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Things to do in San Marino - San Marino Travel Guide

Updated: Feb 11

Discover the history of the land of the free!


San Marino is located on a serene Apennine Mountain and it truly presents the history resilience and picturesque beauty of the country. San Mario is the world’s oldest republic and it’s a microstate which is surrounded by Italy. 


Things to do in San Marino
San Marino

The country has charming medieval architecture, ancient fortresses, and cobblestone streets. You can see the graceful iconic towers of the country and it’s one of the historical sites and place to enjoy the beautiful view of Italy. 



5 reasons why you should visit San Marino:


1. Historical Richness and UNESCO Heritage: 


San Marino is the world's oldest republic, and it was founded in A.D. 301 by Saint Marinus. It has the iconic Three Towers – Guaita, Cesta, and Montale and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


San Marino - UNESCO World Heritage site
San Marino - UNESCO World Heritage site

2. Breathtaking Scenery and Panoramic Views: 


San Marino offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Italian countryside and there are several points from where you can get an unforgettable experience.


Best Panoramic View from San Marino
Best Panoramic View from San Marino

3. Cultural Attractions and Museums: 


San Marino is home to a variety of cultural attractions and museums and it also offers insights into the country's history, art, and culture.





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4. Unique Shopping Experience: 


San Marino is known for its tax-free status, which makes it a shopping haven for visitors. The narrow charming streets have boutique shops offering luxury goods, perfume, local crafts, and souvenirs. Visitors can take advantage of duty-free shopping.


Streets at San Marino
Streets at San Marino

5. Local Cuisine: 


San Marino reflects a blend of Italian and regional influences. You can enjoy traditional dishes such as Piadina, a flatbread filled with various savory ingredients. There are small charming cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the historic center. 




How to reach San Marino: 


By Air: 


Even though San Marino is a separate country but still doesn’t have its own airport. Rimini Airport is the closest airport to San Marino. If you’re looking for a bigger airport, then you can check your flight to Bologna Airport. 


By Car or Taxi: 


San Marino is around 20 km from Rimini but the taxi will cost you a little expensive. It may range between 70 -100 euros for one way. 


Bus Station in Rimini, Italy
Bus Station in Rimini, Italy

By Public Transportation:


As San Marino is located on a hill, so there’s no train connection to San Marino. But, it’s still pretty convenient to reach San Marino by public transport. 


San Marino is around 20 km from Rimini - an Italian city on the Adriatic Sea. There’s a bus connection which takes around 1 hour from Rimini to San Marino and vice versa. 





There are frequent connections by a Bonelli Shuttle and Bus Benedettini after every 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can find the details about departure time here. The one-way ticket is Euro 6. You can buy the ticket online, or ticket shop near the Rimini Central station or inside the bus. 


Check out the blog with all the details on how to reach San Marino using Public Transport from Rimini. 


Cable Car Ride to San Marino:


If you want to avoid the climb to San Marino, you can also take a scenic cable car ride up to San Marino. While coming to San Marino using public transportation, you can get off at Borgo Maggiore Bus station which is just one station before San Marino.


Cable Car Ride in San Marino
Cable Car Ride to San Marino

From the parking, you can take a Cable Car up to the hill. It’s a quiet steep ride but it’s not scary at all. It takes around 2 minutes to reach to the top and it costs Euro 3 for one way. There are normally frequent rides running back and forth.

Where to stay in San Marino.




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How much time do you need in San Marino:


San Marino isn’t that big but how much time you need in San Marino all depends on you in terms of how much you want to explore. In case, if you want to explore some activities like visiting the Towers, strolling in the streets, and tour to Palazzo Pubblico - then, probably one day could be enough. 


Panoramic view from San Marino
Panoramic view from San Marino

But if you’re planning to visit the museums in San Marino and indulge in the beauty and vibing in the evenings of San Marino - then you definitely need a weekend getaway. 


In our opinion, San Marino is truly more than a 1-day trip. It has way more to it including restaurants and shopping. 



Things to do in San Marino:


1. San Marino Fortress & Towers:


As you already know San Marino is one of the smallest countries and it used to be surrounded by foreign lands. How was it possible to ensure the security of the country back in the mid-ages? 


San Marino Fortress & Towers
San Marino Fortress & Towers

The country has stone defensive walls and watch towers which are known as the fortresses of San Marino and these are also named UNESCO Heritage Site. These three towers are located across the peak of Mount Titano. 


First Tower:


The Main attraction of San Marino is the absolutely its three towers. There’s a pathway that takes you to the towers. The first tower is called  “Rocca” or “Guaita” which means stand guard. 


Rocca Towers in San Marino
Rocca Towers in San Marino

The tower was constructed in the 11th century it’s the oldest tower and it served as a prison. During the war between San Marino and the House of Malatesta in the 15th century, the tower was rebuilt several times. 



