Best place to stay in Florence – accommodation and district guide [2019]

best place to stay in florence italy

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Florence is a small and beautiful city full to the brim with Renaissance architecture and art, delicious cuisine and artisan boutiques.

Finding the perfect place to stay in the city will ensure your memories of Florence linger for years. How could you forget the palazzos hugging the banks of the Arno and the elegant cafe lined piazzas where fountains have gurgled for centuries.

The best place to stay in Florence for you will depend on your travel style and plans, preferences and budget.

Do you want a coveted room with a view of the River Arno? Or a luxury hotel with a pool? Maybe you would prefer a romantic boutique style hotel in a converted palazzo. Or a villa in the hills overlooking the city.

To help you decide, we created this guide to where to stay in Florence in 2019.

Best area to stay in Florence summary

hotels in florence italy near ponte vecchio

While most of the hotels in Florence are within a few minutes walk of the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and Duomo, it is worth considering some of the neighbourhoods just out of the historical center. These areas offer a unique peek into Florentine life but also, often are much better value.

We look for hotels and apartments with a unique feature or service. It could be a converted palace complete with restored frescoes, a rooftop bar with incredible views or an acclaimed restaurant on site.

As we travel as a family often, we are always on the look out for accommodations that go out of their way to accommodate children. We look for separate beds and rooms (not sofa beds), availability of cribs and onsite facilities like a pool. Easy walking distance to attractions and transport is a factor too. And we always look for places that offer a decent breakfast to start the day.

Here is a summary of the best accommodation in Florence by district. These areas are within walking distance of most of the city sights and attractions.

Read the article for more details on the best places to stay in Florence and things to do in each neighbourhood.

Note – this is not a guide for the ultra budget conscious. In our value / budget category we considered hotels at around €80 per night that delivered a ton of value. 

Our top hotel picks in Florence by area

LuxuryBoutiqueFamilyValue
Duomo
Perfect for first time visitors and lovers of art and architecture
Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy - luxurious and elegant hotel on Piazza della Republicca - click to viewHotel Brunelleschi - historic hotel with modern luxuries and wonderful in house restaurant- click to viewHotel Spadai - several options of family rooms with great buffet breakfast - click to viewHotel Perseo - centrally located popular budget hotel - click to view
Uffizi area
Best for romantics, art and history lovers
Portrait Firenze - luxury five star hotel overlooking the Arno - click to viewContinentale - chic hotel with romantic views - click to viewSan Firenze Suites - suite sized rooms steps from the Uffizi - click to viewHotel del Corso - 3 star hotel with terrace and city views - click to view
Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo
Close to the main train station and central market
Grand Hotel Minerva - landmark hotel with a beautiful rooftop pool - click to viewGrand Hotel Baglioni  - historic boutique style hotel with rooftop restaurant - click to viewHotel Globus - friendly hotel with family rooms near San Lorenzo market - click to view Hotel Alba Palace  - traditional hotel close to the main train station click to view
Santa Croce
Old neighborhood close to main attractions with a lovely market
Relais Santa Croce - luxurious restored Florentine palazzo - click to viewPlaza Hotel Lucchesi - elegant boutique hotel with dedicated family rooms and a rooftop pool - click to viewHotel La Casa di Morfeo  - comfortable hotel with buffet breakfast and concierge - click to view
Oltrano
District on the south bank of the Arno near Pitti Palace
Hotel Lungarno - designer hotel with some of the best views of the Arno river click to viewPalazzo Ridolfi - *NEW* charming boutique riverside hotel - click to viewHotel La Scaletta - large family rooms, babysitting available and rooftop terrace - click to viewGuicciardini 24  - simple hotel close the Ponte Vecchio - click to view
San Niccolò and Piazzale Michelangelo
South bank neighborhood famous for views and better options for car parking
Villa La Vedetta - luxury Florentine villa with spectacular views - click to viewHotel David  - charming traditional hotel with onsite parking - click to view 

Duomo

hotels in florence city centre

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) is one of the most iconic buildings in Florence and Italy. With its unique tiled exterior and magnificent dome, it is the centerpiece of the Renaissance city.

