Siena is a medieval town in the very heart of Italy. Rising from the rolling green hills of Tuscany, this high-perched settlement appeals to the romantic within. It’s easy to be seduced by its winding cobbled streets, the age-old architecture, the bustling piazzas, the towering Duomo. Tempted? Check out this in-the-know guide on where to stay in Siena…
We’ve focused in on some of the top hotels in the town. Those might be luxe stays in centuries-old palaces or spots with glorious views over the surrounding Tuscan country. But our selection also offers hints on some bargains for families and solo travelers, for those who want to revel in the enthralling heritage of this fine medieval center without spending stacks and stacks of dollars.
Our selection includes places that are both inside the old walls of Siena itself and others that lurk in the rural confines of backcountry Tuscany nearby. The upshot? You can bed down within walking distance of the Piazza del Campo for proximity to the iconic sights and landmarks, or get a taste of agri life between the winelands, the farms, and the fields (although that might mean you’ll need to rent a car to get back and forth to town).
Residenza d’Epoca Palazzo Borghesi
After the honeymoon hotel of your dreams? Residenza d’Epoca Palazzo Borghesi may just be it. This lavishly decorated bed and breakfast is housed in one of the most historic buildings in all of Siena: The former home of the noble Borghesi family that dates back to the 14th century. With decadent, period interiors and sweeping views over the old town, it’s easy for guests to picture themselves as Italian aristocrats while gazing over the rooftops from the panoramic terrace.
Aside from the sheer beauty of the bed and breakfast itself, Residenza d’Epoca Palazzo Borghesi comes recommended for its location. Just meters from the Piazza del Duomo Square, you truly are in the beating heart of Siena. Restaurants, shops, and many of the city’s most striking sights are just a few steps away. But fear not – the rooms are fitted with soundproofing to ensure an undisturbed night’s sleep!
If all that sounds like your idea of heaven, be sure to plan ahead. This bed and breakfast has just six rooms and suites, not to mention quite the reputation, so booking well in advance is advised to ensure you secure one!
Best for: A special occasion trip.
Palazzo Ravizza is a historic hotel situated in the center of Siena, between Palazzo Pubblico and Siena University – two of the most important locations in the town. Its doors have been open since 1922, making it as much a part of Siena’s rich heritage as many of the other of the town’s most important attractions.
Formerly run by an aristocratic family, the first guests to this 17th-century building were writers, musicians, and artists. Nowadays, anyone can enjoy the hotel’s large, well-appointed rooms, classically designed interiors, and relaxed, country-house feel.
A particular highlight of Palazzo Ravizza is its quiet, spacious garden – the perfect place to catch a moment’s rest, read a book, or enjoy the views over Siena and the surrounding hills. We also love the exquisite drawing room with its grand piano and fin de siècle furnishings. It’s enough to transport you back in time.
Best for: For a stay in a piece of Siena history.
Even non-guests flock to the Hotel Athena for dinner in an unforgettable setting. The hotel’s prime location means that it has views of both, the red-topped roofs of the city’s medieval core, and the rolling countryside of Tuscany that swirls in vineyards and fields all around. Trust us – You could eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner at this place for a week and not get bored of that vista.
Aside from an elegant restaurant with brilliant views, Hotel Athena offers comfortable rooms with a luxurious feel and great service. It’s less than a 10-minute walk from Siena Cathedral and the main square of Piazza del Campo. Siena University campus is also just a short walk away.
Many guests note that it is a particularly good choice for those arriving by car, given its location and free parking. Oh, and the hotel also arranges tours of the surrounding wine-making regions, so this one’s just about perfect for anyone with their hearts (read: Taste buds) set on the rich reds and whites of Chianti and the Val d’Orcia.
Best for: The views – they are incredible.
Hotel Santa Caterina
With a secluded garden that offers its own gorgeous views over the surrounding Tuscan countryside, Hotel Santa Caterina feels like a welcome retreat from the bustle of the Siena city center. But, at a mere 800 meters from the entrance to the old town, the hotel makes no compromises on location. All the core attractions are just a 10-minute walk away, while there are plenty of brilliant restaurants, cafés, and shops right on the doorstep.
Housed in an 18th-century villa, you can expect a distinctly traditional Tuscan feel from Hotel Santa Caterina, from its decorative style, to the warm and welcoming staff that make the hotel truly special. On the practical side of things, there’s also a free car park on the menu (something of a rarity among the hotels near the historic center).
Best for: A country feel but still within earshot of the old town.
Sangallo Park Hotel
Sangallo Park Hotel combines the benefits of a city break with that of a rural retreat. At just a short, 10-minute drive from the walls of Siena (a local bus runs every day), it’s a great base to explore the town. Yet it also boasts a swimming pool and well-maintained gardens, giving guests the option to spend a day or two unwinding in the glorious Tuscan countryside. With plenty of grounds to explore, it’s a great place to bring the kids along.
From its hilltop location, Sangallo Park Hotel offers magnificent views over Siena and the rolling hills beyond. The rooms are large and spacious, and many come complete with pleasing garden views. Another plus is the price. While it’s by no means a budget hotel, with rooms starting at around $105 per night, you certainly get good value for money compared to some of the more historic stays right in the city itself.
Best for: To be immersed in the Tuscan country.
