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St. Nicholas Basilica (Basilica San Nicola) Tours

St. Nicholas Basilica (Basilica San Nicola)
The Basilica di San Nicola is a centerpiece of Bari Vecchia, the old town at the heart of the modern city of Bari. The largest city in the region of Puglia and a major port on the Adriatic, Bari has a rich and varied history, and a visit to its imposing 12th-century Romanesque basilica is a must for architecture enthusiasts.

The Basics
One of the top attractions in Bari, the Basilica di San Nicola is a highlight of walking, bike, and rickshaw tours of the historic center, which also often include the Swabian Castle (Castello Svevo), Cathedral of St. Sabino, and Piazza Mercantile. Bari is also famous for its traditional cuisine, and foodies can join a walking tour that includes street-food tastings or a pasta-making experience along with a visit to the basilica.

Some 150 years in the making, the basilica was completed while Bari was under Norman rule and is an excellent example of Puglian-Romanesque architecture. Behind the austere stone facade, the interior houses one of the most important pieces of Romanesque sculpture in southern Italy, an 11th-century bishop's throne. Other treasures include the mosaic floor in the crypt and presbytery and a gilded wooden ceiling with canvases by Carlo De Rosa dating from the later baroque period.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Walking, bike, and rickshaw tours of Bari include significant time outdoors, so wear a hat and sunscreen.
  • A short flight of steps up to the basilica means it is not accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
  • Visitors must wear modest clothing covering shoulders and knees to enter the church.
  • The basilica is an important pilgrimage site and place of worship, so respectful decorum is recommended if visiting during Mass.
 
How to Get There
The Basilica of San Nicola is located on Largo Abate Elia, in the heart of Bari’s historic center and an easy walk from the train station and from other important sights and attractions.
 
When to Get There
Southern Italian cities can get uncomfortably hot in the summer, and Bari is no exception. Plan your visit to the basilica during the midday hours when the cool church interior offers some respite from the Mediterranean sun.
 
The Real Santa Claus

The basilica is a pilgrimage destination for both Catholic and Orthodox Christians who gather to honor the relics of Saint Nicholas, stolen in the 11th century from Myra in present-day Turkey. Patron saint of Bari, San Nicola is better known across the English-speaking world as Santa Claus or Father Christmas, and his remains are kept in the basilica’s crypt. Legend holds that myrrh seeps from his body, a miracle celebrated on December 6 with solemn processions throughout the city.
Address: Largo Abate Elia 13, Bari 70122, Italy
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36 Tours and Activities to Experience St. Nicholas Basilica (Basilica San Nicola)

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Bari Street Food Walking Tour

Bari Street Food Walking Tour

star-5
Taste your way around town with this street food tour of Bari, and learn about the city’s signature treats from a private guide. Starting with a walk around Bari’s Old Town, the tour introduces you to standout sights such as the Basilica of St. Nicholas and its sacred crypt. Continue to explore the cobblestoned enclave, trying fresh burrata cheese, focaccia, salumi, panzerotti, and home-made gelato. Finally, you’ll finish with a visit to the city’s French neighborhood where a large fish market is held.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.90
From
$60.90
Taking safety measures

Discovering the best of Puglia in a Small Group 6 Days 5 Nights

Discovering the best of Puglia in a Small Group 6 Days 5 Nights

Puglia is rich in historic and cultural treasures, and known for its dazzling coastline and superb cuisine. With this multi-day tour, take in the best of the region without the hassle of travel planning. Arrive in Bari via high-speed train from Rome and visit highlights like the UNESCO-listed towns of Alberobello and Matera, the baroque jewel of Lecce, and the whitewashed villages of Locorotondo and Ostuni.
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  • 6 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,937.55
Price varies by group size
From
$1,937.55
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Bari Walking Tour with Pasta Experience

Bari Walking Tour with Pasta Experience

star-4.5
Team a walking tour of Bari with a cooking class in a local home, and discover the secrets of the local orecchiette pasta. With a private guide, you’ll make your way around the enticing Old Town lanes, discovering landmarks such as the Basilica of St. Nicholas and hearing the city’s history. After a visit to the city’s French enclave with its modern seafront sights, you’ll visit the home of a local to make fresh pasta pomodoro and try the local primitivo red wine.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.20
From
$52.20
Taking safety measures

Bari - Semi Private Street Food & City Sightseeing Tour with Local Guide

Bari - Semi Private Street Food & City Sightseeing Tour with Local Guide

star-5
Make the most of your time in Bari with this walking tour that combines sightseeing with a deep dive into the city’s street-food traditions. Follow your guide through the squares and lanes of Bari Vecchia, stopping to sample a variety of treats from “panzerotti” to “sgagliozze”. Pass through the vibrant Piazza Mercantile and admire highlights like the Basilica of San Nicola and the Cathedral of San Sabino during your gastro-walk.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$54.53
Price varies by group size
From
$54.53
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Bari Street Food Bike Tour

