Are you looking for a slow-paced 3 days itinerary for Florence that focuses on quality over quantity? Then you are in the right spot.
It’s challenging to see it all in Florence, Italy. Especially if you want to find undiscovered treasures and cute corners of the city that no one else knows.
My friend Louisa Loring from EatingAroundItaly.com has been traveling to Florence for 15 + years. It is safe to say she knows all about Florence.
After countless trips, Louisa found that the most memorable moments she had in Florence were those at ease and off the beaten path experiences.
To help you plan a trip that is just as amazing and memorable, Louisa helped me create this ultimate on how to spend three days in Florence.
Let’s get to it.
Table of Contents
- 3 Days in Florence Itinerary – at a Glance
- How Many Days Do You Need in Florence?
- Where to Stay in Florence
- How to Get Around Florence
- Day One: Walking Tour of City Center & Villa Bardini
- Day Two: The Uffizi Gallery, Pizza and Piazzale Michelangelo
- Day Three: Sant’Ambrogio Market, Cappella Brancacci and Santo Spirito
- The Best Time To Visit Florence
- Tips for Visiting Florence
- Difference Between Firenze and Florence
- Where is Florence?
- Is Florence Safe?
- Florence Bucket List – 3 Days in Florence Itinerary
- Conclusion: 3 Days Florence Itinerary
- FAQ: 3 Days Florence Itinerary
3 Days in Florence Itinerary – at a Glance
If you just came here to quickly get your itinerary and be done with it, look no further. Fore more detailed information and general travel tips for Florence keep on reading to find out more.
|City Center Walking Tour||Le Volpi e l’Uva||Villa Bardini||Trattoria 4 Leoni|
|Uffizi Gallery||Pizza Napoli 1955||Piazzale Michelangelo||Trattoria Mario or Il Santo Bevitore|
|Sant’Ambrogio||Da Rocco||Cappella Brancacci, Santo Spirito Square||Osteria Santo Spirito or Borgo Antico|
How Many Days Do You Need in Florence?
You can really stay in Florence a whole week and not see it all. However, you can accomplish a lot and see many of the most iconic monuments and sites within three days’ time. Florence is an amazing Slow Travel Destination.
In three days, you have the time you need to visit a few museums, churches, gardens and also leave enough time to the streets of Florence – what gives the city real character.
Anything less than three days will be stressful, overwhelming and not relaxing. You can certainly see all the main sites but you will miss the slow moments without the full three days.
So much of what makes the actual city of Florence a UNESCO World Heritage Site is its city streets and the culture that fills them.
Where to Stay in Florence
If you are looking for a luxury experience, check out Antica Torre in Via dè Tornabuoni. This is a great area to stay in Florence for first time visitors.
It’s undoubtedly fancy and the price reflects that. But it’s worth the splurge. I recommend this hotel because its location is one of the best. Also each room has its own and unique character.
The hotel does have a restaurant and bar on site. I like hotels that have some kind of bar or restaurant on site because it gives me more flexibility when traveling.
If I steer away from pre-planned itineraries for any reason and am out all day, the simplicity and ease of having a bar at the hotel makes evenings much more relaxing.
If you want to stay in a more authentic and rustic neighborhood, look into SoprArno located in Oltrarno in Via Maggio. It is just off Piazza Santo Spirito and not far from Pitti Palace.
How to Get Around Florence
The absolute best way to get the most out of your Florence stay is by seeing the Renaissance city on foot. The city is very small and 100% walkable without any means of public transportation.
If walking all day is not a good fit for you, the city center is well connected by small electric buses. To get outside the historic walls of Florence, many of the Autolinea Toscana buses leave from Piazza San Marco.
You can either buy tickets online or at small newsstands which you will find throughout Florence.
Biking Florence is always a great option. Bike sharing has become quite popular over the recent years. Ridemovi is the most popular company for renting regular or electric bikes or electric scooters.
You can unlock bikes and leave them really anywhere in the city as long as you are careful not to block garages, sidewalks and other entrances.
Day One: Walking Tour of City Center & Villa Bardini
We will begin this 3 days in Florence itinerary with a walking tour of the city.
To really enjoy Florence and take it all in, you should stroll by the most iconic monuments. Make sure to take your time to enjoy each one from the outside. This way, you’ll be giving historical context to the rest of your time in Florence.
What makes Florence so grand is that the most beautiful parts of the city are actually best visited from the squares and main streets.
Find below my map for a great walking tour of the highlights of Florence and some detailed instructions on how to get from A to B.
Start in Piazza del Duomo and make your way around the entire Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Be sure to stop at St. John’s Baptistry, located right in front of the main Duomo doors. Spend some time admiring the famous Bronze Gates of Paradise on the Baptistry, depicting scenes from the Bible. They are so intricate and detailed, they deserve some extra time.
