If you mention Siena to a group of travelers, it's likely at least one of them will start gushing with superlatives. But rather than assuming they've had too much to drink, you should believe what they're saying - this medieval Tuscan town positively oozes charm, despite being largely overrun by tourists during the high season. Somehow Siena manages to host all those crowds every day, year after year, and not lose her lustre. Whether you visit on a day-trip from Florence or you decide to stay here for a few days, Siena is likely to turn you into one of those people who gushes at parties when someone mentions the name.
What to Do
The biggest "sight" in Siena is probably the town itself, with its winding cobblestone streets and pretty piazzas. But the historic center is even big enough that there are a few attractions you'll want to make time for - and you don't even have to go outside the old city walls to see them all.
The central orientation point is the city's main square, the Piazza del Campo, around which Siena's famous horse races (the Palio) are run twice each summer. It's the perfect spot to enjoy a gelato, or just do some people-watching. If you plan to come for the Palio, reserve your room well in advance! The Duomo is a short walk from the Campo and is a multi-colored masterpiece. It was intended to be built even larger, but the bigger church was never finished. If you're into relics, just outside the historic center is a church that has the head and one finger of St. Catherine, Siena's patron saint.
Read: Ten Lesser Known Places to Visit in Italy.
It's unlikely that you'll be starting and ending your trip in Siena, but if you're planning to just explore the Tuscan region you might look into flying directly into Florence. If the prices are beyond your reach, the next best airport to try is probably Rome's Fiumicino Airport. If you're already in Europe, of course, your options for which airport to fly into are practically endless. Start by hunting for airfare to Italy
and go from there.
Read: 8 Movies that Inspire Travel.
Where to Stay
Staying in the historic center of Siena can be quite expensive, but there's a more modern city outside the old city walls where you'll be able to find more budget accommodations. You can browse our selection of Siena hostels
and Siena hotels
and book your room today.
For more information on Siena and the rest of Italy, don't forget to check out our Italy Travel Guide