Things to do in Viterbo

About Viterbo

The must-see attractions in Viterbo include the impressive Palazzo dei Papi, the enchanting medieval quarter of San Pellegrino, the serene Villa Lante gardens, and the ancient hot springs such as the Bullicame. These places capture the historical and cultural essence of the region.
For kids, the Park of Monsters with its large, mystical sculptures offers an imaginative outing, while the interactive tours through the Medieval Quarter bring history to life. Lake Bolsena also provides a variety of water-based activities perfect for family fun.
Exploring the verdant Villa Lante gardens, trekking through Etruscan ruins and archaeological sites, and relaxing at the thermal springs are some of the top outdoor activities in Viterbo. Each offers a combination of natural beauty and historical intrigue.
Indoor activities in Viterbo include visiting the Museo Civico, exploring the art-filled Basilica of Saint Francis, and experiencing the richly decorated interiors of the Palazzo dei Papi. Each venue offers a peek into Viterbo's storied past.
The best Viterbo tours encompass the Papal Palace and Viterbo highlights tour, the San Pellegrino Old Quarter exploration, the Thermal Springs Trail, and the Viterbo Etruscan Legacy tour. Each presents a fascinating facet of Viterbo's heritage.
The Museo Civico in Palazzo dei Priori is amongst the most popular, showcasing a wealth of artifacts from Viterbo's past. Additionally, the Colle del Duomo Museum is renowned for its ecclesiastical art and history.
On rainy days, indoor tours of the Museo Civico, Palazzo dei Papi, and the underground tours that reveal Viterbo's hidden network of medieval tunnels are perfect for staying dry while soaking in culture.
Short but enriching tours in Viterbo include a quick walk through the medieval San Pellegrino quarter, a concise guided tour of the Museo Civico, or a brief explore around the Papal Palace's exterior with an expert audio narration.

Best Things to Do In Viterbo

Explore the historic heart of Italy with a journey through Viterbo's timeless beauty, rich in culture and tradition.

Viterbo: The Monster Park of Bomarzo

What is it?
An enigmatic garden filled with fantastical sculptures and mythical beasts.
Why you should go?
Just a short journey from Viterbo, the Park of the Monsters, also known as the Sacred Wood of Bomarzo, intrigues with its bizarre and larger-than-life stone sculptures. Created in the 16th century, this park was designed to astonish. Its grotesque figures, like Orcus' gaping mouth and the fighting giants, provide unique photo opportunities and a chance to step into a world of myth and allegory, a truly incomparable component of Viterbo excursions.

Viterbo: Museo Civico

What is it?
A municipal museum showcasing Viterbo's rich artistic and historical artifacts.
Why you should go?
Housed within the beautiful Palazzo dei Priori, the Museo Civico offers a deep dive into the past with its impressive array of art, archeology, and ethnography. The museum's collections span from pre-historic times to the Middle Ages and beyond, making it an essential stop for any visit. Exploring this cultural hub is one of the key things to do in Viterbo for a comprehensive understanding of the region’s development through the ages.

Viterbo: Lake Bolsena

What is it?
A volcanic lake surrounded by picturesque towns and lush wilderness.
Why you should go?
As the largest volcanic lake in Europe, Lake Bolsena is a natural wonder that offers an assortment of recreational Viterbo activities. From its crystal-clear waters suitable for swimming and boating to the surrounding trails perfect for hiking and picnics, the lake presents a refreshing escape for nature lovers. The nearby towns also boast historical sites and delectable cuisine, rounding out the experience of what to do in Viterbo.

Viterbo: Medieval Walls and Gates

What is it?
A testament to Viterbo's defensive past, with well-preserved battlements and gates.
Why you should go?
Viterbo is encircled by some of the best-preserved medieval walls in Italy, punctuated by majestic gates that once served as the city's main passageways. Exploring these ancient fortifications offers a glimpse into Viterbo's strategic importance throughout history. The walls serve not only as historical monuments but also as vantage points offering breathtaking views of the city and countryside, solidifying their status as the best things to see in Viterbo.