Because the Duomo complex is so big, it’s hard to see it all. The absolute best solution is to visit the inside of the Baptistry which is elaborately decorated in gold.
We always like to get gelato at Edoardo, one of the newest and best gelaterias in Florence. He pays attention to local and organic ingredients. The cones are also made on-site. The line is usually pretty long but in my opinion, it’s worth the wait.
Recommendation: Stop off at Alessi for great souvenirs and other gifts. They have an enormous selection of wine, candy, chocolate, and other Florentine food specialties.
From here, head down to Piazza della Repubblica, where you will find the iconic carousel and large archway to Via Tornabuoni.
At this point, head towards Piazza della Signoria, going down Via Calzaiuoli. Here, you will find the Church of Orasanmichele with some of Florence’s most beautiful outdoor sculptures cropping out from the sides. If you want to pop in, it’s usually not nearly as busy as some of the other churches and doesn’t take long.
Once in Piazza della Signoria, spend your time taking in all the iconic sculptures and the famous Palazzo Vecchio.
Cafe Recommendation: Rivoire is the absolute best cafe on the square if you need a break. Try and grab a table on the outside edge of white covered outdoor seating area for the best views.
Just a few minutes walk from this square you will come to Florence’s most famous bridge, Ponte Vecchio. There you can window shop the absolute best gold and jewelry in the city.
After making your way across Ponte Vecchio, stop at Le Volpi e l’Uva for a light lunch.
At this wine bar, enjoy a glass of wine from their extensive wine list. Try some of the best charcuterie and cheese boards.
Just off of the main drag, this little hole in the wall is a great place to rest, relax and take in all you have just seen and learned about Florence.
After lunch, head to the Bardini Gardens. Ideally, you should be entering at the bottom in Via Bardini, 1r (there is also an entrance at the top of the gardens but it’s a hike up to then walk down again so I don’t recommend this).
This Renaissance style 4-hectare garden was recently restored in 2006. It is a true gem, undiscovered to most tourists. It is one of the highlights of this three days in Florence itinerary.
Unlike the Boboli Gardens, this garden is untouched by herds of tourists. It is an ideal spot to regroup and enjoy sweeping views of the city from afar.
The visit should take anywhere from 1-1 ½ hours. You will have enough time to explore the loggia, fountains, grottoes, sculptures, and the abundance of carefully curated flowers.
Aperitif & Dinner
End your day in Piazza della Passera, my family’s favorite small, hidden square. It is on the Oltrarno side of Florence and it has everything you need to keep you busy all evening.
You can start with an aperitivo at one of the many bars such as Bulli & Balene – Spritz e Cicchetti or Caffè degli Artigiani.
You can then move onto dinner at Trattoria 4 Leoni for a traditional Tuscan meal. Call ahead to book a table, being sure to ask for outdoor seating in the square.
Don’t miss gelato at Gelateria della Passera for some of the best artisan gelato in the city.
Day Two: The Uffizi Gallery, Pizza and Piazzale Michelangelo
It’s unheard of to go to Florence and not visit the Uffizi Gallery. It is one of the most famous and important art museums in all of Europe, despite the crowds and long lines.
Even if you enjoy slow travel and are in search of off-the-beaten-track activities, you can’t miss a visit to the Uffizi.
I have visited this place tens of times over 15 years and I always see something different. The museum is so large that you can even find hidden rooms to enjoy the sphere without people.
The mass crowds of tourists come to see the most famous pieces of artwork such Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”, Leonardo Da Vinci ‘s “Annunciation” and Caravaggio’s “Medusa.” But the museum is full of gems that you can actually admire without coming and going traffic to distract you.
Tip: I have visited the Uffizi Gallery in every way possible and the best way to uncover the best “undiscovered” or less popular artwork in the museum without the crowds is with a guide.
A visit to the Uffizi should not be rushed and you should give yourself a whole morning to get lost inside. If you think that is too much time, take a break at the museum’s rooftop cafe.
Here you can order a refreshing beverage, coffee or get a small bite to eat while enjoying a great view of the city center from a unique location.
After a visit to the Uffizi Galleries, grab a table at one of the many pizzerias located at the backend of the museum where you will exit.
It is time for some more walking and exploring after indulging in the delicious pizza. The next part of the walking tour in Florence will take us to some breathtaking views and stunning squares.
Start with a visit to the Santa Croce Church. It is just down Via dei Benci. You can stop to take in all its grandeur at one of the many cafes lining the square. It’s quite beautiful inside and the visit doesn’t take long if you want to take a peak.