Bari Street Food Bike Tour

star-5
Discover the sights and flavors of Bari on a bike tour. After exploring the historic Old Town on two wheels, you’ll then visit a bakery, brewery, deli, winery, and a gelateria. Sample food at each venue, trying treats such as the local ‘focaccia barese,’ before you venture into the modern streets of the city’s French quarter.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$63.39
From
$63.39
Taking safety measures

Bari Bike Tour with Pasta Experience

Bari Bike Tour with Pasta Experience

star-5
Pedal through Bari on a bike tour, then finish in the home of a local signora, cooking a pasta dish typical of the Puglia region. The experience starts with a ride through the city’s handsome Old Town to discover landmarks as the Basilica of St. Nicholas and striking Bari Cathedral. Follow your guide through the modern French side of the city, then call in at a local home to make orecchiette pasta pomodoro by hand. A glass of the intense primitivo local wine is included as you eat.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$54.69
From
$54.69
Taking safety measures

Self-guided Discovery Walk in Bari: the local secrets of the Old Town

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Self-guided Discovery Walk in Bari: the local secrets of the Old Town

Do you enjoy an intriguing local secret? Local entrepreneur and avid traveller Vincenzo created this self-guided discovery walk to feed your curiosity. Look around for clues to solve location-based questions and discover stories of churches and historical quirks. Along the way, you’ll pass by the highest point in town and visit a curious salmon-coloured building. When you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll get a local recommendation for the tastiest regional treats. This playful walk across Bari’s Old Town sharpens your senses and encourages you to appreciate the most wonderful – and often hidden – details around you. Whether you know Bari or just start exploring here, this experience gives you a perspective on discovery that will inspire your curiosity wherever you go next. You can fully enjoy this experience of connecting with the city while staying in your own group.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$13.09
per group
$21.81
$8.72 savings
From
$13.09
per group
$21.81
$8.72 savings

The magic of

The magic of "Bari Vecchia"

star-5
With this tour you will visit the most significant places of the old town through evocative landscapes, history, culture and legends. We will enter the Cathedral and the "Basilica of San Nicolas". Finally we will pass by a road where some women still make the "orecchiette".
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$31.08
Price varies by group size
From
$31.08
Price varies by group size

4-Day Puglia Sightseeing Tour Including Cooking Class

4-Day Puglia Sightseeing Tour Including Cooking Class

star-5
Discover Puglia’s diverse landscapes and rich heritage on this 4-day sightseeing and cooking experience. Stay overnight in a charming bed-and-breakfast in seaside Bari, venturing out each day with a professional guide to explore regional highlights like the distinctive Trulli architecture of Alberobello, Gargano National Park, the UNESCO-listed Shrine of Saint Michael and the mountain villages of Monti Dauni. Cap off the tour with a cooking class at the private home of a chef, where you’ll learn to prepare classic Puglian dishes using fresh local ingredients.
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  • 4 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$619.85
From
$619.85
Taking safety measures

Bari Bike Tour

Bari Bike Tour

star-5
Explore Puglia’s capital on this 2-hour bike tour that takes you through Bari’s maze-like old town and lesser-known neighborhoods outside the city center. Cover much more distance than walking to see highlights such as the San Sabino Cathedral, the Basilica di San Nicola, and the local fish market while your guide shares insight into the city’s heritage. Take in beautiful seaside views and stop for a tasting of delicious handmade ice cream.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$31.08
From
$31.08
Taking safety measures

Private Bari Street Food Tour by Rickshaw

Private Bari Street Food Tour by Rickshaw

star-5
Hop on a rickshaw to discover Bari’s street food scene with your own personal guide. The private tour includes a ride around the city’s captivating Old Town, stopping at sights and eateries along the way. Admire the white façade of the Basilica of St. Nicholas and hear the history behind the imposing walls of the Swabian Castle as you pass by. Treats such as gelato, focaccia, burrata cheese, and panzerotti are all included through the tour.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$68.37
From
$68.37
Taking safety measures

Walking tour of Bari & food tasting *private tour*

Walking tour of Bari & food tasting *private tour*

star-4.5
Capital of Puglia, Bari boasts the presence of the Basilica of San Nicola, an important example of Apulian Romanesque architecture. This church is included amongst the most important places of worship in the world, where Catholic and Orthodox worship blend together. You will visit the old town (including the fish market, both Ferrarese and Mercantile squares, the Ancient wall "la Muraglia", the Basilica of Saint Nicholaus, the Cathedral, the Norman-Swabian Castle and walk down the alleys up to the "pasta" street"). You will stop in different locations to taste our most popular street food ( "focaccia", "popizze" and "sgagliozze"). It's possible to personalize this tour by sending us a request or to choose a different meeting point in Bari.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$24.23
From
$24.23

People of Bari

People of Bari

star-5
During the BARI WALKING TOUR you will be able to visit the main atractions of the old town like the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the Fresh Pasta street, the Cathedral, the Norman Castle, the narrow streets, the fish market and the warm local people. You will be in contact with the southern Italian life style and people!
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  • 3 hours
From
$79.23
Price varies by group size
From
$79.23
Price varies by group size

