Got only 24 hours in Florence? No problem! I have the perfect list of things to see in Florence, Italy in one day. Imaging exploring Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, climbing up the bell tower of Duomo Maria del Fiore, taking in panoramic views of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo. You can do that and more as I take your through a packed Florence one day itinerary exploring the likes of San Lorenzo market and checking out the sculptures in Piazza della Signoria.
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How to See Florence In One Day – Things To Do In Florence In One Day
As big a Florence is, it’s not so big that you cannot see the majority of the main sights in Florence in one day. The city is filled with so many treasures that while you cannot see everything in one day you can certainly the most out of a short stay in the city. Below I will take you through some of the places to visit in Florence in 1 day.
It would also highly recommend you to more than one day in Florence but understandable some trips are short, especially if you also want to combine it with a trip to visit Pisa or even Rome both of wich can be done by an easy train ride. Ideally doing 2 days in Florence or even 3 days in Florence like we did would be better but for the sake of those that want to make the most of Florence in a day, these are my recommendations on things to do in Florence in 1 day.
I want to provide tips on how to maximise your short stay or visit to Florence. Whether you are looking for what to see and do in Florence in one or 2 days or if you are looking for tips on tours in the city as well as what to do in Florence at night. Most visitors to Florence will come through via Pisa as well did on the train.
If you are starting with Florence you can also do other day trips from Florence to Pisa and other places close by. I have also included Florence tours below. My tips are based on an itinerary that starts int he morning but you can of course vary and change things up a bit according to how much time you have in the city.
8am – A morning in Florence starts with panoramic views at Piazzale Michelangelo
Depending on which hotels in Florence you choose to stay at, grab some breakfast from the hotel or one of the local Italian cafes nearby and head to Michelangelo Piazza for an early morning view of the city’s skyline. You can even head there early for sunrise. Piazzale Michelangelo offers panoramic views of Florence. Its located across the Arno River from the center of Florence.
If you are choosing to stay in Florence I would highly recommend a hotel near the River Arno. This way you are somewhere in the middle with Piazza Michelangelo on one side of the city and Duomo Square on the other. No better way to start or end your explorations of Florence with a panoramic view of Florence at sunrise or sunset from Michelangelo Square. From here head down to the river to Ponte Alle Grazie. From here you have perfect views of Ponte Vecchio. After taking in morning views across the river you are close by to Santa Croce Church.
Santa Croce is such a beautiful sight in itself not only for the detailed facade but this is also the burial site for Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli, and the Pisan-born Galileo Galilei and many other greats. The church is open to tourists when there are no prayer services taking place during the day. Next to the church is Piazza Santa Croce, another one of one of Florence’s famous. If you havent had breakfast now is your chance as there are cafes, Italian leather shops and museums nearby.
Shop The Look
11.30 am – 2.30pm – An Afternoon In Florence For Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio & Markets
Any Florence in a day tour need include a visit to Piazza del Duomo, Campanile, Uffizi Gallery and few more spots. Whether you are doing 1 day in Florence, Italy these places are simply a must! So from above, once you have explored Piazza Santa Croce, head along the river walk and walk towards Ponte Vecchio but before you get there, stop by Uffizi Gallery and check out the some of the most important works of an Italian Renaissance painting. Allow at least an hour to 2 hours here then head to Ponte Vecchio.
From Ponte Vecchio head to San Lorenzo Market, made up of two halves. One half being Central Market (Mercato Centrale) and the other half being San Lorenzo Market. Central Market is an indoor market and San Lorenzo is outdoor. Between the two markets, you will find stalls selling food, clothing, notebooks, souvenirs and various leather goods including bags, belts, wallets, jackets and many souvenirs. By this time you are probably in need of lunch. Grab a bite and spend a few minutes exploring the market before heading further into town.
3.30pm – Exploring Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore During A One Day Itinerary In Florence Italy
Among what to see in Florence is the unmissable church among things to do in Florence. With only 1 day in Florence a visit to Florence is not complete without exploring Duomo Square. This is considered the heart of the city. The square is a complex that includes five buildings. The Church of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo), the Baptistery( considered to be one oldest building in the city and renowned for its doors), Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Church of Santa Reparata and the Museo dell’Opera. Visiting the Dome is limited to a few visitors a day so tickets for this need to be purchased in advance. Otherwise, you also have the option to climb the Campanile which also offers amazing views of the city and the Duomo.
After checking out the complex, complete your afternoon with exploring the shopping centers, boutiques nearby in addition to of course checking out a few Italian Gelato store nearby. Enjoy a moment of people watching while sipping Italian coffee and chill before embarking on an evening on the town in Florence. You can also opt to learn all about cooking amazing Italian food. For more on that check out Joanna’s tips on how to choose the best cooking class in Florence.
6 pm – An Evening In Florence checking out the best of lounge bars in Florence.
You have ticked off all the Florence must see places so now, your one day Florence itinerary is not complete without walking through the city’s squares all lit up with traditional Italian characteristics in the evening light. From lined up Italian Vespas to the ambiance of Italian restaurants spilling into the streets.
If you opted to end your one-day explorations of Florence from Michelangelo then another item to add to your list of evening itineraries in Florence is checking out the lounge bars and cool hangouts in Florence. So walk through Via dei Calzuioli, one of the most elegant streets in the historic centre of Florence: 400 metres long and lined with shops, it connects Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Signoria. Walk through here and check out some of the shops and cafes before heading out to the lounges below. For tips on how to eat like a local in Florence check out these tips.
