Founded in 301 A.D San Marino is the fifth smallest state in the world and arguably one the most intriguing. This tiny microstate is completely surrounded by Italy, situated on the north-eastern side of the Italian Peninsula, measuring just over 61km² with an estimated population of only 30,000. The world’s oldest surviving sovereign state has plenty to discover and is well worth the visit. This beautiful medieval settlement sits high on the slopes of the 750m high Monte Titano a UNESCO World Heritage Site which draws thousands of tourists and day trippers every year.

Top Attractions in San Marino

Palazzo Pubblico

Located in Liberty square, the Palazzo Pubblico otherwise known as the town hall is the bureaucratic building of the government and also where many of the city’s ceremonies take place. This 15th Century building with its richly decorated façade is what draws visitors to its doors. The construction of Palazzo Pubblico took place by using blocks of stones brought from the caves of Titano.

Tourist Information Center

Although not an official attraction the tourist information centre is worth a trip if you are visiting San Marino as a non EU Citizen. This is the only place in San Marino where you can get the highly sort after passport stamp of San Marino. Since there are no border controls between San Marino and Italy your passport will not get stamped nor checked so it is definitely worth making the trip and paying the €5.

San Marino Fortresses

On each of Mount Titano’s three peaks is one of the famous three magnificent towers of San Marino. Out of all the attractions in San Marino these three towers attract the most visitors. Although nicknamed the three towers of San Marino, only one of them is an actually tower while the other two are small fortresses. Visit the three towers for fabulous views of the surrounding landscape. Start at the first tower named Guaita, the largest of the three and the oldest. Built in the 11th Century you are able to visit the tower’s old prison that was still used up until 1970 and enjoy spectacular views from the top. The second tower named Cesta stands at the highest point on Mount Titano. Built in the 13th century this ancient tower houses the museum of Ancient Arms with various displays of amour and weaponry that you can also visit. Finally the third solitary tower named Montale is the real tower out of the three. Built in the 13th century tourists can only view the outer part as it is not open to the public. It is said that the picturesque beauty of the area is at its best from the Montale Tower.

Basilica of St Marino

Of all the churches in San Marino the beautiful Basilica of San Marino is one of the most visited and the most interesting. Designed by a Bolognese architect and built over the grounds of the ancient 5th century church, the basilica and its smaller church of San Pietro are the most important religious buildings in the country. Containing the remains of St Marino the founder of the country, legend says that the two alcoves carved into the rock was where San Marino and San Leo slept.

Best time to visit

Tourists visit San Marino from May to September

May, June and September are the best months to visit. There will be far less tourists than in July and August and the weather won’t be as scorching. Note: Most visitors only come to San Marino for a day trip so plan to stay in nearby Rimini or Pesaro unless you’re set on staying in San Marino.

Getting there

San Marino is an extremely walkable city, and once inside the walled city it’s small enough and enjoyable enough to stroll around its pedestrianized streets.

Getting Around

Being such a small state, San Marino does not have an airport or a train station for that matter to the only way to reach this tiny country is by crossing over the open boarder by car or by bus. Plenty of buses run to and from Rimini (also where the nearest airport and train station is located) arriving at the parking station in Piazzale Calcigni. If you drive in you can leave your car in one of the many car parks and take the funivia cable car up to the top of Mount Titano.

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