Apartments In San Niccolo
Our top picks:
- Residence Michelangiolo traditional apartments in an historic house with garden and parking. Options for up to 4 people
Find the best apartments and Airbnb stays in Florence on the Plum Guide > >
Exactly Where To Stay In Florence By Neighborhood
If you are searching for where to stay in Florence, you have found the perfect place! We will provide a comprehensive layout of exactly where to stay in Florence by neighborhood. Florence is such a gorgeous place to visit with plenty of fun and interesting attractions and activities that can be enjoyed year round.
Wine tasting, art galleries, museums, indulgent food and gelato, cooking classes, and the opera are just some of the popular activities you can expect to add to your itinerary. Florence is located 174 miles north of Rome, so you even have the option of taking a day trip to see the Colosseum.
Below, we will give you a detailed breakdown of where to stay in Florence including affordable, mid-range, and luxury accommodations. We will list options in several different neighborhoods including Santa Croce, Santa Maria, and San Lorenzo just to name a few. To help you navigate and select the best neighborhoods for you, we will list what is unique and special about each one. Activities and attractions will be noted, so get ready to discover the best place to stay in Florence.
Duomo & Piazza Della Signoria/florence City Centre For First Time Tourists
If this is your first time in Florence or if you want to be conveniently close to all of the cities landmarks and significant places of interest, you should plan to stay in the Florence historic center.
There is so much to explore in Florences historical center its difficult to know where to start, but the most striking landmark is the spectacular Ponte Vecchio bridge. This ancient structure spans the river Arno, is covered with buildings, and was the only old Florentine bridge to survive world war II.
Close to this landmark is the beautiful Uffizi, one of the worlds finest museums of art. This glorious old structure houses treasures of the renaissance. Including works by artists such as Botticelli and Titian.
But thats just the start because the historic center of Florence is packed with museums and galleries, all with easy walking distance of each other.
You can see spectacular Renaissance sculptures in the National Museum of Bargello. Then there is the Museum of The History of Science, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Museum Opera del Duomo, or cathedral museum, that contains works by Michelangelo amongst its treasures.
There are a wealth of historic buildings to explore in the historic center too. The Duomo de Firenze is the citys spectacular cathedral situated in a beautiful central plaza. The Palazzo Vecchio is another ancient structure full of ornate architecture and artistic treasures.
Best places to stay in Piazza della Signoria or Duomo:
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Boboli& san Miniato Al Monte
- Boboli & San Miniato al Monte are green, upscale residential neighborhoods, sandwiched between Santo Spirito to the west and San Niccolò to the east, and extending south. They are restful, full of lovely views, and can feel much further out of the city than they are. The key attraction here is the grand Palazzo Pitti with its clutch of museums and the green space of Giardino Boboli behind it. You will likely leave to go shopping or eat out, but its a pretty area for wandering, with villas set on hills, capped by San Miniato and one of the most beautiful churches in town. Accommodation includes pretty guesthouses and some lovely luxury hotels.
Why You Should Stay Near Ponte Vecchio
If youre in Florence for a short stay, you might want to book a hotel near the citys famed medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge, which connects the southern and northern sides of the city. The streets are lined with traditional trattorias, artisan jewellers and souvenir stores and many of the hotels offer captivating views of the Arno river.
Must-Do Experiences around Ponte Vecchio
- Explore one of the worlds largest collections of scientific instruments at Museo Galileo.
- Bargain with the gold sellers on the bridge for exquisite jewellery.
- Cross the bridge at dawn for crowd-free views.
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Santa Croce And The East
The wide open space that is Piazza Santa Croce is surrounded by leather shops, markets stalls, restaurants and cafés. To the northeast is the buzzing neighbourhood of SantAmbrogio centered around one of the liveliest markets in Florence and characterised by small, independent boutiques, artisan workshops, characteristic restaurants and bars, cafés packed with locals and the odd tripe stand. It has a feel of real Florence yet the main sights are only five minutes away on foot. On the doorstep is the church of Santa Croce itself, filled with frescoes by Giotto and Gaddi, the tombs of Machiavelli, Dante et al, the Pazzi chapel, the Bargello museum and the ancient Badia Fiorentina. At night, the square and surrounding narrow streets fill with partying students and late-night clubbers.
Where to stay
Getting Around In Florence
The neighbourhoods are well connected with the rest thanks to the public transport system. This means that youre never going to be further than a couple of bus or tram stops away from the buzzing city centre.
