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What to do in Ferrara: the 10 top attractions in the city

An artistic centre of the Italian Renaissance, Ferrara is one of the best day trips for visitors staying in Bologna or Venice.

With so much to see and so little time to pack it all in, here's a guide to the city's 10 best attractions for anyone who is wondering what to do in Ferrara.

1. The Castello Estense - Towering over the city, the Castello Estense was the home of the d'Este family, who ruled Ferrara during the Renaissance. Tour the elegant chambers or descend to the spookier dungeon if you dare.

2. The Pinacoteca Nazionale - A must for art fans who are pondering what to do in Ferrara, this gallery showcases the austere, religiously inspired Ferrara School.

3. The Duomo Facade - the standout feature of the 12th century cathedral is its stunning Renaissance marble facade, but the Baroque interior is almost as inspiring.

4. Ferrara University's Botanical Gardens - A delight for nature lovers, the gardens are divided into five sections; Systematic, Useful Plants, Theme Gardens, Protected Flora, and Exotic Plants. Take a guided tour of the gardens or wander the various sections at your own pace.

5. Cycle the City Walls - Ferrara's walls stretch for around 6 miles and are lined with walking and cycle paths that are great fun to explore.

6. The Museum of Casa Romei - A classic Medieval town house built for a prominent administrator, the Casa Romei provides a unique window into Renaissance life.

7. National Archaeological Museum - Located in the Palazzo Costabili, this museum lets you go back to Etruscan Spina, well before Ferrara even existed.

8. The Friday Farmer's Market - Head to the Piazzetta Donatori di Sangue every Friday for the finest local produce and some delicious gift ideas.

9. Minerbi House - This medieval house contains two stunning 14th-century frescos by the esteemed painter Stefano da Ferrara presenting allegories of virtues and vices.

10. Take a Historic Tour - Professional guides will whisk you around the historic sites by bike, showing off everything Ferrara has to offer.

On top of these wonderful attractions, the Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art and Palazzo Schifanoia are also to be mentioned, but, unfortunately, are closed for renovation. Their collections have been moved inside Castello Estense for the time being. 

Getting to Ferrara is easy: browse our flights from Munich to Bologna, whizz up the A13 motorway and arrive in Ferrara within an hour.