A Note About Our Hotel Recommendations In This Florence Neighbourhood Guide
Our hope with this Where to Stay in Florence Guide is to make it SUPER SIMPLE for you to find the best area to stay in Florence, no matter what kind of trip youre planning, and whatever your budget. Thats why we engaged the help of Lola, who has lived in Florence and gotten to know these different neighborhoods as a local.
That said, locals dont live in hotels. And , we cant afford to personally stay in every single hotel in a city.
In the past, weve simply outlined the neighborhoods, and left the hotel research up to you. But based on all the emails we received, people also wanted help choosing a specific hotel.
The compromise? Well, we decided the best thing to do is do a whole whack of research, and then only list the hotels that based on that our research we would love to stay in, or would be happy suggesting to a friend or family member. We havent personally been to these hotels, but weve ask ourselves things like: Does it look like somewhere Id like to stay? Have past guests left fantastic reviews? Does it seem to be in a great location for enjoying the city? If it ticks those boxes, weve added it to the list.
Thanks to Our Florence Expert, Lola!
The Best Areas To Stay In Florence
Despite its small size, Florence has several distinct neighborhoods that vary in flavor and in how touristy they are, so your choice of where to stay will affect your experience. There is no single best neighborhood for tourists the main attractions are in the city center, but other areas have their own highlights. The city is compact and the center is easily walkable even from districts further out.
Many of the best hotels in Florence are in the City Center or Santa Maria Novella, though there are excellent luxury options in other neighborhoods too. Florences best mid-range and budget hotels can be found in primarily in the San Frediano, Santo Spirito, San Lorenzo, and San Marco neighborhoods.
City Center the medieval and Renaissance heart of Florence lies between the Duomo in the north and the River Arno and Ponte Vecchio in the south. It is an absolute tourist magnet with narrow, always crowded streets. After all, here is where Florences status as a cultural force finds true expression overflowing with impressive museums, churches, and palaces. Great for both high-street and high-end shopping. Some excellent bars and restaurants, though plenty of tourist traps as well. Excellent accommodation options, from luxury to budget ones, though not a great area if noise or crowds are concerns.
Things To See And Do In San Marco:
- Browse the largest collection of sacred art in the city at the Museo di San Marco.
- Enjoy a mouthwatering piece of pizza or plate of pasta at Trattoria Pizzeria San Gallo.
- See Michelangelos world-famous Statue of David at the Accademia Gallery, the site of Europes first drawing school.
- Sip a classic apertivo at Kitsch Devx Firenze.
- Visit the Basilica della Santissima Anunziata Chiesa di Santa Maria della Scala and marvel at the architectural detail.
- Drink a classic cocktail or cappuccino on the terrace of Brunellesco.
- Explore the Museo degli Innocenti and see a wonderful collection of Tuscan art.
- Admire the best of Renaissance artwork at the Uffizi Gallery.
- Check out the gorgeous Pitti Palace.
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San Niccol And Piazzale Michelangelo Where To Stay In Florence For City Views
Piazzale Michelangelo is an area of Florence that lies to the south of the river Arno and just to the Palazzo Pittis east. the neighboring District of San Niccolò spreads out to the east and south up intoleafy hillside with sweeping views of the historic center of Florence.
These areas have a wonderful spread-out and open feel, and theyre a nice place to stay if you want to get out of the hustle and bustle of the most central parts of town yet still be conveniently placed for all the sights.
These areas are full of pretty little parks like Giardino delle Rose, Terzo Giardino, Giardino Bardini and this open environment should appeal to families since they offer safe places for the kids to play.
The Piazzale Michelangelo its one of the highlights of this part of the city. Its a large open Piazza up on a hillside that you can climb up to from the river using the stairs of the Rampe di San Niccolo. Its well worth the walk because the square offers one of the best views across the city.
Where these two areas meet the Arno River, youll find all kinds of excellent places to dine, drink, and shop. The riverside is a thriving and cool little area full of trattorias and art studios, and its an excellent place for a night out.
San Niccolò provides a range of accommodation for all budgets, with many apartments that have terraces overlooking the Arno.
Best places to stay in San Niccolò & Piazzale Michelangelo:
The Best Area To Stay In Florence For Families And The Best Family Hotels In Florence
The best areas to stay in Florence with family are the city center, Oltrarno and le Cure .
The city center is the most conveniently located for sightseeing and it is the best area for families with older kids who are happy to walk and do not mind an inner-city, potentially busy locations.
The area of Oltrarno is suited for families who want a quieter location yet stay close to the city center.
This is the area with the easiest access to the Boboli Gardens and Piazzale Michelangelo and while it has many restaurants and cafes great for nightlife, also has nice family-friendly hotels in quiet streets that make it excellent for families with kids
Le Cure is a very different area from the two mentioned above as it is outside of Florence City center.
This is a wonderful area for families on a budget or for a longer stay and it is suited to families with older kids who do not mind to catch a bus to go into town .
