With so many things to do in Florence, planning a three-day Florence itinerary is a big task. To see the Florence Cathedral, Michelangelo’s David Statue, and everything in between, an air-tight schedule is key.
During my trip to Italy in 2023, I experienced a massive amount of Florence activities so I could give you an expertly-organized 3-day Florence Itinerary. Whether you’re a solo traveler in Italy or visiting with friends and loved ones, this itinerary will save you the major stress of trying to figure it all out alone. Let’s get into it!
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3 Days In Florence Itinerary
Day 1 – Museums & Central Market
On your very first morning in Florence, Italy, head over to Ala Grande Caffè to fuel up with a cappuccino and a breakfast sandwich.
Then, make your way to one of the most famous attractions in all of Italy – the Accademia Gallery, the most popular museum in Florence. Here stand right in front of the world-known statue, “David” by Michelangelo, and absorb a plethora of interesting pieces by many influential Italian artists.
After wandering through the statues, make the 15-minute walk over to the Uffizi Gallery. Along the way, you’ll pass through the bustling Piazza della Signoria. Take a few moments to appreciate the sculptures before diving into Renaissance art at Uffizi.
After wandering the works of Botticelli, Caravaggio, Leonardo Da Vinci, and more at Uffizi, walk another 15 minutes to the Central Market of Florence.
Inside the market, go up the stairs to the second floor where you’ll find a treasure trove of food-court-style restaurants and little bars. Spend your lunch enjoying the food and the excellent people-watching.
As the day transforms into dusk, do a little shopping around Florence. In particular, right outside the Central Market, you’ll find an assortment of high-quality products at the San Lorenzo Outdoor Leather Market. Alternatively, browse through nearby vintage stores, such as Melrose Vintage Ginori, Cassuer, and Rewind Vintage Selection.
Once the sun goes down, it’s time for a big Italian dinner to cap off your first day in Florence. If possible, I recommend making a reservation at the ever-popular Il Vezzo. If you can’t manage to get a table, try Trattoria La Burrasca or grab a pizza from Matto Matto.
Then, get plenty of rest in preparation for two more full days in Florence.
Day 2 – Churches, Palaces, & Wine Windows
On day 2 in Florence, wake up around 7 am and head to the 290-year-old restaurant Cafe Gilli for breakfast and coffee. The establishment is on the pricier side, but budget travelers can still sample their coffee and their delicious pastries, such as babas.
After breakfast, walk a quick block to see the Florence Cathedral, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Baptistry of St. John, and Giotto’s Bell Tower in Piazza del Duomo. All of these iconic Florence attractions are so close to each other that you can literally fit them all in one photo.
I recommend purchasing a skip-the-line pass in advance so you have timely access to each of these important cultural sites.
Before the morning ends, make one more stop at San Lorenzo Church just three minutes away on foot. Here you’ll see where the influential Medici Family is buried.
After a busy morning of exploring the city’s historic sites, get lunch at All’Antico Vinaio, an internationally-known sandwich shop. Order the La Paradiso and savor every bite before continuing on the adventures of the day.
Walk two minutes to Palazzo Vecchio to experience the lavish lifestyle of some of Italy’s richest residents in history, and then continue on to walk toward Pitti Palace across the Arno River.
Along the trek, you’ll stroll along another famous spot in Florence, Ponte Vecchio. It is the only bridge in the city that survived World War II. Snap a quick photo of yourself at the bridge and then continue on to Pitti Palace to wander its extensive art collection and stunning grounds.
Next, stroll just another minute away to the Boboli Gardens. Wander the Boboli Gardens aimlessly to see its sculptures, views around the Tuscan landscapes, and perfect courtyards. It’s also an excellent spot to watch the sunset.
Now that it’s evening, relax with the help of the city’s easygoing nightlife scene. Walk over to the Osteria Belle Donne wine window and order a glass from a literal hole in the wall.
After sipping and chatting with other patrons on the street, head to Ristorante La Spada just a few steps away for a delicious dinner in a cozy space. Finish off the night by having a cocktail on the terraces of SE·STO on Arno Rooftop Bar for an excellent perspective over Florence.
Day 3 – Bologna Day Trip
You’ve covered a lot of ground on your first two days in Florence, so now let’s get into another cool nearby city, Bologna.
Before you head over to Firenze Santa Maria Novella Station, pick up some pastries and a coffee at the nearby Mò Sì Caffetteria. Then, run to catch the train to Bologna Central which runs about every 10 minutes.
After the 40-minute ride to Bologna, stroll through Parco della Montagnola to get closer to the city center. Stop by the iconic La Prosciutteria Bologna for one of their stuffed sandwiches or even a packed-full charcuterie board.