Inside the fortress, there are strong walls with a double circle of protection. The outer wall has battlements and towers at the corners. This fortress provided shelter for people during sieges. The central core served as a guardhouse, and some rooms were used as a prison until October 1970 for sentences lasting up to 6 months.


Rocca Towers in San Marino
Rocca Towers in San Marino

On the front door, you can see a baroque stone coat of arms from the 1600s representing the Republic, previously located on the old Palazzo Pubblico. The inner wall is bordered by the Bell Tower and the Torre della Penna, built centuries later.


Museum in San Marino
Museum in San Marino

The Mastio, the innermost part, is the oldest and has remained unchanged over time. The upper gate, accessible by a staircase, is defended back to 1481.


Rocca Towers in San Marino
Rocca Towers in San Marino

In the courtyard, there are artillery pieces from the last war, including two mortars gifted by Victor Emmanuel II, two cannons (75 mm) used for ceremonial purposes by the Guard of the Rock, a gift from Victor Emmanuel III. Upon entering, on the right, you'll find the Chapel of St. Barbara, built in 1960, dedicated to the patron saint of artillerymen.



Museum in Rocca Towers, San Marino
Museum in Rocca Towers, San Marino


You can also climb up the main tower and enjoy the beautiful view of the valley. It’s advisable to buy a € 8.00 full visit ticket for all monuments for the first and second towers.


Museum in Rocca Towers, San Marino
Museum in Rocca Towers, San Marino

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Second Tower: 


The mountain path also called Witches Passage which takes from the first tower to the Second tower and third towers is truly beautiful. While walking, take a moment and look back and admire the view. The second tower is called Fratta and it was also built in the 11th century. 




Fratta Tower in San Marino
Fratta Tower in San Marino

Nowadays, the tower is a Museum of Ancient weapons and you can find weapons, bows, crossbows, and armor from the mid-ages. You can also enjoy the beautiful view of the valley from the second tower. 


Third Tower:


The third tower is called Montale and it’s the smallest of Monte Titano's summits. This tower isn’t open to the public and it was constructed in the 14th century and served as a prison. 


Montale Tower in San Marino
Montale Tower in San Marino

Tips:


The Ticket is available at the start of the tower and it’s advisable to buy the ticket for both towers together for being cost effective. 


Towers in San Marino
Towers in San Marino

The opening hours of the tower may vary from season to season but you can always check the timings at the ticket office. 


Even though it’s not a very hectic activity to climb up to the summit it’s still advisable to wear comfortable shoes or sneakers. 





2. Stroll into the streets and Souvenir shopping:


Most of the streets in San Marino are pedestrian areas and provide a perfect opportunity for its visitors to lost in the beauty of its streets. While walking in the streets, we were immersed in the history and uniqueness.


Streets in San Marino
Streets in San Marino


We navigated our way through the main street which took us to the main square called Liberty Square. 


Streets in San Marino
Streets in San Marino

There are different restaurants and souvenir shops on these streets and it’s one of the best places to buy affordable perfumes, local hand-made jewelry, and souvenirs. 


Palazzo Pubblico in San Marino
Palazzo Pubblico in San Marino

There are also a few mesmerizing streets from where you can enjoy the beautiful view of lush green Italian fields. 


Streets in San Marino
Streets in San Marino



3. Basilica of Saint Marinus:


The Basilica of Saint Marinus or Basilica di San Marino is a Catholic church located in the heart of San Marino on the western side of Piazzale Domus Plebis. The church is dedicated to the founder of San Marino. It was constructed in the 19th century in a Neoclassical style. 


Basilica of Saint Marinus
Basilica di San Marino

Inside the Basilica of Saint Marinus, there’s an artwork depicting the life of Saint Marinus. It’s one of the landmarks that also attracts tourists interested in exploring the rich heritage of this unique microstate.


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4. Palazzo Pubblico:


Palazzo Pubblico is a town hall of the city of San Marino where all the official state ceremonies take place. The Palazzo is located in the Freedom square.


Palazzo Pubblico, San Marino
Palazzo Pubblico, San Marino

This is one of the main buildings of San Marino in Neo-Gothic Style.


Palazzo Pubblico, San Marino
Palazzo Pubblico, San Marino

It also has a clock tower and if you have been to the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, then you’ll recognize that its architecture is similar to it. 




5. Piazza della Libertà:


Piazza della Libertà also called Liberty Square is a main square in front of Sa Marino Town Hall and it’s a perfect place to chill and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the capital. There’s also a Statue of Liberty at the center of the square. There are different souvenir shops and cafes.   


Piazza della Libertà, San Marino
Piazza della Libertà, San Marino

You can also witness the change of guards in the palace every half an hour every day of the week. As we were there during Christmas, the square was decorated with Christmas festivity and lights.


