Awesome 2 days in Florence itinerary

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Florence is one of the best cities in Europe to visit, whether as a weekend getaway or in combination with a trip through Italy. Florence impresses many travelers because the historic center of Florence is wonderful to discover due to the Renaissance influences. The best thing about Florence is that it is not a metropolis which makes it romantic and cozy.

In this article, we share the best activities for a city trip to Florence for 2 days. You will also read about the best places to stay in Florence and discover our favorite places to eat. Finally, we have made a detailed map that you can use to orient yourself and read other Florence tips in this itinerary for Florence 2 days.

Florence street
Florence center

Why do you need 2 days in Florence?

Before you travel to Florence, it is important to determine how many days you need to stay in Florence. We recommend 2 days for Florence. The historic center of Florence is not large, so you have enough time in 2 days to discover the main sights of Florence at a pleasant pace.

If you want to visit Florence as a day trip, this may of course not be ideal, because you will then have far too little time. If you want to stay longer than 2 days in Florence, this is fine but not necessary. You will then have more time to visit museums, for example.

Things to do in Florence in 2 days?

In and around the historic center of Florence are the most important sights located. The program is structured so that you have a mix of different activities every day. When creating this Florence itinerary, we have taken the intensity into account so that you can discover Florence at a pleasant pace.

Tip: below you see the map for all activities, accommodations, restaurants, and metro stations. In addition, we have made a map per day, which makes it easier to orientate yourself. Click on the top right corner to enlarge the map. If you click on the star symbol next to the title you can save this map in your Google Maps account. On the map, you can show or hide different categories. You can then use this map to navigate when you are in Florence.

2 Days in Florence | Day 1

The 1st day of your 2 days in Florence begins by discovering the historic center and the main sights of Florence. In the historic center, you can visit a couple of squares, old buildings and possibly a museum. Both days you can walk to every sight because everything is close to each other.

You can have breakfast if it is offered at the accommodation where you are staying. We recommend starting the day between 08:30 am and 09:00 am.

If you don’t have breakfast options at the accommodation, you can have breakfast at Le Vespe Cafè. Here you can order fresh dishes such as toast with avocado or a sandwich with an egg. Our favorite is ‘le vespe granola’, this is yogurt with fresh fruit together with a cup of coffee.

#1.1 Discover the historic center

The best thing to do in Florence is to discover the historic center. There is a lot to see, there are seven places worth visiting in addition to the famous Florence sights. These are: Piazza della Signoria, Casa Dante, Torre della Castagna, Orsanmichele, Piazza della Repubblica, Palazzo Davanzati, and Percellino.

We recommend following the walking route that you can see on the map. This allows you to visit all the highlights of the historic center. This walk will take you about 90 minutes.

Start at Piazza Della Signoria square, which is the center of the city. This is one of the most beautiful squares you will find in Florence. The town hall called Palazzo Vecchio with the unique tower attracts your eyes because the building is from the 14th century. If you find it interesting you can visit Palazzo Vecchio.

After you have viewed the square, continue the walk to Casa Dante. This is a museum where you can find works made by Dante Alighieri, one of Italy’s famous artists. In this museum, you see what the influence of Dante Alighieri has been on Florence.

After Casa Dante you go to Torre Della Castagna, here you will see an imposing old tower. In front of the tower, you see an old church called San Martino. In this church, you can see frescoes from the 15th century.

Continue walking towards the colossal structure of Orsanmichele. The special thing about this building is that you do not immediately see what it is when you arrive. It is one of the most unique and largest buildings in Florence. It used to be a granary, today it houses a church and a museum. It is worth taking a look inside the church because you can still see elements of a granary, such as a grain slide in the wall.

After Orsanmichele, go to Piazza Della Repubblica. This is a pleasant square where there is a merry-go-round for children and often musicians perform. Then walk to Palazzo Davanzati, here you can see a building from 1330 that has a medieval appearance. Today this building is a museum. In this museum you can see how the wealthy inhabitants of Florence lived at the time and you can see influences from Florentine interior designers from that time.

