48 Hours in Florence

Where to stay, what to eat, what to do in Florence

by stephmylifetravel

The capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is the 8th most visited city in Italy – with 15 million tourists arriving each year. The city is romantic, charming, and steeped in history & culture, making a fantastic addition to your Italy bucket list. 2- 3 nights is a perfect time to spend in the city, allowing you to see the highlight and gorge on the incredible food. This 48-hour guide to Florence will help you plan the perfect trip!

Let’s get into it! Below I’m going to prep you for your trip with some important facts and helpful tips for your 48 hours in Florence. Then we’ll dive into where to stay, what to eat, and what to do!

 

Things To Know Before You Go

Best Time To Visit Florence

The best (and therefore busiest and most expensive) months to visit Florence are April, May, June, September, and October. July & August are when temperatures and crowds ramp up considerably, so they are still a fine time to visit but you might find that the crowds are peaking. The off-season is generally November through to March, but you can still have a great trip during these months. If you are a budget traveller or prefer to travel without many crowds, this is a good time to visit.

Personally, I find April and September to be my favourite months to visit famous cities in Italy. I would not advise booking your trip during ferragosto ( the entire week that the 15th of August falls on). It’s a national holiday when Italians love to travel, and busy cities are even busier.

Book Ahead In Peak Season

From April to September, booking tickets, tables, and transport in advance is advisable to cut down on queuing.

  • Usually in Florence, tourist sights have two queues, one for tickets and one for entry – booking in advance can half your time spent queuing.
  • Book popular and trending restaurants in advance, as they can quickly fill up. Many have online bookings available through their Google Maps listing.
  • Book accommodation in advance to get your pick of the best hotels. However, you can get great deals by booking a few days in advance – even in popular months like July and August. So if you’re on a budget and want the best value, go to Booking.com last minute.

Pack Appropriately

  • You will do a lot of walking in Florence, so pack comfortable shoes. I wore my Adidas Gazelles for the trip, which were perfect. If you pack heels for dinner, bring a block heel or a wedge, as there are a lot of cobbles. If your shoes have an ankle strap or ankle tie, that’s even better.
  • Hotels and guesthouses tend to be old, so they might not have a lot of plug sockets, or sockets can be inconveniently placed. Packing a plug board can be helpful – something like this. 
  • For some cathedrals, you will need to cover your shoulders & chest. Bring a wrap, shirt, or cardigan to pop into your bag.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle, as you will walk a lot in the heat. There are fountains around the city which you can use to refill.
  • Many tourists get pretty dressed up for dinner here, so this is a great place to bring anything new and gorgeous you have been waiting to wear.

Be Mindful Of Your Budget

Florence can be a costly city,  but it’s possible to do it on a reasonable budget. However, you can very easily get stung by sitting at the wrong cafe or restaurant. Here are some tips for not spending too much:

  • Don’t eat in cafes or restaurants on the main Piazza. Prices skyrocket in popular spots around the city, so aim for 2-3 streets back to find the budget eats.
  • Walk as much as possible – our transport costs in Florence were zero as we walked everywhere.
  • Think ticket purchases through carefully. Florence has a lot of incredible sights to see, most of which require payment for entry. Do a little research on the sights you want to see (I have a list below) and don’t waste money on sights you don’t really want to see. If you want to see and do everything, consider the Firenzecard to save money.
  • Eat at markets like Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio or Marcato Centrale to save money on food costs, or head to the sandwich shops near the intersection of Via dei Cimatori and Via Dei Cerchi.

Transport

Getting To Florence

Getting to the city can be a bit of a palaver or easy as pie, depending on where you are coming from. There are only 20 airlines that fly directly to Florence’s main airport, so direct flights aren’t guaranteed from all cities. However, several airports in neighbouring cities cater to a more significant number of airlines. Train travel is fast and relatively cheap in Italy, making it easy to get here from nearby towns.

