The historical capital of Tuscany is the perfect place to start your trip in Italy. Old chapels, historical bridges, astounding viewpoints, and delicious ice cream.
The city that gave birth to amazing artists and important scientists. Florence is a great base for visiting other towns in Tuscany too.
You should at least spend 2 days in Florence to get through a lot while still enjoying the city. Ideally, you could spend a week exploring the city, but since you’re here, I assume you don’t have that kind of time, so I’ve made this perfect Florence itinerary so you can get the most out of Florence in 2 days.
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How to get to Florence
As the capital of Tuscany and one of the most popular cities in Italy, Florence is easy to get to no matter how you travel. Let me break it down for you.
Florence’s airport (FLR) is the second busiest airport in Tuscany, after Pisa. It’s situated 4 km from Florence city center and it only takes 15 minutes by car or taxi to get to and from the city.
You can book your rental car from the airport here.
You can also take the airport shuttle bus, Busitalia “Vola in bus”. It leaves every 30 minutes and commutes between the airport and BUSITALIA Bus Station which is close to the SMN Railway Station. It usually takes about 20 minutes without any stops.
You can easily travel to Pisa airport (Galileo Galilei International Airport) too if the tickets are cheaper. I’ve done that before and it’s an easy 1 hour 15 minutes drive.
But you can also take the high-speed Pisa Mover shuttle to Pisa’s main train station, Pisa Centrale. From there, it’s about an hour with train to Florence.
Book flights to Florence or Pisa here.
Florence is well connected with the main highways in the country and can pretty much be accessed from all directions by car.
However, it’s worth taking note that the historical center doesn’t allow cars other than bus, taxi, and residents with special permits.
So before you drive to Florence, make sure you check where your hotel is situated and ask where the closest parking is. While it’s not practical with a car during your Florence 2 days stay, you might be on a longer Tuscany road trip and need to drive there.
The main railway station in Florence is Santa Maria Novella (aka Firenze SMN). Not only is it well connected to the rest of the country, it’s also centrally situated according to the main tourist attractions and local buses.
The second most important train station in the city is Firenze Campo di Marte, which serves a lot of the international trains on top of the national trains.
Book your train tickets to Florence here.
Florence is also well connected by bus to other major cities as well as many of the bigger and smaller towns in Tuscany. It takes 1 hour and 35 minutes by bus from Pisa, less than 3 hours from Rome, and less than an hour and a half from Bologna.
Book your bus tickets to Florence here.
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Best time to go to Florence
As one of the best places to visit in Italy, every month is a great month for visiting Florence. However, there are a few differences you might want to consider before you decide which month is best for you.
July and August are without a doubt the warmest months in Florence, and day time temperatures usually pass 30 degrees Celsius. Sightseeing can get a tad hot but if you plan on going in this period, it means you have the best excuse to eat lots of gelato’s to keep cool!
Spring and autumn
April to June and September to October are the most pleasant months to go considering the weather and temperature. These are also the peak seasons, which means that there will be much more tourists around.
Florence is a great place for a winter city break in Europe, though it does get fairly cold at night, days are still mild and often sunny. So you can absolutely enjoy the city without the crowds of peak season and it’s a nice destination for winter sun in Europe.
Headed to Siena too? Read my Siena itinerary here.
Where to stay in Florence
Florence is full of great hotels to stay at! Here are a few options around the historical center.
Residenza D’Epoca Historia Luxury
In the heart of Florence, close to Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, you find this beautiful boutique hotel. The rooms are light and spacious and a queen and king worthy.
Palazzo dei Conti Residenza d’Epoca
Situated in the historic center of Florence, this beautifully decorated hotel is a great choice. Some rooms even have a charming balcony with city views. This hotel offers parking.
This is a wonderful hotel with large rooms and a great roof top terrace. Here you’ll stay near the cathedral and Piazza del Duomo de Firenze. It’s hard to get a better location. They also offer private parking.
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2 days in Florence itinerary
Now, let’s get to the exciting part and see what to fit into a 2 days in Florence itinerary! I promise you, there are a lot of ice cream shops around, so don’t be shy, and go get gelato whenever you feel like it.
Florence itinerary – Day 1
Enjoy the views at Piazzale Michelangelo
This viewpoint is the absolute best of Florence! You have the whole city at your feet and can admire a staggering skyline dominated by the cathedral towering above the tile colored city roofs.
