Where to Stay in Florence: 7 Best Areas & Hotels!

There are many great places to stay in Florence, making a city trip to the capital of Tuscany an unforgettable experience. From beautiful vacation rentals to stylish boutique hotels, budget backpacker hostels to first-class luxury hotels, you can find a wide range of excellent accommodations in the Italian metropolis. Something to suit every taste and budget is guaranteed. However, with 5 city districts and over 50 neighborhoods to choose from, the question of where to stay in Florence can be overwhelming. After all, a good location in the center, along with the perfect accommodation, is already half the battle for a successful city trip! But where are the best hotels and apartments in the city, what are the special accommodations, and which areas are a fantastic choice for a perfect stay in Florence?

In this travel guide, we will show you the most amazing places to stay in Florence, Italy. Plus, you’ll find plenty of insider tips to help you plan the perfect vacation.


The Historic Center

The historic center around the impressive Duomo is definitely one of the most popular areas to stay in Florence. Especially for first time visitors to the capital of Tuscany, this area is highly recommended. From here you can easily walk to the most famous attractions in Florence, such as the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Vecchio. Perfect even when you only have one night for your stay. The old town is the vibrant center of the city. Here you will find a wide selection of upscale, usually more expensive accommodations, small charming city hotels, and some of the best boutique hotels in Florence are located in this gorgeous historic district. In addition, you can enjoy a first-class selection of luxury hotels for couples or honeymooners planning a very special stay in Florence!

Characterized by picturesque streets lined with impressive Renaissance buildings, the old town is a true jewel of Tuscany and an excellent choice if you want to stay right in the middle of the old town. In addition to the many monuments and museums, there are great opportunities for shopping and leisurely strolls. You’ll also find top-notch cafés and restaurants in the bustling center, where you can soak up Florence’s romantic flair.

Best Hotels and Accommodation:

  • 5-Star Luxury Hotel: The luxurious Portrait Firenze – Lungarno Collection is one of the finest hotels in Florence. The location overlooking the Ponte Vecchio is also stunning!
  • Unique Boutique Hotel: The Hotel Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo, with its magnificent ceiling and wall paintings, is an insider tip for the best accommodations in Florence.
  • Magnificent 3-Star Hotel: The Hotel Pendini is a wonderful, charming and very affordable 3-star hotel with excellent value for money.

San Lorenzo

The San Lorenzo neighborhood is a fascinating part of the city, home to a lively market and an enchanting atmosphere. It is the perfect place to stay in Florence to experience the authentic Tuscan flavor of the city. At the same time, you will be close to the historic center and within walking distance of the main sights. Just a short walk will take you to the Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Cappelle Medicee, the great tomb of the Medici family. One of the main attractions is the market of San Lorenzo, the Mercato Centrale. Visitors enjoy a colorful mix of food stalls, restaurants, bars and souvenirs. Here you can experience Florentine culture, eat delicious food and immerse yourself in local life.

The San Lorenzo district also offers a wide range of budget accommodation in Florence. There is something for every taste and pocket. In addition to upscale hotels, there are also small, charming boutique hotels and superb vacation apartments that are optimal for self-catering. Absolutely brilliant is also the central location, making the neighborhood a great starting point for sightseeing, for nightlife and shopping. It is also a great place to stay for families who do not want to live right in the middle of the action.

Best Hotels and Accommodation:

  • Hotel with Stunning Views: The 5-star hotel NH Collection Palazzo Gaddi scores points with its magnificent baroque halls and a great roof terrace with a rooftop bar!
  • Amazing B&B: The outstanding Palazzo Tolomei – Residenza D’Epoca is a particularly lovely B&B in a fascinating 16th-century Renaissance building.
  • Chic Boutique Hotel: The Frame Hotel is a lovely, small, family-run boutique hotel with modern decor, fantastic breakfast and a top location.

Santa Maria Novella

Charming Santa Maria Novella is a rather sprawling, very diverse district that is very attractive from both a cultural and practical point of view. Close to the main attractions, the main train station and the best shopping, it is an ideal starting point to explore the many highlights of the city center on foot. The neighborhood offers a variety of accommodation options and, thanks to its proximity to Florence’s train station, it is also easy to make excursions into the surrounding area and other cities in Tuscany. Moreover, the area is also known for its excellent shopping facilities and even Via de’ Tornabuoni, one of the best shopping streets in the city, is located in this area.

Santa Maria Novella is a fantastic place to stay in Florence if you want to be close to the train station. There are many good and especially cheap accommodations in this area. However, the best part of the neighborhood is a little further south towards the Arno River, as the area becomes more upscale with chic boutiques and trendy bars. In addition, some of Florence’s best luxury hotels are located near the river, within walking distance of the city center.

Best Hotels and Accommodation:

  • 5-Star Hotel with Parking: The luxurious Hotel Dimora Palanca is located in a renovated city villa. A big plus is the relatively inexpensive private parking.
  • Optimal 3-Star Hotel: The family-run Hotel Magenta is conveniently located on the edge of the old town and within walking distance of the train station.
  • Nice Bed and Breakfast: The I Sleep B&B is a great budget option for staying in Florence. The central location and fantastic breakfast selection are also tops.