No trip to Florence would be complete without at least walking past the Duomo but if it is your first visit it makes sense to stay close by.

Staying at a hotel near the Duomo means you have the main attractions of the city at your doorstep. There are countless restaurants, rooftop bars and cafés to enjoy close by. And if you want to indulge in people watching or designer shopping, Via de’ Tornabuoni is temptingly near.

This area is around a 10 minute walk to the main station- Santa Maria Novella.

Best for: your first visit to Florence and  immersing yourself in Renaissance architecture

Recommended hotels near the Duomo


Luxury – Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy


The Rocco Forte Savoy Hotel is a favorite place to stay in Florence due to its position in the center of the city and luxury designer feel. Recently refurbished, this small luxury hotel also features

  • a terrace on elegant Piazza della Repubblica
  • luxury guest rooms, most with views of the Duomo or piazza
  • walking distance to main attractions
  • restaurant, bar and 24 hour room service
  • gym on site

The hotel recently collaborated with Italian design house Pucci, to reimagine the Savoy with modern luxury with timeless elegance. It is the perfect place to stay for a luxury escape.

> Click for availability and prices at Rocco Forte The Savoy 

If there is no availability, also try – Helvetia & Bristol Firenze (Star Hotels Collezione)


Boutique – Hotel Brunelleschi


Hotel Brunelleschi is a beautiful hotel in an historic building with contemporary styling and conveniences. In a quiet street close to the Duomo, this hotel is renowned for impeccable service and the following amenities:

  • some rooms have stunning views of the city
  • designer interiors and toiletries
  • 2 in house restaurants
  • gym room
  • families welcome, special rooms available

The hotel has a unique mix of period setting and modern style. It is set in a restored Byzantine tower and Medieval Church so close to the Duomo that you can hear the bells toll throughout the day. So romantic!

> Click for availability and prices at Hotel Brunelleschi

Rooms at this hotel sell quickly, if you miss out you might like to try Hotel Cerretani Firenze [MGallery by Sofitel]


Family friendly – Hotel Spadai


Just a two minute walk from the Duomo, Hotel Spadai is in the perfect location to explore Florence as a family. The hotel offers several types of rooms to suit those traveling with kids. Also notable are the:

  • rain shower in bathrooms (our kids love these!)
  • American style buffet breakfast
  • 24×7 reception
  • complimentary minibar in rooms
  • private spa with sauna and hydromassage

Hotel Spadai is a very popular boutique style hotel in the heart of Florence. With soundproofed rooms and a huge breakfast to start your day, it is one of our top recommended hotels in Florence.

> Click for prices and availability at Hotel Spadai

No rooms here? Try Hotel Perseo or Hotel Pendini – both have family rooms and good reviews


Value / Budget – Hotel Perseo


Only 3 minutes’ walk from the Duomo, Hotel Perseo is one of the best budget hotels in Florence. Rooms are on the small side but the hotel is recommended for:

  • large breakfast served daily
  • elevator
  • free wifi
  • kettle, coffee and tea in rooms
  • family and quadruple rooms

This hotel is ideal for those looking for a hotel in center of Florence without the usual price tag. The staff are helpful and if you book early you may find a room with a view over the city rooftops.

> Click for availability and prices at Hotel Perseo

Budget hotels near the Duomo are scarce – you might also like Florence Dome Hotel


Apartments near the Duomo


There is a limited supply of short term rental apartments close to the Duomo available on Booking.com and AirBnB. Book early and you may just find the perfect vacation rental in the heart of  Florence.

