There are many beautiful parks in Cagliari.
The capital of Sardinia may be known for its galleries, museums, and historic sites – as well as its intriguing warren of streets and lanes. But if you need a break from pavement pounding, don’t worry; there is also a great selection of city parks in Cagliari to discover.
These parks are more varied than you may imagine. From the classic sculpted gardens of 19th century planned city parks to more wild stretches of forested green space – and even some decidedly modern parks for the 21st century – there’s a lot on offer. Some even have their own selection of ancient ruins! They are the perfect place to breathe some fresh air in any season, and to spend quality family time.
GOOD TO KNOW: Dogs are generally allowed in all parks in Cagliari, as long as they are on leash.
To give you some inspiration on where to find your green oasis in the city, I’ve listed the best parks in Cagliari (my favorites). Let’s take a look and see what’s on offer.
The Nicest Parks In Cagliari
The Giardini Pubblici (or Public Gardens in English) is a beautiful urban green space, and one of the oldest planned parks in the Cagliari, dating back to 1840.
Spread over 17,000 square meters, the park sticks to its 19th-century design, with tree-lined avenues perfect for promenading – think flowerbeds and manicured lawns.
It’s also home to the Municipal Art Gallery. Throughout the park, you can find statues, sculptures and fountains. Well-kept and with a beautiful view of the city, it’s a pristine spot to take some time out.
GOOD TO KNOW: There’s a family-run kiosk in the park selling drinks and snacks – perfect for enjoying under the shade of a tree. The wide paths also make it a good spot for running, and the lawns are great for picnicking.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The main entrance to Giardini Pubblici is on Vale Regina Elena, and there’s a bus stop (Regina Elena) nearby. Open from 6:00 am to 12:00 am daily, with shorter opening hours in the winter months; it’s free to enter.
Giardino Sotto le Mura “Giardino Fratelli Giuseppe e Vittorino Fiori
The Giardino Sotto le Mura is one of the newest parks in Cagliari, and a lovely green space right in the heart of the city. Spread across 6500 square meters, the park also counts with a small theater and with statues by famous Sardinian sculptor Pinuccio Sciola.
GOOD TO KNOW: There are public toilets, a fountain and a kiosk, as well as disabled access.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The main entrance to the Giardino Sotto le Mura “Giardino Fratelli Giuseppe e Vittorino Fiori” is in Viale Regina Elena. The garden is open every day. Opening time vary from winter to summer. Winter opening times are 7:00 am to 9:00 pm; whereas summer opening times are 5:30 or 6:00 am to 10:00 pm or 12:00 am. It’s free to enter.
Cagliari’s very own Botanical Gardens (Orto Botanico in Italian) is a cool place to lose yourself. Opening in 1866, this lush garden feels like a tropical paradise, with plenty of palm trees and other exotic plants. Many of the 2,000 species of plants here are Mediterranean in origin.
The park is split into three sections – Mediterranean plants, succulent plants, and tropical plants. There’s even an area dedicated specifically to palm trees. The backdrop is perfect if you’ve got a green thumb with an Instagram to match.
There are also Roman ruins here, with the remains of thermal baths and domestic buildings to discover.
GOOD TO KNOW: There’s no cafe on site, but you’re allowed to bring a picnic – or you can leave to grab a bite and return on the same day. You can even scan a QR code to get a map of the gardens on your phone.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: It’s situated on Via Sant’Ignazio da Laconi, with the Sant’Ignazio da Laconi bus stop opposite. In summer, opening hours are 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, with shorter hours at other times of the year. The entrance fee is €4.00 per person (€2.00 for children), and it’s possible to book a private guided tour.
Parco di Monte Claro
What was once a psychiatric hospital is now a large green park where city dwellers can let off steam – all surrounded by high walls. Parco di Monte Claro is a popular spot for families with small children: there’s a play park to use and a pond to gaze at, as well as walking and jogging paths.
Besides the active credentials of the park, it’s set on a hill, so has excellent views of Cagliari below, making it a good spot for sunset. Sculptures dot the park, as does a selection of wildlife – from swans to terrapins.
GOOD TO KNOW: This park is great for jogging! There are two dedicated spaces for dogs if you happen to have your pooch with you, so everyone’s looked after on a day out to the park. In the summer months, this park is known for its events.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Parco di Monte Claro is set on Via Diego Cadello. There’s handy parking, and the Cadello (parco) bus stop is virtually opposite the gates. It’s free to enter and open 7:00 am to 10:00 pm year-round.
Parco di Terramaini
This riverside park is a large green space covering eight hectares, with a dramatic mountainous landscape as a backdrop. It’s grassy, lush, and decidedly less sculpted than other parks in Cagliari. It’s mostly a carpet of lawns dotted with Mediterranean trees.
In the summer months, you’ll be pleased to know there are shelters to protect you from the sun, as well as picnic tables and benches to make visiting this park a full day out. The park is also home to a lake, where you can spot the resident flamingoes.
There’s a wooden walkway crossing some portions of the lake. With its high reeds, this part of the park feels wilder.
GOOD TO KNOW: Because of how flat this place is, it’s the perfect area for runners. There are fun playgrounds, well-kept toilets, and even a bar here!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Parco di Terramaini is located along Via Andrea Vesalio, with parking available. The Pisano (parco Terramaini) bus stop serves the park. Opening hours change monthly, ranging from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm in winter to 5:30 am to 12:00 in summer. Admission is free.
Parco di Molentargius Saline
Established in 1999, this park is a vast natural oasis on the doorstep of Cagliari. A former salt pan, the area has since transformed into the nature spot it is today. It’s a haven for wildlife – particularly flamingoes, which breed on the shallow lakes. This is one of the best spots in Italy to see flamingos.
