Skip to content
Home » Europe » Italy

One Day in Florence: How to Spend the Perfect 24 Hours in Florence

Florence, the jewel of Tuscany, beckons travelers with its intoxicating blend of art, history, and culture making it a must-visit destination. As the cradle of the Renaissance, it boasts a treasure trove of masterpieces. Strolling through its cobbled streets, you’re transported to an era where visionaries like Dante and the Medici family shaped the course of history. Here’s our lowdown on how best to spend one day in Florence and the best things to do 🙂

Please note that this article contains affiliate links. Learn more about it on our Disclosure page. We use ads to support our small business – we hope you don’t mind them too much.

Is One Day in Florence Enough?

No. Given the city’s rich tapestry of art, culture, and history, seeing Florence in one day would only allow a visitor to scratch the surface of what the city has to offer. 

Yet, spending even just 1 day in Florence is preferable to not visiting at all. It’s possible to get a glimpse of its highlights—provided you rise early and move with discipline and stamina.

Getting To Florence

If you’re traveling to Florence by air, you’ll be flying into Florence Airport, also known as Amerigo Vespucci Airport or Peretola Airport (FLR),  about 4 km (2.5 miles) northwest of the city center.

There are multiple ways to travel from Florence Airport to the city center. The most cost-effective option is taking public transportation, primarily using the T2 Leonardo Tramway. 

The tramway connects the airport directly to Florence’s central train station, Santa Maria Novella (SMN). There are no changes required, making it a straightforward journey of about 20 minutes.

The tram operates from around 05:00-24:00. The tram runs frequently, approximately every 4-5 minutes during peak hours and every 8-10 minutes during off-peak hours.

Tickets can be purchased from machines at the tram stop. A single ticket costs 1.70 EUR. Ensure you validate your ticket before boarding.

The taxi rank is located just outside the arrivals terminal. A trip to the Florence city center from the airport usually takes around 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

Private/shared transfers are the most comfortable and convenient way to get from Florence Airport to your destination in the city. They are especially useful if you are traveling in a group, have a lot of luggage, or want to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey.

If you choose to rent a car, the airport has several car rental agencies. To reach the city center, you can take the “Viale Alessandro Guidoni” road towards Florence, then follow signs for “Centro” (City Center). 

Be aware that Florence has a restricted traffic zone (ZTL) in the city center, and non-residents are not allowed to drive within this area without incurring heavy fines.

If you are traveling to Florence by train, the main train station in Florence is Santa Maria Novella (SMN), located in the city center. It is a major transportation hub, well connected to other parts of Italy and Europe. 

Santa Maria Novella Station is within walking distance of many hotels and attractions in Florence. If you prefer not to walk, you can take a taxi or a bus.

How To Get Around During Your One Day in Florence

Walking is the best and most enjoyable way to explore Florence, especially if you’re there for only one day. Florence’s city center is relatively compact and most of its famous landmarks and museums are within walking distance of each other.

If you’re interested in seeing the best of Florence on foot, check out this highly-rated Florence Walking Tour.

While walking is recommended, Florence does have a decent public transportation system operated by Autolinee Toscane. The buses and trams can take you to almost any part of the city. 

A single ticket costs 1.70 EUR and is valid for 90 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks, convenience stores, or directly on the Autolinee Toscane mobile app. Remember to validate your ticket once you’re on the bus or tram.

Keep in mind that the historic center of Florence is a ZTL (Limited Traffic Zone) area. It is best to avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours offer a convenient way to see major Florence sights without worrying about navigation or public transport schedules. They provide flexibility as you can get off at any stop of interest and come with an audio guide.

Florence is a bike-friendly city and this can be a quick and enjoyable way to get around, especially if the weather is nice. If you’re interested in seeing the highlights of Florence on a bike, check out this excellent Florence E-Bike Tour.

Segways offer an exciting and quick way to get around Florence. In case you’re interested in seeing the notable attractions of Florence on a segway, check out this highly-rated Florence Segway Tour.