San Marco

The San Marco area is located north of the center and is an excellent choice to stay in Florence. It is the student district of the city and therefore offers a casual atmosphere. The beautiful neighborhood is characterized by pretty alleys, squares and historic buildings that form a charming backdrop. In addition, you will find a wide range of special accommodations, from luxurious hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts and terrific apartments. Especially for art lovers, there are many interesting things to discover in this part of the city. Near San Marco’s Basilica is the San Marco Convent Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artworks, including those by Renaissance painter Fra Bartolomeo. The Galleria dell’Accademia, where Michelangelo’s world-famous David is exhibited, is also worth visiting.

Thanks to its central location, the historic center is just a short walk away. So you can perfectly combine your stay in the San Marco neighborhood with sightseeing in the historic center. Prices are also a bit cheaper in this lively student area, and you will find hip bars, restaurants and cafés that are almost exclusively frequented by locals.

Best Hotels and Accommodation:

  • A True Dream Hotel: The Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, with its magnificent spa and garden, is a real insider tip for an extra luxurious stay in Florence.
  • Fantastic 4-Star Hotel: The iQ Hotel is a stylish 4-star hotel in Florence. Guests love the modern décor, the cool ambiance, and the delicious breakfast.
  • Charming Bed & Breakfast: The Secret Garden Firenze is an insider’s tip if you’re looking for a beautiful, personally run bed & breakfast in Florence!

Santa Croce

Charming Santa Croce is an extremely charming neighborhood in Florence, recommended to stay in for its local flavor and upscale atmosphere away from the beaten path. It is also centrally located. Many of the best sights are within walking distance. A real highlight is the imposing Basilica di Santa Croce, which is the resting place of many important personalities, including Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo. The basilica also houses valuable works of art by artists such as Giotto, Brunelleschi and Donatello. Close by is the Casa Buonarroti, Michelangelo’s former home, where some of his early works are exhibited.

Some of the best accommodations in the city center can be found in this area of Florence. The whole neighborhood is very stylish and individual, which is reflected in the many upscale accommodations and also in the price. There are beautiful, luxurious hotels, superbly appointed apartments, as well as small, chic guesthouses.

Best Hotels and Accommodation:

  • Beautiful 5-Star Hotel: The Relais Santa Croce is located in an 18th century building and is considered one of the most elegant accommodations in Florence.
  • Stunning B&B: The Santa Croce 14 B&B scores with an unbeatable location, wonderful hospitality, and rooms that are truly tastefully decorated.
  • Charming Apartments: The charming accommodation Pietrapiana Boutique Apartments offers absolutely recommendable apartments in a wide range of sizes.

San Frediano & Palazzo Pitti

The picturesque San Frediano district is beautifully located west of the Arno River and is a great option for a stay in Florence. The neighborhood is known for its historical charm as well as its relaxed atmosphere. A real gem is Palazzo Pitti, an impressive Renaissance palace that was once the residence of the powerful Medici family. A unique blend of history, culture and Tuscan flair is also found in San Frediano. There are pretty cobblestone streets, medieval buildings and many fine restaurants, as well as a lively nightlife. In addition, you will find a variety of excellent accommodations in the area. These include some excellent boutique hotels at reasonable prices.

San Frediano’s location is ideal, as it’s a little off the beaten tourist track, yet close enough to walk to Florence’s main attractions. These include world-famous attractions such as the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Best Hotels and Accommodation:

  • Luxurious Riverfront Hotel: The Hotel Lungarno – Lungarno Collection is one of the finest accommodations in Florence. It is located right on the river and has a fantastic atmosphere.
  • Fabulous Bed & Breakfast: The FuordArno Bed & Breakfast is in a class of its own. Guests love the Florentine charm, the great location, and the delicious breakfast.
  • Beautiful Apartment: The Genteel Home Piazza Pitti is a beautiful, well-equipped apartment. The best part is that the furnishings are both tasteful and modern!

San Niccolò & Piazzale Michelangelo

The neighborhoods of San Niccolò and Piazzale Michelangelo are located southeast of the center on the other side of the Arno River. For a stay in Florence, these areas also offer some advantages. San Niccolò stretches along the picturesque Via San Niccolò and is known for its charming alleys and historic buildings. Here you will find a number of cozy cafés and restaurants, as well as quaint handicraft shops that reflect typical Florentine flair. Piazzale Michelangelo, on the other hand, is an iconic viewpoint on a hill overlooking San Niccolò. From here you can get the best view of Florence. However, the climb up the hill via the “Ramp di Poggi” can be strenuous, so the best way to get here is to take the bus to the center.

In this charming area, you will find many unique luxury villas, small, pretty accommodations such as bed & breakfasts, family-run hotels and privately owned vacation rentals. The old town is on the other side of the river and can be reached on foot depending on your location. Some accommodations are a bit out of town, but often have a pool or beautiful garden for relaxation.

Best Hotels and Accommodation:

  • Romantic 4-Star Hotel: The Art Hotel Villa Agape has a romantic atmosphere and a beautiful garden. There is a shuttle service to the city center!
  • Superb Hotel with Pool: The Villa Cora is a special hotel for a city break in Florence. The ambience in the green with the pool and the amazing view is unbeatable.
  • Hotel with Free Parking: The extremely charming Hotel David scores with free parking, free apéritifs in the evening and a fabulous breakfast.

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