👉 Pro Tip: Try to visit Bologna on a Friday or Saturday, so you’re in town for Mercato Piazzola. This outdoor market spills into the city streets with unique vendors selling top-notch souvenirs.
Next, continue heading toward the city’s main town square, Piazza Maggiore. Take in medieval architecture, the Bologna-characteristic archways, and the Fontana del Nettuno. Explore the food and produce vendors of Mercato di Mezzo to do a bit of an easy make-shift food tour of Bologna.
Then, walk a few blocks away to the Two Towers from the Middle Ages which can be seen poking out from the Bologna skyline. Buy a ticket to walk up the nearly 500 steps up of Asinelli Tower to reach the top. You’ll be delightfully rewarded with views over the entire city.
After soaking in the view, walk less than five minutes away to another beautiful historic site, Piazza Santo Stefano, and then make your way to Osteria del Sole; a wine bar that’s been open since 1465.
Before it gets too late in the afternoon, hop on the train back to Florence so you can enjoy one last evening there.
After you return from your Bologna day trip, don’t waste any time and go straight to B-Roof for dinner. Treat yourself to the restaurant’s signature tasting menu and prepare to be amazed by the food and views over the city.
When you’re done with your meal, take a peaceful evening walk over Ponte Alla Carraia and grab yourself a big cone of gelato from Gelateria La Carraia.
Finally, end the last night of your Florence itinerary at NOF right nearby. Indulge in a few drinks, maybe a little bit of a snack, and appreciate the live music. In the blink of an eye, you’ve reached the end of your 3-day Florence itinerary.
Where to Stay in Florence
There are hundreds of hotels across Florence that each come in at different price points. No matter what your Europe travel budget is, there will be accommodations waiting for you in Florence:
- 💵 Budget – Palazzo Lombardo
- 🛏️ Mid-Range – Relais Piazza Signoria
- 🍸 Luxury – Hotel degli Orafi
- 💻 Business – Sette Angeli Rooms
- 👪 For Families – Pietrapiana Boutique Apartments
- 🏨 Boutique – The Moon Boutique Hotel & Spa
Best Neighborhoods & Areas
Deciding where to stay in Florence is one of the most important parts of planning a trip. Some of the neighborhoods in Florence are busy, but close to all the major attractions. Others are a bit outside of the city center, but more relaxing and authentic. Make sure you pick one that suits your needs:
- San Giovanni (Search apartments in San Giovanni) – An activity and attraction-filled neighborhood near the city center, the Arno River, and other intriguing Florence districts.
- San Lorenzo (Search apartments in San Lorenzo) – A vivacious neighborhood with tons of good restaurants. Located in the heart of the city conveniently sandwiched between Giotto’s Bell Tower and Florence’s train station.
- Oltrarno (Search apartments in Oltrarno) – A calmer, less touristy neighborhood across the river from the main city center. This district features magnetic wine bars, a famous viewpoint, and exceptional gardens.
Florence Itinerary Map
Here is a Google Map with all the stops, attractions, and hotels mentioned in this post.
How to Get Around in Florence
👟 Walk – The most simple and economical way to get around Florence is on foot. Starting from the city center, you can reach nearly all the best things to do in Florence by walking. It’s a really pleasant city to walk around, so you won’t really notice the extra exercise.
🚲 Bike – Travelers who need a little more speed will be glad to know that bikes are readily available to rent around Florence. There are plenty of independent rental shops like Florence By Bike and Tuscany Vespa Cycle and Bike Tour. Alternatively, you can download bike-sharing/renting apps like RideMovi to get bicycles and e-bikes on the go.
🚊 Tram/Bus – Florence is a pretty small city, so there isn’t a subway, but it does have a comprehensive tram and bus system. The tram runs from 5:30 am to midnight and the bus has a similar schedule. They both offer several lines that take you to areas a bit further away, but still in the general Florence area.
🚕 Taxi – Taxis are your most expensive transportation option in Florence and often take just as long as walking or biking with the city traffic. However, taxis are readily available and sometimes they’re necessary. When your accommodations are out of the city center and public transport is finished for the night, you may need to rely on taxis.
🚉 Train – The main train station in Florence is called Firenze Santa Maria Novella. Travelers who want to take day trips out of the city or need to go somewhere else in Italy can easily get there from this train station.
Florence Itinerary Planning Tips
Tip #1 – Visit Florence Museums on Sundays for Free Entry
Save yourself money in Florence by going to all the local museums on the first Sunday of the month. Yes, all those famous art museums in Florence are totally free to enter on this one day of the month.
