In Florence, there are only about 400 thousand people, but there are so many sights here that it is not surprising to get confused by their abundance. After all, there are more than 70 museums in Florence alone, and some of them are in the cohort of the most visited in Italy. So that you can get the most out of your trip to the capital of Tuscany, BlogoItaliano has made a ready-made set of ideas for what to see in Florence in a few hours, 1, 2, 3 or 4 days.
What to see in Florence in a few hours
Immediately make a reservation that watching Florence in a few hours is catastrophically low. On the city it is desirable to allocate at least 1 day, and preferably 2 or even 3.
If you arrive at the airport of Florence or Pisa by plane, it is worth considering that at least an hour you need to leave for the road from the airport to the city.
Baptistery of San Giovanni – one of the very first buildings in the city
No matter how you drive, all transport communications in Florence are tied to the main railway station – Santa Maria Novella, from which you can easily reach the main attractions.
In all the details of how to get from airports, BlogoItaliano has already written separate detailed articles for terminals in Florence and Pisa, so now we will not repeat.
If you arrive to Florence by train from other cities of Italy, it is still easier – in 90% of cases you will arrive just to Santa Maria Novella.
Ponte Vecchio – the oldest and most famous bridge of the city
As soon as you leave the station building, you will immediately find yourself in front of the first attraction of Florence – one of the oldest churches, after which the main railway junction of the city is named. Church of Santa Maria Novella It was built at the end of the XIV-beginning of the XV centuries.
What sights you see further depends on how much time you have. To quickly get around on foot the most important places in the historic city center will take 2-3 hours. True, the inspection will be very quick and superficial.
The remaining time [if any] can be spent by visiting one of the two main galleries of Florence [Uffizi or Academy]. In order not to lose time in queues, where it is quite possible to stand for several hours, it is better to buy entrance tickets in advance – via the Internet. You can do this on the links below.
But let’s not get ahead. So, admiring the church of Santa Maria Novella, we recommend to go down Via Panzani to Via del Giglio, turn left and walk to the Basilica of San Lorenzo.
The basilica is remarkable in that the remains of almost all members of the Medici family are buried here, and the tombstones for the family crypt were made by Michelangelo himself.
Turning around the Basilica of San Lorenzo, you will see a sculpture by Giovanni delle Bande Nere, and behind it across the road is the Palazzo Medici Ricardo with a small garden. This palace was the first secular building in the city, made in the style of the early Renaissance.
Then you should go along Via de Gori along the palace and turn right onto Via de Martelli, which will lead you to the main attraction of Florence – the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Here you can go to the Cathedral itself, climb the 42-meter dome or the 85-meter-high Giotto bell tower, visit the nearby Museum Opera del Duomo, where today almost all the originals of Michelangelo and Donatello’s masterpieces that once decorated the cathedral are stored, as well as look at Baptistery of San Giovanni, built in the V century.
Sculptures at the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio
Via de Martelli, which flows smoothly into Via de Calzaiuoli, will soon lead us to Piazza della Signoria, which is called the “open-air museum”. In front of the Palazzo Vecchio, you will see a whole gallery of sculptures by Michelangelo and Donatello, as well as the fountain of Neptune.
Passing from the Piazza della Signoria square through the courtyard near the Uffizi Gallery, you will reach the banks of the Arno River not far from one of the most famous bridges in Italy – Ponte Vecchio, which has retained its appearance since the 14th century. Like 7 centuries ago, there is a lively trade, except that now not meat, but jewelry.
Having crossed the Ponte Vecchio bridge, it is worth going down Via de Guicciardini to the Pitti Palace, the construction of which the enterprising banker Louis Pitti could not complete.
But the wife of Duke Cosimo I of the Medici, Eleanor of Toledo, who received the palace in possession after the death of a banker, arranged not only the building itself, but also the land around it. So here appeared the famous Boboli gardens with fountains, walkways and views of Florence from the hill.
A walk through the Boboli Gardens will lead you to the Porta Romana – the Roman Gate, once the southernmost point of medieval Florence.
From here, along Via de Sirragli, we return to the Arno River, paying attention to the Basilica of Santo Spirito, where you can see works by Filippino Lippi and Michelangelo, and in the Romano Museum – to the left of the temple – The Last Supper by Andrea Orcaña, which inspired Leonardo da Vinci to create one of his most famous works.
Let’s cross the Ponte alla Caraia bridge and from Piazza Caria Goldoni to Via dei Fossi, which will take us back to Santa Maria Novella and the station of the same name, the starting point of a short walk through Florence in a few hours.
What to see in Florence in 1 day
BlogoItaliano already had an in-depth article about what to see in Florence in 1 day, so it can be used as a ready-made guide to action.
Within a whole day, you will have much more time and can not only run around the city, but also visit the Uffizi Gallery, Bargello and Della Academy (or at least one of them!) To see the masterpieces of great Italian artists with your own eyes.
