Where to Stay in Florence 🇮🇹: Guide to the Best Areas & Neighborhoods

Florence overwhelms you with its sheer beauty. With so much to explore, choosing where to stay can be tricky. You want a neighborhood that puts you near the best attractions but retains its local vibe. This guide has you covered.

Oup pick of the best hotels in Florence 🔝

We’ll highlight the top neighborhoods, from the historic city center to hip Oltrarno. You’ll get insider tips on the best hotels, boutiques, cafés, and authentic trattorias in each area.

Plus, you’ll get sample hotel recommendations for every budget and travel style. From luxury suites immersed in Italian opulence to cozy, wallet-friendly rooms. There’s something for solo travelers, couples, families and more.

So join me on a stroll through this magical city.

Quick Guide to the Best Areas to Stay in Florence 📋

1. Centro Storico – Historic Center of the City 📍

🏰 Historic hub: Nestled along the Arno River, the Centro Storico neighborhood is located in the center of Florence. As the most walkable and central neighborhood in the city, it provides easy access to Florence’s top sites like the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio.

🏠 Local charm:Centro Storico contains most of Florence’s renowned landmarks yet retains a lived-in charm missing from more touristy areas.

🚍 Transportation options within Centro Storico include:

  • Walking – The compact size and flat terrain make exploring by foot ideal. Around both the Duomo and Mercato Centrale Firenze are pedestrian-only zones.
  • Buses – Public buses run frequently and provide an affordable way to reach farther flung districts. Key routes include the C1 and C2.
  • Taxis – Readily available for quick point-to-point trips. Fares start at €3.30 and increase based on time/distance.
  • Bike Share – Various bike rental companies like Mobike and Lime provide bikes around Centro Storico. Great for seeing more ground while avoiding crowded buses.

🍝 Foodie haven: The neighborhood also shines for dining options from high-end restaurants to tiny osterias offering local Tuscan specialties and delicious Italian wine. The revived Mercato Centrale food hall features various eateries and food shops under one roof.

Uffizi Gallery
Uffizi Galerisi
Uffizi Gallery
Uffizi Galerisi
Uffizi Gallery
Uffizi Galerisi
Uffizi Gallery
Uffizi Galerisi
Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio

From cozy B&Bs to upscale hotels, Centro Storico offers abundant accommodation choices.

All hotels in Centro Storico →

Where to Stay in Centro Storico? 🏨

Luxury Hotels:

  • Hotel Desirèe – an elegant downtown boutique hotel offering luxurious accommodations and personalized service.
  • Wine Apartments Florence Pinot – stylish premium wine apartments with panoramic views of the city.
  • San Giuliano Inn – a boutique hotel in a historic building with luxurious interiors and a high level of comfort.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

2. Santa Croce (Piazza Sant’Ambrogio) – Best Place to Stay in Florence for Local Vibe 🔮

🔥 Must-see: The Santa Croce area is one of the most fascinating neighborhoods to explore in Florence. Located on the southeastern edge of the historic city center, it is anchored by the magnificent Piazza Santa Croce and the Santa Croce Church, one of the most prominent Franciscan basilicas in Italy.

🚉 Well-located: For first-time visitors, Santa Croce is an ideal home base. The Santa Croce train station is conveniently located right in the neighborhood making it easy to access from other cities. Once there, major attractions like the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio are an easy 10-15 minute walk away.

🔝 Some key sights and activities in Santa Croce itself include:

  • Santa Croce Church – marvel at the magnificent frescoes and tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli
  • Piazza Santa Croce – a lovely square to relax and watch local life unfold
  • Santa Croce Leather School – watch craftsmen carry on the centuries-old leatherworking tradition
  • National Museum of Bargello – a world-class collection of Renaissance sculptures
  • Dante Alighieri House Museum – where the legendary poet lived in exile

🛍️ Lively locale: The neighborhood also hosts a lively daily market and has fewer tourists than other central areas.

🛏️ Ideal base: With its affordable accommodations, Santa Croce is an ideal home base for experiencing the best of Florence.

All hotels in Santa Croce →

Where to Stay in Santa Croce? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price range:

Budget Hotels:

3. Duomo / Florence Cathedral – Best Neighborhood in Florence for Sightseeing 👀

🏛 Historic heart: The Piazza del Duomo area is the historic heart of Florence and one of the top destinations for those visiting the city for the first time. Centrally located, it is home to some of the most iconic sights in Florence including the Florence Cathedral.