Using transport to get around is not your thing? Florence is bike-friendly so you can rent one of the available bikes or buy one on the second-hand market. Besides that, you can expect to come across scooter rental services such as Lime and Bird which are very popular in Florence.
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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.
Novoli Where To Stay In Florence On A Budget
Novoli wasnt even technically a part of Florence until the 19th century, and to many Florentines, its still not officially a part of the city. Eminently suburban, its a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of street traffic that dominates the city center and the more tourist oriented districts.
And while this neighborhood may be one of the more sedate options within Florence, there are still some important landmarks of note that are worth your time. An Italian neighborhood wouldnt be an Italian neighborhood without the presence of some churches, and Novoli has two worth your time.
Donato in Polverosa and Santa Maria a Novoli may be a little off the beaten path, but theyre still Renaissance highlights that are a sight to behold, and the lack of traffic means that you can more easily ruminate over their importance.
Then theres Villa San Donato, a sprawling Paladian Palace now in ruins thats still a thing of great beauty. In addition to housing a 14 room private museum, it also once hosted a silk factory, zoo, and railway.
Staying in Novoli means moving away from the more tourist oriented hotels and hostels that are prominent in Florence, so you may have to hunt around a little more to find somewhere worth staying here.
But a quick visit to Airbnb or a search for bed and breakfasts should find you cozy accommodations away from the activity of the city proper.
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Where To Stay In Florence: Santa Maria Novella/san Lorenzo
Great area for: Sightseeing Families Peace and Quiet Early and Late Arrivals and Departures To the north and northwest of the Duomo neighborhood, youll find San Lorenzo and Santa Maria Novella. This neighborhood is often referred to simply as SMN, and includes the Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo piazzas. The area is shaped like a U with the left side touching the Arno river and the south side nearing the Duomo.If you are departing Florence early in the morning or late at night, this is the ideal location due to its proximity to the transit hub from which both long distance trains and buses depart. From the train station, you can also take a taxi or shuttle bus to the Florence or Pisa airports.Dont write off these neighborhoods on account of the train station, however. The transit hub may not be pretty, but the nearby Santa Maria Novella church is my favorite of Florences marble beauties. The piazza in front of the church is one of the most tranquil and beautiful in the city due to large patches of greenery and roses. Its also a good place to get yourself orientated after you get off your train or bus at the main station. From here, you are only 5 minutes away from the Duomo.While there are not many restaurants or bars in this section of Florence, it is an ideal location for families due to its safety and lack of noise. Anyone looking for rambunctious nightlife may want to stay elsewhere.
Top-Rated Hotels in the SMN/San Lorenzo Neighborhood
Where To Eat In Oltrano
Some of the most exciting dining experiences in Florence are found in Oltrano. Here you will find cool little bars serving antipasto and aperitivo among innovative restaurants by the next generation of top chefs. We recommend:
- Essenziale modern Italian fine dining in sleek industrial space
- Gurdulù playful twist on classic dishes with cocktails to match
- the freshest seafood in town.
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Attractions And Things To Do In Santa Croce
Our favorite things to do in Santa Croce is simply wander and stop at cafes and absorb the beauty of the basilica.
If you need a little more structure, here are some other favorite things to do in Santa Croce:
- admire Giottos frescoes inside Santa Croce
- pay your respects at the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli
- visit La Scuola di Cuoio, a workshop where you can see traditional leather making techniques
- browse the stalls at Mercato di SantAmbrogio
- aperitivo in the piazza at sunset
Hotel Torre Guelfa Palazzo Acciaiuoli
A mixture of old-world charm and modern touch where you will find antique pieces of furniture is Hotel Torre Guelfa Pallazo Acciaiuoli.
Right near the Ponte Vecchio, this beautiful and convenient accommodation includes spacious hotel rooms or apartments for large families.
Location wise, the hotel puts you right in the heart of the historic Florence. Just a few minutes walk from Uffizi Gallery and right near the Ponte Vecchio.
And lets not forget that breath-taking view from its tower and terrace. Thus, giving you a perfect panoramic view of Florence. Spend a wonderful evening with a glass of wine in your hand in the rooftop bar and just watch Florence glow in the night.
