Where to Stay in Florence: Top Accommodation Picks

Melina Thalassinou
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Table of Content
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Key Takeaways

  • For a comprehensive understanding of where to stay in Florence, it's important to research the different neighborhoods and what they offer to match your travel needs and preferences.
  • Florence offers a range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to local B&Bs suited to various travel preferences.
  • The city's districts each provide unique experiences, from historical sites to local culture and entertainment.
  • Early booking is advisable to obtain the best rates and to secure your ideal location in Florence.

Florence cathedral santa maria del fioreCathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence - credits: Andrey Tairov/Shutterstock.com

Choosing where to stay in Florence can significantly affect your overall experience in this Renaissance city.

As a premier destination, Florence entices visitors with its rich history, awe-inspiring architecture, and a wealth of cultural offerings.

Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in exquisite art, dine on authentic Italian cuisine, and shop for renowned leather goods amidst the city's charming streets.

Florence, Italy, boasts a variety of neighborhoods each with its own character; from the bustling historical center where the iconic Duomo resides to the quieter, more local areas just a short distance away.

Accommodation options in Florence cater to a wide range of preferences and budgets.

Tourists can select from luxurious hotels with panoramic views, cozy bed and breakfasts tucked away in side streets, or private apartments that provide a sense of living like a local.

Whether you seek the convenience of being steps away from major tourist attractions, or you prefer the tranquility of the Florentine countryside, Florence has something to offer every traveler.

Strategic planning and early booking can secure the best accommodations and rates, enhancing your stay in this enchanting Italian city.

Understanding Florence's Districts

florence dome insideThe interior of a Dome in Florence - credits: Luca Grandinetti/Shutterstock.com

Florence, the heart of Tuscany, is defined by its diverse neighborhoods, each offering a unique experience.

From the historical riches of the Centro Storico to the artisanal corners of Oltrarno, the districts of Florence cater to various tastes and interests.

Centro Storico – The Historical Heart

Centro Storico is the bustling core of Florence, Italy, enveloped by the signature Renaissance architecture and art.

It is home to iconic Italian attractions such as the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio. Tourists staying here find themselves walking through living history, mere steps away from major sights and museums.

Santa Croce – Vibrant Nightlife and Culture

The Santa Croce neighborhood is renowned for its lively atmosphere and cultural sites.

Here, traditional and contemporary nightlife thrives among historic surroundings, with an array of bars and clubs.

The namesake Basilica di Santa Croce is a nexus of history, housing the tombs of illustrious Italians like Michelangelo and Galileo.

San Marco – Artistic and Academic Hub

San Marco is characterized by its academic and artistic presence, dominated by the Accademia Gallery, where Michelangelo's David stands.

The historic streets are lined with educational institutions, making this neighborhood a dynamic area where students, artists, and visitors coalesce.

Oltrarno – Authentic Florentine Experience

For a slice of genuine Florentine life, one must explore Oltrarno. This area is known for its skilled artisans, quaint workshops, and a less touristy ambiance.

It's a window into an older Florence, with narrow cobbled streets, leading to the Palazzo Pitti and the serene Boboli Gardens.

Top Hotels in Florence

Florence duomoFlorence Duomo - credits: Catarina Belova/Shutterstock.com

Florence offers a remarkable range of accommodations to satisfy diverse preferences and budgets.

From opulent luxury hotels to charming boutique options, affordable stays, and unique accommodations, visitors can choose the perfect place to enhance their Tuscan experience.

Here is a selection of the top hotels across different categories.

Luxury Hotels

  1. Belmond Villa San Michele: Nestled on a hillside, this former monastery boasts enchanting views of Florence and offers a shuttle to the city center. Guests can luxuriate in rooms that blend historic charm with modern elegance.
  2. Hotel Villa d'Este: A 13th-century villa, located 8km east of Florence on the River Arno's banks, provides a serene setting within a 25-acre park. Besides its luxurious amenities, a notable spa offers supreme relaxation.
  3. Hotel Lungarno: This hotel's placement in a list of top boutique hotels, combined with the Lungarno Collection's reputation for luxury, suggests it offers a high-end experience, likely with premium amenities and services.
  4. Hotel Cerretani Firenze - MGallery Collection: As part of the MGallery Collection, this hotel is expected to provide a luxury experience, typically characterized by refined elegance, historical significance, and exceptional service.
  5. Brunelleschi Hotel: Given its inclusion in a list of top boutique hotels and the general reputation of the Brunelleschi name, this hotel likely falls into the luxury category with high-end accommodations and services.

