When planning a trip, one of the first questions you ask yourself is: “How many days shall I spend in this place?”
Florence is part of any Italian trip, so let’s see how you can add it to your itinerary according to your specific interests and needs.
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How Many Days in Florence Do You Need?
How to spend one day in Florence
A short visit to Florence will allow you to get a glimpse of its artistic heritage and to see its main landmarks, but you won’t be able to dig deeper into local life. Anyway, you’ll be able to visit the Old Town thoroughly since the city center is small and all the main attractions are within walking distance. In order to make the best of your time, you’d better get to Florence early in the morning (no later than 9-9.30 a.m.) and book skip-the-line tickets for the main attractions.
- Arrive at Santa Maria Novella train station.
- Walk to Piazza del Duomo and visit Santa Maria del Fiore, which is the beautiful gothic cathedral. You can also choose a guided tour of all the monuments located in the square (Baptistery, Opera del Duomo Museum, etc.) like this one: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of the Duomo Including the Rooftop and View the Terraces.
- Head to Piazza della Signoria, which is the political and social center of the city and one of the main gathering points for locals. Admire the statues in the famous Loggia dei Lanzi, the Neptune Fountain, and Palazzo Vecchio
- After lunch, head to the Uffizi Museum, where you’ll spend the whole afternoon. You can also choose a skip-the-line combined tour to visit both Uffizi and Accademia Gallery.
- If you prefer to stay outdoor, head to the iconic Ponte Vecchio and enjoy some window shopping (it’s lined with several goldsmith shops!)
- Walk on until you reach a peaceful Italian garden named Boboli and spend some time in nature before heading back to the train station.
How to spend 2 days in Florence
A weekend in Florence is enough to explore the city center far and wide and to fully enjoy local Renaissance art. It’s the perfect escape in Spring and Autumn, to take advantage of Tuscan mild weather.
- Try to be there early in the morning to enjoy a full day of sightseeing
- As soon as you get to Florence, head to Piazza del Duomo and visit Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. Don’t miss the climb to the Brunelleschi Dome for one of the best views of Florence! A skip the line ticket is what you need to make the best of your time.
- Head to Piazza della Signoria to watch Palazzo Vecchio from the outside and the statues in the famous Loggia dei Lanzi.
- Spend the afternoon visiting the iconic Uffizi Museum. Make sure to book your skip-the-line tickets in advance unless you want to spend the afternoon waiting in line.
- Get up early and start your day with a relaxing walk along the Arno River after having crossed Ponte Vecchio. Take your time to take plenty of pictures!
- Walk on to reach Piazzale Michelangelo and enjoy the view from the lookout point.
- Before heading back to the city center, spend some time visiting the beautiful Rose Garden, especially in May! You’ll find more than 300 species of roses and a lovely Japanese Garden too!
- As an alternative, enjoy a Pizza and Gelato Cooking Class at a Farmhouse in Tuscany.
- Spend the afternoon discovering the artistic masterpieces of Michelangelo with a themed tour like this one Michelangelo and Santa Croce Private Tour.
- As an alternative, limit your visit to the church of Santa Croce to see Michelangelo’s tomb
- Nearby, there’s another historic place linked to a famous Italian artist: the house of Dante Alighieri, the famous author of the Divine Comedy
How to spend 3 days in Florence
Most of the visitors heading to Florence choose to spend 3 days in town and a special tourist card lasting 72hours is what you need to see all the main monuments and museums at a reduced price ( Firenze Card).
- Arrival at Santa Maria Novella train station
- After having left your luggage at your accommodation, choose whether you prefer to focus on local history or art
- In the first case, head to Piazza della Signoria and visit Palazzo Vecchio to travel back in time inside its interesting museum. Climb to the top of Arnolfo Tower too, in order to take some great pictures!
- If you prefer to focus on art, reach Piazza del Duomo and visit Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and the Opera del Duomo Museum. If you don’t want to miss a detail of this beautiful architectural complex, join a guided tour like this one Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of the Duomo Including the Rooftop and View the Terraces.
- Spend the afternoon visiting the Uffizi Museum Book your skip-the-line tickets here to avoid the long lines.
- As an alternative, head to Ponte Vecchio and spend some time outdoors, walking along the picturesque Lungarno (river banks)
- In the evening, don’t miss a wine tasting tour.
- Another unmissable museum is the famous Accademia Gallery housing the statue of David by Michelangelo. If you did not visit the Uffizi Museum yesterday, join a skip the line combined tour to visit both Uffizi and Accademia Gallery
- In the afternoon, continue your artistic full immersion with a tour of the Medici Chapels.
- If you don’t want to spend so much time inside churches and chapels, limit your visit to the beautiful San Lorenzo Basilica to see the main works of art.
- Don’t miss a visit to the church of Santa Croce to pay tribute to more than 300 famous Italian people who were buried there (ex: Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei, etc.).
- Squeeze in a visit to the church of Santa Maria Novella to enjoy some special frescoes by Giorgio Vasari.
- Spend part of your day tasting local wines and discovering Chianti hills on a guided tour from Florence.
- As an alternative, head to Oltrarno district (the right bank of the Arno river)
- Start your tour of this neighborhood by visiting the amazing Brancaccio Chapel decorated by Masaccio.
- Enter Palazzo Pitti and be prepared to spend several hours indoors to visit its 4 museums!
- If you prefer to stay outdoor, limit your visit to the Boboli Garden and enjoy a relaxing walk
- Before heading back to the train station, don’t miss the view from Piazzale Michelangelo to take one last picture of the iconic skyline of Florence!
How to spend 4+ days in Florence
If you feel like exploring all the other facets of Tuscany, stay a little bit longer and grab the chance to add one or more day trips to your itinerary.
- As soon as you’re ready, head to Piazza del Duomo and take your time to visit the architectural complex at your own pace. As an alternative, choose a guided tour like this one Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of the Duomo Including the Rooftop and View the Terraces.
- Spend the afternoon visiting the Uffizi Museum and the Accademia Gallery with a combined tour. This way, you’ll see the main attractions in just one day!
- Continue discovering local Renaissance art with a guided tour of the beautiful Medici Chapels, a series of religious sites housing some great artistic masterpieces
- Spend the afternoon visiting the other churches that were left out of the guided tour: Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella (both of them are within walking distance)
- Don’t miss a sunset picture from Piazzale Michelangelo
- Spend the morning visiting Palazzo Pitti and its incredible collections
- When you’re tired, just relax in the beautiful Boboli Garden and enjoy its landscape and its many artificial caves, decorations, fountains, and sculptures
- In the evening, join a food tour to taste the best of local gastronomy with this Florence Sunset Food Tour.
Choose your favorite day trip!
Where can you go?
- Pisa to see the Leaning Tower – click here to book your day trip.
- Siena to walk in the famous Piazza del Campo (you can even watch the Palio if you happen to be there in August!) – click here to book your San Gimignano, Siena, Chianti Guided Tour from Florence.
- Lucca for a stroll upon its ancient walls – click here to book your Pisa & Lucca Day Tour with Buccellato Tasting from Florence.
- Arezzo to visit the Medici fortress
- Cortona, San Gimignano or Volterra to travel back to the Middle Ages
- Chianti hills to learn more about local wines – click here to book a day trip.
- Orcia Valley to visit plenty of picturesque villages in the countryside
- Cinque Terre to also visit a small corner of Liguria and enjoy some sea breeze – click here to book your day trip.