 

Flights To Florence

Florence’s main airport, Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola / Amerigo Vespucci Airport, is just 10km from the city centre. Currently, around 20 airlines operate flights to Florence, and Ryanair is not one of them, making it difficult for some European countries to have direct flights.

If you can’t fly directly to Florence, consider flying into Bologna instead, and take the train to Florence in under an hour. More airlines fly to Bologna airport, increasing your chances of a direct flight. Use Omio to book a train from Bologna Airport to Florence Santa Maria Novella Station, which takes you via Bologna Centrale.

Other nearby airports are Pisa, Rome, and even Milan, which are all accessible by high-speed train. Read the next section for details on how to get from each of these airports to Florence.

Trains to Florence

If you are already in Italy, you can get the train from stations throughout the country to Florence. Timings are below, and I always book my trains on Omio.com.  The earlier you book, the cheaper the price, so I recommend booking your train early.

  • .High-speed trains take 37 minutes from Bologna Centrale to Florence. Prices start at €17
    • 1hr 8 mins if coming from the airport
  • High-speed trains take 52 mins from Pisa Centrale to Florence. Prices start at €10.
    • 1hr 13 mins if coming from Pisa Airport
  • High-speed trains take 1 hr 34 mins from Rome to Florence. Prices start at €15.
  • High-speed trains take 1 hrs 55 mins from Milan to Florence. Prices start at €17.
  • High-speed trains take 2 hrs 13 mins from Venice to Florence. Prices start at €20.

Buses to Florence

Buses are an alternative to travelling to Florence if train prices are too high or seats sell out. Train prices above are reasonable, but you’ll see prices triple or quadruple closer to the date sometimes.

You can search both buses and trains on Omio and compare the prices & times of each one. I often book with Flixbus and have always had a positive experience.

  • Buses take 1 hr 20 mins from Bologna Centrale to Florence. Prices start at €7.
    • 1hr 25 mins if coming from the airport
  • Buses take 1hr 35 mins from Pisa Centrale to Florence. Prices start at €10.
    • 1hr and €14 if coming from Pisa Airport
  • Buses take at least 3 hr 15 mins from Rome to Florence. Prices start at €6.
  • Buses take at least 4 hrs 20 mins from Milan to Florence. Prices start at €10.
  • Buses take at least 3 hours 40 mins from Venice to Florence. Prices start at about €17.

These prices and duration come from the Omio app and are estimates – the prices vary greatly depending on availability and the time of day you’re travelling. It’s much cheaper to book early. 

Getting Around in Florence

To get from Florence airport to the historic centre, you can take the T12 tram from the airport to Unica station. From here, it’s a short walk to the Duomo. The tram runs every five to ten minutes and a ticket costs € 1.50 per person, you don’t need to pre-book. If you want to get a taxi to your hotel, the good news is that there is a flat rate for fares from the airport to hotels in the city centre. This means you don’t have to worry about haggling or getting ripped off. The ride will cost €22 during the day, and €25 at night with a charge of €1 per piece of luggage.

The historic centre of Florence is really small, and you can get around on foot for your entire trip. If you want to visit sights slightly outside the town, you can take a taxi, but fares are on the high end, with the meter starting at €3.40. Hailing taxis is illegal, so go to a designated taxi rank instead.

Visitors are advised against renting cars in Florence due to restrictions on driving in the city centre. If you do have a car or a camper, it’s recommended to park outside the city limits and take transport into the city.

Accommodation

Duomo Florence, 48 hours in Florence

Where to stay in Florence

There are many great accommodation options in Florence – with something for all budgets. I was really impressed by our options when we booked our trip. I was booking in August, around a week before our arrival, so I was expecting to have very little choice – but we found a really charming central hotel for €100 per night on a deal (linked in the mid-range section). If you’re looking for budget deals, you’ll need to look earlier.

