Some of the areas I traveled to around Puglia were simple to get to and from. I rarely had an issue and everything was seamless and efficient. Ostuni was a bit more of a challenge but I managed it in the end. This is a guide of how to get from Bari to Ostuni by either bus or train. Please leave me comments if you have further questions about the process and I will do my best to explicitly answer them!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- How to Get From Bari to Ostuni by Train or Bus
- Should You Take the Train or Bus to Ostuni?
- Bari Central Station
- Buying a Bus Ticket to Ostuni
- Buying a Train Ticket to Ostuni
- How Much is a Ticket to Ostuni from Bari?
- How to Take the Train to Ostuni
- The Train Journey From Bari to Ostuni
- Ostuni Station
- How to Get to Ostuni Center from the Train Station
- Getting Back to Bari from Ostuni
- Final Thoughts on my Trip from Bari to Ostuni
How to Get From Bari to Ostuni by Train or Bus
Ostuni is gorgeous. It was one of the cities I genuinely wanted to see on this Puglia trip. Unfortunately, getting there is not as easy as meets the eye. The old city, pictured below, is around 2.5 kilometers from the train station and an uphill walk. I’m kind of in lousy shape (okay, ‘kind of’ is an understatement), so I wasn’t too keen on making this walk.
I was initially supposed to head to Ostuni for a day trip from Monopoli. Somehow, I ended up at the train station during a span of nearly three hours where trains just simply didn’t go there. I canceled Ostuni and decided to chalk it up as a loss. I went back to Bari, dropped my luggage off, and headed to Trani instead. I eventually decided to take a bus there a couple of days later, but after my tour to Matera and Alberobello was canceled, I ended up there instead of that trip. I went by train. But, because I researched both ways to get there, I do detail them both below.
Should You Take the Train or Bus to Ostuni?
To be honest, it is a toss-up. The train is much faster; merely takes an hour from Bari to Ostuni. BUT- the train station is located quite a bit away from the old city center. You will have to walk 2.5 kilometers. BUT- there is a shuttle bus that comes to take you. The bus runs on a schedule to pick people up after trains arrive but things can always go awry… so just be patient and prepared. There are taxi options at the train station, as well. It will be around 6-10 Euros to get from the train station to the city center. I provide more details about the shuttle bus below.
The bus goes from Bari Central to Ostuni and will take you to the city itself. But, the bus journey takes anywhere from 2 hours or more. The bus also has varying prices on tickets depending on when you leave, so you may pay more.
Pros of taking the train to Ostuni: The ticket prices tend to be all the same (5,70 Euros). The train takes around one hour or slightly less from Bari to Ostuni. It is also a really pleasant ride.
Cons of taking the train to Ostuni: You will arrive in Ostuni and need to get a shuttle or taxi into the city center. Or, you can walk 2,5 kilometers up the hill to the old city.
Pros of taking the bus to Ostuni: You will be dropped off in the city center and avoid a shuttle bus or taxi from the train station up there.
Cons of taking the bus to Ostuni: It is a 2 hour or more journey. The prices on the tickets vary from 5,70 Euros up.
Bari Central Station
If you’re in Bari, you will undoubtedly go through the Bari Central Station (Bari Centrale Stazione) at some point. The train station is sizeable, yet manageable. It has an annual ridership of 14 million passengers and is one of the main train stations in Southern Italy, if not all of Italy.
The station has all the amenities you need from grocery stores to luggage storage to handicap accessibility. Below are some additional details about the Bari Central Station.
Is there Luggage Storage at Bari Central Station?
Woohoo- there is luggage storage at Bari Central Station. I ‘woohoo’ this because there wasn’t anywhere else and my back will probably hurt for years to come from hauling around an oversized bag loaded with camera equipment and other travel blogger paraphernalia.
Luggage storage at Bari Central is located at Platform 1 on the far lefthand side. The cost is 6 Euros for the first five hours and then 1 Euro up until a total of 12 hours. The 13th hour and onward is 0.50 Euros. There is a sign indicating that the luggage storage area is open from 8 am until 8 pm but the info desk at Trenitalia told me it closed at 10pm. I arrived back fairly early when I used it so I have no idea who is right. Be sure to check when you’re there. There will be a person (that speaks English) there to assist at Bari Central luggage storage.
Is There Food at the Bari Train Station?
Bari Train Station has a supermarket (Spar) as well as quite a few restaurants, cafes, kiosks, bakeries, and other things that will keep you equipped and well-fed before your train journey. There is also an amazing cafe just outside of it (cross over the fountain roundabout onto the main drag) called ‘My Day’ cafe. They make a lovely cappuccino, have friendly customer service, and don’t siesta for hours on end in the middle of the afternoon. Their wifi is super fast and I am currently using it writing this. They’re open until 9pm daily.