I have never had a problem of waiting in line at Santa Croce before. It’s much less crowded and from an artistic point of view it is much more elaborate than the iconic Duomo of Florence.
Head back towards the river and cross over Ponte alle Grazie to make your way to the tower of San Niccolò. From the bottom of the tower you will see walkways curving around both sides towards the top of Piazzale Michelangelo.
These switchbacks mark the beginning of your hike up to grandest square overlooking some of the most panoramic city views of Florence. Take your time walking up here, stopping at the Rose Garden to take a breather and get off the most popular roads leading up.
Once you have climbed to the top, I suggest you keep going to San Miniato al Monte for a less-crowded viewpoint.
If you’re in Florence, you’ve gotta check out “Trattoria Mario.” It’s a local favorite for Italian home-cooking.
Another gem is “Il Santo Bevitore” for a modern twist on Tuscan cuisine. Both spots offer amazing food and a cozy vibe.
For a killer view, you’ve got to go to “La Terrazza Lounge Bar” on top of the Continentale Hotel. Imagine sipping a cocktail while looking over the Arno River and the Florence skyline.
Day Three: Sant’Ambrogio Market, Cappella Brancacci and Santo Spirito
Spend your last morning visiting the most authentic open air market in Florence, Sant’Ambrogio. This market is smaller than its touristy counterpart, the Mercato Centrale. But this is where you will find the locals hanging out and shopping.
Start your visit off Italian-style at one of the lovely bars (equivalent of a cafe in English), lining the square. Cibreo and Gilda are two very good options.
After a leisurely cappuccino and pastry, start your tour of the Sant’Ambrogio market. On the outside you will find fresh fruit and vegetable vendors on one side and with antiques and other home goods on the other.
Inside the market you can find various stalls selling some of the best meat, homemade pastas, fish, cheese, bread, food souvenirs, and other staples. It is open until about 12:30 pm.
I can spend hours just browsing all the different food items, stopping for snacks here and there. Try taralli, schiacciata and stock up on fresh fruit for the best snacks.
Don’t be afraid to chit chat with the owners, stop locals and ask for recommendations and get lost in the flow of market life.
Have lunch directly in the Sant’Ambrogio market at Da Rocco, a very casual.
It is an authentic trattoria serving up cheap eats at shared tables. Be prepared to wai,t as it’s quite popular with Florentines. Sadly, they don’t take reservations.
After lunch, visit the Cappella Brancacci. It is one of Florence’s most beautiful masterpieces and overlooked by most first-time tourists in Piazza del Carmine.
Although seemingly uninteresting on the outside, the inside of the Cappella Brancacci is home to some of the most beautiful and important frescoes in the city. You can see frescoes illustrating the life of St. Peter.
Designed by Masolino da Panicale and painted by Masaccio and later finished by Filippino Lippi, these recently restored frescoes are a true testament to the use of chiaroscuro, and perspective painting. These are two important aspects of Renaissance art.
Spend the rest of the afternoon in the Santo Spirito square and neighborhood, exploring small streets and corners. There you will run upon some of Florence’s most historic shops, artisan workshops and unique cafes and bars. This is where all the locals live and one of the best places to hang out.
Tip: If you happen here on a Sunday, don’t miss one of the many markets including antique and organic markets (schedule changes regularly), running all day in Piazza Santo Spirito.
Have an aperitivo in Piazza Santo Spirito before heading to dinner at one of the many restaurants right on the square. For an intimate aperitivo experience, go to Loggia Roof Bar.
Eating on Piazza Santo Spirito is such a vibe!
You should totally hit up “Osteria Santo Spirito” for some hearty Italian dishes. If you’re into seafood, “Borgo Antico” is the spot. Both are super close to the square and offer great food and atmosphere. This concludes our 3 days in Florence itinerary with some great food.
The Best Time To Visit Florence
Florence is one of the busiest and most visited cities in Italy. Because of its small size, it feels quite busy for much of the year, especially in the summer.
If at all possible, avoid travel to Florence from June-August. The most beautiful and mild seasons temperature-wise are spring (March-May) and fall (September-November).
Within these two time frames, May and October are the absolute best months because the tourism level goes down slightly, school is in session and the weather is amazing.
The least crowded periods in Florence are from the New Year through February. Unfortunately, it can be quite dreary and rainy.
Tips for Visiting Florence
In Italian, they always say “to do things con calma” or without being rushed. Any Florentine would suggest that you enjoy the city this way as well. Below are my top tips for visiting Florence with ease.
🤍 For any of the suggested sites and monuments: if a ticket is required, pre-book online at the official website to avoid wasting time in long lines.
🤍 Indulge in the aperitivo culture in Florence. There is nothing more Italian than spending time sitting at a bar and enjoying the company of others over a glass or wine.