Good family hotels in Florence are:
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Where To Stay In Florence: The 4 Best Areas To Stay
Often described as a living museum, Florence is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in all of Italy. The city is an unparalleled hub of striking Renaissance architecture and world-class museums and galleries. From climbing the dome of the impressive Duomo to visiting Michelangelos Statue of David, there are countless fantastic things to do in Florence.
But while most people have an idea of the citys main attractions, deciding where to stay in Florence especially as a first time visitor can be a little more difficult.
Florence is a small city, with most of the major landmarks condensed into the compact historic city center. This is why 3 days in Florence is easily enough time to explore all of the citys main sites. However, when it comes to deciding on the best areas to stay in Florence, theres a lot more choice than you might initially think.
Do you stay in the Centro Storico close to the attractions but surrounded by crowds of tourists? Should you base yourself near the train station? Or perhaps you should cross over the river to the more local neighborhoods of Florence?
In this guide, well run you through the best places to stay in Florence, starting with an outline of the different areas to stay in Florence pros and cons, neighborhood highlights then narrowing it down to some of our favorite hotels and vacation rentals.
Planning a trip to Florence? Weve got some detailed travel guides to help you plan an unforgettable trip.
Florence Neighborhood With Best Airbnb Oltrarno
|Oltrarno is great for
You can find an Airbnb in every area we talked in this post. However, my preference goes to Oltrarno, the area south of the Arno River.
There are a few interesting apartments with a great value for money ratio, something hard to find in San Giovanni, for example.
You can find some fascinating loft, apartments with the river view, or units offering terraces and rooftops to have breakfast with a magnificent view of the city.
Most of these places are also walking distance to the Ponte Vecchio and San Giovanni, which is great.
Once in the area, spare a couple of hours to visit the Boboli Gardens, a public garden designed over 500 years ago, and the Palazzo Pitti, an amazing art museum set in a Renaissance palace. Stop in leafy Piazza Santo Spirito for a coffee on the way .
And for the best panoramic views of the historic centre of Florence, have a walk to Piazzale Michelangelo, stunning.
The Carraia Apartment is a lovely accommodation fully refurbished in original Florentine style .
The location is perfect, close to the San Giovanni, just on the other side of the river.
Emy Guest House is instead a perfect apartment for a big family or group
Its nicely decorated in Tuscan style and its located close to most of the city attractions.
For dinner, book a table at the Trattoria Cammillo, one of the best service and food in Florence.
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Piazza Della Repubblica Close To Everything
There was a time when the Piazza della Repubblica was the heart of the Roman forum, making it the heart of Florence in terms of commerce, culture, and economics in general. Unfortunately, much of what made the Piazza della Repubblica such a unique time capsule have been destroyed.
It rose up through the Middle Ages as the towns civic center, but the 18th century brought the destruction of many medieval buildings for the sake of modernizing and cleaning up the space.
The Piazza della Repubblica of today may be so small to barely identify as a neighborhood, but it does have a unique identity that draws travelers from abroad. The plaza itself is a congregation point for musicians and street performers of all stripes.
It may not be as lively as some of the other piazzas in Florence, but it has personality to spare, and the piazza is lined by a number of respected restaurants and cafes.
So why stay in the Piazza della Repubblica? Its a, making it off the most popularly populated streets and intersections, but its still situated close to the action in the city.
And the pulse of culture that occupies the piazza may be a bit faded, but it can still be distinctly felt. The Piazza della Repubblica was once a popular meeting spot for Florences artistic luminaries, and thats still in its DNA.
You can usually find in the Piazza, at least in comparison to the more popular tourist spots.
See also:Best things to do in Florence
San Niccol: Living Like A Local In Florence
San Niccolò can also be found south of the Arno River, sitting to the east of Oltrarno. Technically San Niccolò is part of Oltrano, however, it is fairly distinct from the rest of the area. The neighborhood spans from the banks of the river to the hill slopes that lead up to Piazzale Michelangelo, the most impressive viewpoint in all of Florence.
We spent an afternoon over here, mostly because we were going out of our way to make it to the best gluten free bakery in the city, and found it to be a pleasant oasis away from the craziness that is the rest of central Florence. It also has a portion of the medieval city walls intact, so it feels very romantic and charming.
Andrea, our tour guide on the walking tour we did in Florence mentioned that we should come here because its the locals Florence.
San Niccolò is truly a hidden gem amongst the tourist-packed streets of Florence. The areas down-to-earth and friendly atmosphere is one of the most authentic glimpses youll get into real life in the city.
Small medieval streets run past rustic buildings, quaint little art studios, and local eateries. Residents come together to enjoy evening drinks in charming wine bars and chat with neighbors on the street. San Niccolò has even been referred to as a Tuscan village in the heart of Florence.
