Where to Stay in Florence: The Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Florence: The Best Areas & Hotels

Our personal accommodation recommendations from budget to luxury stays in Florence
Alexander & VictoriaHi! We're Alex & Victoria - a digital nomad couple from Copenhagen escaping 9-5 to chase adventures in our beautiful world. Learn more about us here.
Firenze, ti amo

It’s nearly impossible to visit Florence without falling in love with the city.

Beyond its world-class architecture and art, the simple pleasure of wandering its charming streets is unparalleled.

Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who have discovered Florence’s beauty. With its relatively small size, hotel prices tend to skyrocket.

Visiting Florence outside the peak season, particularly in July and August, can help mitigate costs, but beyond that, there’s hardly a true low season.

In this travel guide on where to stay in Florence, we will do our best to guide you to the best hotels in Florence. In which area should you stay? Where not to stay?

We also provide recommendations for hotels across all price ranges. Despite being a relatively expensive city, there are fortunately options for budget-friendly double rooms that still offer comfort and quality.

Our favourites: Where to stay in Florence?


  • Luxury: The Place Firenze – An absolutely exquisite 5-star hotel with the best location in the city.
  • Value for money: Drom Florence Rooms & Apartments – Spacious rooms in cosy Oltrarno with nice green surroundings.
  • Budget: Poggio Baronti B&B – From here, it’s a 20-minute bus ride into Florence. In return, you will get a cheap and comfortable stay.

Search for the cheapest and best hotels in Florence here.

Ponte Vecchio at sunset
Florence is undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities we have visited.
Alex & Victoria selfie from Palazzo Vecchio tower
The city boasts an abundance of incredible hotels, though regrettably, they are not all equally affordable.

Florence map and geography

Beautiful Florence is located in central Italy and is the capital of the region called Tuscany.

With almost 1 million inhabitants in the metro area and ~365,000 inhabitants in the city itself, Florence is also Tuscany’s most populous city.

Florence lies in a valley surrounded by hills and the River Arno (plus a few smaller rivers) run through the city.

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How long to stay in Florence

It’s always challenging to determine precisely how long one should stay in a destination to have a satisfying experience.

However, we can say with certainty that a single day in Florence is not enough, unlike smaller cities in Tuscany such as Pisa, Lucca and Siena, where a shorter visit suffices.

With a weekend in Florence, you can explore the city’s most famous sights, but we would argue that most visitors will find plenty to see and do for 3, 4, or even 5 days.

You might need to be a bit of an art or history enthusiast to find new activities to fill an entire week in Florence. However, the city also serves as a convenient base for exploring the surrounding fascinating region.

During our visit, we spent four full days in Florence (with three nights), and we easily could have used one or two more days.

It’s worth noting that we visited Florence in June, which afforded us an incredible number of daylight hours to explore.

Victoria at Piazzale Michaelangelo
We were very lucky with the weather (and the sunsets) when we visited Florence for four days in June.
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The best areas in Florence

Here are our five favourite areas in Florence:

Search for the cheapest and best hotels in Florence here.

The historic centre – The best area in Florence

If budget permits, the answer to where to stay in Florence is straightforward: the historic centre (Centro Storico).

Here, you’ll be close to all of Florence’s best attractions, with easy access to explore on foot. However, finding affordable accommodations can be challenging.

For better value, consider looking for accommodations slightly outside the city centre.

Advantages of living in the historic centre (Centro Storico):
  • Wake up with a view of the cathedral.
  • Stay in the middle of it all.
  • You simply need to turn your head to encounter art, museums, charming squares, and churches at every corner.

Search for the cheapest and best hotels in the historic centre (Centro Storico) here (adlink).

The view of the entire cathedral from the tower
Florence’s historic centre is uniquely beautiful no matter where you look.
Cathedral in Florence
The cathedral is undoubtedly the main attraction in the city and a must-visit experience. However, Centro Storico offers a plethora of other activities and attractions to explore as well.

Oltrarno – Green surroundings and local atmosphere on the other side of the Arno River

If you cross the Ponte Vecchio bridge from Centro Storico, you will find yourself in Oltrarno (which means “on the other side of the Arno River”).

Despite its proximity to the city centre and popular attractions such as the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens just a stone’s throw away, the area remains tranquil and peaceful, offering a serene retreat.

Particularly around the Santo Spirito church, you’ll find a charming, local atmosphere that’s especially inviting.

Advantages of living in Oltarno:
  • Green surroundings and more local life.
  • Stay with the historic centre within walking distance.
  • Close to Palazzo Pitti, Boboli Gardens and Piazzale Michelangelo (with the best sunset view in town).