Molentargius translates to “donkey handlers,” which links back to the donkeys that transported the salt extracted from the lakes. Although it has been used for salt for thousands of years, this internationally recognized Ramsar Wetland is now an important place for nature.
It’s certainly a unique spot if you’re looking for an interesting park in Cagliari – especially if you’re a bird-lover.
GOOD TO KNOW: For an incredible sight, make sure you’re in the park around sunset when the resident flamingos fly from Parco di Molentargius Saline to Santa Gilla Lagoon in a V-shaped formation. You can rent electric bicycles to get around (adults €3.00 per hour; children €2.00 per hour).
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Located along Via la Palma, many people opt for an electric bus tour of the park. With numerous stops nearby, it’s possible to take the bus – or tram (alighting at Mercalli bus stop) – from the city centre. Alternatively, you can get in from Poetto Beach. It’s open from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm, but hours vary throughout the year. Admission is free.
The following guided tours all go to Parco di Molentargius:
- Electric bike naturalistic tour
- Half day private sightseeing tour
- 2-hours bike tour in the flamingo oasis
Make sure to read my post A Complete Guide to Molentargius.
Parco della Musica
Inaugurated in 2011, Parco della Musica is a city park designed to host theatrical and musical events. It’s a modern park that adds to the city’s livability. The squares, tree-lined pathways, artificial waterways, bridges, and lawns make it an excellent place for strolling and meeting friends for coffee.
Nearby is the Conservatory Auditorium, further adding to the cultural credentials of the park. Inside the Parco della Musica, you’ll also find its very own purpose-built venue, the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari.
Cool, well designed, and with fun perks like a fountain synchronized to music by Handel, it’s a chilled out place to sit and relax with a beverage or snack of your choice.
GOOD TO KNOW: The Teatro Lirico di Cagliari puts on numerous events throughout the year – just check their website for the schedule and see if your visit matches up with something cool! In the summer months, the park’s outdoor auditorium puts on various shows, too.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The main entrance to Parco della Musica is located on Via dei Giudicati, but there are other entrances. There’s parking available, or you can alight at the T Hotel bus stop. It’s open from 7:00 am to 1:00 am, and it’s free.
Gardens of the Capuchins
Founded in 1595 as a vegetable garden for a monastery on a hill overlooking a Roman amphitheater, the Gardens of the Capuchins (Orto dei Cappuccini in Italian) has to be one of the most historic green spaces in Cagliari.
This park is entwined in the city’s heritage, with ancient sites and Roman finds making it something of an archaeological wonderland. Walking through this park is like stepping into a historical oasis.
With herbs and fruit trees from the monastery garden days still growing, it’s a green space where you can travel back in time, yet still be surrounded by modern buildings.
GOOD TO KNOW: There are deck chairs in the park, great for relaxing on warm days. Combine your historic trip to the Gardens of the Capuchins with a visit to the Roman Amphitheater nearby (complete with underground section).
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: This Cagliari city park is located on Via Luigi Merello. There’s parking nearby, but you could get off at the Merello bus stop just across the road from the entrance. Admission is free. Opening hours are 7:00 am to 8:00 pm every day.
Parco di Monte Urpinu
This wild park is one of Cagliari’s biggest green spaces and was the city’s first designated urban park. Spread across 350,000 square meters, there’s a lot to explore along its many paths and tree-lined walkways.
The hilltop location of Parco di Monte Urpinu means visitors are afforded amazing views of the city below, as well as the port. Waterways loop around the rugged park, with bridges crossing them, making it a fantastic place to explore.
I recommend that if you’re in Cagliari for any length of time, you should set aside a morning or afternoon to enjoy this beautiful park!
GOOD TO KNOW: There’s a dog park here, a playground for children, and toilets. Those who like to work out will enjoy the free fitness area, while the bar is a great place to grab a bite to eat and a drink.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: There are three entrances on Viale Europa, Via Leo Pietro and Via Vidal, with multiple bus stops serving the park. There’s also street parking nearby. It’s free to enter, and opening times are 7:00 am 7:00 pm (winter), closing gradually later until August (9:00 pm).
Parco di San Michele
The crowning glory of Parco di San Michele is most definitely the medieval Castello di San Michele, a hilltop fortress that can be seen from miles away. Set in the northern part of the city and surrounded by pine trees, it’s an adventurous place to explore.
The castle here has a Byzantine origin, with foundations dating back to the 10th century. To preserve its history, the area around the castle has been turned into a beautiful and comprehensive city park – think ornamental lawns, Mediterranean plants, and running routes.
A visit here means you’ll be rewarded by fantastic views, with glimpses of the mountains beyond, the sea, and the city visible. It’s the highest natural point in the city, after all – and yet, it’s not very touristed at all.
GOOD TO KNOW: Visitors will find a restaurant on top of the hill; it has a large terrace that morphs into a cocktail bar in summer. There’s also outdoor gym equipment along the path if you feel like working-out, plus play areas for children. No dogs are allowed.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Parco di San Michele can be accessed from Via Giovanni Cinquini, which leads you to three entrances (one of which has parking). You can also take bus line 5 and alight at the Via Cinquini stop. Park admission is free, and the castle can be entered for €3.00. Park opening hours vary; it’s open 6:30 am to 9:30 pm in summer and closes at 7:00 pm in winter.
Further readings about Cagliari
Check out my other posts about Cagliari:
- 15 Great Things To Do In Cagliari, Sardinia
- The Most Incredible Day Trips From Cagliari
- 5 Markets In Cagliari For Your Shopping Needs
- The 7 Best Beaches In Cagliari
- Everything You Need To Know About Poetto, Cagliari’s Best Beach
- 17 National Parks And Nature Reserves In Sardinia
- 5 Lovely Walks In Cagliari To Discover Its Beauty