Want to see the best of Florence in one day? You are in the right place.
After we visited the charming Tuscany a couple of times and explored the Medici city of Florence, we can show you how to see the best of Florence in 1 day.
Florence is without a doubt one of the highlights of Italy and offers many attractions.
We have selected the best highlights you can visit in one day.
And the best is that you can enjoy all of them while walking around the charming streets of Florence.
The Best Places To Visit in Florence in One Day
The table below shows the absolute highlights that you should not miss if you have limited time.
The table also includes links to the tickets, because you don’t want to spend half of the day waiting in queues. Right?
The attractions in Florence are often fully booked, and you spend lots of time waiting.
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Therefore, we recommend booking the tickets in advance, especially for our top 3 picks:
- Galleria dell’Accademia (Dadid statue) | check price | book ticket
- Florence Cathedral | check price | book ticket
- Interactive Leonardo da Vinci Museum | check price | book ticket
If you plan to visit more than one place in Florence, we recommend checking out the Florence City Pass. You have access to the most important museums and attractions in the city, and you receive additional discounts for other sights.
Further down, you will find more information about the individual sights.
How to Get to Florence
The best way to visit Florence in Italy is by flying directly to Florence airport. Alternatively, you can fly to Rome and travel to Florence by train, or book a rental car. This way you can also explore the stunning Tuscany.
- Book the cheapest flight and ferry tickets on the comparison website Omio
- Find the most affordable rental car for the Tuscany on Discovercars
- Book a bus ticket to Florence with Flixbus
- You can find cheap train tickets to get to Florence on Trainline
- Compare flights to Florence Italy with Omio.com
Where to Stay in Florence
The St. Regis Florence: Next to the Arno River, the St. Regis is located in a historical building built by the famous Brunelleschi. It offers a restaurant, spa, gym, and luxurious rooms with antique, Italian furniture. Check prices and availability
Hotel Rapallo: The four-star hotel Rapallo is within walking distance of the most important sights of Florence. The rooms are comfortable and the hotel offers free afternoon tea and a savory breakfast buffet. Check prices and availability
Things To Do in Florence in One Day
Since the sights of the Tuscan capital are mainly in the historic city center and are close to each other, you can explore Florence during a self-guided walk.
If you want to save yourself the hassle of booking all the tickets in advance, you can book a guided tour.
The city tour passes by the absolute highlights, which are quite close to each other. At the end of the article, you will find a map of the highlights of Florence. You can download it directly to your cell phone.
If you arrive by train or from the airport, the best way to explore Florence is from the train station.
The city tour for 1 day in Florence starts here and leads to the first attraction after a short walk:
One Day in Florence: 10 Things You Have To Do
If you want to spend a perfect day in Florence, these are the things you have to do and see:
1. Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’Accademia (Accademia Gallery)
The famous sculpture of David is located in the Galleria dell’Accademia and is one of the top 3 attractions in Florence. Accordingly, the tickets are also very popular, and if you want to see Michelangelo’s David, you should definitely get tickets in advance.
In addition to the sculpture of David, the Galleria dell’Accademia also houses paintings by Giotto, Masaccio, and Michelangelo, as well as Russian icons.
By the way, there are three David sculptures in Florence. The original is in the Galleria dell’Accademia.
A replica is right in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, and the third one is on the outskirts at the viewpoint of Piazzale Michelangelo.
Following our Florence in a day tour, you will encounter all the David sculptures.
After visiting the Galleria dell’Accademia, the city tour continues to the interactive museum dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci before heading to the Florence Cathedral.
2. Interactive Leonardo da Vinci Museum
If you have an hour to spare, you can visit the interactive Leonardo Museum. It is located in Via de Servi, 66/r, on the way to the Florence Cathedral.
In the museum, more than 50 working machines based on Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings are set up, and you can try some of them.
The museum also has an area where you can build bridges and domes. In addition, some works by Leonardo da Vinci are exhibited here, and there is information about his life.
Tickets for the interactive museum are available here:
3. Florence Cathedral – Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral
The Florence Cathedral (Duomo Complex) is mainly known for the impressive dome by Brunelleschi, which dates back to the 15th century and has an incredible diameter of about 45 meters.
The dome alone is over 100 meters high. In addition, the Florence Cathedral is one of the largest churches in the world.
Not only from the inside but also from the outside, the cathedral is an impressive sight.
Those with a ticket that includes access to the dome can also enjoy the highest view of the city.