Budget Accommodation

Here are a few options for travellers on a budget of less than €100 per night:

  • Hostel Archi Rossi is a well-reviewed hostel that offers dorm beds and private rooms with rates starting at €29 per night. The hostel gets 8.6/10 from over 3,000 reviews and has a sun terrace and laundry facilities. It’s close to the train station, about a 10-minute walk to the centre of the historic city.
  • Emerald Palace Family Hostel is a similar option, which offers dorm beds and private rooms starting at €32 per night.
  • Ostello Bello Firenze is a centrally located budget accommodation which offers dorm beds, double and triple rooms starting at €42 per night. This gets great reviews and has a shared kitchen and karaoke room. Private bathrooms are available.
  • B&B Stupido Hotel: This simple hotel is located across the river from the main sights but just a short 15-minute walk away from the Duomo. You’ll benefit from better restaurants and fewer tourists on this side of the river, and it’s particularly lovely to stroll through here in the evenings. Double rooms start at €80 per night.

Mid-Range Accommodation

If you have a budget between €100 and €180 per night, here are some excellent properties for you:

  • Casa Thiele alla Signoria: This small apartment is centrally located and costs just €135 per night with breakfast. Rooms are cosy and cute, with minibar, air-con and all modern facilities.
  • La Casa Del Garbo: We stayed here during our trip, which was great. The location is fantastic, right on Piazza Della Signoria. You can walk to the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio in a few minutes and to Piazza Michaelangelo for sunset. The rooms are cute and quaint, with privacy and good views if you’re at the front. Rates start at €150 per night.
  • Relais Piazza Signora is close to La Casa Del Garbo and is ideal for a family or group. This two-bedroom apartment is in a great location and has a small kitchen. Rates start at  €160 per night.
  • Palazzo Alfieri Residenza D’Epoca: This beautiful 4-star hotel is near the river, Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio. Rooms have a  flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a minibar, with prices starting at €160 per night.
  • Art Hotel Villa Agape: This is a really beautiful hotel outside the city’s historical centre, surrounded by an 8-hectare park with olive and cypress trees. It’s the perfect choice if you want to have a relaxing few days, instead of staying in the busy centre. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle into the historic centre, so you don’t need to rent a car to get around. It’s also not far from the famous sunset spot Piazzale Michelangelo. Rooms start at €144 per night.

Luxury Accommodation

Here are a few options if you’re visiting the city for a special occasion or with a higher budget:

  • B&B La Terrazza Sul Duomo: This famous hotel is known worldwide for its incredible terrace, with the best view in the city. Its private terrace costs €100 entry for outsiders but is free for hotel guests. The hotel is centrally located in a historical building in the centre of Florence. Rooms start at €200 per night. Advance booking is advised!
  • Villa Cora: Stay in beautiful surroundings just outside the city centre, in a 19th-century building surrounded by a park with an outdoor swimming pool. The wellness area includes a sauna, a Turkish bath, and a fitness centre. Massages and beauty treatments are also available. Rooms start at €380 per night off-season, rising considerably to over €1,100 per night in peak season. Worth a look to see if you can get a good deal off-season!
  • Hotel Palazzo Guadagni: This centrally located hotel is beautifully aged, with a gorgeous Tuscan interior. It’s located on a Piazza with some lovely bars in the evening, on the opposite side of the river to the main sights. Perfect for a solo or couple trip, which is more leisurely and not right in the chaos – but very close. Rooms start at €199 per night.



Booking.com

What To Do

Daily Itineraries In Florence

Want to map out your days in Florence? Here is a great itinerary to follow, which allows you to see some incredible sights and eat & drink your way around the city. You’ll walk around 12,000 steps each day on this itinerary.

Day 1 Itinerary In Florence

7 – 8 am: City Run (Optional)

If you’re a runner and want to incorporate exercise into your trip, get up early for a run through the city. A great route takes you from the Duomo along Piazza De Pitti, cross over Ponte Vecchio from this road, then turn left and run along the river. This side of the river is quieter and has a footpath you can run along without bumping into many people.

If you feel like a challenge, run uphill to Piazzale Michelangelo.

9 – 10 am: Breakfast

Fuel for the day with a great breakfast in the city before you start exploring. Here are some great breakfast options in the historic centre near your first stop: Uffizi Gallery.

