2 DAYS IN FLORENCE ITINERARY
Are you planning your Florence itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in 2 days in Florence? Then this post is perfect for you – here I share my tips on what to do in Florence in 2 days.
Florence had been on my Italy bucket list forever (mostly because of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Medici), and yet it took me more than a decade to finally visit. I fell so in love that I had to revisit just a few months later.
And what can I say? Florence did not disappoint. You cannot visit Tuscany and skip Florence. After all, Florence is Tuscany’s capital and most famous city, with millions of people visiting it each year. It should be on any Italy itinerary.
THIS 2 DAYS IN FLORENCE ITINERARY INCLUDES
✔️ How to Get to Florence
✔️ How to Get Around Florence for 2 Days
✔️ Best Time to Visit Florence
✔️ Where to Stay for 2 Days Florence
✔️Places to Visit on Day 1 in Florence
✔️ Places to Visit on Day 2 in Florence
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR 2 DAYS IN FLORENCE – FAQ
Here are some important FAQs and answers to make your 2 days in Florence more smoothly.
How to Get to Florence
You have two airport choices to get to Florence. The airport in Pisa is actually bigger than the one in Florence and you might fly into that.
✈️ From Pisa Airport: Take the Pisa Mover shuttle train to Pisa Central Station. There you can transit by train to Florence’s main train station (Firenze), Santa Maria Novella.
✈️ From Florence Airport: The Volainbus shuttle bus runs to the Florence bus station every 30 minutes during the day and hourly in the evening.
🚆 Florence is also quite easily accessible via train from many places in Italy. Even if you are coming from neighboring countries like Austria, Slovenia, or Switzerland, it might be worth checking the train connections to Florence.
How to Get Around Florence for 2 Days
Walking is the best way to explore the historic center of Florence, where many of the attractions listed here are in the city center and within walking distance of each other. The streets are narrow and mostly pedestrianized, so it’s easy to get around on foot.
Wear comfy shoes because of some (minor) uphill walking and the cobbled-stoned streets.
If you need to take a bus or public transportation, don’t worry. Florence has a good public transportation system that includes buses and trams. It is easy, safe, cheap, and reliable.
Buses are the most common form of public transportation and operate throughout the city.
There are two train stations – Santa Maria Novella or Campo di Marte in Florence. You can walk or take the bus to the attraction.
You can buy tickets for the buses at tobacco shops and newsagents, and they come as either a single trip or a multi-trip. Tickets are quite cheap and are only around 1,50€ one way. The last resort is to buy one from the driver, but it will cost you a bit more. Remember always to validate your ticket on the bus (or at the train station when taking the train). ALWAYS!
Getting around via car is impossible for a tourist because the center of Florence is a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL), which means you need a permit to drive there. Thus, if you get to Florence by car, you must leave it outside the city center.
Car Rental: If you plan to explore the surrounding areas of Florence, renting a car could be a good option.
Best Time to Visit Florence For a Weekend
Never visit Italian cities in the summer. At least, if you want to avoid the heat and crowds of tourists. Like hardly any other country, Italy is stuffed with people in the summer months, and Florence is no exception.
The shoulder season is certainly the best time to visit Florence. So, if you can, visit in April or May (and early June probably) or from mid-September to October.
Where to Stay For 2 Days in Florence
Luxury – Four Seasons Hotel Firenze: For the ultimate luxury hotel, check out Florence´s Four Season rates. This hotel chain knows how to impress, and it seems that it does a great job in Florence, too. Click here to get more info on the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze.
More Travel Tips For Your 2-Day in Florence Itinerary
Keep in mind that some of the biggest museums in Florence, including the Uffizi, Galleria dell’Accademia, and the Palazzo Pitti (which holds the Boboli Gardens), are closed on Mondays, so if one of your 2 days in Florence is a Monday, you might need to make some adjustments! One of the few exceptions is the Duomo and the Duomo museums, which are open on Mondays.
Besides, all the museums close on certain holidays, like Christmas. Make sure to check the website before visiting.
If you are on a budget, check out my Florence budget guide for some tips on how to save money.
2-DAY FLORENCE ITINERARY
So, here we are: discussing places to visit in 2 days in Florence. Day 1 focuses on the city center and its attractions and Day 2 focuses on the other side of the river with some lesser-known activities.
