Italy is one of the most popular European countries to visit, and many people who choose Italy as their vacation destination can spend a long time trying to decide which city to visit first. Many people choose Rome, the home of the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain, and one of the key birthplaces of modern civilization, while others prefer to visit somewhere romantic like Venice or somewhere fashionable like Milan.
There are also plenty of people who are drawn to Tuscany, with the city of Florence being the capital of this particular region. Widely regarded as one of the most influential cities in the worlds of art and culture, Florence has been home to many artists over the years and is a fittingly picturesque city, with its Duomo, or cathedral, being ranked as one of the prettiest in the world.
Florence is also the home of the iconic 'David' sculpture, created by legendary artist Michelangelo, which is housed in the very popular Galleria dell'Accademia, along with the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Palazzo Vecchio. In short, it’s a stunning city, and it’s also a key gateway to many other cities around the Tuscany region, with the likes of Lucca and Siena not being too far away by car or public transport.
In fact, Florence is so well-situated that you can actually organize a lot of different day trips from this city to other parts of Tuscany. One of the best day trips to do from Florence will take you to Siena. Well-known for its medieval architecture and unique landmarks, Siena is a gorgeous and charming city with a lot to offer. Here’s how to plan the perfect day trip to Siena from Florence.
Getting to Siena from Florence
Following the roads, Siena is only about 77 km (47 miles) away from Florence, so it's not too far at all and perfect for a day trip. Usually, day trips involve people having to get up very early and rush out to train stations or get on the road at 6am in order to make it to their destination and have a full day out, but since the journey to Siena is quite a short one, you don’t need to feel too rushed. When planning your day trip to Siena, you can travel by car, bus, or train.
Getting to Siena from Florence by Car
If you're happy to drive in a rental vehicle in Italy, taking a car from Florence to Siena is one of the best options for your day trip. This is the fastest way to get to Siena, with the journey only taking about an hour and 20 minutes on average.
To get to Siena from Florence, you'll need to simply follow the Raccordo Autostradale Firenze - Siena. There are tolls on this road, so you'll need to consider the added cost of the tolls and the fuel, plus potential parking fees at your destination.
Getting to Siena from Florence by Bus
In terms of public transport, the bus is the best option for people wishing to travel to Siena from Florence. Usually, when it comes to doing day trips around Europe, the train is often the best option. However, in this case, the bus is faster and more affordable overall.
Buses run from the Busitalia SITA Nord Autostazione main station in the center of Florence and head straight for Siena along the same road one would follow if driving. The journey takes about an hour and 20 minutes, so it's almost identical to driving, except you don’t have to worry about parking or paying the tolls.
Getting to Siena from Florence by Train
Trains are often a fast and convenient way to get around Europe, and there are good links between Florence and Siena on the train as well, but the journey is just a little slower than it would be in a car or bus.
The trains run every half an hour and are mostly direct, but can sometimes involve changing in Empoli. The trains leave direct from Firenze S.M.N. which is the main train station for Florence, and arrive in the Stazione Ferroviaria Siena.
Important Information and Things to Do in Siena
- Getting Around Siena - Siena is a big city but most of its main landmarks and touristic hotspots are situated quite close together in the historic city center. This means you can enjoy a day trip in Siena by getting around mostly on foot, but you can also rely on bikes or scooters to speed up your travel around Siena. The city is also served by buses, and you can buy tickets from many newspaper stands and tobacconists. In general, for the purposes of a day trip, you’ll be able to see most of the city by walking.
- Best Time to Visit Siena - Siena is a beautiful city that can be enjoyed at any time of year, but some periods of the year are better than others for the purposes of a day trip. If you don't mind crowds, traveling in the summer months is a good option as you're more or less guaranteed to get great weather. For a less hectic and busy experience, travel to Siena in the shoulder months of April/May and September/October.
- Things to Do - Siena is known for its medieval buildings and amazing architecture, so one of the very best things to do in this city is simply walk around the main streets and squares, admiring the buildings along the way and being sure to check out the key highlights like the Duomi di Siena and the Piazza del Campo, as well as the Tower of Mangia. Siena is also a great place to enjoy some delicious Tuscan food and wine, so be sure to stop off at a restaurant and have a great meal during your day trip.