How to get to San Marino

Liberty Square in the City of San Marino, with the Palazzo Pubblico (People's Palace) in the background.

Liberty Square in the City of San Marino, with the Palazzo Pubblico (People's Palace) in the background.

San Marino is an intriguing country. Entirely landlocked by Italy, the micronation claims to be the world’s oldest republic.

With no airports and no train stations, San Marino isn’t the most well-connected place in the world. But here’s how you can get there and plan your own visit.

Unless you have a car at your disposal, you’ll need to get to Rimini on the east coast of Italy, San Marino’s main entry point for those using public transport.

To Rimini by air

Inside an overcrowded Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport.

Inside an overcrowded Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport.

There are three airports near Rimini – Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport, Marche Airport in Ancona and Federico Fellini International Airport, which is in Rimini itself.

Federico Fellini International Airport lies approximately seven kilometres outside of Rimini city centre and there is a direct train from there to Rimini Central Station. Bus number nine also runs regular services to the city. Year-round services operate to seven destinations across Albania and Russia, with seasonal flights to Luxembourg and Finland.

Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport is in Bologna, just under a couple of hours north of San Marino, is the biggest airport in the region and is the likely destination for most travellers. It welcomes flights from all over Europe and covers a lot of budget routes, making it Italy’s seventh-busiest airport. The best option to get from Bologna Airport to Rimini is the Shuttle Rimini Bologna, which also makes stops at Forlì, Cesena and Riccione. It’s quite pricy at €20 each way when bought online – a saving of €5 – but the coaches are nice and it’s the most convenient way to get to Rimini from that part of the world. The bus stop that the Shuttle Rimini Bologna drops passengers off, which is across from Rimini Central Station, is the same stop where the Bonelli Bus to San Marino picks up from.

Last, but not least, Ancona’s Marche Airport is the smallest of the three, only having the same number of regular routes in operation 12 months a year to Tirana, Munich and Rome.  There is a train that runs directly from the airport into Rimini, where the connection to San Marino can be made.

To Rimini by train

Rimini Central Station is a railway station with services covering mainly major destinations in the north and right along the eastern side of Italy.

If you’re travelling from other countries in Europe, such as neighbouring Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria or France, then it is best to switch trains at a major terminus like Turin, Milan or Venice.

More information on Italian trains can be found here.

To Rimini by bus

As well as the shuttle from Bologna Airport, there is also a bus service from the capital, Rome, which takes approximately six hours. More details can be found here.

Rimini to San Marino

The San Marino-bound bus at the stop in Rimini.

The San Marino-bound bus at the stop in Rimini.

The only direct public transport route into the Republic of San Marino from outside the country is to take the bus which departs from Rimini and goes most of the way up Mount Titano to Città di San Marino (City of San Marino, the capital).

This service is operated by Bonelli Bus and is €5 one way, or €9 return – although it should be noted that is a same day return. You can find the complete winter timetable for this particular bus service here, and the summer one here.

San Marino by car

Car parking in the City of San Marino.

Car parking in the City of San Marino.

San Marino is easily accessible by car and you should encounter no problems as the country is one of three associate members of the Schengen Area alongside Vatican City and Monaco, which means there are no border controls.

There are plenty of car hire places in and around San Marino and for those who need parking, a list of car parks countrywide can be found here.