Boutique Hotels

  1. 25 hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino: Positioned in the heart of the city, this hotel embodies a blend of local culture and contemporary design. Its central location gives guests easy access to Florence's historic sights.
  2. SE·STO on Arno: This establishment not only has exquisitely designed rooms, but its rooftop bar presents one of the best panoramic views in Florence. It's a part of the Westin Excelsior and exemplifies unique Florentine hospitality.
  3. The Moon Boutique Hotel and Spa: This establishment is a 4-star Superior boutique hotel, where elegance and design are emphasized, and it offers a warm hospitality experience. Its status as a boutique hotel is highlighted by its non-smoking hotel rooms and personalized service.
  4. Palazzo Castri 1874: Palazzo Castri 1874 presents itself as a blend of traditional and modern, offering a sophisticated experience close to the center of Florence. The boutique nature is evident in its spa offerings and the intimate, luxurious atmosphere it promotes.
  5. Hotel Calimala: Hotel Calimala is listed among the best boutique hotels in Florence, suggesting a focus on unique design, personalized service, and an intimate setting.
  6. Hotel Spadai: Also featured in a list of top boutique hotels in Florence, Hotel Spadai is likely to offer a bespoke experience with a strong emphasis on design and individualized guest attention.

Budget-Friendly Hotels

Santa Maria Novella District: For those seeking economical options, the area near the train station offers several budget accommodations. Select wisely to find the blend of convenience and charm.

Fiesole: Just a short bus ride from Florence, this hillside town delivers affordable lodging with stunning city views. It's a suitable choice for travelers looking to stay in a quieter location.

  • Glance Hotel: While the name Glance Hotel does not provide enough information to determine its budget-friendliness, boutique hotels can sometimes offer competitive pricing. However, without specific data on rates, it's not possible to accurately categorize it as budget-friendly.

Unique Accommodations

  1. Piazzale Michelangelo: Hotels in this area allow tourists to enjoy close proximity to some of the finest panoramic views in Florence, including several replicas of Michelangelo's artwork.
  2. San Firenze Suites & Spa: This hotel's inclusion in a boutique list and its combination of suites and spa services suggest a unique accommodation that provides an exclusive and possibly themed experience.

Each hotel category in Florence promises a distinct experience, whether seeking the indulgence of luxury, the character of stylish boutique hotels and stays, the practicality of budget-friendly options, or the allure of unique accommodations.

Best Areas for Tourists

Florence piazza della signoria
Piazza Della Signoria, Florence - credits: canadastock/Shutterstock.com

When visiting Florence, tourists often seek accommodations close to iconic landmarks for convenience and to enhance their cultural experience.

Near the Duomo

The Duomo, officially known as the Florence Cathedral, stands as an architectural masterpiece in the heart of Florence.

Staying near the Duomo puts tourists within walking distance of not just the cathedral but also numerous other historic sites.

Accommodations here range from budget-friendly to luxury, catering to various traveler needs.

By the Uffizi Gallery

Staying by the Uffizi Gallery offers cultural enthusiasts immediate access to one of the world's most prestigious art museums.

It houses an extensive collection of Renaissance art, with works by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

The area is dynamic, surrounded by eateries and other museums, making it an ideal spot for those who wish to immerse themselves in Florence's rich art scene.

Proximity to Ponte Vecchio

The area in proximity to Ponte Vecchio is renowned for its historical significance and the picturesque views of the Arno River.

Tourists staying near this medieval stone bridge enjoy easy access to both sides of the city and can explore the numerous jewelry shops that line the bridge, making it a unique place to stay for those looking to blend scenic beauty with historical exploration.