If you want to see the must-see attractions in Florence in comfort and in an environmentally friendly way, check out this popular Florence Electric Cart Eco Tour.

Is The Firenze Card Worth It For One Day?

The Firenze Card, or Florence Card, is a convenient all-inclusive pass that provides access to over 70 museums and historic sites in Florence. It also includes public transportation and priority access to several major attractions.

However, the Firenze Card is a 72-hour museum pass and isn’t available for just 24 hours. Thus, you’ll be better off buying tickets for all the attractions in this itinerary individually.

Your One Day in Florence Itinerary

This ‘one day in Florence’ itinerary includes most of the must-see attractions in the city. It, of course, isn’t possible to explore all of Florence’s major sights in just one day, and you’ll barely scrape the barrel of what the city has to offer.

For your convenience, this post includes a free map that highlights the main points of interest in Florence for one day. You can find the addresses of the attractions by clicking on the icons in the map. 

Everyone travels at a different pace, so feel free to choose the destinations at your own pace. This is a pretty packed itinerary so the earlier you start your day the more time you’ll have to see the main attractions in Florence.

Below I have compiled a list of the best things to see in Florence over the course of one day:

1. The Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze)

The best way to kick off your one day in Florence would be by going to the Accademia Gallery, which is one of the most visited museums in Florence. The museum was founded by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo in 1784, with the purpose of serving as a teaching institution for students of the Academy of Fine Arts. 

Today, it is home to one of the finest collections of Italian Renaissance art, featuring works by many great artists, but its main attraction remains the sculptures by Michelangelo.

Michelangelo’s famous David sculpture at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy

The star of the gallery is undoubtedly Michelangelo’s David, a symbol of the Renaissance. One look is all it takes to understand why this is one of the most famous and celebrated sculptures in the world.

It was sculpted between 1501 and 1504 and placed in the Piazza della Signoria. However, in 1873, to preserve the statue from the elements, it was moved to the Accademia Gallery, and a replica was placed at its original location.

The statue was carved from a single block of Carrara marble and is enormous, standing over 17 feet tall. The size of the statue was unprecedented for its time and adds to its impressiveness.

I was astonished at the level of detail and anatomical accuracy that Michelangelo achieved in the statue. Everything is meticulously carved from the veins in David’s hands to the muscles in his legs and the expression on his face.

In addition to David, the Accademia Gallery houses other important works by Michelangelo, including the four unfinished Prisoners or Slaves, which provide an interesting insight into the artist’s sculpting process.

Artworks and sculptures on display at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy

The museum also contains a collection of Renaissance paintings by artists such as Paolo Uccello, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli, and Andrea del Sarto.

Practical Information For Visiting the Accademia Gallery

Opening Hours: The Accademia Gallery is usually open Tuesday-Sunday from 08:15-18:50. It is closed on Mondays, January 1, May 1, and December 25. Admission to the gallery ends 30 minutes before closing time.

From mid-June to the end of October the Accademia Gallery is open until 22:00 on Tuesdays and until 21:00 on Thursdays. However, opening hours can sometimes change, so it is always a good idea to check the gallery’s website or contact them directly before your visit.

Tickets: The entrance to the Accademia Gallery costs 13 EUR. It is highly recommended to purchase tickets for the gallery online in advance to avoid hideously long lines, especially during peak tourist seasons. 

Tickets to the gallery can be purchased through the gallery’s official website which has a 4 EUR booking fee. However, once booked, tickets are non-refundable under any circumstances.

If you want to purchase a refundable ticket, you can buy an entry ticket through GetYourGuide with priority entrance. Book early as tickets tend to sell out fast.

You can also book a skip-the-line guided tour that provides in-depth information about the artworks and the history of the gallery. This tour is also useful if regular tickets are sold out (which is often the case).

The Accademia Gallery is fairly small, so a visit here should take 30-45 minutes.

