We only used the train once, when we did not have a direct bus connection returning from Barumini to Cagliari. We took the bus to Sanluri Stato and from there caught the train back to Cagliari. The train was on time, quite comfortable, too, so we did not have any complaints!
One thing I remember from previous trainrides in Italy: make sure to validate your ticket before you board the train! There are little yellow punching machines on the platform!
The best way to get around the city is the orange city buses. They are surprisingly often on time. Most lines start from Piazza Matteotti, i.e. outside the train station. For the beach take lines PF or PQ. For a sightseeing tour through the city, preferrably choose line nr. 1. Tickets can be bought in any tobacco shop. Look for the 'T' sign!
Going by car can be a problem cause of the chaotic traffic and difficulty to find a place to park your car. Going by bicycle is also possible but be very careful! There are no separate lanes for bikers and drivers dont show much respect.
Cagliari is a quite big town and its transport network is excellent. Bus and metro cover the entire city area, from centre to periferic districts.
Different tickets for any range of needs:
90 minutes ticket: 1.00 euro
2 hours ticket: 1.50 euros
1 day ticket: 2.30 euros
12 trips ticket: 10.00 euros
Well, personally I do not like to drive, so this never really was an option for me. We found that public transportation was great for the places we wanted to see, but I do realize that there are some remote places that might require a car!
If you rent a car and plan to use it in Cagliari, think about renting a small car, since the streets in the old part of town are narrow and parking space is scarce! I especially love those Fiat 500 cars - and we did see them in quite a few places!
Walking definitely is the option to explore the old part of Cagliari - the streets are so narrow that it would be hell having to drive here - besides, if you want to get a feel for a place you just have to walk! Hear the sounds, smell the air, look hither and thither - and have aching feet at the end of the day!!!
That's the way to do it!
There are suggested walking tours through Cagliari, read more about those in my General Tips!
There are various bus companies for overland travel throughout Sardegna, the most well known is ARST (Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti). The bus terminal in Cagliari is right next to the train station and there is quite a busy schedule.
Tickets for the ARST buses (including the shuttle bus to the airport) can be obtained at the ticket counter inside the McDonald's, tickets for other companies in the bus station itself.
The only other way to get to Sardegna is by ferry. There are ferry services to and from
Cagliari - Trapani
Cagliari - Civitavecchia
Cagliari - Arbatax
Cagliari - Napoli
Cagliari - Palermo
The Stazione Marittima is very conveniently located not far from train and bus station and the city center.
Cagliari airport Elmas is conveniently located just 10 minutes drive from the city center. Since it is so close to the city you have a spectacular and little frightening view of the city while getting ready to land! It looks sooooooooo close (and in fact, it is)!!!
We arrived there from Stuttgart on tuifly, formerly HLX and hapagfly. The airport was first opened in 1937, but recently renovated and has a very modern apparence.
There is a shuttle bus to Cagliari central bus station every 30 minutes, the fare is 2 €. You do have to obtain the tickets before getting on the bus. In Cagliari this is at the ticket counter of the central bus station, but since we were picked up at the airport in Cagliari, I do not know where to get the tickets there. I did read something about a vending machine or look for a kiosk/café/information counter - I am sure you will be helped!
Actually there is no need to use much public transportation, since the city center and the most sights are within walking distance. If you decide to stay a little longer in Cagliari, though, and want to go to some more remote places, the orange buses are what you need!
You can buy the tickets at any of the many kiosks around. One ticket costs 1 € (Feburary 2007) and is valid for 90 minutes. You can use any of the buses except for the line #9.
To reach the Castello district (upper part of the old town) of Cagliari you can either walk up and climb a good number of stairs or you can use an ascensore. There are 3 or 4 of them that we have discovered, maybe there are even more!
Those lifts are free of charge and can carry as much as 1000 kg! Good option for travellers who depend on a wheelchair!
Take the bus, it's the only method of travel unless you want to come up against some hardcore Italian driving. Trains are virtually non-existent. If you fly to Alghero there are buses to Cagliari (a four hour trip) which will cost you no more than 8 squid. You can buy strips of tickets from the newspapers stands for your travel around Cagliari.
Ticket inspectors come round regularly so make sure you stamp them!
Nothing better than rent a car and drive more or less 2h and half to reach the northern part of the island (Alghero, Sassari ...).
Consider that during the summer the sun can be a lot "evil" on this road !!!
Flying is the easiest; cheap flights are available from Rome & Milan especially if u can plan in advance ... then rent a car and drive 1 hour in south direction ... u'll reach Villasimius.
In summer 2003 they opened the completely renewd airport "Elmas". Check the website for more infos.
Alitalia flys into Cagliari, but try the ferry if you have time to burn. Remember these are the waters where Princess Di and Dodi shared their last holidays together, and the Mediterannean sea is sure to please.
Public transport here is mediocre. Try hopping on one of those hybrid tram busses, I think it is the easiest way around. If you have your own carthough, go for it !!!
Elmas airport(8 km from Cagliari): tel. 070/240047.
Terminal: p.zza Matteotti (Stazione A.R.S.T.).
Via Caprera 14, tel. 60107. Centro prenotazioni: tel. 60108.
Elmas Airport: tel. 240079.
Collegamenti diretti con Genova, Napoli, Palermo, Roma e Torino.
Via Barone Rossi 27, tel. 669161. Aeroporto Elmas: tel. 240169.
Collegamenti diretti con Bologna, Firenze, Milano, Olbia e Verona.
Collegamenti internazionali (con scali intermedi): Barcellona, Londra, Madrid e Parigi (tutto l'anno); Francoforte, Monaco, Nizza e Zurigo (mesi estivi).
Stazione Marittima: via Roma, tel. 663328.
Via Campidano 1, tel. 654664. Stazione Marittima: tel. 666065.
Collegamenti con Arbatax, Civitavecchia, Genova, Napoli, Palermo, Trapani e Tunisi.
Ferrovie dello Stato (F.S.): p.zza Matteotti, tel. 656293.
Ferrovie della Sardegna: p.zza Repubblica, tel. 491304.
Ufficio turistico 'Trenino Verde': l.go Gennari, tel. 499948.
Cagliari is connected with ferries to the ports of Porto Torres, Olbia e Golfo Aranci, and coincide with ships to & from italy.
Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti (A.R.S.T.): p.zza Matteotti, tel. 409834.
Pani Autolinee: p.zza Darsena, tel. 652326.
Ferrovie della Sardegna: tel. 580078.
Partenze da p.zza Repubblica e p.zza Matteotti.
Autolinee Ferrovie Meridionali Sarde: tel. 0781/32800.
Partenze da v.le Colombo.
Turmo Travel (Cagliari/Olbia/Cagliari): tel. 0789/26101.
Partenze da p.zza Matteotti.