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6. Crossbowmen’s Quarry:


Crossbowmen’s Quarry also called Cava dei Balestrieri is one of the historical landmarks of San Marino, which you see as soon as you arrive at the cable car stop. It’s just a short walk from there. 


Crossbowmen’s Quarry in San Marino
Crossbowmen’s Quarry in San Marino

Initially, it was planned as a New Palace of offices in 1935 but the plan was abandoned due to the Second World War. This area has been equipped for shooting with the large Italian-style crossbow, an ancient game of arms that is now part of the historical recovery and folklore of the Republic of San Marino


Ice-Skating Rink ar Crossbowmen’s Quarry in San Marino
Ice-Skating Rink ar Crossbowmen’s Quarry in San Marino

During the Christmas times, the area has turned into a skating rink that provides music and amusement for its visitors. 



7. The belvedere of Contrada del Pianello:


When you arrive in San Marino with the Cable Car, you can find the large square with the Monument to Bartolomeo Borghesi and a belvedere offering a splendid panoramic view from where you can also see the Adriatic sea. 


The belvedere of Contrada del Pianello, San Marino
The belvedere of Contrada del Pianello, San Marino

There are also binoculars - you’ll just need a coin to see the view. It’s a very beautiful spot to enjoy the beautiful view of the valley. 


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The belvedere of Contrada del Pianello, San Marino
The belvedere of Contrada del Pianello, San Marino

8. Passport stamp: 


While you’re getting an opportunity to explore and add a tick to your bucket list of visiting the oldest surviving Republic - why not get a Souvenir on your passport? You can get a stamp from the Tourist office for Euro 5. 


Where to get your passport stamp in San Marino
Passport stamp with San Marino Stamp

9. Museums in San Marino:


Museo di Stato (National Museum):


The State Museum of San Marino was established in the mid of 19th century. The museum has 5,000 historical and artistic items. The ground floor of the museum has different displays from the ancient history since the Stone Age and Roman Settlement. 





Coin and Stamp Museum:


The smallest country is truly obsessed with stamps and coins. You can admire the very rare early coins of San Marino and stamps since 1877.



Museum of Curiosities:


San Marino Museum of Curiosities is 600 square meters and it has three floors of mind-boggling, inventions, unusual characters who have achieved world records, and rare objects. There are lots of questions, answers, Imagination, and fun.


Things to do in San Marino
San Marino

Wax Museum:


Another museum, you shouldn’t visit in San Marino is their Wax Museum. The museum has 40 historical scenes presented by 100 figures in wax. There’s also a separate section dedicated to San Marino’s history in the Middle Ages. 



Things to do in San Marino
San Marino

10. Christmas Festivity:


Like any other European country, the Christmas spirit is nowhere short in San Marino. The streets are decorated with Christmas Lights and Decor.


The Christmas Ice rank is set up at Crossbowmen’s Quarry. There are also small Christmas Stalls near Crossbowmen’s Quarry which are selling different Christmas specialities. 




Christmas Market in San Marino
Christmas Decor at San Marino

At the main Old Town square, there’s also Christmas Decor for taking memorable Christmas pictures


There are more stalls spread out in the different parts of the city. There’s also a small Christmas tent set up for the Kids which is like a chocolate village and offers Monde Chocolate for the kids. 


Christmas Decor at San Marino
Christmas Decor at San Marino

There’s also the Christmas Train which runs from one park to another to make sure that you can reach the parking without any hustle. 


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Christmas Decor at San Marino
Christmas Decor at San Marino

Restaurants in San Marino:


La Terrazza:


La Terrazza is a well-known restaurant in San Marino and it’s known for its scenic location and panoramic views. The restaurant has a mix of Sanmarinese, Italian, and international cuisines.



Domus Coffee Shop:


The Domus Coffee Shop has a casual and relaxed atmosphere, emphasizing the coffee culture. There are also desserts and snack options as well. You can also enjoy the view from the restaurant. 


Ending note: 


There are some other Activities to do in San Marino:


San Marino Adventure Park: 


If you’re also up for a little adventure, then you can enjoy the San Marino Adventure Park which is the largest forest hidden adventure park with over 30,000 visitors every year. 




San Marino Outlet Experience:


If you’re looking for a place for the shopping then San Marino Outlet Experience is a place to go. It has all the branded and luxury stores and you can get a shopping experience at a very affordable price. 


San Marino Outlet is 20 minutes with the public bus. You can reach there using the same bus shuttle which takes you to San Marino.

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musicq821
musicq821
Apr 01

It would be great if you added videos to your blog, I think it only made your posts more interesting. You don't need professional experience to do this, just click on the link and just edit the video a little

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