Even more, we would love to share with you details about Florence that would help you decide and answer the question a while ago.
Unquestionably, we will tell you all the information you need to know. From what to visit, where to eat, what to do and things you might need on your trip to Florence.
Our full guide covers:
- Basic Introduction
- Where to stay in Florence
- How to get around
- What to see in Florence
- Things to do in Florence
- Tickets you have to buy before – must read
- Food and Restaurants
- Day Trips from Florence
- Itinerary for Florence
- Packing List
- City Map
Moreover, this guide will give you a hand on your one week in Florence itinerary. And we are certain that you’ll have an exciting and overwhelming time during your stay.
Only in Florence for 1 day? Then make sure you take this tour of Florence in 1 day by Walks of Italy. It is the absolute best tour and covers:
- See all of Florence’s major sites in a single day
- Marvel at Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia
- Skip-the-line access to the Uffizi Gallery for some of the finest Renaissance works of art
- Enjoy a guided walking tour of the city’s streets
- Learn why Florence, not Rome, was the focal point of the Renaissance
There is so much more Florence has to offer. Being noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture, and monuments. Indeed, a city of art where museums are world-known.
Thus, we know you will also love to be in one of the world’s beautiful cities according to Forbes. From their stunning architectures, amazing people, and of course to their great food and history.
Hence, let us not keep you waiting, we are excited as same as you. Finally, we welcome you to your one week in Florence itinerary.
1. Basic Introduction
We want to start with a simple intro to the things you need to know before coming to Florence.
Currency: EUR (€)
Language Spoken: Florence being the eighth largest city in Italy, Italian is their official language. However, the variation spoken within the region is the Tuscan language. A dialect of Italian that later became the standardized version of the Italian language within the country.
Furthermore, the business and tourism sectors are well equipped with English as well.
Known for: Florence is well known for its rich culture, fine art, and architecture. And the #1 sight is Michelangelo’s David statue. Also famous are Michelangelo’s Pietà, Botticelli’s Venus, Filippo Lippi’s Madonna and Child and Da Vinci’s Annunciation. A definitely should not be missed on your one week in Florence.
They are also famous for their panoramic views, as well as gold jewelry and a lot of leather goods. And of course, let us not forget that they have the best among the best gelato. Why not? They are the original home of gelatos.
Accommodation: Also, just like any city in Italy, you can certainly find luxury hotels and super budget-friendly apartments in Florence. From stunning balcony views to amazing facilities, Florence has so much to offer.
Find more details in our where to stay in the Florence section below.
Public Transport: First of all, the best part of Florence is that it is entirely accessible on foot. Using public transportation will no longer be useful once you’re staying in the city center or somewhere nearby.
Second, you can access the city through bikes, taxis and public bus which consists of nearly 100 lines.
More under how to get around.
Safety: Generally, Florence is a safe city even for solo female travelers. On the other hand, being a top tourist destination, therefore, attracts its fair share of pickpockets and purse-snatchers.
Therefore, personal safety precautions should be done. Even more, you should be aware of “gold ring” tricks, fake petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you; and people offering help with your luggage. Be vigilant and smart.
City name: Florence was called Florentia in Latin, then Fiorenza in Old Italian, then later on Firenze. Where Latin ‘Florens’ meant ‘to flower’ meaning to blossom.
Even more, Florence is called the City of Lilies whereas this flower can be seen in their national flag. Also, Florence is called the Birthplace of the Renaissance.
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug). Remember to pack your travel plug adapter.
2. Where to stay in Florence
In particular, Florence is declared to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, therefore, attracts millions of tourists each year. Moreover, it was ranked to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world by Forbes.
And since we know you are traveling for the first time for one week in Florence, we have listed down below our handpicked recommendations where you can stay according to the kind of your travel.
Even more, we have also made a map to better show you where they are located.
Additionally, included in the map are sights you should and might want to visit during your one week in Florence.
