Bastia is known as the gateway to Corsica. For most visitors, it is the first town they see and the last one they leave. After Ajaccio, it is the second largest city on the island and the largest port in Corsica.

Thanks to its location in the north-east of the country, dozens of ferries from France and Italy arrive here daily. If visibility is good, you can also see the island of Elba, which is only 50 km from Corsica.

Bastia is probably the liveliest town in Corsica. You'll find many restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and a lively nightlife in the evenings.

Sights and attractions

History lovers and lovers of beautiful, typically Mediterranean centres with narrow streets will be in for a treat. When visiting Bastia, you won't want to miss these attractions:

  • Vieux Port - an old harbour now used by local fishermen. Around the harbour there are ancient houses, once inhabited by fishermen families. This part of town is very picturesque and appears in many photographs and postcards from Bastia.
  • Citadel of Terra Nova - one of the main tourist centers of Basite. The picturesque quarter is surrounded by 14th century fortifications dating back to the Genoese Republic, and is the most photographed part of Basite.
  • Église St-Jean Baptiste - the main Bastion cathedral and landmark of the Vieux Port dating from 1583.
  • Place Saint Nicholas - a nearly 300m long square right by the harbour, where flea markets are held and there are plenty of restaurants.
  • Palais des Gouverneurs - was the seat of the Governor and Bishop of Corsica during the reign of John, and is now the Ethnographic Museum.

Bastia also boasts the largest library in Corsica.

Beaches and swimming

Although Bastia follows the coastline, you won't find any beaches directly in the town.

South of the centre, however, begins one of Corsica's longest beaches, the Plage de l'Arinella, which stretches for more than 10km along the flat coastline.

Arinella is covered in fine light grey sand and although it has a more rural feel with smaller villas, you'll find full facilities here in the form of several refreshment rooms, sunbed hire and showers.

At the same time, however, you'll find plenty of privacy and places where you'll be on your own on Arinella Beach.


With Corsica's busiest airport , Bastia BIA, the town is a popular base and place to stay for at least 1 night.

The average price per night in summer ranges from 100 eur to 170 eur per room, which is roughly the Corsican average

We also provide tips on specific accommodation for ease of reference.

Transportation in Bastia

Does public transport work in Bastia? And how to get further afield in Corsica from Bastia?


Parking in Bastia is charged everywhere at about 1,50 eur per hour. Although the area of the historic centre is cramped, there are more than enough parking spaces, especially along the seafront promenades, even in the peak summer season.

Public transport buses

Public transport in Bastia operates on the basis of about 15 bus routes that cover the whole city. Fares are simple as there is only one type of ticket - for a single ride for 1,50 eur, you can also buy a discounted pass of 10 tickets for 10 eur. Tickets can be bought in all newsagents and some supermarkets.

Official information, timetables and maps can be found on the transport company's website

Intercity buses and trains

The main bus station is located near the port (location at and buses depart from here throughout Corsica. The railway station is just a few steps north of the historic centre and west of the port (location at

From Bastia, you can takethe train 4-6 times a day to Ajaccio (approx. 22 eur), 4 hours away, via the central mountains with the town of Corte (1 and three quarters hours, approx. 10 eur). With a change at U Ponte Á and Leccia, you can also reach Calvi twice a day by train. Frequent rail service runs along the coast to Casamozza (approx 2-3 times per hour).

By bus from Bastia, you can reach mainly the north and along the east coast to the south, but also to the mountains. There are many different bus companies operating from Bastia; for example, you can find clear timetables on the unofficial but frequently updated website

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