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Florence to Siena Day Trip: A Complete Itinerary (2024)

Planning a day trip from Florence to Siena? In this guide, we’re sharing a full-day itinerary, including how to get there, where to eat, and the best things to do.

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Siena is the quintessential medieval Tuscan town. Wander through its cobblestone streets, shaped by Gothic buildings, and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back a few hundred years.

I have been to Siena three times—twice on day trips from Florence and once for a longer stay. It is one of my favorite places to revisit in Italy because there’s truly no place like it.

A Florence to Siena day trip is very doable; however, you must plan strategically to make the most of it. This itinerary is thoughtfully designed to help you easily plan your day, with advice on where and when to purchase tickets for the most popular sights.

Read on to discover the best things to do in Siena for a day.

How to get from Florence to Siena

Siena is located 72km south of Florence. The best way to reach Siena on public transport is by bus. Alternatively, you can take the direct train between the cities; however, the train station in Siena is about a 30-minute walk from the historic center, whereas the bus drops you off much closer.

Below, we provide detailed information to help you choose the best option for your day trip.

Florence to Siena by Bus

The bus from Florence to Siena is quicker and cheaper than the train, making it the preferred option. The 131 R bus departs from the Florence Bus Station, conveniently located across from Firenze Santa Maria Novella strain station.

The bus journey takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes each way and drops you off near Piazza San Domenico, which is just an 10-minute walk from Piazza del Campo.

To help plan your journey, visit the trip planner page on the AT Website, which is the official bus site for Tuscany. Enter “Firenze Autostazione” into the Partenza (departure) field and “Siena” into the Arrivo (arrival) field, along with your travel date and preferred time of arrival. This will display a schedule and some bus options to choose from.

Purchase your tickets at the bus station in Florence. If you are planning a return trip to Florence on the same day, buy round-trip tickets in the morning to simplify your travel.

Florence to Siena by Train

The train from Florence to Siena takes 1.5 hours each way and depart from Santa Maria Novella station. Trains depart, on average, twice per hour, so you have plenty to choose from. I recommend aiming to arrive in Siena around 9:00 AM.

You can purchase train tickets online at or at the train station. I always prefer to purchase my tickets online in advance.

Siena’s central train station is located at the base of the hill, around 2km on foot from Piazza del Campo. During my first visit to Siena, I made the mistake of walking this distance with my luggage, which took about 30 minutes and was mostly uphill.

To save both time and effort, I recommend taking a taxi from the train station directly to your first stop.

Alternatively, you can use the city bus service. Several buses depart from the front of the station and drop you off just outside of the old town, where you’ll have to walk an additional 10 minutes. You can buy your tickets at the tobacco shop / newsstand inside of the train station.

To find the best route, use Google Maps to check the bus options when you arrive.

To get back to the train station by bus, Google Maps is again useful for finding the best route. You can also catch a bus from Piazza del Sale, just make sure to confirm with the driver that they are heading to the station.

Florence to Siena by Car

We have driven to Siena a couple of times and it’s fairly straightforward. Although, it is important to note that you cannot park directly in the city center. Instead, there are several parking lots situated down he hill from the old town.

To find the best parking option, you can search for “parking” on Google Maps and a few options will pop up. We parked at “Parking Santa Caterina” on our last trip to Siena, and it was just a short walk to the center.

Here are a few parking lots that we recommend:

  • Parking Santa Caterina – underground parking garage
  • Viale della Vecchia Parking – outdoor paid parking
  • Parcheggio Stadio – parking near the stadium
  • Parcheggio San Francesco – outdoor paid parking

If you’re looking to rent a car, we always book through Discover Cars, our go-to for renting cars in Europe. We have used them to book several cars in Italy and have always had a positive experience.

READ ALSO: 2-Day Florence, Italy Itinerary

Important Tips before you go

  • Book tickets in advance: Once you know your dates, reserve your tickets for the Siena Duomo Complex to ensure you get your preferred time and ticket type.
  • Purchase combo tickets: Save money buy purchasing combo tickets that group several sights into one ticket. We recommend buying the Torre del Mangia + Museo Civico + Santa Maria della Scala ticket, which can be purchased at any of these sights.
  • Arrive early in the morning: Try to arrive in Siena between 9:00 AM -10:00 AM to maximize your time.
  • Make restaurant reservations: Siena is an extremely popular destination and restaurants book up quickly. Call ahead to reserve a table in advance.