Florence Accommodation for Every Traveler

florence hotelFlorence Hotel - credits: Pixabay.com

Florence offers a range of accommodations suitable for every type of traveler, from bustling family-friendly hotels to serene retreats perfect for couples and welcoming hostels ideal for solo travelers.

Each area, from the central Mercato Centrale to the quiet charm of Santa Maria Novella, brings a different aspect of Florence to life.


Families staying in Florence can find convenient and child-friendly hotels, such as the Grand Hotel Minerva.

Centrally located near Santa Maria Novella, this hotel offers easy access to the central train station and is a short walk from major attractions.

Additionally, the area around Santa Maria Novella is known for its range of accommodations that cater to families, merging convenience with the historic charm of the city.

Romantic Moments: Treasuring Venice, Lake Como, Milan & Portofino


Couples may seek a more intimate setting, and Florence does not disappoint. Romantic retreats are scattered throughout, particularly offering stunning views and gastronomic delights.

Places like Piazzale Michelangelo provide unparalleled vistas, perfect for sunsets.

Boutique hotels and quaint B&Bs in these areas offer couples the privacy and atmosphere suitable for a romantic getaway.

Solo Travelers

Solo travelers often look for a mix of affordability and social interaction.

The areas near Mercato Centrale are a top choice for hostels and budget accommodations, placing travelers in the heart of Florence's culinary scene.

A stroll through the vibrant marketplace offers a feast for the senses and a chance to mingle with locals and fellow travelers alike.

Experience Florence's Culture and Entertainment

Florence streetFlorence Street - credits: Catarina Belova/Shutterstock.com

Florence is not just a feast for the eyes but also a city pulsating with cultural vibrancy and an exciting entertainment scene.

Visitors who thrive on cultural immersion and vibrant nightlife will find neighborhoods such as Piazza Santa Croce and Santo Spirito particularly enthralling.

Santa Croce is the quintessence of Florentine culture, housing the famous Basilica di Santa Croce, the final resting place of illustrious Italians like Michelangelo and Galileo.

The area around this landmark is lined with artisan shops and lively streets that host numerous cultural events throughout the year.

In contrast, Santo Spirito, known for its Bohemian atmosphere, invites travelers to experience Florence through its convivial squares, notably Piazza Santo Spirito.

Here, one can discover a variety of trattorias and wine bars with authentic Tuscan cuisine. It's a perfect spot to indulge in local flavors while enjoying the backdrop of true Florentine architecture.

  • Trattorias offer a casual dining experience, where traditional Florentine dishes are served. They are the epitome of Italian family dining, often still run by generations of Florentines.
  • Wine Bars present an opportunity to taste regional wines, from the robust Chianti to the crisp Vernaccia.

As the sun sets, Florence's nightlife begins to shine.

The areas around Piazza di Santa Croce and Santo Spirito transform, showcasing a wide array of musical genres in their bars and clubs – a testament to the city’s diverse cultural tapestry.

Florence encapsulates the heart of Florentine culture, whether it's through the soulful rhythms of street musicians, the clinking glasses in quaint wine bars, or the historical ambiance of its squares.

A visitor here is truly placed at the crossroads of tradition and lively modernity.

Dining and Shopping: Florence’s Culinary and Retail

florence streetsFlorence Street - credits: canadastock/Shutterstock.com

Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, is equally celebrated for its culinary scene as it is for its art and architecture.

In the heart of the city, food aficionados can indulge in Florence’s gastronomy which offers a blend of traditional Tuscan fare, reflecting the region’s rich agricultural heritage.

Restaurants in Florence cater to a range of palates, with places like Osteria Francescana in nearby Modena setting a high standard for culinary excellence.

Florence answers with its own distinctive eateries that boast regional specialties, such as Ribollita and Bistecca alla Fiorentina.

Culinary Hotspots:

  • Mercato Centrale: Experience the bustling ambiance of a food market where fresh, local produce is king.
  • San Lorenzo: The surrounding area offers a plethora of dining options, from traditional trattorias to modern restaurants.

Shopping in Florence goes hand-in-hand with dining, as the city offers a plethora of artisanal shops and flagship stores, where one can purchase quality Tuscan olive oils, cheeses, and wines to recreate the taste of Florence at home.