Before arriving at Piazza Della Signoria you can visit the Percellino market, the place where the inhabitants of Florence do their shopping. It is a nice place to see a glimpse of the daily lives of the people of Florence. If you want to buy some snacks or something else, you can do it here.

You can easily do this city walk yourself. If you prefer to visit the historic center with a guide, this is possible. The best way to do this is by following a walking tour. It is also possible to follow a bike tour.

Florence Duomo
Florence shop

#1.2 Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore

After the walk through the historical center you can go visit one of the iconic sights of Florence, namely the Duomo of Florence. Also called Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore. The Duomo is a unique cathedral because of its dome, which is tiled with terracotta tiles and designed by Brunelleschi. The bell tower iconic to Florence was created by Giotto.

Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore is located right in the center of Florence. Start your visit by walking through the main entrance, the details at the door are incredible to see. When you see this you can enter the Duomo.

The Duomo is free to visit where you only visit the Duomo, this is not the visit to all the treasures (located in Opera del Duomo) and the famous tower Brunelleschi’s. We recommend climbing the tower, you have a breathtaking view of the city from the top. Due to its popularity, it is necessary to book a time slot in advance to be guaranteed a spot. If you want to climb the tower on the spot, there is a chance that there is no space free anymore. Check actual prices and availability for Brunelleschi’s tower here.

We recommend taking a combination tour where you visit Brunelleschi’s tower, Opera del Duomo Museum, and Baptistery. You can buy a ticket for a combination tour here.

Florence panoramic view
Florence Duomo view

Where to stay in Florence

Option 1 luxurious & great breakfast: Hotel Alba Palace
We stayed at Hotel Alba Palace and recommend it. This is without a doubt one of the best hotels in Florence. The breakfast, the rooms, the service, the location are all excellent. The advantage is that this hotel is also a 5-minute walk from the station to get to the airport.
Check prices and availability for Hotel Alba Palace here.

Option 2 great value for money: Hotel Dali
Hotel Dali
is a nice hotel that is located right in the center of Florence, which is ideal. The rooms are furnished as they were 100 years ago, so it is typical Italian. The rooms are neat and more importantly, the value for money is excellent.
Check prices and availability for Hotel Dali here.

#1.3 Opera del Duomo

All the works of art that once stood in the cathedral can now all be found in the Opera del Duomo museum. This museum is located behind the Duomo. This is the largest Florentine museum in the world. Here you will find artwork made for the Duomo or the Battistero en Campanile.

The most impressive part of the museum is the Hall of Paradise. Here you can see statues and the original doors of the Duomo. You can look around for hours in this room alone. As mentioned in activity 1.2, we recommend a combination tour where you visit Opera del Duomo, Brunelleschi’s Tower, and Baptistery. You can buy a ticket for a combination tour here.

Florence Opera del Duomo

Lunch at La Nicchietta in Calimaruzza

In the historic center is La Nicchietta in Calimaruzza. Here you can order good sandwiches. It is a small local restaurant that is located on the way to the Basilica of Santa Croce. They pay a lot of attention to local seasonal products that are of high quality. If you want to enjoy real Italian food, this is the place to be.

Check on the spot what they have on the menu because due to the seasonal products the menu is always different. We ordered a ham sandwich with delicious figs.

#1.4 Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence

After lunch, walk to the Basilica of Santa Croce. This is also a beautiful church in Florence that, unlike the Duomo, still has many decorations in the church. The special thing about this church is that it has tombs of Michelangelo and other important persons of history.

#1.5 Ponte Vecchio bridge

After the Basilica of Santa Croce, you will visit Ponte Vecchio which is one of the most unique sights of Florence. This bridge was used to connect the center with the south of Florence. The bridge was built in the 12th century, making it the oldest bridge in Florence.

The bridge is different from what you are used to because here you see shops that are built on top of each other. In the past, butchers and fishermen were housed here, today you find here jewelers, art, and souvenir shops.

