Ravenna: The Complete Guide

Situated on the eastern coast of Italy, nestled between San Marino and Bologna, Ravenna serves as the capital of the Ravenna province and stands as one of the larger cities in the Emilia-Romagna region. Throughout its illustrious history, Ravenna has held a position of great importance under various empires, including serving as the capital of the Western Roman Empire and later becoming the capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths.

Due to this rich historical legacy, Ravenna boasts an abundance of remarkable ancient structures and has earned recognition with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is particularly renowned for its well-preserved Byzantine-era architecture and mosaics, making it a focal point for cultural enthusiasts. Additionally, its proximity to Bologna, Florence, and the Adriatic Sea, along with access to splendid coastal resorts, ensures that Ravenna remains a highly sought-after destination for tourists, offering a wealth of captivating attractions.

In the heart of the city, visitors can explore an array of ornate churches and basilicas, stroll through impressive squares, and even pay homage at the tomb of the legendary writer Dante Alighieri. Furthermore, the Ravenna Marina presents an enticing coastal retreat, providing an opportunity to unwind and bask in the radiant Adriatic sun.

Visiting Ravenna for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Ravenna on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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17 Best places to See in Ravenna

This complete guide to Ravenna not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Ravenna and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Arian Baptistery (Battistero degli Ariani)

Arian Baptistery Ravenna
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Flying Russian
The Arian Baptistery, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument since 1996, is located not far from the Ravenna railway station, situated in a small piazza paved with sampietrini (cobblestones). This baptistery is believed to have been constructed by King Theodoric at the end of the 5th century AD, during a time when Arianism was […]
Location: Arian Baptistery, Piazzetta degli Ariani, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: From Monday to Friday: 9 am – 12 pm Saturdays and Sundays: 9 am – 12 pm / 2 pm – 5 pm | Price: €3 | Website | Distance: 0.10km
Visiting Arian Baptistery (Battistero degli Ariani)

Basilica di San Giovanni Evangelista

Basilica Di San Giovanni Evangelista
CC BY-SA 3.0 / sailko
The Basilica of San Giovanni Evangelista is one of the beautiful basilicas in Ravenna, Italy, and it has a rich history and architectural significance. Here are some key details about this basilica: Origins and Location: Originally known as the Church of the Saints Nicander and Marcian, the basilica was originally located by the coast, near […]
Location: Basilica di San Giovanni Evangelista, Viale Luigi Carlo Farini, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: FROM 1st APRIL: From Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00 am – 1.00 pm / 3.00 pm – 6.00 pmSPECIAL OPENINGS Monday 10th and 24th April, 1st May: 10.00 am – 1.00 pm / 3.00 pm – 6.00 pm | Price: Free | Distance: 0.10km
Visiting Basilica di San Giovanni Evangelista

Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

Basilica Of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Alice90
In Via di Roma, stands the majestic bell tower of one of the most ancient churches in the city, a UNESCO World Heritage monument since 1996. We are talking about the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, which should not be confused with the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, located just outside the city. This basilica was constructed […]
Location: Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Via di Roma, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: Every day: 9 am – 7 pm | Price: €10.50 | Website | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

Dante Alighieri’s Tomb

Tomba Di Dante - Veduta Frontale
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Veniero Rubboli
In the heart of Ravenna, a peaceful and reverential corner is dedicated to the memory of Dante Alighieri, the father of the Italian language. This area, shaded by a majestic oak tree planted by Giosuè Carducci at the beginning of the 20th century, is home to Dante’s TOMB, where the Supreme Poet rests. The tomb, […]
Location: Dante Alighieri's tomb, Via Dante Alighieri, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: From 1st November to 31st March Every day: 10 am – 6 pmFrom 1st April to 31st October Every day: 10 am – 7 pm1st January: 1 pm – 6 pm | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Dante Alighieri’s Tomb

Basilica of San Francesco, Ravenna

Basilica Of San Francesco
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wilfred Krause
The Basilica of San Francesco in Ravenna is a magnificent Romanesque-style church located in the heart of the Zone of Silence. According to the locals, it is one of the most beautiful basilicas in the city. Historical Significance: Originally consecrated to the Holy Apostles and later to Saint Peter, the basilica dates back to the […]
Location: Basilica of Saint Francis, Piazza San Francesco, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: Monday to Friday: 7 am – 12 pm and 3 pm – 6 pm Saturdays and Sundays: 7 am – 6.30 pm | Price: Free | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Basilica of San Francesco, Ravenna

Piazza del Popolo, Ravenna

Piazza Del Popolo Ravenna
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Clodette662000
Piazza del Popolo, the heart of Ravenna, has been a central gathering place for its citizens for over seven centuries. It has been home to important palaces of power, including the Municipality and the Prefecture, once the Papal Legation, making it a focal point for civic life. The square’s origins can be traced back to […]
Location: Piazza del Popolo, Piazza del Popolo, Ravenna Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Piazza del Popolo, Ravenna

