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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re interested in design hotels and accommodation, Florence is full of amazing options.
From boutique hotels to extravagant 5-Star accommodation options, travelers looking for a designer hotel option has plenty of places to choose from.
Below are some of my favorite areas to stay for designer places to stay in style:
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.
Borgo Pinti: This amazing area is steps away from the best restaurants and attractions but is on the quieter side of town so you can enjoy your time to relax. This will be my top recommendation for a designer’s dream stay in Florence, Italy.
Santa Maria Novella: This convenient location is close to all of the trains, planes, and buses and is still in central “downtown” Florence.
The map below shows you the areas recommended for design lovers:
Handpicked accommodations for the design lover
If you are into design and boutique hotels, you’ll have a hard time to decide where to start in Florence. Being home of great artists, you got plenty of options to choose from.
Let me remind you that Florence is 100% history. Therefore, it is hard to find fresh and modern decoration on the design accommodations. Expect classic furniture and deco combined with modern services.
Arte’ Boutique Hotel
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.
In addition, the flat-screen TVs come with satellite channels, free Netflix and a smartphone.
Located perfectly on the quiet part of the city, nothing beats the Four Seasons. Pick a room here for amazing service, Michelin-Starred food, and immaculate amenities.
In particular, spoil yourself in its 9 beauty treatment rooms or you can also try its Turkish bath and gym. Moreover, you can also find a pool in the property.
The seasonal restaurants deserve also a mention: Al Fresco, and Magnolia Asian Bar. In Al Fresco restaurant they serve pizzeria meanwhile in Magnolia Asian Bar they opt to offer the best Asian specialties.
This beautifully designed hotel is apart of the Autograph Collection. To travelers, this means that this Sina Villa Medici will be immaculate, historic, and one-of-a-kind.
Moreover, choose between three restaurants available at the hotel. Either, have a taste of local Tuscan or Italian cuisine. In addition to this, you will find a restaurant by the pool. Perfect to enjoy the sun and the atmosphere of the property.
As for the location, you can reach the Florence Cathedral in 15-minutes by foot.
If you are traveling with a group, it might be best to rent out an entire villa in Tuscany or a block of hotel rooms in central Florence. Although there are also many growing hostel options in the city center as well.
Traveling with a group can be fun and maybe even a bit stressful when trying to accommodate everyone’s wants and needs.
Stay in and out of the city to get the best of both worlds and experience the best of Florence and Tuscany during your next group vacation to Italy and even maybe to your first.
Check out these districts best for groups:
Santa Caterina D’Alessandria: Located near the smaller train station in Florence, this location is more authentic and local than the other neighborhoods I’ve mentioned.
Uffizi: This area is super central and is very walkable to all tourist attractions and restaurants.
Find my recommended areas for groups in Florence on the map below:
Handpicked accommodations for groups
Mostly, groups need a flexible place to stay. Therefore, I highly recommend finding apartments. Hostels are also a great option for young soul travelers to stay at.
Aside from its cheaper than hotel options, a hostel puts you in many convenient amenities that are very ideal for groups like a kitchen and a common area.
Located in a walking distance to Santa Maria train station (not to be confused with Santa Maria Novella which is the main station) the luxury Plus Florence hostel offers shared accommodation, private rooms, and wonderful amenities.
This is a great option for large groups looking for their own space with a fitness center, pool, and full bar on site. Furthermore, you and your group can use the fitness area with no additional charges.
Take advantage of the full English buffet breakfast during your stay. You can catch the buffet until 11:00.
Rent out as many as needed for your number of people and feel at home in these centrally located apartments. You and your friends will be able to use the fully equipped kitchen to prepare your meals if you don’t feel like eating out.
Good to know: reach Santa Maria Novella Train Station and Florence Cathedral in 15-minutes by foot.
This budget hotel is nothing fancy, but the price is affordable for those willing a hotel room while traveling alone. 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. If you have plans for the early morning, you can ask the staff for a to-go breakfast or packed lunch to keep your stomach full during your tour to the city.
For those with a thigh budget, consider Leonardo House. It is situated in the neighborhood right next to the central train station.
This hostel has private rooms with simple amenities. Moreover, this budget hostel is a great option for a solo traveler looking to be near the public transportation system. Yet, you can still have a quiet place to have a good night’s rest.
