Siena travel guide

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Introduction to Siena

Siena, known for its incredible Piazza del Campo, Duomo di Siena, and Fortezza Medicea, is a travel destination everyone should visit once in their lifetime. This city in Tuscany, Italy and capital of the province of Siena has plenty of experiences to offer curious travelers. Home to a variety of natural beauty and architecture, a unique historical background, and a culture as rich as its population of more than 52.8 thousand people, Siena is truly one of the main highlights of Italy.

For a deeper understanding of the city's history, culture, and local events, the official website of Siena is a treasure trove of knowledge.

Travelers looking to experience the best of Italy often choose to stay in Siena. Easily accessible, Siena is the perfect base for a memorable and unique vacation in Italy.

History of Siena

Siena, nestled in the heart of Tuscany, is a city rich in history and tradition. Its origins date back to the Etruscan period, around 900-400 BC, making it a city steeped in centuries of culture and significance.

In the Middle Ages, Siena grew into a prosperous trade city and became a major center of money lending and an important player in the wool trade. It was during this period that many of its iconic structures, including the Siena Cathedral and Piazza del Campo, were built.

Siena's golden age came to an end in the 14th century with the outbreak of the Black Death, drastically diminishing its population. Despite this, it remained a hub of arts and culture, nurturing artists such as Duccio di Buoninsegna and Simone Martini.

Today, Siena retains its medieval charm and continues to celebrate its rich history through annual events like the famous Palio horse race. Its enchanting streets, historical landmarks, and captivating past make it a must-visit destination for those exploring Italy.

Local culture and customs in Siena

Siena is a city steeped in tradition and history, offering a cultural feast for travelers. The city's heart, Piazza del Campo, is a hub of local activity, where Sienese people gather for socializing and events. The most famous of these is the Palio di Siena, a medieval horse race held twice a year. It's a significant event, with each neighborhood, or 'contrada', competing for honor and glory. If visiting during this time, show respect by wearing the colors of the contrada where you're staying.

Sienese people are proud of their culinary heritage. Traditional dishes like 'pici' (hand-rolled pasta) and 'panforte' (spiced cake) are must-tries. When dining, remember that Italians usually take their time to enjoy food and conversation, so don't rush your meal. The local dialect, Sienese Italian, can be hard to understand, but a few basic phrases will earn you appreciation. Lastly, remember that afternoon siestas, or 'riposo', are common in Siena. Many shops close during this time (typically between 1pm and 4pm), so plan your shopping trips accordingly.

Currency information for travelers in Siena

In Siena, as in the rest of Italy, the official currency is the Euro (€). It's advisable to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases and tipping. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. However, small shops, cafes, or street vendors may only accept cash, so it's good to always have a bit of both. ATMs, known in Italy as 'Bancomat', are plentiful around Siena and offer a convenient way to withdraw cash.

While Siena isn't the most expensive city in Italy, it's wise to budget for higher prices in touristy areas, especially for dining and shopping. Keep in mind that some establishments might add a service charge, so check your bills carefully. Conclusively, managing your money wisely during your stay in Siena will allow you to fully enjoy the rich history and culture this beautiful Italian city has to offer.

Language tips for travelers in Siena

When visiting Siena, it's important to remember that Italian is the predominant language. Although many locals can speak English, particularly in tourist areas, it's worth learning a few basic Italian phrases. Greetings such as 'Buongiorno' (Good day), 'Buonasera' (Good evening), 'Grazie' (Thank you), and 'Scusa' (Excuse me) can go a long way in helping you navigate the city.

Don't be afraid to use gestures or simple English words if you're having trouble communicating, as Italians are generally friendly and patient with tourists. Also, carry a translation app or pocket dictionary to help with more complicated conversations. Remember, pronunciation is important in Italian, so don't hesitate to ask a local for help with a word or phrase. Enjoy your time in beautiful Siena, and Buon viaggio!

Top services in Siena

On this page, you'll find all the top travel services in Siena, Italy. Enjoy the convenience of planning and booking every detail of your trip to Siena, including flights, accommodations, activities, and more, in one place.

Discover the cheapest and most popular flights offered by a variety of airlines that fly to Italy. Check out the best things to do in Siena by browsing over 194 top-rated tours available to you in the city. Compare the rates and services of the stays and 1 car rental companies offering CDW insurance coverage.

Experience the best of Siena with an expertly curated and fully customizable itinerary. Get answers to questions about the routes and services offered in Siena from our free 24/7 customer support. We make it easy for you to find and book every detail of your trip to Siena with this travel guide.

Continue reading this Siena travel guide to learn how you can enjoy a stress-free and memorable vacation in the city of Siena!

Local tip for visiting Siena

An insider tip from Siena locals is to embrace the city's 'contrade' culture. The city of Siena is divided into 17 districts, or 'contrade,' each with its own distinct identity, traditions, colors, and mascot. Rather than just visiting the popular tourist sites, try to explore at least a few different contrade during your stay. Engage with the locals, ask about their contrada's history and symbols, and join in their communal dinners if possible. It's a unique way to experience the city's vibrant local culture that most tourists miss out on. Each contrada also has its own museum, which offers a deep dive into its unique history and traditions. This insider tip will not only enrich your understanding of Siena's rich history and culture, but also provide a more immersive and authentic travel experience.