The Mercato buzzes with activity, tempting visitors with its array of gourmet treats and handcrafted goods.

Retail Expansion:

  • Local Crafts: Fine leather goods and the artistic creations of local jewelers.
  • Culinary Souvenirs: Purchase artisanal products as flavorful mementos.

For travelers seeking to understand the wider Italian culinary landscape, resources like 'Food in Italy: A Culinary Journey Through Regions and Traditions' provide an insightful look at the diversity of Italy's cuisine.

It is necessary to appreciate how these regional practices inform Florence's food scene.

For both foodies and casual explorers, Florence’s culinary and retail offerings are not merely about sustenance or shopping.

They represent the very essence of the region’s cultural fabric and contribute to an unforgettable Tuscan experience.

Exploring Florence's History Through Museums and Galleries

Fountain Neptune Piazza Della Signoria FlorenceFountain Neptune Piazza Della Signoria, Florence - credits: Catarina Belova/Shutterstock.com

Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, is a city where history and art converge in an array of prestigious museums and galleries.

The Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous art museums in the world, is a testament to the city's rich artistic heritage.

Here, visitors encounter masterpieces by da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli, giving a veritable panorama of Renaissance art.

The Accademia Gallery is another significant institution, housing Michelangelo's iconic statue of David.

This gallery not only showcases Renaissance art but also provides insight into the historical context that fostered such creativity.

The artworks here embody the essence of humanist philosophy that defined the era.

Additionally, Florence's numerous smaller museums and galleries further enrich the city's artistic tapestry.

They house extensive collections ranging from medieval works to contemporary art, reflecting how the city's history continues to shape its cultural identity.

Major MuseumNotable Features
Uffizi Gallery Renaissance art collections
Accademia Gallery Michelangelo's David

For those with a passion for art, the importance of visiting these repositories of culture cannot be overstated.

Each venue is a gateway to the past, offering a tangible connection to the minds and talents that shaped our world.

Christmas Markets in Italy can also provide a festive complement to the city's rich artistic offerings during the holiday season.

Embracing Florence's museums and galleries is engaging with the city's soul—intimate encounters with works that continue to speak across centuries, echoing the inventiveness that Florence has always championed.

Outdoor and Recreational Activities

Ponte vecchio viewPonte Vecchio - credits: muratart/Shutterstock.com

Florence, with its rich cultural heritage, also offers a variety of outdoor and recreational activities for those who enjoy the beauty of nature and panoramic views.

Piazza della Signoria serves not only as a historic square but also as an open-air museum, surrounded by statues and fountains where visitors can unwind and soak in the city centre's vibrant atmosphere.

The Boboli Gardens, an expansive green haven behind the Pitti Palace, provide a perfect setting for leisurely strolls or picnics amid Renaissance sculptures, manicured lawns, and elaborate fountains.

Visitors can spend hours exploring the intricately designed walkways and hidden grottos.

Northern Italian Family Panorama: Venice, Milan & Lake Como

For those seeking the best views over Florence, a visit to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. This scenic square offers a stunning panorama of Florence's skyline, ideal for photography enthusiasts and romantic sunsets alike.

AttractionActivity Options
Piazza della Signoria Sightseeing, Historical Tours
Boboli Gardens Walking, Picnics, Garden Exploration
Piazzale Michelangelo Photography, Sunset Viewing

Additionally, Florence serves as an excellent starting point for day trips to the Tuscan countryside.

Many surrounding areas boast picturesque landscapes renowned for hiking, cycling, and vineyard tours, inviting visitors to explore beyond the city's borders.

Whether one is wandering through the city's historic squares, relaxing in its elegant gardens, or gazing upon it from above, Florence's outdoor activities offer enriching experiences for all.

Accommodating Special Interests and Luxury Requests

Tuscany chianti vineyardChianti Vineyard, Tuscany - credits: Tomas Marek/Shutterstock.com

Florence, with its artistic heritage and picturesque views, caters to a variety of tastes for luxury and specializes in providing exceptional stays for discerning travelers.

Exclusive hotels along the River Arno, such as the Hotel Lungarno, offer breathtaking views and naval-inspired decor, reflecting the elegance of a bygone era of luxury travel.

