Visiting Florence and Siena during the same trip is straightforward given their close proximity, and traveling between them is a great opportunity to enjoy the Tuscan landscape. Regardless of which mode of transport you choose to take, all routes can get you to Siena in under 2 hours.
The train and bus are both equally convenient ways to get from the Florence city center to Siena. As opposed to the train, the bus lands you right into Siena’s city walls. The train views between the two cities, however, are arguably more scenic.
Neither Florence nor Siena are particularly car-friendly due to their ZTL areas (Restricted Driving Zones) in the city center. That said, a rental comes in very handy for side trips and scenic stops. There are many you might consider between the two cities, such as the famed Chianti wine-producing region.
This 10-day itinerary is a great option for anyone who wants to explore the Tuscan countryside, including three nights each in Florence, Siena, and Lucca.
Duration: 1.5 hours
The train is a convenient way to get from Florence to Siena, though ticket prices are roughly the same as those of the bus option. Do note that high-speed trains do not serve the Florence-Siena line. Instead, take train operator Trenitalia’s slower Regionale and enjoy a scenic route through Tuscany.
You can choose to take the train from either Florence’s Santa Maria Novella or Rifredi stations. Direct trains run until about 9 pm on regular days. Some options require you to transfer in the town of Empoli.
Once in Siena you can either take an “escalator” into the city (an interesting solution to the high-altitude of the walled-center) located opposite Siena's train station, or walk uphill into the city (25 minutes).
Duration: 1.5 hours
Another convenient option is the bus. The regional bus system, Tiemme SpA, offers two options for the Florence-Siena route: the 131R rapid route (1 hour 15 minutes) and the slower 1310 route (1.5 hours).
Conveniently, the pick-up in Florence is at the centrally-located Via Luigi Alamanni across Florence’s main train station Santa Maria Novella. Likewise, the bus arrives at Siena’s Piazza Gramsci in the city center. The location is convenient as other transportation options drop you outside the city walls from where you would have to take on an additional 25-minute walk.
The last bus departs from Florence at around 9 pm, but this may vary by season. Although it’s possible to purchase the ticket on-board paying cash, the tariff is lower when purchased online in advance.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
The quickest driving route between Florence and Siena is the tolled Raccordo Autostradale Firenze Potential (RA03). For those with more time to spend, the toll-free, longer SR 222 (1.5-2 hours) is one of the most picturesque routes in Italy and passes through the Tuscan villages of Greve in Chianti, Panzano, Radda, and Gaiole.
In Siena, you can park your car outside of its ZTL zone and either take the escalator directly into the city or walk (25 minutes). Because of its small size, Siena’s landmarks are best accessed on foot or via Tiemme SpA’s urban bus routes.