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Things to do in Syracuse

Our most recommended things to do in Syracuse

Syracuse: Ortigia Sunset Cruise with Aperitif

1. Syracuse: Ortigia Sunset Cruise with Aperitif

Discover the caves and coves of Ortigia Island and admire a spectacular sunset on a sunset cruise. Savor prosecco with a tasting platter showcasing the best of local restaurant produce during your boat tour. Begin the cruise by sailing toward the exit from the small port and heading toward the north coast. Here, meet the Capuchin cove and the first Capuchin cave before passing in front of the dolphin-shaped rock. Next, enter the Coral Caves and marvel at the walls of soft red coral in each cave. Continue to the Grotta Dell’Amore, where the local partner will take photos you can collect at the end of the tour. After, enter the largest cave on the Syracusan coast, the Grotta delle Stalattiti. See the impressive variety and play of colors formed inside the cave, as well as the strange shapes created naturally by the force of the waves and humidity. Then, tuck into the onboard platter and uncork a delicious prosecco as you begin to return to Ortigia Island. On the way, stop for a swim in crystal-clear waters near Maniace Castle. Hop back on the boat and wait for the sunset to arrive as you listen to the onboard music, played throughout the cruise. After admiring the sunset, conclude the tour by passing under the Umbertino Bridge.

Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

2. 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.”

Syracuse: Boat Trip to Ortigia Island with Caves

3. 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 Tour

4. Syracuse: Neapolis Archaeological Park Tour

Meet your certified guide at the entrance gate of the Neapolis Archaeological Park and visit the most important ancient Greek and Roman monuments in Syracuse. Discover the history and archaeological importance of this ancient Greek sight from your knowledgeable guide. During your walking tour, see the ancient Greek theatre, cut in the rock of the Yemenite Hill, and explore the "Latomie del Paradiso", an ancient stone quarry with beautiful local flora. Next, marvel at the legendary "Ear of Dionysius", located inside the quarries. Be amazed by this grotto famed for its shape and echoing sounds. Finish your tour with a visit to the altar of Hieron and the Roman amphitheater.

Syracuse: Ortigia Boat Trip with Caves and South Coast

5. 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.

Siracuse: Guided Velobike Tour

6. Siracuse: Guided Velobike Tour

After being collected from your Siracusa accommodation, your Velo Bike tour around the city will begin. You will be taken to various parts of the city, and as well as the island of Ortigia. Siracusa has a unique ecological system, both inside and outside the city. Aboard your electric bicycle, your driver will introduce you to inside the city's magnificent labyrinth, providing you with the opportunity to find and to photograph the history left by different populations at each stop. The tour also includes explanation of historical places, as well as views of impressive panoramas. At the conclusion of your experience, you have the option to be dropped off at any location of your choosing within the city.

Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

7. 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.

Syracuse: Sicilian Street Food Hands-On Cooking Class

8. Syracuse: Sicilian Street Food Hands-On Cooking Class

A real Sicilian cooking experience awaits you in Syracuse. You will participate in a cooking class and learn the tricks of the trade. In Sicily it is important to gather relatives and friends around a traditional table, elegant and full of genuine food. You too will have the opportunity to do so, enjoying, through this cooking class, a cooking service together with chef Ettore. During the Cooking Class with tasting, you will learn how to cook traditional dishes in a simple way: the warmth of Sicily will wrap you with its colors, aromas and scents of ancient flavor. You will discover how family traditions and creativity are intertwined in the creation of tasty, homemade dishes. Seasonal, first choice and always locally sourced ingredients will make your meal of unique goodness. The lunch includes two courses: the famous Sicilian arancini and for dessert the renowned cannoli, both symbols of Sicilian gastronomy. The Cooking Class will be a sensory experience, pleasant, gratifying and above all satisfying. A local wine will be selected for you, to enhance and accompany the tasting of the dishes.

From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

9. 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: Traditional Cooking Class & Ancient Market Visit

10. Syracuse: Traditional Cooking Class & Ancient Market Visit

Enjoy a traditional Sicilian cooking class with a local chef in Syracuse. Browse for ingredients at the market, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of Sicilian culinary heritage. With your local chef, you will enter the streets of the Ancient Market of the Ortigia island, where you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the thousand smells and various colors of the stalls and the folkloristic street sellers' cries, competing for customers.  Only after having purchased everything you need and chosen the best products, you will get into the heart of this wonderful and authentic experience.  The doors of the kitchen of a local chef will open to welcome you: here, with your help, he will prepare some of the typical dishes of the Sicilian tradition that you can later enjoy. If you want - with a little extra - you can choose to host the chef directly in the kitchen of your accommodation to enjoy this exciting experience in total tranquility.

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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

Want to discover all there is to do in Syracuse? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Syracuse

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,088 reviews

The trip to Ragusa, Modica and Noto was excellent… though, our guide didn’t speak much English and served more as a driver to each site than an actual guide. Some local information was provided and some rudimentary conversation was had in Italian. It would have been appreciated to have individual maps provided ahead of the drop-offs. The water bottles provided were appreciated. A little less time in Ragusa would have allowed a bit more time in Noto. The recommendation to visit the Bonajuta chocolatier in Modica was appreciated - and is highly recommended. Our ‘guide’ was an excellent driver and did make two stops so that some great panoramic photos could be taken of Ragusa and Noto. Highly recommend visiting all three towns - given our circumstances, it was the best way for us to enjoy them within our schedule. Much appreciated!

Francesco provided all of us with an excellent tour. He was very knowledgeable and prompt. The wine and food tasting was also very good. I would highly recommend.

Nando was very helpful, courteous and was an excellent guide. We got to understand Sicily better because of his explanations and knowledge.

Stephen was great! Fun boat ride and tour of the caves and around ortigia. Would definitely recommend

Overall nice trup across several beautiful cities.