Planning a dream vacation to Italy, and trying to figure out how many days you need to explore Florence? You are in the right place. This is a perfect Florence 3-day itinerary, plus this is a versatile Florence Itinerary where you can pick your favorite destination, based on your timing and interests.
When you explore Florence for 3 days, you will be able to explore the famous Renaissance city, taste the amazing food and wine, and experience the age-long Tuscan tradition. And the good news is that even if you are short on time, you still can visit Florence from Rome, in as short a day trip. The Tuscan capital has some of the Best Landmarks in Italy, and it is the most cultural city on earth and is famous for Renaissance art.
This Florence itinerary is designed to help you make the most of your time here. Here you can find the best time to visit, the best areas to stay in Florence with a very handy neighborhood guide, the best transportation options in Florence, and how to explore more of the amazing Tuscan Region.
So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy this well-crafted Florence in a three-day itinerary.
You may also enjoy these articles:
- Where to Stay in Florence: 6 Besta Areas + Hotel Guide
- Best Accommodations in Tuscany for all budgets
- 17 Most Beautiful Tuscany Towns & Villages
- Florence for 3-Days: Quick Guide
- Florence 3-Day Itinerary Overview
- Florence 3 Days Itinerary
- Best areas to stay in Florence for 3 Day Itinerary
- Arrival in Florence
- How to Get Around Florence for 3 days
- What is the Best Time to Visit Florence
- What to Pack for three days in Florence
- Florence 3-Day Itinerary Conclusion
Read More: Best options to get from Rome to Florence
Florence for 3-Days: Quick Guide
To make your Florence 3 days itinerary trip as hassle-free and budget-friendly as possible, here are some pro tips for you. You can thank me later 😉
WHERE TO STAY IN FLORENCE
Central Location | Hotel Bernini Palace
Best for Nightlife | Relais Santa Croce
Apartment-Style | Aria Di Casa Apartment
Budget-Friendly | Rivoli Boutique Hotel
Airport Private Transfer | private transfer
Hop-on-hop-off-bus | Bus day ticket
Transfer to Pisa | Round trip
Florence 3-Day Itinerary Overview
Given the number of things to do and see in Florence, I recommend that 2 days is the absolute minimum you should plan for to avoid spending your trip running around from sight to sight without time to really enjoy the atmosphere of the city.
If you have a third day in Florence, you can easily explore the city and museums, or you can take a day to explore more of the Tuscan Region.
Just because Florence has so much to do and to see, I highly recommend coming to Florence with a well-defined itinerary, in order to maximize your time. The city is very walkable and Florence has a great public transportation system, so take advantage of it, and see my section about how to get around Florence.
Also, make sure you choose accommodation in a good area, where you can walk to the main attractions. Making your reservations in advance is also part of a well-planned visit to Florence. Below, in this guide, you will find the best areas to stay in Florence.
- Day 1 : Piazza Duomo, Girotto’s Bell Tower, Baptistery, Piazza Della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Galleria, Galleria dell’Accademia,
- Day 2 : Piazza Michelangelo, Basilica de Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Boboli Gardens,
- Day 3 (Option 1): Brunch, Piazza Della Republica, explore more museums in Florence, Sunset at Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Sunset Cruise, farewell dinner
- Day 3 (Option 2): Take a day trip to Pisa – Leaning Tower, Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistery, Piazza del Cavalieri, Pisa Botanical Gardens
Florence 3 Days Itinerary
Day 1 Florence Itinerary: Appreciate Renaissance art
Day 1 of your Florence for 3 days itinerary will involve a lot of walking, you’ll get to see the biggest attractions in Florence, with many brilliant historical artworks and overpowering ancient structures. So make sure you were those comfy walking shoes and let’s dive into this Florence Itinerary.
Florence is a city famous for Renaissance art, ancient architecture, and monuments, and today you will get a chance to truly appreciate them.
For the first part of your day you will explore the Duomo and its surrounding, making it an easy walk distance, and for the second half of the day, you will explore the Renaissance art at Uffizi and Galleria dell Accademia.
