How Many Days in Florence? Itineraries + Tips

That is the million-euro question.

The so-called Cradle of the Renaissance has enough attractions to last a lifetime. As with many other destinations, how many days you spend in Florence will depend on your interests and pace of travel.

I have spent the best part of thirty years unearthing its cultural, historic and artistic treasures and there is still much I want to see. But these multiple visits have given me a good sense of how many days in Florence you will need to meet your travel expectations without feeling frazzled.

Whether you spend one, two, three, four or five days in Florence, there’s an itinerary for you.

large sculpture of neptune in a sqaure in florence which is one of the most famous statues in italy

Some articles on this website contain affiliate links. This means that I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchasesRead the full disclosure here.


The average first-time visitor should spend 3 – 4 days in Florence

Let’s cut to the chase. Whilst there is no size-fits-all answer, the sweet spot is between three and four days in Florence.
 
Manage your expectations. You won’t be able to do it all in this timespan. But you will be able to hit Florence’s highlights with ease.
 
Stay three days in Florence if you want to squeeze as much into your city break as possible. Stretch this to four days if you prefer a more relaxed itinerary or want to fit in a day trip.

Spending five days in Florence will result in a more relaxed itinerary and allow you to take a day trip from the city.

One day in Florence is not enough to do it justice. However, if that day is your only opportunity to visit Florence, grasp it with both hands. To make the most of your day, start early, have a plan and book your tickets in advance.

You can hit Florence’s highlights in two days. However, this will be a fast-paced visit and you will have to satisfy yourself with scratching the surface of its historic and cultural attractions.

What You Can See in 1, 2, 3 and 4 days in Florence

So what can you realistically fit into your chosen time frame? I’ll start with itineraries for three and four days in Florence before considering how to spend one or two days there.

3 days in Florence

group of beautiful buildings in florence of the cathedral the baptistery and bell tower

Duomo Complex

Comprising the Duomo (Florence Cathedral), Duomo Museum, Giotto’s bell tower and the Baptistery, this area is Ground Zero of the Italian Renaissance. Buy a ticket to climb Brunelleschi’s dome or Giotto’s Tower for unforgettable views.

courtyard of a beautiful palazzo in florence italy seen through an arch with arched porticos and statue in foreground

Bargello Museum (Musei del Bargello)

Housed in a former palazzo, the collection of statues in the Bargello Museum takes you on a journey through 150+ years of Florence’s artistic heyday.

gothic facade of santa croce basilica which is where to stay in florence

Santa Croce

The 14th Century Franciscan Santa Croce Church is the final resting place of the great and the good of Florence, including Michelangelo, Dante, Galileo, Machiavelli and Rossini. It is also famous for its fresco cycle by Giotto, depicting stories from the Life of St. Francis.

small fountain in garden with florence skyline in background

Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens

The former home of Cosimo I de’ Medici is today divided into four museums and has the world’s finest collection of Raphael Madonnas, as well as Titian portraits. Stretching over 11 acres, the Boboli Gardens are its backyard.

panoramic view of river arno in Florence with bridges and red dome of cathedral

Piazzale Michelangelo

Climb to Piazzale Michelangelo for the classic postcard view of Florence.

sweeping panorama of florence from high viewpoint

San Miniato

Continue for five minutes uphill to San Miniato al Monte, the oldest church in Florence. It is another spot for the best views in town.

4 days in Florence

If you spend four days in Florence, you can choose a slower-paced 3-day itinerary, visit more of the city’s highlights or take a day trip out of town.

Other places to visit in Florence

  • Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine – renowned for its jaw-dropping fresco cycle by Masaccio, the first great painter of the Italian Renaissance.
  • San Marco – home to the finest collection of frescoes by Fra Angelico, one of the most important painters of the Early Renaissance.
  • Orsanmichele – this former grain market-turned-church for Florence’s guilds and merchants is famous for its statues.
statue of st mark holding a gospel
St. Mark, Donatello at Orsanmichele
  • Ricardi Medici Palace – visit the former home of Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449 – 1492), for the Benozzo Gozzoli frescoes decorating its tiny Chapel of the Magi.
  • Palazzo Vecchio – visit the lavish apartments of Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519 – 1574) or climb Arnolfo’s Tower for some of the best views of Florence.
  • Basilica of Santa Maria Novella – this 13th-century Dominican church is a peaceful refuge in the centre of Florence and is home to The Trinity by Masaccio and crucifixes by Giotto and Brunelleschi.
view of dome of florence cathedral through stone opening
Take in the view from Arnolfo’s Tower with an extra day in Florence

Day trips from Florence by train

Florence is the best base for exploring Tuscany by train. Here are my favourite day trips on public transport:

Pisa – Famous for its leaning tower and the birthplace of Galileo.

Siena – Florence’s erstwhile rival has one of the most beautiful piazze in Italy and a medieval masterpiece of a cathedral.

Lucca – A city of soaring medieval towers featuring a charming centro storico.

red roofs and ochre buildings of lucca italy set against rolling countryside
Lovely Lucca is an easy day trip from Florence

Arezzo – The birthplace of Giorgio Vasari and home to one of the greatest fresco cycles in Renaissance art.

Bologna Visit handsome Bologna for some of the best food in Italy.

Orvieto This Etruscan hilltop town has a long and rich history and is one of the most spectacular cathedrals in the country (Orvieto is also an easy day trip from Rome).

stone bridge across narrow alley in a cobbled italian lined with stone houses
Lovely Orvieto is an easy day trip from Florence

Venice – Take the fast train from Florence to Venice for a long but rewarding day trip.