Our top picks:

  • Granduomo Charming Accomodation – a selection of apartments sleeping up to 4 with a central reception, kitchenette and free Wifi. Many of these apartments have spectacular views of the Duomo
  • ST. Elizabeth Apartments – modern apartments for up to 6 people in a quiet street close to the Cathedral

>Click here for all apartments near the Duomo in Florence

Want FREE credit on your first AirBnB stay? Click here

Attractions and things to do in the Duomo area

hotels in florence italy near duomo

You are staying in the very heart of the Renaissance city and most of the main attractions are here but you absolutely must not miss the following activities:

  • Visit the Duomo and climb Brunelleschi’s Dome and the bell tower – you can get your tickets here
  • Admire the doors and intricate details of the Baptistry
  • Wander around the outside of the cathedral and enjoy the atmosphere with a gelato
  • Admire the sculptures (including the replica of Michelangelo’s David) in the Piazza della Signoria

Where to eat

This is Florence so you are really spoilt for choice with Florentine and Tuscan restaurants, Some favorites:

  • Enoteca Coquinarius [via delle oche 11, Firenze] – here you can eat a delicious pasta lunch with wine for around €20. Try the cheese and pear raviolini
  • Restaurante Santa Elisabetta [Piazza Sant’Elisabetta, 3] – fine dining restaurant in historic tower
  • La Strega Nocciola [Via Ricasoli, 16r] – seriously good gelato – you will go there more than once

Uffizi

ponte vecchio historic centre of florence

Many people visit Florence just to go to the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world’s most celebrated art museums. The area around the Uffizi is also the best place to find accommodation and hotels with views of the Arno.

Just imagine waking up to the view above. So romantic! It’s no wonder it inspired the classic novel and faithful film reproduction A Room With A View(which I believe should be mandatory viewing before a trip to Florence).

In our opinion, this is the best area to stay in Florence whether it is your first or fifth time.

Right in the heart of the historic centre of Florence near the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti there are countless restaurants and bars to enjoy as well as shopping opportunities and of course visiting the Uffizi Gallery.

As you can imagine this is not the best place to find budget hotels in Florence. If you book six months in advance or earlier you may find an apartment in the area that offers excellent value plus views!

Walking to the train station from this area takes around 15 minutes or it is a short taxi ride.

Best for: art lovers and romantics, luxury hotels with views, Florentine feasts

Recommended hotels near the Uffizi gallery


Luxury – Portrait Firenze


Just steps from the Ponte Vecchio, Portrait Firenze is a luxury five star hotel with an incredible location overlooking the Arno. Guests enjoy

  • lifestyle concierge to attend to your every whim
  • bathrobes, slippers, and Ferragamo toiletries
  • luxury rooms with carrara marble bathrooms
  • Caffe Dell’Oro restaurant featuring classic Tuscan dishes
  • complimentary tickets to the Ferragamo museum

For the ultimate ‘room with a view’ you can’t go past Portrait Firenze. You may not feel like leaving the hotel if you secure one of the suites with a river view where you can watch Florence unfold before your eyes

> Click for availability and prices at Portrait Firenze

Another highly regarded luxury option in this area is Hotel Bernini Palace (however sadly there is no view of the Arno)


Boutique – Continentale


The Continentale is a chic hotel with impossibly romantic views over the Ponte Vecchio. Owned by fashion label Ferragamo, you can expect immaculate styling and service. The hotel also offers:

  • stylish rooms – many with river views
  • room service available until 11pm
  • famous rooftop cocktail bar
  • spa and wellness center on site
  • valet parking

La Terrazza, the Continentale’s rooftop bar is one of the best places for a sunset aperitivo in Florence thanks to the hotel’s incredible position on the Arno. Of course, the main attractions are just a short walk away.

> Click for availability and prices at the Continentale

Also located on the river, Hotel Balestri has stylish rooms with a view


Family friendly – San Firenze Suites


Only 100 metres from the Uffizi, San Firenze Suites are a great family friendly hotel in Florence.   Situated on pretty Piazza San Firenze at the hotel you can enjoy:

  • 2 room suites – separate sleeping areas
  • a complimentary breakfast
  • some rooms have lovely views of the city rooftops
  • cots available on request
  • larger suites have outdoor jacuzzi spas

Art and culture can be tiring for little people. San Firenze Suites are close to the main attractions (and gelato stops) and provide a haven to relax in after a busy day of sightseeing and gallery hopping.

