Are you planning a trip to Italy? Florence is the perfect place to visit if you want to see some of the most beautiful works of art in history. The city itself is full of culture and charm, and it’s one of those places that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. Read our epic 3 days in Florence itinerary to make the most of your visit.
Florence is known as the cradle of the Renaissance, and it is also an incredibly romantic destination, so it makes for a great honeymoon or anniversary getaway too!
With its narrow streets and towering cathedrals, Florence is a city that will take your breath away. It’s home to incredible art, architecture, and history. From the Uffizi Gallery to Michelangelo’s David, there’s so much to see and do in this magical city.
Perfect 3 days in Florence itinerary to see it all
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There’s no better place to experience la dolce vita than in Florence, Italy. Here is a snapshot of how you can spend 3 days in one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world,
3 Day Florence Itinerary: Quick Overview
- Day 1 of 3 days in Florence itinerary: Piazza del Duomo, Florence Cathedral and its Bell Tower, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Piazza Della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio
- Day 2 of 3 days in Florence itinerary: Galleria dell’Accademia, Mercato Centrale, San Marco Church, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo
- Day 3 of 3 days in Florence itinerary: Uffizi Gallery or Galleria degli Uffizi, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, Santa Croce Basilica, Santa Maria Novella Church
Getting to Florence
Florence is located in the Tuscany region, in Central-Northern Italy. You can get to Florence by flying or via high-speed train.
Florence is served by 2 airports, situated near the city
- Florence Airport, Peretola
- Pisa International Airport (biggest and the busiest in Tuscany)
Both are international airports, and they serve the region.
And from there, Florence is just 1.50 hours away (by train- Frecciarossa).
We arrived at the Firenze Santa Maria Novella or Stazione di Santa Maria Novella railway station in Florence. It is located very close to the city centre. You can easily walk there – find accommodation or go sightseeing.
This Florence itinerary 3 days assumes that you are already in the city, the night before (as we did). But you can also find early morning trains to get to Florence!
Where to stay in Florence?
We stayed in Florence and Tuscany for an extended period of time and absolutely loved it. For accommodation in Florence, we recommend staying in the city centre area, preferably in and around the Duomo with views!
- La Terrazza sul Duomo B&B: La Terrazza is our favorite place to stay in Florence. This stunning B&B has beautiful suites and comes with rooftop access to welcome you to an uninterrupted view of Florence Duomo and other city landmarks. Their breakfast is amazing too. Book your stay here
- Grand Hotel Cavour Florence: Grand Hotel is an upscale 4-star hotel in Florence, with a rooftop bar. The best part – the hotel is part of a heritage property, dating back to the 13th century. Click to view photos and prices
- Locanda dei Guelfi: Locanda dei Guelfi is a beautiful 3-star property offering rooftop access with Duomo views. The property is located close to Accademia Gallery, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, and Santa Maria Novella train station (10-minute walk). Book your stay here
- Hotel Vasari: This is a budget 3-star hotel is located near the Santa Maria Novella Florence station and is about a 15-minute walk from Palazzo Vecchio. The property is slightly dated, but its location is nice for transportation and sightseeing. The property has artistic work on the doors and lobby. Take a look at the availability here
Check in to your hotel, or drop off your bags and then start exploring. In Florence, there are 2-3 museums are that completely worth a visit, especially if you are into Renaissance art and history. Just ensure the tickets are booked ahead of your visit – as tickets could be sold out for days!
Day 1 of 3 days in Florence itinerary: Piazza del Duomo, Florence Cathedral, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Baptistery, Piazza Della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio
On the first day in Florence, start with an awesome breakfast at the B&B like La Terrazza sul Duomo. Enjoy the lovely morning views of the Renaissance city, and then go exploring.
Check off the iconic Florence Duomo first. If you wish to photograph Florence Cathedral then ensure you wake up early, as people start to line up at the piazza and it is filled with a lot of hustle-bustle by 09:00 am.
Piazza del Duomo
Wander through Piazza del Duomo, this is the complex which is home to the Florence Cathedral, the Cupola del Brunelleschi, the Giotto’s Campanile, the Florence Baptistery, and the Arcivescovile and Canonici’s palace.
This is one of the most important and popular piazzas in Florence, thanks to the landmark Duomo!
Visit Florence Duomo, Baptistery and climb up Brunelleschi’s dome
Visiting the interiors and Duomo rooftop is a must for your Florence 3 day itinerary.
Florence Duomo is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. It’s an incredible work of art that will leave you in awe.
Also known as the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, the Florence Duomo is known for its dominant size and architecture. It was considered an architectural masterpiece, way ahead of its time.
You can buy an entry ticket to the Duomo, which also includes access to the bell tower.