Search for the cheapest and best hotels in Oltrarno here (adlink).

View from Piazzale Michaelangelo towards Ponte Vecchio
We were quite fond of Oltrarno when we visited Florence.
Here, south of the Arno River, you’ll find yourself distanced from the city’s tourist crowds and immersed in local life.
In the hills of Oltrarno you can discover some of Florence’s finest residences and hotels (such as Villa Cora). ©Villa Cora (adlink)

Santa Maria Novella – Cheaper accommodation close to the Central Station

Santa Maria Novella Central Station derives its name from the nearby Basilica di Santa Maria Novella and the associated square, Piazza di Santa Maria Novella.

The vicinity of the square and the church presents an excellent lodging option in Florence. Here, you’ll enjoy close proximity to the historic centre while also being slightly removed from the tourist crowds.

Near the Central Station, you may find more budget-friendly accommodations, though it’s worth noting that some streets may lack charm after dark.

We personally stayed on Via del Ponte alle Mosse, a street just west of the station, and found it to be a satisfactory choice.

Overall, the area is most appealing closest to the Arno River.

Advantages of living in Santa Maria Novella:
  • Stay close to the historic centre for a more affordable price.
  • Escape the majority of the tourism.

Search for the cheapest and best hotels in Santa Maria Novella here (adlink).

Santa Maria Novella Square is lovely.
Santa Maria Novella Church
And the church is really pretty.
The Place Firenze overlooking the Church of Santa Maria Novella
In addition to budget-friendly hotels, those who can afford it may enjoy the prime location of the 5-star The Place. ©The Place Firenze (adlink)

San Lorenzo – Family-friendly, historic area north of the centre

Just north of the historic centre lies the area of San Lorenzo.

Named after the church Basilica di San Lorenzo, situated between the food market Mercato Centrale and Palazzo Medici Riccardi, this neighbourhood bears the distinct influence of the Medici family.

Here, you’ll find a perfect blend of historical grandeur and local charm.

Advantages of living in San Lorenzo:
  • Stay between palaces, street stalls and authentic restaurants.
  • The cathedral and the historic centre are only a stone’s throw away.
  • Experience authentic local life.

Search for the cheapest and best hotels in San Lorenzo here (adlink).

The market outside Il Mercato Centrale
San Lorenzo is a fun mix of being both lively and quiet.

Santa Croce – Cosy area east of the centre

Even if you’re not planning to stay in this area, we highly recommend visiting the Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross), from which the neighbourhood takes its name. It’s undeniably one of Florence’s most beautiful churches.

Located east of the historic center, you’re still very close to all the city’s attractions, yet slightly removed from the busiest tourist areas.

Here, you can immerse yourself in local life and spend hours wandering the charming streets. And be sure not to miss the Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio market.

Advantages of living in Santa Croce:
  • Stay in a strategically located accommodation close to the city’s most famous attractions.
  • Enjoy the local atmosphere surrounded by cafes, markets and shops.
  • Experience the perfect blend of culture and street life.

Search for the cheapest and best hotels in Santa Croce here (adlink).

Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence
Basilica di Santa Croce is probably the most famous church in Florence after the cathedral (which is only 10 minutes away).

The best hotels in Florence

If you’re looking to indulge and live lavishly, Florence offers ample opportunities. Few other cities in the world boast as many palaces and villas in such close proximity.

For those looking for value for money, there’s also a wide range of accommodations available. However, you may need to stretch your budget a bit more than usual in Italy or opt for lodgings slightly further from the historic centre.

If you’re on a budget, your best options are typically found a bit outside the city centre – unless you’re willing to compromise on quality.

Below, we’ve compiled a selection of Florence’s absolute best hotels, catering to a variety of travellers’ needs.

The best hotels in Florence (in all price ranges):


  • Ultra luxury: The St. Regis Florence – Live like the royals with a view of the Arno River.
  • Luxury: The Place Firenze – An absolutely exquisite 5-star hotel with the city’s best location.
  • Luxury: Villa Cora – Pompous villa from the 19th century with a pool in Oltrarno.
  • Value for money: Drom Florence Rooms & Apartments – Spacious rooms in cosy Oltrarno with nice green surroundings.
  • Value for money: Antica Dimora Sant’Anna – Budget-friendly double rooms in San Lorenzo north of Centro Storico.
  • Budget: Poggio Baronti B&B – From here, it’s a 20-minute bus ride into Florence. In return, you will get a cheap and comfortable stay.
  • Budget: Dimora Salviati – Save money by living (beautifully!) in Florence’s hills north of the centre.

