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San Marino Tips: The most beautiful sights in one day

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So small – and so spectacular! San Marino’s old town towers majestically on the summit of Monte Titano. It is not surprising that the historic center and its sights have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. San Marino is simply breathtakingly beautiful.

San Marino, as a so-called dwarf state, is one of the smallest countries in the world. It is completely surrounded by Italy. A trip to San Marino is therefore ideal for a road trip through “Bella Italia”.

In this blog article we will show you what you can experience in one day in San Marino and which sights you should not miss should. There is also our experience report, how we liked it and of course, as always, our personal tips for your trip. 1. San Marino: The miniature state at a glance Useful information & exciting facts San Marino is tiny. From north to south the expansion is just 12 Kilometre. Crazy, right? San Marino is considered the oldest republic in the world. The old town sits enthroned on a ridge of Monte Titano. The location is truly extraordinarily spectacular. It is not for nothing that San Marino’s old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Approximately 30.000 People live in San Marino – the vast majority though not in the old town, but in the communities at the foot of the mountain.San Marino does not belong to the EU. You can still pay on site with euros. The flair of San Marino: Our (honest) experience report As spectacular as San Marino is located is – the flair in the center (i.e. in the capital on the mountain) unfortunately did not inspire us as much as we had hoped. To explain what we mean, we have to go back a bit.

No question, the cityscape in the old town is beautiful. Narrow alleys, old houses, imposing buildings and of course the three striking towers – San Marino is quite a feast for the eyes.

However: We lack life. The old town is geared towards tourists through and through. Here souvenir shops line up with jewelers and leather goods shops with gun shops. Yes, you read that right. gun shop. There is an absurdly high density of shops in San Marino where you can buy folding knives, airsoft guns and the like. Why it is like that? We didn’t get it until the very end, but it definitely puts people off.

Walking around San Marino feels a bit like visiting a museum on. And unfortunately we don’t mean that in a positive way. Nevertheless: The historic town center is definitely worth seeing. However, the spark didn’t really fly with us.

Is a day trip enough to visit the main sights? Admittedly, it sounds a bit odd to visit an entire republic in just one day. In the case of San Marino, however, we think that a day trip is definitely enough.

The most important sights are all in the old town (i.e. the capital, which is enthroned on top of the hill). You can imagine this part of San Marino a bit like a small medieval town that can be explored fairly quickly. There would even be enough time for a trip to Borgo Maggiore (the municipality at the foot of the mountain from which the cable car starts).

Of course you can also spend a night (or two) in San Marino. However, the range of hotels is fairly limited, as the vast majority of guests only visit San Marino as a day trip. 2. Main Sights in San Marino The three towers The symbol of San Marino and by far the most important sight are the three defense towers and the associated castle complexes . They are enthroned on the ridge of Monte Titano, visible from afar.

Guaita: The first tower is the oldest and arguably the most iconic of the three. From the tower (or from the defensive walls of the castle) you have a magnificent view of the second castle complex.Cesta: The second tower (also called “Fratta”) is equally impressive. You can usually visit it, but the area is updated (as of spring 2022) renovated. Anyway, from here you have a great view back to the first tower.Montale: The third tower in the group is the smallest and youngest of the three. He probably comes from the 14. Century. The tower cannot be visited. Tip: witch path between tower 1 + 2 All three castle complexes are connected by a path. The trail is accessible at all times (i.e. even outside opening hours). Especially on the first section of the path, the so-called witch path (Passo delle Streghe), you can look forward to the iconic postcard motifs .

In particular, the stone staircase with a view of the second tower Cesta is a very popular photo motif. Also don’t miss the view back towards Guaita. How the majestic fortifications are enthroned here on the mountain ridge is really very impressive to look at.

Palazzo Pubblico on the Piazza della Libertà The central square in San Marino’s old town is the Piazza della Libertà. One of the country’s most important sights is enthroned here, the Palazzo Pubblico. It is the seat of the town hall, parliament and government – and is also featured on the reverse of the €2 coin.

With its cream facade in the Neo-Renaissance style the Palazzo Pubblico immediately catches the eye. You can also tour the inside of the palace (including the huge boardroom) unless an important meeting is taking place.

The spacious Piazza della Libertà stretches out in front of the Palazzo Pubblico. The square is open to the south-west, so you can enjoy a great enjoys views of the surrounding countryside. In any case, in our opinion, one should not leave San Marino without having paid a visit to this place. Basilica of San Marino San Marino’s most important church is the basilica of the same name, San Marino. She was born in 12. Built in the 19th century in a classical style, it is definitely one of the most impressive sights in the country.