2. Central Market (Mercato Centrale)

People at the famous Mercato Centrale (Central Market) in Florence, Italy

Next, pay a quick visit to Mercato Centrale, or Central Market. This vibrant food market in Florence is housed in a beautiful 19th-century iron and glass building designed by architect Giuseppe Mengoni. 

The ground floor is bustling with vendors selling fresh local produce, meats, cheeses, bread, pasta, and other Italian delicacies. It is a paradise for food lovers, offering a wide variety of high-quality, locally sourced products. 

Upstairs, there is a food court with a variety of eateries and food stalls offering ready-to-eat meals, from traditional Tuscan dishes to contemporary cuisine. Though primarily a food market, you can find a variety of food-related souvenirs here that make excellent gifts or keepsakes from your trip to Tuscany.

The Mercato Centrale is not just a place to buy groceries or have a meal. It offers a glimpse into the daily life and culinary traditions of Florence. 

The Mercato Centrale is open daily from 09:00-24:00.

3. Medici Chapels (Cappelle Medicee)

The Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence, home to the Medici Chapels

The Medici Chapels, located in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, are one of the must-visit Florence attractions for anyone interested in Renaissance art, architecture, and history. The chapels are a monumental complex dedicated to the memory of the Medici dynasty, one of the most influential families in European history. 

The exquisite Chapel of the Princes of the Medici Chapels in Florence, Italy

The chapels consist of two main structures: the Chapel of the Princes and the New Sacristy. The Chapel of the Princes is the larger of the two chapels and is an exquisite mausoleum decorated with precious marble and semi-precious stones. 

It is an octagonal room covered by a massive dome and the design and decoration of the chapel were meant to celebrate the power and wealth of the Medici dynasty. The walls are adorned with the coats of arms of Tuscan cities under Medici control.

Designed by Michelangelo, the New Sacristy houses the tombs of Lorenzo de’ Medici and his brother Giuliano. Michelangelo designed not only the architecture but also the sculptures and the tombs. 

Michelangelo's allegorical sculptures of 'Night and Day' and 'Dawn and Dusk' in the New Sacristy of the Medici Chapels in Florence

The allegorical sculptures of ‘Night and Day’ and ‘Dawn and Dusk’ on the tombs of Lorenzo and Giuliano, respectively, are particularly famous. These sculptures are considered some of Michelangelo’s best work and showcase incredible skill and creativity.

Practical Information For Visiting the Medici Chapels

The Medici Chapels are open Wednesday-Monday from 08:15-18:50. The entrance costs 10 EUR. Tickets can be purchased online through the chapels’ official website or at the ticket office.

However, it’s easiest to book a timed-entrance ticket through GetYourGuide or Tiqets.

4. Duomo Complex

The famous Duomo Complex in Florence, Italy

The Duomo Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see for anyone traveling to Florence. The complex includes the Florence Cathedral, the Baptistery of Saint John, Giotto’s Campanile, the Opera del Duomo Museum, and the Santa Reparata crypt.

The Florence Cathedral, officially known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower), is the main church of Florence, and the focal point of the city’s historic center. 

The stunning facade of the Florence Cathedral decorated with polychrome marble panels

The architecture of the Florence Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) is a stunning blend of Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles, showcasing innovative engineering techniques, and exquisite artistic detailing.

The façade of the cathedral is a striking example of Gothic Revival architecture, designed by Emilio De Fabris in the 19th century. I love how it is decorated with polychrome marble panels in shades of green, pink, and white, and adorned with intricate sculptures and mosaics.

The most iconic feature of the cathedral is its massive dome, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The dome is an engineering marvel, and it remains the largest brick dome ever constructed, with a diameter of 45 meters (148 feet) and a height of 115 meters (376 feet). 

Brunelleschi’s innovative use of a double-shell construction, herringbone pattern of brickwork, and a series of horizontal stone rings helped distribute the weight of the dome and prevented it from collapsing outward.

Giorgio Vasari's Last Judgement fresco in the interior of the dome of the Florence Cathedral

The most significant artwork inside the cathedral is the fresco of the “Last Judgment” on the interior of the dome, painted by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari.