Viterbo: Quartiere San Pellegrino

What is it?
One of the most well-preserved medieval neighborhoods in Europe.
Why you should go?
The labyrinthine streets of the Quartiere San Pellegrino hold a timeless charm that transports visitors back to the Middle Ages. With its authentic stone houses, proffering balconies, and secretive courtyards, this district is a living museum. Strolling through its alleys while listening to tales of bygone eras is among the top things to do in Viterbo and is a must for those searching for an authentic medieval ambiance.

Viterbo: Palazzo dei Papi

What is it?
A historic palace famed for hosting the longest papal election.
Why you should go?
Nestled in the heart of Viterbo, the Palazzo dei Papi stands as a monument to the city's substantial ecclesiastic history. Its Gothic architecture and the storied Hall of the Conclave attract history enthusiasts and culture vultures alike. Visitors can delve into the tales of papal intrigue, admire the stunning frescoes, and bask in the unmatched views of the city from its terraces, making it one of the paramount things to do in Viterbo.

Viterbo: Villa Lante

What is it?
A Mannerist garden featuring stunning water cascades and ornate fountains.
Why you should go?
Villa Lante represents the pinnacle of Renaissance landscape architecture. This hidden gem, just outside of Viterbo, offers a tranquil retreat where meticulously manicured gardens, water features, and ancient statuary create a serene atmosphere. The intricate design reflects man's harmony with nature and is an exemplary reason why this site is listed among the best things to do in Viterbo, providing a peaceful escape from the bustle of modern travel.

Viterbo: Basilica of Saint Francis

What is it?
An awe-inspiring example of Italian Gothic architecture and artistry.
Why you should go?
The Basilica of Saint Francis stands as a spiritual cornerstone in Viterbo, bringing together the devout and the art lovers. Visitors exploring the sacred space are treated to an array of medieval frescoes and detailed artwork that capture pivotal religious narratives. It's a reflection of the city's rich faith-based history and provides a profound experience that is essential for first-time Viterbo tours, offering insight into local traditions and artistic heritage.

Viterbo: Civita di Bagnoregio

What is it?
An enchanting hilltop village known as "the dying city".
Why you should go?
Although technically separate from Viterbo, Civita di Bagnoregio is a must-visit for any traveler, making it an ideal inclusion in Viterbo excursions. Perched atop a hill accessible only by footbridge, this ancient village exudes an ethereal charm. Its precarious position atop eroding cliffs has become a silent reminder of the transience of human history against the force of nature. The journey here is a contemplative exploration of survival, beauty, and the timeless allure of Italian landscapes.

Viterbo: The Bullicame Thermal Baths

What is it?
A series of natural thermal springs with historical and curative appeal.
Why you should go?
The Bullicame Thermal Baths offer a holistic experience that ties the ancient world with modern wellness practices. Famed since Roman times and later immortalized by Dante in the Divine Comedy, these soothing thermal waters provide a unique opportunity to bask in the same waters that have promoted healing for centuries. A visit here is considered one of the top fun things to do in Viterco, as it is not only a physical respite but also an immersion into the legendary Italian culture of bath and body.

TOP-5 tours in Viterbo for first-time visitors

  • Papal Palace and Viterbo Highlights: Uncover the stories behind the medieval Papal Palace, as this enthralling walking tour immerses you in the historical grandeur at the core of Viterbo activities.
  • San Pellegrino Old Quarter: Wander through the picturesque streets of San Pellegrino, the perfect example of what to see in Viterbo, all while the audio guide reveals secrets of this medieval quarter.
  • Thermal Springs Trail: Indulge in the natural hot springs that denote the fun things to do in Viterbo, with a guide that discusses the ancient healing tradition amidst serene settings.
  • Viterbo's Etruscan Legacy: Engage with Viterbo's Etruscan past on this revealing tour that counts amongst the best Viterbo tours, highlighting the rich archaeological heritage of the region.
  • Sacred Sites and Sanctuary Walk: Peaceful sanctuaries and storied churches outline this spiritual journey, mapping out places to visit in Viterbo for those seeking tranquility and historical context.