Piazzale Michelangelo was built in the 19th Century by Poggi to showcase copies of the famous artist’s masterpieces. Behind the square, he built a structure that was meant to act as a museum for Michelangelo’s work. Never really finished, the building now serves as a cafe and restaurant.
You can easily walk up there from Piazza Ferruccio or take the bus no. 12 or 13. There is also paid parking if you come by car.
Duomo di Firenze – The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower
The prominent landmark of Florence, known for its staggering beauty, holds hundreds of years if history and must be on any Florence itinerary. The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, mainly known as the Duomo by the locals, took 140 years to build.
The Duomo was built on top of a small church from sometime between the 4th and 6th century and there is a small museum dedicated to it.
Step into the Opera Duomo Museum and admire masterpieces of none other than Michelangelo, Donatello, and Verrocchio among other great names.
Finally, make sure you climb the 463 steps up to the dome to reach the highest point in the city center. You can also climb the bell tower for spectacular views of the dome.
Head to Mercato Centrale for lunch, the ultimate food market in town. You find pretty much everything here, so get lost and try out a few different things from the local cuisine.
The Uffizi Museum
This world famous museum is stuffed with the finest Reneissance art featuring masterpieces like The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. But you can also see Simone Martini, Giotto, Filippo Lippi and many more.
The corridors are adorned with paintings and statues, some of which are copies of old Greek sculptures from Roman times.
I suggest you spend at least 2-3 hours walking around the museum as there’s so much invaluable art history to be told between these walls. You can also visit Palazzo Pitti and Giardino di Boboli while you’re there if walking among art for so long isn’t really your thing.
There are a few places for dinner around the Uffizi where you can enjoy a proper Italian pizza or pasta with a nice glass of Tuscan wine.
Headed to Amalfi Coast after Tuscany? Read my guides:
Florence itinerary – Day 2
Start day 2 of your Florence itinerary with a lovely breakfast either at the hotel or in a bar nearby. There will be a lot of walking and activity today, so you’ll need the energy.
Start by walking to the iconic Ponte Vecchio. Dating back to 1345, the bridge used to function as a defense bridge and was the only bridge across the Arno river to survive World War II.
These days, it’s mostly known for antique shops, jewelry shops, and art vendors. There is nothing not to love about this historical landmark with little pastel houses built on the outer walls with windows, terraces, and tiled roofs.
If you ask me, the highlight of this Florence 2 day itinerary and not only a unique photo subject, but also one of Europe’s most famous bridges.
Get lost in old town
One of the best things to do with 2 days in Florence, is without a doubt to get lost in the cobblestone streets from Ponte Vecchio and through the old town. The historic center is full of old churches, buildings, Gelato and coffee bars, and restaurants.
Strolling through the streets, popping into random churches on the way to admire the amazing inside and loosing sense of direction as you find a cute little restaurant for lunch is hard to beat.
And what better than pasta and pizza for lunch AND dinner later? You are in Italy after all.
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Basilica di San Lorenzo
This rustic church might just be the the oldest church in Florence, and was once the main cathedral in the city. There is evidence that dates this church all the way back to year 393.
Other than the church, you can visit the wonderful Cannon’s Cloister with its green garden, the museum of St. Lawrence Treasure and Cellar where Donatello is buried.
If there is an exhibit going on, it’s possible to visit Medicea Laurenziana Library and I highly recommend doing it if the opportunity is there, to admire Michelangelo’s impressive example of Mannerist architecture.
However, the highlight are the Medici Chapels, the burial place of the Medici family. There are three parts to visit, the crypt, the Chapel of the Princes, and the New Sacristy, which is the actual mausoleum and none other than Michelangelo made the sculptures for the tombs of Giuliano and Lorenzo Medici.
Have dinner in Old Town
Of course, you can have dinner wherever you want, but as it’s the last night of your 2 days in Florence itinerary, you might want to enjoy the historical center one last time. It’s super charming at night!
Want to experience some wonderful day trips from Florence?
Florence in 2 days – be a responsible traveler
Florence is a tourist magnet. Being the gateway to Tuscany, millions of travelers set foot in Florence and though it is a big city, make sure you always treat locals with respect.
While exploring Florence in 2 days you can contribute to less waste by bringing your own reusable water bottle, metal straw, and take away containers. If you’re a coffee junkie, you might also bring your reusable coffee cup.
I hope you enjoyed this 2 days Florence itinerary. If you’re headed on a road trip in Tuscany, you can read my complete road trip itinerary here.
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