> Click for availability and latest prices at San Firenze Suites

You could also try Relais Uffizi – a hard to find budget family option.


Value / Budget – Hotel del Corso


Situated between the Uffizi and Duomo, Hotel del Corso is a three star hotel with a fantastic position and a terrace with wonderful views of Florence. The hotel also features

  • air-conditioned rooms
  • tea and coffee in rooms
  • elevator
  • laundry service available

The Hotel del Corso is a great value hotel in the heart of Florence. Rooms are large for this class of hotel and the friendly staff ensure a memorable stay.

>Click for availability and prices at Hotel del Corso 

Rooms at this hotel are booked well in advance, you might like to try Silk Art B&B or Hotel Torre Guelfa Palazzo Acciaiuoli


Apartments near the Uffizi


Apartments near the Uffizi offer great value when compared to hotels and if you book early you can find vacation rentals with incredible views of Florence.

Start your accommodation search for vacation rentals around 6 months prior to your visit to uncover the best deals on Booking.com and AirBnB.

Our top picks:

>Click here to view all apartments near the Uffizi Gallery

Want FREE credit on your first AirBnB stay? Click here

Attractions and things to do around the Uffizi Gallery

uffizi gallery - hotels in florence italy city center

Of course you must not miss the Uffizi Gallery itself. One of the world’s great museums and galleries, it is full to the brim with works by the Renaissance masters of Florence.

  • Take a early morning tour of the Uffizi – it gets very busy later in the day – >click here for more info
  • Visit the Palazzo Vecchio and see where the Medici ruled Florence
  • Rub the snout of the bronze boar statue Il Porcellino to ensure you return to Florence
  • Stroll along the Ponte Vecchio – perhaps buy some jewelry at the traditional stores
  • Aperitivo at La Terrazza bar at Continentale – so special

Where to eat

  • Buca dell’Orafo [Via dei Girolami, 28] – a small trattoria in a cellar close to the Uffizi serving traditional Tuscan dishes
  • L’Ora di Aria [Via dei Georgofili, 11] – elegant and modern Tuscan cuisine – reservations required
  • Perche’ No! [Via dei Tavolini, 19] – delicious artisan gelato with some interesting seasonal flavors

Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo

Santa Maria Novella - florence hotels near train station

Santa Maria Novella is the name of the beautiful Renaissance church pictured above as well as the main train station in Florence.

We also included the neighborhood of San Lorenzo in this area close to the famous market of the same name.

With easy access to the station, this area is a great place to stay for those who are staying a short while in Florence and are arriving and departing by train.

The main attractions are around 10 to 15 minutes on foot from this area so you can expect better value accommodation options although you need to do your research and be picky. There are some boutique and luxury hotels in the quieter areas near Piazza Santa Maria Novella

You will find lots of things to do there too. We love the gourmet food court on level one of the indoor Mercato Centrale – it is a foodie paradise! As expected, there is art galore inside Santa Maria Novella by many Renaissance masters including Botticelli and Brunelleschi.

Best for: last minute bookings, central budget accommodation within walking distance, historic hotels

Best hotels in Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo


Luxury – Grand Hotel Minerva


One of the city’s landmark hotels, Grand Hotel Minerva overlooks pretty Santa Maria Novella piazza and is set in an historic property.

  • rooftop pool open May to September
  • some rooms have four poster beds and ceiling frescoes
  • bar and restaurant featuring Florentine dishes
  • valet parking available
  • families welcome and well catered for

Grand Hotel Minerva is the place to stay if you want a luxury stay in Florence with a resort feel.  The rooftop pool area has stunning views of the city’s terracotta rooftops and the Duomo. This hotel has a wonderful reputation for looking after families.

