Italy comprises an abundance of small cities and quaint towns that look like they’re straight out of a postcard. With the likes of Capri, San Cassiano, Cinque Terre and Pantelleria, all dotting and boasting the country's surreal natural beauty, there are a few, lesser-known and lesser visited cities that lose out on the limelight. And one such place is Florence , the capital of Tuscany. Known as the ‘Athens of the Middle Ages’, Florence is one of the most beautiful and picturesque towns in the entire country. Being the birthplace of the Renaissance movement, the entire city is literally a piece of art with breathtaking architecture all around. Apart from admiring the beauty of Florence, there is a ton to see, do and experience in this city, and this guide will help you chalk out a perfect day in Florence!
Quick Tip: At the bottom of this article, you will find a map featuring all the places you can hit up in a day , as well as the suggested walking route and some hacks and tips to help you make the best out of one day in Florence.
One Day In Florence - 10 Second Summary
While one day in Florence can be a hectic affair, it is completely doable if you chalk your day out well. To make things easy for you, we have every minute of the day planned such that you'll get the most of 24 hours in the city. This one day itinerary for Florence has been crafted keeping in mind the opening hours, ticket lines and distance between each attractions, so you're welcome to use it just the way it is!
One Day In Florence - Detailed Itinerary
Morning ( 8:15 AM - 12:30 AM )
Accademia Gallery (8:15 AM)
Begin your action-packed day by visiting one of the most well-known and popular art museums in Florence, if not the world - Galleria dell'Accademia also known as The Accademia Gallery . The museum open at 8:15 AM, allowing you ample time to explore every nook and cranny of this massive gallery without too many people in the morning hours. The Accademia is home to a number of exquisite sculptures, rare artefacts and breathtaking paintings by Florentine and other Italian artists. But most famously, The Accademia is home to Michelangelo’s pièce de résistance - David. This masterpiece of Renaissance culture is perhaps the most widely known sculpture in the world! Give yourself 2 hours to make the most out of this gallery!
Traveler Tip :Being one of the most popular attractions in Florence, queues to get in can get very long and the crowds inside can get massive as the day passes. To avoid this, make sure you reach the gallery as early as possible, as majority of the visitors start coming in post 11:00 AM onwards. If you’re really interested in art and are curious to learn about the exhibits in detail, we recommend taking a guided tour of the gallery.
Mercato Centrale ( 10:00 AM)
After walking around The Accademia, you are sure to have worked up an appetite, so head next to Mercato Centrale to satiate your hunger. Located less than a kilometer away from the gallery, Mercato Centrale makes for the perfect place to grab a quick and satisfying breakfast. This historic market, situated at the centre of San Lorenzo market , offers delicious Tuscan treats to sink your teeth into. The ground floor of the market hosts vendors who sell local fruits and vegetables, meat and typical Italian snacks. Gorge on some scrumptious salads, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas, and wash it all down with a piping hot cup of Italian coffee. The best part about the market is that you can purchase your food at the ground floor and then head on up to the food court to sit down and enjoy your meal.
Traveler Tip : Apart from delicious food, Mercato Centrale also offers visitors a chance to indulge in some Italian shopping! Home to a number of shops selling clothes, souvenirs and leather goods, the central market is an absolute haven for shopaholics. Also, It is not uncommon for Italian restaurants and shops to close down for a couple of hours during the late afternoons and early evenings, so make sure that you reach here on time to fully enjoy the market.
Duomo Florence (11:00 AM)
Once you’re done with breakfast at Mercato Centrale , make your way next to one of Florence’s most awe-inspiring monuments, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore , or simply, the Florence Cathedral. This cathedral is the fourth largest church in all of Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apart from its sheer size and age, the Florence Cathedral is a work of breathtaking beauty! The construction of this basilica lasted over 140 years and as a result, was worked on by a number of gifted architects, including Bondone, Pisano and Arnoldi. But perhaps none are as famous as Filippo Brunelleschi designing the single most emblematic and noteworthy piece of the church, the Dome. You have to climb 463 steps to reach the top of the Dome, but you're gifted with stunning sights of Florence for all the sweat shed.
Traveler Tip : The Cathedral stands on Piazza del Duomo which has a number of other monuments and places to visit like the Florence Baptistery, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Opera del Duomo Museum and Canonici’s Palace. You can buy a cumulative ticket to visit Brunelleschi Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery and the Crypt if you're interested in visiting them all. Once you’re done exploring the cathedral, you can take quick tours of these other attractions and roam around the Piazza itself.
Explore The Best Of Florence In A Day With An Expert Local Guide
Here's an absolute value deal! For just 85 Euros you can visit the Accademia Gallery, Uffizi Gallery and Florence Duomo, with a local guide by your side !