Search for the cheapest and best hotels in Florence here.

Florence cathedral from the street in the sunset
Florence is a relatively expensive (but certainly also exquisite) pleasure.

The best luxury hotels in Florence

Ultra luxury: The St. Regis Florence

If you can afford to stay at a place like the St. Regis in Florence, you’re likely not arranging hotel bookings yourself… After all, you probably have a personal assistant at your beck and call linked to your black metal credit card.

But… If you prefer to book your ultra luxury hotels yourself (or you happen to be a personal assistant reading this), take a look at what is arguably the best accommodation option in Florence.

The building itself was originally designed in 1432 by Filippo Brunelleschi – the architect behind the cathedral’s magnificent dome and considered one of the pioneers of the Renaissance.

See prices and availability at The St. Regis Florence here (adlink).

The St. Regis Florence room
When only the best is good enough. Queen Victoria has stayed here. ©The St. Regis Florence (adlink)
The St. Regis Florence location on the Arno River in Florence
The St. Regis is situated on the northern side of the Arno River, just a few minutes walk from the main attractions. ©The St. Regis Florence (adlink)

Luxury: The Place Firenze

There are numerous fantastic luxury hotels in Florence. However, despite its slightly un-Italian name, we believe that The Place Firenze is one of the most exceptional.

Located right by the beautiful Santa Maria Novella church in the historic centre, this hotel offers an ultra-central location without the tourist crowds. Plus, you can easily walk to all of Florence’s attractions within minutes.

The hotel is also visually stunning with meticulous attention to detail throughout.

See prices and availability at The Place Firenze here (adlink).

The Place Florence room
The Church of Santa Maria Novella can be seen from several of the stylish rooms at the 5-star The Place Florence. ©The Place Firenze (adlink)
This tub must have one of Florence’s best views with the cathedral and the city’s rooftops. ©The Place Firenze (adlink)

Luxury: Villa Cora – Leading Hotels of the World

5-star Villa Cora is one of the most beautiful places to stay in Florence.

It’s expensive, yes, but not quite as expensive as it looks!

Situated in the Oltrarno district (south of the Arno River) and close to the Boboli Gardens, this hotel is slightly removed from the city’s bustling centre.

However, the hotel provides a shuttle service for convenient transportation to and from the city centre. Landmarks such as Ponte Vecchio are only about a 25-minute walk away.

See prices and availability at Villa Cora here (adlink).

Villa Cora
Villa Cora is a gorgeous place to stay in Florence. The building is from the end of the 19th century when Florence was the capital of Italy. ©Villa Cora (adlink)
Here you can retreat from the city (which is still close by) and enjoy both the garden and not least the pool. ©Villa Cora (adlink)
Villa Cora vildt rum
Okay, wow! ©Villa Cora (adlink)

The best value for money hotels in Florence

Value for money: Drom Florence Rooms & Apartments

Drom Florence is situated just south of the Arno River in Oltrarno. Here, you’ll have some distance between you and the tourist hustle and bustle meaning you can enjoy a particularly charming atmosphere.

From the hotel, it’s only a short stroll to Florence’s exquisite gardens, and it’s also within easy reach of the Santo Spirito area with several of the city’s top restaurants.

The hotel’s rooms appear spacious and are equipped with amenities such as air conditioning, wifi and private bathrooms. You can also rent larger apartments with kitchens.

See prices and availability at Drom Florence Rooms & Apartments here (adlink).

 Drom Florence Rooms & Apartments
For a future visit to Florence, we could easily imagine staying in cosy Oltrarno. ©Drom Florence Rooms & Apartments (adlink)
Here, greenery surrounds you from all sides – and you’re situated next to both the Boboli Gardens and the Torrigiani Gardens. ©Drom Florence Rooms & Apartments (adlink)

Value for money: Antica Dimora Sant’Anna

Nearby Piazza dell’Indipendenza, a little north of the city centre, Antica Dimora Sant’Anna offers a central location without straining your budget.

The rooms feature private bathrooms, air conditioning and wifi.

See prices and availability at Antica Dimora Sant’Anna here (adlink).

Antica Dimora Sant'Anna accommodation in Florence
If you just want a simple place to stay within a short walking distance to the centre of Florence, it is worth considering Antica Dimora Sant’Anna. ©Antica Dimora Sant’Anna (adlink)

The best budget hotels in Florence

Budget: Poggio Baronti B&B

Finding accommodation in Florence that’s both nice, affordable and centrally located isn’t easy, but we’ve got an option for you!