Buying a Bus Ticket to Ostuni
In order to purchase a bus ticket, you will actually need to go to the ticket machines that are the same ones you will use for train services. You can also go to the main ticket office pictured below:
The machines are easy to use and have English options as well as several other language options. They also take card or cash (unless they are faulty that day and they will state such information when you try to pay). Here are the steps you need to go through to purchase a bus ticket:
- Select your destination. In this case, it is Ostuni. You will see the options OSTUNI or OSTUNI (BUS). Obviously, choose ‘bus’.
- Check out the bus times listed and pick which ones work well with your schedule. The fares will be listed too and they will vary depending on the bus and time.
- Pay for your ticket.
- Wait for your printout.
- Your bus will leave from in front of the train station at the said time. Show up early so you can ensure you can find it and hop on the correct bus.
Buying a Train Ticket to Ostuni
Here is how you obtain a train ticket to Ostuni from Bari:
- Select your destination, which is Ostuni. You will see the options OSTUNI or OSTUNI (BUS). Obviously, don’t choose the bus option.
- There will be times of the day increments (around four hours each) and select which time frame you’ll be traveling within.
- Then select the exact train you want. Even though I specified the one I wanted, it never printed it on my ticket.
- Pay for your ticket with either card or cash.
- Wait for your printout and make sure you validate it at one of these green machines!
How Much is a Ticket to Ostuni from Bari?
The fares for trains were 5,70 Euros one-way (you can purchase roundtrip tickets but there are no savings in doing this). The bus tickets start at 5,70 Euros one way and go up depending on the hour the bus leaves to Ostuni. Do keep in mind that you will have an added taxi or shuttle bus fare once in Ostuni if you decide to take the train. The taxi price is around 6-10 Euros one way and the shuttle bus is supposed to be 1,50 Euros but the machine didn’t work when I went and no one wanted me to be charged. I walked from Ostuni back to the train station later in the day. More about that later.
How to Take the Train to Ostuni
If you have opted to take the train from Bari to Ostuni, you will need to find out what platform it leaves from and then head there. Mine left from Platform 1 and was a train to Lecce (via Fasano). This train had nice power outlets and was great. On the way back, my train was different, albeit still nice. Make sure you validate your ticket!
The Train Journey From Bari to Ostuni
The train journey is around 1 hour long. Fifty-nine minutes to be exact. It goes quickly and if you sit on the lefthand side of the train, you will get some really nice views of the sea. You will pass Polignano a Mare, Monopoli, and Fasano on your way prior to arriving in Ostuni.
The Ostuni station was fairly lively for being so far removed from the city itself. There was a cafe/restaurant there and a lot of cars parked there in a spacious parking lot. There was a toilet available and an indoor waiting area if you don’t want to sit outside. My train went back to Bari from platform 1 in Ostuni.
Is there Luggage Storage at Ostuni Train Station?
No, there is no luggage storage at Ostuni Train Station.
Is there Food at Ostuni Train Station?
There is a small cafe and/or restaurant there. I bought a snack inside for my train ride. It is a good option for travelers as the trip back to Bari is an hour long.
How to Get to Ostuni Center from the Train Station
As I mentioned quite a few times above, arriving at Ostuni train station does not put you in the city center. In order to get from the station to the city center, you have three options- walk, take a taxi, or wait on the shuttle bus.
Walk to Ostuni Center from the Train Station
I actually walked from Ostuni center to the train station when I was heading back to Bari. This walk was downhill and extremely easy. However, you will not have sidewalks most of the way. The drivers were pretty cautious, but I would not advise this if you have children with you. The walk is amazing though. It took me past fields of olive trees and olive oil factories. I stopped and photographed for half an hour as it was just mesmerizing.
Take a Taxi to Ostuni City Center
There are taxi options from Ostuni train station to the city center. There are several signs with different taxi company numbers right outside of the station to the right. There also may be a taxi waiting outside. The price should be anywhere from 6-10 Euros or so.
Take the Bus to Ostuni City Center
There was a shuttle bus that picked up train passengers to take them to the city center. I was the only foreigner on it and no one spoke English so I was a bit puzzled with things, but I fared well in the end. This taxi comes around the same time as trains but it appears to be late every so often, or that is what my conversations with a huge language barrier seemed to inform me. The fare into the city center was about 1,50 Euros and you can purchase a ticket on it… if the machine works. It didn’t for me and my ride was free, as a result.
If you take this option, ask to get off at Freedom Square. I zoomed around town for a while before realizing I should have already gotten off the bus. You will recognize the square as there is a large spire in the center and some really stunning, historic buildings around the square.
Getting Back to Bari from Ostuni
Getting back to Bari from Ostuni is simple. Just do the reverse of what you already did. The trains leave regularly except in that random mid-day hour where none go. Just check ahead of time and plan accordingly.
Final Thoughts on my Trip from Bari to Ostuni
The trip from Bari to Ostuni and back was a really easy experience but definitely more cumbersome and stressful than other Puglia journeys I did. Hopefully, the shuttle bus continues operating well and remains an option to take passengers from the train station to the city center. Ostuni is such a grand place to visit and I highly recommend you taking the bus or train from Bari to Ostuni to experience it for yourself!
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