👀 Must-see views: The domed cathedral with its striking Gothic design dominates the piazza and is about a 5 minute walk from the Galleria dell’Accademia which houses Michelangelo’s «David». The Baptistery and Giotto’s campanile bell tower are also right in the piazza.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable: Getting around this neighborhood is quite convenient as it is compact and walkable. Many buses have stops along the piazza perimeter making it easy to connect to other parts of Florence. Some top sights within walking distance include:

  • Ponte Vecchio bridge – 8 min
  • Basilica di Santa Maria Novella – 8 min
  • Church of Santa Croce – 11 min

📸 Bustling piazza: Given its proximity to so many of Florence’s treasures, Piazza del Duomo is always bustling with a mix of tourists, locals, and street performers.

All hotels near Piazza del Duomo →

Where to Stay near Piazza del Duomo? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy – luxury 5-star hotel with exquisite interior design and excellent service, located in a historic building opposite the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
  • Donati Luxury Tower Suites – luxury apartments with panoramic views of the cathedral and the center of Florence, offers spacious rooms with designer furnishings and modern amenities.
  • First of Florence – an elegantly styled boutique hotel with luxuriously furnished rooms, ideal for a comfortable stay in the historic center.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • Guesthouse Bel Duomo – simple and cozy rooms at a reasonable price, friendly staff.
  • Duomo View – economical hotel overlooking the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, offers basic amenities for a comfortable stay.
  • Le Tre Stanze – a small budget hotel in an old building.

4. San Lorenzo – Where to Stay on a Budget 💸

Nestled in the historic city center, Piazza di San Lorenzo is one of the most charming neighborhoods for visitors.

Basilica di San Lorenzo
Basilica di San Lorenzo
Basilica di San Lorenzo
Basilica di San Lorenzo

🏛️ Magnificent sights: When visiting the Piazza di San Lorenzo, you can’t miss the magnificent Basilica di San Lorenzo. This Renaissance church, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, dominates the west side of the piazza. On the north side of the piazza is the entrancing 16th century Palazzo Medici Riccardi with its lovely courtyard.

🚶‍♂️ On foot: As a pedestrian-centric area, Piazza di San Lorenzo and its surrounding streets are best explored on foot. While some parts allow vehicle access, much of the neighborhood has been designated a ZTL zone, meaning cars are restricted. For longer journeys, public transit like buses and the tram are available nearby.

✔ Neighborhood benefits:

  • The major landmarks of Florence like the Duomo and Uffizi Gallery are within a 5-10 minute walk.
  • The piazza is serviced by several useful bus routes that can connect you to other neighborhoods.
  • Florence’s tram system T1 stops at the San Lorenzo station just 5 minutes from the piazza.

So if you’re looking for accommodations in the heart of historic Florence, Piazza di San Lorenzo provides the perfect home base.

All hotels in San Lorenzo →

Where to Stay near Piazza di San Lorenzo? 🏨

Medium price category:

  • Sant Antonino First Floor Relais – a cozy small hotel in a historic building with a homely atmosphere and friendly staff.
  • HomEdo B&B – a comfortable hotel in the city center with a modern interior and a good location close to the main attractions.
  • B&B Le Stanze del Duomo – a mid-range hotel with a great view of the cathedral and a convenient location.

Budget Hotels:

  • Florence Heart B&B – a budget hotel with simple but clean rooms and friendly staff, a good option for budget travelers.
  • Strange Uncle B&B – a modest hotel with basic amenities, located near the historic center.
  • Firenze Rooms Cathedral B&B – economical accommodation with good value for money, great for short trips.

5. Santa Maria Novella – Where to Stay near the Train Station 🚆

🧳 Central arrival point: The Santa Maria Novella district is centrally located in Florence, just west of the city’s main train station which bears the same name. Many visitors arriving by rail will get their first glimpse of Florence while walking from the station to their accommodations in this neighborhood.

📍 Well-defined borders: The borders of Santa Maria Novella are marked by major streets and landmarks. To the north is the train station, east is Via Nazionale leading to the Duomo, south is the River Arno, and west is Florence airport.