  • Shake Cafè: A popular spot for lunch and dinner, Shake Cafe offers omelettes, smoothie bowls, and pancakes along with a wide variety of juices and smoothies. There’s a little something for everyone here.
  • Ditta Artigianale NeriThis coffee shop offers brunch options and craft coffee. Think smashed avo, great iced coffees and brunch classics.
  • Base V: This vegetarian juice bar offers healthy vegetarian and vegan breakfast options like breakfast bowls, smoothies and juices. Reviews rave about their peanut butter! It’s sandwiched right between the previous two cafes.

10 – 12:30 pm: Uffizi Gallery, Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della Signoria, Fotoautomatica

Start your route around the city at the Uffizi Gallery, a Renaissance art gallery famous worldwide for its outstanding collections of ancient sculptures and paintings. This is one of the oldest museums in Europe, with works from Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Beato Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo and Caravaggio. It’s absolutely worth a visit and quieter in the morning. Book your tickets in advance here. Spend about 1.5 – 2 hours here.

After leaving the Uffizi, turn right and walk a short distance to Loggia Dei Lanzi. This is a quick stop at a free open-air gallery featuring sculptures that have existed in this exact spot since the 14th century. Italy Sights has a description of the sculptures, which you can read while you’re there to learn about each sculpture. Spend about 15-20 minutes here.

Next, cross the Piazza Della Signoria, where you will pass the town hall ( Palazzo Vecchio) and a replica of the Statue of David. Head to the far right corner of the Piazza by the Gucci cafe and walk down Via Dei Magazzini to make your way to the Fotomatica.  Take a photo inside one of these old-school photo booths and a quick snap outside. This will take around 15-20 minutes – depending on the queues.

12:30 – 2 pm: Have lunch

It’s time for a refuel, and luckily there are some great places to eat nearby!

  • If you want to combine lunch with an activity, head to Antica Bottega for a wine tasting with your lunch. This famous winery has a great selection of wines, along with great sandwiches and cheese & meat boards. Call ahead to book your tasting; even a couple of hours is usually OK – but a few days is ideal.
  • Schiacciateria In Vino Veritas is a relatively new restaurant that offers a great lunch at a fantastic price. For €12, you can have a huge focaccia sandwich with a glass of red, white, or rose wine. Vegetarian options are available, and the food here really is incredible. There may be queues, so you could order your food to go.
  • Famous Florence sandwich shops I Fratellini and I’ Girone De’ Ghiotti are just around the corner – but the queues were so that we went looking for somewhere else and found the above restaurant instead. Plus, we really wanted to sit down, and these two places don’t have seating.
  • If you’d like a sit-down meal in a restaurant that is not chock full of tourists, head to i’Mangiarino. This quaint Italian Osteria has some fantastic dishes – the burrata and truffle starter were incredible.

2 – 5:30 pm: Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Opera del Duomo Museum, Wine Window, Cappelle Medicee

After lunch, it’s time to head into the centre of the historic city and see the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Take the route that brings you to the main Piazza from Via dello Studio, as this tends to be a quiet entrance to the square. If you’re on social media, it’s a great spot to get a video walking towards the famous Duomo.

We won’t be going inside the cathedral yet. Instead, turn right and walk a complete loop around it to take in the size and beauty of the outside. Many people will be around, but you’ll be back here tomorrow when it’s empty! As you walk around the cathedral, you will pass the Opera del Duomo Museum on your right, where you can see artworks by Michelangelo and Donatello. Spend around an hour learning about the famous cathedral you will visit the following morning. You can buy your tickets in advance here, which are valid for three days and allow you to see various parts of the cathedral.

All three ticket choices include your visit to the museum, along with the baptistery and the Santa Reparata. The Giotto pass allows you also to climb the cathedral’s bell tower, while the more expensive Brunelleschi pass allows you to climb both the dome and the tower. We opted to climb just the tower as the view is better, and we didn’t want to climb both. Choose your preferred option – you’ll do the climb tomorrow.