>Click for availability and prices to stay at Grand Hotel Minerva

This is a very popular hotel in Florence, you might also like St Regis Florence (has views of the Arno)


Boutique – Grand Hotel Baglioni


Decorated in traditional Florentine style, Grand Hotel Baglioni is an historic boutique style hotel near Santa Maria Novella train station. Guests at the hotel enjoy

  • rooftop restaurant with stunning views of Florence
  • complimentary soft drinks in mini bar
  • 24 hour room concierge
  • laundry service
  • tea and coffee making facilities in rooms

Established in 1903, the hotel interiors are decorated with frescos, historic photos, and paintings. You can also expect modern amenities including a smartphone with free local and international calls, together with mobile internet for use during your stay.

>Click for availability and prices at Grand Hotel Baglioni 

Other recommended boutique hotels in San Lorenzo and Santa Maria Novella include Firenze Number Nine Wellness Hotel or Hotel Glance (has swimming pool)


Family friendly – Hotel Globus


In a fantastic position near San Lorenzo market, Hotel Globus offers large quadruple rooms with queen and twin beds. Other family friendly amenities include:

  • complimentary breakfast
  • flexible room layout
  • room service
  • cribs available on request

Hotel Globus is within walking distance of Santa Maria Novella train station and the main attractions. This hotel is very popular thanks to its welcoming staff, thoughtful room design for families and buffet breakfast.

>Click for availability and prices at the Hotel Globus 

Should this hotel have no availability we recommend Grand Hotel Adriatico or Hotel Roma


Budget / Value – Hotel Alba Palace


A traditional hotel close to the train station,  Hotel Alba Palace covers all the basics in a great location. There are some surprise added extras:

  • daily buffet breakfast
  • some rooms have balconies
  • 24 hour front desk
  • elevator

Worth considering if you are on a tight budget for its fantastic location and larger room sizes in this price category.

>Click for Hotel Alba Palace availability and prices 

Some other recommended budget options in this area – Residenza D’Epoca La Basilica or Hotel Cosimo de’ Medici 


Apartments in Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo


Start your search for self catering accommodation around 6 months prior to your visit to uncover the best deals on Booking.com and AirBnB near Santa Maria Novella station and San Lorenzo market

Our top picks:

  • Apartment Artemisia – great for large groups, there are 2 apartments – one sleeps up to 8 with a garden. Kitchen, washing machine and toys for kids available
  • San Lorenzo Apartment – restored apartments with original frescoes sleeping up to 5 close to the market.

>Click here to search apartments near Florence station and San Lorenzo

Want FREE credit on your first AirBnB stay? Click here

Attractions and things to do in Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo

hotels in florence italy near train station and market

The area near the train station and San Lorenzo market is busy and vibrant. Many tourists flock to the famous outdoor market for leather goods and souvenirs. Sadly, I think it is no longer the place for quality goods and more of a tourist trap.

Persevere and venture up to the first floor of Mercato Centrale to visit the incredible food court. You will not be disappointed. Open 10am until midnight there are 100s of stalls featuring Italian and international cuisine  and wine to choose from.

Of course there are churches to visit and the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze where you can see Michelangelo’s original statue David close by.

Highlights of the Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo area

  • visit the Renaissance churches Santa Maria Novella and the Medici chapel in San Lorenzo for an art fix
  • tour the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze for even more culture – you can get skip the line tickets here
  • indulge your inner foodie at Mercato Centrale
  • go on a day trip to the Tuscan countryside – read our guide to day trips from Florence first

Where to eat in Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo

  • Mercato Centrale [Via dell’Ariento] – hands down the best food court you are ever likely to experience
  • Trattoria Sostanza [Via della Porcellana 25 r] – has been cooking Tuscan classics since 1869 – must visit!
  • La Dantesca [Via Panzani, 57/r] – Neapolitan style pizza or Florentine steak anyone?

Santa Croce

santa croce florence - where to stay in florence italy

Santa Croce is close enough to the main attractions of Florence that you can walk everywhere, but you still get the feeling of a typical neighborhood.

The Santa Croce basilica is my favorite church in Florence. It has a typical Florentine feel and incredible art work but it is also the final resting place of the city’s great citizens Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Macchiavelli.