Inside the cathedral, there are frescos by Vasari and Zuccari, and you can visit the Crypt of Santa Reparata.
In addition, a pre-booked ticket includes access to Giotto’s Campanile, the bell tower next to the cathedral, and the Cathedral Museum.
From the cathedral, the city tour continues. The next stop is the Piazza della Signoria.
4. Piazza della Signoria with the Neptune Fountain
The Piazza della Signoria with the beautiful Neptune Fountain invites you to take a break and let your gaze wander from one of the cafes or restaurants overlooking the busy square.
However, the prices here are higher compared to less busy side streets.
At the edge of Piazza della Signoria, you will also find the Loggia dei Lanzi, where various sculptures are located.
5. Palazzo Vecchio
Next to the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio is a replica of Michelangelo’s David. In the past, the original statue was here, which is now in the Galleria dell’Accademia.
The frescos on the walls in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio are a highlight because they depict selected Austrian cities (my home country by the way).
The ornate columns and the bronze statue “Putto with Dolphin,” in the middle of the courtyard, are also worth seeing.
The Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) is a Gothic building that rises almost 100 meters into the sky and was completed around 1314.
6. Uffizi Gallery – Galleria degli Uffizi
In 1560, Prince Cosimo I commissioned an administrative building (Uffizi), which later became the Uffizi Gallery.
His son Francesco had workshops and studios for artists set up on the top floor of the administrative building and had the octagonal Sala della Tribuna built.
This room is still one of the most important rooms in the Uffizi Gallery today.
Later, more and more rooms were used for the museum.
Today, there are about 80 rooms where paintings and artworks, weapons, and busts are exhibited.
Some of the most famous works in the Uffizi Gallery are Botticelli’s Venus, Lippi’s Madonna representations, as well as works and sculptures by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Besides the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Uffizi Gallery is the most visited and famous building in Florence, and the ticket queues can be quite long.
Therefore, it is best to book Florence Uffizi tickets online in advance.
Tip: There is a beautiful view of the Palazzo Vecchio from the café on the top floor.
7. Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is now one of the landmarks of Florence.
The bridge is located near the Uffizi Gallery and is one of the oldest segmental arch bridges in the world.
There are shops on the bridge, and it doesn’t feel like you are crossing a bridge. Only in the middle of the Ponte Vecchio can you get a direct view of the Arno River.
From the Ponte Vecchio, you continue on foot to the next attraction in Florence:
8. Palazzo Pitti
The Palazzo Pitti can be reached from the old town via the Ponte Vecchio and is located on the left bank of the Arno River.
The Palazzo Pitti houses six different collections and the beautifully landscaped Boboli Gardens.
The collections include the
- Galleria d’Arte Moderna (modern Tuscan art)
- Galleria del Costume (costume history)
- Galleria Palatina and Appartamenti Monumentali (splendor of the Tuscan Medici princely family)
- Museo degli Argenti (silver museum) and
- Museo delle Porcellane (works of European porcelain manufacturers)
9. Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli)
The Boboli Gardens are located behind the Palazzo Pitti and form an extensive park. Here you will find sculptures, several grottos, and fountains.
The Giardino di Boboli was laid out in the 16th century and was expanded over time. Many of the statues date back to the 16th century.
Behind the Palazzo Pitti, there is an arena. It is definitely worth strolling through the Boboli Gardens and admiring the beautiful ponds, sculptures, and grottos.
From the Giardino di Boboli, you head to the last stop of the city tour:
10. Piazzale Michelangelo
The final stop for a day in Florence is Piazzale Michelangelo. From this elevated square, you get the best views over Florence, the city at the Arno River.
The square is dedicated to the famous artist Michelangelo Buonarroti.
Here, you will find the second replica of David, as well as other replicas of some of his famous works.
The city tour for one day in Florence ends at Piazzale Michelangelo.
If you want to surprise your travel partner, you can book a private photo shoot at Piazzale Michelangelo.
If this Florence 1 day itinerary is not enough for you, you can explore Florence at night:
Tip: Explore Florence at night during a guided tour.
Map of the Sights of Florence
You can save this map directly on your smartphone and start your city tour of Florence:
FAQs about Florence
Can you see Florence in 1 day?
You can see the highlights of Florence in one day, because the main sights are within walking distance.
Is Florence a walkable city?
The historic city center in Florence is relatively small and all the main sights are within walking distance.
Can you walk around Florence in a day?
Florence is perfect for walking and it is possible to explore the most important sights in one day.
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About the Author
zuletzt aktualisiert am September 11, 2023