After the museum, walk a short distance to Cantina De’Pucci to see your first wine window in Florence. These wine windows date back to the 14th century and were a way for local families to sell their wine discretely to avoid paying taxes. They were all covered up for years, but their use was revived during the pandemic. Now they’re a fun stop for tourists between sights. Stop here for a quick drink for about 30 minutes.

After a little afternoon vino, walk to Cappelle Medicee, the “official” church of the Medici family. The Medicis were an art-loving family of wealthy bankers (and three popes) who helped fund the Renaissance. They commissioned some of Michelangelo’s most famous pieces, such as the Sistine Chapel and the Statue of David. This Chapel is so beautiful inside, particularly the Chapel of the Princes, which is ornate and richly decorated. Expect to spend about 45 minutes here.

Exit the Chapel and walk around the back to Via Dell’Ariento, a small street filled with stalls selling leather goods. If you want to buy any Florentine leather goods, this is the time and place to do it! Florentine leather dates back to the Etruscan age (8-3BCE), and in more recent times, Guccio Gucci opened the House of Gucci in Florence in the 20s to sell leather luggage and bags.

Walk through the market and your way on foot through the stalls to Mercato Centrale Firenze. This indoor historical market has been open since 1874 and is worth a walk around. You can stop for a bite, coffee, dessert or beer if you feel a little peckish. Or rest your tired feet!

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Aperitivo or return to the room

After a busy day, you may want to return to your room and freshen up or nap. Take the time to do this now, as the city quietens for sunset.

If you feel like staying out, this is a great time to grab a rooftop aperitivo with a view. You can head to the Rinascente Firenze, a department store with a rooftop bar with great views over the Duomo. Divina Terrazza Rooftop Bar is another option, which opens at 6 pm each evening. This is part of the Grand Hotel Cavour Hotel and is a little more upscale. You pay a €20 cover charge, and cocktails are about €15 each. If you would rather stay closer to the ground, First Glass is a riverside restaurant near Ponte Vecchio where you can do a wine tasting or have a glass of their wine.

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo and Sunset

It’s time to cross the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge to see life on the other side of the River Arno! This bridge was first constructed in Roman times (the name literally translates to ‘Old Bridge’) and was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218. What’s unusual about this bridge is that numerous small shops are built on either side, mainly selling jewellery. You can pop inside these or just window shop as you walk along.

If the sun is getting low, turn left at the end of the bridge and make your way to Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset. The walk will take about 20 minutes, or you can grab a taxi from a nearby rank if you prefer. Along this walk, you will pass many wine and pizza shops. If you are on a budget, I’d recommend bringing some drinks and food up to the Piazza and eating dinner here. Dinner is costly in Florence, so this is a great way to save pennies. You can buy drinks at the top, but prices are pretty high.

Walk up to the sunset viewpoint at Piazzale Michelangelo, which is usually packed to the brim of other Italians and tourists ready to watch the sun go down. During peak season, this place is often filled with musicians and gets lively after dark. Note that this is a fun, social and busy spot for sunset. If you would like something quieter, there are many small patches of grass and steps on the way up where you can sit instead.

9 pm Onwards: Dinner plans

Once the sun has gone down, walk back towards the historic centre for dinner (if you have not eaten at the viewpoint). I recommend staying on this side of the river if you would like more reasonably priced restaurants and bars than those near the Duomo. Here are some restaurants you can try:

  • Osteria Cinghiale Bianco (Stanley Tucci featured this in his tv series about food in Italy, so it’s busy and has a lot of English-speaking tourists. But the food is excellent!)
  • Babae (this restaurant has a great wine window. We came here before our 10 pm reservation at Osteria Cinghiale Bianco. )
  • Osteria Belguardo (a high-end option near the river. Primi plates start at €16 while mains start at €19)
  • La Bottega di via Maggio (casual Tuscan restaurant serving local dishes written on a chalkboard  and changing regularly. Dishes start at €12.)
  • Trattoria Camillo (large menu of Tuscan food. Vegetarian options available (pasta). Main dishes start at €16)
  • Pandemonio di Casa Brogi (Homestyle pasta, seafood & meat dishes. Primi plates start at €10, secondi at €30)
  • Gustapizza (budget-friendly option < €10)

After Dinner: Head to a local piazza for drinks

Piazza Santo Spirito is the place to go before or after dinner for a few drinks and chats in a laid-back environment. There is usually live music here, and a great atmosphere.

