Where to Stay in Florence for a first time visit? An insider's guide

Where to Stay in Florence for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2021

Where to stay in Florence? Full guide for first-timersWhat is the best location to stay in Florence, Italy? A question frequently asked by so many.

Therefore, we officially welcome you to your guide to the best places to stay in Florence.

We knew that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. In this guide include the best areas for the first time visitor, families, couples, and more.

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the City of Lilies.

This is the extension of our guide to 7 days in Florence.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated February 2021.)

But, first things first:

Here is the question: Where is the best place to stay in Florence for a first-time visitor?

The answer is simple: close to the city center!

I recommend being close to the city center and the central train station. Florence is a small city, so that is quite easy. Worry not, you have all the information you need below.

This way you can easier attend all the great walking tours by Walks of Italy. More details in my things to do section below, including my tips for 15 fun things to do.

If you wanna get away of the crowds, then head to the beautiful vineyards and rolling hills of Tuscany. You will get the most out of your first-time visit to Florence by choosing the area that would best suit your specific travel needs.

Also, I highlighted my favorite neighborhoods and areas to stay for these three options below. Take a look and see what would best fit your travel status for your up and coming trip to Italy.

Check out my recommended areas in the map below.

The best neighborhoods and areas to stay in Florence, Italy:

  • Close to the city center: Borgo Pinti, Ponte Vecchio, Santo Spirito
  • Near the train station and airport bus: Santa Maria Novella

Why do I recommend these areas?

Generally, these are the most convenient places to stay because they have direct access to the airport, public transport and many of the major sights!

We know it is hard to understand the district name when you have never been there. So we created several maps to help get familiarize the places, as well as neighborhood guide

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

Please note: those might not be the exact names of the districts, neither its absolute borders. I just tried to simplify this information.

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for…

Many different travel styles that match different needs. Thus, we created a handpicked list for each type of traveler to fit what they are looking for in a hotel, apartment or bed, and breakfast.

From 5-Star Hotels to the cheapest hostel option, this guide is designed for anyone looking for the right place to stay while traveling to Florence – in specific to their needs.

Scroll through the entire article for various hotel options, or choose your preferred traveler status to see our top recommendations made just for you to enjoy the most out of your time in Florence, Italy.

Would you prefer to use AirBnB? Get an amazing discount for your next vacation!
Use this link and receive a 35€ discount for your next Airbnb stay. You can also consider Vrbo. Here is me Vrbo Review.

Now, let’s see the handpicked hotels.

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

Let’s be honest, kids and adults have different priorities while traveling.

Toddlers love to play and parents want to do some sightseeing and experience the culture, the food… It’s important to find a commitment.

That is why, for families, I recommend to stay in the following districts:

  • Ponte Vecchio: right in the city center where it is convenient to walk to each location.
  • Santa Maria Novella: near the public transport system where it is simple to take the train or bus to the airport and new destinations.
  • Florence Hills: directly outside of the city where it is beautiful and less hectic than an in-city hotel.

This map shows you the areas recommended for families:

Handpicked accommodations for families

One thing to consider when you’re traveling with a family group is flexibility.

That is why the best option would be to look for an apartment or a place centrally located, depending on the family’s purpose of travel. Staying in a central place will give you easy access to almost everything for you and your family’s trip to Florence.

Also, you might want to consider properties with self-catering services like a kitchen. I always find this option helpful when traveling with kids.

Portrait Firenze – Lungarno Collection

Step outside and you’re in the action. Right near the Ponte Vecchio, Portrait Firenze – Lungarno Collection includes spacious hotel rooms or apartments for large families, continental breakfast, and rooftop views.

Have an amazing window view of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge in this beautiful and convenient accommodation. Aside from the panoramic view on your window, you also get to be right next to the famous 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. A restaurant that offers dining dishes designed by the Michelin-starred chef Alessio Mori.

Book Portrait Firenze here

Get a perfect view of Ponte Vecchio bridge at Portrait Firenze Lungarno Collection

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 let’s 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.