It’s fun to walk across Ponte Vecchio so you can get a sense of how the Italians used to walk here centuries ago. If you like photography, this is a great spot to take a photograph. It might be a challenge though, as it can be quite busy around here.

Florence Ponte Vecchio bridge

Diner at I’Pizzacchiere Firenze

Before enjoying the sunset and the rest of the evening you can have dinner. If it gets dark early when you are in Florence, you better watch the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo first and then have dinner. So take a look for yourself depending on the time and personal preference whether you are going to have dinner first and then to Piazzale Michelangelo or vice versa.

We recommend going to I’Pizzacchiere Firenze. This restaurant is located between Ponte Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo. This restaurant is cozy, and they make delicious pizzas here that they serve quickly. A pizza costs between $8 and $13 each. We liked the sauce, you can immediately taste that it is homemade. Also, all the products they use are fresh. If you want to eat Italian pizzas, I’Pizzacchiere Firenze is a must. Tip: if you want to be assured of a place, you can reserve a place in advance.

#1.6 Sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo

During your 1st day, you were able to see a lot in Florence. What could be more fun than ending your day by watching the sunset? The best place to do this is at Piazzale Michelangelo square. From this square, you have a beautiful panoramic view of Florence. Florence has a unique skyline because the historic buildings could not be built higher than the Duomo, so you can see the Duomo in all its glory from this spot.

Florence Piazzale Michelangelo

2 Days in Florence | day 2

During the second day in Florence, you will visit two museums, local markets, and the flower garden of Florence. These activities are varied which is nice. During this day you have to walk more than compared to the 1st day, so you must wear good shoes.

If you do not have breakfast options at the accommodation, you can have breakfast at Shake Café. Here you can order delicious muesli bowls. They offer vegan, vegetarian, and American dishes. The dishes are varied and the influences of Italy are visible. A good place to start your day.

The advantage is that this is close to Galleria dell’Accademia which is the first activity of today.

#2.1 Galleria dell’Accademia

If you want to see the most impressive works of Michelangelo, the Galleria dell’Accademia is the best museum in the world to visit. Regardless of whether you like museums or not, its highly recommended that you visit them.

The museum is best known for Michelangelo’s sculptures: the Prisoners, St. Matthew, and especially the statue of David. The 5.17-meter marble statue depicting the biblical hero David is a unique example of Florentine art.

The statue David is magnificent to see. Especially when you consider that at the age of 26 Michelangelo made this statue from a single piece of stone.

To skip long queues, it’s recommended to buy a skip the line ticket in advance. If you want to take a tour with a guide this is also possible, book a ticket for the tour here.

Tip: if you are going to visit Galleria dell’Accademia and the Uffizi museum, it is best to buy a combination ticket for both museums in advance. This allows you to skip the queues at both museums.

Florence David Michelangelo

#2.2 Mercato San Lorenzo

The market of San Lorenzo is world-famous because here you will find one of the largest markets where they sell leather. In addition to the many learning stalls, you also have other stalls where you can find a souvenir.

We are not leather experts so we can’t tell you about the quality and prices. For us, it was just fun to walk through. It is also not as touristy as in the center, so you see more locals, which is nice.

Tip: when you leave the San Lorenzo Market, the entrance to Marcato Centrale is right at the exit. This market is also worth visiting because here you can find delicacies. You can buy your lunch here and eat it right away or take it with you for a later moment.

#2.3 Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

Before you go to one of the most beautiful museums in Florence, you can visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. The unique thing about this church is the columns in the church. This church is built in the gothic style, when you are interested in this style, this church is worth a visit. It’s a short walk from San Lorenze market and on the way to the Uffizi museum.

