Don’t stress too much about where you stay—you can’t go wrong in Florence!
Florence is made up of many beautifully unique neighborhoods, each boasting its own special vibes, landmarks, and views. But, they all share the quintessentially Florentine charm that makes this city so fantastic. While visiting Florence, you’ll definitely want to check out all of these neighborhoods, because they’re each an important aspect of the city as a whole, and they’re all within walking distance of one another! By no means is this a definitive list of every neighborhood in Florence, but this these are the main areas you should know when deciding where to stay and planning your itinerary. However, while certain neighborhoods might suit you and your plans more than others, don’t stress too much about where you stay—you can’t go wrong in Florence!
Reputation: The heart of the Florence city center.
The 411: While this is certainly the most touristy part of the Florence city center, there is no wonder why it is such a popular and famous landmark—it’s absolutely amazing! While you will find many hotels, hostels, bars, and restaurants right next to the Duomo, note that this is a very crowded area (especially in spring and summer months) and that all prices are exponentially higher around this iconic landmark. The food is less authentic and more expensive, so try not to eat right next to the Duomo itself.
Don’t miss: The Duomo, of course! Climb the Duomo or Campanile, go inside the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, and check out the Duomo Museum.
Reputation: Chill local vibes by day, the nightlife hub of the city by night.
The 411: Centered around Piazza Santa Croce, home of the stunning Basilica di Santa Croce, this neighborhood is a great place to stay if you want to feel like a local, but still be close to the Duomo. Prices are more reasonable and the food is more authentic in this area. And this is the place to be for Florence nightlife—you’ll be able to bar-and-club-hop all night long, and have a quick walk home at the end of the night!
Don’t miss: The Basilica di Santa Croce, which is the resting place of many extremely influential Italians including Michelangelo and Galileo. There are also many fantastic bars, aperitivo spots, and nightclubs near the Piazza di Santa Croce.
Reputation: The high-end shopper’s dream.
The 411: This swanky area around Via de’ Tornabuoni is the place to be if you’re looking to shop designer fashions. You’ll find every high fashion and jewelry store you could ever want, and the gorgeous window displays are worth admiring even if you don’t want to shop! This is a clean area that is close to the river, and it feels more modern than other parts of the city.
Don’t miss: All the shopping!
Reputation: A lively area with seemingly endless market shopping.
The 411: The bustling streets near the Duomo are usually packed with tourists, and there are vendors of all kinds everywhere you look. Centered around the Basilica di San Lorenzo, this area has a vibrant feel, and boasts many restaurants and affordable shops. This is also the home to the huge Mercato Centrale, the indoor food market, which is surrounded by the outdoor leather market.
Don’t miss: The Basilica di San Lorenzo, the Mercato Centrale, and the casual dining and shopping.
Reputation: A bustling area that is home to the train station.
The 411: This is a very convenient place to stay due to its close proximity to the Santa Maria Novella train station, and there are always taxis in this area. You’ll love being close to the train station if you plan on taking day trips outside of Florence! There are many hotels and restaurants in this area as well. The streets are a bit noisier in this area, but that’s just because this is the travel hub of the city!
Don’t miss: The Santa Maria Novella church and piazza. Also, be sure to use the Santa Maria Novella train station for quick and convenient travel!
Reputation: The political heart of the city historically, which is home to a great deal of art.
The 411: This is one of the most stunning Florence neighborhoods, centered around the Piazza della Signoria, is certainly a tourist attraction, but it still manages to retain its classic Florentine charisma. There is good shopping around this area, but note that the food will be more expensive, just like around the Duomo. It’s a nice central location to use as your home base, and there’s a great deal of amazing art to see! But if you’re not staying here, be sure to visit during both the day and night to see how the landmarks are illuminated with gorgeous lighting after dark.
Don’t miss: The Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Loggia dei Lanzi.
Reputation: The area on the south side of the Arno River, which was originally known as the artisans’ neighborhood.
The 411: This side of the river is beautiful and filled with fantastic restaurants. There’s so much to see and do, you could easily spend an entire visit here without ever feeling the need to cross the river! (But, of course, you should.) This is a great place to stay if you don’t want to feel like a tourist. With rolling Tuscan hills as its backdrop, and quaint little streets leading from place to place, you’ll feel like a true Florentine while you’re here.
Don’t miss: The Pitti Palace, Piazza Santo Spirito, the Boboli Gardens, Piazzale Michelangelo, and so many incredible restaurants!