⛪ Namesake church: The Cathedral of Santa Maria Novella gives the district its name. Other highlights include the museum and pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, renowned for its ancient herbal potions.

📝 Don’t miss: Despite the hustle and bustle, Santa Maria Novella retains a local neighborhood vibe. Other places to visit in the area:

  • Via Tornabuoni, upscale shopping street
  • Parco San Donato
  • Visarno Arena

🚌 Well-connected: The neighborhood is also well-served by public buses and taxis. Or take advantage of bike and Vespa rentals available nearby.

Parco San Donato
Parco San Donato
Via Tornabuoni
Parco San Donato
Via Tornabuoni

🛏 Wide lodging options: Santa Maria Novella has hotels ranging from budget to luxury, making it a convenient and atmospheric base for exploring Florence.

All hotels in Santa Maria Novella →

Where to Stay in Santa Maria Novella? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price category:

  • Residenza d'Epoca Palazzo Riblet – an elegant hotel in a historic 15th century building with excellent service and attention to detail.
  • Hotel Unicorno – a cozy hotel in traditional Tuscan style with courteous staff and delicious breakfast.
  • Dedo Boutique Hotel – a modern designer hotel with panoramic city views and personalized service.

Budget Hotels:

6. Santo Spirito (near Ponte Vecchio) – Best Area to Stay Away from the Crowds 🕊

🏰 Authentic charm: Nestled on the southern bank of the Arno River, Santo Spirito is one of the most authentic neighborhoods in Florence. Despite its central location just across the Ponte Vecchio, Santo Spirito has a quieter, more local vibe.

⛪️ Impressive basilica: The heart of the neighborhood revolves around the impressive Basilica di Santo Spirito. This 13th century church has a simple facade that hides a beautifully ornate interior containing works by famous early Renaissance artists like Filippo Brunelleschi.

🍝 Local flavors: Some highlights of Santo Spirito include:

  • Basilica di Santo Spirito – A landmark church boasting Renaissance era paintings and architecture.
  • Piazza di Santo Spirito – The lively center square of the neighborhood, ringed by restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating.
  • Osteria Santo Spirito – A neighborhood favorite serving Tuscan classics like ribollita soup and bistecca alla Fiorentina.

🍸 Trendy nightlife: Trendy bars and nightclubs come alive in the evenings, especially in the lively Piazza del Carmine.

Staying here puts you in the heart of local life while still having all of Florence’s top attractions within easy distance.

All hotels in Santo Spirito →

Where to Stay in Santo Spirito? 🏩

Luxury:

Middle class:

  • Guicciardini 24 – cozy boutique hotel in a historic building with a homely atmosphere.
  • BSJ15-Borgo San Jacopo Room – hotel rooms with beautiful river views in the picturesque Borgo San Jacopo neighborhood.
  • Dimora Pieri – a charming small hotel in typical Florentine style.

Budget:

7. Oltarno – Best Place for Couples 💖

💕 Romantic streets: Nestled on the left bank of the River Arno, the historic Oltarno neighborhood is one of Florence’s most atmospheric and romantic quarters.

Pitti Palace
Pittipalatset
Pitti Palace
Pittipalatset
Pitti Palace
Pittipalatset
Boboli Gardens
Boboli-trädgården
Boboli Gardens
Boboli-trädgården
Boboli Gardens
Boboli-trädgården
Boboli Gardens
Boboli-trädgården
Boboli Gardens
Boboli-trädgården

🛍️ Charming shops: Wander its peaceful pedestrian streets to uncover leather shops, cozy trattorias, hole-in-the-wall wine bars, and tiny craft stores. You’ll also find Oltarno has some of the best views of Florence.

🔝 Some of Florence’s top attractions are found in Oltarno, most notably the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. Other highlights nearby include:

  • Santa Maria del Carmine – Famous for its Brancacci Chapel featuring Renaissance frescoes by Masaccio.
  • Clet Gallery – Showcases contemporary art in a 15th century palazzo.
  • Giardino Torrigiani – Europe’s largest private garden, special tours available.

👣 Very walkable: Oltarno is extremely walkable and most attractions are within close proximity. From the Ponte Vecchio, it’s a mere 5-10 minute stroll to Santo Spirito and the Pitti Palace.

