Ortigia

Ortigia, Syracuse: Address, Ortigia Reviews: 4.5/5

About
This offshore island was occupied by the Greek colonists who fortified it and constructed the earliest structures, including the temples of Athena and Apollo, whose remains can still be seen today.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Ortigia
The area
Address
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
15,793 reviews
Excellent
12,150
Very good
3,054
Average
443
Poor
81
Terrible
65

Pierluigi
Rome, Italy88 contributions
Aug 2020
A world of caution before suggesting sites in Ortigia.

The island is abandoned and Godforsaken as Siracusa and Sicily are. The local sport, following a national tradition, is squeezing and cheating tourists.

Prices of anything are incredibly inflated (sometimes more expensive than Milan or Rome); awful, cookie-cutter menus; a 5€ ($6.5 US dollars) cover charge in restaurants or a 3.5 € small bottle of water in hotels ( that you can buy for .20€ in a supermarket) are not rare. My advice: stay strictly the necessary, book in a hotel where breakfast is included, lunch lightly and dine in the same restaurant outside Ortigia, if you can find a decent one.Also, avoid any kind of tours orwasting time in obtaining information from locals.

That is the ugly present. Now the bright past. Do visit:

— Temple of Apollo, a landmark in Greek architecture that set a standard for generations to come;
— Chiesa di San Pietro Apostolo, located near the Temple of Apollo in Via San Pietro 18, tells you the story of the island;
— Duomo square with: the Cathedral and its Greek columns; the Chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Badia where Caravaggio‘s last painting is on display and the entrance to Ipogeo Piazza Duomo, nearby the Cathedral, a tunnel system leading to your next stop;
— Fontana di Arethusa, one of three spots in Europe where papyrus grows, on your way to..
—Castello Maniace, the medieval fortress, in the very tip of Ortigia;
—If you have the opportunity, Museo del Papiro Corrado Basile (Via Nizza, 14), a small very well organised and kept institution describing an important episode in Ortigia history.
Written September 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

traveltheglobe
Singapore, Singapore723 contributions
Dec 2019 • Friends
We took the train from Taormina to Syracuse and then a cab (10eur) from the train station to our bnb in Ortigia. Spent 3 nights here and absolutely loved it. Ortigia is an charming little ancient town with lovely piazzas and a popular morning food market. There’s so much to discover in the alleyways and you’ll find hidden gems of cafes, trattorias and arty farty shops greeting you at every corner. In the evening, take a walk along the waterfront promenade during sunset (start from the arethusa fountain) and soak in the sensual delight of glorious orange hues, the azure blue sea and not forgetting the gorgeous looking Sicilians.
Written June 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Eleformy
Sicily, Italy18 contributions
Aug 2020
Ortigia is a small island, pedestrian, where the atmosphere is unique! You can’t get inside the island with your car, just outside there are plenty of parkings, some are for free others are 0,70€ p hour. So quite chip.
We went to eat a pizza in a restaurant called “Al vecchio Lavatoio” facing the water. I was surprised about all the artists selling their products on the street. The only bad thing is that there aren’t public restrooms so we had to buy a battle of water in a cafe even if they let us use the bathroom even without consuming anything. Very polite but we bought anyway!
There are so many restaurants, bar, cafe, the atmosphere is magic, and the main square is one of the most elegant square that I’ve ever seen! You will enjoy this little island!
Written August 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Battyhouse
uk24 contributions
May 2022
Do not attempt to visit Ortigia by car. The Talete car park is now the home of the homeless, these poor people sleep all over the car park. it used to have barriers and had a maned cubicle. This has been replaced with prepayment machines with hourly rates. Certainly not the place to leave a vehicle, with no apparent security. Trying to find off street parking anywhere is impossible. In addition, the TZL zone as you enter Ortigia is situated on the bridge as you enter Ortigia, you have to turn left before going over the bridge to avoid this visitor money trap. The other option, which turned out to be a challenge, was to street park in Syracuse. You join the parade of cars driving round and round the streets looking for people leaving! People seem to l;eave their cars on Zebra crossings, anywhere. Its a total nightmare. If you are staying on Ortigia you can, with prior arrangement with the Hotel or Rental accomodation take your car to drop off your Baggage with a one hour grace period. Then you are back to where you park ypur car?
We found a car park which turned out to be over a half hour walk away, we are in our 70s. We had planned to stay a week but lasted 2 nights. The hassle of parking left us distressed. No information is available for long stay parking.
Park and Ride scheme would certainly help, but the local Authorities seem not to want to know, relying on unsuspecting tourists to fill the TZL pot.
Written May 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Israel R
Ra'anana, Israel16,126 contributions
Jul 2019
The early history of Syracuse begins somewhere in the 6th century with the Apollo temple.
By the end of the 19th century, the whole area was basically a fortress that separated the two ports of the city. Today the Ortigia area is linked to the island by the Umbertino Bridge. The alley maze invites you to stroll and enjoy the variety of sites, starting with Piazza Pancali and the remains of the Tempio di Apollo, then in Piazza Duomo the amazing Duomo di Siracusa incorporating within it the remains of the ancient Temple of Minerva.
Do not miss the market, the restored buildings, great restaurants, cafes and ice creams vendors stores that serve the most amazing ice creams you can taste.
It is highly recommended to spend a couple of hours hiking the many sites listed in every of the AMAZING Ortigia Quarter’s Guide.
Written June 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