Day 1 of 2 Days in Florence Itinerary
Wake up early and beat the crowds to the breathtaking Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) in the peacefulness of the morning. Capture stunning photos of the gorgeous architecture without the interference of masses of tourists. Start your day off perfectly by experiencing the charm and beauty of Florence at the quiet and serene Cathedral Square.
Stop 1: Piazza del Duomo
Kick off your Florence itinerary at the vibrant Piazza del Duomo. This bustling square has something for everyone, from breathtaking architecture to lively street performers.
You’ll find yourself surrounded by beauty as you take in the magnificent cathedral, the stunning Campanile, and the historic Baptistry. And when you’re ready to take a break, there are plenty of charming cafes and gelaterias just steps away. Let the Piazza del Duomo be your launching pad for a truly unforgettable visit to Florence!
Welcome to the breathtaking Duomo, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. This remarkable masterpiece was finished in the 15th century, and at the time it was the fourth largest church in the world!
Now, even though it’s the 11th largest church building, it still has a larger-than-life presence that’ll leave you in awe. You won’t want to miss out on this magnificent cathedral.
There are several ways to enjoy the Duomo Complex:
Experience the grandeur of this historic masterpiece both inside and out! Admire the stunning mosaic floors and intricate frescoes as you step through the doors, and be sure to visit the Baptistery and its mesmerizing bronze Gates of Paradise.
Looking for a bird’s eye view of the beautiful city of Florence? Why not climb up Giotto’s towering bell tower and take in the stunning sights from above? This amazing attraction is even more special when you learn that it’s named after the great painter, Giotto, who played a key role in designing its unique architecture.
Although Giotto didn’t live to see the tower’s completion, we can still marvel at his incredible vision and enjoy the breathtaking vistas that await us at the top. So lace up your climbing shoes and see Florence from a whole new perspective!
Just a heads up though, there are quite a few steps to conquer – 414 to be exact! But don’t let that deter you, because once you reach the top, the sights will simply take your breath away. So grab your sense of adventure and get ready to soak in some seriously stunning scenery!
ℹ️ Visiting the Duomo is free, but you will need a ticket for the top and the Baptistery.
ℹ️ I recommend buying the ticket in advance and having the option to skip the lines. Believe me: I visited at the beginning of April before 9 am, and I saw them…the lines were long! Yes, they exist in the off-season before 9 am! Imagine this during peak season and after 9 or 10 am! It must be shocking!
ℹ️ Come here early to avoid the crowds inside.
ℹ️ Total time: I would estimate, for seeing everything, anywhere from 1-5 hours (with skip-the-line tickets, much longer without them).
ℹ️ Opening hours: The opening hours for the areas differ. Check out the opening times here.
Stop 2: Piazza Della Signoria
If you’re in Florence and looking for a vibrant and exciting place to hang out, make your way to Piazza Della Signoria. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the Duomo and it’s one of the coolest squares in Italy!
Trust me, there’s never a dull moment here. From the colorful facades of the buildings to the lively atmosphere, this piazza will steal your heart. So head on over, snap some photos, grab a gelato, and enjoy the energy of this amazing place. You won’t regret it!
Welcome to the wonderful world of art! Get ready to be astonished by breathtaking sculptures such as the stunning equestrian statue of Cosimo I designed by the masterful Giambologna. Admire the magnificent Fountain of Neptune, a masterpiece created by the talented Ammannati.
But, wait, there’s more! Keep your eyes open for the wonderful replica of the famous statue of David sculpted by the incredible Michelangelo.
Welcome to the heart of Florence’s vibrant history! This gorgeous piazza has been the epicenter of political power for countless centuries, and the impressive buildings surrounding it are testaments to the city’s magnificent legacy.
Here is also Palazzo Vecchio, which has served as the hub of the city’s government for ages, or the fascinating city museum that awaits you. Get ready to be transported to a world of wonder, beauty, and culture unlike any other!
You won’t believe how many tourists flock to this spot after 10 am, but don’t let that discourage you! There is still so much fun to be had here – from people-watching to admiring the historic architecture.
Looking for the best place to appreciate the art and culture of Florence within your tight schedule? Let me save you some time and take you to a hidden gem that many tourists often overlook!