However, if you want a more formal option for your late-night drinks, try Mad – Souls & Spirits nearby. Locale is back across the river near the Uffizi, but it’s a great late-night cocktail spot.

 

Day 2 Itinerary In Florence

On our second day in Florence, see the city without crowds with a sunrise walk-up call. Continue to explore the city at a more leisurely pace – enjoying the sights, sounds and food!

5:30 am: Explore An Empty Florence

If you loved Florence on day 1 but found it extremely busy, I’d invite you to wake early on your second morning to explore the city when everyone else is asleep.

Mornings in Florence are slow and quiet, and there is a kind of magic in the air as you walk around. Set your alarm at 5:30 and get out on the streets before 6 am. First, walk to the Duomo, where the only sounds you hear will be birds chirping and the slow hum of street sweepers. Meander around the Duomo, taking photos or just taking in the sights.

Leave the Piazza del Duomo and make your way on foot via Roma to Piazza della Repubblica. This Piazza was the city’s ‘forum’ or centre in Roman times, but it was demolished in the 1800s and rebuilt. There is a really nice arch here, which is gorgeous for photos. The Piazza is super busy during the day but very peaceful at this time of morning.

Continue on foot along Via Roma to the Fontana del Porcellino, the local Florentine nickname for the bronze fountain of a boar. This statue was sculpted in 1634 y Pietro Tacca, and it’s apparently good luck to rub its snout or put a coin in its mouth. If water from the fountain washes your coin into the grate below, this means that you will return to Florence. If not – try again (the coins are used to support a local orphanage). The fountain may be turned off if it’s early in the morning, but you will get it to yourself – during the day, it can get very busy here.

Finally, arrive at Ponte Vecchio and see it still and peaceful, without the masses of tourists. You can take some photos under the arches at the start of the bridge; the light is beautiful in the morning. You’ll have stunning views over the river here, especially if you walk halfway across the bridge.

After the bridge, it should be around 7 am the streets should be getting busier. If you feel like continuing to explore, you can go back up to Piazzale Michelangelo and see it without the masses of tourists. You could bring a picnic from food picked up at stores en route and eat on the steps in a little peace while looking over the city. This would be an ideal way to have a great breakfast on a budget. Many Pasticceria open at 7:30 am, so you can pick something up en route. Pasticceria Marino is just across the bridge.

If you’re not on a budget, Portrait Firenze is a hotel just at the start of Ponte Vecchio, which starts serving breakfast at about 7 am. They have a breakfast buffet or a la carte, with outdoor tables for a river view and great tea and coffee. It’s super convenient if you want to sit and eat right away.

10 am – 12:30 pm: Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo or Tower tour

After your morning wandering, head back to the room to nap and prepare for the day.

Your first stop is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore for a full tour. I’d recommend booking a slot at 10 am that morning – details to book this are in the Day 1 section. You will have chosen which parts of the cathedral you want to see, and you’ll spend around 2-2.5 hours here, including queuing.

12:30 pm – 2 pm Lunch At The Market or at Gucci

For lunch, you can opt for something rustic or something boujee:

Rustic: Head to one of the city’s markets to try local food from local businesses and farmers. You can walk 5 minutes from the Duomo to Mercato Centrale, which you visited yesterday. Alternatively, you can walk 15 minutes to Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio, which is more of a classic Italian market that Italian shoppers rather than tourists frequent. You can buy fresh fruit and vegetables here, along with souvenirs. There is a trattoria and cafe in the middle where you can grab lunch.