Museo Dante, Ravenna

Museo Dante, Ravenna
CC BY-SA 3.0 / frankpul
The Museo Dante, located not far from Dante Alighieri’s tomb, is a museum dedicated to the life, works, and memory of Dante Alighieri, the renowned Italian poet considered the father of the Italian language. The museum’s history dates back to 1921 when it was originally established to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Dante’s death. Over […]
Location: Museo Dante, Via Dante Alighieri, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: From Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am – 5.30 pm | Price: € 6 | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Museo Dante, Ravenna

Ravenna Art Museum (MAR)

Ravenna Art Museum (MAR)
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Domenico Bressan
MAR (Ravenna Art Museum) is actively engaged in the preservation and promotion of Ravenna’s cultural heritage. Established in 2002, this museum is situated in the Loggia del Giardino, a splendid cloister originally part of the Santa Maria in Porto abbey constructed in the early 16th century and commonly referred to as Loggetta Lombardesca. MAR offers […]
Location: MAR - Museo d’Arte della Città di Ravenna, Via di Roma, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday and holydays: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. closed on Monday | Price: €6 | Website | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Ravenna Art Museum (MAR)

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Mausoleo Di Galla Placidia
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ernesto Sguotti
Considered one of the most prized treasures of Ravenna, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is among the city’s oldest structures and has held UNESCO World Heritage status since 1996. It presents a humble and unassuming facade, distinguished by its unique brickwork, nestled in the shadow of an ancient plane tree, just behind the Basilica of […]
Location: Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, Via San Vitale, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: March to November: Every day 9.00-19.00 last entry 18.45 November to March: Every day 10.00-17.00 last entry 16.45 | Price: €10.50 | Website | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Basilica of San Vitale

Basilica Di San Vitale
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ernesto Sguotti
The Basilica of San Vitale, a UNESCO World Heritage monument since 1996, is a must-visit if you wish to experience the true essence of mosaic art in Ravenna. This basilica ranks among the most important early Christian art monuments in Italy and globally. Situated in the heart of Ravenna, it’s conveniently located near several captivating […]
Location: Basilica of San Vitale, Via San Vitale, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: Every day: 9 am – 7 pm | Price: € 10.50 | Website | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Basilica of San Vitale

National Museum of Ravenna

National Museum Of Ravenna
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Gianni Careddu
The National Museum of Ravenna is located within the premises of the former Benedictine monastery of San Vitale, which is situated adjacent to the renowned 6th-century Basilica of San Vitale. Since 1885, this museum has been a custodian of diverse and significant collections. The museum’s origins trace back to the 18th century when it began […]
Location: National Museum of Ravenna, Via San Vitale, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8.30 am – 7.30 pm Wednesday: 2 pm – 7.30 pm Saturday and Sunday: 8.30 am – 2 pmEvery 1st Sunday of the month: 8.30 am – 7.30 pm (free admission) | Price: €7 | Website | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting National Museum of Ravenna

Archbishop's Chapel of St. Andrew

Archbishop’s Chapel Of St. Andrew
CC BY-SA 32.0 / =Stefano Suozzo
The Archbishop’s Chapel of St. Andrew is situated on the first floor of the Archbishop’s Museum in Ravenna and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. This chapel was constructed at the beginning of the 5th century AD under the patronage of Bishop Peter II. It stands out as the only Orthodox […]
Location: Archbishop's Chapel of St. Andrew, Piazza Arcivescovado, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: Every day: 9.00 – 19.00 | Price: €10.50 - The ticket is cumulative only and includes: the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, the Neonian Baptistery (**), the Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (**), the Museum and the Archbishop's Chapel. | Website | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Archbishop's Chapel of St. Andrew

Archbishop's Museum, Ravenna

Archiepiscopal Museum
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Hajotthu
Located behind the Cathedral of Ravenna and the Neonian Baptistery is the complex of the Archbishop’s Palace, originally built in the 5th century AD. Over the centuries, this structure has undergone several renovations and now serves as the home of the Archbishop’s Museum. The museum was strongly supported in the 18th century by Archbishop Maffeo […]
Location: P.za Arcivescovado, 1, 48121 Ravenna RA, Italy | Hours: Every day: 9.00-19.00 | Price: €10.50 - The ticket is cumulative only and includes: the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, the Neonian Baptistery (**), the Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (**), the Museum and the Archbishop's Chapel. | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Archbishop's Museum, Ravenna

Battistero Neoniano (o degli Ortodossi)

Neonian Baptistery
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Contheman
The Neonian Baptistery, also known as the Orthodox Baptistery, is one of the oldest early-Christian monuments in Ravenna and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. Its stunning interior decorations, particularly its mosaics, have captivated visitors, including the renowned psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung, who described his visit as a mesmerizing “hallucination.” A Bit […]
Location: Battistero Neoniano (o degli Ortodossi), Piazza Arcivescovado, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: Until 3rd March Every day: 10 am – 5 pmFrom 4th March to 1st November Every day: 9 am – 7 pm | Price: €10.50 - The combined ticket includes the entry to Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Neonian Baptistery (**), Basilica of San Vitale, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (**) and Archiepiscopal Museum and Chapel. | Website | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Battistero Neoniano (o degli Ortodossi)

Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra (House of the Stone Carpets)