A statue of Dante Alighieri stands guard over the piazza where a Christmas market is held in December. It is also the venue for the Calcio Storico Fiorentino a traditional game like rugby played among four competing districts of Florence.

We enjoyed aperitivo hour in the piazza watching the basilica turn various shades of blues, pinks and purples at dusk. The Santa Croce area is known for its restaurants and bars so you can happily spend an evening bar hopping and dining.

Close by the Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio is a local market worth visiting for food shopping and a local vibe.

Best for: enjoying a local neighbourhood, nightlife, relaxed vibe

Recommended hotels in Santa Croce


Luxury – Relais Santa Croce by Baglioni Hotels


Experience the lifestyle of a Florentine prince in the beautifully restored Relais Santa Croce. Delicate frescoes adorn the ceilings of this 18th century townhouse. Guests of the hotel love:

  • the period décor in communal areas
  • onsite restaurant – Guelfi e Ghibellini
  • some rooms have views of Santa Croce
  • mini bar with complimentary mineral water
  • 3 starred Michelin restaurant Enoteca Pinchiorri in same building

An historic property, Relais Santa Croce is close to the main attractions of Florence by foot. Here you can experience a Florentine neighbourhood in elegant surrounds away from the main tourist traffic.

>Click for availability and prices at Relais Santa Croce


Boutique and family friendly – Plaza Hotel Lucchesi


Just a short walk from the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio, the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi is an elegant hotel right beside the Arno river. The hotel features:

  • dedicated family rooms
  • 24-hour front desk
  • room service
  • rooftop pool
  • cribs available on request

You can also take a break from sightseeing in the rooftop pool with stunning views of Florence.

>Click for prices and availability at Plaza Hotel Lucchesi

If you can’t find rooms at this hotel you might also like Hotel La Casa di Morfeo


Budget / Value – Hotel La Casa di Morfeo


Hotel La Casa di Morfeo is found on one of the most important streets in Florence, Via Ghibellina. Guests like the:

  • buffet breakfast
  • air conditioned and sound proofed rooms
  • tea and coffee maker in rooms
  • room service
  • concierge service

One of our favorite finds in Florence in the budget category, Hotel La Casa di Morfeo offers a comfortable stay at a very reasonable price with lots of added extras. Reviews consistently mention the friendliness of the staff at this hotel close to Santa Croce.

>Click for Hotel La Casa di Morfeo availability and prices

All sold out? Try Hotel Bodoni


Apartments in Santa Croce


If you want to experience Florentine living, then check the listings on Booking.com and AirBnB for Santa Croce. That’s exactly what we will be doing when we next visit Florence.

Our top picks:

>Click here to search apartments near Santa Croce

Want FREE credit on your first AirBnB stay? Click here

Attractions and things to do in Santa Croce

florence cafe near hotels in central florence italy

Our favorite things to do in Santa Croce is simply wander and stop at cafes and absorb the beauty of the basilica.

If you need a little more structure, here are some other favorite things to do in Santa Croce:

  • admire Giotto’s frescoes inside Santa Croce
  • pay your respects at the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli
  • visit La Scuola di Cuoio, a workshop where you can see traditional leather making techniques
  •  browse the stalls at Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio
  • aperitivo in the piazza at sunset

Where to eat in Santa Croce

Santa Croce is one of the best districts to eat in Florence. From small trattorias to Michelin starred dining, there is something for everyone. We recommend:

  • Trattoria Cibrèo [ Via de’ Macci, 122r] – local favorite where the daily menu changes with what’s on offer at the market
  • I Ghibellini [Piazza San Pier Maggiore, 8] – tasty wood fired pizza and you must try the traditional ribolita (bread soup)
  • Osteria De’Benci [ Via dei Benci 13/r] – famous across the city for their Florentine steak

Oltrano

palazzo pitti - accommodation florence italy

Oltrano literally means “other side of the Arno”. Many visitors to Florence only venture a few steps into this district as they cross the Ponte Vecchio, but they are missing out.