Fun things to do in Viterbo with kids

Embarking on family-friendly adventures in Viterbo leads to delightful discoveries around every corner, making it a joyous destination for both young and old. Head to the Park of Monsters, also known as Sacro Bosco, where the fantastical sculptures ignite the imagination in a whimsical outdoor setting that feels like a journey through a fairy tale. Then, consider a day trip to Lake Bolsena where children can engage in water sports, paddle along the gentle waves, or simply build sandcastles along the volcanic lake's beaches. Meanwhile, Viterbo's storied medieval quarter, with its ancient architecture and cobbled streets, becomes a live-action puzzle as families enjoy scavenger hunts while listening to engaging stories through their audio guides. This balance of education and entertainment ensures a memorable experience for young explorers and is reflective of the best things to do in Viterbo for visitors of all ages.

Things to do in Viterbo with family

Viterbo is a captivating Italian haven that promises a wealth of experiences for families. The enticement of exploration begins at the mesmerizing Villa Lante gardens, a grand wonderland of verdant mazes and playful water fountains that children will love to wander through. For a dose of history mixed with fun, Viterbo's medieval quarter offers a sense of time travel with its ancient buildings and stone-paved lanes, enhanced by the storytelling of their audio guide. Finally, a day at Lake Bolsena can't be missed, with ample opportunities for swimming, picnicking, and leisurely boat rides along the tranquil waters, making it a perfect spot to relax and bond as a family. These places to visit in Viterbo blend cultural enrichment with joyful engagement, ensuring that visits with family are as educational as they are entertaining.

Free things to do in Viterbo

Viterbo, a gem laden with historical treasures, offers an array of activities that can be enjoyed without spending a cent. One of the top free attractions is a stroll through the medieval quarter of San Pellegrino. This well-preserved area, with its archaic buildings and cobblestone paths, provides a snapshot into the past, offering an authentic Italian experience. A visit to the exterior of the imposing Palazzo dei Papi, the once-pivotal palace of the popes, allows families to bask in the architectural magnificence and the pivotal history narrated by their audio guide. Additionally, the public thermal springs, known for their healing properties since Roman times, invite visitors to relax in the warm waters for an unwinding experience. Engaging with these things to see in Viterbo for free ensures that visitors can delve into the city's rich culture and history without the need for tickets or fees.

Cheap things to do in Viterbo

Thrifty travelers delight in Viterbo's rich selection of low-cost activities that offer a deep dive into the city's cultural essence. Begin with a visit to the Museo Civico, located in the enchanting Palazzo dei Priori, where for a nominal fee, visitors can admire a significant collection of Renaissance art and artifacts that narrate Viterbo's storied history. Next, wander through the lush greenery of the Villa Lante gardens in Bagnaia, where a small entrance fee grants you access to one of Italy’s finest examples of Renaissance landscaping, complete with ornate fountains and meticulous topiaries. For those who relish in antiquity, the Etruscan ruins scattered around the city and its outskirts present a mostly free opportunity to explore ancient civilizations. Embarking on these value-packed Viterbo tours and excursions ensures engaging experiences that are as kind to your wallet as they are enriching to your soul.

Things to do in Viterbo for couples

Couples seeking a romantic escapade will find Viterbo's charm undeniable. A meander through the intimate streets of the San Pellegrino quarter allows for hand-in-hand exploration of this medieval gem, where timeless architecture sets the stage for love. For the duo in search of serene beauty, the enchanting gardens of Villa Lante offer an idyllic setting, with lovebirds often found admiring its Renaissance splendor and intricate water features. A visit wouldn't be complete without an intimate Viterbo excursion to the thermal springs, where couples can unwind together in the natural, warm pools under the Italian sun. Each of these attractions, rich in beauty and steeped in history, are not only the best places to visit in Viterbo but also perfect moments to cherish in the heart of Italy.

Things to do in Viterbo at night

As dusk falls, Viterbo shifts to a nocturne of its age-old splendor, presenting activities that resonate with the night owls. One of the memorable Viterbo activities after dark is a stroll through the historic center, where illuminated medieval buildings cast a spellbinding glow, and the city's cafes come alive with local chatter. The nightlife is vibrant and best experienced during a leisurely walk, offering a new perspective on the city's ancient heritage. Wine enthusiasts can indulge in local wine tasting experiences, often accompanied by traditional Italian music, creating a romantic and sensory-filled setting. Lastly, embracing Viterbo’s cultural scene at the Teatro dell’Unione presents the opportunity to enjoy performances ranging from classical music to contemporary theatre, offering a touch of sophistication to the evening's entertainment options.