What to see in Syracuse in 3 days

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

A trip to the east coast of Sicily is not complete without a visit to the magnificent city of Syracuse. This coastal beauty is known both for its historical heritage and artistic both for its historic center with a bewitching charm: the Island of Ortigia.

I'm really there are many archaeological and cultural sites to see in this area, and visitors are delighted by the crystal clear sea and by 'Mediterranean air that reigns in this city, the ancient heart of Magna Graecia and home of Archimedes.

It is important to organize a weekend in this jewel of Sicily in the best way, so as not to miss anything it has to offer.
Here's what to see in Syracuse in 3 days!


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Syracuse cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Island of Ortigia, Temple of Apollo, Piazza Archimede, Temple of Minerva

Nothing better than that begin the exploration from the historical core of this city: move on foot to the island of Ortigia, a paradise rich in history and with a charismatic personality.
Cross the Umbertino bridge and you will find yourself face to face with the majestic Temple of Apollo, in Piazza Pancali (open from the outside): it is the oldest Doric temple in Sicily, dating back to the th century BC

Fate breakfast at the Café d'Ortigia (with about € 3,00 / € 4,00 you can enjoy coffee and croissant or a delicious Sicilian granita).

Then take a look at the nearby Ortigia market, among fruit, freshly caught fish and infinite typicality. From there continue on Corso Matteotti to reach Archimedes Square and admire the famous Diana Fountain. Then go down Via Roma, to reach the Temple of Minerva, (open every day at 8: 00-19: 00, € 2,00) also of Doric order, dated in the th century BC, today incorporated in the walls of the Cathedral, a place of Christian worship.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Piazza Minerva, Piazza Duomo, Fonte Aretusa, Piazza Federico di Svevia, Castello Maniace

Stop for a stop at Monzù Sicily right next door, and enjoy traditional Sicilian dishes, with a view of Piazza Minerva (a good first course with dessert, wine and coffee will cost you around € 20,00 each).
Admire the architecture of Piazza Duomo and the cathedral which is absolutely worth a visit inside (9: 00-19: 00, € 2,00) to reach the Fonte Aretusa, a legendary source of water dessert whose history is linked to the legend of Alfeo and Arethusa, characters of Greek mythology.

After absorbing the myths and charm of the source, follow the promenade and head to the far south of the peninsula. Pass through Piazza Federico di Svevia and then head towards the Maniace Castle (open at 8: 30-18.45, € 4,00) a 'ancient and majestic fortress strategically placed on the tip of Ortigia, dating back to the thirteenth century.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Ortigia in the evening version

Return towards Piazza Federico di Svevia, for cenare at La Taberna Sveva, a fish-based dinner will be an excellent conclusion to the first day of exploration, especially if accompanied by a good Sicilian wine (for an appetizer, first course, wine, coffee and dessert you will spend about € 30,00).

Then, very slowly, retrace the alleys of the magnificent Ortigia illuminated by romantic evening lights and don't forget to try a Sicilian cannoli with ricotta from I Cannoli del Re (€ 2,00 small or € 3,50 large).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,2 km / 27 min
  • Places visited: Temple of Apollo (free), Piazza Archimede (free), Temple of Minerva (€ 2,00), Piazza Minerva (free), Piazza Duomo (free), Fonte Aretusa (free), Piazza Federico di Svevia (free), Maniace Castle (€ 4,00)
  • Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis walking tour
  • Breakfast at Café D'Ortigia (Get directions), Lunch at Monzù Sicily (Get directions), Dinner at Taberna Sveva (Get directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Latomia dei Cappuccini

Start the day with a fabulous sea view and enjoy a relaxing one breakfast at I Fratelli Drago, for a cappuccino and ricotta croissant (around € 3,00), before diving into the exploration of Latomia dei Cappuccini (Monday to Friday 9:30 am-13:30pm, Saturday and Sunday only guided tour by reservation from 10:00 am to 13:00 pm and from 16:30 pm to 19:30 pm. Admission € 5,00).

It is the largest among the quarries of Syracuse, that is stone quarries, from the Greek latomíai or lâs, stone, and tomíai from témnein, to cut. Used since the sixth century BC as a quarry for monuments and houses in the city, over the centuries it has been transformed into a real war prison, to then become a place of worship.

They are still visible today in several places the caves and the funerary hypogea evidence that the site was also used as a Christian cemetery and pagan necropolis. Its name derives from the fact that it was donated by the University of Syracuse to the Capuchin Friars in 1582, who built a convent right above the latomia.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Neapolis Archaeological Park, Greek Theater, Roman Amphitheater, Ear of Dionysus

Then move towards the interior of the city, to dedicate yourself a lunch natural at Olivia Natural Bistrot (try its pizzas with organic and seasonal ingredients, around € 9,00).

Inevitable if you are in Syracuse a visit to the adjacent, immense Archaeological Park of Neapolis (open 08: 30-17: 00. Admission € 10,00): this splendid archaeological jewel it includes some of the most important ones finds from Greek and Roman Syracuse and due to the quantity and importance of the monuments it houses, it is considered one of the most important archaeological areas in all of Sicily.