1. Walk around the Piazza del Duomo
Here is the best way to start your Florence for 3 days itinerary. In the heart of the city, you will find the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (commonly known as the Duomo) towering over the Piazza del Duomo. This enormous Gothic cathedral was built in the 14th century and is arguably the most popular building in Florence.
It’s also the most famous attraction, with an iconic red-tiled dome. While the outside of the cathedral may appear plain, the designs of the interior are simply brilliant. You can climb up to the top of the dome to get a breathtaking view of the city.
PRO-TIP: I recommend booking the tour to visit the Duomo as the views from there are spectacular! If you are visiting the interior of the duomo, you will need to wear appropriate clothes and cover your legs and arms. I recommend always carrying a pashmina shawl with you.
2. Climb Giotto’s bell tower
Named after the principal architect who designed it in the 14th century, the elaborately-decorated bell tower stands tall in central Florence’s Piazza del Duomo. It is an 84.7 meters tall bell tower with over 400 steps to the top for the most dramatic view of the city.
The climb can literally take your breath away, even before you get to the top, it’s a long hike that takes about an hour to complete. You have to pace yourself so you won’t run out of breath, however, there are several steps before you get to the top, and you can break your journey and admire the views on your way.
PRO-TIP: If you are planning to visit Giotto’s bell tower, it is recommended to book in advance, check the price and availability
3. Admire the artistic brilliance of the Baptistery
While you are in the area, the next stop on your Florence Itinerary should be at the Baptistery. This is another amazing ancient architecture in the center of Florence is the octagonal baptistery standing in both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza San Giovanni.
The Baptistery dates back to the 11th century and is currently the oldest building in Florence. It has three sets of artistically important bronze doors with relief sculptures and a magnificent mosaic ceiling.
Read More: The most beautiful towns in Tuscany
4. Explore the Piazza Della Signoria
This is one of my favorite places to visit in Florence, and it can be overwhelming by its beauty! Considering the most beautiful square in Florence, the Palazzo Della Signoria is famous for the replica of Michelangelo’s David, the bronze equestrian statue, impressive sculptures, and the Fountain of Neptune.
Also open for exploration is the Loggia Dei Lanzi, an open-air museum with its fair share of artworks, including five marble female statues and a statue of a barbarian prisoner from Roman times. Take your time exploring and admiring the breathtaking works of art to your heart’s content, then make your way to the Palazzo Vecchio.
5. Discover the hidden treasures in Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio (also called Palazzo Della Signoria) is another major attraction on the Piazza Della Signoria, in fact, that’s where the square takes its name from. This incredible palace has a high bell tower and fortified exterior, a visit to this building will take you through a medieval city hall with multiple floors and plenty of stairs.
As you make your way through the palace, you will find the “Hall of Five Hundred,” which is a large hall featuring a gold-paneled ceiling covered with artworks and two long frescoes by the walls. The Hall of the Five Hundred (or Salone del Cinquecento) is the largest room in the Palazzo Vecchio and has the greatest historic and artistic value.
Read More: Most Dreamy Places to Stay in Tuscany
6. Lunch at Ristorante Braceria AUDITORE
In the very heart of the city where most places are tourist traps, you will find the Braceria Auditore, which stands out with very delicious, high-quality food, excellent service, and great prices. It’s located right next to Palazzo Vecchio and offers an absolutely amazing experience.
The interior is warm and beautiful, with a serene and cozy atmosphere. Food is absolutely delectable with good drinks. It’s a great place to rest, drink some Spritz and eat some fantastic Italian food.
7. Explore the Uffizi Galleria
Make sure you don’t miss the Uffizi Galleria during your Florence Itinerary – I have visited Florence many times, and only on my last visit I was able to book the tickets in advance and spend about 4 hours exploring this magnificent gallery.
Right next to the Palazzo Vecchio is the Uffizi Galleria, an impressive museum built in the 16th century as the first modern museum in Europe.
The Uffizi Galleria has an impressive collection of artworks from different periods, it houses masterpieces by many iconic artists including Raphael’s “Madonna of the Goldfinch Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” and Titian’s “Venus of Urbino.
