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I have to change flights in Cagliari on a Sunday evening and I'll have around 2 hours free between the two, so I decided not to just sit in the terminal but actually rush out to the city. I have interests in history and transport (and maybe food, but this timescale definitely not allows for a good eat). I made the following plan:

18:55 Arrival

19:11 / 19:44 Take the train from Elmas-Aeroporto to Cagliari station

Walking through from the station/harbour to Republicca to catch a tram just for a few stops, and then coming back with another one and walking back to the train station (or by bus).

20:40 / 20:44 / 21:00 Take the train back to the Airport.

22:40 Scheduled time of my flight leaving

My questions are the following:

  • How reliable are the railway timetables and trains? Should I expect them arriving on time?
  • What is the easiest ticketing option? Do they do contactless travel? (I have euro account debit card) I looked at Trenitalia and the ticket description says it is only valid at the given time, but I can't know for sure which train I'll be able to catch. Can I buy any train tickets before travel? Is there any return tickets? (however the price is so cheap I don't mind paying two singles, the main constraint is time.
  • Are the tram timetables reliable? It seems to be a 20 minutes service on Sunday evening. Are the same trams returns from the final station? (they have 6 minutes return time there) What is the quickest ticketing option for the trams? I only found Italian on the tram website so that is not much helpful.
  • Can I rely on Google Maps (my usual transit app) for bus stops, arrival and route times? (getting back to the train station)

Thanks if you can answer any of the above.

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    I said 2 hours free. There is 3:45 between the arrival and departure, and I have no bags to check-in and travel alone and light, so a bit more than 1:30 should be enough to go across security, passport control and gate. – Mcload Oct 11 at 9:51
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    @Mcload Sounds like a recipe for 2 hours of stressing about whether you’ll get to anything remotely worth seeing and get to the departure gate by the cut-off time for your next flight. – Traveller Oct 11 at 10:16
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    @Traveller I had around 25 flights between European cities in the last 2 calendar years plus plenty more by family and friends and 2 hours was always enough to clear check-in - even with bags -, passport (if needed) and get to the gate at any possible airports including London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Budapest, Dublin... I'm not a person typically worrying on anything, and as you can see, I try to prepare well. – Mcload Oct 11 at 10:22
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    Trenitalia tickets can be bought from their app and do not normally need to printed (at least for local trains). Last time I checked my local train ticket was also valid for other local trains on the same route at least in the next few hours after the departure of the train it was bought for, but that may depend on the fare selected. – FDMS Oct 12 at 5:45
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    At the end, all this is to stay an hour near the station/ old harbour? I would skip tram/bus and enjoy a drink at the center. Trains to the airport should be reliable and tickets can be also bought at automatic machines. – Alchimista Oct 12 at 12:26

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