Aerial view of Giotto's campanile (bell tower) and the historic center of Florence from the Duomo

If you’re physically capable, climbing the dome of the cathedral is one of the best things to do in Florence. The climb takes you up close to Vasari and Zuccari’s “Last Judgment” frescoes inside the dome and offers stunning panoramic views of Florence from the top.

The interior of the cathedral is vast and relatively unadorned compared to the façade. Much of the art, frescoes, votive offerings, pews, and memorials were swept away or have been moved to the Opera del Duomo Museum for safekeeping.

Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower) is a separate structure adjacent to the cathedral. It is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture, decorated with polychrome marble panels and sculptural reliefs. 

Built between 1059 and 1128, the Baptistery of Saint John (Battistero di San Giovanni) is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The Baptistery is built in the Florentine Romanesque style and its exterior is characterized by its geometric patterns, polychrome marble, and use of classical motifs like columns and arches.  

It features three sets of bronze doors, the most famous of which are the “Gates of Paradise” by Lorenzo Ghiberti. These doors are adorned with intricate relief sculptures depicting scenes from the Old Testament and are considered a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture.

The stunning Baptistery of the Duomo Complex in Florence with the famous Gates of Paradise.

On a hurried 1 day in Florence, you still need to invade the inner precincts of the Baptistery, if only to take in the magnificent 13th-century mosaics lining the inner dome. The mosaics are set against a background of gold tiles, creating a dazzling visual effect.

Priceless artefacts inside the Opera del Duomo Museum in Florence

If time permits, do visit the Opera del Duomo Museum. A must for those enthralled by the Florence Cathedral, this museum charts the progress of its construction from the very first designs and tools used.

It also houses the most precious works of art from the Florence Cathedral, Baptistery, and Campanile, including the initial bas-reliefs decorating the Campanile, four of the original panels of the Baptistery’s “Gates of Paradise” and one of the several versions of the Pieta created by Michelangelo.

Practical Information For Visiting the Duomo Complex

Opening Hours: The opening hours vary for each monument in the Duomo Complex. Generally, the monuments are open daily, with the Cathedral being closed on Sundays and the Opera del Duomo Museum being closed on Tuesdays. You can check opening hours here.

Tickets: The entrance to the Florence Cathedral is free but you need a ticket to access the other monuments of the Duomo Complex. The lines for the Florence Cathedral can be very long and since you’ll have limited time, I would recommend skipping. Plus, you can see the interior of the cathedral if you opt for the dome climb.

A single all-in ticket (Brunelleschi Pass) provides access to all monuments of the Duomo Complex: the Cathedral, the Dome, the Baptistery, Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower), the Crypt, and the Opera Museum. 

Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office or online through the official website or via third-party resellers like GetYourGuide or Tiqets. It is highly recommended to buy tickets in advance due to high demand and the limited number of visitors allowed each day.

Climbing the Dome: Climbing the Dome of the Florence Cathedral is a popular activity, but it requires a timeslot reservation, which can be made when purchasing your ticket. 

The arduous climb involves ascending 463 steps, and there is no elevator. The staircase is narrow and steep in parts, so it may not be suitable for those with mobility issues, cardiovascular issues, or a fear of heights. 

Guided Tour: A guided tour includes an expert guide who provides historical and architectural context about the complex and its monuments.

5. Via dei Calzaiuoli

People strolling on the famous Via dei Calzaiuoli pedestrian avenue in Florence, Italy

Via dei Calzaiuoli is a pedestrian-only street and is lined with a wide variety of shops, ranging from high-end fashion boutiques to souvenir stores. It is one of the main shopping streets in Florence, and you can find both international brands and local artisans.

The street is also known for its beautiful architecture and historic buildings. As you walk along Via dei Calzaiuoli, you’ll pass by several important buildings and monuments.

It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll, do some people-watching, and soak in the ambiance of Florence.