Day Trip Itinerary Overview

Below is an overview of your Florence to Siena day trip itinerary. All of the activities are in order from start to finish.

  • Piazza del Campo
  • Torre del Mangia
  • Civic Museum (Optional)
  • Santa Maria della Scala
  • Lunch
  • Siena Duomo Complex
  • Wander the Streets
  • Dinner

Itinerary for your Florence to Siena Day Trip

Piazza del Campo

Make your way to one of Italy’s most iconic and grand squares to start off your day trip. The Piazza del Campo is the heart of the city, with both the City Hall and Tower (Torre de Mangia) at its center.

Il Campo is Siena’s social hub, where locals and tourists gather to enjoy a drink or bite to eat. During the summer, the square transforms into a race track for the Palio di Siena. This popular horse race takes place twice a year and is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular events to witness in Italy.

At the top center of the square is the Fonte de Gaia, or Fountain of Joy. This elegant marble fountain is a replica of the original masterpiece sculpted by Jacopo della Quercia in the 15th century. For those interested in seeing the original, it is located inside the Santa Maria della Scala, which is part of your itinerary later in the day.

Tip: If you’re looking to have breakfast in Siena, then head to my favorite cafe near Il Campo for a bite to eat. Torrefazione Fiorella is a truly local cafe that makes delicious cappuccinos and offers a selection of traditional Italian pastries. My go-to is the brioche stuffed with crema.

READ ALSO: One Day in Siena, Italy

Torre del Mangia

After a quick walk around Il Campo, make your way to the Palazzo Pubblico (City Hall) where you’ll need to purchase tickets to climb the city’s famed tower, Torre del Mangia.

Tickets to climb the tower often sell out by mid-day, so we recommend arriving right at 10:00 AM when ticket sales open. If you’re planning on climbing the tower later in the day, it’s best to purchase your tickets first thing in the morning before visiting other sights.

Standing at 334 feet (102 meters), the Torre del Mangia is one of the tallest towers in Italy. Constructed in the mid-14th century, it earns its nickname “mangia” from its Giovanni di Balduccio, the tower’s first bell ringer.

He was known for wasting away his earnings, which is aptly reflected in its name. Torre del Mangia literally translates to “tower of the earnings-eater.”

Be prepared for a climb of over 400 steps. The reward at the top of the tower is well worth it, with incredible panoramic views of Siena. Time at the top is limited to 15 minutes per group, so make the most of it. In total, your visit will last 30 minutes.

Getting Tickets

As we mentioned previously, tickets for the tower are not available online. You must visit the City Hall and buy your tickets in person from the ticket office.

During peak season, from May through September, tickets often sell out by the afternoon. To avoid missing out, we recommend arriving at the ticket office as early as possible, ideally right when it opens at 10:00 AM. You have the option to reserve a time slot for later in the day as well.


From March to October, the tower is open daily between 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM. The ticket office closes at 6:15 PM.

From November to February, the tower is open daily from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The ticket office closes at 3:15 PM.

Time slots are available every 45 minutes, and the visit is limited to 30 minutes per groupl

Ticket Options:

You can either purchase a single ticket for the tower, or you can buy a combined ticket to visit the tower plus a couple of other sights.

  1. Torre del Mangia: €10
  2. Torre del Mangia + Museo Civico: €15
  3. Torre del Mangia + Museo Civico + Santa Maria della Scala: €20

We recommend purchasing option #3 to save money.

Civic Museum

The Civic Museum is also located inside of the Palazzo Pubblico and is home to some of the city’s most exquisite frescoes. These remarkable artworks, painted by the Sienese pictorial school from the 14th to the 19th centuries, adorn the series of grand halls.

It takes about an hour to go through the palace. I only recommend visiting if you have a full day in Siena; otherwise, skip it for the other activities below.

Practical Information: From November to February, the museum is open from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. From March to October, opening hours are 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM.

Single tickets cost €6 per person. Combined ticket options are available, we recommend getting the second option below.

  • Torre del Mangia + Museo Civico: €15
  • Torre del Mangia + Museo Civico + Santa Maria della Scala: €20

Santa Maria della Scala

Situated in Piazza del Duomo, Santa Maria della Scala is a former hospital dating back to the Middle Ages. For centuries, it served as a refuge for pilgrims and children, and was in operation until the late 1900s.