Santa Maria Novella

Lunch at Mangia Pizza Firenze

If you want to enjoy a pizza it is recommended to go to Mangia Pizza Firenze. This is near the Uffizi museum which is handy because after lunch you visit this museum. It is a pleasant place to sit. We recommend the pizzas that are spicy because they use homemade peppers in their pizzas, which is delicious. If you don’t want to eat pizza, you can move to Brac, here you can eat good vegan and vegetarian food. Also, this place is not far from the Uffizi museum.

#2.4 Uffizi museum

The Uffizi Museum is one of the largest art museums in the world where you can admire works of art from the Renaissance period. Here you can see paintings made by Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raffaello, Giotto, Cimabue, Masaccio and others. The best artwork to see is Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. You need +/- 2 hours to see everything.

Due to its popularity, there can be a long queue at the museum, so it is recommended to buy skip-the-line tickets for Uffizi in advance. If you would like to walk through the museum with a guide, you can buy tickets for the tour here.

Tip: if you are going to visit the Uffizi museum and the Galleria dell’Accademia, it is highly recommended to buy a combination ticket for both museums. This allows you to skip the queues at both museums.

Tip: if you are going to visit the museum independently, it is best to rent an audio guide at the entrance. This allows you to get an explanation of the artworks at your own pace.

Florence Uffizi

#2.5 Gardens of Boboli

After the Uffizi museum, you probably want to relax a bit, a fun activity to do is visiting the Boboli Gardens. Here you can walk through a beautiful park and enjoy many flowers and other plants. In this park, you also can see the Renaissance period. You also have from different locations a panoramic view of the city. You can buy tickets for the park here.

Before walking to the park, stop by a supermarket and buy some drinks and snacks to enjoy on one of the benches in the park. Doing nothing and just relaxing is also part of your vacation!

Florence Boboli
Florence Boboli lake

Diner at Da Ruggero

Close to the Boboli Gardens, you can find a small local restaurant called Da Ruggero. This restaurant has been in the family for over 200 years giving it a great atmosphere. You won’t find anything trendy here but real Italian food! The menu is not extensive but it is good. For $10 to $14 you have eaten and most important the quality is very good. We recommend the spaghetti with red sauce, it was delicious because the sauce they’ve made tasted so good.

Tip: the restaurant is not big, so if you want to be assured of a place, it is recommended to make a reservation.

#2.6 Arno River via Ponte Santa Trinita

Once you’ve rested in the Boboli Gardens and enjoyed the food at Da Ruggero, you can walk to the Arno River and eventually arrive back in the center via Ponte Santa Trinita. This bridge is unique because it is the oldest elliptical arch bridge in the world. You can also look over the river from the bridge and see the other bridges. The rest of the evening is at leisure, our advice: walk through the streets of Florence and enjoy your time.

Florence Ponte Vecchio

What else can you do in Florence?

In addition to the 12 activities we recommend in this 2 day Florence itinerary, there are other activities you can do. You can add these activities to the existing list of activities. Be careful not to make the program too busy.

  • Italian cooking: if you love Italian food then taking a cooking class where you learn how to make pizza and gelato is something for you;
  • Balloon flight: if you really want to do something unique, you can take a ballon flight over Florence;
  • Pitti Palaca: the former palace of the Medici family is recommended to visit for travelers who like to visit museums;
  • Leonardo interactive museum: in this museum you can learn how more than 50 instruments made by Leonardo da Vinci work, this activity is great when you travel with children.
Florence pizza

Day trips from Florence

If you have more days in Florence and you want to see more of Italy, you can do a couple of fun day trips from Florence. We recommend the below trips. Read more information about the specific tour via the links.

  • Siena, San Gimignano & Monteriggioni: From Florence you can visit the charming medieval villages of Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni. This is our favorite day trip from Florence as it gives you the most complete picture of the Tuscan interior.
  • Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti: when you want to see the world famous tower of Pisa in combination with the interior of Tuscany then this tour is something for you.
  • Chianti wine tasting: if you love to drink wine, taking a wine tour in the Chianti wine region is the best tour to follow for you.
Siena

Where to stay in Florence

In Florence, there are many options to choose from. Make sure you have 2 full days in Florence, so depending on what time you arrive in Florence it is recommended to stay 2 or 3 nights.