Learn more about Italy

With destinations such as Siena, a trip to Italy needs no further explanation. Spanning over 302,068 square kilometers, Italy is an expansive playground of discovery, offering a wealth of diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and captivating experiences awaiting exploration. From bustling metropolises to historic towns and modern urban hubs, Italy has something to enchant every traveler.

In Siena alone, travelers are spoiled for choice with an array of experiences and world-famous attractions such as Piazza del Campo, Duomo di Siena, and Fortezza Medicea. Thus, a trip to Italy becomes essential. Whether you're drawn to historical sites, natural wonders, or vibrant cultural experiences, Italy offers an abundance of treasures waiting to be discovered.

There's so much to explore and uncover in Italy. Click or tap the link below to discover more about Italy and its offers.

What to see in Siena

Photo of Siena cathedral against a bright blue sky in Italy.

Expect an exhilarating journey through Siena, a haven brimming with attractions to suit every traveler’s taste. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, and delectable cuisine, Siena offers an abundance of experiences waiting to be discovered. Dive into this ultimate Siena travel guide to uncover must-visit spots and get the scoop on what makes the city so special.

Top attractions in Siena

With its blend of traditional and modern culture, Siena is more than just a wonderful city in Italy. It's a hub for diverse experiences, boasting top attractions that range from historical landmarks to modern marvels, offering a glimpse into Italy's rich heritage and innovative spirit.

One popular place to visit in Siena is the unforgettable Piazza del Campo. Considered one of the most well-known attractions in the city, a visit to this spectacular travel destination is something you shouldn't miss on your trip to Siena.

For more information about what you can expect during a vacation in Siena, check out our list of top attractions below. Discover the best places to visit in Siena, including the fascinating Piazza del Campo, Duomo di Siena, Fortezza Medicea, Basilica Cateriniana San Domenico, and Palazzo Salimbeni.

Map of attractions

Take a closer look at the city map below for the exact locations of all the top attractions in Siena.

Things to do in Siena

Photo of Siena, Italy. Aerial view of Piazza del Campo with Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia.

You've explored Siena's top attractions and marked them on your map. So now, it's time to delve deeper and discover the top things to do in Siena. These activities not only offer excitement and adventure but also provide unique insights into the city's culture and heritage. Take your experience to the next level by checking out the best sights with a knowledgeable guide, embarking on fun adventures unique to Siena, or learning more about the city's rich history and traditions.

Discover the most popular tours and experiences in the city below.

Most popular experiences in Siena

A visit to Siena gets more exciting with memorable experiences. And the city is just perfect for that, with plenty of fun activities. Wine Tasting Experiences, Walking Tours, Historical Tours, and more are just some of the options you could explore to fully immerse yourself and make the most of your time.

In this travel guide, we've included some of the best things to do in Siena, adding a special touch to your journey in this vibrant city. Explore bustling markets, embark on scenic hikes, sample local delicacies, or immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of Siena. Browse this diverse array of unforgettable experiences Siena offers and let your adventures begin!

Top tours & tickets starting in Siena

In Siena, travelers are spoiled for choice with a dazzling array of 19 categories of top-rated tours and tickets. But among this sea of options, one category reigns supreme: Food & Drink Experiences.

Food & Drink Experiences offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Siena. For example, the fantastic A Brunello Cooking Class with Vineyards View Winery.

Siena also offers plenty of budget-friendly tours and activities that promise travelers a unique experience. Siena Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour, for example, is the cheapest Walking Tour option in the city. This experience costs around 5 EUR.

Elevate your upcoming Siena adventure with unforgettable experiences by booking top-rated tours in the city. Uncover the finest tours, activities, and tickets awaiting you in Siena right below.


All Experiences in Siena

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Search for things to do in Siena

Discover the best things to do in Siena. Choose from 194 fantastic tours and activities available in the city.

Select your dates and number of travelers in the search bar below to receive the best recommendations for your vacation in Siena. Click the green button to view your options and discover a variety of exciting things to do in Siena.

Nightlife in Siena

As the sun sets, Siena, Italy, awakens to a vibrant nightlife scene that blends traditional Italian culture with contemporary appeal. The best area for bars in Siena is the Piazza del Campo district, the city's heart, buzzing with life until the early hours. Here, you'll find a rich array of establishments, from laid-back wine bars to energetic nightclubs. Unicoop Firenze and Al Cambio Bar are two must-visit spots, offering a mix of local wines, cocktails, and Italian hospitality.

Siena's nightlife also extends to the medieval streets of its old town, where you can enjoy an evening passeggiata (leisurely walk) before settling into a cosy tavern for the night. For a unique night out, consider a visit to the Teatro dei Rozzi, an ancient theatre featuring eclectic performances. Siena's nightlife is as diverse as it is vibrant, offering something for every traveler. Be it a quiet evening sipping Chianti or a night of dancing, Siena promises a memorable experience.