Check out Flo’Lounge Bar or Yab are some of Florence’s cool hangouts. The come with a strict dress code and cool views of the city as you enjoy a classy night on the town. For more on the best evening hangouts in Florence check out the top 10 places for the nightlife in Florence. I have always found that travel books can inspire a new desire to discover a city in a new way. Below are some books with plenty of travel tips to inspire you to discover both Italy and Florence’s hidden gems, from chic stays to historical and palatial buildings.
For more on what to do in Florence over 2 days, a week, a weekend or a day you can download pdf itineraries for Florence from Visit Tuscany. With a Florence in a day map and tips on how to get from the station to the main squares which are not too far from the train station. Also if arriving by train you can also include Santa Maria Novella church which is just across from the main railway station. If you have additional time you could also add Santo Spirito and Palazzo Pitti( Pitti Palace) which are not too far from Ponte Vecchio.
Best Time To Visit Florence
Florence is beautiful at any time of the year you visit. I have written about visiting Florence in winter, and one thing to note is that the days are a lot shorter and it rains a lot so exploring on foot is not as pleasant as beautiful as the city is. My favourite time and in my opinion the best time to visit Florence is in spring and summer as the weather in Florence is a lot better.
From the end of March, April, through June, July, August and early September offer the best months to visit Florence. Just bear in mind that this is also the period when crowds are greater too. So visiting in March April/May and end of August and September is probably more idea before the kids are on their summer breaks.
Getting Around In Florence | Getting To Florence
The main station in Florence is Santa Maria Novella (SMN), located in central Piazza della Stazione. If travelling or arriving via train, you will most likely come through this station.
Florence offers great access to other cities via train. You can easily take the high-speed trains from Florence to Bologna in 35 minutes, Florence to Rome in 1 hour 20 minutes, Milan in 1 hour 40 minutes, Venice in 2 hour 40 minutes, Naples in 2 hours and 50 minutes and Turin 2 hours 55 minutes.
Buses: There are plenty of electric buses moving around Florence. You can get away with exploring the city on foot. While this is great during sunny days in Florence, not so pleasant during the winter months. For when you are tired of walking or want to explore beyond the historic centre. You have the C1, C2, C3 and D line bus routes in Florence.
For the best bus to explore majoring of the attractions in Florence, get the C1 bus as its most convenient for visiting many of the museums in Florence. An ordinary ticket cost 1.20 Euros and is valid for 90 minutes. You can also get family tickets valid for one day costing 6 Euros for a family of 4. There is also the Nottetempo ticket valid for one day. Make sure you validate your tickets when you get on the bus. Note: you need to purchase your tickets before getting on the bus.
Driving in Florence: Note that the historic centre of Florence is considered ‘Zona a Traffico Limitato’. Which means that its a restricted traffic zone. That means bicycles, electric vehicles, motorcycles and scooters are allowed to enter but not cars. I wouldn’t recommend hiring a car in Florence unless you are using it to explore beyond Florence.
Trams: There is the Tramway T1 Leanardo connects SM Novella Station in Florence to Sandicci and the T1 Vespucci connects the Airport to SM Novella Station.
How to get from Pisa Airport to Florence: You can get to Florence from Pisa via train. From Pisa Airport you need to get to Pisa Centrale station and then take the train to Florence. For more details check out my post.
Getting To Florence
There are plenty of Budget airlines that will get you to Florence. From RyanAir, EasyJet and more. You have access to two nearby airports to get to Florence. You have Amerigo Vespucci(FLR) in the North West of Florence and also have easy access to Galileo Galilei Pisa Airport (PSA) You can get the Terravision shuttle to Florence from Pisa and only costs 5 Euros one way and 9.98 Euros for a return. The journey time is 70 minutes and runs every 30 or 60 minutes.
From Firenze Airport, you can take a shuttle as well which runs every 30 minutes, with a journey time of 30 minutes. You can buy tickets onboard the bus. Tickets are 6 Euros for one way and return is 10 Euros. You can check airlines flying from your city to Florence via Expedia.
Consider Getting The Florence Card / Firenze Card
Consider getting the Firencecards as this allows you access to 72 museums and is valid for 72 hours from the initial entry to a museum. You can purchase the Firenzecard online, or many authorised sales points in Florence. Your ticket comes with 1 ticket, 1 exhibition supplement, and 1 priority ticket for each museum on the Firenzecard circuit. Priority access to museums is without needing to book. Find out more at Firenzecard.it
Where to stay in Florence
If one day in Florence is not enough and you choose to stay in Florence. There are many places in the city to stay from luxe hotels with spa retreats to those on the doorsteps of Florence’s shopping districts in addition to apartment rentals both serviced and of course Airbnb. Ideally you want to centre in the historic centre where you have access to many hotels near tourist attractions. This also makes leaving via the train easy from Novella station to other cities in Italy.
There you have it a guide to 24 hours in Florence? So have you been to Florence, anything else you can add to the above? Have you attempted to do a Florence in 1 day itinerary? How did that go?
More On Italy:
- Exploring Italian Lake Towns – Guide to Lake Garda
- 24 Hours In Milan
- Tips For Visiting The Vatican
- Tips On Visiting Venice On A Budget
- How To Book Venice Water Taxi For Fraction Of The Price
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