Things to do in Syracuse

Our most recommended things to do in Syracuse

Syracuse: Boat Trip to Ortigia Island with Caves

1. Syracuse: Boat Trip to Ortigia Island with Caves

Immerse yourself in Ortigia, the historical heart of Syracuse as on this guided boat tour. Enjoy listening as your skipper tells you about geological formations and step back in time with stories and information regarding the area's rich history. Board a comfortable boat and embark on your water adventure. Glide from the bridges of Ortigia and will enter the "big port" of Syracuse where you can gaze out of the the stunning Alfeo Promenade of Ortigia. Sail outside the port to circumnavigate the entire island. Follow the coast north of Syracuse to see some naturally-formed sea caves. Cruise into the "small port" and navigate inside the Ortigia canal that divides the island from the city. Have the chance to stop and take a dip in the turquoise waters with views of the shore. Pass under the bridges to return to the starting point of the tour.

Syracuse: Neapolis Archaeological Park Entrance Ticket

2. Syracuse: Neapolis Archaeological Park Entrance Ticket

The Neapolis Archaeological Park is a must-do for anyone interested in archeology and the classical world. Skip the lines with this entrance ticket and discover its many ancient wonders for yourself including the Greek theater, the Ear of Dionysius, and the Altar of Hieron II. Check out the Greek theater, one of the park's most famous attractions and a truly impressive example of classical civic architecture. Another one of the park's most iconic sites is the Ear of Dionysius, a man-made cave named by the painter Caravaggio. Continue on and discover the fascinating history of some of the park's other key sites. Visit the Roman amphitheater that dates back to the 3rd-4th century AD, the Cave of the Cordari, and the Altar of Hieron II which is dedicated to Zeus Eleutherios.

Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

3. Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

Learn the ancient history of Sicily on a full-day sightseeing tour that takes you to the archaeological park of Neapolis where you can visit classical monuments of Greek and Roman Syracuse at your own pace on a self-guided tour. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in Catania, transfer to the ruins of Syracuse, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your walk, discover many old Roman streets, as well as monuments such as the Greek Theatre, whose cavea is one of the largest ever built by the ancient Greeks. Near the Greek Theatre, you will see the latomie, including the limestone cave known as the “Ear of Dyonisius,” as well as the Christian Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari. Admire the Amphitheatre of the Roman imperial age, and more. Then, continue to Ortygia Island to experience the historic heart of Syracuse. Located at the park’s eastern end, and separated by a narrow channel, Ortygia is filled with Greek temples, Christian churches, and Arabian streets. Visit the Arethusa fountain and Piazza del Duomo, where the baroque palaces, such as Beneventano del Bosco Palace and Senate Palace are among the most beautiful in Sicily. After lunch (own expense), go to the small town of Noto, noted for its unique style of Sicilian Baroque architecture, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Wander the open-air museum and beautiful Corso Vittorio Emanuele to admire the many palaces and churches that, grouped together, are known as the “Stone Garden.”

From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

4. From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

Enjoy three beautiful places in Sicily with this full-day tour from Catania. Listen to historical facts and facinating anecdotes with your audio guide as you stop at the Neapolis Archaeological Park, Ortygia, and Noto.  Meet your driver in Duomo square in the center of Catania and sit back and relax in the comfortable van on the drive to the Neapolis Archaeological Park in Syracuse. Purchase tickets to the park to admire the magnificent Greek theater, Roman Amphitheater, and stone quarries. Continue to the ancient fortified island of Ortygia. Spend some time wandering the streets to discover the mythical Fountain of Arethusa, Piazza Duomo, the fortress walls, and stunning Baroque churches and palaces. Finally, drive to the town of Noto where you can discover the Sicilian capital of Baroque architecture. Have some free time to see sights like the Fountain of Hercules, and noble palaces like Palazzo Astuto and Palazzo Trigona Cannicarao. Return to the meeting point in Catania.

Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

5. Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

Explore ancient Syracuse on a 3-hour guided tour and learn about early Greek history through architecture and religious practices. The evidence of Syracuse as capital of the Mediterranean is ever-present, and seen in the glory of its Cathedral, the ancient Temple of Athena, the Greek Theater and the Roman Amphitheater. Admire the beauty of the Cathedral of Syracuse, which incorporates the pagan Temple of Athena. Learn about its various architectural styles from your guide. Continue to the Archeological Park to see the Paradise Latomia and the Ear of Dionysos. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Ionian Sea from the Greek Theater.

Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto

6. Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto

Embark on a boat tour of Ortigia with this tour from Siracusa. View the historic center of Siracusa from the water. Travel along the coast to admire Maniace castle and several sea caves. Push off from Siracusa and pass under the Umbertino bridge. Take in sweeping views of the entire port. Go by the luxurious yachts at Foro Italico, and catch a glimpse of a cathedral dome. Observe the legendary Arethusa fountain. Exit the port and see the immense Maniace castle. Head out to the northern coast of Syracuse. Have some fresh fruit and juice as you travel to a spot where you can get out and have a 10 minute swim. Enter Capuchin cave, Coral cave, a stalactite cave, and the heart-shaped Cave of Love. Snap souvenir photos with the heart behind you.

