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Visit Monopoli in Italy: Things to do and best beaches

Monopoli is a city not to be missed during your stay in Puglia. We recommend you to get lost in its small streets with white houses where it is so pleasant to stroll.

We’ll detail our itinerary for visiting the old town, as well as the beaches to explore around Monopoli, so you don’t miss a thing when you’re there, and our best addresses. As always, our aim is to help you organize your trip with ease.


Our itinerary to visit the old town of Monopoli

We stayed two nights in Monopoli, we needed to take the time to rest and fully enjoy our stay. As you know, we don’t really like to make one visit after another without a pose!

We visited the old town when we arrived mid-afternoon. The next morning, after a good night’s sleep, we took another stroll through the narrow streets. We then headed for the coast, to explore the magnificent beaches south of Monopoli.

It’s time for a tour of the city, as you head into the old town and lose yourself in the narrow, colorful streets of Monopoli.

Allow about 2 hours to explore the old town, its waterfront and its picturesque harbor.

If you want to make the most of your time, we recommend booking a 2-hour guided tour of Monopoli in French.


The historic center

  1. Start your visit to the old town with the majestic Maria Santissima della Madia Cathedral. The exterior is only imposing in its size, but don’t miss the baroque interior with its omnipresent marble.
  1. Wind your way through the narrow, colorful streets to the only beach in Monopoli, Cala Porta Vecchia.

Come back in the evening to enjoy a magnificent sunset.

  1. Then walk along the waterfront and enjoy the beautiful views to the castle of Charles V. For your information, free art exhibitions are offered at certain times of the year.
  1. Continue your exploration of the old town at Porto Antico, a picturesque little port with pretty white and blue boats.

Don’t miss the lovely little stone passageway leading to the old town.

  1. Then end your itinerary at Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, a small and pleasant square surrounded by restaurants and bars.

Our recommendations in Monopoli on our map

The most beautiful beaches (spiaggia) around Monopoli [carte]

You will find many beaches and coves a few kilometers south of Monopoli. White sand, translucent water and beautiful rock formations, we fell completely under the spell. We reveal you below our favorite beaches.

La Scaletta Beach

It is our favorite beach of the area, white sand and translucent water, several small creeks follow one another. This beach can be reached after a 5-minute walk, and has remained untouched, as there are no bars or restaurants. Ideal if you are looking for a little privacy.

Free parking 5 minutes’ walk away


Beach of porto marzano

Beautiful cove, with sand and always translucent water. Perfect for a lazy afternoon.

Deckchair and parasol, bar/restaurant, parking 3€.

Paradiso Beach

It is the closest to Monopoli and therefore very popular in high season. Beautiful sandy beach with some rocks, clean, and translucent water. If there’s no room on the sand, you can also place your towel on the rocks.

Deckchair and parasol, bar/restaurant, parking 5€.


Where to sleep in Monopoli?

You can choose to sleep in the center of town, so you can enjoy the city day and night. Or you can book nearby accommodation that will allow you to explore the region.

Make sure you book your hotels as early as possible, as Puglia is very popular in high season.

➡️Notre our favorite: Palazzo Indelli, a beautiful establishment right in the center of Monopoli, located in a pretty square with restaurants nearby, so you can visit the whole city on foot. We slept very well, the bedding was comfortable and the rooms were impeccably clean.

➡️Avec sea view: B&B e Case Vacanza Carpe Diem another address we noted in the heart of the old town. The big plus is the terrace overlooking the sea, on which breakfast is served – paradise! (minimum 3-night booking in spring and 7-night booking in July and August)

➡️Bed and breakfast: Masseria San Francesco, 20 minutes from Monopoli and 5 minutes from the sea, is an exceptional place that has been extremely well renovated, the rooms are full of character with their beautiful stone walls and the pretty earthenware in the bathroom adds a touch of modernity.

Nature is omnipresent: the vegetation is lush, the place is nestled in the middle of olive trees with a pool dug directly into the stone. In short, another little corner of paradise. It’s a great place to base yourself if you want to explore the region.

B&B e Case Vacanza Carpe Diem

Guided tour of Monopoli

Conseil Pourquoi pas nous : une visite guidée de Monopoli

Si vous souhaitez réserver une visite guidée de Monopoli, pour en apprendre davantage sur l’histoire et connaître toutes les anecdotes et bonnes adresses de locaux, nous vous recommandons cette excursion.


Rent a boat

Exploring the coast around Monopoli by boat is a must-do experience. Aboard your boat, with or without a license, you’ll have beautiful views of the coast, and you can even swim away from the crowds.

To rent your boat, we recommend that you use the Samboat platform. It’s very simple, they have the most complete offer of boat rental and their website is very easy to use!

You enter your location “Monopoli”, then your dates, then you can filter by type of boat (motorboats, houseboats, small boats…), with or without a license, with or without a skipper: in short, you’re spoilt for choice.

How to get to Monopoli

From Bari

Monopoli is located on the Adriatic coast south ofBari, only 44 km away by car. If you choose to start your exploration of Puglia from the Adriatic coast, after about 50 minutes of driving along the coast, you will reach Monopoli with beautiful views of the sea.

From Alberobello

We spent the previous night in Alberobello, we first reached the town of Polignano a mare after 30 minutes of driving, then in about fifteen minutes we reached Monopoli.


Where can I park for free?

On our map below, we’ve indicated a free, year-round parking lot just a 15-minute walk from the old town. And don’t hesitate to ask your hotel for recommendations for free, safe parking.

Attention, there is once again, as in all the cities of Puglia, a ZTL in the historic center.

This limited traffic zone is reserved for local residents. Overall in this region we recommend parking outside of the historic centers to avoid being in a ZTL and to avoid having to maneuver in the tight little streets.

Our best restaurant addresses

King street food

The King Street Food restaurant offers pizzas at very attractive prices, a little away from the tourist street on a small and pleasant square. Don’t miss the excellent lancia pizza with scamorza (smoked cheese) or the one with mozzarella di Bufala always a sure value and often at an exorbitant price in France…


A great bakery/sandwich shop, before you head out to explore the coast, buy yourself a sandwich/pucceria with fresh, local ingredients.

We were a little disappointed by Bella Blu Gelateria, as their ice creams are very sweet and not very tasty… To each his own!

Now we’re continuing our exploration of the Puglia region, taking you on a tour of Lecce! If you enjoyed Monopoli as much as we did, don’t hesitate to give it 5 stars below.

We wish you an excellent trip! Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll be delighted to answer you.

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Je m'appelle Floriane, aventurière et passionnée de voyages depuis mon plus jeune âge. J'aime plus que tout partager nos récits et astuces de voyage avec vous. Nous aimons les escapades courtes ainsi que les voyages longs. Ce blog est né après notre Tour du Monde en sac à dos. Nous avons également réalisé un tour d'Europe en famille.

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