Pros and Cons of Staying in San Niccolò
San Niccolò Highlights
Places to Stay in San Niccolò
FuordArno Bed & Breakfast
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Duomo: Stay In The Centre Of Florence For Your First Visit
The historic centre of Florence contains most of the citys major attractions or puts them within easy walking distance.
The neighbourhood is named after the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its iconic Duomo . Besides this significant architectural structure, youll find many more fine museums, historical landmarks, and piazzas to visit.
The Duomo area is not just focused on attracting tourists. You will see many residents on the streets, giving the neighbourhood an authentic vibe.
Soak up the citys vibrant culture by tasting the variety of food available here, or by hanging out at a local bar. The city centre is also a great shopping destination.
Due to its convenient central location, the Duomo area is in high demand, so be prepared for pricier accommodation. However, its proximity to the stunning Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio will make it worth your while.
Getting up close to the majestic Duomo of Florence
Duomo Accommodation Options
Budget: You cant beat Hotel Costantini for location, as it is just a few metres away from the iconic Duomo. Along with the bright and spacious rooms, this is a great option for an affordable hotel in Florences city centre.
The view from the top of the dome of the Duomo of Florence Photo by Giuseppe Trimarchi on Scopio
What To Do In Oltrarno
Connecting the north side of Florence to Oltrarno is one of the most picturesque bridges in Italy: Ponte Vecchio. This famous triple-arched bridge is incredibly beautiful, lined with goldsmiths boutiques and colourful, irregular houses. Although walking across Ponte Vecchio is a bucket list experience, you should brace yourself for so many tourists itll be hard to walk. Dont worry though, Ponte Vecchio is best enjoyed from the outside, so by all means cross on the parallel bridges and stop for a cheeky picture.
Something that I love about Florence is the amount of small artisanal shops scattered around the city. You can find door makers, shoe makers and even bookbinders, all with their heads down working with their hands in these small boutiques overlooking the river. These handmade items are not exactly backpacker budget-friendly, but the sight of a man sanding down a piece of wood by hand in 2019 is quite special.
Address: Via di San Niccolò 115R, 50125, Florence, Italy
Palazzo Pitti is another incredible museum you cant miss in Florence. Its technically still part of the Uffizi collection confusing, I know but focuses more on Baroque art and the 500. If youre all art-ed out, you should go just for the Boboli Gardens, a perfect example of Italian-style gardens. They are huge and home to many museums, like the Porcelain Museum and the Costume Gallery.
Address: Via Santa Monaca 1, 50124, Florence, Italy
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San Giovanni Best Area To Stay In Florence First Time
What is the best area to stay in Florence for first-time visitor?
The best area to stay in Florence is the San Giovanni district. This is the area around the famous Duomo. Here youll find the most popular tourist sites, including Uffizi Gallery, Galleria dellAccademia and Palazzo Vecchio. San Giovanni is also the best place to stay in Florence for first-time visitors.
San Giovanni is the heart of historic Florence, where the magnificent Duomo and Piazza della Signoria are. The neighbourhood takes its name from the famous Baptistery of San Giovanni, opposite the Duomo. In fact, its a small area concentrated with historic sights, art galleries, cobblestone streets and authentic trattorias.
If you cant find affordable accommodation in San Giovanni, the Santa Croce district is a very good second option. Santa Croce is located within the yellow ring east of San Giovanni.
Staying in Santa Croce will put you at walking distance from the major tourist attractions. In addition, youll find lovely little trattorias and many leather shops in the area. The only disadvantage in comparison to San Giovanni is that the train station is a little further away .
In general, try to choose a hotel in the area within the yellow ring and north of Arno River. There are many affordable hotels in the area and youd be near the attractions.
Places To Eat In Oltrarno
Amici di Ponte Vecchio. As you can tell by now, I have memories attached to every part of Florence, and this little street-side food place is no exception. It makes me think of a very rainy day when I sat outside under the shelter watching people cross the street carrying umbrellas, while I was nibbling on a 3 Margherita focaccia. Amici di Ponte Vecchio is the perfect place to grab something quick to eat while walking through the streets of Florence, with the added bonus of eating lunch for a couple of euros.
Address: Via de Bardi 49R, 50125, Florence, Italy
San Tea House. Florence may not strike you as a place to get bubble tea, but this little family owned business is ready to change your mind. Imagine finding shelter in a cosy little café as its raining outside, listening to relaxing music while youre sipping on a delicious salted caramel milk tea. Just typing about it makes me want to go back!
Address: Via de Barbadori, 21R-23R, 50125, Florence, Italy
Osteria Santo Spirito. In case focaccia and bubble tea are not enough for you, check out this traditional restaurant, where you can fill your stomach without emptying your wallet. Get ready for truffle everything and amazing cheeseboards to enjoy with a glass of wine. Dont miss out on the cured meats: thats what Tuscany is famous for!
Address: Piazza Santo Spirito 16R, 50125, Florence, Italy
Address: Borgo San Frediano 20, 50124, Florence, Italy
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