6. Lunch

Florence food: Closeup of the panino al lampredotto - made from the fourth stomach of the cow

For a well-deserved lunch, head to Trippaio del Porcellino to try one of the most beloved Florentine dishes – the “panino al lampredotto.” 

A Florentine street food delicacy, this sandwich is made with the fourth stomach of the cow, simmered in a tomato broth, and served in a crusty roll with green sauce. It is absolutely delectable and a must-try for adventurous eaters.

For those who aren’t feeling so adventurous, head to All’Antico Vinaio – best known for its massive, gourmet sandwiches, made with fresh, local ingredients. Just be prepared for the crowds and be ready to eat one of the best sandwiches of your life!

7. Fontana del Porcellino 

Woman touching the Fontana del Porcellino, one of the most famous landmarks in Florence, Italy

The Fontana del Porcellino, also known as Il Porcellino, is one of the most famous landmarks in Florence, Italy. Located in the Mercato Nuovo, this small bronze fountain represents a wild boar, with the name ‘Porcellino’ meaning ‘little pig’ in Italian. 

The statue was sculpted by Pietro Tacca in the 17th century and is a copy of a marble statue from ancient Rome. It has become a symbol of good luck, and visitors often rub the snout of the boar to ensure a return to Florence.

This tradition has made the snout of the statue remarkably shiny. Due to its immense popularity, the Fontana del Porcellino is one of the most popular Florence Instagram spots. 

Coins are also often placed in the mouth of the Porcellino with the hope that they will fall through the underlying grates for good luck; the money collected is used to fund the city’s homeless shelter. 

8. Piazza della Signoria 

The Piazza della Signoria in Florence on an autumn afternoon

The Piazza della Signoria is by far the most striking square in Florence and has been the center of political life in the city for centuries. It is located in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence, and is surrounded by other important buildings and statues.

The square is an open-air sculpture gallery, featuring statues by renowned artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Cellini. The most famous statue is a copy of Michelangelo’s David (the original is in the Accademia Gallery). 

Another notable sculpture is the Fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati, which represents the god of the sea surrounded by nymphs and satyrs.

Cellini's famous Perseus with the Head of Medusa scultpure in the Loggia dei Lanzi of the Piazza della Signoria
Perseus Medusa Statue Loggia dei Lanza Piazza della Signoria Florence Tuscany Italy. Perseus statue created 1500s by Benvenuto Cellini.

In addition to the Palazzo Vecchio, the square is also home to the Loggia dei Lanzi, an open-air gallery that houses several important statues, including the Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna and Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Cellini.

The Piazza della Signoria has witnessed many significant events in Florence’s history, including the Bonfire of the Vanities in 1497, when the preacher Savonarola burned books and artworks considered sinful, and the assassination of the Medici brothers in 1478.

Today, the square is a popular gathering place for both locals and tourists. 

9. Enjoy a Gelato

Florence Gelato: Woman holding a cup of traditional gelato at the Gelateria dei Neri

While exploring the center of Florence, treat yourself to a gelato. Florence is renowned for its high-quality gelato, and you’ll find numerous excellent gelaterias scattered throughout the city. 

One of the best gelato shops in Florence is Gelateria dei Neri. Try some traditional Italian flavors like stracciatella (chocolate chip), pistachio, and nocciola (hazelnut), or some of the more unique flavors on offer.

10. Uffizi Gallery  

The beautiful Uffizi Gallery courtyard  in Florence on an autumn morning

No day of sightseeing in Florence would be complete without visiting the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world’s most famous and important art museums. It houses an unparalleled collection of Renaissance art, featuring works by some of the greatest artists in history.

The Uffizi Gallery was commissioned by Francesco I de’ Medici and was originally created as the offices (‘uffizi’ in Italian) for Florentine magistrates. Over time, it evolved into an art gallery, as the Medici family began to use the space to display their extensive collection of art and cultural treasures.

The architecture of the Uffizi Gallery is also noteworthy. The building is designed in a U-shape with two wings connected by a corridor. 