Organised day tours from Florence

Explore the Tuscan countryside by joining an organised tour.

Tuscany Day Trip with Optional Lunch and Wine | MORE INFORMATION HERE

Visits Siena, San Gimignano and Pisa with the option of tasting four Chianti region wines in a traditional wine estate.

Chianti wineries tour from Florence | MORE INFORMATION HERE

If you are more interested in wine tasting – and who would blame you – take a look at this tour that includes visits to two vineyards and tasting up to five wines in each.

bunch of red grapes on a vine

One day in Florence

Hit the ground running with this list of things to see in Florence in one day.

  • David at the Accademia
  • Duomo complex
  • Piazza Signoria
  • Uffizi Galleries
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Rose Garden
  • San Minato al Monte

DAY ONE

  • David at the Accademia
  • Duomo complex
  • Piazza Signoria
  • Uffizi Galleries
  • Santa Croce
gothic facade of santa croce basilica which is where to stay in florence
Santa Croce, Florence

DAY TWO

  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens
  • Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Rose Garden
  • San Miniato al Monte

Tips for Deciding How Many Days in Florence

To determine how many days to spend in Florence and to make the best of your time there, consider what you would like to see, how you will arrange your sightseeing and your preferred pace.

Determine the actual number of days in Florence

Unless you are arriving on a red-eye, day one in a city is rarely a full day. If your flight arrives at midday, for example, your first day in Florence is half a day at best.

If you are on a silly o’clock flight to Florence, check that your accommodation can store your luggage. Most hotels offer this service but don’t take it as a given. It may be more challenging if you are renting an apartment. 

The same applies on the day of your departure.

Create a Florence bucket list

This is not a city to wing it on a first visit. Having a Florence wish list will focus the mind and give you a feel for how many days it will take to explore the city. 

statue of david outside palazzo vecchio in florence

Book tickets in advance

Don’t risk disappointment. For hugely popular sights, advance booking is essential.

Accademia – Buy your ticket from the gallery’s official website here. Failing that, try buying your skip-the-line ticket here.

Duomo – To climb Brunelleschi’s dome or the bell tower, you need to book a ticket in advance. These tickets also include admission to the Baptistery of St. John, Santa Reparta (in the bowels of the cathedral) and the Duomo Museum.

The cheapest way to do this is via the official website here. Failing that, try booking through GetYourGuide here.

Uffizi – Book your ticket well in advance through the gallery’s official website here.

Alternatively, buy your ticket through a 3rd party here. Although this is likely to be slightly more expensive, the booking interface is clearer and it comes with free cancellation within 24 hours of your visit.

Cluster sightseeing into areas

Be smart with your Florence itinerary by clustering your sightseeing into geographic areas. For example; one day could be spent in the city’s historic core and another on the other side of the river in the Oltrarno.

Consider travel time

Grouping your sightseeing into neighbourhoods that you can navigate on foot makes sense. Whilst Florence is very walkable, you still need to factor in travel time.

Pace yourself

Florence can overwhelm you and not always in a positive way. This is one busy city. Pre-Covid pandemic, there were over 15 million overnight stays in Florence annually.

You rapidly tire of swerving around massive groups of bored teenagers on school trips and bumping elbows with others paying their respects to David.

Build in downtime. You will need it.

statue of angel with arms aloft in front of a view of florence italy

How to Get Around Florence

Florence is a very walkable city. Many of its most popular attractions lie on the north bank of the River Arno, within walking distance of the Duomo.

The only time that you might be tempted to jump on a bus is if you cannot face the uphill climb to Piazzale Michelangelo.

Another way of getting to Piazzale Michelangelo is on an e-bike tour of Florence, which attracts great reviews.

Here are a few other fun-filled ways of getting around Florence that caught my attention:

people walking along a wet cobbled street at night

Where to Stay in Florence

When choosing accommodation in Florence, you’ll be hard-pushed not to stay somewhere central. The exact location will be determined by the personality of the area and your budget.

Luxury Hotel – Hotel Lungarano

Have you dreamt of having a room with a view? If so, book a room at this 5-star hotel on the north side of the Arno River. The most expensive of its elegant rooms overlook the river.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & TO CHECK PRICES

Mid-range hotel – Hotel Globus

This modern 4-star hotel is a 5-minute walk from the train station. Reviews are very good.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & TO CHECK PRICES

Apartment – F1RST Suite Apartment & SPA

This apartment in the shadow of Santa Croce features a washing machine and hot tub in which to soak those aching limbs after a busy day in Florence.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & TO CHECK PRICES

Hotel with a swimming pool – Four Seasons Hotel Firenze

swimming pool in lovely garden with empty sun loungers
Image @ Four Seasons

There are not many hotels with pools in Florence, but Four Seasons Hotel Firenze is the best. Splurge on this luxury hotel set in lush gardens with spacious rooms and suites for a trip to Florence that you’ll never forget.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS & TO CHECK RATES


Plan your Visit to Florence

Regardless of how many days you spend in Florence, you can’t go far wrong. Whether you are looking David in the eye or sipping a prosecco in one of the city’s rooftop bars, it will be difficult not to fall under the city’s spell.

If you have found this useful and need more help with planning your city break, check out a few of my other articles:

If you are looking for travel inspiration here are my favourite Florence quotes and page-turning books about Florence.

Happy travels!