PRO-TIP: You will have to take your time here because there are lots of terrific things to see. Before your visit, make sure to get a ticket in advance
8. Stop at Galleria dell’Accademia
Galleria dell’Accademia should be your next stop on your Florence 3-day itinerary, and it’s only a few minutes from the Uffizi galleria. The Galleria dell’Accademia is an art museum and is best known for Michelangelo’s David sculpture.
You can easily spend 1-hour admiring the details and perfection of the stunning David sculpture, and wondering how it can have so many details, such as the feet and hands.
PRO-TIP: This gallery has the highest number of Michelangelo sculptures on display. I recommend buying the ticket in advance to make sure you can visit on the day you are planning, and skip the line. You can get tickets in advance here.
9. Dine at Le Cappelle Medicee
After a long, exciting day exploring the best of Florence, you deserve to relax and refuel at an amazing restaurant like Le Cappelle Medicee. This is a very cozy and cute place, with very warm service and some very fantastic traditional Italian dishes on the menu. The drinks are great, the service is excellent, and the prices are even better.
Read More: Rome Perfect 4-Day Itinerary
Day 2 Florence Itinerary: See more of the amazing Florence
The second day of your Florence 3-day itinerary is another exciting day with lots of attractions to explore. Today you will walk through the oldest bridge in the city, marvel at the towering statue of David, visit the church where Michelangelo was buried, and finally, dine in one of the best restaurants in Florence.
1. View the city from Piazzale Michelangelo
The Piazzale Michelangelo is known for the imposing replica of Michelangelo’s David statue. To the first-timer, this square may come across as unimpressive, but it’s one with one of the most spectacular viewpoints in Florence. The view from the Piazzale will help you truly appreciate how amazingly beautiful the city of Florence is.
PRO-TIP: Piazzale Michelangelo is free to the public, the best time to visit is either early in the morning or at night, to avoid the crowd. Also, watching the sunset from here is something that should be on your bucket list! It is stunning!
2. Visit the Basilica de Santa Croce
Continue your Florence itinerary by heading to Basilica di Santa Croce a Gothic-style church with great beauty. It dates back to the 14th century and is currently one of the richest churches in terms of medieval history. Santa Croce holds many artistic masterpieces, including stunning frescoes by Giotto.
The church is also known for the Renaissance-style Pazzi chapel, many impressive funerary monuments, and the finest of all early Renaissance tombs. Santa Croce is where Michelangelo and Galileo Galilei, amongst many others, were buried.
3. Walk across the Ponte Vecchio
Next, you head to one of my favorite things to do in Florence, and also, one of the top Italian Landmarks in the country. Strolling the oldest bridge in Florence, which was built over the Arno river in 1345. Ponte Vecchio is an outstanding medieval engineer and the first segmental arch bridge built in the West.
The bridge was built of wood and stone and has jewelry shops on either side, just like in the Middle Ages. Walking across the two wide terraces of the bridge gives you an incredible view of the Arno river.
4. Explore the Palazzo Pitti
Located only 5 minutes from the Ponte Vecchio, on the south side of the Arno river, is the impressive Renaissance palace. Palazzo Pitti was built in the second half of the 15th century, this imposing Italian palace with a long history is now home to a number of important art collections, including sculptures, paintings, art objects, costumes, and porcelain.
The palace is an enormous complex that includes several museums and galleries, it holds so much history such as the treasures and belongings of the Medici family, artworks from the Renaissance and the Baroque, etc.
PRO-TIP: If you are planning to visit the Palazzo Pitti, I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance.
5. Sunset walk at Boboli Gardens
Directly behind the Palazzo Pitti is the remarkable Boboli gardens. It was originally built for the Medici family as a private garden and opened to the public in the 18th century.
Boboli gardens span over 111 acres of beautifully manicured landscape. Stroll through the awesome green scenery to catch the sunset, but make sure you don’t miss the sculptures and the panoramic views of the city below.
PRO-TIP: If you are planning to visit the Boboli Gardens, I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance.