2-hour private walking tour of Bari with a local guide

2-hour private walking tour of Bari with a local guide

Bari is Italy’s largest seaport on the Adriatic, and many visitors never look past its modern cruise and shipping port to explore the city’s delightful old town. With this tour, discover Bari Vecchia by visiting its storied churches and squares with a guide. See the castle, cathedral, and basilica, as well as the warren of lanes surrounding Via Arco Basso, where local women gather outside to make traditional orecchiette pasta.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$327.17
per group
From
$327.17
per group

Bari Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Bari Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Get to know the beautiful city of Bari through the eyes of a local by going on this customized private tour. It’s a great way to tick off all the spots you want to see in the city, while letting someone else take care of the navigating. Either come with requests of places you’d like to see, or let your guide make suggestions and plan the day for you.
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  • 2 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$37.28
Price varies by group size
From
$37.28
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Shopping Tour in Bari by Rickshaw

Private Shopping Tour in Bari by Rickshaw

Shop and sightsee on a 3-hour tour with a difference in Bari. The private experience is by rickshaw, allowing you to travel around the city quickly and with ease. Hear recommendations for Bari's most interesting shops, and look out for the sights in between visits to boutiques. Views of the Swabian Castle, Basilica of St. Nicholas, and Bari Cathedral are included, and the tour ends with a prosecco or a spritz aperitivo.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$68.37
From
$68.37
Taking safety measures

Private Bari Shopping and Sightseeing Tour

Private Bari Shopping and Sightseeing Tour

star-5
Discover Bari's historic heart and commercial soul on a 3-hour shopping and sightseeing tour with your own private guide. After exploring the alleyways of Bari Old Town to see landmarks such as the Swabian Castle, you'll dive into the elegant boutiques and ateliers that make Bari a popular shopping destination. Let your guide recommend shops based on your preferences, and discover quality 'Made in Italy' products. The tour ends with a classic aperitivo in one of the squares.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$39.78
From
$39.78
Taking safety measures

Bari By Night City Centre and Seafront Walking Tour

Bari By Night City Centre and Seafront Walking Tour

star-5
With its Mediterranean heat and port crowds, exploring Bari by day can be a chore. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and fewer tourists with this night tour that takes you past some of the most magical monuments and the twinkling lights of the seafront promenade on foot. Learn about the city’s history and lore from your guide as you admire the romantically lit churches and squares of the old town.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$104.32
Price varies by group size
From
$104.32
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

BARI special city tour

BARI special city tour

star-4
The port city of Bari has a delightful old town thick with historic churches, charming squares, and local women making traditional “orecchiette” pasta along the narrow lanes. With this walking tour, discover the highlights of the city in just hours. Take in sights like the Basilica di San Nicola and Piazza del Ferrarese with a guide to learn about their history and end with a stroll along the seafront promenade.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$24.23
From
$24.23
Taking safety measures

Bari Self-Guided Audio Tour

Bari Self-Guided Audio Tour

star-3.5
Explore Bari at your own pace with this intriguing audio guide. Learn about the history of Bari as you stroll past sights including Teatro Petruzzelli and Basilica Di San Nicola. The audio guide includes a downloadable map to make navigating easy. Expect to see street musicians, charming piazzas, and historic landmarks during this self-led tour.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$15.29
From
$15.29
Taking safety measures

Bari Street Food Private Tour

Bari Street Food Private Tour

Taste typical street food during this private walking tour of Bari. Go off the beaten bath and explore the old city center, including medieval side streets. The itinerary also features top landmarks such as Basilica San Nicola and Piazza del Ferrarese. Your local guide leads the way to taste traditional street snacks including focaccia barese and panzerotto.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$218.11
Price varies by group size
From
$218.11
Price varies by group size

Tour of the fortifications of Bari: the defenses of the city and their history

Tour of the fortifications of Bari: the defenses of the city and their history

star-5
The city fortifications are the protagonists of this itinerary. From the implantation of the megalithic walls at the Bastion of Santa Scolastica, to the demolition of the city defenses by Murat who started the chessboard work of the new city. Bari, its defenses, its history.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.83
From
$29.83
Taking safety measures

Экскурсии в Бари и в Арулии

Экскурсии в Бари и в Арулии

Прогулка по старому городу Бари. посещение самых красивых и исторических мест города (включая Базилика Святого Николая) и дегуси
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  • 2 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$15.75
From
$15.75

Official Guided Tour of Bari Old Town (PRIVATE TOUR)

Official Guided Tour of Bari Old Town (PRIVATE TOUR)

During the BARI WALKING TOUR you will be able to visit the main atractions of the old town like the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the Fresh Pasta street, the Cathedral, the Norman Castle, the narrow streets, the fish market and the warm local people. You will be in contact with the southern Italian life style and people!
More
  • 3 hours
From
$184.87
per group
From
$184.87
per group

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience St. Nicholas Basilica (Basilica San Nicola)?