Our handpicked recommendations:
- Families: Portrait Firenze – Lungarno Collection
- Couples: Hotel Santa Maria Novella
- Luxury Travelers: The St. Regis Florence
- Design Lovers: Arte’ Boutique Hotel
- Groups: Hostel Gallo D’oro
- Airbnb: central apartment
- Solo Traveler: Solo Experience Hotel
- Nightlife Traveler: Grand Hotel Minerva
- On a budget: Plus Florence
Furthermore, here we cover all neighborhoods, and for which type of traveler we recommend the areas and hotels.
Read our complete guide to where to stay in Florence for first-time visitors.
2.1 Portrait Firenze – Lungarno Collection – Best for Families
Have an amazing window view of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge in Portrait Firenze – Lungarno Collection.
Aside from the panoramic view on your window, you also get to be in the views of the Arno River.
Moreover, being suited for families, rooms are equipped with a full entertainment system including an iPad, iPod docking station, and a flat-screen TV.
The hotel also features The Caffè dell’ Oro Bistrot restaurant that offers cuisines by the Michelin-starred chef.
Good to know: To better cater to your needs, an exclusive Lifestyle Assistant will be with you throughout your stay.
2.2 Hotel Santa Maria Novella – Best for Couples
What could be any sweeter than a romantic dinner at aoverlooking the Basilica of
Indulge yourself with free access to the hotel’s sauna and fitness room during your stay. Above all, visit the amazing view from the rooftop bar and have a romantic dinner with your loved one.
Moreover, the hotel is only a 5-minute walk from
Good to know: Take advantage of the hotel’s offer of a varied hot and cold
2.3 The St. Regis Florence – Best for Luxury Travelers
The St. Regis Florence is a 5-star hotel that is set in a historical building designed by Brunelleschi. It is located along the Arno River.
Furthermore, the hostel features a spa, gym, and luxury rooms with antique furnishings. The spa includes massage services, steam room, body treatments, makeup and wax services to name a few.
Above all, the hotel serves modern dishes based on Tuscan and Mediterranean cuisine in their Michelin-starred Winter Garden by Caino.
Good to know: Pets are allowed and they offer pet bowls and baskets for your fur babies.
2.4 Arte’ Boutique Hotel – Best for Design Lovers
Arte’ Boutique Hotel is just walking distance from Accademia Gallery, Mercato Centrale, and Florence Cathedral.
Moreover, the rooms have very nice interior design and are very comfortable. Each room comes with a private bathroom fitted with a bidet and free toiletries.
Aside from the impeccable design, the hotel’s location gives you easy access to walking around the city for your one week in Florence. Plus they offer buffet breakfast.
Good to know: The flat-screen TVs come with satellite channels, free Netflix and a smartphone.
2.5 Hostel Gallo D’oro – Best for Groups
One thing you should look forward to in Hostel Gallo D’oro is their all-day buffet from breakfast to dinner.
Moreover, each room is installed with personal light and sockets. On the other hand, some rooms offer a balcony. Also, beds come with free linen and a towel.
Perfect for groups, the hostel offers mixed and female-only dormitories. Even more, the staff is available 24/7 to better assist you during your stay for one week in Florence.
Good to know: The hostel offers free yoga classes on the rooftop terrace of a 3-minute walk away partner hostel.
2.6 Solo Experience Hotel – Best for Solo Travelers
Overlooking Florence’s Basilica of San Lorenzo, you got Solo Experience Hotel.
Moreover, the rooms are all soundproof and offer a view of San Lorenzo Basilica just opposite the hotel.
Also, expect a buffet breakfast during your stay. Even more, the hotel’s location puts you in reach of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. Only a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Good to know: Breakfast offers home-made products.
2.7 Grand Hotel Minerva – Best for Nightlife Travelers
Stay at the heart of Florence and enjoy the rooftop pool at the Grand Hotel Minerva.
Located just across the Florence Cathedral, expect to have rooms that have a view of the historic church.
