Planning a city trip in Florence Italy? Then you should definitely check out these tips on how to spend 3 perfect days in Florence.
Florence the capital of Tuscany, better known as the cradle of the Renaissance, is one of the most famous cultural cities in Europe. It is also one of my favourite Italian cities besides Rome. If you’re planning on visiting Rome as well, you should definitely check out this 1 day itinerary for Rome with the most unmissable spots.
Every time I visit Florence it surprises me by discovering something new. So exploring all of Florence in just 3 days is really impossible.
Of course, I don’t want to discourage you. Even if you’re only there for a weekend getaway or a few days, Florence will certainly not disappoint you. Here I’ll list the best things to do in when visiting Florence , so that you can plan your city trip as good and efficiently as possible.
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Florence in Italy
On the banks of the Arno you’ll find the mesmerizing city of Florence. This is the capital of one of the most visited provinces in Italy, Tuscany. There are a lot of beautiful villages in Tuscany. But Florence is definitely the most exuberant. It’s also called the renaissance city. You will find the most beautiful renaissance buildings, churches, palaces and statues. It’s safe to say that Florence is actually a real open-air museum.
But Florence has a lot more to offer. Besides soaking up culture, you can get ‘wanderfully’ lost in the historical centre, shop till you drop in the fashionable boutiques or local shops and of course enjoy all the Italian delicacies in the best places to eat in Florence.
How to get to Florence?
Traveling to Florence in Italy is possible in so many different ways. For a short city trip or a weekend getaway, I would recommend traveling by plane. From Belgium you can fly with various airlines from Brussels or Charleroi to Florence airport. From the airport you can easily reach the centre by public transport. The cheapest options are the tram and the bus. You can of course also opt for a taxi, but this is slightly more expensive. You can also rent a car in one of the car rental companies if you want to combine Florence with multiple other destinations.
Florence is the perfect base to explore Tuscany. So if you’re there I would advise you to stay a bit longer to do a couple of day trips from Florence. This destination is often combined with a visit to Pisa, a day trip to Siena, Chiante, Lucca, one of the hot springs in the area such as Bagni San Filippo or an extended stay in Cinque Terre, Venice or Milan. Besides traveling by car, Italy has good train connections, so most of these destinations are also accessible by train from Florence.
If you are traveling through Italy for a longer period of time and want to visit multiple destinations, you can also just leave Belgium with your own vehicle and do a extensive Italian road trip.
When is the best time to travel to Florence?
Florence has a Mediterranean climate, which means that the summers are hot and the winters are mild and wet. The best travel time to travel to Florence is estimated from May to September. Logical, because then you have the best chance of sun and the least chance of rainfall. However, I wouldn’t advise you not to visit Florence during the high season of July and August. Besides an overload of visitors, it is also very hot. And experiencing a heat wave in the middle of a busy city isn’t exactly one of my favorite things. Spring and autumn are therefore the perfect seasons to visit Florence.
We actually traveled to Florence in the first half of February. And although this is still the middle of winter, our trip was very pleasant. It was cold, but the sunny weather ensured that we could fully enjoy all the outdoor sights in Florence. Just make sure you have appropriate clothes for the season you are traveling in.
Where to stay in Florence?
When I take a city trip, I like staying in the centre of the city. This, to not loose too much time with transportation, but also to be able to experience the city at all possible moments like early mornings and late evenings. There are many great areas to stay in Florence.
I also love it when a hotel radiates the character of the city. That is why we chose to stay in the oldest hotel in Florence NH collection Firenze Porta Rossa. Do you like to know how we experienced our stay in this hotel, be sure to read our NH collection Firenze Porta Rossa review.
There are of course many amazing places to stay in Florence. With this useful booking map you will get an overview of different hotels within Firenze. This way you can quickly search by location and price.
How to spend 3 days in Florence?
Below I’ll list the best things to do in the city, so you can start planning your 3 perfect days in Florence. Before you continue reading I have just 1 very important tip for you: Indulge yourself completely the historical and mesmerizing atmosphere of this beautiful city. So don’t try to see as much as possible in a short period of time, but really take your time to enjoy this fascinating town.
1 – The Duomo
The most famous attraction and also the eye catcher of Florence is of course the Duomo. It goes without saying that this stunning cathedral attracts many visitors. But still it is definitely a must see in while you’re Florence. If you would like to visit the inside, go before opening time. We didn’t go in because of the long queues. But from the outside it is still really impressive.
2 – Ponte Vecchio
The best time to cross Ponte Vecchio for me, is in the morning when the stores are opening. It’s less crowded and you can admire the beautiful views from the bridge without bumping into other tourists.
Stroll alongside the jewellery shop windows and enjoy the city waking up. I just love the sound of yelling Italians across the street in the morning. It sounds like music to my ears.
3 – Piazza di Mercato Nuovo
Wander through the historical city that consists of a maze of alleys and little streets and indulge in the local delicacies.
Explore the shopping district with luxurious and trendy shops and nearby Piazza di Mercato Nuovo. This is a famous market for local leather products such as bags, jackets and much more. Don’t forget to seal your luck at Il Porcelliono by dropping a coin into the boar’s gaping jaws. Rub the boar’s snout to ensure a return to Florence. Jan and I both did it and hope to return to Florence soon!
4 – Uffizi Gallery and surroundings
Walk through to the Uffizi Gallery and admire this spectacular piece of architecture with the impressive Palazzo Vecchio to top it off. In front of Palazzo Vecchio you will find Piazza Della Signoria. The best part of this square is Loggia dei Lanzi, which is an open-air sculpture gallery of antique and renaissance art including the Medici lions.
5 – Capelle Medicee and Pallazo Medici
Speaking about family Di Medici who was one of the most powerful banking families during the renaissance, reminds me to encourage you to pass by Capelle Medicee and Pallazo Medici. These are both stunning.
6 – Piazza Santa Croch
One of most beautiful squares for me is Piazza Santa Croch with the Basilica of the Holy Cross. This Basilica could be the little brother of the Duomo. The architecture is just as impeccable and this square is way less touristy.
7 – Piazza Della Repubblica and Piazza Santa Maria Novella
Other spectacular squares are Piazza Della Repubblica and Piazza Santa Maria Novella.
Close to Piazza Santa Maria Novella in via Della Scale you will find the oldest Pharmacy in Florence. The authentic interior is mesmerizing. Today they sell local beauty products. It is definitely worth to take look inside.
8 – Palazzo Pitti & Giardino di Boboli
On the other side of the river you will find the impressive Palazzo Pitti with its enchanting Giardino di Boboli. This is the prefect spot to escape the busy city. From the park you have gorgeous panoramic views over Florence. You will also be introduced to the versatile and beautiful nature of Tuscany. You can easily fill a whole day just wandering through this garden.
9 – Piazzale Michelangelo
Last but not least experience a sunset on Piazzale Michelangelo. One of the most stunning squares in Italy. Here you have the best panoramic view over Florence. Take a break on the stairs to admire the sunset over the skyline of this amazing city. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of wine to have an aperitivo.
10 – Tours
Would you like to explore Florence in a unique way? You can! Check out the Getyourguide offers below. They have an extensive spectrum of activities in Florence, ranging from entrance tickets to popular attractions to fully organised day trips.
We really had 3 wonderful days in Florence. Not only these beautiful sights enraptured us, but the whole city. Florence is like an open-air museum with so many beautiful buildings and artworks. This in combination with the delicious Italian delights, will make your trip an unforgetable experience.
Don’t forget to watch the compilation video about our city trip in Florence and our stay in hotel NH collection Firenze Porta Rossa.
How would your like to spend 3 days in Florence? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!
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