Rolling hills, delicious food, divine wines, yummy gelato, gorgeous little shops and beautiful scenery, if this is what you call a vacation, Siena is for you.
If you are heading to Tuscany in Italy a day trip to Siena cannot be missed. Siena is a great base for a vacation or as a day out from the neighbouring towns, but what is there to see in Siena? Can you see all of Siena in a day?
We stayed just outside of Siena in the countryside this summer and went for the day to explore the city of Siena.
Here is what to see in Siena Italy in one day or over a few days.
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Where is Siena?
Siena is located in the centre of the region of Tuscany in Italy. Florence is 1 hour and 20 minutes away, Pisa is 1 hour 45 minutes away and Rome is 2 hours 30 minutes away by car.
What are the Sights to See in Siena?
The main sights to see in Siena are Piazza del Campo, which is the city centre. Torre del Mangia this is the big tower in city centre and Siena Cathedral.
The sights are important but so is eating! So make time for a decent lunch in one of the many restaurants.
One thing I will point out in Siena, it is very easy to get lost. All the streets look the same. Always take a photo of where you parked the car and which entrance you walked through.
Piazza del Campo
Piazza del Campo, is the name of is the city centre of Siena. It is a big medieval square that is shell shaped. The piazza dates back to the 13th century.
The famous horse race called the Palio di Siena is held twice a year in Piazza del Campo. The famous square has been featured in one of the James Bond movies; Quantum of Solace.
In the square are lots of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. It is lovely to sit in the piazza for lunch or a drink, but remember you will pay a premium for this.
Torre del Mangia
Torre del Mangia is the big tower in city centre in Piazza del Campo. It was built between 1338 – 1348 and is 112 metres tall.
There 400 steps to the top and when we walked up it was tiring in the afternoon heat. Unless you were my six year old niece that thought it was a piece of cake!
Once you get to the top it is worth the step workout as the panoramic views of Siena and out into countryside were amazing. You can see all the terracotta roofs, the cathedral and miles of countryside.
Before you climb the stairs, you have to store all bags small or big. You can only bring what you can fit in your pocket and your camera/phone.
Siena Cathedral is huge and was built between 1225 and 1263. The exterior and interior are decorated with black and white marble in a striped pattern. The facade of the cathedral is very impressive as it has so much detail.
Inside there is a lot to see between the main cathedral, Piccolomini Library, the Museo dell’Opera, Baptistery, Crypt, Oratory of San Bernardino and the Diocesan Museum of Scared Art.
In the summer months there are lines to go inside and visit the cathedral, so allow the time to line up (or book your tickets Head of time) and the time walk around. Either go first thing in the morning or after lunch, as you will need the whole morning or afternoon to visit.
Useful Info on Siena Italy
- Language: Italian, English is spoken
- Currency: Euros
Travelling by Car to Siena
If you are travelling by car to Siena these are the approximate travel times to from the closest cities in Italy.
Parking in the city centre gets full quickly in the summer months, so go early. Most car parks are around the city walls and except cash and credit cards.
Florence to Siena by car 1 hour and 20 minutes
Pisa to Siena by car 1 hour 45 minutes
Rome to Siena by car 2 hours 30 minutes
Travelling by Train to Siena
If you are travelling by train to Siena these are the approximate travel times to from the closest cities in Italy. Train tickets can be purchased online before hand or at the train station. The ticket machines can be used in English. Just remember to validate your train ticket at the validation machines before you go to the platform.
Florence to Siena by train 1 hour 35 minutes
Pisa to Siena by train 1 hour 50 minutes
Rome to Siena by train 3 hours 20 minutes
Closest Airports to Siena
The closest airports to Siena are Florence, Pisa or Rome, see the beloved times to get to Siena from each airport.
Accommodation Around Siena
There are hotels, apartments & B&B’s in the centre of Siena and outside in the countryside. If you have a car staying in the countryside is the real Tuscan experience of the rolling hills, the pointy tall trees and vineyard all around, it is picture perfect.
If you prefer staying in the city centre, there are apartments to rent right in the centre in even in Piazza del Campo.
Booking.com have lots of accommodation available at all price points. When we went there we stayed in a two story apartment with a garden 7kms outside of Siena and it was, perfect for a family and it was picture perfect!
Weather in Siena
The weather in Siena in the summer months through May To September vary from 20*C – 30*C (It can be hotter in July/August when we were there it was over 30*C daily).
What to Wear in Siena
In the summers months it is hot, but it is not the place to flash your flesh! Wear comfortable clothing and bring a cover up for churches and cathedrals. Wear comfortable flat shoes as there is a lot of walking around uneven surfaces in the city centre and steps up towers.
- Trainers/Sports Shoes
Bring a water bottle and a portable phone charger. I always bring my own water bottle as it is insulated and keeps the water cold I love these ones below.
A portable phone charger I could not live without, as between taking photos on my phone and using it for maps, internet and an actual phone, it does not take long for the battery to die. I use one by Anker, as it is small and will charge my phone quickly, which is so handy when out all day.
What to See in Siena Italy in One Day Round Up
My tips for Siena are to go early to make the most of the day and get parked if driving. If you are going to go up the tower at the Torre del Mangia do this first before it gets too hot.
Make time to eat an amazing lunch, Siena is the place to eat delicious homemade food. Try the truffles on pasta or steak, you will not be disappointed.
Take photos of the car park and entrance to the city centre as it is very easy to get lost in Siena as all the streets look the same.
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Love Lucy x
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