Alternatively, you can also book a 2 hour guided tour of the Duomo complex. This includes an expert local guide who will take you around sharing stories and the history of the stunning Duomo and the Baptistery.
Enjoy the facade and 16th-century frescoes, and climb up the 463 steps of Brunelleschi’s dome for breathtaking views. Keep in mind, there are no lifts or elevators to get up there, and stairs are the only way! You can book this 2 hour tour here!
This tour also includes Florentine ice cream and a souvenir of the Dome, which is one of the largest in the world!
Piazza Della Signoria
Visit the Piazza Della Signoria next. This is a large public square in Florence, which is surrounded by many iconic Florentian landmarks like the Palazzo Vecchio (town hall today), a copy of Michelangelo’s David statue, fountains, and other stunning statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi, Gucci Garden, and more.
Piazza Della Signoria is always buzzing with people and activities. And with so many landmark structures around, it is not difficult to see why. You will also find a lot of cafes at the piazza.
The Palazzo Vecchio is a historic building in Florence. It used to be the seat of government for the Florentine Republic from the 14th century and then of the Medici grand dukes of Tuscany.
The palace dates back to the 13th century and has been a symbol of the city’s history. It was under the Medici family which turn this building into a real palace, and residence.
Do get a ticket to visit the Palazzo Vecchio interiors – admire its architecture, sculptures, and paintings, and also learn about its history.
You can also head over to Arnolfo’s Tower to soak in the views from the tower’s summit. Get your tickets here to the Palazzo Vecchio.
At the piazza, take the time to admire the Loggia Dei Lanzi, aka Loggia Della Signoria. It adjoins the Uffizi Gallery, which is a must-visit art museum in Florence. Loggia Dei Lanzi showcases masterworks of sculpture like Benvenuto Cellini’s Perseus with the Head of Medusa.
Located at the piazza is also a copy of Michelangelo’s David statue.
If you are a Gucci fan, stop by the Gucci Garden. This is a (permanent) museum dedicated to the fashion house which has Florentian roots and you can check out handbag exhibits, and more. You can buy tickets at the museum complex!
After sightseeing, sign off for the day with a lovely meal by Florence Duomo. Or Piazza Della Signoria. You will also find a lot of trattorias near the cathedral and the piazza.
Day 2 of 3 days in Florence itinerary: Galleria dell’Accademia, San Marco Church, Mercato Centrale, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo
Explore more of Firenze on day 2 of the Florence itinerary. We recommend visiting Galleria dell’Accademia – or Accademia Gallery, one of the must-visit Renaissance museums, along with the iconic Ponte Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo.
Head to the Galleria dell’Accademia in the morning. For breakfast, you can sit down at the Cafe Accademia before entering the museum.
Accademia Gallery is famous for the statue of David by Michelangelo. It is also home to other works of art like the Prisoners, St.Matthew, and, other religious paintings.
The 5.17-meter marble statue of the Biblical hero David is symbolic of Renaissance and Florentine art. It stood for the defense of civil liberties embodied in the Republic of Florence.
The gallery opens at 09:00 am, and we recommend buying a ticket for the morning hours. Give yourself 1.50 to 2 hours to explore the complex. Note that there is airport-level security to get inside the museum.
With a timed entry ticket, you can visit the galleria as well as the 2 exhibits rooms which house artwork, from the Academy of Design, the Academy of Fine Arts, and from suppressed convents.
Accademia Gallery: Book your tickets here
San Lorenzo Market, Mercato Centrale and San Lorenzo church
From the Accademia Gallery, head over to the San Lorenzo Market or Mercato Centrale
This popular market in Florence is made up of two separate areas – an outdoor space lining the surrounding streets of the large Mercato Centrale building called the San Lorenzo market. You can buy leather goods here, including souvenirs.
The indoor market section is known as Mercato Centrale or Central Market and this is a great spot to sit for a nice meal. Try cheeses and cured meats and stop for a snack at Nerbone.
Note that this area, along with the Galleria dell’Accademia is located close to the Duomo, and is best explored on foot. The locality may not look very posh and chic, but the attractions including the church of San Lorenzo in the Medici neighborhood make for a nice visit and a stroll after lunch.
San Marco Church
After the market, head over to the 13th century Church of San Marco. Housed inside the church is the funerary chapel of St. Antony, which is considered to be Giambologna’s main architectural work, and is worth checking out.
You will also find a Byzantine mosaic Virgin in prayer from a Rome oratory, which dates back 705 here.
Right outside the church, there is a small piazza. This spot is perfect to cool off with gelato before continuing your sightseeing in Florence.
Next walk to the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Ponte Vecchio is a medieval arch bridge, built over the Arno River. The bridge itself is considered an important city landmark.