6. Dinner at Osteria Cinghiale Bianco
To close another day of your Itinerary in Florence, go have dinner at the Osteria Cinghiale Bianco. It is an absolutely fantastic restaurant for incredibly top-notch Italian food and drinks. They serve really amazing food and wine in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
The staff are quick, attentive, and provide excellent service. Try the incredibly tasty Florentine steak drizzled with high-quality extra-virgin olive oil or the Tuscan wild boar pasta.
Day 3 Florence Itinerary (Option 1): Have a Relaxing day in Florence
Florence is a small city, but it is so culturally rich that you can easily spend 3-days in Florence, and still not see everything. Option 1 for this itinerary is to continue exploring Florence at your own pace and here are some great ideas:
1. Start your day with an Italian Breakfast
Start your last day of your Florence 3-day Itinerary, by enjoying a traditional Italian coffee and pastry. You will find plenty of amazing and very charming cafés and patisseries to consider around the city. Here are only a few options that I recommend you to try:
- Caffè Michaelangelo (Via Camillo Cavour, 21, 50129 Firenze FI)
- Caffè Scudieri (Piazza di San Giovanni, 19R, 50123 Firenze FI)
- Caffè Gilli (Via Roma, 1r, 50123 Firenze FI)
2. Take a Stroll at the Piazza Della Repubblica
Florence has some amazing piazzas (squares) to explore, and one of the Other one of the main squares in Florence, the Piazza Della Repubblica. Once it was considered the city center since Roman times.
It is located only about three minutes walking distance from the Duomo. The Piazza Della Repubblica – which is translated as “Republic Square” has endured much change and has undergone massive reconstruction since its medieval beginnings.
Today, the highlight of this central hub is the iconic carousel that sits in its center. Here you can also find amazing restaurants around to enjoy a high-quality meal.
3. Continue to explore Florence’s Museums
Florence has many museums so I recommend picking at least one or two during your Florence 3-day itinerary. Galleria dell’Accademia and Uffizi Gallery are my top pick.
But if you are a museum buff, the good news is that you have many options of amazing museums in Florence to consider visiting. Here is the list of all the museums in Florence for you to consider:
- Leonardo Interactive Museum
- Galleria Palatina
- Museo Archeologico
- Museo di Palazzo Vecchio
- Bargello Palace National Museum
- Church and Museum of Orsanmichele
- Museo Galileo
PRO-TIP: I recommend securing skip-the-line tickets and/or booking museum tours in advance. Check options and book your tickets in advance.
4. Take a sunset cruise
What better way to enjoy your 3 days Itinerary in Florence visit, by watching the day come to a close than on a sunset cruise like this one.
You will glide along the water on a Florentine gondola, relax on the water, and discover the soul at the most picture-perfect moment of the day in Florence, the aperitivo time. This important time of the day is right before dinner, right before sunset, when Florence is flooded by the most magical light, and even the cold stones seem soft and warm.
5. Indulge in a Delicious Dinner
There is no best way to celebrate the farewell of your 3-days in Florence, than with a romantic and delicious dinner. The good news is that Florence has amazing restaurants, from seafood to steak, to traditional Tuscan fare. Here are some of my top picks for you to get you started:
Traditional Tuscan Cusine:
- Da Rugger
- Trattoria Mario
- Il Latini
- Regina Bistecca
- Cestello Ristoclub
- L’Angolo del Mare
- Fishing Lab alle Murate
Day 3 Florence Itinerary (Option 2): Take a day trip to Tuscany Region
Another option for your third day of your exciting Florence Itinerary is dedicated to seeing a different part of Tuscany. There are amazing Towns in Tuscany to visit, and you can take a day tour from Florence, or you can visit Tuscan independently, this is what I do and it is a wonderful option.
For this itinerary in Florence, I’ve chosen the Tuscan city of Pisa, the city known for its famous leaning tower and other iconic buildings. Pisa is one of the most visited cities in Tuscany, and for good reasons; it has a lot of history and amazing monumental buildings.
From Florence to Pisa is an hour train ride, so get ready for a thrilling day trip. If you have more time, I really recommend spending at least one night in Tuscan Region to experience this stunning region.