Most importantly, get free city maps and free local phone calls during your stay at Leonardo House. Even more, reach the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the fourth largest cathedral in the world in only one minute walking.
Find the unique Cosetta Guesthouse situated in a gorgeous area of Tuscany. They offer private rooms, apartment-style living quarters, and single accommodation.
If you’re looking to enjoy the beauty of Tuscany’s rolling hills, this is the perfect getaway for the solo-traveler like you. This property used to be a palatial home.
Run by a charming couple, Cosetta and Calogero, that will make your feel part of a family . The home is exquisitely decorated with large bedrooms and bathrooms. The garden is also an added perk to this beautiful home.
If you are a true night owl, then you chose the right city in Tuscany to explore. Florence is awake during all times of the day and night and offers lots of great activities during all hours.
Check out these areas to be in the action at nighttime with fellow travelers and locals who love going for a night out on the town:
Piazza Santo Spirito: One of my personal favorite neighborhoods in Florence, Italy. Located on the other side of the river than some of the main attractions. You won’t be disappointed in your stay here.
Borgo Pinti: This gorgeous street 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.
Santa Caterina D’Alessandria: Located near the smaller train station in Florence, this location is more authentic and local than the other neighborhoods I’ve mentioned.
For those interested in party and nightlife, I recommend you the following districts:
Handpicked accommodations for nightlife
Let’s face it, we all look forward to having an exciting night in this wonderful city.
A night to truly remember and the best option is to get a room at a cool hotel, a party hostel or a full apartment so you can rest at your own peace.
Grand Hotel Minerva
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.
Also, the hotel also offers a wellness spa where you can get massages.
Stay in a gorgeous hotel that offers beautiful modern-style rooms and large living space at Horto Convento. Catch the free breakfast offered by the hotel from 7 am to 10 am. While getting Nespresso and tea facilities in your hotel room for free.
Not to mention the free Special Professional Hair Box to be requested in the reception which includes hair straighteners, combs, and hairspray. And for the party-fun, head to the hotel’s bar and grab your first drink. Then move on and meet new friends from all over the world and have an amazing night.
Be surrounded by garden scapes in the historic center of Florence at Hotel Monna Lisa.
The staff hotel will be more than happy to assist you with everything you might need throughout your stay. You can also get the most of the best insider’s tip and guide through them.
Apart from that, you can book guided tours and excursions at the reception. Plus, rental car services and even get a personal driver.
Above all, to better highlight your nights in your stay in Florence, have a drink at the bar. You’ll unquestionably find interesting people with your same interest from places all over the world. Feel the antique 15th-century confessional vibe of what it used to be.
Aside from being a cool hostel, you will find Plus Florence great for nightlife travelers as well.
The hostel provides travelers a wide range of rooms and communal amenities ready to give you the best stay in Florence. Amenities you should expect include a pool, a sauna, and plenty of outdoor areas from which to enjoy the views and life of the city.
Satisfy your appetite throughout your stay and make sure you have a satisfied stomach on your stay. From the buffet breakfast in the morning to the Italian pizza for dinner.
However, every tour deserves a taste of an amazing night to take home and remember. Don’t miss out all the night-fun during the happy hour that goes with evening entertainment and live music performances.
Stay here for just 20 euros a night in an 8-bed dorm and have all of your basic needs provided and met.
Rooms either goes with and without bathrooms inside and are fitted with single and bunk beds.
There is no breakfast served in the accommodation. Nevertheless, the hostel can arrange requests for breakfast, lunch or dinner or some between them. You may go home whatever time you like as long as you don’t miss your room keys.
Just like I have mentioned in the earlier part of the guide, I recommend you to stay central.
And there are many reasons behind this. First, staying central puts you close and convenient to many tourist destinations.
Plus, with just a few minutes’ walks, you will be able to reach a great variety of restaurants, cafes, shops, and bars that will give more highlights to your trip.
I highly recommend to join a tour by Walks of Italy. I joined their tours in Athens, Rome, Barcelona and in Venice. The Venice tour was a food tour…YUMMY!
For Florence, I joined their “best of Florence with David statue” tour. It took almost 4 hours and the guide was soooo good and fun. We had a mixed group of families and couples joining the tour. Very recommended!