The bridge dates back to the 14th century and has survived any floods – thanks to its arch shape. Ponte Vecchio literally means ‘Old Bridge’, and it is notable for the shops that are built on it. You can walk across the bridge and check out the shops!
For the best views of the bridge, head over to the nearby Trinita bridge!
Now complete your sightseeing in Florence by soaking in the sunset view from Piazzale Michelangelo.
To get to the viewing platform, you will have to walk from the center and hike/climb a series of steps, but we promise the view is worth all the effort!
AllTrails actually has a hike, from Piazza Duomo – Basilica San Lorenzo – Ponte Vecchio – Piazzale Michelangelo as a 5.1 kilometer (3.16 miles) point-to-point trail.
From Ponte Vecchio to Piazzale Michelanego takes about 16 to 20 minutes, and it is fairly easy to walk down. You will get a flight of stairs to head to the top.
You can climb up the stairs from Piazza San Niccolò. Head uphill and hike up the long flight of stairs to be welcomed to gorgeous views of Florence, bridges, and the Arno River.
Or you start at the bottom of Piazza Giuseppe Poggi (located next to the river) to reach Piazzale Michelangelo.
Not into walking? Then hop bus number 13 (from Ponte Niccolò). Cars are also allowed up there.
There are cafes, restaurants, and sightseeing buses available from the Piazzale. You will also find a copy of a statue of David here.
Take the time to enjoy a stroll of the piazza, and then sit down at the steps of the Piazzale for a nice sunset view!
Day 3 of 3 days in Florence itinerary: Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, Santa Maria Novella Church or Santa Croce Basilica
On the final day of the Florence itinerary, visit the Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace, and the beautiful Santa Maria Novella. If you would like to enjoy a day trip instead, we have included a few options below – it is possible to explore Pisa and/or Chianti (wine tour) in less than 6 hours from Florence.
Let’s look at the sightseeing options in Florence first!
Uffizi Gallery is a Renaissance art museum and is one of the popular places in Florence. Tickets are usually sold out for days, so book them ahead of time.
This world-famous gallery is home to some of the most famous paintings and sculptures in history from Botticelli to Michelangelo. With more than 100,000 drawings and prints on display, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Uffizi Gallery.
Palazzo Pitti & Gallery of Modern Art
Visit the Pitti Palace next. The palace was home to the Pitti family in the 15th century and then the powerful Medici family. It has an incredibly rich collection of artworks for you to check out.
This collection of art is from the works of Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian, Pietro da Cortona, and Rubens – all amassed by the Medicis during their rule.
The first floor of the Palace has the Palatine Gallery, showcasing 16th and 17th-century paintings.
The second floor of the Pitti Palace has the Gallery of Modern Art, displaying Italian paintings and sculptures, mostly from the late 18th century to World War I.
From the Pitti Palace, you can catch a glimpse of the nearby Santo Spirito Basilica and the Boboli Gardens.
Discover the stunning Boboli Gardens, located near the Pitti Palace. The gardens were made for the Medici family and it is one of the finest examples of the Italian Garden.
With an entry ticket, you can visit the Renaissance statues and large fountains in an open-air museum format. Plus you can go on a lovely stroll, amidst greenery on a warm afternoon.
Located inside the Gardens, is Grotta del Buontalenti – an artificial cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites. It is decorated with statues of shepherds, sheep, and Roman goddesses.
Santa Maria Novella Church
Santa Maria Novella is a beautiful church located near the central train station in Florence. The original complex dates back to the 13th century, and it was later expanded and grew its importance over the centuries.
The church pulls millions of visitors in a year, and the main reason is the artwork inside and outside. The facade of the Santa Maria Novella is made of marble and is absolutely gorgeous – it oozes Florentine Renaissance charm!
The museum has an entry fee. Housed inside it is artwork of Duccio, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Masaccio, Filippino Lippi, Giorgio Vasari, Paolo Uccello, Domenico Ghilrlandaio, and Michelangelo.
Santa Croce Area
Finish sightseeing with a stop at the Santa Croce Basilica.
Located at the Piazza di Santa Croce, this Basilica dates back to the 14th century and has artworks of Giotto, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Bronzino, Vasari, and more.
Inside there are the resting places and monumental tombs of the famous such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante, Foscolo, and many others.
As part of the entry ticket, you also get access to the Pazzi Chapel, the Last Supper, the Medici Chapel, and the Sala del Pozzo.
Santa Croce has always been a place of civic and religious significance in Florence. And today it showcases over 8 centuries of artwork in 4000 stunning pieces.
Santa Croce tour: Book a guided tour here
After visiting the Santa Croce Basilica bid adieu to the Renaissance city, with a nice dinner in downtown Florence!