Best shopping in Siena

The best place to go shopping in Siena is Via Banchi di Sopra, the city's main shopping street. Here, you'll find a mix of high-end brands, unique boutiques, and charming shops selling traditional crafts, fine leather goods, and the city's renowned 'Panforte' cake. Don't miss the 'Consorzio Agrario di Siena', a marketplace offering local treats like pecorino cheese, olive oil, and Tuscan wines.

Venture to Via di Città for its antique shops, art galleries, and jewelry stores, highlighting Siena's rich history and local craftsmanship. For fashion enthusiasts, the 'Luisa Via Roma' store offers a selection of the finest Italian and international designer pieces.

Shopping in Siena is not just about buying, it's about experiencing the vibrant culture and tradition of this beautiful city. Most shops are open from 9 am to 7:30 pm, with a break from 1 pm to 3:30 pm, in true Italian style. Remember, it's customary to greet shopkeepers with a friendly 'Buongiorno' or 'Buonasera'.

Best Free Things to Do in Siena

Discover the best free things to do in Siena, a city that exudes medieval charm and offers a rich tapestry of art, culture, and history. Begin your journey at Piazza del Campo, a shell-shaped square that is the city's social and cultural hub. Here, you can watch the world go by, admire the Fonte Gaia, the most beautiful fountain in Siena, and witness the historic Palazzo Pubblico. Next, visit the imposing Siena Cathedral, an architectural marvel with its striking black and white marble. Although there's a fee to enter, simply marveling at its exterior is an experience in itself. Wander around the winding streets of the Contrade, the city's 17 neighborhoods, each with its unique emblem and colors. Each Contrade has a rich history and distinct identity, offering a glimpse into Siena's vibrant community spirit. Lastly, enjoy panoramic views of the Tuscan countryside from Fortezza Medicea, a 16th-century fortress. These activities, steeped in history and culture, offer a fulfilling experience without spending a dime.

Car rentals in Siena

Aerial view of Siena Square and the Globe Theater, a Shakespearean theater in Sina, Italy.

To navigate Siena effortlessly, renting a car is an excellent choice. With your own wheels, you can explore every nook and cranny of the destination without relying on public transportation and even venture off the beaten path. On our website, you'll discover a selection of over 1 car rental companies in Siena, ready to provide you with the perfect vehicle for your travels.

Automatic cars for rent in Siena start at 66 EUR per day or 461 EUR per week. The cheapest automatic rental car is a Volkswagen T-Cross. If you prefer driving a manual car, you'll find multiple options for rent in Siena, starting at 47 EUR per day or 327 EUR per week. The cheapest manual rental car is a Fiat Panda.

Learn more about the different types of cars you can rent in Siena, Italy below.

Popular types of cars for rent in Siena

Renting a car in Siena is a popular choice among travelers who want to explore the city at their own pace. A wide variety of popular car rentals are available to choose from in Siena, ensuring you find the best car for your travel plans.

Check out all the options available and book your car rental in Siena for your upcoming adventures in Italy below. All car rentals come with CDW insurance for added protection throughout your trip.

Search for car rentals in Siena

Get ready to hit the road and explore the beautiful city of Siena. Find the best deals on a variety of popular car rentals in Siena, Italy, or any other destination in Europe by using the search tool below.

Enter your pick-up and drop-off location, driver's age, and dates. Click the green button to view your options.

Popular destinations to visit after Siena


The city of Siena is just one of the many unique and scenic destinations you can visit in Italy. So if you're itching for another cultural adventure, a relaxing road trip, an action-filled city break, or a memorable weekend getaway, know that Italy has it all.

Each destination in Italy offers something unique to experience! Take the opportunity to visit other captivating places in Italy that are as magical as the city of Siena. The most popular travel destinations in Italy are listed below. Click on the name of the place you want to explore next to learn more about it.

All the best destinations in Italy

When unsure about where to go next, use the map below. This map shows the locations of all the best destinations in Italy. Use the map to plan your trip and find the best routes.

Transportation in Siena

Siena, Italy offers multiple transportation options for locals and tourists alike. The city is well-serviced by public transit, with a comprehensive bus network operated by Train-Italia. These buses run regularly and cover almost all areas of the city, making it a convenient and affordable way to get around.

Taxis are also readily available throughout the city and can be hailed from the streets or booked in advance. They provide a quick and comfortable means of travel. Rental cars are another option, especially for those planning to explore the Tuscan countryside. Numerous rental agencies are available, offering a wide range of vehicles to suit different needs.

For a unique local experience, consider exploring Siena on foot. The city is famous for its pedestrian-friendly layout, with its winding medieval streets and picturesque squares. Alternatively, you can hire a bicycle and enjoy the city's many cycle routes. Siena's compact size and scenic beauty make it an ideal destination for walking or cycling.

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