Book Hotel Torre Guelfa Palazzo Acciaiuoli here

Have an amazing view of Florence at Hotel Torre Guelfa Palazzo Acciaiuoli

Grand Hotel Adriatico

Conveniently located next to the train station, stay here to be close to the action of the city center or to have easy access to the public transportation system.

Reach the Santa Maria Novella train station with less than a 1,500-foot walk from Grand Hotel Adriatico. This hotel is very convenient to catch your early morning train or bus to go around the city.

Moreover, the hotel offers a varied buffet every morning that the whole family can take advantage of.

Have a taste of their traditional Tuscan dishes and wines, plus Italian favorites in the restaurant available on-site. Even more, you can also ask for a babysitting service to assist you with your children.

Book Grand Hotel Adriatico here

Reach Florence’s Duomo in 10 minutes by foot from Grand Hotel Adriatico

Forte16 View & SPA

If you want to stay in an area that is much more local and less hectic, Forte16 View & Spa is a perfect choice.

Located just outside of the city center, this hotel and luxury apartment accommodation offers great amenities for kids and adults making it ideal for families.

Furthermore, the hotel features an indoor pool, a wellness center, a rooftop hot tub, and a bar. If you head to the pool, you will find:

  • hydro-massage outlets,
  • sauna,
  • steam bath, and
  • relaxation area to pamper yourself with.

Stay outside of the city for gorgeous views and a calming vacation.

Note: this hotel is around 2 km from the city center.

Book Forte16 View & Spa here

Relax on the pool after a long tiring tour at Forte16 View and Spa

 1.2 Couples

The best place to stay for couples in Florence is either directly in the heat and action of the city center or out in beautiful and romantic Tuscan vineyards. Here you have my two favorite areas in and around Florence – check out these places to stay for your next romantic getaway:

  • Piazza Santo Spirito

This is one of my personal favorite neighborhoods in Florence.

Located on the other side of the river than some of the main attractions.

This area is far more authentic, with many cobblestone streets to explore and food to discover. You won’t be disappointed with your stay here.

  • Borgo Pinti

This gorgeous neighborhood offers lots of wonderful restaurants, bars, and other attractions.

Stay here to experience Italian nightlife with live music and a fun mix of Italians and foreigners. This area is extremely walkable to attractions without missing the charm of the local Florence feel.

This map shows you the areas recommended for couples:

Handpicked accommodations for couples

A traveling couple deserves an intimate accommodation. For that reason, I highly suggest that you stay in hotels. Take the break of cleaning or cooking and just simply enjoy your wonderful stay in the city of Florence.

Horto Convento

Go on a long romantic walk and come back to this comfortable space to relax in peace. Stay at Horto Convento to get the best of both worlds.

This gorgeous hotel offers a beautiful modern-style room and a large living space. It also boasts a garden and on-site bar you can surely have intimate moments at.

Furthermore, Horto Convento offers a calm, yet a vivid area of Florence in an old monastery (some of the nuns are still living here). Be in the rustic Tuscany countryside, but still be just a couple of streets away from the city center.

You can reach Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Della Signoria (city center) within a 20-minute walk from the hotel.

Book Horto Convento here

Enjoy the outdoor ambiance and just relax at Horto Convento

Hotel Santa Maria Novella

What could be any sweeter than a romantic dinner at a rooftop terrace overlooking the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella? Look no further, stay at Hotel Santa Maria Novella.

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 Santa Maria Novella Train Station. On the other hand, Florence Cathedral and the Accademia Gallery are a simply 10 minutes walk.

Also, take advantage of the hotel’s offer of a varied hot and cold buffet breakfast during your stay in Florence.

Book Hotel Santa Maria Novella here

Have a romantic dinner at Hotel Santa Maria Novella with a stunning view of the Duomo

Hotel Monna Lisa

A 4-Star Hotel offering wonderful amenities for a couple’s vacation is Hotel Monna Lisa.

Have a romantic stay at the hotel that boasts gorgeous gardens, immaculate rooms, and a minibar.