You will be amazed in front of the Greek Theatre, built in the fifth century BC rebuilt in the third century BC and renovated in Roman times. Get excited thinking about the ancient events ofAnfiteatro Romano, of the early imperial age.
And get curious by listening to the stories hidden among the latomie, stone quarries once also used as prisons: inside the quarries of Paradise there are the great rocky cavities of the famous Ear of Dionysius.

3 - Evening: Dinner, seafront, Port of Syracuse

To enjoy all the splendor of the Syracusan coast, move towards the seafront towards the port about 20 minutes away on foot (or by bus, € 1,20).

A sunset on one of the most beautiful stretches of sea in Sicily it will fill your eyes with magic.

Stop by for price at the Hotel Sbarcadero Restaurant and stock up on delicious fried fish, fresh tuna and spaghetti with sea urchins (a full dinner starting from around € 40,00 / € 50,00) and enjoy quality and panorama. Then listen to the loll of the boats in the Port of Syracuse, and enjoy the crisp air on your face, an excellent end to your second day in the city.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 6,1 km / 1 h 17 min
  • Places visited: Latomia dei Cappuccini (€ 5,00), Neapolis Archaeological Park (€ 10,00), Greek Theater (free), Roman Amphitheater (free), Ear of Dionysus (free), Port of Syracuse (free)
  • Syracuse: private tour of the Archaeological Park of Neapolis
  • Breakfast at Fratelli Drago (Get directions), Lunch at Olivia Natural Bistrot (Get directions), Dinner at Hotel Sbarcadero Restaurant (Get directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Catacombs of San Giovanni, Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime

Open the last day of discovery of Syracuse with the calories of the Pasticceria Bar Leonardi, not to be missed for lovers of Syracusan pastry (a rich breakfast with brioche or mignon pastries or homemade cakes around € 3,00 / € 5,00).

So enjoy a guided tour of the suggestive Catacombs of San Giovanni (every day 09: 30.12: 30/14: 30-17: 30. Admission: € 8,00).

The catacombs were begun in the fourth century, based on the structure of a Greek aqueduct and house different types of funerary structures. They form a real underground labyrinth and they are nothing short of suggestive.

Not far from the catacombs stands the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime (07: 00-20: 00, free), built in memory of the miraculous tearing of a plaster effigy depicting the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which has become an important sacred place of the city.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Costa Bianca del Plemmirio

Have lunch at the Caffé San Giovanni Sicily, a stone's throw from the sanctuary, is a modern bistro with an outdoor terrace, which will delight you with sweet and savory specialties (lunch for about € 10,00).

Fresh and regenerated, then face your afternoon, which will lead you to discover one of the most beautiful views of the Sicilian coast:Plemmirio.

The Plemmirio park it is a protected area about 15 km south of Syracuse (get there by bus 23, € 1,20 / day € 2,50), which you absolutely must visit to get a taste of the wonderful nature and the glimpses of the sea that these latitudes offer.

The beach has been named one of the most beautiful in Italy. It is located on a stretch of coast of the Maddalena peninsula, called Costa Bianca del Plemmiro and its depths are nature reserve, incredibly rich in flora and fauna. A paradise for snorkelers and divers, but also those who love to enjoy coastal scenery and the typical Mediterranean air. Then return to Syracuse for your last evening of this wonderful weekend.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Syracuse in the evening

Enjoy the price with an excellent pizza at the Pizzeria Piano B, one of the most important and awarded in Sicily (excellent quality pizzas, around € 9,00 / € 13,00).

Leaving the pizzeria full and satisfied, venture into the lights and shadows of the city, strolling through its streets, approaching the bridges Umbertino and Santa Lucia that connect it to Ortigia and breathe deeply all the charm that Syracuse can transmit even in the evening. A look at the illuminated island of Ortigia and the reflections of the city lights on the waves will leave an indelible memory in your mind

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 32 km / 1 h by car
  • Places visited: Catacombs of San Giovanni (€ 8,00), Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime (free), Costa Bianca del Plemmiro (free)
  • Syracuse: walking tour with a private guide
  • Breakfast at Pasticceria Bar Leonardi (Get directions), Lunch at Cafè San Giovanni Sicily (Get directions), Dinner at Pizzeria Piano B (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Syracuse cost

A weekend in Syracuse can be a perfect moment of leisure and culture that does not involve exorbitant costs. The city offers many accommodation options for every price range and is easily visited on foot, thanks to its short distances, thus also reducing the cost of transport.

Many attractions are also quite inexpensive and the beauty that exudes from every corner of the city is pleasantly free. Let's see in detail how much does a weekend in Syracuse cost:

  • Costs to eat: about € 45,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: about € 10,00 per person per day following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: about € 10,00 per person in total for the weekend
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 3,00 per person per day (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, ...)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Syracuse: from € 260,00 per person (flights and / or transfers excluded)

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Syracuse: in general we recommend the summer, i.e. from April to November, avoiding the month of August if possible, due to the greater influx of tourists
  • the nearest airport is Catania, about 64 km away and to reach the city it is possible to use rental car, bus (about € 6,00) or train (about € 7,00)
  • to be surrounded by a timeless atmosphere, it is advisable to sleep on the island of Ortigia
  • Getting around: the center and the island of Ortigia can be easily visited on foot. Alternatively: public transport or the Siracusa d'amare service, three lines that touch the main points of monumental interest of the city of Arezzo.

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