Where to Stay in Florence: Best Areas & Hotels
The main sights in Florence are an easy walk from each other in centro storico (the historic center). Near Piazza del Duomo, where you'll find the cathedral, baptistery, and Giotto's tower, is the church of San Lorenzo with the Medici tombs by Michelangelo. A short walk away, other major attractions are close to the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery. Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens are across the Arno, not far from the Ponte Vecchio. Unlike many popular tourist cities, Florence has many hotels right within the historic center. Surprisingly, you can find hotels in all price ranges in these central neighborhoods.
When looking for the best place to stay, don't overlook hotels away from the center that offer free shuttles. This allows you convenient access to the attractions, but more peaceful surroundings after your sightseeing adventures. If you plan to have dinner in the historic district, be sure the shuttles operate at night. That said, most of these hotels have restaurants of their own, and after a day of jostling with Florence's crowds, you may be glad to retreat to a quiet suburb for dinner.
Where to Stay for Sightseeing
Rooms at the Hotel Berchielli overlook the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio, close to the Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, and the high-end shops. Breakfast is included in the mid-range rates. Budget-priced Hotel Europa is in a 16th-century building with spacious rooms, some of which overlook the cathedral. San Lorenzo and Palazzo Riccardi are close by. A short walk to the cathedral and other attractions of Piazza del Duomo is the romantic Il Guelfo Bianco, filled with old-world charm. Breakfast at this family-owned hotel includes unlimited cappuccino. Less than a five-minute walk from the Duomo and easy to reach from Santa Maria Novella station, Hotel Spadai has rooms with balconies. Luxury amenities include rain showers and turn-down service.
Many of the tastefully decorated rooms at FH Calzaiuoli Hotel have views of the cathedral dome from the windows. The hotel is halfway between Piazza del Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio.
Don't overlook the mid-priced hotels on the other side of Ponte Vecchio, near the Pitti Palace in the Oltrarno neighborhood. You'll be near the palace museums and Boboli Gardens as well as craft studios and shops in this atmospheric quarter. One of these, Hotel Restaurant La Scaletta, occupies a centuries-old building with a rooftop terrace, where breakfast is served in good weather. Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio, in the same area, also has a roof terrace as well as single rooms for solo travelers.
Where to Stay for Luxury
Villa Cora stands in spacious grounds on a hillside overlooking Florence. Sightseeing from here is easy, as a hotel car takes guests into the historic center. Once you see this magnificent villa's opulent décor, hillside gardens, pool, spa, and flawless service, you could be forgiven for checking in and forgetting about sightseeing. Famed for its exceptional guest services, Portrait Firenze is a Ferragamo hotel on the Arno River overlooking Ponte Vecchio, a block from the Uffizi Gallery. As you'd expect from the Ferragamo label, its spacious suites reflect the latest in contemporary Italian design.
In a 15th-century palazzo overlooking its own gardens, Four Seasons Hotel Firenze is only about a 10-minute walk from the Duomo but also offers a shuttle service to the historic center. Along with luxurious rooms, the hotel has a spa, swimming pool, and afternoon teas. Also just outside the crowded center but an easy walk from San Lorenzo and the Duomo, Palazzo Castri 1874 has a courtyard garden, small pool, spa, and serves complimentary afternoon tea.
Where to Stay for the Best Value
Sometimes when deciding where to stay, the lowest price may not be the best value. A hotel with a higher price may offer location, hospitality, and services beyond others in the same price range. A location near major sights or the rail station can save taxi fares, and included extras can also save money. And a few little luxuries may be worth the extra cost to make your trip more enjoyable. Less than five minutes from the Duomo and almost as close to the rail station, Room Mate Isabella has large, rustic rooms and beautiful views of Florence. Be prepared for stairs, but the staff helps with luggage.
Family-run Hotel Davanzati, in the historic center near Piazza della Signoria and the cathedral, offers free breakfast and a pleasant patio, but no elevator. You can relax in the afternoon over complimentary tea and cakes and meet other guests in the evening over bruschetta at the complimentary social hour. The hospitable Hotel Duomo Firenze is near Piazza del Duomo, and starts your day with a full breakfast at a reasonable cost. Along the river near Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi, Hotel Degli Orafi has luxurious appointments and a rooftop terrace with river views. The included breakfast is served in a magnificent room.
Where to Stay on a Budget
Be prepared to climb stairs - perhaps several flights - with or without help with your luggage, especially at budget hotels in the historic center. From the plain exterior of the family-run Hotel Casci, you would not expect a historic house with a lovely frescoed ceiling in the breakfast room. It's two blocks from the Duomo, near San Lorenzo, the Medici Palazzo Riccardi, and several restaurants. In another historic building, Hotel Santa Croce is conveniently located halfway between Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria. There's no elevator but the staff helps with luggage, and the free breakfasts include cappuccino.
You feel a part of a real Florentine neighborhood at Hotel Pendini, in Piazza della Repubblica, a five-minute walk from the Duomo or the Uffizi. Some rooms are large enough for families, and although the hotel is filled with old-world charm, the bathrooms are modern. Fifteen minutes from the major sights, the boutique Hotel Collodi is near San Lorenzo, the market, and plenty of dining choices. Some rooms at Hotel Lorena have shared baths, and you need to climb stairs to the reception desk, but there's an elevator to higher floors. It's across the street from San Lorenzo, and some rooms have views of the Duomo.
Where to Stay for Couples
You won't find a more romantic spot in the historic center than recently renovated rooms in a medieval stone tower looking straight out at Brunelleschi's magnificent dome. That's what you get at the Hotel Brunelleschi. For a special treat, ask for the pool suite with its own terrace.
To relax in blissful calm after a day's sightseeing and jostling the inevitable crowds below, take the complimentary guest shuttle to Villa La Vedetta, near Piazzale Michelangelo. Rooms in this peaceful retreat overlooking the city are beautifully appointed, and there's a pool and terrace, along with a sumptuous breakfast.
Walk-in closets, stylish rooms, and exceptional service make the Hotel Savoy stand out, as does its location in the Piazza della Repubblica, a short walk from the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and the Uffizi. Complimentary bicycles are a plus. The romantic Pierre Hotel Florence is on a side street between Piazza Della Republica and Ponte Vecchio. Frescoed ceilings, stone fireplaces, and other lovely antique features remind guests that they are staying in a former Florentine palace. Breakfast and an evening social hour are included with rooms at the Golden Tower Hotel & Spa, where there is a well-appointed spa with a sauna, steam room, and whirlpool tub.
Where to Stay for Families
Opposite Santa Maria Novella and convenient to the train station, Grand Hotel Minerva offers luxury at mid-range rates, with well-appointed family suites and a rooftop pool. Deluxe rooms have amenities like bathrobes and slippers. Next to San Lorenzo church and a short walk from the Duomo, the budget-friendly Hotel Ginori al Duomo has a pool and rooms large enough for families. There's no elevator, so kids will get to run off their excess energy. On the upper floors of a well-updated historic building between the Duomo and the rail station, Hotel Perseo has an elevator to all floors. The included breakfast buffet has plenty of choices.
In a peaceful riverside setting, away from the crowds around the historic sights, Hotel Mulino di Firenze offers guests free parking and a free shuttle into the center, a boon for families touring Tuscany by car. Vaulted ceilings and other rustic antique features recall its origins as a water mill. The restaurant, which serves breakfast and dinner, overlooks the river, and in warm weather you can dine on the covered terrace. The hotel also has a pool.