While the Palazzo Vecchio is a popular choice, my guide has a great alternative that will leave you in awe. More on that later!
ℹ️ Total time: It depends on how closely you look at everything, but my guess is between 20 and 90 minutes (without the Palazzo Vecchio).
Stop 3: Lunch on Day 1 in Florence
Maybe it is already time for lunch? The best restaurants are said to be on the other side of the river. However, close to Piazza Della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery is a street named Via Dei Neri, where you can also find good food.
Actually, according to my local guide, you will get the best sandwiches in Florence there. All the restaurants there have good sandwiches – which is considered a typical meal in Florence.
Stop 4: The Uffizi Gallery
Discover the Uffizi Gallery – an art lover’s dream located just a stone’s throw from Piazza Della Signoria. Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not an art expert but even I get excited at the mention of legends like Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. Allow yourself to be captivated by their masterpieces and immerse yourself in a world of creativity and beauty.Commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany, the building was conceived to house the “Uffizi”, the administrative and legal offices of Florence in the 16th century. Now, the Uffizi Gallery entirely occupies the first two floors of the building.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of Italy’s top museums and one of the most important in the world. Its large collection of Renaissance masterpieces displays Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and many more.
ℹ️ Florence is quite busy – at any time of the year.
So make sure to buy skip-the-line tickets in advance to avoid wasting much time waiting. Skip-the-lines tickets are a bit more expensive but will save you valuable time.
ℹ️ Total time: 1,5 to 4 hours
ℹ️ Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8.15 am to 6.50 pm
ℹ️ On Saturdays and holidays, it will be necessary to make the reservation at least one day in advance
ℹ️ Closed on: Mondays, 1 January, 25 December
Stop 5: Ponte Vecchio
Step back in time and cross the charming Ponte Vecchio, an ancient bridge spanning the Arno River in Florence. This historical wonder’s origins date back to the 10th century, making it a captivating example of early Italian architecture.
What’s fascinating about this old bridge is that it served as the sole passage across the Arno until 1218, making it a crucial part of Florence’s history. Floodwaters didn’t leave it unscathed, but it was quickly rebuilt in the 14th century, ensuring it remained a vital connector for generations to come.
Hey there! So, let me tell you something – I totally get what you mean about not initially understanding the allure of the Ponte Vecchio bridge. I mean, sure, the pictures are nice and all, but the bridge didn’t really capture my attention.
But let me just say, after actually visiting and experiencing the beauty of that bridge firsthand, it was a total game-changer!
Now I can say with confidence – I really get it! If you ever have the chance to go, I highly recommend it.
Imagine strolling across a bridge that resembles a quaint little street, complete with charming houses and bustling shops. This unique place is perfect for picking up souvenirs and beautiful jewelry. But brace yourself, as this popular spot is jam-packed with people.
ℹ️ The opening hours are not the same for all shops. Some shops might be closed on Sundays or Monday mornings and some might close during lunchtime.
ℹ️ However, you can cross the bridge at any time.
ℹ️ After crossing the bridge, you are on the other side of Florence. It is less busy and less visited, but it also holds a few great places and attractions. However, we will focus on that side of Florence on day 2 of this itinerary.
Stop 6: Dinner in Florence
If you are ready for dinner, cross the bridge. My local guide told us that the best restaurants are on the south side of the river. Cheaper, more authentic, and they all serve good food!
If you are not ready for an early dinner yet, you will find more options later. Then cross the bridge just for fun. So, after dining it is time to end the evening at a beautiful spot.
Stop 7: Giardino Delle Rose
Make sure to add a stop at Piazzale Michelangelo to your itinerary for breathtaking views of the skyline. This gem awaits you on your way there – a stunning little garden that deserves your attention. Take your time and enjoy the peace and beauty it has to offer. Your day just got a whole lot more unforgettable!
If you’re looking for a stunningly beautiful spot to rest and take in the views in Florence, look no further than the Rose Garden! With 1200 botanical wonders and over 400 different types of roses, this garden is a feast for the eyes.
And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also find a Japanese garden – donated by the twin city of Kyōto – and the Zen Kodai, creating a perfect blend of Eastern and Western styles. Designed by Giuseppe Poggi in 1865, this garden is just below the Piazza Michelangelo, making it an ideal stop on your way up the hill.
