Florence for 3 Days: The Best Itinerary in Florence, Italy

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Sunset in florence for 3 days

Welcome to this 3-day Florence itinerary and guide of the Best Places to visit in Florence, from the amazing Duomo, stroll the medieval stone bridge Ponte Vecchio and explore the impressive collection of artworks at the Uffizi Galeria. Plus, when you visit Florence for 3 days, you can also explore the Tuscan Region as an alternative.

Are you planning your dream trip to Italy and wondering if it is worth it to visit Florence for 3 days?

The good news is that 3-days is enough to explore Florence and even some of the incredible Tuscan Region, in as short as 3 days if you plan it well in advance – and you can visit Florence from Rome, in as short as a day trip.

Florence, also known as the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance, is an incredibly beautiful city with so much history and culture.

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, historical monuments and architecture, phenomenal art galleries, museums, and gourmet Tuscan cuisines.

Perhaps the most remarkable sight is the imposing cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome, but that’s only a small part of the architectural beauty of the city. 3 days in Florence is perfect for seeing the best of it, you will have ample time to explore the famous Renaissance city, taste the amazing food and wine, and experience the age-long Tuscan tradition.

My 3-day Florence itinerary is designed to help you make the most of your time here, and even be able to explore some of the amazing Tuscan Region.

So let’s get started…

READ NEXT: Best options to get from Rome to Florence

Florence for 3-days

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. I have a list of the best areas to stay in for every budget.

Lastly, Florence is a busy city throughout the year, so I highly recommend booking tickets to attractions in advance.

My Top Pick for your 3-days in Florence:

Overview of 3 Days in Florence Itinerary

Piazza del DuomoPiazzale MichelangeloPisa Leaning Tower
Giotto’s bell towerBasilica de Santa CrocePisa Cathedral
BaptisteryPonte VecchioPisa Baptistery
Piazza della SignoriaPalazzo PittiPiazza dei Cavalieri
Palazzo VecchioPisa’s Botanical Gardens
Uffizi Galleria
Galleria dell’Accademia

How to get around Florence

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.

  • Foot: Florence is a small city and the major attractions are within walking distance from each other. So, it’s quite possible to explore the city by foot. 
  • Bicycle: if walking is too much trouble for you, then you have the option of renting a bike. Bikes in Florence are inexpensive, you can get one for €2 per hour or €10 per day.
  • Buses: another option for efficiently getting around the city is via the efficient ATAF buses and trams. Tickets go for as low as €1.50 ($1.70).
  • Taxi: this is an expensive option as the meter starts from about €3 ($3.40) on weekdays, and even more expensive on weekends. Taxis are not the ideal transport for budget travelers.
  • Rental Car: I have been many times to Florence, including with a rental car and I will be very honest here, DO NOT rent a car in Florence. Or if you are traveling by a rental car, park it a designed area, and walk or use public transportation. Reasons are: It is very hard to find parking spots in Florence, the traffic is heavy and be prepared to get many tickets.

READ NEXT: The Best Milan 2-Days Itinerary

ITINERARY: Florence for 3 days

Day 1 in Florence: 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.

Florence is a city famous for Renaissance art, ancient architecture, and monuments, and today you will get a chance to truly appreciate them.

First part of your day you will explore the Duomo and its surrounding, making it an easy walk distance, and the second half of the day, you will explore the Renaissance art at Uffizi and Galleria del Accademia.

Walk around the Piazza del Duomo

Here is the best way to star 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.

I recommend to book the tour to visit the Duomo as the views from there are spetacular!

PRO-TIP: 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.

Climb the 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 the Giotto’s bell tower, it is recommended to book in advance, check price and availability

READ NEXT: The most beautiful towns in Tuscany

Admire the artistic brilliance of the Baptistery

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.

Explore the Piazza della Signoria

This is one of favorite places to visit in Florence, and it can be overwhelmed 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.

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 dei Cinquecento) is the largest room in the Palazzo Vecchio and has the greatest historic and artistic value.

Lunch at Ristorante Braceria AUDITORE

In the very heart of the city where most places are tourist traps, you will find the Braceria Auditore, 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.