Optional 3 day Florence itinerary
In this alternate 3 day Florence itinerary, you have an option to explore more of Tuscany by going on day trips. We have additional day trip options below, but our top two favorites are
- Option 1: Enjoy a wine tour from Florence. Florence to Chianti is 1.25 hours by train. Here is 4.50-hour tour, which will you to sample wines and also return to the city by afternoon
- Option 2: Explore Pisa on a day trip, and visit the Leaning Tower, Bapistry, and the Cathedral complex. You can also book this as a half day tour
In the late afternoon/evening, enjoy a lovely stroll at the Piazza della Repubblica.
Piazza della Repubblica is one of the main squares in Florence, and it marks the center of the city since Roman times. However, the current square dates back to the late 19th century and was designed by Turin architect Gaetano Koch.
You can also include one of these markets to your itinerary –
- Mercato Nuovo (Mercato Porcellino, which is a newer version of the San Lorenzo leather market). This is located near Piazza della Repubblica, and
- Outdoor market at the Piazza Santissima Annunziata (fresh produce, local art)
Day trips from Florence
Florence is a great base to explore other destinations in Tuscany and Italy. We have already shared Pisa and Chianti wine tours as options for half day trips. Here is a list of full day trips from Florence that you can swap with any of the activities above,
- Tuscany Wine Tasting Full-Day Trip: Go on a full day tour of Chianti countryside and sample about 7 different wines. View more details about the tour here
- Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti Day Trip with Siena Cathedral and Lunch: Discover the best of central Tuscany with this full day tour, exploring Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti winery. Click to book here
- Siena: From Florence, Siena also makes for a nice day trip. You can take trains to get there in less than 2 hours
- Bologna: Florence to Bologna is 35 minutes by train. On a day trip you can check out the Two Towers of Bologna, Seven Churches of Basilica of Santo Stefano, to name a few
- Cinque Terre Day Trip: This is a long and a full day tour to Cinque Terre with optional hike and lunch. Click to view
- San Marino: You can also visit the microstate of San Marino on a day trip from Florence. San Marino is one of the world’s oldest republics, and is home to Three Towers dating back to the 11th century (plus wonderful views)
Things to do in Florence Itinerary 3 days: Sightseeing Map
Is 3 days enough for Florence?
As a first time visitor to Florence, 3 days is enough to get a glimpse of the iconic landmarks like the Duomo complex, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, and Piazza della Signoria. It also gives you enough time to visit both world-class Renaissance museums – Uffizzi and Accemedia. Plus you can hang out at a market, and eat some delicious Tuscan food!
If you an art fan, and plan to intimately explore galleries, churches, piazzas, viewpoints, and former palaces, then you will appreciate extra time in Florence.
Travel Tips for Florence Italy
Here are some quick tips for Florence,
- Florence is located in central-northern Italy. Italy is an EU member and follows the Schengen agreement (for visa purposes)
- Euro is the official currency in Italy. When in Florence, it is better to use cash for a food, souvenirs, etc. You will also need cash to pay for tourist tax at your accommodation
- When dining in Florence, opt to eat like locals do – by standing at the bar, rather than ‘sit down’. This ‘sit down’ or coperto is a fee. It varies from 1 to even 5 €, and it applied in most famous and touristy places. Italians and visitors , all have to pay this fee – it is pretty normal!
- Most people speak Italian in Florence, including shop owners, and servers. Many stalls at the Central Market were actually operated by people of Asian origin and they spoke in English. Most service providers did their best to provide a good experience and also attempted to communicate in English
Wondering how many days do you need in Florence? 2 to 3 days in Florence are ideal if you wish to check off the primary attractions and visit 1-2 museums. With a long weekend in Florence, you can also relax and chill out at one of the piazzas or soak in the sun at a viewpoint and more!
YES, 10000%. Florence is one of the most beautiful and historically rich cities in all of Italy.
Imagine yourself wandering through ancient alleyways or admiring Michelangelo’s David in person. And of course, trying out different Tuscan cuisines and shopping!
With stunning architecture, delicious food, and fascinating history, Florence has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in art, culture, or just taking a relaxing stroll through the city streets, Florence will captivate you!
We hope you found our Florence 3 day itinerary guide useful!
Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With its rich history and stunning architecture, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this city.
Make sure you take some time to wander through the streets and explore all the amazing sights. There’s no better way to experience everything Florence has to offer than by walking around and taking it all in at your own pace.
If you liked our 3 days in Florence blog, then you will enjoy the following Italy guides,
- Italy: Italy in November | What to wear in Italy | 10 days in Italy itinerary
- Rome: 4 days in Rome itinerary | Photo spots in Rome
- Venice: One day in Venice | Photo spots in Venice | Venice in a weekend