The City of San Marino is the capital of the republic of San Marino, situated near the Adriatic coast. The nation is surrounded by Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. There are limited public transport connections available to take travellers directly to the City of San Marino, and most visitors will need to take a bus from the nearby city of Rimini to complete their journey. Travellers can get to Rimini from the UK by direct flight, bus or train, or a combination of different methods of transportation.
The quickest journeys from the UK to the City of San Marino take around 7h 20min. This journey involves a flight from London Stansted to Rimini, and then a bus to San Marino. Train journeys can take around 15h 35min, and bus journeys take around 25h 10min. Those wishing to travel to San Marino can compare ticket prices and departure times on Omio to find the best deals.
The landlocked republic of San Marino is situated in a mountainous region in northern Italy. Officially founded in 301 AD, the small enclave has a rich history and is the third smallest European microstate after Vatican City and Monaco. The nation’s capital, the City of San Marino, is locally known as Citta. It sits at the foot of Monte Titano, the nation’s highest mountain topped by medieval towers.
Other notable towns to visit include Borgo Maggiore and Serravalle. The country is known for its exquisitely preserved medieval buildings and structures. Before you travel to San Marino, make sure to exchange some money for Euros, the official currency of the republic. Standard Italian is the most common language spoken in San Marino, but you may also hear people speak in the Sammarinese dialect, a variety of Romagnol and the nation’s second official language.
San Marino experiences a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Since goods can be purchased tax-free in San Marino, the republic is a surprising hotspot for shopping. Large shops and outlets are generally open every day, but as is the case in many Mediterranean countries, smaller shops may close for a few hours during lunch hours.
There are limited public transport connections to the mountainous enclave of San Marino, and most routes will pass through the city of Rimini on the Adriatic coast. Rimini is around 28 km from San Marino’s capital, the City of San Marino. There is no airport in San Marino, and the railway line is no longer in service. The only public transport connection from outside the country is a bus service from Rimini to San Marino. Once you have arrived in the City of San Marino, you can travel around San Marino by car, local bus services or cable car.
Arrival airport and bus station: Rimini-San Marino International Airport. The airport, also known as Federico Fellini Airport, is situated around 5 km from Rimini city centre. Flights from London Stansted to Rimini Airport are operated by Ryanair and usually depart twice a week. Buses from the airport to Rimini city centre depart around every 30min. The airport offers several practical amenities such as car rental services, cafes and a money exchange bureau. If you wish to book flights to San Marino, you can also fly to other regional airports such as Bologna Airport or Rome Fiumicino Airport and travel by train or bus to Rimini from there. These airports are served by flights connecting to multiple cities around the UK, so may suit passengers not travelling from or via London.
The arrival bus station is San Marino Bus Station. The only public transport connection to the City of San Marino from outside the country is by bus from Rimini. Bonelli Bus operates a bus service from Rimini Bus Station to San Marino Bus Station. Buses depart around once every 2h from around 8:10 a.m. until around 7:25 p.m. Note that the bus timetable changes seasonally, and there are fewer services on Sundays and public holidays. Buses arrive in the centre of City of San Marino, passing through other towns such as Serravalle and Borgo Maggiore en route. The final bus stop in City of San Marino is located in the city’s old town near the base of the cable car station.
San Marino Hill Castle. Source: Shutterstock
Bonelli Bus is the main provider operating buses from Rimini to San Marino. Anyone planning to travel to San Marino exclusively using public transport will need to use this bus service to complete their journey. There are a number of options for getting to Rimini. Direct flights are available from London Stansted, operated by Ryanair on a twice weekly schedule. Ryanair also operate direct flights from Manchester and Edinburgh to Bologna Airport and Rome Fiumicino. The fastest option for travel to San Marino from the UK is by flight, though rail and bus options are also available. Train and bus journeys to San Marino will involve several connections and operators, usually travelling via Paris and Milan.
Bonelli Bus offers a schedule of regular daily departures from Rimini to San Marino. Buses go directly from Rimini FS Bus Station to City of San Marino city centre, stopping at other towns in the republic such as Borgo Maggiore. The total bus journey time from Rimini city centre to San Marino old town is around 50min. Buses depart from Rimini from as early as around 8:10 a.m. until around 7:25 p.m. During summer, buses depart around every 1-2h every day. During winter months, bus times may differ, and there is a limited service on Sundays.
Train journeys from London to San Marino take around 15h 35min and depart twice daily. If you are travelling from other cities in the UK, several regional operators provide trains to first get you to London. The Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Nord takes around 2h 22min. TGV operates trains three times a day from Paris to Milan with a journey time of around 7h 8min. From Milan, you can take a Trenitalia service once per day to Rimini.
Ryanair fly from London Stansted to Rimini twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The flight time is around 2h 10min, but remember to factor in the time it takes to get to and from each airport. Those flying from other cities in the UK can also travel with Ryanair directly to airports like Bologna Airport and Rome Fiumicino. For example, you’ll find twice weekly direct flights from Edinburgh to Bologna and Manchester to Bologna with Ryanair, as well as daily direct flights from Manchester to Rome Fiumicino. From your arrival city of choice, you can travel by train or bus to Rimini and then take a short bus journey to your final destination of the City of San Marino.
San Marino Night Terrace. Source: Shutterstock
Since there are several ways to travel to San Marino, you should take some time to compare the different transport options on Omio to find the best deals for you. If you can be flexible on your departure date, consider travelling on a day when tickets may be cheaper. Remember that while the cheapest option may take longer, you will often be able to take advantage of other cost-cutting factors like a larger luggage allowance when travelling by land.
Whether you are travelling by train, plane or coach, make sure you book tickets to San Marino as early in advance as possible. Before you travel, check out our online Window Seat magazine for travel tips and inspiration.
The City of San Marino is well known for its blend of history and contemporary culture. In the same day you can find yourself wandering around the Old Town to admire historic medieval buildings, before grabbing a bargain or two at chic fashion outlets.
Learn more about the history of one of Europe's smallest microstates at the Museo de Stato, hike up to the three fortresses atop Monte Titano, take in panoramic views as your ride the cable car from San Marino to Borgo Maggiore and enjoy a spot of fine-dining at one of the city's Michelin-starred restarurants.