Moreover, the hotel features a restaurant that serves Italian dishes. You can also grab a drink at the rooftop bar.
Take advantage of the rooftop pool and have a panoramic view of the city while you relax and take a swim.
Good to know: The hotel also offers a wellness spa where you can get massages.
2.8 Plus Florence – CHEAP Deal
Aside from offering cheap and affordable room deals, Plus Florence also offers free use of their fitness area.
Further, when visiting during the winter, enjoy a Turkish bath, sauna, and an indoor pool. Moreover, a buffet breakfast is offered every day.
The hostel also features a cafe that serves drinks, snacks and ice creams during the day. While during the night, they serve pizza and other Italian dishes.
Good to know: The hostel offers exciting activities you can join like happy hours, karaoke, horse riding, and cooking class.
Here you can find all Florence hostels compared by price and rating.
3. How to get around
So, we have your accommodation set, now let us get out and explore.
Best for sightseeing: One of the easiest ways to see Florence and its major tourist destination is through their famous Hop on – Hop off Bus.
There are two lines you can choose from. Line A with 17 stops and Line B with 27.
- Line A goes through Florence city center and the entire route lasts approximately 1 hour.
- While Line B focuses on Florence and Fiesole. The bus includes stops at Fiesole, a famous Etruscan hillside city with breathtaking views of Florence. The entire route takes 2 hours.
Check more info in Hop on – Hop off Bus.
Public transport: Public transportation in Florence is widely used and getting around is easy.
Generally, you could reach all the corners of the city with their transportation. Making it efficient for you to go around Florence. Nevertheless, make sure that you buy your tickets beforehand to avoid fines.
Bikes: Since Florence can be visited mostly on feet, the next efficient way would be through the bike. There are bike rentals organized by the city which can be hired at certain points and returned to the same place.
Beyond the city bikes, some of the hotels in town provide their guests with free bicycles and organize bike tours that highlight the beauty of Florence.
Moreover, you can also join a 2-hour sightseeing bike tour here.
Walking: Above all, most of the major tourist destinations in Florence are within easy walking distance of each other. You could get from North to South and East to West in less than 30 minutes.
Walking is my personal favorite for getting around Florence!
In fact, Walking Tours are the most popular way to explore the city.
My recommendation is the Best of Florence Walking Tour. It takes 3-4 hours, with a max of 15 people and you will even enter to see the famous David Statue and the Duomo.
Besides, the city center is more likely to have traffic. Plus roads are simply too narrow for the bus and cars to go through. Therefore, we do not recommend taking the bus and car tours in your 7 days or a weekend in Florence.
Taxi: Taxis are “stationed” at special taxi parking stands in most of the major squares in the city and at the airport. Moreover, they can be requested by phone.
Safety tip: In particular, we do suggest that if you are a solo-female traveler out in the city center and have to get back to your hotel or apartment at night, take the taxi!
Specifically, be safe and get a 10% discount off the fare if you travel alone between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Moreover, ask for the discount for taxis, they do not give this automatically. Check the official tourism board for more info.
Boat: Another great way to see the majestic views of Florence in your one week in Florence is by boat. The boat tour starts from the Arno River aboard a vintage “Barchetto” boat.
It is one of the unique things to do in Florence, I enjoyed it. Check prices and schedule for the Florence boat tour here.
Adventure and Romance Tip: Nevertheless, if you’re up for an adventure or some romance that you’ll cherish for a lifetime, book a hot air balloon ride over Tuscany. Check out one of the world’s most well-loved landscapes 6,000 meters above.
Moreover, this could also be a great idea for a wedding proposal.
See more details of the Hot Air Balloon Flights here.
Photo by Cristina Gottardi
4. What to see in Florence – The Must-Do’s
What to see in Florence? A very good question!
Florence is renowned as one of the most cultural and historical cities in the world and is packed full of amazing architecture and places of significance.
Furthermore, we have made a simple list for you to decide easier on what to give priority in your one week in Florence.