While the tour gives skip the line access to the Accademia Gallery and Uffizi Gallery, tickets to the Florence Duomo is not included in the price. However, you can grab a Priority Access to the Florence Duomo for just 16 Euros. That way, you can experience the best of Florence for less than 100 Euros. Steal deal eh?
Why you should grab these tickets?
- Since you're in Florence for just 24 hours, every minute counts. What better way to make every minute matter than with a guided tour of the city with a local expert?
- Skip the Line tickets are of utmost necessity when you're in Florence for just a day. You simply cannot afford to spend 2 hours in queues outside each attraction.
- Visiting art galleries and cathedrals with a guide provides you insights that no article online or travel book could tell you, thereby making your experience truly enriching.
- Save money and the hassle of booking individual tours with this tour that gives you the best in a beautifully laid platter.
- Saving the best for last, get a special flat 10% off when you purchase the below tickets from Headout! Use promo code : FLORENCE24 to avail the discount on checkout.
Afternoon ( 1:30 PM - 4:00 AM )
Palazzo Vecchio & Piazza della Signoria
Palazzo Vecchio & Piazza della Signoria (1:30 PM)
After exploring the Florence Cathedral and Piazza del Duomo, grab a quick lunch, take a breather and fuel up for the rest of the day. After lunch, walk over to Florence’s most politically important area - Piazza della Signoria. This L-shaped square has been the centre of Florence’s political life since the 14th century and it houses the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence, along with other significant buildings like the Loggia della Signoria and Palazzo Uguccioni. The square itself is very lively as it is a common meeting point for locals and tourists alike. You can walk around and enjoy the beauty of this area as it is almost like an open-air sculpture museum with a number of elegant statues adorning the streets, including a replica of David that sits outside the Palazzo Vecchio. Right next by lies the Piazza della Signoria, steeped in Florentine history and serves as the perfect gateway for the next attraction on your list, the Uffizi Gallery.
Traveler Tip : Piazza della Signoria is perfect for those who want to admire the artistic beauty of Florence without having to pay their way to enter a museum or gallery. Along with the statues and sculptures, the buildings in the square themselves are beautifully and intricately designed, with most of them following the Renaissance style of architecture.
Uffizi Gallery ( 2:30 PM)
Located just 300 meters away from Piazza della Signoria, is the most famous art museum in Florence, and perhaps even the world - The Uffizi Gallery . With over 2 million people walking through its doors year after year, The Uffizi is the most visited attraction in Florence. The gallery exhibits some of the most famous works of art created, including Botticelli’s ‘La Primavera’ and ‘The Birth of Venus’, Raphael’s ‘Madonna of the Goldfinch’, Michelangelo ’s ‘Doni Tondo’ and many others. There is even a room dedicated solely for showcasing Leonardo Da Vinci’s works! With over 101 viewing rooms and tens of thousands of paintings, sculptures, relics and artefacts, The Uffizi is truly an art lover's paradise.
Traveler Tip : Given the gallery’s immense popularity, it will serve you good to purchase a skip-the-line ticket to Uffizi as the the lines to get in can get very long with an average waiting time of about 2 hours! With skip-the-line tickets, you can save valuable time and energy, which can be better spent exploring the many treasures of the gallery. Also, we recommend a guided tour of the gallery as it can get pretty overwhelming going on your own. Your professional guide will not only help you navigate through the museum but he will also provide some great insights about the various pieces of art.
Best Of Florence In A Day
- Skip the line entry to Accademia and Uffizi Galleries
- Visit Florence Cathedral (The Duomo) from the outside
- English storytelling tour guide
- Small groups of 25 people or less
- Headsets will be provided so that you can hear your guide
- Tour starts at 8:30 AM and lasts for 6 hours - Cancel upto 72 hours in advance for a full refund
Evening (5:00 PM to 8:00 PM)
Ponte Vecchio (5:00 PM)
Your next destination lies across the Arno Rivero , giving you the perfect opportunity to walk across and experience the Ponte Vecchio , Florence’s oldest and most beautiful bridge. The bridge was built in 1345 and interestingly enough, was the only bridge, in Florence, that was not destroyed by the fleeing Germans during World War II. Back in time, the bridge was occupied by butchers and tanners, and later on by goldsmiths and gold merchants, but currently its tenants include jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.
Traveler Tip: The Ponte Vecchio is one of Florence’s most photographed landmarks, so be sure to stop in at one of the many viewpoints to get a picture of the city as seen from the Arno River. Also, while walking and looking around the bridge, be sure to keep your valuables safe with you as this is a prime target area for pickpockets.
