For the style-conscious traveller, Florence is a treasure trove of tasteful cafes, boutiques, art, and architecture. It may be better known as the cradle of the Renaissance, but for people who aren’t into antiques (guilty!), it is also a hub of thriving Italian sophistication. You could spend weeks getting lost in the fashionable boutiques, rooftop bars, and cobbled streets, but if you only have 24 hours in Florence, here’s how you should spend it.
From exploring iconic landmarks like the Duomo di Firenze to indulging in shopping on Via Roma, I have curated an itinerary that captures the essence of this enchanting city, without too much time spent in stuffy galleries and churches.
So pack your chic linen separates and read on to discover how to spend 24 hours in Florence in style!
Florence One Day Itinerary
This itinerary is for 24 hours in Florence – if you were to arrive in the city around lunchtime on day one and leave the following lunchtime, with an overnight stay in the city. If you’re not planning on staying overnight, here are the best things to see in Florence in one day:
- Start with breakfast or coffee in Piazza della Republica
- Visit the Duomo di Firenze and admire the architecture
- Visit the Galleria dell’Accademia to see the Statue of David (book tickets in advance!)
- Have lunch at the Mercato Centrale
- Go shopping on Via Roma
- Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio
- Enjoy a cocktail at La Terrazza Rooftop Bar (book in advance!)
24 Hours in Florence: Day One
If you arrive in the city at lunchtime and you haven’t eaten yet, I can recommend Trattoria dell Pennello, which is located in a quiet courtyard right in the heart of the city. Florence can feel overwhelmingly busy at times so this is a lovely little oasis to indulge in a relaxing Aperol or two. Have the truffle ravioli pasta for your first taste of unforgettable Tuscan fare.
Duomo di Firenze
After lunch, I recommend strolling over to the iconic Duomo di Firenze, a marbled masterpiece of rose and emerald that will impress even the least religious among you. Marvel at the intricate details of the cathedral’s facade, and enjoy the electric atmosphere of the piazza. If you want to go inside, it is essential to book tickets in advance. I personally am not hugely into history or religion, so we skipped it.
If you do want to go inside, I suggest a guided tour to get the most out of the experience (and skip the ridiculously long ticket lines!). You can also get tours that include a climb to the top of the dome for a bird’s eye view of Florence.
Shopping on Via Roma
If shopping is more your style, head over to Via Roma, one of Florence’s premier shopping streets. Here, you’ll find a mix of high-end designer boutiques and local artisan shops. Browse through racks of stylish clothing, admire exquisite jewellery, or pick up a dreamy new dress to wear to dinner.
From renowned Italian designers to international labels, Via Roma offers an unparalleled shopping experience that will leave your inner style icon satisfied. Don’t forget to stop along the way for a quick espresso, gelato, or Aperol break (whichever is more your thing!). Head to your hotel in the late afternoon to drop off your shopping and freshen up for the evening.
Buchette del vino (Florence Wine Windows)
The buchette del vino (wine windows) have recently become one of the most talked-about attractions in Florence. These little openings can be found around the city and were once a way for local trattorias to serve wine while protecting patrons and staff from contracting the plague. I know I said I wasn’t into history, but I can be convinced where wine is concerned! Plus, I guess the concept of socially distanced wine has become relevant again in recent years…
These little windows are dotted all around the city, although only a handful of them are still in operation. I suggest you start your evening out with a takeaway Chianti from Babae in Piazza Santo Spirito, one of the few remaining venues with wine windows still in use.
Sunset Rooftop Cocktails
There are countless rooftop bars to choose from in Florence, and all feature stunning views of the city and a chic atmosphere. My favourite has got to be La Terrazza because it’s right on the river with show-stopping sunset views and a cosy, exclusive vibe. Located on top of a luxury hotel, this rooftop bar offers panoramic views of the city and river while you sip on expertly crafted cocktails.
As evening approaches, the cobalt sky melts into molten gold, casting a warm glow over the city. Reserve an outdoor table and savour your cocktail as you watch the sun dip below the horizon. It’s an experience that truly captures the magic and romance of Florence.
Top Tip: You must reserve your table in advance, even just for drinks, otherwise, you won’t get in!
Other Florence Rooftop Bars to Consider:
Florence is known for its incredible culinary scene, offering a wide range of options to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re craving traditional Tuscan cuisine or looking to try something new and innovative, the city has it all. From charming trattorias tucked away in narrow streets to elegant Michelin-starred restaurants, there is no shortage of choices for a memorable dinner.
We ate at Luca’s restaurant in Hotel la Gemma, which I can wholeheartedly recommend. The talented chef puts his own twist on elevated Tuscan fare, from melt-in-your-mouth prawn carpaccio to delectable al dente pasta and succulent Florentine steaks cooked to perfection. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine or indulge in one of Florence’s signature cocktails.
Other Florence Restaurants to Consider:
- Brandolino: Book in advance and order the beef welly!