Syracuse: Ortigia Boat Trip with Caves and South Coast

7. Syracuse: Ortigia Boat Trip with Caves and South Coast

Explore the breathtaking Syracuse coastline and navigate around its adjacent Ortigia Island on a fantastic scenic cruise. Come across the most stunning sights as you float along the shore and into the small harbor for a ride through the Ortigia canal. Embark on a fun sightseeing boat trip departing from Ortigia and travel around the whole island as you head toward the iconic sea caves located north of Syracuse. Enter the small port and discover the local marine infrastructure, crossing the canal and passing under bridges. On your way back to the south coast, cross the huge port of Syracuse and take in the combination of natural and man-made scenery before returning to the starting point.

Siracusa: Ortygia Island Boat Tour with Grotto Visit

8. Siracusa: Ortygia Island Boat Tour with Grotto Visit

Meet your skipper at the convenient meeting point. A boat ride around Ortigia is one of the best ways to visit this beautiful place: between the sound of the wind and the intoxicating smell of the sea you will discover one of the jewels of the Sicilian tourist panorama. Admiring Ortigia by boat will allow you to admire some of its most significant monuments and historic buildings: the Venetian Palace, the Umberto I Bridge and the Small Port, the former Bourbon Prison, the Spanish walls and the Lungomare di Levante, the Viliena Fortress, the Maniace Castle and the Fonte Aretusa. Continue with the exploration of the sea grottos (the Capuchin Latomie, the Ear of Dionysius, the Heart-Shaped Lovers', and the Holy Spirit grottos) on the north side of Syracuse, entering the caves and admiring stalactites, stalagmites, and coral formations up close. This excursion in Ortygia will also offer you the opportunity, in non-adverse weather conditions, to take a short stop for a dip, where the water is a deep blue.

Syracuse: Ortigia Island Guided Walking Tour

9. Syracuse: Ortigia Island Guided Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the history of Syracuse on this guided walking tour of the island of Ortigia. Uncover how major Mediterranean civilizations have left their mark in this unique area as you pass by elegant buildings, sculptures, fountains, and grand squares. Meet your guide near the Ponte Umbertino, the stone bridge that connects Syracuse to the island of Ortigia. Follow your guide as they effortlessly navigate through a maze of narrow streets until you reach the 6th century ruins of the Apollo Temple. Contime to Piazza Archimede to admire a classical fountain that depicts the mythical goddess Diana. Pass through charming shops and alley restaurants as you make your way through downtown Ortigia. Finally reach the Piazza Duomo which opens out into a wide space that is surrounded by breathtaking Baroque architecture. End your walk here, were you can take some time to admire the Cathedral of Syracuse which was built atop a Temple to Athena. 

From Catania: Syracuse and Noto Culture and History Tour

10. From Catania: Syracuse and Noto Culture and History Tour

Discover two of the most beautiful cities in Sicily on this guided history and culture tour of Syracuse and Noto. Syracuse is a UNESCO World Heritage Site while Noto is considered the most beautiful city of Sicilian Baroque. See Neapolis Archaeological Park, Ortigia, and more. Meet your guides who will lead to the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, an area rich in archaeological finds belonging to several periods of Syracusan history. Later, continue on the island of Ortigia, the historic center of Syracuse. Walk through alleys that are over 2000 years old and full of history. See the spectacular cathedral. Then, head to the historic center of Noto that's called the stone garden due to the architectural beauty of its palaces. See why this place is considered to have some of the most beautiful examples of Sicilian Baroque. After experiencing Syracuse and Noto, get transferred back to your pickup location.

Frequently asked questions about Syracuse

What are the best day trips and excursions from Syracuse?

The best day trips and excursions from Syracuse are:

Mount Etna

Other Sightseeing Options in Syracuse

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What people are saying about Syracuse

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 875 reviews

A highlight of our time in Ortigia. The captain and guide could not have been nicer. We sailed and saw beautiful sights and even had the opportunity to go swimming. The food and wine was an excellent end to an amazing trip. We could not more highly recommend this experience.

Excelente experiencia en Ortigia! Daniel, nuestro guia y conductor, muy preparado y simpatico Nos mistro las atracciones y algunos datos de Ortigia, que solo algunos conocen Tour muy interesante y comodisimo el Velobike

Excellent experience from visiting the market and local shops to teaching our family about Sicilian cooking. Hector even adapted the menu to do a special dish for our 9 year old - thank you!

Great tour! We saw and learned a lot, as well the hiking was great. On top Frederico was a great guide and made the day perfect! Thx

Had fun, the swims and views were great and the fruit was a nice touch.