1. Marvel at the leaning tower
The leaning tower is the most famous attraction in Pisa and one of the most famous landmarks in Italy. In fact, nobody visits Pisa without stopping by this iconic structure. This ornate free-standing tower is one of the most exceptional architecture from Medieval times.
It’s also known as the bell tower or Campanile and is one of the three buildings that make up the Pisa cathedral complex. The obvious tilt is what makes it astounding and also a little scary, but measures have been taken to prevent a collapse.
PRO-TIP: If you are planning to visit the Pisa Tower, I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance.
2. Stop by the massive Pisa Cathedral
The brilliant white Pisa Cathedral is a magnificent building to behold. Although it doesn’t get almost as much recognition as the leaning tower, it’s an absolutely grand structure, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture.
Besides the arresting exterior, the most notable feature of the cathedral is the marble pulpit by Giovanni Pisano. The cathedral was constructed in the 11th century and is the oldest building on the plaza.
Read More: The Most Dreamy Accommodations in Tuscany
3. Visit the biggest Baptistery in Italy
Also, on the cathedral complex is another astounding Romanesque/Gothic-style architecture, the Pisa Baptistery. Standing at 55 meters high, this baptistery is the largest in Italy. The baptistery was built during the transition from Romanesque to Gothic style and embodies both styles.
One outstanding feature of the baptistery is the marble pulpit by Nicole Pisano. You can climb to the upper viewing points of the baptistery to get panoramic views of the city. And when you do, make sure you have your camera for some amazing shots.
4. Stop by the Piazza dei Cavalieri
This is one of the main squares in Pisa and is a central attraction. Dating back to the 16th century, the Piazza Dei Cavalieri (the Knight’s Square) remains as beautiful and astonishing as ever. At the center of the square is the statue of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Once a political center in medieval times, the square still holds so much history and culture.
Read More: The most beautiful towns in Tuscany
5. Stroll through Pisa’s Botanical gardens
Orto Botanico dell’Università di Pisa (University of Pisa Botanical Gardens) was the first of its kind in the whole of Europe and the world. It was originally built in the 16th century by the Medici family and has been relocated a number of times.
This beautiful garden is an awe-inspiring place to visit, it’s simply gorgeous with a variety of colorful plant species, it has different sections and comprises gardens, greenhouses, an arboretum, and ponds.
Best areas to stay in Florence for 3 Day Itinerary
One of the first things to do when you are planning your Florence 3-day itinerary is to decide on the best area to stay in, and in this section, I shared some of my favorite Florence neighborhoods with good reasons why they are the best places to stay for your holiday.
Also, check out these amazing articles, if you are looking for more inspiration:
Piazza Della Signoria: best for first-time visitors
If you want to stay close to all the top attractions in Florence, this is the perfect neighborhood for you. Piazza Della Signoria is the historical center of Florence, it’s the very heart of the city with several iconic buildings and incredible sights of Renaissance art. It’s also a very expensive neighborhood, with luxury 5-star hotels, but you can also get reasonably priced mid-range hotels.
Good Value Hotel | Hotel Ester has an excellent location, just a 2-minute walk from Firenze Santa Maria Novella Train Station,
Entire Apartment | Roommo Santa Maria Novella is just a few steps from the main point of interest in Florence. This apartment has a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with garden views.
Luxury hotel | Hotel Bernini Palace is a stunning 15th-century building, located only a 5-minute walk from Florence Cathedral and Ponte Vecchio. Featuring antique furniture and Murano-glass chandeliers.
Santa Croce: best for vibrant nightlife
This is a charming neighborhood with very lively nights and is only a few minutes’ stroll from the city center. Santa Croce is an excellent area for escaping from large tourist crowds, here you will interact more with the locals and even feel like one yourself. You will find intimate boutique hotels and bargain apartments.
Good Value Apartment | Aria Di Casa Apartment is a self-catering accommodation with free Wi-Fi and is just a few steps from the Santa Croce Basilica.
Boutique hotel | La Casa di Morfeo is a brand new property, located only a 15-minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio bridge.