READ NEXT: The most beautiful towns in Tuscany

Explore the Uffizi galleria

Make sure you don’t miss the Uffizi Galleria – I have visited Florence many times, and only in 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

Stop at Galleria dell’Accademia

Galleria dell’Accademia should be your next stop, 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 much 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 in the day you are planning, and skip the line. You can get tickets in advance here.

Dine at Le Cappelle Medicee

After a long, exciting tour of the Tuscan capital, 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. Drinks are great, service is excellent, and the prices are even better.

Day 2 in Florence: See more of the amazing Florence

Your 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.

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!

Visit the Basilica de Santa Croce

Basilica de Santa Croce is 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.

Walk across the Ponte Vecchio

This is one my favorite things to do in Florence. Strolling the oldest bridge in Florence, that was built over the Arno river in 1345. Ponte Vecchio is an outstanding medieval engineering 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.

Explore the Palazzo Pitti

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 to book your tickets in advance.

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 to book your tickets in advance.

Dinner at Osteria Cinghiale Bianco

The Osteria Cinghiale Bianco 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. Really tasty food and wine, you will thoroughly enjoy yourself.

Day 3 in Florence: Take a day trip to Tuscany Region

The third and last day of your exciting Florence tour 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 by independently, this is what I do and it is a wonderful option.

For this guide, I’ve chosen the Tuscan city of Pisa, the city known for the 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 to spend at least one night in Tuscan Region to experience this stunning region.

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 to book your tickets in advance.

Famous landmark in Italy

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.

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.

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.

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, arboretum, and ponds.

READ NEXT: 30 Most Amazing Landmarks in Italy

Best areas to stay in Florence

One of the first things to do in Florence is to decide on the best area to stay, 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.

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-stars hotels, but you can also get reasonably priced mid-range hotels.

  • Good Value Hotel: Gioia Hotel is just 300 m from the Cathedral. Santa Maria Novella Station is less than 10 minutes away on foot, next to the Accademia Art Gallery, a Florentine building of the early 20th century. All rooms offer satellite TV and air conditioning, and free WiFi throughout.
  • Entire Apartment: Roommo Santa Maria Novella popular points near include: Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Piazza del Duomo, Florence and Palazzo Vecchio. The apartment is fitted with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with garden views.
  • Luxury hotel: Il Valentino Luxury Houses Located a 5-minute walk from San Marco Church in Florence, Il Valentino Luxury Houses has accommodations with a shared lounge, a garden and a shared kitchen for your convenience. The apartment features both WiFi and private parking free of charge.

Santa Croce: best for vibrant nightlife

This is a charming neighborhood with very lively nights and 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 Hotel:
  • Boutique hotel:
  • Luxury hotel:

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:
  • Boutique hotel:
  • Luxury hotel:

TRAVEL SAFETY: Travel Insurance for Italy

I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance. 

World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers.

Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!

A few items that can make your Florence 3 days trip safer:

I love this Anti-Theft crossbody bag is a great option to keep your cards, IDs and cell phone protected. It has slash-resistant body panels and shoulders strap, which secures your belongs

This Backpack Anti-Theft comes with a USB charging port and with a laptop compartment, plus many compartments making it a safe and a great day pack to walk around with your belongings safe and protected. It is also a great option for a hiking daypack.

How to Get to Florence

To get the best experience during your stay in Florence, you should be able to easily get around without any confusion. And in this blog post, I explain in detail all the best transportation options from Rome to Florence to make your trip planning easy, and safe.

If you’re a confident driver and wouldn’t mind being your own chauffeur, you won’t be disappointed because you can rent a car and drive yourself around the beautiful town of Florence. Request a quote from a reliable source and compare the prices from different car rentals available. 

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 to walk and explore during the day. Leave your pair of high heels at home, as you won’t need them. Don’t forget your sunblock, 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.

The climate can be mild in Florence, so consider bringing a pashmina for the evening.

When is the best time to visit Florence?

The best time to visit Italy 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.

Florence for 3 Days 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 offer it all, and exploring Florence for 3 days 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:

Lake Como Itinerary Pinterest

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Hi, I am Paula

Marketer, Blogger & Athlete

I'm a Brazilian native who calls U.S. home.

Travel & be healthy is my philosophy for a happy life balance, and for this purpose, I embarked on a journey to inspire and empower others to seek new adventures and live an active and healthy lifestyle..

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