They also offer these tours:
VIP After Hours at the Florence Accademia with Statue of David (VERY special!!)
You can activate and deactivate the different layers in the left sidebar.
Main attractions in Florence
Florence is small but has plenty of things to do and see. As you see on the map, some of the major sights in Florence are very distant from each other while some can be walked to.
You can read One Week in Florence and see its public transportation you can use.
1. The Uffizi
This is quite possibly one of the BIGGEST museums on the planet.
Okay, I’m exaggerating, but this museum is huge and can be quite overwhelming or even boring if you’re just not that into art and history.
If you actually want to know what you are looking at, I would opt for a local guide to take you through it. But be warned, this will take up around half of your day to accomplish!
So, if you are traveling with a group of people, some might be very irritable afterwards. Totally understandable – traveling is hard work, too!
Tip: Although you’ll really want a beer and gelato in the Piazza del Duomo, I would try to walk a couple streets away into the more authentic part of town where the food, drinks, and service are of higher quality and prices are far more affordable.
Santa Croce is only 10 euros to enter and totally worth it!
This is one of my favorite churches in the city due to its beautiful architecture on the inside and out.
And how cool that we get to see the tomb of Michelangelo?! This is a must visit. Just outside the church, the Piazzale di Santa Croce is a great spot to hang out and check out local shops.
Tip: Come here in December for the beautiful Christmas Market!
4. The Duomo, Giotto’s Bell Tower, and the Baptistry
Head to the Piazzale del Duomo and get these sites out of the way within one day. My favorite of these attractions is Giotto’s Bell Tower.
The tower tends to attract less people due to the intense stair climb that is necessary to make it to the top. Once that is over, you are rewarded with a beautiful view of the city and the Duomo, so needless to say it is definitely worth the workout.
Tip: You can also spread out your time among the three sites. Tackle the Duomo and the Baptistery first. Then, later in the day, come back to climb the Bell Tower when the weather cools down to enjoy the sunset.
5. Piazza di Santo Spirito
This awesome square has tons of amazing restaurants, cafes, and churches. My favorite pizzeria, Gusta Pizza , is located in this piazza and it is a must visit!
A go-to cafe called Volume (pronounced vol-uuu-meh) is a hip cafe and bar also located in Santo Spirito. The cappuccinos here are amazing, but the best part is the apertivo in the evening when they bring you a full plate of delicious snacks to enjoy with your drink of choice.
Volume offers outdoor seating with a wonderful view of the Piazza di Santo Spirito and the Santo Spirito Church. This is a wonderful people watching spot to get the local Florence feel.
Tip: They always play the best music at Volume, but come on a weekend night to enjoy some awesome live music !
Pro tip: the Piazza di Santo Spirito offers a small clothing market on weekday mornings for cheap clothing and other goods.
Here you have a photo of the tasty pizza at Gusta Pizza. Everyone who we recommended to go there, they loved it!
6. The Piazzale de Michelangelo
Stunningly beautiful, the Piazzale de Michellangelo is my all-time favorite activity when I am in Florence. Just a 25 minute walk from the city center to reach, Piazzale de Michelangelo is filled with locals and tourists alike, all there to sit on the steps and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city below.
This spot gets very hot during the day and cools off perfectly at night, so I would advise to come for the sunset.
Tip: Bring your own drinks and maybe some bread and cheese as a pre-dinner snack – your very own
apertivo. Wine-lovers be warned! There are a few vendors at the top of the steps selling beer and chips, but you will have to BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine).
7. Biblioteca della Oblate
One of my favorite spots to hang out, grab a cappuccino, and look out at the Duomo.
Formerly a women’s convent and hospital built around the year 1290, this great find is full of history, provides a secret apertivo, and has an exceptional view.
This is an awesome place to get work done or to simply enjoy the finer things in life.
Although it is located right next door to the always busy Piazza del Duomo, not many foreigners know about this spot. Head upstairs for a cappuccino, espresso, or aperol spritz and share a table with some local University students.
8. Central market
The Central Market has the best of it all. They offer gelato, cannoli’s, pizza, pasta, lasagna, and more. Everything here is made from scratch and your stomach is bound to rumble the moment you start to smell freshly baked garlic, basil, tomato, and bread.