Luxury hotel | Relais Santa Croce is a 5-star hotel set in an 18th-century building one of the most luxurious, stylish, and elegant properties in the historic center of Florence.
Santa Maria Novella: best for budget-friendly accommodations
This is the ideal place to stay if you’re working on a budget, it’s close to the train station which means that you can easily get around the city. It’s also within walking distance of the major attraction in Florence. Santa Maria Novella is generally a very bubbly neighborhood with traditional buildings and great value accommodations.
Good Value Hotel | Hotel Argentina has great value and an excellent location, only a few steps from the River Arno and less than a 10-minute walk from Santa Maria Novella Station.
Boutique Hotel | Rivoli Boutique Hotel is housed in an old renovated Franciscan convent, dating back to the 14th century.
Luxury hotel | 25hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino is a gorgeous hotel close to several well-known attractions. Just a few minute’s walk to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, 0.4 miles from Ponte Vecchio, and an 8-minute walk from Piazza del Duomo, Florence.
Read More: The Most Dreamy Accommodations in Tuscany
Arrival in Florence
I have traveled to Florence by train, by bus, and by car and now I am happy to share some experiences with you. Also, check my article on the best transportation options from Rome to Florence –
You can get a 15% off your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend RentalCar because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.
How to Get Around Florence for 3 days
With narrow streets, vast squares, and grand palaces, Florence is an interesting city to explore. But since most parts of the city allow limited traffic, getting around can be tricky. To make your stay in Florence easier and more memorable, I’ve listed the best ways to get around Florence during your brief visit:
What is the Best Time to Visit Florence
The best time to visit Florence is during spring and fall when the temperatures are comfortable and there are fewer crowds:
SPRING: Temperatures start to warm up in spring, going from the late teens to mid-twenties, although it’s still advisable to wear layers in case of colder spells.
SUMMER: The summer months of July and August see higher temperatures and visitor numbers reach their peak. Temperatures are normally around 81 °F and often reach over 88 °F at the height of the day.
FALL: Temperatures cool down gradually, so September is still very pleasant, with an average of around 77℉. Expect crisp fall leaves and some sunnier days, but plan for wet weather too.
WINTER: Temperatures in the south remain mild in winter. However, northern Italy is normally wet and cold, and it’s not unusual for snow to fall, especially in the mountains.
What to Pack for three days in Florence
I have visited Florence in different seasons, and it can be cold in winter and very hot during summertime.
If you are also visiting during hot months, think about light clothes and comfortable shoes and explore during the day. Leave your pair of high heels at home, as you won’t need them. Don’t forget your sunblock, and sunglasses and consider a hat too.
For the evening, especially if you are planning to have dinner at one of the nice restaurants, you can think about a comfortable summer dress and sandals. Or if you are not into dresses, a pair of jeans and a nice top and a nice pair of sandals.
A pair of cute jeans are always popular and will serve as a versatile base. For colder months, wear them with layers such long-sleeved shirt and sweater. The climate can be mild in Florence, so even during hot months, consider bringing a pashmina for the evening.
Florence 3-Day Itinerary Conclusion
Florence is a dream destination for any travel lover and doesn’t matter if you love art, history, incredible food, or meeting friendly people, Florence offers it all, and exploring Florence for 3 days itinerary is a great length of time.
I hope this guide helped you to find out what are the best places to stay in Tuscany, and that you have found that dream destination to make your trip even more special.
If you enjoyed this guide and want to continue exploring some amazing destinations in Italy, you may enjoy the following guides:
- Where to Stay in Florence Italy: 6 Best Areas + Hotel Guide
- Ultimate Guide on how to travel from Rome to the Tuscany
- Best Accommodations in Tuscany for all budgets
- 17 Most Beautiful Tuscany Towns & Villages
- The Perfect 2-Day In Venice Itinerary + Tips
- 30 Top-rated Landmarks in Italy
- 20 Most beautiful Italian Coastal Towns
- 4-Day Rome Itinerary
- Lake Como 1-3 Day Itinerary
- Milan 2-Day Itinerary, a perfect weekend in Milan
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