Boutique Hotels are another option for those seeking a more personalized experience.

These establishments typically combine luxury with unique thematic designs, giving guests an immersive experience of cultural elegance.

Relais Piazza Signoria provides an intimate setting with easy access to the bustling square and the historical treasures it houses.

For the luxury-minded guest, accommodations in Florence go beyond just a place to sleep; they offer a gateway to an exclusive lifestyle.

Finely appointed suites overlooking the River Arno, concierge services that extend to private tours of the Tuscan countryside, and rooftop bars that present panoramic views of the cityscape cater to upscale preferences.

Here are a few examples of what one might find when aiming for high-end lodgings with special interest accommodations:

Hotel NameUnique FeatureProximity to Attractions
Hotel Lungarno Art collections, River Arno view Minutes from Ponte Vecchio
Relais Piazza Signoria Apartments with historical charm Adjacent to Piazza della Signoria
Hotel Brunelleschi Roman Baths, own museum Between the Duomo and the Palazzo Vecchio

Luxury in Florence is synonymous with cultural richness. Guests can experience a sojourn steeped in history with amenities that respect their needs for privacy, distinctiveness, and utmost comfort.

Whether enjoying a sunset aperitif by the river or retreating to a suite replete with Tuscan artisan craftsmanship, Florence's best luxury hotels and accommodations cater to those seeking an extraordinary travel experience.

For additional exploration beyond the city, one might look to discover breathtaking destinations throughout Italy, where scenic villages offer yet another layer of charm and luxury.

Important Travel Information and Tips

Ponte vecchioPonte Vecchio - credits: muratart/Shutterstock.com

When traveling to Florence, visitors should be aware of the Zona Traffico Limitato (ZTL), which restricts vehicle traffic in the city center.

This regulation aims to reduce congestion and pollution, so tourists should plan accommodations and travel arrangements accordingly.

Santa Maria Novella Near the main train station, convenient for travelers, varied accommodation options.
Fiesole Hillside town with views of Florence, peaceful environment, a short bus ride from the city.

If staying outside the ZTL, consider lodging near Santa Maria Novella Station, which offers easy access to trains and buses. This area can be a strategic choice for those planning day trips to surrounding Tuscan cities or regions.

Those flying into Florence will arrive at Amerigo Vespucci Airport, centrally located about 30 minutes from the city center.

Options for reaching the city include taxis, car hire, or the Tramvia T2 line that connects the airport to the central train station.

Travel Tips for exploring Florence

  1. Plan Ahead: Booking tours and accommodations early is advised, especially during peak travel months.
  2. Walking: Florence is a walkable city with many sights concentrated in the historic central Florence.
  3. Seasons: March and October offer milder weather and potentially fewer tourists, enhancing the visiting experience.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Carry a refillable water bottle; Florence has numerous public drinking fountains with potable water.
  5. Cultural Respect: Remember to dress modestly when visiting churches and religious sites.

By following these tips and considering the information provided, travelers can have a well-informed and enjoyable stay in Florence.

Final Thoughts

uffizi galleryUffizi Gallery - credits: Detyukov Sergey/Shutterstock.com

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide on where to stay in Florence, it's clear that this city is more than just a destination; it's a journey through history, art, and culture.

Florence offers a diverse array of accommodations to suit every traveler's needs, from the luxury seeker to the budget-conscious.

Whether you choose to stay in the vibrant heart of the Centro Storico or the tranquil hills of Fiesole, each area promises a unique experience that embodies the essence of Florence.

Remember to book early to secure your preferred accommodation and take advantage of the best rates.

Ιmmerse yourself fully in the local culture by exploring the neighborhoods, dining in traditional restaurants, and visiting the iconic museums and galleries.

Florence is a city that will capture your heart, with each stay leaving you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Until your next visit, carry the spirit of Florence with you, as it surely has left its mark on all who wander its ancient streets.

Our Tailor-Made Trip Planning
Hop on a quick call with a local expert from our team
Receive a tailor-made itinerary for your journey
Fine-tune the details and you're ready to go

Frequently Asked Questions

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