Boujee: Gucci Osteria Florence is an opulent Michelin-starred dining experience on Piazza Della Signoria. The restaurant is a collaboration between Michelin-starred Italian chef Massimo Bottura and Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele. There is a museum dedicated to the fashion house on the upper floors, and the interior is very chic. You would be forgiven for thinking this is just a tourist trap with the Gucci name slapped on it (I admit I did!), but the reviews are excellent. Tasting menus are about €150 without wine.

2 – 5:30 pm: Piazza de’ Pitti and Giardino di Boboli & PhotoBooth

The extravagant Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens were the home of the Medici family and became the symbol of their power over the city. It’s just a 10-minute walk from the Gucci Osteria and 20 minutes from the markets, taking a route across Ponte Vecchio. The palace is divided into five museums, showcasing the Medici’s private collection of art, their fine clothes, and the private rooms of the kind and queen. It’s a fascinating look at the lives of a powerful and influential family.

After touring the museums, you will have time to tour the gardens, which is populated by ancient and Renaissance statues.

Combined tickets to both the palace and gardens are €23 per person; you can book online directly here. (tickets are much higher if you buy from other sites – so buy them directly). You will likely be here for around 3 hours, including walking to and from the palace.

There is a cool retro photobooth near the palace, which you may want to visit afterwards. Location is here, and it’s around the corner from Sbrino Gelato Shop, which is one of the best in the area. Grab a gelato and a photo before your next stop!

6 pm – 10 pm Arno River Cruise With Aperitivo, followed by dinner in Florence (option 1)

Cruise down the river Arno on a traditional wooden barchetto (florentine gondola – and one of only four still existing!). This 50-minute tour takes you on a guided tour under the Ponte Vecchio Bridge and past the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Corsini, and the Santa Trinia Bridge. The tour is €65 per person and includes a glass of wine or soft drink. We didn’t take this trip, but I watched the boats pass us from the bridge; it looked like such a beautiful way to see the city. I’m definitely going to book one next time we go back. Details are here. 

GetYour Guide also runs a sunset cruise with a live classical concert for €35 at 9 pm, link is here. So alternatively you could eat or aperitivo first and take your cruise later.

For dinner, here are a few recommendations:

  • Bistrot 3 Tavoli: A small and quaint Tuscan restaurant serving delicious pasta and lots of truffles.
  • Il Palagio: If you’re here for a special occasion, head to this elegant restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel.
  • Teatro del Sale: For a budget-friendly fun night, head to this eccentric theatrical club for dinner, drinks and a show. This is an iconic spot in Florence that locals and tourists love to visit. The club is members-only, but membership is just €35 – and the buffet dinner is around €35 all-you-can-eat.
  • Try a Progressive Food Crawl: Go on a dinner crawl with Curious Appetite and tour the city for guided tastings of some of its best dishes. This is a small group tour (max eight people), so you’ll get to meet some new friends too!

Finish your night with a quirky cocktail at Arts Inn or Mayday Club. Or go high-end at Manifattura.

Bonus Day Ideas!

Here are a few options for things to do outside the city if you’re staying longer than 48 hours.

Wine Tasting In Tuscany

Take a day trip to the vineyards of Tuscany to go wine tasting. You don’t need a car for this, as tours offer city pickup. The tour will take you to a local winery, where you can enjoy wine tasting and lunch. There are a lot of tours you can book here.

If you have a full day, this tour takes you to Siena, the Chianti Hills, San Gimignano and Pisa in a full day. It seems like excellent value.

Cooking Class

Try a Tuscan cooking class on your bonus day, learning to make traditional local dishes and bring a little of Italy home with you. You can try pasta making, pizza making, and even gelato making!

 

 

I hope this guide helps you have a wonderful time in Florence. If you want to combine your time in Italy with a trip to Bologna, I have a 24-hour guide coming soon! Join my mailing list to get this post directly to your inbox (the signup form is on the right of the page on desktop or the bottom of the page on mobile).

Happy Travelling,
Steph

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