Olbia is a coastal city in northeast Sardinia, Italy. It’s known for the medieval San Simplicio basilica, and for cafes dotting central squares like Piazza Matteotti. On the palm-lined waterfront to the east, the Museo Archeologico di Olbia has exhibits ranging from Nuragic artifacts to Roman warships. The hilltop Nuraghe Riu Mulinu is an archaeological complex with views of the Gulf of Olbia.
Olbia's important tourist sights are quickly enumerated: two churches and an archaeological museum. The town lies on the shore of a large bay, with a road separating the town from the harbour. Olbia's historic port, in use since pre-Roman times, was in this area, but nowadays the main ferry port is on an island in the bay, connected by a causeway to the town.
The town’s central core is based around Corso Umberto, a lively shop-lined street leading uphill from the waterfront. At the top of a low hill, it opens into Piazza Margherita, a kind of low-key hub of the city. Around this heart there are several attractive narrow lanes lined with old stone buildings, and a few yards from Piazza Margherita, another attractive little square, Piazza Matteotti.
Olbia's main charms lie in its laidback squares and its evening passeggiata, the good choice of reasonably-priced restaurants and pizzerias on the central streets and the opportunities for excursions. The town's setting too, is an attraction if you find a good viewpoint. The irregular bay, islets and the dramatic steep island of Tavolara offshore, along with the distant hills around the city, make a lovely setting.