At the Central Market, the first floor is full of fresh food for shopping and tasting while the second floor offers long tables with a variety of different restaurants serving their own specialty dishes. Watch the chefs create everything first-hand and enjoy an abundance of the worlds greatest cuisine!
Tip: Come hungry and try to split a few dishes so you can taste a bit of everything. All of the food is worth trying! Some of my favorite foods offered are the gazpacho, ravioli, and cannoli’s.
9. The famous Leather Market
Located right outside of the Central Market, get lost in a sea of vintage clothing and authentic leather. This is a great place to buy gifts to bring back for your friends and family!
Tip: Bargain, bargain, bargain!
The vendors will start out at an absurdly high price when you try to buy something. Don’t be afraid to practice your negotiation skills and try to talk them down, enjoy the Italian banter!
10. Sant’Ambrogio Market
Located close to Santa Croce, this smaller and much more local market should definitely be on your list. Since there are less tourists here, the prices are much more affordable in comparison to the Central Market and you do not need to worry about being lost in the crowd.
I recommend going to Sant’Ambrogio around lunchtime and eating at the intimate restaurant located in the middle of the market. Their ravioli is the best in town!
Tip: Make sure to go for an early lunch, the market closes!
11. Parco delle Cascine
Need to see a tree, lay in the grass, or stretch your legs? Look no further! There is a huge park located in central Florence. If you are an active person or dedicated runner like me, then this might be very exciting news.
The Parco delle Cascine can easily be explored on a run or walk. But, if you are feeling ambitious, there is also a rental shop which offers bikes, scooters, and even rollerblades for a day full of adventure and fun.
This park is a green oasis right outside the chaos of the city, and it is a great option for anyone with a free afternoon.
And since we have already come to know what places to visit, here are helpful insider tips you might want to consider.
Want to take an adventure up to Tuscany for some wine tasting and beautiful views or to another nearby city for a quick day trip from Florence? Here are some of my Favorite day trips to take while based in Florence, Italy:
Only a train ride away, I encourage you to embark on a trip to another city such as Siena, San Gimignano, or Lucca . These quaint towns are walkable, charming, and well-worth a visit.
All of them are a great idea if you are interested in learning a little more about Tuscan culture.
Tip: If you find yourself in Siena be sure to check out The Tea Room for drinks and dessert. It is a super cute and cozy shop with an amazing ambience and live music during the nighttime. But be warned, you might get a bit too cozy and never want to leave!
Wine tasting day trip
Visit a winery in Tuscany and see the hard work that goes into wine production. Better yet, take a motorbike or bicycle tour around the beautiful vineyards and soak in the wonderful views!
You can even head up to the enchanting town of Montalcino to see how my all-time favorite Tuscan wine is made. There are over 200 wineries in Montalcino so it can be difficult to choose which one to go to. If time permits, I recommend checking out a couple different vineyards.
If you only have time to go to one, do a tour and tasting of Santi Family Winery – you won’t regret it!
Tip: Make sure you taste Brunello wine.
Must -Dos in Florence
If you are on a limited time, try at least to see the Ufizzi Gallery or Accademia Gallery.
Nevertheless, I think these 5 things should be the things you should tick on your list if you visit Florence for 1-2 days:
Both museums get really full – Every single day-. If you want to avoid lots of people, just go as early as possible.
3. Neighborhood guide (to understand the difference)
Fantastic! You’re still here.
Now, let’s talk about the neighborhoods to visit and stay in Florence on your first visit. Here I will show you the districts in a simplified way.
So, at the end of the day, it will no longer be complicated for a first-time visitor like you. Don’t worry!
There are only a few districts that I will discuss with you. Moreover, the best options I gave you above are all well-located. Some of them right in the center of Florence.
3.1 Santo Spirito
One of my personal favorite neighborhoods in Florence is Santo Spirito.
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 in your stay here.
Right on the Piazza di Santo Spirito, Volume (pronounced vol-uuu-meh) is a hip cafe and bar. The cappuccinos there are amazing. However, the best part is the Apertivo in the evening. They bring you a full plate of delicious snacks to enjoy with your drink of choice.
The Volume Café offers outdoor seating with a wonderful view of the Piazza di Santo Spirito and the Santo Spirito Church. Best wonderful people-watching spot in all the city!