The best known attractions in Oltrano are the magnificent Pitti Palace, former home of the Medici, and elegant Boboli Gardens. Stuffed full to bursting point with yet more art and treasures, Palazzo Pitti has over 500 Renaissance paintings in its Palatine Gallery alone.

Visit the Boboli Gardens and discover the most famous example of Italian style landscaping developed over four centuries.

Strolling the streets of Oltrano uncovers artisan leather and stationery workshops, cool bars and contemporary restaurants. This is definitely the spot to stay if you want to explore Florence with the locals.

Best for: art lovers, shoppers with style, return visitors wanting to try a new area of Florence

Recommended hotels in Oltrano


Luxury – Hotel Lungarno


In a perfect position on the banks of the Arno, Hotel Lungarno blends history, modern luxuries and iconic views. One of the top rated hotels in Florence, guests appreciate the:

  • breakfast room with river views
  • highly rated Borgo San Jacopo restaurant
  • Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries
  • original modern artwork including a Picasso
  • in room massage and treatments available

After you have finished breakfast gazing at the Ponte Vecchio, walk the short distance over the bridge to the main sights of Florence. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, the Picteau Lounge bar has cocktails with a view.

>Click for availability and prices at Hotel Lungarno


Boutique – Palazzo Ridolfi


Newly opened, Palazzo Ridolfi is a charming boutique hotel on the southern bank of the Arno in easy walking distance of the main attractions. The hotel offers:

  • buffet breakfast
  • some rooms have ceiling frescoes
  • rain showers in bathrooms
  • cable tv

Palazzo Ridolfi is set in an historic building close the Ponte Vecchio. A recent restoration has enhanced the existing period features with modern comforts.

>Click for availability at Palazzo Ridolfi

Prefer something a little more modern? Try Montagu Place Hotel or Dorset Square Hotel


Family friendly – Hotel La Scaletta


Close to the Ponte Vecchio, Hotel La Scaletta is a friendly hotel in a fantastic location. The hotel has some great facilities and services for families including

  • family rooms available
  • restaurant on site
  • baby cots available on request
  • children under 3 stay free
  • babysitting service available

Start your day with breakfast on the rooftop terrace overlooking the iconic sights of Florence. Then take your kids for a wander around the magnificent Boboli Gardens close by – one of the few green spaces in central Florence.

>Click for availability and prices at the Hotel La Scaletta


Budget / Value – Guicciardini 24


Great basic hotel close the Ponte Vecchio. Just a few minutes walk from the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens Guicciardini 24 offers:

  • simple modern rooms
  • air conditioning
  • tea and coffee making in rooms
  • baggage storage
  • elevator

If you want to stay close to the main attractions in a quieter neighborhood, Guicciardini 24 is a solid choice with excellent guest reviews

>Click for availability and prices at Guicciardini 24 

If this hotel is unavailable you might like Florence Old Bridge B&B


Apartments in Oltrano


Finding an apartment or vacation rental in these areas is challenging. There is limited supply so remember to search and book early on Booking.com and AirBnB.

Our top picks:

>Click here to search apartments in Oltrano

Want FREE credit on your first AirBnB stay? Click here

Attractions and things to do in Oltrano

You could easily fill an entire long weekend exploring the southern bank neighbourhoods of the Arno. In between cafe and bar hopping you could spend a few hours doing these activities

  • Palazzo Pitti – admire works by Raphael, Titian and Pieter Paul Rubens
  • Boboli Gardens – stroll among fountains and an amphitheatre and venture into the grotto
  • shopping for beautifully made Florentine gifts
  • discover up and coming Italian chefs
  • admire beautiful Santo Spirito church

Where to eat in Oltrano

Some of the most exciting dining experiences in Florence are found in Oltrano. Here you will find cool little bars serving antipasto and aperitivo among innovative restaurants by the next generation of top chefs. We recommend:

  • Essenziale [Piazza di Cestello, 3R] – modern Italian fine dining in sleek industrial space
  • Gurdulù [Via delle Caldaie, 12 50125] – playful twist on classic dishes with cocktails to match
  • Marina di Santospirito [Via Maffia, 1/C] – the freshest seafood in town.