The collection of the Uffizi Gallery includes masterpieces by artists such as Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio.

Fun Fact

The quality of the artworks at the Uffizi Gallery is such that it can cause Stendhal Syndrome, a psychosomatic condition that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to an overload of beautiful art in a short period. It was first diagnosed in Florence in the 19th century.

The key highlights of the Uffizi Gallery that are must-sees for any visitor are – 

Woman admiring the Birth of Venus painting by Sandro Boticelli at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence
  • The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli
  • Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci
Woman admiring Caravaggio's famous Medusa at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy
  • Medusa by Caravaggio
  • Primavera by Sandro Botticelli
The Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy
  • The Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca
  • Venus of Urbino by Titian
People admiring the interior corridors of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy

Additionally, the interior of the gallery is adorned with frescoes, stucco decorations, and marble statues.

Practical Information For Visiting the Uffizi Gallery

Opening Hours: The Uffizi Gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday from 08:15-18:50. It is closed on Mondays, January 1, May 1, and December 25.

Prices: Tickets to the Uffizi Gallery vary from 17 EUR during the low season (November to February) and 30 EUR during the high season (March to October).

Tickets: The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most visited museums in Italy, and it can get very crowded. Thus, It is highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines. 

Tickets can be bought online through the official website. You can also book a skip-the-line timed entrance ticket through GetYourGuide or Tiqets

Guided Tour: To get the most out of your visit and a more in-depth understanding of the artworks, consider booking this highly popular skip-the-line Uffizi Gallery guided tour.

Security Check: All visitors must pass through a security check before entering the gallery. Large bags, backpacks, and umbrellas must be checked at the cloakroom.

11. Palazzo Vecchio 

The iconic Palazzo Vecchio in Florence on a sunny day

The Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most iconic buildings in Florence. and serves as the town hall of the city. It has been an important building in the history of Florence since the first years of the 14th century 

The construction of the Palazzo Vecchio began in 1299 and served as the residence of the ruling body of the Florentine Republic. The architecture of the Palazzo Vecchio is representative of the medieval fortress-like buildings of the 14th century. 

Designed by the architect Arnolfo di Cambio, the building features a crenelated battlement, a bell tower, and robust, defensive walls. The façade of the Palazzo is adorned with shields representing important families and institutions of Florence.

Palazzo Vecchio’s interior is totally worth the visit. It is richly decorated and contains numerous rooms and halls, each with its own historical and artistic significance. 

The sumptuous Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Hundred) inside the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy

The most famous room is the Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Hundred). Commissioned by Savonarola, who briefly ruled Florence, it was originally created as a meeting place for the city’s 500-member Grand Council.

Vasari adorned the room with grandiose frescoes, depicting significant military victories of Florence over rivals. The hall is further embellished with statues and artworks, including Michelangelo’s “Victory” and Bandinelli’s “Hercules and Cacus.”

The stunning Studiolo of Francesco I inside the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy

Other rooms not to be missed at Palazzo Vecchio are the Sala dei Gigli (Room of the Lilies) and the Studiolo of Francesco I.

Palazzo Vecchio also serves as a museum, showcasing a rich collection of art and historical artifacts. 

Visitors can also scale the Arnolfo Tower of the Palazzo Vecchio. From the tower, you can have one of the best views of Florence with the entire expanse of the Duomo, the Florentine rooftops, and the surrounding hills.

Practical Information For Visiting the Palazzo Vecchio

The Palazzo Vecchio Museum is open Friday-Wednesday from 09:00-19:00 and Thursday from 09:00-14:00. 

The Arnolfo Tower is open Friday-Wednesday from 09:00-19:00 and Thursday from 09:00-14:00 (April-September); and Friday-Wednesday from 09:00-17:00 and Thursday from 09:00-14:00 (October-March). Keep in mind that the tower is closed in the event of inclement weather.

The entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio Museum costs 12.50 EUR and the entrance to the Arnolfo Tower also costs 12.50 EUR. 