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Oltrarno / Santo Spirito Area
A stroll across the Ponte Vecchio takes you to the Oltrarno district, home of the Pitti Palace and its famous Boboli Gardens. This central Florence neighborhood is quieter and less expensive than the center. Here you find local restaurants and wine bars alongside artisan boutiques selling paper and leather goods and residential buildings.
Stroll away from the Pitti Palace and youll discover small cobbled streets and the lovely Santo Spirito area. This neighborhood church has a charming piazza lined with cafes and bars where locals gather at all hours of the day to converse, drink coffee or even better, aperitivo in the early evening. The piazza is a shady open space that is quite rare in the heart of the city making it one of the best places for families to stay in Florence.
When you want to go see the sights its just 15 minutes across the bridge to the Uffizi Gallery and little further onward to the Duomo. Youll find great value AirBnBs, some lovely boutique hotels and luxurious properties with views closer to the river in Oltrarno.
BEST FOR: Foodies and wine lovers seeking an escape from the crowds of the historic center. The area close to Santo Spirito is a good local neighborhood option for families
Best For Escaping The Crowd
A welcome air of peace and tranquility pervades this academic neighborhood, centered around Florences prestigious university. With the exception of the street fronting Galleria delAccademia usually filled by a queue of David-hungry tourists waiting to view the bewitching Michelangelo masterpiece capacious San Marco feels far removed from the madding tourist crowd. Its other museums provide a thoughtful snapshot of life in Florence several hundred years ago and are hands-down Florences most spiritually uplifting, provocative musei. The neighborhood squirrels away a handful of elegant boutique hotels in historic palazzi, but eating and drinking options are limited.
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The Duomo / Piazza Della Signoria Where To Stay In Florence For The First Timer
The Duomo neighborhood is as central as it gets and is one of the best places to stay in Florence for sightseeing and museums. In Florence, they say that every good night starts on the steps of the Duomo, and during the day this area is just as vibrant and energetic.
Staying in this area might be more overwhelming in the summer months when hoards of tourists arrive in Florence, but if you want to easily walk to the major sights from your hotel, this is the best neighborhood to base yourself in.
Just a few minutes walk away, the Piazza della Signoria boasts a plethora of world-renowned museums and cobblestone streets near the Ponte Vecchio.
These are the best neighborhoods to stay for a reason, theyre historic, beautiful, and offer a lot to see for a first-time visitor.
Suggested Hotels Near Santambrogio
Best luxury hotel in SantAmbrogio Canto Degli Aranci
Clean and friendly B& B that offers a welcoming stay a short distance away from major attractions. Perfect if you want to stay in a more local area thats still central.
Best mid-range hotel in Florence with a view of Brunelleschis dome Hotel Cardinal of Florence
3-star historic hotel offering bright, spacious rooms, and stunning views from a rooftop terrace. Some rooms feature panoramic views of Brunelleschis dome.
Best Budget hotel in SantAmbrogio Blu Notte Guest House
Modern hotel only a 10-minute walk from the Uffizi Gallery and Duomo. The hotel features light and welcoming decor, free coffee and tea, newly renovated rooms, and comfy beds.
Best Airbnb near SantAmbrogio
New and bright studio apartment with an elevator. Kitchen, bathroom, WiFi. See more on AirBnB
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Neighborhoods In Brief In Florence
The Duomo — The area surrounding Florences gargantuan cathedral is as central as you can get. The Duomo is halfway between the two monastic churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, as well as at the midpoint between the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio to the south and San Marco and the Accademia with Michelangelos David to the north. The streets south of the Duomo make up a medieval tangle of alleys and tiny squares heading toward Piazza della Signoria. This is one of the oldest parts of town, and the streets still vaguely follow the grid laid down when the city was a Roman colony. The site of the Roman citys forum is todays Piazza della Repubblica.
The Duomo neighborhood is, understandably, one of the most hotel-heavy parts of town, offering a range from luxury inns to student dives and everything in between. However, several places around here rest on the laurels of their sublime location you need to be choosy. The same goeseven more sofor dining in the area.
San Lorenzo & the Mercato Centrale — This wedge of streets between the train station and the Duomo, centered on the Medicis old family church of San Lorenzo and its Michelangelo-designed tombs, is market territory. The vast indoor food market is here, and many of the streets are filled daily with stalls hawking leather and other tourist wares. Its a colorful neighborhood, blessed with a range of budget hotels and affordable restaurants, but not the quietest.