San Niccolo and Piazzale Michelangelo

best hotels in florence italy with view from piazzale michelangelo

To the east of the main Oltrano district, San Niccolo and the area around Piazzale Michelangelo is a fun neighbourhood with bars, restaurants and boutiques to discover.

Most people come to this area for the sweeping views of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo (see above). It’s a steep walk up the hill if you are on foot but I am sure you’ll agree it is well rewarded. Last time we were there, they had a gelato festival on in the piazza – how lucky was that?!

This area is outside the historic centre and main driving restriction zones (except summer evenings) and you are more likely to find accommodation with free on site parking. It is about a 20 minute walk across Ponte alle Grazie to the Uffizi Gallery and in the other direction Santa Croce

Best for: discovering a Florentine neighborhood, discovering local artisans and creative cuisine, those on a road trip through Italy

Recommended hotels in San Niccolo | Piazzale Michelangelo


Luxury – Villa La Vedetta


Experience the relaxation of a luxury Tuscan villa just a stone’s throw from Florence at Villa La Vedetta. This 18 room property offers a free shuttle into the city as well as

  • large luxurious rooms
  • outdoor lounge and pool
  • terrace and bar with breathtaking views of Florence
  • free afternoon tea with homemade cakes
  • free parking

The views from Villa La Vedetta rival those of nearby Piazzale Michelangelo. With a well regarded on site restaurant on site and outdoor pool area, it is the perfect hotel to enjoy if you want to mix your Florence culture fix with relaxation.

Click here for availability and prices at Villa La Vedetta


Budget / Value – Hotel David


Hotel David is a charming traditional hotel near the Ponte della Grazie, just a 20 minute walk from the Uffizi Gallery or a 5 minute bus ride from the historic centre. Guests of the hotel love

  • complimentary happy hour
  • delicious breakfast
  • free in room mini bar
  • onsite parking
  • rooms with four poster beds

This lovely friendly hotel is popular for good reason. Hotel David provides all those little touches that make a stay memorable at a very reasonable price.

>Click for Hotel David availability and prices


Apartments in San Niccolo


Finding an apartment or vacation rental in these areas is challenging. There is limited supply so remember to search and book early on Booking.com and AirBnB.

Our top picks:

  • Residence Michelangiolo – traditional apartments in an historic house with garden and parking. Options for up to 4 people

>Click here to search apartments near Piazzale Michelangelo

Want FREE credit on your first AirBnB stay? Click here

Attractions and things to do in San Niccolo

san niccolo - boutique hotel florence

A stroll around San Niccolo reveals a lively neighborhood where locals and visitors gather to enjoy drinks and dining. Take a peek into the local artisan stores and you may find a treasure to take home. Things to do in this area include:

  • walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo and savour the views
  • pop into jeweler Alessandro Dari [Via San Niccolò, 115 / r] – prepare to be amazed (and tempted)
  • climb the Torre di San Niccolo, one of the last remaining medieval gates of the city
  • hang out and eat in Piazetta di San Miniato

Where to eat in San Niccolo

  • Boccadarno [Via di S. Niccolò, 56r] – fun neighborhood restaurant with tasty seafood and pasta dishes
  • Enoteca Fuori Porta [Via del Monte alle Croci, 10] – simple fare matched with a 500 strong wine list
  • Osteria Antica Mescita San Niccolò [via di San Niccolò, 60R] – traditional Tuscan dishes in an historic building

Florence and Italy resources

luxury hotels florence near david

florence 5 star hotels near boboli gardens

Want some more help planning your trip to Florence and Italy?

Read our full guide to Florence – includes itineraries, places to eat + more  Click here for the guide

We love helping visitors to Italy plan their ultimate trip. Here are some guides and information we hope you find useful. You might also like to join our FREE Italy trip planning Facebook group where members share their knowledge and ideas to help you plan your trip to Italy.

Practical info

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