Oltrarno (6:00 PM)
Once you cross the Ponte Vecchio, head over to Oltrarno , an old and historic neighbourhood whose name literally means ‘beyond the Arno’. In this quaint quarter of Florence, you will see a calmer and more authentic side of the city, away from the hustle of the city centre. There are a number of interesting sights for you to see and explore here including the Palazzo Pitti, Boboli Gardens and Santo Spirito Square. The Pitti Palace was once the residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and later even the King of Italy! Today the Palace is home to the Palatine Gallery, with over 500 works of art on display, most from the Renaissance period. Located directly behind the Palace are the Boboli Gardens, one of the biggest public parks in Florence. This 11-acre, lush green landscape is a treat for your eyes as it houses an extensive collection of sculptures and Roman antiquities dating back to the 16th century! Walking through this area is truly a charm as it gives you the opportunity to experience the quieter side of Florence.
Traveler TipThe San Frediano section of Oltrarno is considered to be the meat district of the city, and as a result has a number of great places to enjoy some delicious Italian fare. From small, cozy cafes to fancy, chic restaurants and even swanky bars, this area has it all.
Piazzale Michelangelo (7:00 PM)
End this eventful day on a high note and head to Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo Square) in Oltrarno itself. Designed and created by Giuseppe Poggi in 1869 on the side of a hill, the Piazzale Michelangelo provides a breathtaking and panoramic view of the entire city of Florence. Standing here, you are bound to be taken aback by the sheer beauty and magnificence of the city and river beneath you! The square, dedicated to the great Michelangelo, has a number of his sculptures on display, including a replica of David and the 4 allegories of the Medici Chapel of San Lorenzo. Come here during the day or at night, irrespective, you will be greeted by a truly captivating view of Florence. It is not only the most perfect place to take a picture of the city, but also the most perfect place to experience the very essence of it.
Traveler Tip: Since the Piazza is open throughout the day, try visiting it once during the day and once at night. By doing this you will be able to witness the grandeur of Florence under the bright morning sun and also under the sheen of sparkling lights in the evening. Both make for absolutely stunning views and these sights are something you will never, ever forget. Another thing is that the Piazza can be reached both by foot and by car. For those who want to walk and enjoy the views while doing so, can walk along the south side of the river upstream towards the Torre San Niccolo. Once you reach here, you will be directly beneath the Piazza. Simply follow the looping ramps and you’re there. For those looking to save energy, you can take the local bus from the centre (no. 12 or 13), and that will bring you straight to the Piazza.
Florence In A Day Map
Now that you have an idea of all that you can do in Florence in just 24 hours,here's a map that will come handy. Our Florence in a day Map has been tailored to comfort with a route that is completely doable and makes the best of your time in Florence. Download the map and keep it on your phone to get around the city with zero hassles.
How To Spend One Day In Florence under 100 Euros
Looking to budget your one day in Florence? Here's how you can do it under 100 Euros. If you're a first timer on Headout, use promocode : FLORENCE24 to get an addition 10% off your cart price!
Book the below tickets on Headout, and spend just € 92.50 for a terrific day in Florence! Hit up all the prime attractions with an expert local guide with skip the line access which allows you to cover more ground in less time.
Tips & Hacks For Making The Best of One Day In Florence
- Start your day early : Since you have just 24 hours at your disposal, start your day early. Grab a cup of coffee and get started by 8:30 AM as most attractions around the city open around this time. Moreover, in Florence the lines into museums and churches increase as the day goes by, so go early and you can maybe save a few euros on Skip the Line tickets ( provided you're early only!).
- Book your tickets in advance : You really cannot afford to spend time in the serpentine lines around each attraction. Grab your priority access tickets to all the places you want to hit up and whizz past the queues. Better still, grab a guided tour + skip the line combo that makes your life much easier. Even better still, grab Florence's most popular buy : The Florence In a Day Combo which takes you through Uffizi, Accademia and the Duomo in 6 hours with an expert guide ushering you through the city's lanes!
- Beware of Mondays : Florence suffers from serve Monday blues, hence most museums are closed on Mondays. If you plan your trip on a Monday, make sure you have a Plan B of things to do around the city. .
- Binge on street food from Mercato Central : If you want to try some authentic Florentine street food go for either Trippa, Lampredotto (cow stomach) or Schiacciata (Tuscan bread salad).They are delicious and you can have them on the go, allowing you to save time.
- Watch out for street art : Now, this is something not too many people know about but Florence has an amazing collection of interesting, quirky street art. Watch out for the works of Clet Abrahams who famously and funnily altered the city’s traffic signs to turn them into pieces of art. Florence has a very rich street art scene and you are sure to see lots of it in one day if you keep your eyes open for it.
Florence One Day Essentials
If you're in Florence for over 3 days, you can take other quick day trips from Florence. Below are our detailed guides on taking Day trips from Florence to Siena, Pisa, Cinque Terre and Rome.