🚌 Well-connected: The neighborhood is also well-connected by public transport. Buses C3 and D stop along the main Via Maggio thoroughfare. Bus D from Santa Maria Novella train station takes 18 minutes.

Wander here to soak up the city’s left bank vibes.

8. San Niccolò – The Hidden Gem of Florence 💎

🌆 Hidden gem: Tucked away just across the Arno River, the charming San Niccolò neighborhood feels like a local’s secret hidden in plain sight.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable: Despite its tranquility, San Niccolò is remarkably close to Florence’s top attractions. It’s located just south of the Santa Croce district. From San Niccolò, you can easily walk to the Duomo and Galleria dell’Accademia within 15-25 minutes.

🔥 Key sights include:

  • Piazzale Michelangelo – hilltop square with panoramic views
  • Church of San Miniato al Monte – stunning 11th century church with a peaceful cemetery
  • Rose Garden – lovely park with over 350 types of roses
  • Villa Bardini – 19th century villa with gardens and a cafe with views
Villa Bardini
Villa Bardini
Villa Bardini
Villa Bardini
Villa Bardini
Villa Bardini

🍷 Local flavours: Don’t miss the local trattorias and enotecas to sample Tuscan food and wine. Late at night, neighborhood bars come alive with university students and locals.

Where to Stay in San Niccolò? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Hotel Silla – an elegant boutique hotel in a historic building with panoramic city views and upscale service.
  • Palazzo Larioni dei Bardi – luxury hotel in a 15th century palace with a personalized touch and the atmosphere of Tuscan aristocracy.
  • Palazzo Capponi – a comfortable hotel in a historic building with modern design and a good location near the Ponte Vecchio.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • San Niccolo Apartment – economy class apartment with simple furnishings and equipped kitchen, a good option for longer stays.
  • Renai studio flat – small studio with basic amenities for budget accommodation in the historic district.

Best Hotels near Florence Airport 🛫

Wyndham Garden Florence

The on-site restaurant offers a range of culinary delights, providing a convenient dining option. With a fitness center and meeting facilities, Wyndham Garden Florence caters to various needs.

Its strategic location makes it an excellent base for exploring Florence, and the attentive staff ensures a seamless and enjoyable stay for guests.

Villa Aruch

The rooms with classic decor, provide a cozy retreat, while the garden and terrace offer tranquil spots to unwind. Villa Aruch is an ideal choice for those seeking a more personalized and romantic atmosphere.

Its proximity to Florence Airport, coupled with its distinctive charm, makes it a delightful choice for a memorable stay in Tuscany.

B & B Eliana e Ristorante

This family-run bed and breakfast not only offers comfortable lodgings but also a genuine connection to the local culture.

What sets this B & B apart is the restaurant, where you can savor traditional Italian dishes.

Best Neighborhoods & Hotels in Florence on a Map 🗺

FAQs about Staying in Florence ❔

Where to avoid staying in Florence?

If you’re looking to dodge the crowds and steer clear of tourist traps, you might want to avoid the super-central areas like the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria. These places can get pretty crowded and might not offer the authentic Florentine experience you’re after.

Which side of the river should you stay in Florence?

For a more local and laid-back vibe, consider staying on the Oltrarno side of the river. The Santo Spirito neighborhood, for example, offers a charming atmosphere with fewer tourists, artisan shops, and some fantastic trattorias.

What is the main area of Florence called?

The beating heart of Florence is often considered to be the historic center. This area includes iconic spots like the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio. It’s a must-visit, but keep in mind that it can be bustling with tourists.

How to get around Florence?

Florence is walkable, and you’ll likely want to explore on foot to soak in the atmosphere. However, for longer distances or tired feet, the city boasts an efficient public bus system. Taxis are also available, but they can be pricier.

How long to stay in Florence?

To savor the art, history, and culture without feeling rushed, a stay of around 3 to 4 days in Florence should give you a good balance. This allows time for exploring museums, wandering through charming streets, and indulging in some delightful Tuscan cuisine.

Where to stay in Florence cheap?

If you’re on a budget, you might want to check out neighborhoods like San Lorenzo or Santa Croce. These areas often have more affordable accommodation options, and you’ll still be within walking distance of the main attractions.