It is advisable to book tickets in advance to avoid the crowds. You can book tickets on the official website or through GetYourGuide.

N.B. I should mention that you should visit Palazzo Vecchio depending on how well you manage your time during your one day in Florence. Otherwise, move on to the next attraction.

12. Ponte Vecchio

The legendary Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) in Florence on an autumn afternoon

The Ponte Vecchio, or “Old Bridge,” is one of the places to check off your Florence bucket list. It is a medieval stone bridge that spans the River Arno at its narrowest point and is renowned for the shops built along it, as was common in the past. 

These shops, historically occupied by butchers, blacksmiths, tanners, and fishmongers, are now home to jewelers, art dealers, and souvenir sellers.

The Ponte Vecchio dates back to Roman times but was rebuilt in 1345 after a flood destroyed the original structure. It has since become a symbol of Florence and is one of the most visited and photographed landmarks in the city.

Remarkably, it is the only bridge in Florence that was not destroyed by the German forces during World War II. As the German army retreated from Florence, they destroyed all the other bridges in the city except for the Ponte Vecchio, allegedly because of an order from Adolf Hitler himself.

The bridge is also home to the Vasari Corridor, an enclosed passageway that connects the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti. Built by the architect Giorgio Vasari in 1565, the corridor allowed the ruling Medici family to move safely and privately between their residence and the government palace.

The best time to cross Ponte Vecchio is in the late afternoon.

13. Piazzale Michelangelo

Your final stop for sightseeing on this 1 day Florence itinerary will be Piazzale Michelangelo. Located in the Oltrarno district, it is a large square set on a hillside on the south bank of the River Arno.

The square was designed by the architect Giuseppe Poggi in 1869 as part of a major urban renewal project of the city. Poggi designed a monument dedicated to the Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo, and the square features yet another replica of David.

The breathtaking panoramic view of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo
Florence or Firenze sunset aerial cityscape. Panorama view from Michelangelo park square. Ponte Vecchio bridge, Palazzo Vecchio and Duomo Cathedral. Tuscany, Italy

However, the main attraction of Piazzale Michelangelo is the breathtaking view of Florence. From the square’s balustraded terrace, the Cradle of the Renaissance unfurls before you. 

You can see the entire city, including landmarks such as the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio, and the River Arno. It is especially popular at sunset when the city is bathed in a warm, golden light.

14. Dinner

Florence Food: Bistecca alla Fiorentina - a thick T-bone steak from the local Chianina cattle breed

Cap off your long day of sightseeing in Florence by having a wonderful Tuscan meal at the highly-rated Trattoria Dall’Oste. If you’re fond of meat, you should definitely try Bistecca alla Fiorentina – a thick T-bone steak from the local Chianina cattle breed.

Vegetarians should try Ribollita – a hearty Tuscan soup made with bread, beans, and vegetables.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tuscan cuisine, check out this wonderful Florence Food Tour.

More Than One Day In Florence?

If you have more than one day in Florence, there are still several great attractions/activities in the city that are worth doing which he had to leave off this itinerary. 

Depending on your interest, top-notch Florence sights like the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens, the Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum, the Bargello Museum, the Galileo Museum, and the Santa Croce Basilica are definitely worth visiting.

You could also take part in popular activities such as a Florence Dark Mysteries and Legends Walking Tour, a Florence Pasta Making Class, and a Florence Pizza and Gelato Preparation Class.

Florence is the ideal starting point for excursions to the postcard-perfect Chianti Wine Region, the stunningly beautiful Cinque Terre area, and the idyllic Tuscan towns of  Pisa, Siena & San Gimignano.

Where To Stay in Florence

Florence offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. 

When choosing a hotel in Florence, consider staying in the historic city center or in the vicinity. This area is home to most of the city’s famous landmarks, museums, and galleries, all within walking distance. 

Budget travelers can find more affordable options near the Santa Maria Novella train station or in the San Marco district. Remember to book well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, as hotels in Florence fill up quickly.

