Perched within the gorgeous region of Puglia, Brindisi is a totally lovely city whilst on a trip around the southern regions of Italy. That being said, it’s also a destination in its own right, with a huge mix of the best things to do in Brindisi dotted all across the city.
Now, just like most cities when you’re visiting for the very first time, Brindisi can be pretty bamboozling to navigate and plan a trip. This is especially true if you’re short on time or include the city as a pitstop on a wider Puglia road trip.
So, to make it that bit easier for you, we’ve popped our very favourite places in Brindisi that you can miss when you visit.
Have the most amazing trip in Italy.
1.) Brindisi Waterfront
Located within a cosy inlet, connected to the Adriatic Sea, Brindisi is a bustling (relatively small) city that’s got a stunning and totally historic coast.
You see, Long ago, the main income for Brindisi was trade and fishing, which brought a hive of activity to the waterfront. And guess what, it’s just as thriving and beautiful to see to this day… just with a few more visitors!
After arriving, by ship or on land, be sure to stroll Viale Regina Margherita, it’s the waterfront road that’s perfect for a sunset stroll. You see, it’s got heaps of restaurants, bars and little cafes that line the whole Promenade area… and it’s totally gorgeous.
Not only that, you’ve got a heap of the best things to do in Brindisi dotted all around this historic area. Colonne Romane, the Church of Saint Theresa and the Cattedrale San Giovanni Battista are all close by.
Talking of food, if you’re getting peckish, head over to La Locanda del Porto, that’s a few minutes from the promenade itself. They have incredible seafood and their freshly caught langoustines are so delicious.
2.) Alfonsino Castle
Built in the 16th century, visiting Castello Alfonsino di Brindisi (as it’s known in Italian) is one of the best things to do in Brindisi when you visit.
Constructed as the main point of defence for Brindisi, its structure and fortification are still standing pretty tall after all the centuries gone by.
Best of all, you can easily visit Alfonsino Castle which sits on Saint Andrea island just off the coast of Brindisi. Though, don’t worry, it’s attached to the mainland so it’s really easy to visit.
Once here, make sure to explore pretty impressive castle grounds featuring historic battlements, and stone towers and is well worth the visit. Not only that, you can climb up to some stunning viewpoints in the castle, overlooking the Adriatic Sea and wider.
3.) Brindisi Archaeological Museum
Fancy learning more about the long history of the Puglia region? Then, you’ll want to visit the Brindisi Archaeological Museum as you walk along the Old Town of the city.
Once here, you’ll get to peek at some of the artefacts found across the region and learn about the lifestyle and political changes around the whole area. These artefacts date back to the Roman era, showcasing the region’s glassware, weapons, ceramics, and statues. It’s such a great way to get a glimpse into the old life of the people in this part of Italy.
Though, that being said, if you’re not interested in the history of the region, you might want to give this a miss and book this Brindisi boat tour with an aperitivo included. It’s so lovely, especially around sunset.
Getting hungry? Head for dinner at Ristorante Acquapazza. They have a delicious spaghetti alle vongole (clam pasta) that’s so tasty.
5.) Santa Maria del Casale
Santa Maria del Casale is a 13th-century church featuring meticulous architecture from the Middle Ages. It’s so impressive to see, especially if you’re interested in the historical architecture of Brindisi.
Now, one thing that makes Santa Maria del Casale so special is its facade that’s pretty unique in its design. You see, it has polychrome exterior walls, constructed with local tuff combined with white stone from the village of Carovigne – totally epic to see and learn about.
Plus, the interior has heaps of Romanesque and Gothic styles to see, with detailed frescoes and some 1,300 paintings depicting different scenes from the Bible.
Alternatively, if you’re not feeling a visit to the church, head over to the seafront promenade and explore Palazzo Granafei Nervegna. It’s right in the centre and one of the best things to do in Brindisi; and close to the waterfront, too.
4.) Monument to Italian Sailors (Monumento al Marinaio d’Italia)
Great for sightseeing and historical excursion, the Monument to Italian Sailors (Monumento al Marinaio d’Italia) is a pretty renowned landmark found on the opposite side of the port in Brindisi.
Informally known as “the Rudder”, it was built back in 1933 and stands a whopping 53 meters tall.
To make your visit easier, book this Brindisi walking tour that’s so incredible. Not only will you get to see all the main sights in the city, but you’ll also get to learn so much more about the local history of Brindisi and the wider Puglia. We loved it.
5.) Pontificia Basilica Cattedrale
Standing for about 1,000 years, Pontificia Basilica Cattedrale has faced many near-demolition struggles many times during its presence in Brindisi.
You see, it was almost destroyed by an earthquake three hundred years ago and bombed at the time of World War II. However, its structure has stood resilient, making it a great spot to see in Brindisi when you visit.
Once here, be sure to see the Virgin Mary column. The relics of one of Brindisi’s patron saints, St. Theodore of Amasea, have also found their final home in Pontificia Basilica Cattedrale and are well worth taking a gander at.
6.) Roman Ruins and column
Honestly, there’s so much history in Brindisi that you can’t really avoid it! This makes it a totally amazing city in Italy to visit if you’re wanting to learn more about how Italy came into being.
You see, Brindisi also has a deep Roman history, Excavation in the Brindisi Roman Ruins started in the 1960s at the site of the new Verdi Theatre. Today, you can explore the Saint Pietro of Schiavoni Archeologica Area and visit the Roman columns that are pretty impressive to see.
Just be sure to take some comfy shoes, you’ll end up strolling around quite a bit in the centre of Brindisi.
7.) Promenade (Lungomare di Brindisi)
Strolling the area of Lungomare di Brindisi is one of the best things to do in Brindisi for a more chilled and relaxing day in the city.
You see, you can walk the full stretch of the Brindisi Promenade, starting from the Virgil Monument up to the far side of the harbour. Make sure to stop by important landmarks, like the Museum della Birra, and satisfy your appetite in one of the restaurants along the way.
A totally easy and serene route to explore the city.
Afterwards, book a table for dinner at La Cantina ti l’Artisti. Their homemade pasta and calamari dishes are so good. We could have eaten here hundreds of times.
8.) Day-tripping around Puglia
Look, the whole region of Puglia is absolutely stunning and well worth exploring after seeing all the best things to do in Brindisi.
If you’re craving for a day trip from Brindisi, Lecce is a nearby city that is considered the most famous in the region. Not only that, it’s beautiful. It is only a 40-minute ride from Brindisi, and you can take your own car or ride a bus or train to Lecce.
Lecce is home to some of the most awe-inspiring architecture in this part of Italy. Churches, old buildings, and Roman architecture abound throughout the city. Some of the most notable tourist destinations in Lecce are the Piazza del Duomo, the Church of Santi Niccolo e Cataldo, and a Romanesque amphitheatre.
Alternatively, if you’re heading north, make sure to visit Ostuni. It’s a whitewashed inland town that’s so picturesque and well worth visiting for a day.