Domus Dei Tappeti Di Pietra
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Simone Masini
The Domus of the Stone Carpets is a remarkable archaeological site located in the basement of the late-baroque Church of Sant’Eufemia in Ravenna, Italy. It is considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Italy in recent decades. Discovery and Significance: The site was discovered between 1993 and 1994 during the construction of an […]
Location: Chiesa di Sant'Eufemia-Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra Via Gian Battista Barbiani, 16 48121 Ravenna RA Italy | Hours: Every day: 10 am – 6.30 pm | Price: €4 | Website | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra (House of the Stone Carpets)

Mausoleum of Theodoric

Mausoleum Of Theodoric
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Flying Russian
Once you venture beyond the historical centre and the railway road in Ravenna, you’ll discover a prominent monument set within a sprawling public park—the MAUSOLEUM OF THEODORIC. This mausoleum, constructed in 520 AD as the final resting place for Theodoric, stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument since 1996. The mausoleum is a testament to […]
Location: Mausoleum of Theodoric, Via delle Industrie, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: From Monday to Thursday 8.30am - 1.30pm (last entry at 1pm). From Friday to Sunday 8.30am - 7pm (last entry 6.30pm) | Price: €5.00 | Website | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Mausoleum of Theodoric

Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe

Basilica Of Sant’Apollinare In Classe
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ernesto Sguotti
Located just on the outskirts of the small town of Classe, approximately 8 kilometers south of Ravenna, one of the eight monuments that constitute the city’s UNESCO site stands as a grand and solemn testament – it’s the majestic Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, complete with its distinctive cylindrical bell tower. This remarkable site has […]
Location: Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Via Romea Sud, Classe, Province of Ravenna, Italy | Hours: From Monday to Saturday: 8.30 am – 7.30 pm Sundays and holidays: 1.30 pm – 7.30 pmLast admission: 30 minutes before closing time. | Price: €5 | Website | Distance: 4.80km
Visiting Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe

Best Time to Visit Ravenna

Summer is the prime season to visit Ravenna, offering a plethora of outdoor entertainment options and special concerts. The town hosts the Ravenna Festival, featuring musical, theatrical, and dance events. Additionally, special tours are organized to view the mosaics by night, providing a unique and enchanting experience. However, it’s essential to note that Ravenna is not exclusively a summer destination. It offers its charm in every season, thanks to its rich history, art, architecture, and a splendid collection of churches and Basilicas that are worth exploring. The town’s cafes and restaurants are bustling with locals throughout the year, creating a lively atmosphere, especially in the evenings. For many, spring is the best time to visit Ravenna, offering pleasant weather and a delightful ambiance.

On the contrary, the coastal towns from Marina di Ravenna to Cervia and Rimini are primarily summer resorts. They are certainly worth visiting, but it’s important to keep in mind that many businesses in these areas may be closed during the off-season. The population and activities in these coastal towns begin to pick up in April, typically starting from the Easter weekend.

Average Temperatures in Ravenna

  • January 11°C 6
  • February 13°C 10
  • March 15°C 7
  • April 18°C 7
  • May 25°C 11
  • June 28°C 6
  • July 31°C 7
  • August 30°C 6
  • September 27°C 10
  • October 22°C 8
  • November 16°C 11
  • December 11°C 7

How to get to Ravenna

Getting to Ravenna by Plane

The nearest airport to Ravenna is located in Forlì. Ryanair operates flights to this airport, which they refer to as Bologna Forlì, from the UK and Ireland. During the summer, there may be direct bus connections from the airport to Ravenna. Alternatively, you can take the shuttle bus to Forlì station and transfer there to another bus operated by the same company, ATR, which will transport you to Ravenna. For detailed timetables and information, you can visit ATR’s website (please check the links panel for their website). Keep in mind that taking the train is also an option, although it may take longer, as you’ll likely need to change at Faenza or Castel Bolognese. Other nearby airports that can be used to access Ravenna include Bologna and Rimini.

Getting to Ravenna by Train

Ravenna is situated on a relatively slow railway line from Bologna, with regional train travel taking about an hour and twenty minutes. Bologna offers good connections with the Italian rail network. Trains traveling from Bologna continue south to Rimini and other coastal resorts. As your train approaches Ravenna from the direction of Bologna, you’ll be able to spot the Mausoleum of Theodoric on the left, a white cylindrical tomb. When arriving in Ravenna by train, you can easily walk into the historic centre, which is approximately a ten-minute walk. Just cross the road outside the railway station and head straight along Viale Farini and then Via Diaz until you reach Piazza del Popolo. The tourist information office is located a few minutes further, to the right, and it is well-signposted.

Getting Around Ravenna

Ravenna’s bus services are operated by ATM (please refer to the links panel for timetables). At the time of writing, an urban bus ticket costs €1 and is valid for an hour. You can purchase tickets in advance at news kiosks or bars and validate them in the machine when you board the bus.

Local residents in Ravenna often use bicycles to navigate the city, making use of the cobbled pedestrianized streets and cycle lanes for longer trips. The tourist information office offers bicycles that can be borrowed free of charge. Additionally, there is a bike rental office just outside the railway station on the left, which also serves as a left luggage office.

Tours and Activities from Ravenna