You can of course also visit the inside of the church. Admission is free. The columnar architecture of the entrance area of ​​the cathedral continues inside. We personally found the flair quite special and worth seeing.

A little tip: Make sure you dress appropriately. Your access will usually be denied if you wear short trousers or a short skirt and/or free shoulders. Tip: pick up your passport stamp In the tourist information at the Piazzetta Giuseppe Garibaldi you can get a nice souvenir for your passport. For 5 Euro you get a sticker with a stamp in your passport. Of course, the whole thing is quite touristy, but we are happy about this souvenir of a special kind.

3. Practical tips for your trip (arrival, entry, parking, etc.) Getting there: How to get to San Marino San Marino is inland, just about ten kilometers from the Adriatic coast, and is completely surrounded by Italy. The nearest major city is Rimini, which you can reach by car in less than half an hour.

San Marino has no airport. You usually arrive by (your) car, especially if you are from Germany or Austria come. The journey time from Vienna to this region is a good 8 hours.

An alternative possibility is to travel by plane (eg to Bologna). You can find cheap flights on Skyscanner. From there you could then book a rental car . We always book our rental car through Sunny Cars.

Entering San Marino The entry from Italy to San Marino is conceivable unspectacular. There are several border crossings that you will only notice if you really pay attention. Only the signs indicate that you are about to leave the European Union.

There are usually no border controls, so you don’t have to expect waiting times here. The same entry requirements apply to San Marino as to Italy.

Tips for parking Once you arrive in San Marino, you have roughly two options to park and to reach the (largely car-free) old town (i.e. the capital).

Variant 1: You park “downstairs” in the municipality of Borgo Maggiore (e.g. at parking lot P11). From there you can take the cable car (Funivia di San Marino) directly to the old town of San Marino. The trip (ascent and descent) costs 4,30 Euro. The mountain station is practically in the middle of the old town of San Marino.

Variant 2: You take the road uphill old town. There you can park, for example, at car park P9. From here you can reach the town center via two lifts. Then only a short walk (uphill) separates you from the center.

4. Overnight stay in San Marino Option 1 (our tip): In neighboring Italy Personally, we would advise not in San Marino, but rather in one of the surrounding villages in Italy. The picturesque town Santarcangelo di Romagna is recommended. From there you can reach San Marino in less than half an hour by car.

Here we can highly recommend the Delle Farfalle Boutique B&B. This personally managed bed and breakfast is located on the outskirts of the old town of Santarcangelo di Romagna in a quiet location. There are only three rooms and a beautiful garden.

Option 2: In San Marino If you stay the night directly in San Marino, you naturally have the advantage that you start early in the morning and the explore the old town before anyone else. The vast majority of guests visit San Marino as part of a day trip, so staying the night here naturally has its appeal.

The range of accommodation in San Marino is fairly limited. We recommend the B&B Balsimelli , an authentic bed and breakfast that located directly in the historic old town. The roof terrace with a view is simply fantastic.

5. Other destinations around San Marino Rimini If you are not staying in Rimini anyway and want to see San Marino from there, then it is worth stopping in the small town definitely. Aside from the party and the beach, Rimini has a lot to offer.

The old town of Rimini exudes a very special flair with its many Roman remains. The Tiberius Bridge and the Arch of Augustus are particularly impressive.

In this blog article you will find our tips: Rimini Sights

Verucchio A few kilometers from the border away from San Marino, the small Italian town Verucchio sits enthroned gracefully on a hill. We personally really liked it here.

The most important sight of Verucchio is the historical castle of the Malatesta, from which you have a fabulous view of the Marecchia valley and back towards the Adriatic coast.

The flair in the alleys of the old town of Verucchio is also enchanting. The clocks tick even slower here. Because Verucchio is so small and can be explored really quickly, a visit of around two hours is enough.

San Leo West of San Marino, just five kilometers as the crow flies, lies another gem: San Leo. With its medieval and spectacularly situated fortress , San Leo even reminds a little of San Marino in terms of landscape.

The flair in the However, the town center can hardly be compared. San Leo can easily be described as an insider tip. We personally really liked it here.

Verucchio San Leo Rimini 6. Map: All sights at a glance Finally, we have you covered in this interactive The map still shows all the important sights and our tips for your day trip. How do you get the most out of this card? Our tip: It is best to click on the rectangle at the top right to open the map in the Google Maps app on your smartphone. So you can easily navigate from A to B on site.

Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been to San Marino? How did you like it? Do you have any other tips? We look forward to hearing about your experiences below this blog article.