- Osteria il Basilico: Quality Tuscan fare at reasonable prices
- Il Palagio: Fine Italian dining quite literally at its finest
For me, Florence really comes alive at night, with twinkling lights illuminating the historic buildings and lively chatter filling the air. If you’re a night owl and fancy an aperitif, the city is home to numerous bars and enotecas where you can sample an impressive selection of wines from Tuscany and beyond. There is no need to make suggestions here as there are so many to choose from; simply wander the streets and grab a table at one that takes your fancy!
Sip on a refreshing Aperol Spritz or try a Negroni made with local gin as you toast to an unforgettable day in this enchanting city.
24 Hours in Florence: Day Two
Breakfast or Coffee
If breakfast isn’t provided at your hotel, start your second day with coffee and a croissant in Piazza della Republica. You can try Caffè Gilli, which is a classy Italian place known as the oldest cafe in Florence – so be prepared to pay a premium for your espresso!
Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze
If there’s one art gallery I do recommend visiting, it’s the Galleria dell’Accademia, where Michaelangelo’s Statue of David can be found. It’s kind of like the Mona Lisa of Florence, so expect big queues and crowds, but you can’t really visit the city without stopping by. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid the huge entrance queues!
Lunch at Mercato Centrale
From the Galleria dell’Accademia, it’s only a short stroll to the Mercato Centrale, where you can find an abundance of leather goods and (somewhat tacky) souvenirs. The main market building actually dates back to 1870 and was designed by the same architect that created Milan’s exclusive shopping emporium, the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II. If you look up, you can definitely see the resemblance!
Head upstairs to the food hall, which is the perfect place to stop for lunch. Whatever kind of Italian food you’re craving, they’ll serve it here! We went for focaccias loaded with creamy mozzarella and prosciutto, but you can also get truffle pasta, arancini bites, and all sorts of other international dishes!
On the way out, you can grab a tasty souvenir or gift for your friends back home such as a small bottle of truffle oil. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it much more than a fridge magnet!
Palazzo Uffuzzi and Ponte Vecchio
If you’re into art, you may want to squeeze in a visit to the Uffizi Gallery after lunch, one of the world’s most renowned art museums. Marvel at masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci as you immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Florence. Just like everything in Florence, it is essential to book your tickets in advance!
Otherwise, end your 24 hours in Florence by taking a leisurely stroll along the Arno River and crossing the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge. This medieval bridge is lined with charming jewellery shops and offers a unique vantage point of the city.
As the birthplace of gelato, it would be a crime to spend 24 hours in Florence without sampling one! Thankfully, there’s a perfect little gelateria on the Ponte Vecchio, where you can sample flavours ranging from classic pistachio to unique combinations like ricotta and fig, there’s something for everyone.
Where to Stay for 24 Hours in Florence
Florence is home to countless historic hotels, but one of the newest on the scene is shaping up to be an iconic destination in its own right. Hotel La Gemma is located mere steps from all of the sights in this itinerary and even features suites with views of the famous cathedral dome. It has the most lust-worthy interiors, inspired by the local architecture, and an incredible restaurant (mentioned earlier in this guide).
Other Hotels You Could Consider:
Hotel Pendini: Overlooking the Piazza della Repubblica, perfect if you’re on a tighter budget.
Arte Boutique Hotel: A stylish hideaway near the Accademia Gallery, with stunning rooftop views.
Hotel Calimala: An iconic hotel in the heart of the city, home to the famous Angel Roofbar.
We flew into Florence and hired a car for our time in Tuscany. This meant we needed somewhere to park for our 24 hours in Florence. Parking in Florence can be something of a minefield, mostly because tourists generally aren’t allowed to drive in certain areas of the city. The best thing to do is to find parking on the outskirts of the city and then make your way into the city from there.
Whether you need parking just for the day or overnight as well, I can recommend parking at Sansovino Car Park, which is opposite the tram stop and costs just 12 euros for 24 hours. From there you can either get the tram, bus or taxi into the city centre. See the map above for the location and address!
More Unmissable Things to Do in Tuscany
Explore the beautiful Chianti wine region.
Relax in the soothing thermal waters of Petriolo Terme.
Visit the secret Tuscan paradise of Giglio Island.
24 Hours in Florence: Final Thoughts and Top Tips
- Wear comfy shoes! Even though all of the top sights are within walking distance, you will still cover a lot of steps each day. Pack chic linens to stay cool in the summer heat.
- Book EVERYTHING in advance. This is essential for all the sights, but ALSO for any popular bars and restaurants. If you want to stop at any of the rooftop bars, you will need a reservation, even just for a drink.
- Do not drive into the centre of Florence. Park on the outskirts and get public transport into the city centre. This is to prevent you from accidentally driving in restricted zones (it’s hard to tell the difference as a tourist.
So that just about wraps up this guide to spending 24 hours in Florence in style, but I’d love to hear your thoughts! Is there anything you’d add or change? Let me know in the comments!