Today, you can explore this historic complex and its various attractions, including medieval frescoes, a Children’s Art Museum, an Archaeological Museum, a church, and the Piccolomini Spannochi art collection.

There is so much to see here that it can be a bit overwhelming. Two highlights not to be missed are:

  • The original marble pieces of the Fonte Gaia, whose replica is located in Il Campo square.
  • Pellegrinaio Hall (Pilgrim’s Hall), which is covered in vibrant 15th century frescoes that tell stories of the hospital’s past.

If you are short on time, make sure to visit the two sights above. Otherwise, you can take your time to visit the other museums within the complex.

Practical Information: From March 15 – October 31, the complex is open from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM. Between November 1 – March 14, opening hours vary. Check the official website for up to date information.

Full price tickets cost €9. We recommend purchasing the combined ticket below to save money:

  • Torre del Mangia + Museo Civico + Santa Maria della Scala: €20


Taking a day trip to Siena gives you the opportunity to try some local Sienese cuisine! For a quick lunch, Pizzeria Poppi Ivano is a solid choice for pizza by the slice. Try the Ciaccino, a local specialty made of thin foccacia bread stuffed with Prosciutto and mozzarella.

Both Osteria degli Svitati and Compagnia dei Vinattieri are good sit-down restaurant options that serve homemade pasta dishes. Make sure to call ahead and reserve a table in advance.

Tip: If you are nervous about making restaurant reservations in Italy, or don’t have the option to call on your phone, ask your hotel to make the reservation for you instead. This is extremely helpful, and they’ve always been happy to do it for us when we ask.

Foods to try in Siena:

  • Wild Boar: You’ll find this popular Tuscan meat in both pasta dishes, served as a ragu, and second courses. It may not sound the most appetizing, but when cooked right, it’s extremely tender and flavorful.
  • Ribollita: A popular Tuscan soup that is made with cannellini beans and thickened with bread. It’s one of my favorite Italian dishes!
  • Pici: A thick and round noodle pasta that is served all over Tuscany. You’ll find it with all sorts of sauces, but the most popular dish in Siena is Pici all’Aglione, made with a garlic and tomato sauce.

Siena Duomo Complex

After lunch, the bulk of your afternoon will be spent at the Duomo di Siena, the city’s magnificent cathedral. Plan on spending 2-3 hours to see everything here.

Tickets for the Duomo

With several ticket options, it can be a bit confusing deciding which one to choose, so let’s simplify it. There are three main ticket types for the Duomo:

  • Cathedral ticket – €7 full price: This pass grants entry to the Cathedral and Piccolomini Library.
  • Opa Si Pass – €16 full price: This option includes access to the Cathedral, Piccolomini Library, Cathedral Museum, Crypt, Baptistry, and Panorama.
  • Gate of Heaven Pass – €23 full price: Includes all the benefits of the Opa Si Pass, plus exclusive access to the cathedral’s rooftop.

So what pass should you get? It depends on your budget and time. If you have 2-3 hours, we highly recommend getting the Gate of Heaven Pass for its amazing views from the cathedral’s roof.

However, if you only have an hour, either the Cathedral Ticket or Opa Si Pass is still worth it to get a glimpse at the interior!

Purchase your tickets online in advance, especially during the peak season from May to September. To avoid waiting in line or missing out on the Gate of Heaven, try to secure your tickets at least a few weeks before your visit.

Your Visit to the Duomo

There is a lot to see inside of Siena’s Duomo complex, and you need to be strategic in planning your visit. If you opt for the Gate of Heaven Pass, the reserved time on your ticket is the starting time of your rooftop tour. Make sure to arrive 20 minutes early to get to the starting point on time.

If you purchase the Opa Si Pass, arrive at the reserved time at proceed directly to the line for the Panorama, located inside the Cathedral Museum. This line can get long and you may end up waiting 30 minutes to an hour, which is why we suggest starting your visit with this.

After you’ve finished your tours, feel free to wander through the rest of the complex at your leisure.

Inside of the Siena Duomo Complex

Siena Duomo and Piccolomini Library: Constructed in the 13th century, Siena’s cathedral is one of the most magnificent in Italy. It features striking black and white marble, with striped marble columns and intricately inlaid marble floors.

The cathedral’s pulpit was designed and sculpted by Nicola Pisano in the mid-1200s. Additionally, there are many artworks throughout the building by famous artists, such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Bernini.