Above all, the hotel located on Borgo Pinti neighborhood, puts you just steps away from excellent restaurants and attractions.

Worry not, you will reach Michelangelo’s David and the Accademia Gallery just a few minutes by foot. Also, Firenze Santa Maria Novella Train Station is just a 20-minutes walk from the property.

Not to mention the antique furniture as well as paintings and works of the art fitted in the hotel. Artworks by Giovanni Dupre, an ancestor of the hotel’s owner, can be also seen around the building.

Book Hotel Monna Lisa here

Surround yourself with a garden of beautiful flowers at Hotel Monna Lissa

1.3 Luxury traveler

One of the most charming cities in the world, Florence does not lack in luxury accommodation.

Considering that Florence is the home of many world-renowned designers and artists. From George Clooney’s house on the beautiful Lake Como to Michelin-Starred restaurants, Florence can easily become that bougie travel destination for your next luxurious vacation.

Check out these hotels and neighborhoods to find the best top-notch places to stay during your
trip to Florence.

  • Lungarno del Tempio: an area of zen and tranquility, stay here for a relaxing getaway in a beautiful Villa or Bed and Breakfast.
  • Ponte Vecchio: enjoy everything the heart of Florence has to offer by staying in the
    middle of it all. This area is rich in culture and history, and many hotels in the area offer
    amazing views of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge.
  • Piazzale Uffizi: Located in the same piazza as the Uffizi Museum, this area is directly in the city center, walkable to everything Florence has to offer.

This map shows you the areas recommended for the luxury traveler:

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

We all deserve to have a taste of luxury travel every once in a while. A simple act of appreciation for all our day’s work.

Why not stay in a luxury hotel that will perfectly wrap your amazing trip to Florence?

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 ideally located along the Arno River.

Furthermore, the hostel features a Spa, gym, and luxury rooms with antique furnishings. Even more, the Spa includes massage services, steam room, body treatments, makeup and wax services to name a few.

Above all, the hotel serves modern tasty dishes based on Tuscan and Mediterranean cuisine in their restaurant.

Tip: Pets are allowed and they offer pet bowls and baskets for your fur babies.

Book The St. Regis Florence here

Spoil yourself and be treated with specialty at The St. Regis Florence

Ville Sull’Arno

Find the amazing property of Ville Sull’Arno beautifully located on the Arno river.

Its tranquil location makes it easy to relax and enjoy Tuscany without being too far from the life and hustle of the city of Florence.

Here, they offer free bikes and shuttle rides to the city, an immaculate spa and wellness center, and of course, amazing food options and views.

Moreover, the hotel features an indoor pool, sauna, and Turkish bath to spoil yourself with.

Book Ville Sull’Arno here

Enjoy Tuscany without being too far from the city at Ville Sull Arno

Hotel Lungarno – Lungarno Collection

Stay in the heart of Florence in comfort luxurious 5-star Hotel Lungarno – Lungarno Collection. The rooms are spacious and the beds are amazingly comfortable.

What’s more wonderful about this hotel is that it is located right on the Arno river. It Offers you perfect views of the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge. I totally recommend you to enjoy them with a full dining menu.

In addition, you will find priceless original modern art paintings.

Location-wise, the property places you in easy access to all the most famous sights in Florence. Making it easy for you to conquer Florence with just a few distances from your accommodation.

Book Hotel Lungarno – Lungarno Collection here

Hotel Lungarno features a rooftop restaurant that offers a wonderful view of Florence

Hotel Bernini Palace

Just a 5-minute walk to the Ponte Vecchio, you got the Hotel Bernini Palace.

This amazing hotel has a more old-town Florence vibe but still offers great amenities and services.

Walk to all of the nearby churches and Old Town squares and enjoy the beautiful decor inspired by Italian with a touch of Moroccan styles.

Moreover, you will be able to reach Florence Cathedral within a 5-minute walk.

Tip: This hotel is right next door to the Gucci Museum. If you’re interested in fashion, check this out for a fun and engaging daytime activity.

Book Hotel Bernini Palace here