maapar
Mount Pleasant, SC819 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
Spent half a day here on way to Taormina. Walked from the area of Temple of Apollo and the lively market all the way to the castle Parked in Talete parking lot with no problems and could use app easy park to pay.. The castle was very unique with its mirrored floors for an art exhibit and the views were beautiful.
Written June 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kiwi1955
Auckland, New Zealand40 contributions
Oct 2019 • Couples
We travelled to Syracuse via train from Palermo to Catania where we changed trains and onto Syracuse. A great trip through the countryside and stunning views of Mt Etna letting loose her volcanic cloud. On arrival in Syracuse we caught a taxi across to Ortigia. Amazing!! So clean after Palermo we thought we had died and gone to heaven!! Well worth staying on Ortigia in the many AirBnB’s and just wandering the streets of the old city. Lots to see....
Written June 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CabKings
Tampa, FL439 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
Good visit to a unique part of the world. very walkable, no car needed unless you want to take day trips to other small towns. All good is very seafood and pasta oriented, obviously, based on the location. People are nice, prices are fine. Lots of updating homes and buildings so be sure to ask where you stay if construction is occurring. Many shops and restaurants yet to open as season starts in April. Overall a nice place for a short visit, 2-3 days. Nice greek history and sites at the Archeological park about 10 minutes off the island into Siracusa. Very interesting and takes about an hour to view and walk around.
Written March 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ecsouthworth
Stonington, CT130 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
We went here for part of our honeymoon in Sicily. Many people spend a day here but we spent 6 days here and we’re not bored for a minute! Not overrun with tourists and endless churches and history-not to mention the Mediterranean. We love food and you could spend a month eating. One of my favorite places in all my travels!
Written May 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Diana VDC
Thuin, Belgium24 contributions
Nov 2020
If you want to immerse yourself in the labyrinths of an ancient city, as if suspended in time, ortigia is a must. A clean city, that shines under the sun, a maze of little streets that go up and down, with their beautifully restored buildings and picturesque squares, restaurants and souvenir stores, surrounded by the clear (and freezing!) waters of the Mediterranean Sea. There is an incredible calm and tranquility, we were lucky enough to visit it out of season and even in the midst of this pandemic, it seemed as if nothing would happen there, a true oasis of peace.

Written November 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 3,345
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Ortigia

We recommend booking Ortigia tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 40 Ortigia tours on Tripadvisor

According to Tripadvisor travelers, these are the best ways to experience Ortigia: See all Ortigia experiences on Tripadvisor