What to see in Syracuse in one day

A day in this corner of Sicily awakens profound sensations, as if one were crossing the threshold of time into thousands of years ago. Are you ready to take an unforgettable journey through an engaging Syracuse tour?

You will be able to feel it as you will be walking through Syracuse’s streets, where precious testimonials recall the splendour of Magna Graecia. Ortigia island is the Syracuse old town and certainly the most attractive district.

Once you cross the bridge that connects Ortigia to the city, you will be surprised by the calm that reigns there. Situated in a halfway between East and West, between Carthage and Rome, Ortigia welcomed Greek and Christian ships in the arms of its port, and that’s why along its labyrinthine alleys and through its many squares, you can live a unique experience and breathe the scent of the Mediterranean Sea!

Right in its heart you will find one of the most evocative spots of the entire island, the Arethusa Fountain. Around the fountain, there is a Greek myth that you can’t miss out.

In ancient Greek myth, the origin of the water spring was attributed to the fate of a nymph, Arethusa, who was transformed by the goddess Artemis into a spring to escape the stalking courtship of the sea god Alpheus (son of Oceanus). He, in despair, was in turn transformed into a river by Zeus and succeeded in this way to finally mix his water with that of Arethusa.

Near the Arethusa Fountain you will also find a beautiful seafront street (Lungomare Alfeo) full of bars, hotels and restaurants and a panoramic view of the Maddalena Peninsula.

In addition, during your Syracuse tour, you can’t miss the visit of the Temple of Apollo and the Duomo square with its beautiful white Cathedral of “Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception”, erected on the Ancient Greek temple of Athena. This big pedestrian only area is surrounded by many white stone buildings that will dazzle you, and not only because the sun reflects very strongly on them!

Our tips:

  • Take a stroll through the many narrow and quiet alleys. There is no risk of getting lost, Ortigia Island is very small and no matter which way you go, you will always find the seaside.
  • Enjoy a wonderful sunset with a drink in one of the many restaurant’s terraces on the Piazza del Duomo or enjoy a homemade ice cream on the steps of the cathedral. In the evening the square lights up and it’s even more beautiful and romantic!
  • Due to its coastal location, Siracusa lies in close proximity to several world class beaches where tourists can enjoy the fine Sicilian weather. Parco Marino del Plemmirio is a perfect place to swim in the area with its several beautiful small coves very close to Syracuse. Off-season, it’s a very quiet spot!

If you are a passionate history lover:

The Archaeological Park in the western part of the city is undoubtedly one of the main attractions to see during your Syracuse tour. Within this fantastic area is a series of ancient ruins and the most renowned is the Greek Theatre.

Created in 470 BC, this ancient amphitheatre played host to some legendary play writes such as Aeschylus and Sophocles, and has a diameter of 138 metres.

Today, much of the original semi-circular seating survives in fantastic condition, although it is sometimes covered with wood to preserve its quality.

Another must-visit of your Syracuse tour is the Ear of Dionysius. It is an old limestone quarry of more than 20 meters high. Its name comes from the entrance shape, which looks like the inside of a giant ear.

Legend has it that Denys the tyrant of Syracuse was there to listen to the conversations of his prisoners. Inside, the echo is impressive.

The visit takes around 2 hours. Admission is 10€ and free every first Sunday of the month.

Syracuse Hotels – Where to Stay

algila ortigia

Best luxury hotel: Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel 4*

Fabulous location

Set on Ortigia Island overlooking the Ionian Sea, Algilà Ortigia Charme is right on the seafront. It features elegant, air-conditioned rooms equipped with antique furnishings from the 1700s. It is housed in 3 buildings dating from 1700 decorated with antique furniture and decorations.

Rooms from € 300/night

re federico boutique

Best mid-range hotel: Re Federico Boutique Hotel

Stay in the heart of Siracusa

Located 300 m from Cala Rossa Beach, Re Federico Boutique Hotel provides accommodation with a bar, a terrace and room service for your convenience. Free WiFi is featured throughout the property.Guests at the aparthotel can enjoy a continental breakfast. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Aretusa Beach, Spiaggia di Punta Carrozza and Fontana di Diana.

Apartment from € 170/night

ortigia boutique palace

Best budget hotel: Ortigia Boutique Palace

One of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in Siracusa

Situated 2.9 km from Spiaggia Massolivieri in Siracusa, Ortigia Boutique Palace features accommodation with air conditioning and free WiFi.
All units come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a hairdryer, bidet and shower. A fridge and toaster are also available, as well as a kettle and a coffee machine. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Fontana di Diana, Tempio di Apollo and Syracuse Cathedral.

Apartment from € 99/night

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