Where to stay in Florence


Florence is a city rich in history, art, and culture, often regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance. Visitors are drawn to its world-class museums, stunning architecture, and mouth-watering Tuscan cuisine. Deciding where to stay can truly influence your experience of this enchanting city. Each neighborhood has a unique charm and offers different attractions, from bustling marketplaces to serene, picturesque streets. Some areas may brim with lively nightlife, while others offer a tranquil retreat. In this guide, we provide an honest look at various neighborhoods to help you choose the best fit for your stay, keeping in mind that even the most popular areas come with their own drawbacks.

  • City Center

    • 🏙️ central
    • landmarks
    • 🤼 crowded
    • noisy
    • 💵 pricey

    The City Center of Florence is the heart of the action, with the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio all within easy walking distance. Staying here means you're submerged in the Renaissance splendor for which Florence is renowned. Although unmatched for sightseeing convenience, the City Center can be overwhelming with crowds and the premium on accommodations. Noise and a frenetic pace are the trade-offs for staying at the epicenter of this historic city.

  • Santa Croce & Sant'Ambrosio

    • 🏛️ historic
    • local
    • 🍝 food
    • 🍷 nightlife
    • 👫 busy

    Santa Croce & Sant'Ambrosio areas are renowned for their historic charm, with landmarks like the Basilica di Santa Croce defining the skyline. The neighborhood buzzes with a youthful energy, thanks to the nearby university, and has a great variety of restaurants and shops. However, tourists should be mindful that the nightlife can get lively, possibly encroaching on a peaceful night's sleep. These areas blend Florence's rich history with a dynamic present, but can feel crowded during peak tourist seasons.

  • San Frediano & Santo Spirito

    • 🕶️ hipster
    • artisans
    • 🍷 nightlife
    • 🎨 bohemian
    • less-touristy

    Laid back and local are words that describe the San Frediano and Santo Spirito neighborhoods with an artisanal and hipster edge that radiate cool. These areas boast a vibrant nightlife scene with plenty of bars and casual eateries and maintain a strong community vibe despite the influx of tourists. Some travelers may find it less polished than the city center, but it's a hotspot for those looking for an authentic slice of Florentine life. The cobblestone streets and local workshops maintain a romantic allure, albeit accompanied by the nightlife's occasional rowdiness.

  • Santa Maria Novella

    • transit
    • mixed-budget
    • 👫 busy
    • 🏙️ central
    • 🏛️ historic

    Just a stone's throw from Florence's main rail station, Santa Maria Novella is convenient for travelers, bursting with hotels of various standards. The basilica bearing the same name is a Gothic masterpiece that gives the area an air of refined elegance. However, proximity to the station can mean a busier, sometimes noisier environment and a mix between tourist-oriented and authentic local venues. While great for short stays and early departures, it might not be the quiescent Tuscan dream some visitors are looking for.

  • San Lorenzo & San Marco

    • 🛍️ shopping
    • affordable
    • 📸 touristy
    • daytime-busy
    • 🏙️ central

    Home to the famous San Lorenzo market and close to the Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo's David, San Lorenzo & San Marco are ideal for those who want culture right on their doorstep. This neighborhood tends to be buzzing with activity, which provides a vibrant atmosphere but also means it's not the quietest of places. The market area can feel touristy and somewhat hectic, with vendors selling a wide array of goods. Be prepared for a bustling urban experience full of historical sights but less of the tranquility found in more residential areas.

  • Santissima Annunziata

    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🥂 upscale
    • 🧘 quiet
    • refined
    • limited-nightlife

    The Santissima Annunziata area is characterized by its elegant piazza and Renaissance architecture, lending it a more refined and upscale ambience. It is close to several prestigious educational institutions, thus drawing students and academics alike. While it offers a quieter alternative to the more boisterous tourist hubs, it can lack the nightlife and dining diversity found elsewhere. It's an excellent choice for those seeking a more peaceful retreat while still being within a short distance of the city's many attractions.

  • San Niccolo & Piazzale Michelangelo

    • views
    • 🎨 bohemian
    • young-travelers
    • steep-walk
    • 🍷 nightlife

    San Niccolo & Piazzale Michelangelo, situated on the left bank of the Arno River, are favored for their picturesque streets and stunning panoramic views from the renowned Piazzale Michelangelo. This area offers a more laid-back and bohemian feel, popular with artists and a younger crowd. However, being somewhat removed from the city center, it may require a bit more walking or public transport to reach the main sights. The spectacular views and quieter streets come at the cost of slightly less accessibility.