5 of the best parks in Cagliari

Forget sand in your sandwiches and head out for a picnic in one of Cagliari’s grassy oases instead. Kick back and relax in one of the city’s  parks or seek out a secret garden. From historical hideaways to musical fountains, Cagliari has green spaces galore. Here’s five of the best parks in Cagliari. 

1. Giardini Pubblici – Via Ubaldo Badas

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Part of Cagliari Municipality since 1840, these are the oldest gardens in the city. Take an afternoon stroll down the long tree-lined avenues and admire the plethora of fountains and sculptures scattered throughout the area. Marvel at the Roman statue of the so-called Grande Ercolanense and make your way to the Gallerie Communale d’Arte that bookends the central walkway. Designed in the style of the XIX century, check out the collection of plants including the jacaranda, ficus macrophile and tropical palm trees as well as the flowerbeds that create a colourful carpet across the grass. Located amidst the historic neighbourhoods of Las Vega and Castello, this park is a real sight for sore eyes and not to be missed when visiting Cagliari. 

2. Parco di Monte Claro – Via Cadello

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Sitting right in the middle of the city, this next one is a real local favourite for its family atmosphere and recreational facilities. Find the main entrance at via Cadello and spend the day exploring the several hectares of jogging and walking paths, playgrounds and wildlife. Venture out to the pond and watch ducks, geese and turtles as the children play in the playground. During summer, the park comes to life with cultural and entertainment events bringing the whole city together in one place. Home to the Provincial Library Emilio Lussu and a designated dog area, this is easily one of the best parks in the city. 

3. Botanical Garden – Viale S. Ignazio da Laconi 9-11

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Under the direction of the University of Cagliari, this garden has a collection of about 2,000 plant species native to the local area and has been blooming since 1866. Divided into three sections, the natural park is designed to educate visitors on the vegetation surrounding the island. Delve into a display of plants from the Mediterranean commonly found in Sardinia as well as a handful of examples coming from Australia, California and Chile. Wander round the tropical plants and see the succulents in their natural habitat. All in all, the garden has about 600 trees and 350 shrubs waiting to be explored. 

4. Garden of the Capuchins – Viale Merello

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Next on the list of the best parks in Cagliari, the Garden of the Capuchins was founded in 1595 and sits on a hill on the western side of the Roman amphitheatre. Part of a former monastery, the grounds were used to grow medicinal herbs and evidence of its previous incarnation are still visible today. Take a walk through time along the paths and explore the ancient ruins of Roman cisterns dug into the limestone rocks. An important piece of Cagliari’s history, this garden is bursting with centuries-old traditions and artefacts. Look for the Christian graffito that dates back to the early 4th century and venture into the cave that still has remains of shackles from its past life as a prison. An interesting experience, this garden is a definite must when planning your itinerary of what to do in Cagliari. 

5. Parco della Musica – Via dei Giudicati 16

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Go for a night of culture in a breath-taking setting at the Parco della Musica located between the Opera Theatre and T-Hotel. Designed in a modern style, the five hectare wide urban garden is fronted by a beautiful square with an artificial river, fountains, marble pavements and wooden platforms. Very close to the historic centre, the park is the ideal distance to visit for an after-dinner stroll to watch the fountain dance to the music of Georg Friedrich Handel. Cross over the small wooden bridge on the river and watch the sky turn burnt orange as the sun dips into the sea.  Open since 2011, this is a park unlike any other in Cagliari.


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- Lucy Norris