Hostel: Ostello Bello Firenze, a popular choice for budget-minded travelers looking for someplace close to the Santa Maria Novella Train Station and city center

Budget: Hotel Margaret, an excellent choice if you’re on the lookout for a frugal, no-frills option in central Florence

Mid-range: Hotel degli Orafi, a great choice if you are planning to stay in Oltrarno

Splurge: Hotel Bernini Palace, one of Florence’s most prestigious hotels, only  a 5-minute walk from Florence Cathedral and Ponte Vecchio

Florence Travel Tips

Here are some important tips you should know for visiting Florence. 

Best Time To Visit Florence

The best time to visit Florence is during the spring (April to June) or fall (September to October) when the weather is pleasant, and the city is not overcrowded. These months offer mild temperatures, and you can enjoy outdoor activities and sightseeing comfortably. 

Summer (July and August) is the peak tourist season, and the city can be extremely crowded and hot. Winter (November to March) is the low season, with fewer tourists, but the weather can be quite chilly, and some attractions may have reduced hours. 

Book Tickets and Tours in Advance

I cannot stress this enough but Florence is extremely popular with tourists and chances are you’ll spend a better part of the day in queues if you do not pre-purchase your tickets online in advance. 

Although you will pay extra for a skip-the-line ticket, it’ll help make the most of your visit, rather than standing in 2-hour long queues to enter the most popular attractions.

We book virtually all of our tours and tickets through either Tiqets or GetYourGuide and highly recommend both companies.

Expect To Encounter Scaffolding

Restoration work is always taking place somewhere in Florence, and there is rarely any indication before you go in as to how much of the building is under wraps.

The presence of scaffolding can be disappointing for visitors who are looking forward to seeing famous landmarks, as it can obscure the view and make it difficult to take good photos. However, it’s important to remember that this work is essential for the preservation of these important sites.

Beware of Pickpockets

Like any other tourist destination, Florence has its share of pickpockets. Exercise caution with your possessions, particularly in areas with a lot of people.

Stay Hydrated

It can get very hot in Florence, especially in the summer. Make sure to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade when needed.

Respect Dress Codes

Some churches and religious sites require modest dress (covered shoulders and knees), so be prepared.

Avoid Traveling With Large Bags and Backpacks 

Most of the museums and attractions, including the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, and Florence Cathedral, do not allow large bags and backpacks inside. They usually have a cloakroom where you can leave your belongings, but space is often limited, and there’s usually a long queue.

Further Reading For Your Florence Visit

That summarizes our definitive 1 day Florence itinerary. We reckon you’ll find the following resources useful for planning your trip to Florence!

More Information About Italy

Rome: Uncover how to spend one perfect day in Rome!

Rome: Find out the 20 Foods You Must Try in Rome!

Rome: Discover the 30 best things to do in Rome!

Rome: Check out the 20 Historical Sites in Rome You Shouldn’t Miss!

Venice: Find out the 30 best things to do in Venice!

Venice: Find out how to spend one perfect day in Venice!

Venice: Check out 22 Foods You Must Try in Venice!

Trieste: Discover the 18 best things to do in Trieste!

Naples: Uncover the 27 best things to do in Naples!

Naples: Check out the 12 best pizzerias in Naples!

Naples: Check out how to spend the perfect 24 hours in Naples!

Pompeii: Find out everything you need to know about visiting Pompeii!

Herculaneum: Check out our definitive guide to visiting Herculaneum!

Now, what do you think? How would you spend one day in Florence? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

About Mihir

Hello there, fellow globetrotters! I’m Mihir, a passionate travel blogger with an insatiable wanderlust. My journey across the world is fueled by curiosity and a hunger for unique experiences. As a travel writer, photographer, and adventurer, I’ve explored more than 35 countries, aiming to provide readers with a distinctive glimpse of our diverse world. Join me as I blend captivating storytelling with stunning visuals, guiding you through hidden gems and cultural treasures. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, craft beer, classic movies, history, and Australian Rules Football (Go Dons!).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.