Poggio Baronti B&B is a bed and breakfast approximately 5 kilometres southeast of the centre of Florence. You can reach the city centre by foot in just over an hour, by bus in about 20 minutes or by car in 10 minutes. Additionally, there are restaurants within a 10-15 minute walk.

The rooms feature private bathrooms, air conditioning and wifi. Plus, the reviews are terrific!

See prices and availability at Poggio Baronti B&B here (adlink).

The rooms at Poggio Baronti B&B look nice and spacious at a very fair price. ©Poggio Baronti B&B (adlink)
Poggio Baronti have
If you don’t need to wake up in the middle of Florence, it looks like a great place to stay on a budget. ©Poggio Baronti B&B (adlink)

Budget: Dimora Salviati

Similar to the aforementioned Poggio Baronti, Dimora Salviati offers excellent accommodation a few kilometres outside Florence at an affordable price.

The property is conveniently located only about 2.5 kilometres from Florence, approximately a 30-minute walk or a 12-minute bus ride during the day (after a 5-minute walk to the bus stop).

Situated at the foothills of Florence’s hills, Dimora Salviati provides charming double rooms with private bathrooms, air conditioning and wifi.

See prices and availability at Dimora Salviati here (adlink).

 Dimora Salviati room
From some of the lovely rooms at Dimora Salviati, you can get a glimpse of Florence’s famous cathedral. ©Dimora Salviati (adlink)
Dimora Salviati building in Florence
The building itself is also quite charming. ©Dimora Salviati (adlink)
The best things to do and see in Florence

In our complete travel guide to Florence, we have written about everything you need to know to visit the beautiful capital of Tuscany.

We go into more detail about the best attractions and sights, what to do and see, how long to stay, where to eat, travel tips, getting around the city – and much, much more.

Read our travel guide to Florence here or go directly to an attraction by clicking on one of the links below.

The 16 best things to do and see in Florence:

  1. Centro Storico – The historic centre
  2. Il Duomo – The iconic cathedral of Florence
  3. Palazzo Vecchio – A city hall with a panoramic view
  4. Piazza della Signoria – Beautiful square with a replica of Michelangelo’s David
  5. Ponte Vecchio – Historic bridge with coloured houses
  6. Piazzale Michaelangelo – The best view of Florence
  7. Basilica di San Miniato – Pretty church with a view
  8. Galleria degli Uffizi – Italy’s most popular museum
  9. Galleria dell’Accademia – Say hello to the original David
  10. Palazzo Pitti – Renaissance Palace in the Boboli Gardens
  11. Giardino di Boboli – Florence’s green oasis
  12. Piazza di Santa Maria Novella – Cosy square with a beautiful church
  13. Il Mercato Centrale – The San Lorenzo Market
  14. Basilica of the Holy Cross – The biggest Franciscan church in the world
  15. Eat gelato – Enjoy real Italian ice cream
  16. The best day trips from Florence

Map of the best things to do and see in Florence.

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How to get around Florence


Florence is an ideal city for exploring on foot, which is primarily how we navigated during our visit.

You’ll rarely walk more than 30 minutes between major attractions due to the compact layout of the city.

It feels safe walking and there are well-maintained sidewalks. However, it’s important to remain cautious of traffic, as it can be quite busy and occasionally chaotic.

Public transport

If the distance between point A and point B is a bit far to walk, you can conveniently use one of the nearly 100 bus lines or three tram lines available in the city.

Buy tickets at the stops/stations, inside the buses and in some convenience stores – and remember to validate them when you get on.

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Car and parking in Florence

We drove to Florence on a road trip through Italy (where we had just lived in Sardinia for more than 6 months), but unless you also plan to drive through Tuscany, we would not recommend renting a car.

There is a lot of traffic in Florence and few (and expensive) parking spaces.

Furthermore, the entire historic district of the city is designated as a “zona a traffico limitato” (ZTL), meaning it’s a restricted traffic area with specific regulations for driving and parking. However, access is typically permitted for bicycles, electric cars, motorcycles, and scooters.

Surveillance cameras are in place, and hefty fines can be incurred for violating the regulations.

Read more about the ZTL rules here.

ZTL Firenze
If you intend to drive to or around Florence, it is best to familiarise yourself with the city’s ZTLs.

Long-term parking

After unloading our luggage, we drove to a free parking lot next to the Centro commerciale Ponte a Greve and parked there all the time we were in town.

You can also take a look at Parcheggio Autostradale “Drive and Tramway” on the A1 motorway, from which you can easily enter the centre of Florence by public transport.

