The 12 Best Things to Do in Perugia, Italy (2023)

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This beautiful city in the beautiful Italian region of Umbria is almost equidistant between Florence and Rome. But alas, it has been surprisingly overlooked by foreign tourists who choose to travel central Italy on intercity trains instead, despite the fact that there are so many great things to do in Perugia.

Perugia is the capital of the Italian region of Umbria, a small region of Italy with possibly the same beauty of the northTuscanyand filled with a number of interesting little towns to visit. Perugia lends itself to being a fantastic base for exploring the region as not only is there a range of things to do in Perugia but also a large student population in this city means there is almost always something to do.

Even if you don't have time to spend a few days in the city, its convenient location between two of Italy's most visited destinations (Florence and Rome) makes visiting Perugia a great option for a day trip too.

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Directions to and around Perugia, Italy

The easiest way to get to Perugia is by train. As it is pretty much halfway between Rome andFlorenceIt's a logical stopover if you're traveling between these two cities, or as a day trip from both.

From Florence, the train takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes, while fromRomaIt takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes. It is advisable to book train tickets in advance, especially for the faster trains, as the fares are cheaper compared to booking them on the day of travel.Click here to check train timetables

If you are visiting Perugia as part of a longer tripItinerary of Italy, then hiring a car can be a good option if you want to venture further off the beaten track. we suggestBrowse Rentalcars.Comto find a good deal as they summarize the results of a number of car rental companies in Italy.

It's also a good idea to get excess insurance with a company like iCarHireInsurance so you don't pay an excess if you do need to make a claim.

There is also a small airport in Perugia, so it is possible to fly direct to the Umbrian capital from some cities in Europe. If you are going to or from Perugia Airport, a taxi will cost around €30 and take around 20 minutes. There's also an airport bus that takes you downtown, but be aware that connections can be limited if you're traveling on weekends.

Once in the city, Perugia is very walkable and if you are staying in the city center you only need to use public transport to get to and from the train station or airport.

Perugia train station is just a few kilometers from the city center. You can buy bus tickets in convenience stores for €1.50 or spend €2 on a ticket on board the bus.

(Video) Top 15 Things To Do In Perugia, Italy

12 things to do in Perugia, Italy

1. Explore and linger in Piazza IV Novembre

Most of the foreigners you will see in Perugia will probably be the large number of students who call Perugia home during the university year.

And like most students around the world who have little money or only a lot of free time, you will undoubtedly see a large proportion of them congregating in the city's main meeting place: Piazza IV Novembre.

The square has a number of famous monuments, including Fontana Maggiore, a large medieval fountain in the center of the square, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, the city's main church, and the Palacio dei Priori, Perugia's town hall.

While impressive to explore, these monuments often serve as the backdrop for large crowds of schoolchildren sipping wine from plastic cups, playing a musical instrument, or eating ice cream.

Joining them on the steps and people watching is absolutely one of the best things to do in Perugia!

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2. Watch the sunset at Giardini Carducci

One of the best things to do in Perugia is to visit the Giardini Carducci at sunset. The small park on the southern edge of town offers spectacular views of the surrounding Umbrian countryside, including the nearby Basilica of San Domenico.

There are maps to help you find nearby towns, but you can just spend an hour or two enjoying the view as the sun goes down.

This area is a popular date spot for obvious reasons, but it's just as lovely when you can just enjoy yourself! The view of the surrounding mountain villages and the Umbrian countryside is truly beautiful.

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3. Stroll through underground Perugia

Just below Giardini Carducci you will find the underground Perugia or Rocca Paolina, a whole network of streets that are the remains of a 16th-century medieval fortress built by Pope Paul III. was built. Considered a symbol of papal power, the fortress was mostly destroyed in the 19th century after the unification of Italy.

Today, what remains has been incorporated into present-day Perugia via a series of escalators. There are exhibitions, museums and shops to explore underground, or just wander the maze of streets and read about the history of the place.

ForGame of ThronesFans even had their own version of Red Wedding!

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4. Visit the National Gallery of Umbria

The National Gallery of UmbriaIt is an excellent option for travelers who want to see a unique collection of paintings, especially by many Umbrian artists. The second floor has a permanent exhibition as well as a changing temporary collection.

The full price of tickets is €8.00 but there are significant discounts for EU citizens under 25 years old. The museum is closed some days of the week, so check the website for up-to-date opening hours.

5. Walk along Corso Vannucci

If you're wondering what Perugia's answer to this isOxford Street in Londonor the Champs-Elysees in Paris, then look no further than Corso Vannucci. The wide, car-free street runs from Giardini Carducci to Piazza IV Novembre and is lined with cafes, street musicians, bars and much more.

You will almost certainly walk up and down this street several times during your stay. This is clearly one of the most popular things to do in Perugia for visitors and locals alike!

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6. Learn about the history of Perugia

If you want to immerse yourself in the history of the city, one of the best things to do in Perugia is to go on a short hike with a local guide.

In addition to visiting some of the attractions listed in this article, you'll learn about the city's ancient past and discover treasures that might go unnoticed when walking alone. Some options include this2-hour guided hike in small groupsÖthis private tourif you prefer not to join a tour with other people.

7. Enjoy traditional Umbrian cuisine

The New York Times recently indicated thisUmbrian cuisine was Italy's best kept secretand this could very well be the case. Local specialties in Umbria have not yet achieved this international recognitionDishes from Bologna or other parts of Emilia-RomagnaIt could have, but that will certainly change in the next few years.