The lines aren’t even as long as you’d think on this bargain day. When I went to the Uffizi Gallery on the first of the month there was no queue at all. I just got to walk right into one of the most renowned museums on the planet for free.
Tip #2 – Expect Crowds at The David Statue
Getting to stand face-to-face with the impressive David statue in Florence, Italy is a must-do experience in the city. However, don’t be tricked into thinking that it’ll be a relaxed, intimate experience.
From the moment this museum opens until it closes, people are rushing through the door to try and see the David statue. There is almost always a crowd. You can still manage to snag a clear view and photograph by slowly making your way up toward the statue and waiting your turn to be at the front of the masses.
Tip #3 – Don’t Use Flash or Get Too Loud in The Museums
Before you go into Florence’s museums, double-check your phone and camera to ensure your flash isn’t on. Having your flash go off inside these prestigious museums is a big no-no.
It’s also a good rule of thumb to keep a low tone of voice. When I visited the David statue, a worker hushed the entire crowd for being too loud. There are attendants parked at every corner of the museum keeping watch for these acts of misconduct.
Tip #4 – Check Out Florence’s Local Piazzas
I wandered through quite a lot of piazzas while I was traveling in Italy, and Florence had some of my absolute favorites. There is Piazza del Duomo near the city’s famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Piazza della Signoria has dramatic statues.
Alternatively, head over to Piazzale Michelangelo across the Arno River for superb views over the Florence skyline.
Tip #5 – Stay In A Central Neighborhood in Florence
When you only have 2 days in Florence or even three days to spare, you’ll probably want to be in the middle of the historic city center. Staying in the heart of Florence’s historic center saves you a lot of time on getting between attractions because they’re all just a short walk away.
Relais Piazza Signoria is perfect for being centrally located in Florence. It’s right near the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, Strozzi Palace, Piazza della Signoria, and more.
Tip #6 – Go Shopping For Leather Goods
When you’re walking around the streets of Florence, you’ll start to pick up on a trend – there are leather products for sale everywhere. From shoes and belts to handbags and wallets, you can find a wide array of gorgeous leather goods in Florence.
The industry is huge here, so take advantage of the specialty and buy some leather souvenirs when you’re in Florence. Be prepared to haggle if you’re buying from one of the outdoor leather markets, but avoid this tactic inside the stores.
Tip #7 – Be Aware Of Your Surroundings at Tourist Hotspots
Tourist hotspots attract more than just eager visitors to Florence – they also attract con artists and pickpockets hoping to rip off distracted visitors.
When you’re at the city’s main hotspots, like Ponte Vecchio and the Florence Cathedral, make sure that you’re staying aware of your surroundings. Especially when you’re doing things that pull your focus, like taking photos or browsing souvenirs.
👉 Read Next: Florence vs Milan – Which is Better?
Tip #8 – Join a Walking Tour To Maximize Your Time
Even with careful planning, it can be more cumbersome than expected to make your Florence itinerary come to life. One of the best ways to ensure you see all the sites on your Florence itinerary is by joining a guided tour.
For example, this Skip the Line Small Group Hidden Highlights Walking Tour will take the guesswork out of getting to the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia, and Piazza del Duomo to see Santa Maria Del Fiore.
Plus, you’ll have a more in-depth experience learning about the museum’s art pieces and Florence’s history.
FAQs About Planning an Itinerary for Florence
How many days in Florence is enough?
Three days in Florence is enough time to get a good feel for the area and see all the city’s highlights. Most of the city’s attractions are located within walking distance of each other if you come prepared with comfortable walking shoes. Having a “3 days in Florence itinerary” is a good way to ensure you fit all the main activities into your schedule.
Which month is best in Florence?
June is the nicest month to visit Florence, Italy. During June, the weather is perfect and the city is coming alive with the energy of summer. However, it is also very busy with tourists. May and September also provide visitors with these favorable travel conditions. For more, see our full guide to the best times to travel to Italy.
Where should I stay for 3 days in Florence?
The best place to stay for 3 days in Florence is the historic center. The historic center of Florence itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is very centrally located and within walking distance of most of the city’s attractions and excellent restaurants.
Is Florence a walkable city?
The city of Florence is very walkable. Many of the city’s historic sites, famous art museums, and major attractions are all located within walking distance of each other. Almost every top thing to do in Florence can be reached in less than a half an hour walk. You can also get anywhere outside the city center by riding on the trams or trains.
Thanks for reading my 3-day itinerary for Florence! Let me know down below which activity on this Florence itinerary is a must-do for you.
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