Insider Tip: Go on a weekend night and enjoy some awesome live music.
3.2 Santa Maria Novella / Santa Croce
Conveniently located next to the train station are the districts of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce.
Stay here to be close to the action of the city center or to have easy access to the public transportation system.
Sant’Ambrogio Market: Located close to Santa Croce. This smaller and much more local market should be on your list. And since there are fewer tourists here, the prices are much more affordable in comparison to the Central Market.
Plus, you do not need to worry about being lost in the crowd.
Insider Tip: I recommend going to Sant’Ambrogio. Make sure to go for an early lunch before the market closes. The intimate restaurant located in the middle of the market has the best in town.
3.3 Ponte Vecchio
Enjoy everything the heart of Florence has to offer by staying in the middle of it all.
You will find this area rich in culture and history. Also, many hotels in this district offer amazing views of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge.
The most famous place to grab a quick panini is All’antico Vinaio. Conveniently located just across the Ponte Vecchio bridge. This raving panini shop will have a line out the door. But since they have panini making down to a science, the wait won’t belong.
Not to mention, this is one of my go-to’s due to the large portion size, cheap prices, and authentic Italian experience.
Also in this area, you will find the most famous pizza place in Florence, the Gusta Pizza. Watch as your pizza is made right in front of you, put into the wood-fired oven, and cooked to perfection in 3-5 minutes.
– soooo good!
Around lunch and dinner time, Gusta Pizza will probably be very crowded. But again, since Italians are all masters at their craft, you won’t be waiting for long.
Insider tip: There is very limited seating inside the restaurant. So I recommend taking the pizza to-go and bringing it outside to the steps of the Santo Spirito church. On the steps, you’ll likely see an equal amount of tourists and locals eating Gusta Pizza and drinking wine.
3.4 Borgo Pinti
Although Florentines start their day at sunrise, they also go out in town most nights of the week. No wonder they drink so much espresso!
On a special note, one of my favorite streets to go to after dark is Borgo Pinti. This gorgeous street offers lots of bars with live music, karaoke, special deals, and a fun mix of Italians and foreigners.
In addition to this, my other go-to place to start the night is Rex Cafe. This awesome bar owned by two local Italian brothers offers great music and awesome vibes.
On the other hand, if you’re in search of a more typical college pub scene, head over to The Lion’s Fountain. University flags from around the world decorate the walls of this quaint bar, making it a hub for students studying abroad in Florence.
Insider Tip: The Lion’s Fountain has great weekly deals. Stop in during happy hour or make new friends during one of their many game nights.
Furthermore, need to catch a glimpse of that sports game you just can’t miss? The Red Garter is Florence’s #1 sports bar. Go there to watch sports during the day and be sure to stay for the jam-packed karaoke sessions that stretch late into the evening.
If you want more of a dance party scene, Florence offers a variety of dance clubs or discos. A few of my favorite places to go dancing are:
Bamboo Lounge and Club
Flo Lounge Bar
Insider Tips: If you are out late enough in the evening or wake up early enough in the morning, you might catch the smell of freshly baked pastries. Follow the scent and knock on one of the bakeries back doors to get the first pastry of the day before the doors officially open to the public!
Pro Tip: There are only one or two bakeries that offer this service and they are known around Borgo Pinti street. Ask someone to help point you in the right direction of the “secret bakery” and enjoy your delectable late-night treat.
4. Safest area to stay in Florence
Now that we covered the best places to stay in Florence and areas, let’s talk about safety.
Florence, Italy is generally a very safe city.
Whether you are a solo traveler, traveling in a large group, or visiting as a couple, just be mindful of others and you will be totally fine!
In many touristy cities such as Florence, the only crime to look out for is petty theft and pickpocketing. Be aware and be smart when you are in a very crowd place in town.
From one traveler to another, here are some tips on how to avoid being pickpocketed in a foreign city:
Do not keep anything valuable in your backpack – be extra careful with your belongings if you do
Limit what you carry – it will be easier for your day of sightseeing!
Put locks on your zippers
If you plan to stay in hostels, use your hostel locker.
keep wallets and keys in your front pockets.
Always keep your bag in front of you while on public transit and keep an eye on them.
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