Domus II Palio
If you’re wondering where to stay in Siena on a budget, Domus IL Palio could be your answer. This bed and breakfast is located a little further outside of town than some of the other hotels on our list, but it makes up for it in terms of price and quality. The rooms are modern, spacious, and well-appointed, with high-spec bathrooms and all the amenities you would expect from a good quality, modern hotel.
Guests can enjoy the morning sunshine in the terrace area, while the owners are always on hand to offer insider knowledge on the best places to go in Siena. The location is the slight compromise you make for the lower prices at Domus II Palio. However, at around a 15-minute walk into the center, it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. All in all, i’’s a robust, good-value option for those looking to explore Siena on a budget.
Best for: Budget travelers.
Hotel Certosa Di Maggiano
Surround yourself with slender Mediterranean cypress trees and rows of elegant grapevines at the jaw-droppingly deluxe Hotel Certosa Di Maggiano. Sat about 15 minutes’ drive from the hustle and bustle of the Siena piazzas, it’s a true escape from the Rat Race, complete with sun-kissed swimming pool, manicured gardens, and even shady cloisters.
Talking of cloisters…the whole hotel is actually housed in what was once a 14th century monastery. You’ll find a fresco-filled medieval church and a huge library as you wander around, along with suites that have been converted from old monk dormitories.
The on-site restaurant is a star among the local places, too. It offers hearty Tuscan fine dining in the form of braised farm meats, bruschetta, broth-doused tortelli, and even a dedicated sommelier to match wines to the food.
Best for: A truly classy stay in somewhere truly peaceful.
B&B Il Corso
Small, simple, but very well rated, the B&B Il Corso is a fantastic choice for the most dedicated of sightseers and history buffs heading to Siena. It’s right there on Via Banchi di Sopra, one of the main roads that weave up from the central piazza to the Duomo, meaning the churches and the home of the infamous Palio di Siena are less than five minutes’ walking from the front door.
The rooms themselves are stripped-down minimalism without all the hectic frills. Most are whitewashed and have big, plush, white bedspreads. There are one or two historical touches though – exposed beams on the ceilings, narrow doorways here and there. The hotel is housed in a 16th-century building, after all!
Guests will also get a daily Italian breakfast of coffee, cakes, biscuits, and fruit. There’s also a self-serve coffee machine on offer for access to your cups of joe all throughout the day.
Best for: Those dedicated to sightseeing in Siena
Casatorre dei Leoni Dimora Storica
Dare we say that we’ve left the best til last? The final hotel on our list receives the highest rating. At 9.6, Casatorre dei Leoni Dimora Storica is arguably the best place to stay in Siena. Extravagant and indulgent, this hotel is the setting for a vacation to remember. Think vast suites with high, wooden-beamed ceilings, tiled floors, and four-poster beds. Seamlessly blending modern features with traditional flourishes, Casatorre dei Leoni Dimora Storica executes contemporary luxury with a distinctly Tuscan feel.
On-site you’ll find Gallo Nero, a fine-dining restaurant ranked at 21 out of 400 restaurants in Siena on Tripadvisor. A creative re-imagining of traditional Italian cuisine, consider it the culinary equivalent to the aesthetic excellence of the hotel. With suites starting at $185 per night, this hotel is at the higher end of the spectrum. But, if you’re pushing the boat out on this Italian trip, Casatorre dei Leoni Dimora Storica could be the hotel for you!
Best for: Contemporary luxury with a distinctly Tuscan twist.
Where is the best part of Siena to stay in?
The best part of Siena to stay in is right in the center, around Piazza del Campo and the surrounding streets. Piazza del Campo is the focal point of Siena – a vast square of tremendous historical importance that is also considered amongst the most beautiful in Europe. However, as a fairly small city, the location of your accommodation in Siena isn’t actually too important. Whether you stay in the thick of it all or outside of the city walls, chances are you’ll be within walking distance of all the top attractions.
Where to stay in Siena for families?
For families, it’s probably best to stay a little outside of the center. There are a good range of hotels no more than 15-30-minutes walking distance to all the central attractions which promise plenty of green, open space for kids to explore when you get back. Take Sangallo Park Hotel for instance. With a large garden and swimming pool, as well as good value prices, it’s a fine option for those with kids.
Where to stay in Siena for couples?
Siena is an extremely romantic city, awash with beautiful medieval buildings and jaw-dropping views. There are plenty of places to stay that seem lifted straight from the pages of a glossy wedding brochure. Our top picks? Residenza d’Epoca Palazzo Borghesi – a lavishly decorated bed and breakfast housed in a historic 14th-century building with decadent, period interiors and sweeping views over the old town. Or there’s Casatorre dei Leoni Dimora Storica, a beautifully adorned hotel housed in the same building as one of the top restaurants in Siena.
Where to stay in Siena for solo travelers?
Solo travelers visiting Siena would do well to stay in Aquila. The streets of this lively part of the city are lined with bars and restaurants, which make the perfect setting for meeting new people. At just a short, sub-1 minute walk from the center and its many attractions, you can’t go too far wrong when finding a hostel or place to stay in Aquila. If you’re a backpacker in search of a sociable hostel, Le Camerine di Silvia comes recommended as a wonderful place to connect with fellow travelers.