So grab a seat, breathe in the fragrant air, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this Florence gem.
If you plan to visit, keep the opening hours in mind:
If you cross the Ponte Vecchio, it takes about 20 minutes and is an uphill walk, but not too difficult.
ℹ️ Free entrance
ℹ️ January, December 9 am – 4:30 pm
ℹ️ February, October, and November 9 am – 5 pm
ℹ️ March 9 am – 6 pm
ℹ️ April, May, and September 9 am – 7 pm
ℹ️ June, July, and August 9 am – 8 pm
Stop 8: Piazzale Michelangelo
Take a break and marvel at the breathtaking view of Florence from the iconic Piazzale Michelangelo – the perfect way to end your first day in the city. Created in 1869 by the talented Florentine architect, Giuseppe Poggi, this piazza is the ideal location to admire the stunning skyline of the city. Don’t miss out on this remarkable experience – unwind, relax, and be amazed!
Ready to witness the breathtaking sunset in the city center? Head towards the square and be greeted by another stunning statue of David. Don’t forget to grab a drink from one of the cozy cafes or restaurants nearby for the perfect viewing experience. Whether it’s a warm summer evening or a cool autumn night, this is a sight you won’t want to miss.
TIPS FOR VISITING THE PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO
ℹ️ Piazele Michelangelo is free to visit
ℹ️ Open at any time of the day, all year round
If you head back down, you will find a larger selection of restaurants.
Congrats on day one of your Florence adventure, you’ve seen some pretty incredible sights! But, don’t think for a second that the fun stops there. Your second day is jam-packed with even more jaw-dropping activities that will make sure you leave Florence feeling fulfilled.
Keep that excitement going, because you’re about to discover some seriously amazing experiences.
Day 2 of 2 Days in Florence
Knowing that more beautiful places are awaiting will make it easier to wake up early and start the day, right? So, here are my tips on how to spend the second day in Florence. Today, you will also spend some time on the south side of the River Arno.
Welcome to the Accademia Gallery, located on the magnificent north side of the river. Can you believe you’ve already seen two replicas of the iconic David statue? Well, hold onto your hats because you’re about to witness the one and only original. Get ready for a jaw-dropping experience.
The city has no shortage of stunning works by legendary artists, but there’s one piece that reigns supreme: the iconic statue by Michelangelo.
It’s worth booking ahead to see the original. And while you’re at it, grab some skip-the-line tickets for even more amazing works by names like Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, and Gaddi. It’s the perfect addition to any 2-day itinerary in Florence.
ℹ️ Opening hours: Open every day except Monday
ℹ️ Closed: January 1, December 25, and every Monday
ℹ️ Total time: 30-90 minutes
Stop 2: Piazza San Lorenzo
Make your way to Piazza San Lorenzo, just a short stroll away from the Accademia Gallery. Here you’ll find stunning architecture and a rich history to soak up. Trust me, this is a must-see spot during your visit to the area.
Imagine what Florence would be like without the Medicis – it’s hard to even picture! Their legacy will continue to inspire creativity and innovation for generations to come.
Explore the awe-inspiring San Lorenzo Church, where the Medici family used to worship. Marvel at the unfinished facade and ponder why the project was never completed.
Then, head over to the Medici Chapels, the majestic tomb of the legendary Medici dynasty. Admire the stunning marble statues by the one and only Michelangelo, including the breathtaking works found in the New Sacristy. These sites are sure to add an extra element of history and art to your trip to Florence.
ℹ️ Total time: 30-90 minutes
ℹ️ TIP: If you have to skip out any of the activities on day 2 (for whatever reason), I would say, skip this one.
Stop 3: Lunch on Day 2
Ready to embark on a culinary adventure? The south side of the Arno River is calling your name! Tucked away in this charming area are some of the best restaurants in town – all offering top-notch cuisine at affordable prices.
Stop 4: Boboli Garden
Let me introduce you to the incredible Boboli Garden – the green gem of Florence. This amazing park is home to towering oak trees, gorgeous sculptures, sparkling fountains, and even an amphitheater! And get this, it’s said to have inspired none other than Versailles!
So if you’re looking for a little slice of history and nature, the Boboli Garden is definitely worth checking out. Happy exploring!