Besides, these are the essential places you definitely must visit. But do remember that you might need to pre-book tickets so you could skip the long hours of waiting.
The Must Do’s are:
- Climb up the Florence Duomo (Cupola)
- Visit Uffizi Gallery
- Enter Accademia Gallery and admire Michelangelo’s David
- Explore Leonardo da Vinci Museum
- Admire Palazzo Vecchio
Only in Florence for 1 day? Then again, make sure you do not miss out and take this tour of Florence in 1 day by Walks of Italy.
More great sights to see in Florence are:
- Basilica of Santa Lorenzo
- Giotto’s Campanile
- Boboli Gardens
- Palazzo Pitti
- Ponte Vecchio
- Piazza Della Signoria
- Giardino Bardini
- Piazzale Michaelangelo
- Mercato Centrale
5. Things to do in Florence
Aside from being one of the millions of tourists that comes to visit Florence, we are certain that you will also be one of the city’s fans once you have seen it yourself.
So whether you’re visiting for fast-track travel or slow-paced sightseeing, and regardless of how many times you’ve visited, there’s a never-ending wealth of things to do and see throughout the year.
Accordingly, here are the lists of things to do one week in Florence.
We collected for you a great list of cool Things To Do in Florence:
- 75 Fantastic and Fun things to do in Florence
- 5 Romantic Places to visit in Florence for couples and lovebirds
- 11 Things to do for kids around the Birthplace of Renaissance
- 30 things to do in Florence for FREE
Here are more ideas:
- Hike to Fiesole
- Join a drawing class
- Do wine tasting
- Discover how to make olive oils
- Grab a gelato
6. Tickets you have to buy before (Must Read)
I sincerely hope you are reading this section carefully! Indeed, it will make a difference.
Above all, this is important so you actually can enter the places you would love to see from the inside.
Moreover, there are exactly two tickets you have to buy beforehand:
My best recommendation: Compare all tours by Walks of Italy. They have amazing food tours as well as exclusive access tours.
For instance, the VIP David Statue and Duomo Tour. You will be the first entering and you will even have exclusive access to the terrace.
Another unique tour is the VIP After Hours tour. You will enter the Florence Accademia after normal closing hours, and experience an close-encounter with Michelangelo’s David without the usual crowds.
6.1. Uffizi Gallery
Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important museums in the world. Even more, it is also one of the most visited museums in Italy with almost 2 million visitors in a year.
For that reason, we highly recommend you book your tickets ahead of time. So if you don’t want to spend more than two hours or more of waiting in line especially when you’re visiting during the peak season from May to September.
Therefore, tickets are likely to easily sold out during high seasons.
6.2 Accademia Gallery (with David Statue)
Just like the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery is likely to have long lines every day.
Every visitor would want to check out the original marble statue of ‘David’ by Michelangelo and his ‘Prisoners’. And of course, as well as other masterpieces by Perugino, Filippino Lippi, and Botticelli.
Nonetheless, get ready to wait for more than an hour or two only if you don’t book your museum tickets ahead of time!
Above all, there is no patio to protect you unlike at the Uffizi Gallery. So save yourself from the sun or rain and book your tickets ahead of time.
The Best Guided Tour: The most unique tour still is the VIP After Hours tour. You will enter the Florence Accademia after normal closing hours, and experience an close-encounter with Michelangelo’s David without the usual crowds.
For those seeking an early entry with a skip the line ticket + Entry to the Duomo rooftop terrace, I would suggest joining this tour by Walks of Italy.
7. Food & Restaurants
One of our favorite parts of this guide, and surely a traveler’s weakness, let’s talk about FOOD!
Aside from giving us strength, the best way to know and discover a place is through their food. Nevertheless, there is no better way to love and appreciate a city aside from their food especially when you learn about its history.
Therefore, here are lists of foods you must try and food places you should visit in your one week in Florence. Just click on the links and get ready to discover more food details in the city.
Starting, here are 5 Things You Must Eat while visiting Firenze.