Adjacent to the cathedral, the Piccolomini Library was established in the late 1400s to honor Pope Pius II (Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini). The library is renowned for its vibrant frescoes by Pinturicchio, which decorate the walls and ceilings above the historic manuscripts.

New Cathedral & Panorama: In 1339, ambitious plans to expand the cathedral were set in motion, but the project was tragically cut short by the Black Death in 1348, leaving the “New Cathedral” unfinished.

Today, you can stroll atop the remaining walls of the outer facade, enjoying breathtaking panoramic views of Siena’s city center.

Cathedral Museum: The Duomo Museum offers an intimate look at some of the cathedral’s most significant artworks, including the Rose Window by Duccio di Buoninsegna and sculptures by Donatello, Pisano, and Jacopo della Quercia.

Crypt: Beneath the cathedral lies the crypt, originally the site of the 12th-century church that preceded the existing structure. It houses exquisite 13th-century frescoes that are worth seeing.

Baptistry: The Baptistry of San Giovanni Battista is a fine example of Renaissance art. The Baptismal Font, built by notable artists including Donatello and Jacopo della Quercia, was sculpted in the 15th century. Its ceiling is adorned with frescoes that were painted by several Sienese artists, also in the 15th century.

TOUR OPTION: Siena Cathedral and City Walking Tour

If you have more time…

After a full day of sightseeing in Siena, take some time to stroll through the charming medieval streets of the old town. I love getting lost in historic places and taking it all in.

If you are up for another church visit, then we recommend walking to the other side of Siena to the Basilica of San Domenico. Take a quick look around this massive Gothic church. It’s pretty basic inside, but the walk to get here is lovely.

If you’re looking for the best panoramic views of Siena, head to this viewpoint.


For dinner, we recommend La Taverna di San Giuseppe, one of Siena’s most acclaimed restaurants, which is also included on the Michelin Guide. Call ahead to reserve a table – it’s popular and difficult to get a last minute reservation.

Order one of their seasonal dishes or try something local like wild boar.

COOKING CLASS: Book this Tuscan Cooking Class in the heart of Siena for a unique experience!

Siena Tour Options

  • Siena Cathedral and City Walking Tour: Visit the Duomo and other historical sights with an expert guide on this 2-hour walking tour.
  • Siena Walking Food Tour: Enjoy a taste of Siena’s delicacies on this food tour, which includes a glass of Chianti wine.
  • Tuscan Cooking Class: Cook an entire Tuscan meal, including hand-made pasta, during this cooking class in the heart of Siena.
  • Cooking Class at a Winery: Enjoy an authentic cooking class at this countryside estate, where you’ll prepare your Tuscan meal with stunning views of the vineyards.

Map of Siena

This map includes the best things to do on your Florence to Siena day trip, including restaurants, sights, and parking options.

To save the map to Google Maps on your phone or computer, click on the star next to the title. Once you do this, you’ll be able to find the map in your “saved maps” list on your phone.

To see a list of all the items on the map, click the box with arrow on the left. To enlarge the map, click the box on the right.

Is a day trip to Siena from Florence worth it?

Yes, a day trip to Siena is worth it! One day is the perfect amount of time to explore the city’s main attractions. Plus, Florence is just a short distance away, so the travel time between cities isn’t overwhelming.

Keep in mind that this itinerary is packed. It will be a full, non-stop day of sightseeing. Make sure to arrive in Siena early in the morning (9:00 AM) and plan on leaving later at night (8:30 PM – 9:00 PM).

When is the best time to visit Siena?

Our favorite times of year to visit Siena are spring and fall, specifically in May, September, and October. Not only is the weather fabulous this time of year, but the city is much less crowded than the summer months.

It’s worth noting that if you want to visit the Palio di Siena, the famous horse race, then you will need to plan your visit on July 2nd or August 16th. These are the two dates that this event takes place every year.

READ ALSO: Italy in September

More Information for your trip to Italy


Italy Travel Insurance – We always get travel insurance before all of our trips for peace of mind. Check out Travel Insurance Master to find the best plan for you.

Italy Rental Cars – We’ve rented a car in Italy many times, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through Discover Cars (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling.

Italy Phone Plans – If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in Italy, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used Airalo during our trip to Italy, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed.

Italy Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for Italy? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through Booking for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from.

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