🤍 Head to the side streets for shade and unique finds. Some of the best cafes, bars, shops and squares are just off the main drags. As a general rule, find the largest and most touristy road and then hit the parallel to it. You will find the best gems in these small roads.
🤍 Be flexible! If a museum takes a bit longer and you end up only having time for a slice of pizza instead of a whole pie at a pizzeria, don’t sweat it. Florentines are flexible and you should be too! Similarly, if you find yourself enjoying a particular place, don’t rush it. If you bump into a particularly appealing cafe, stop and indulge. The most authentic thing you can do while in Florence is simply live as the Italians do, minute by minute, enjoying the day-to-day life of people watching, eating, and being in good company. This 3 days in Florence itinerary should leave you enough time to explore at a slower pace.
🤍 One of the best ways I found to engage Italians as a tourist in Florence was to try and speak Italian, even if I couldn’t speak a lick of it. Italians appreciate the effort and it opens the door to interactions with locals. The best recommendations I ever got were from locals in Florence.
Difference Between Firenze and Florence
You have reached the end of this 3 days in Florence itinerary. But I won’t let you leave without knowing the difference between Florence and Firenze.
Firenze is just the Italian name for Florence. They’re the same city!
“Florence” is the English version. The name “Firenze” likely comes from the Latin word “Florentia,” which means “flourishing.”
It makes sense, given its rich history in art and culture, right? So, whether you say Firenze or Florence, you’re talking about the same beautiful Italian city.
People from Florence are called “Florentines” in English and “Fiorentini” in Italian.
Where is Florence?
Florence is in Italy, right in the heart of the Tuscany region.
It’s about 230 miles north of Rome and 185 miles south of Milan. The Arno River runs right through the city, splitting it into two parts.
Close to Florence, you’ve also got Siena, known for its medieval streets and big square.
Pisa and its leaning tower are also nearby, only a short car ride away.
Don’t forget Lucca, it’s got awesome city walls you can walk on. For wine, head to Chianti. Each place is just a short train or car ride away.
Is Florence Safe?
Florence is generally a safe city, especially compared to some other big cities. It’s mostly chill, but like any touristy place, it has its issues.
Pickpocketing can be a problem, especially in crowded areas and on public transport. So, keep an eye on your stuff!
Also, be cautious at night around the train station. It’s not super dangerous, but better to be safe.
Scams are pretty rare, but they do happen. Keep an eye out for anyone trying to distract you or offering “free” stuff.
Overall, just use common sense and you’ll likely have a great time.
Do I need Travel Insurance for Florence? Yes, it is very helpful to have travel insurance in Florence. EKTA offers great insurance packages that work worldwide, without hassle and at no hidden cost.
Florence Bucket List – 3 Days in Florence Itinerary
Conclusion: 3 Days Florence Itinerary
The best way to see Florence and visit the city is to live it like the locals, spending your time taking in the best of Florence’s outdoor monuments with an espresso or glass of wine in hand.
Indulge in good food, aperitifs, gelato and plenty of wine and take advantage of the strong cafe life lining the streets of Florence.
And remember, to get the most out of your experience in Florence, be flexible. If you happen to start chatting with a local and you get off schedule, don’t sweat it. Run with it because these are the authentic moments any traveler seeks!
This three days in Florence itinerary provided you with some great and authentic walking tours that will take you by secret hidden gems and beloved attractions.
A great way to visit Florence for 3 days is by including it in a Northern Italy Road Trip.
Not sure yet where to go next? Head over to Venice, the beautiful city of canals and gondolas.
Check all destinations for more travel inspiration.
FAQ: 3 Days Florence Itinerary
Three days in Florence is definitely tight but doable. You can hit the major spots like the Uffizi Gallery, Duomo, and Ponte Vecchio. There’s also time to wander in charming neighborhoods like Oltrarno. You won’t see everything, but you’ll catch the highlights and get a good taste of the city’s vibe.
I’d say 4-5 days is a sweet spot for Florence. This gives you time to explore famous museums, soak in the art, and indulge in the food scene. You can also take leisurely strolls through local markets and maybe even do a day trip to a nearby Tuscan town. It’s a nice balance!
Florence can be a bit pricey, especially if you’re hitting up the touristy spots. Museums and dining out add up. But there are ways to keep costs down, like enjoying street food or taking advantage of free sights. Overall, it’s not cheap but you can make it work on a budget.
Late spring and early fall are awesome for Florence. Think May or October. The weather’s nice but not too hot, and the tourist crowds are thinner. You get to enjoy outdoor cafes, stroll through gardens, and explore without feeling rushed or sweaty. Basically, you get Florence at its best