We recommend staying in the center of Florence so that you can walk to every sight. Both accommodations we recommend are within a 5-minute walk of major attractions.

Tip: popular accommodations in Florence are fully booked quickly, if you know when you want to stay in Florence, it is best to book directly to secure your accommodation.

Luxurious & great breakfast:
Hotel Alba Palace

hotel alba palace florence

We stayed at Hotel Alba Palace and recommend it. This is without a doubt one of the best hotels in Florence. The breakfast, the rooms, the service, the location are all excellent. The advantage is that this hotel is also a 5-minute walk from the station to get to the airport.

Great value for money:
Hotel Dali

Hotel Dali in Florence

Hotel Dali is a nice hotel that is located right in the center of Florence, which is ideal. The rooms are furnished as they were 100 years ago, so it is typical Italian. The rooms are neat and more importantly, the value for money is excellent.

What are the best places to eat in Florence?

In our Florence 2 days itinerary, you could read which cafes and restaurants we recommend. To help you, we have included all the recommendations in the table below so that you can see at a glance where to eat in Florence. At the beginning of the article, you can see on the map where all restaurants are located.

Dag 1Dag 2
BreakfastLe Vespe CafèShake Café
LunchLa Nicchietta in CalimaruzzaMangia Pizza Firenze
DinnerI’Pizzacchiere FirenzeDa Ruggero

Transport Florence

From the airport, you can take the Volainbus to the station. A bus leaves every 30 minutes from 05:30 to 23:00 to the center (Santa Maria Novella train station). A ticket costs $7 and takes +/-25 minutes.

The best way to transport yourself to the city is to walk. It is a 30-minute walk from one side of the center to the other. The advantage of doing everything on foot is that while walking you will encounter nice places that you do not see on a bus or do not have time to stop.

If you want to use the bus, it is best to use the ATAF buses. You can buy a ticket at a station or on the bus itself.

What is the best time to visit Florence?

You can visit Florence all year round, but some months are better than others. We recommend spring (March-May) or autumn (September-November). During these periods the temperatures are good and it isn’t as hot as in summer (June-August). Also, the summer is not perfect because you travel to Europe during the school holidays, which can be very busy. If you like warm days, the summer is the best period to travel to Florence. Winter (December-February) is the quietest period, which is nice, but it can be cold, making it less pleasant.

Is Florence safe?

Yes, Florence is very safe to travel to. You don’t have to worry about anything. Of course, you should always use common sense.

We do recommend using travel insurance to cover unexpected situations. If something happens where you are not insured, this is no fun at all. Imagine that you have sprained your ankle, your car has a breakdown, your suitcase or mobile is stolen or other unpleasant situations arise, it is nice if you are insured. We use World Nomads and highly recommend it. Fill in the form below to get a price indication.

Other tips Florence

  • During your city trip to Florence you will be walking a lot, so wear good shoes.
  • Florence can be very busy, so try to get up early to visit certain sights in front of the large crowd. Besides, you can get more out of your days by getting up early.
  • In Florence, you will visit many museums and other sights. To save time, you need to book skip-the-line tickets in advance. In this itinerary, for 2 days in Florence, you can read per section which ticket we recommend.
  • To visit the churches in Florence, your knees and shoulders must be covered. Bring a scarf to cover areas. Also, do not wear open shoes, there are buildings where you will be refused entry.
  • Try not to visit Florence on the first Sunday of the month. On this day, many attractions are free of charge, so it can be very busy

Conclusion

Hopefully, this 2 day Florence itinerary gave you a clear picture of how to get the most out of your visit to Florence. Florence is nice to visit, it is a city that has something to offer for everyone. Enjoy your travel to Florence. If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you.

If you want to discover more cities in Italy, Rome is the city to visit!. 3 Days in Rome are enough to discover one of the best cities in Europa

What do you think of Florence? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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