Typical dishes to look out for are anything with truffles (Umbria is Italy's largest producer of this delightful mushroom!), strangozzi (a type of square spaghetti), spelt/farro and pecorino cheese.

One of the best places to try the local cuisine iscitizen 25, which also has an extensive wine list. The strangozzi with lamb and artichokes is definitely a winner! Be sure to reserve in advance as this restaurant is very popular with locals. They don't have an English menu, but the waiters are happy to help you decide.

Another great place we ate at wasTrattoria Borgo San Francesco, which also offers an extensive menu of local specialties and innovative dishes.

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8. Visit the Perugina chocolate factory

Umbria is a huge producer of chocolate, including the world famous Baci, and one of the best ways to learn about the tradition and taste some of the products is to tour the factory.

You will have the opportunity to see the chocolate making process, taste a variety of different chocolates and sample some other traditional products at a nearby local shop.

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9. Admire the Etruscan Arch

The Etruscan Arch is one of the most impressive sites in Perugia. Originally in the 3rd century B.C. built. C., served in this period as one of the official entrances to the city of Perugia.

A walk through the gate is the quickest way to reach some of Perugia's main attractions, such as Piazza IV Novembre; However, it is also worth turning right and around the Etruscan Arch for a fantastic view of the gate and the rest of Perugia.

A great way to admire the Etruscan Arch is with a drinkCafe Forte Braccio,is across the street from Arch. This student bar is open 24 hours a day, making it a great option for a morning coffee or an evening Aperol Spritz. It has plenty of outdoor seating with a direct view of the impressive arch!

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10. Enjoy cheap student meals

Havepreviously I spent a few nights in ModenaBefore arriving in Perugia, where the cheap takeaway options were more limited, it was nice to be able to enjoy one of the great advantages of a student city: eat cheap!

There were a number of great hole-in-the-wall style spots that we discovered during our three days in Perugia.

Was one of the favoritesThe business, a panini shop in the wall, a few minutes walk from Piazza IV Novembre. A regular panini will set you back around €3 and the crowds around the shop certainly suggest this place is a winner with hungry students.

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11. Take a day trip to Assisi

If there's one town in Umbria that's firmly established on the tourist trail, it's undoubtedly Assisi. Assisi is only 20 minutes by train from Perugia and is best known as the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi.

The cathedral of the same name attracts thousands of pilgrims every year and is definitely a spectacular sight worth seeing when visiting this Umbrian hill town. You can also stroll around the medieval town for an hour or twotake part in a guided hikeif you want to learn more about the history of Assisi.

Due to the large number of pilgrims and visitors we found that the city was much more touristy compared to Perugia and therefore I would not recommend settling in Assisi unless you are particularly interested in this part of Catholic history . .

Trains from Perugia cost €2.65 each way. However, you also need to buy a bus ticket from Assisi train station to the city center. Buy bus tickets from the bar or tobacconist at the train station for €1.30 each as they are not sold on board the bus.

If you prefer to visit as part of an organized tour, you can do soYou can do a full day tourThis includes a visit to Assisi and nearby Spello, plus transfers and lunch.

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12. Spend an afternoon at Tili Vini

One of the best things to do in Perugia if you want to combine your day trip to Assisi with another activity is to organize a visit to the area.TiliVini winery.About 7km from the center of Assisi, there are infrequent public buses that drop you off about a ten minute walk from the winery, or alternatively you can hire a taxi for around €15-20.

María and her German shepherd will give you a fantastic tour of their organic winery, explaining the history of the vineyard and the production process.

Then, enjoy a tasting of five local wines accompanied by a selection of delicious foods, including bruschetta with their own olive oil, a spelled and mozzarella salad, and a plate of meat and cheese antipasti. There is also dessert wine with homemade biscotti!

Tili Vini's wine is sold all over the world and they spend part of the year traveling and doing private tastings. Luckily for visitors, a winery tour and tasting are very affordable compared to nearby wine tasting in Tuscany. You can book a tasting at Tili Vini orde GetYourGuideÖa viator.

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Accommodation in Perugia

There are many accommodation options in Perugia fordifferent budget levels.Here are some of the best options.

domicile the point- This mid-range boutique hotel is about a 10-minute walk from the city center, has spacious rooms (including some with balconies and mountain views), and also offers a breakfast option when booking.Click here to check availability.

Sina Brufani – If budget is not an issue and you want to splurge on accommodation, this historic luxury hotel is an excellent option. With pristine rooms with incredible views and access to a glass-bottom pool with 3,000-year-old ruins, this is a great option for luxury travelers. Breakfast is included in the room rate.Click here to check availability.

Private rental– An excellent option is Perugia, since in the city there are several complete apartments for rent, such as:this beautiful villa on the outskirts of Perugia.Click here to search for the best private rentals in Perugia.

Jugendherberge Little Italy– If you are on a tight budget this hostel is a fantastic option in a converted church and just a few minutes walk from the center of Perugia. They offer dormitories and private rooms, as well as a spacious common room.Click here to check availability.

Not exactly what you're looking for?Click here to search other accommodations in Perugia!

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Umbria may not be on the main tourist itinerary just yet, but with so many great things to do in Perugia, it's certainly only a matter of time before more visitors explore this amazing region of Italy.

Have you been to Perugia or are you planning a trip? What are some of your favorite things to do in Perugia? Let us know in the comments below!

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