The Uffizi Gallery is located next to the Palazzo Vecchio and stores paintings by Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Caravaggio. This museum is famous not only for its collection, but also for its queues, so it’s better to buy tickets in advance via the Internet.
Not far from Piazza della Signoria, in Via del Proconsolo, the Bargello National Museum is also located with a valuable collection of sculptures, including authorship of Donatello and Cellini.
Neptune Fountain in Signoria Square
To the Gallery of the Academy, where the original statue of Michelangelo “David” is located, is Via Via Ricasoli. From here you can reach the Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
The Basilica of Santa Croce, where the great Florentines are buried, deserves special attention. Only one grave here is still empty – this is the grave of Dante, expelled from Florence and buried in Ravenna, from where the body of the poet never returned to his homeland.
On the opposite bank of the Arno River – almost opposite the Basilica of Santa Croce – from Piazzale Michelangelo there is a beautiful view of the whole city. We recommend to come here in the late afternoon to admire Florence in the rays of the setting sun. Even if you have only 1 day in Florence, then the Piazzale Michelangelo is worth a visit without fail.
What to see in Florence in 2 days
2 days in Florence is a great opportunity to visit not one, but several art galleries without haste and fuss. Or look at those museums, which usually do not have enough time in pursuit of the main attractions.
Here are just a few ideas on what to see in Florence in 2 days, which can be noted:
- Museum of Galileo Galilee on Piazza dei Giudici is a real excursion into the history of science with a huge number of exhibits, one way or another connected with the activities of scientists of past centuries.
- AT Leonardo da Vinci Museum On Via dei Servi, 66 / 68R, drawings of his inventions and their real embodiments are presented. Videos show the actions of mechanisms, many of which are ahead of their time for a long time.
- Dante House Museum on Via Santa Margherita it looks very ancient, but it was built only in the 20th century – however, it really is in the very place where, according to historians and archaeologists, the “original” was located.
The Basilica of Santa Croce is called the “Pantheon of Florence”
What to see in Florence in 3 days
If your stay in Florence does not promise to be short, you should think about buying a ticket for the sightseeing bus.
Such a “travel card” will allow you to get off the bus and board it back an unlimited number of times for 1, 2 or 3 days – depending on the chosen route.
At the same time, in the cabin of a double-decker bus, an audio guide in Russian and 7 more languages will tell you about all the main attractions of Florence, and always-available wi-fi will immediately share photos with friends from the top open area.
The Bridge of the Holy Trinity (Santa Trinita) across the Arno River
Definitely worth the time and tasting tour to the Chianti wine region, where you will have an excursion to the wine cellar and get acquainted with the exquisite tastes of local wines and snacks.
The program of such a tour often includes a visit to some of the towns nearby Florence, for example, the fortress of Monteriggion, sung in the Divine Comedy by Dante.
What to see in Florence in 4 days
4 days in Florence is a great opportunity to explore not only the city itself, but also the region of Tuscany as a whole. We will list only three of the most popular destinations for country travel from Florence, but in fact there are many more options.
The first – This, of course, Pisa with the famous leaning tower, Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta cathedral and the ancient cemetery of Kamposante Monumental.
Oaks grow on the top of the Guinigi Tower in Lucca
There are excursions in which you can explore not only Pisa, but also the no less interesting city of Lucca with countless towers, one of which has centuries-old oak trees – this is the famous Guinigi tower. The cathedral of the 6th century and the square of the amphitheater, where the gladiator battles took place, were preserved here.
The second – the cities of Siena and San Gimignano, in which the spirit of the past is carefully preserved. San Gimignano love for the towers and walls, and Siena – for the Gothic spiers and arches. They say that in Siena there is not a single modern building – only ancient buildings, cathedrals and squares that have survived more than one generation of Sientes.
The town of San Gimignano has retained its medieval look to this day.
Finally, the third – This is the Cinque Terre – a conservation area included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is not one, but as many as five towns, located directly on the rocky cliffs of the Ligurian Sea. The spectacle is truly unique and worthy of attention.
More details about each trip can be found in our article 5 of the most popular excursions from Florence for 1 day.
Tips for Florence
Florence is quite expensive hotels and rental housing, even by the standards of expensive Italy. But at the same time, many hotels that did not manage to sell rooms in advance, regularly carry out sales. Such sales can save up to 60-70% of the normal cost of housing. Current hot hotel deals in Florence can be found in the form below.
No matter how many days you come to Florence, you will take much more from the city if you walk along it with a guide. Feedback and contact the guide, which showed us the city on the first visit, can be found in this article.
Another ready-made solution that will save you a lot of time in Florence is a ready route through the city from BlogoItaliano. It is designed for 1 day, but you can quite as squeeze it up to several hours, or stretch it for 2 or even 3 days.
Included with the route are ready tags for the application.
More details on BlogoItaliano’s routes on the most interesting cities of Italy can be found on this page.