian Riviera” and is accordingly crowded with sun-seekers for much of the summer.
        In Veneto the main focus of interest is, of course, Venice: a unique city, and every bit as beautiful as its reputation would suggest. Tuscany in central Italy represents perhaps the most commonly perceived image of the country, with its classic rolling countryside and the art-packed towns of Florence and Pisa.

        The south proper begins with the region of Campania. Its capital, Naples, is a unique, unforgettable city, the spiritual heart of the Italian south. Puglia, the “heel” of Italy, has underrated pleasures, too, notably the landscape of its Gargano peninsula and the souk-like qualities of its capital, Bari.

        As for Sicily, the island is really a place apart, with a wide mixture of attractions ranging from some of the finest preserved Hellenistic treasures in Europe, to a couple of Italy’s most appealing Mediterranean beach resorts in Taormina and Cefalù, not to mention some gorgeous upland scenery.