Several hotels in Florence offer parking (for a relatively high price), or you can check parking lots on Google Maps and see if there are any free, unlimited parking spots near where you will be staying. However, don’t count on that if you live centrally.

Although we did not experience any problems with break-ins, we would still recommend that you do not leave anything of value in the car.

How to get to Florence

Car to Florence

Italy’s primary motorway, the A1, passes directly by Florence, making it easy to access the city by car.

However, we advise against driving into the city centre due to congestion, limited parking and the ZTL we mentioned above.

Public transport to Florence

There are regular train connections to Florence Central Station (Santa Maria Novella) from the rest of Italy.

From the Central Station, you can easily walk to your hotel if it is centrally located, or you can continue by bus or tram.

Flights to Florence

There are two airports you can fly to when visiting Florence:

  • Amerigo Vespucci Airport (FLR), also known as Peretola, is less than 10 kilometres from Florence. From here, you can get into Florence by public transport in approximately 20 minutes.
  • Pisa International Airport (PSA), also known as Galileo Galilei, is located approximately 80 km from Florence, but is sometimes cheaper to fly to than Peretola. The trip by train to Florence takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Search for flights to Florence on Momondo here (adlink).

The Cathedral in Florence at sunset
Florence is well-connected to the rest of Italy and many big European cities.
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When to visit Florence

Florence can be visited all year round and tourists flock to the city regardless of the season.

The high season is in July and August when Italians, Europeans and much of the rest of the world enjoy their summer holidays.

July and August are also the hottest months, so if you have the flexibility to plan your trip to Florence outside of this period, we strongly recommend doing so.

June and September are good shoulder months with great weather and fewer crowds, although there are still many tourists.

December, January and February are the coldest months (like many other places in Europe).

It rains the most in October, November and December.

Note: On June 24th every year, the San Giovanni Festival is celebrated and large parts of Florence close (including access to the cathedral).

Average min and max temperatures in Florence, Italy Average precipitation (rain/snow) in Florence, Italy

Our weather experience in Florence

We visited Florence in June and enjoyed the fantastic weather. There were of course quite a few tourists, but nowhere near how many there are in the middle of summer.

September is also a good time to visit Florence.

In September 2022, we visited several other cities in Tuscany close to Florence (among others Lucca, Siena and Pisa), and the temperatures and crowds were at a comfortable level.

Florence in June
We’ve personally visited Tuscany in both June and September, finding these months optimal in terms of favourable weather and fewer tourists compared to July and August.
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Our best tips for visiting Florence

  • Pre-order tickets online so you avoid spending time queuing for ticket sales at various museums and palaces. Alternatively, buy a Firenze Card (adlink) to skip the queues.
  • Arrive early or late in the day at the most popular attractions to avoid the long queues that typically occur in the middle of the day.
  • Many restaurants close for siesta between lunch and dinner, so keep an eye on the opening hours if you want to eat at a particular restaurant or café during the day.
  • Expect an additional charge on the restaurant bill. Most restaurants add a “coperto” per guest, which is a fee per person regardless of your order. It is typically between 1 and 3 euros, which you pay in addition to the price of the food. It’s common to receive a small bread basket with butter or olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a starter.
Restaurants in Florence
Florence is a mecca for food lovers. It is recommended to book a table in advance at the most popular restaurants.
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What to bring to Florence
  • Travel insurance (adlink). Never travel without it!
  • A good camerahere’s a guide to the gear we use.
  • Sunscreen. Especially if you visit Florence in the summer. We recommend an organic, vegan sunscreen without oxybenzone and other harmful chemicals.
  • Sneakers or other types of shoes you can walk in comfortably.
  • A refillable water bottle.
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Water fountain in Florence
Bring a refillable water bottle with you while exploring Florence so you can easily fill it with free water from the city’s fountains.
Art on house in Florence
Florence is jam-packed with art on almost every street and alley.
Sustainable travel tips

To travel as sustainably as possible, we recommend the following:

  • Bring your own drinking water in a refillable bottle.
  • Avoid disposable plastics.
  • Sort your waste correctly and do not throw it on the ground.
Details on the building
Pay attention to the details in the city as each motif holds a wealth of historical significance.
Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading our travel guide to where to stay in Florence. We hope it has helped you find accommodation in Tuscany’s enchanting capital.

What do you think of Florence?

If you’ve visited before, we’d love to hear where you stayed and your thoughts on the experience.

Don’t hesitate to ask us anything in the comments below if you haven’t been to Florence yet. We are happy to help.

View from the Arnolfo Tower
Have a wonderful time in Florence!
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