Skip menu
Art and culture
Tour of Modena in one day

What to see in Modena in one day: an itinerary to discover the city

route on foot
1 day
Number of Stages

We are here with advice on what to see in Modena in one day, for your next trip to Emilia Romagna. The historical centre can be discovered easily on foot. You can see the most important buildings, such as: the Enzo Ferrari Museum, the Cathedral of Modena, the Ghirlandina Tower and the Palace of Museums.

If you are looking forward to discovering the most beautiful places in Modena, we have prepared a one-day walking itinerary for you, starting from the train station, which is well connected with the whole of Italy, or from the nearby car park, to ensure you have an unforgettable day discovering the main attractions of this gem.

Enzo Ferrari Museum

Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena, Italy

Starting from the Modena Station, or from the nearby car park in Via Manfredo Fanti, the first step of our itinerary is only an 8-minute walk away: it is the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, dedicated to the life and works of the founder of the well-known car manufacturer. The museum is located in a futuristic structure in the shape of a yellow bonnet, a reference to the company's logo and the cars designed by Ferrari.

Inside the Ferrari Museum, there is a celebratory exhibition for the 10 years since the inauguration of the building and an exhibition that pays homage to the innovative spirit of the prancing horse. The museum in the heart of Modena is one of the two exhibition centres dedicated to the car manufacturer: the other is the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, which is located just over half an hour from the city centre.

Opening hours: From 9:30 am to 7 pm from April to September, from 10 am to 6 pm from October to March

Ducal Palace of Modena

Ducal Palace of Modena in Italy

After visiting the Enzo Ferrari Museum, it's time to move on to the historical centre. In less than a 10-minute walk, you will arrive in Piazza Roma in Modena, where the sumptuous Palazzo Ducale stands out. The Baroque building was built at the behest of Duke Francesco I d'Este from 1634.

The Doge's Palace in Modena is the seat of the Military Academy, therefore it is a place that is not normally accessible to the public on its own, on the contrary it is subject to special visiting conditions.

It is only accessible by guided tour, with prior booking, for a maximum of 25 participants per turn. Visits cost €10 per person, reduced €8 for children from 6 to 12 years of age and free for children up to 5 years of age.

The visits take place on Saturdays and Sundays and are organised and coordinated by Modenatur, manager of the Modena Tourist Information and Reception Office.

Duomo di Modena and Ghirlandina Tower

Piazza Grande in Modena, Italy

It is time to discover the two symbols of the city, located a few metres from each other and recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. The facade of the Duomo di Modena is the first thing you will see on entering Piazza Grande, with the large rose window added in the 13th century along with the two side portals. After also visiting the interior and discovering the history of the cathedral, you will be ready to climb the 200 steps of its tower, the so-called Ghirlandina, from which you will enjoy a unique view of the city.

For lunch, take a break in one of the many trattorias in the centre to try the typical dishes of Modena, starting with the gnocco fritto or the excellent tigelle. Do not forget to accompany it with a glass of Lambrusco.

Opening hours: From 7:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 3:30 pm to 7 pm

Albinelli Historical Market

Albinelli Historical Market in Modena, Italy

If you prefer a faster meal, but one that is equally tasty and typical, the next stop is for you: the Albinelli Historical Market in Piazza XX Settembre in Modena; it was inaugurated in 1931 and is still considered the beating heart of the city. You can stroll through the stalls and shops of the Albinelli Market, shop for typical products or sit comfortably in one of the restaurants for a quieter lunch. Perhaps with a view of the central fountain on which the Maiden with a basket of flowers rests, a bronze work by the sculptor Giuseppe Graziosi, which was recently restored.

Even at aperitivo time, the market remains the reference point for Modena, as well as for tourists and visitors.

Opening hours: From 7 am to 3 pm and from 6:30 pm to 11 pm

Palazzo dei Musei (Palace of the Museums)

Palace of Museums in Modena, Italy

After a refreshing break, you can dedicate the early afternoon to discovering the art and culture of the city in the Palace of Museums. The large building houses the Civic Museum of Modena, the Municipal Historical Archive, the "Luigi Poletti" Library of History of Art and the Estense Gallery, which houses the extensive collection of works of art belonging to the Dukes of Este.

Take all the time you need to discover the hidden pearls in this building that is deeply linked to the city's history. In fact, it was built by Duke Francesco III d'Este as a large residence for the poor, in which to host the pious works of the city, and then transformed into a Hotel of the Arts.

We also suggest a visit to the Lapidario Estense Museum to closely admire the many sculptural artefacts found during the excavations and restorations of the cathedral.

Opening hours of the Palazzo dei Musei: from Tuesday to Friday 9 am – 12 pm; Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10 am – 7 pm; Monday: closed.

Historical centre of Modena

Historic Center of Modena, Italy

How about spending the rest of the afternoon doing some shopping in the shops and streets of the city? The point of reference is Via Emilia in the centre of Modena, a long pedestrianised area that runs from Largo Porta Sant'Agostino to Largo di Porta Bologna.

The shops of Via Emilia promise to offer a bit of everything: from big brands to small boutiques, here you will find everything you are looking for, including fun souvenirs to take home.

Ops! An error occurred while sharing your content. Please accept profiling cookies to share the page.