Siena on a Budget 2-Day Itinerary
If you’ve read my How to Spend 2 Weeks in Italy then you’re here to read how to spend two days in Siena on a budget, yes? Great! Here I will break down my 2-day Siena (and Montalcino) itinerary perfect for any first-time traveler, budget or not, to Tuscany. I have done this suggested travel myself as a solo, budget, female traveler so, yes, these two fabulous days in Siena can be done.
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Booking Resources for Your Siena Itinerary Success!
Siena on a Budget (or Not) Guide
Don’t forget to also peruse my Guide to Budget European Accommodations for additional accommodation-planning information.
Let me state here that when I say “budget”, I mean your daily travel expenses should total €100 or less. Yes, it is very possible to visit the Tuscan region on less than €100. Or more! It’s up to you and your budget. The following travel guide can work for anyone, budget or not. The key factor that can push you out of the “budget” range is the accommodations you choose, not the attractions. Nice, huh?
Ok, now let’s get you to Siena on a budget!
From Rome or other Italy locations, it is more than likely you will arrive at the Siena Piazza Gramsci station. From there you can take other trains or regional or local buses. The Siena historical center can really be done on foot, but if you’re staying within my recommended area (see map below), you’ll want to take a shuttle or bus to/from the Siena train station.
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Where to Stay in Siena
Siena is a small city on a hill so some of the city is on a higher elevation where the Il Campo is on a lower elevation. Ideally, if you don’t want to haul your luggage up and down hills, you may want to stay within a 5-minute walk to the Pannilunghi bus stop, where you can catch a 5-minute bus ride back to the Siena train/bus station, and a 15-minute walk down to the Il Campo (Piazza del Campo). For ease of arriving and departing Siena and walking around for the best Siena sights, I recommend staying within the circle on the map:
For budget purposes, my hotel recommendation/value for the money with breakfast and taxes included at €53/night is Villa di STR. It’s in a fabulous location with a great breakfast and staff, and includes all of the lovely amenities you could need.
If you want cheaper accommodations, there are other hotels and hostels to choose from starting at around €20/night, depending on what amenities and location you want. Hostelworld has some great, Siena listings.
Conversely, if you want to pay more, take a look at Siena accommodations. I would still recommend staying in the suggested area noted above.
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Siena Attraction Musts
Siena, which some consider being in the “heart of Tuscany”, is known for the Palio, a bi-annual horse race, that has been held since the 17thcentury. It is also known for its medieval cityscape, art, museums, and cuisine.If you have never been to Siena, the following are attractions that would a shame to miss. You can easily do most sights in a day since Siena is fairly small and it is not really necessary to purchase attraction tickets in advance, unless you are visiting during a special event. Some of the attractions are free!
- Il Campo (Piazza del Campo) – some consider it the best square in Italy
- Tower of Mangia – has 330 steps to the top for an amazing view of the city
- Piazza dei Salimbeni
- Siena Duomo
- Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
- Piazza del Duomo
If you decide to see the Duomo and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, consider getting the OPASI Pass that covers both entries and is valid for three days.
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Other Siena Attractions
Here are other fabulous attractions to see that you can see during your stroll through Siena (the Baptistry also covered under the OPASI Pass!).
- Pinacoteca Nazionale
- Civic Museum City museum
- Baptistry of San Giovanni
- Santa Maria della Scala Museum
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Siena Events Calendar
If you want pricier fare, try the over-priced Piazza del Campo restaurants. Otherwise, hit the back streets instead, as the locals do. If you need some help, here are some helpful Siena dining links:
How's Your Italian?
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Montalcino Day Trip
Wine Tasting in Montalcino
I can understand if you are enjoying Siena and want to just sleep in and hang out and have a lazy day your second day – that is up to you! However, if you are a wine buff, please know you are only an hour away from Montalcino, considered one of the three towns comprising the “heart of Tuscany”. For those of you who like wine as much as I do, I highly suggest a day trip to Montalcino. Montalcino is known for its Brunello and boy, you don’t want to miss it!
There are many wine tasting excursions leaving from Siena that you can arrange, such as this small group Brunello wine tasting Montalcino trip from Viator. However, if you are on a budget and still want to experience the local Brunello tasting, save a TON of money and take the bus for 10 Euros roundtrip!
When you first arrive in Siena, pop into the bus station, which adjoins the train station, and ask for a local bus schedule for the next day to Montalcino, or just check the bus schedules in advance. There are several daily buses, but I recommend sleeping in, having a lazy breakfast, and then by 10am head to the station to catch the 10:50am #114 bus to Montalcino Staz.Di Servi. You’ll arrive at the town of Montalcino, which sits high up on a hill, by 12pm – a great time for more food before the wine drinking, I mean tasting, begins.
Take a stroll through the town – it’s easy to navigate and hard to get lost. Here is a fantastic guide to self-guided wine tasting in Montalcino, that includes the town’s wine bars to taste in and restaurants. The town also holds some nice stores to pop into for shopping and scenic views for some great picture snapping. Don’t forget to visit the Enotecca la Fortezza, which resides in the town’s medieval fortress! They do have a wonderful selection of wines to taste and the staff is very friendly.
In fact, all wine bars I visited were very welcoming and the staff love to tell you about their Brunello wines. If you want, have them ship the wine home for you so you can share with your family and friends. I had a case shipped home! Brunello’s are known for their longevity so they will keep for a while before peaking.
When your lazy Montalcino day is over, catch the 6:20pm bus and you’re back to Siena by 7:23pm in time for dinner and an early night so you’re fresh for the next day’s travelling.
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Siena on a Budget: 2-Day Itinerary
My suggested Siena hotel can be booked for €106 for 2 nights (a fabulous breakfast and taxes included). If you get a better deal or choose a more budget-friendly accommodation, then your average daily costs with all meals could be LESS than €100!
That said, here is my suggested 2-day itinerary so you can see how budget-friendly Siena (and Montalcino) can be while enjoying the culture and not sacrificing on comfort or activities.
Note: prices below do not reflect lunch or dinner meals, and attractions prices may have changed slightly since time of writing.
Day 1 Siena = €76
Day 2 – Self-Guided Montalcino Wine Tasting = €93
- Round trip bus
- Three wine tastings
- Hotel (breakfast and taxes included)
Alternatively, if you wish to spend your second day in Siena:
Day 2 – Siena = €75
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I would love to hear if this was helpful to you. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below!
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