Part independent republic, part mountain fortress, the Republic of San Marino is a fascinating country. Measuring only 61 square kilometres, it is completely surrounded by Italy and is the 5th smallest country in the world by area. It has the 4th smallest population with just over 33,000 people.

It’s also the oldest republic in the world, having been founded in 301CE. The fact it has survived since then with all of the political changes that have happened around it is incredible.

Even though there are many similarities with the culture of Italy, San Marino still has a lot to offer visitors. To start with, there is the novelty of visiting a tiny independent country with an immense history. The scenery is beautiful and the views over the surrounding Italian countryside are stunning too.

San Marino is perfect for a day trip, especially if you are visiting the region of Italy surrounding it anyway.


San Marino travel infographic


How to get there

To get to San Marino using public transport, the best option is to get the train to Rimini in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. From there, a regular bus runs to San Marino.

Getting to Rimini

There are very regular connections from Bologna by train. The journey takes about an hour. Bologna has flight connections all over Europe, notably with Ryanair. It is also well connected to other major cities in Italy.

From Rimini to San Marino

Coming out of Rimini station you will see a Burger King across the road. Just to the right of the Burger King is where the bus to San Marino leaves from.

A few facts about San Marino

  • Capital: City of San Marino
  • Population: About 33,000
  • Currency: Euro
  • Official Language: Italian
  • Official Script: Latin alphabet
  • Time Zone: Central European Time (UTC+1) / Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) in Summer
  • Calling Code: +378 (not needed if calling from Italy)
  • Internet TLD: .sm
  • Drives On: Right
  • Drinking Age: 16
  • Plugs/Sockets: Type C, F & L, 230V (Same as Italy) more info

Visa information

San Marino has an open border with Italy, so it is a de facto (but not official) Schengen Area country. There are no airports in San Marino anyway, so travel through Italy is necessary to get there.

San Marino


Train from Bologna to Rimini: €15-20 one-way
Bus from Rimini to San Marino: 
€9 return
Entry to two of the three towers: 
Sandwich at a cafe: €5.50

Language barrier

The people of San Marino speak Italian. Many people speak at least some English, especially those people working in restaurants and other tourist services.

Food & drink

The style of food in San Marino is similar to the surrounding region of Italy. That may be a little disappointing, but only until you realise the entire area has incredibly good food! I had an amazing piadina (a thin flatbread sandwich) and sampled the local Sammarinese craft beers at Bar Piadineria la Capanna, which has a view stretching as far as Rimini and the Adriatic Sea.

Bar Piadineria la Capanna