TIPS FOR BOBOLI GARDEN
ℹ️ The single ticket is around 10€ and 26€ for a ticket to Pitti Palace and Boboli Garden.
ℹ️ Total time: 1 – 4 hours
ℹ️ Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 8.15 am
ℹ️ Closing: 4.30 pm in November, December, January, and February, 5.30 pm in March and October (without Daylight Saving Time), 6.30 pm in April, May, September, March, and October (with Daylight Saving Time), 7.00 pm June, July, August
ℹ️ Closed: First and last Monday of each month, 1 January, 25 December
Stop 5: Pitti Palace
Let me guide you towards the charming Oltrarno area, where you can explore the breathtaking Pitti Palace, once the grand abode of the Medicis. Marvel at the impressive collection of art, furniture, and lavish interiors that transport you back in time.
A stroll through the Boboli Gardens would be a perfect way to complement your visit to the palace. Follow my lead, and you won’t regret a second spent in this historical and cultural hotspot.
Discover the grandeur of the Medicis with a visit to their stunning palace! Don’t just take my word for it – you need to experience it for yourself. Standing in front of this masterpiece, you can truly appreciate the scale and size of this beautiful building.
It’s no surprise that the Medicis spared no expense when creating such an impressive residence. This palace is a true testament to the family’s wealth and power, and visiting it is an unforgettable experience.
On the ground floor and mezzanine is the Grand Dukes’ Treasury, displaying a vast collection of Medici household treasures, from table silverware to precious stone vases, rock crystals, and precious jewelry. On the first floor is the Palatine Gallery, which has 16th and 17th-century paintings (including works by Raphael), and the Royal Apartments. The Gallery of Modern Art is on the top floor, holding mostly Tuscan, 19th, and 20th-century paintings.
In the separate Palazzina del Cavaliere, on the upper slopes of the Boboli Gardens, is the Porcelain Museum, while the Palazzina of the Meridiana contains the Museum of Costume and Fashion.
TIPS FOR PITTI PALAE
ℹ️ You can either buy a single ticket for the Pitti Palace (16€) or a combined ticket for the Palace and the Boboli Garden (26€).
ℹ️ Total time: 1,5 to 5 hours
ℹ️ Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 1.30 pm to 6.50 pm
ℹ️ On Saturdays and holidays, it is necessary to make the reservation at least one day in advance
ℹ️ Closed: Mondays, 1 January, 25 December
Stop 6: Dinner at SE·STO on Arno
On my second visit, I had dinner at this stunning place: SE·STO on Arno at Westin Hotel. The views were amazing, and the staff was great. There is even a rooftop bar, and I could not imagine any better restaurant with a view of the Duomo.
However, it was also busy, so should reserve a table in advance. If you have a second evening in the city, it is a great place to end your trip here.
BEST DAY TRIPS FROM FLORENCE
Florence is amazing – but there are also many places close by that make for perfect day trips. So, in case you plan some excursions, check out my post on the best places to visit near Florence for more information.
TOURS AND TICKETS FOR YOUR FLORENCE ITINERARY
There are plenty of tickets and tours available to book for Florence, but here are the top 5 that I would recommend:
Uffizi Gallery: The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most popular attractions in Florence, and it’s worth booking a skip-the-line ticket to avoid the long queues. You can also book a guided tour of the gallery to learn more about the art and history.
Accademia Gallery: The Accademia Gallery is home to Michelangelo’s famous statue of David, and it’s another must-visit attraction in Florence. Booking a skip-the-line ticket or a guided tour is highly recommended.
Florence Duomo: The Florence Duomo is a stunning cathedral that’s worth visiting for its beautiful architecture and panoramic views of the city. Booking a skip-the-line ticket or a guided tour that includes access to the dome is recommended.
Florence Food Tour: Florence is known for its food, and a food tour is a great way to sample some of the local specialties. You can book a guided tour that includes visits to local markets, bakeries, and restaurants.
Tuscany Day Trip: If you have more time in Florence, consider booking a day trip to the Tuscan countryside. You can visit charming towns like Siena and San Gimignano, taste local wines and olive oils, and enjoy the scenic countryside.
CONCLUSION: WHAT TO DO IN FLORENCE IN 2 DAYS
Florence has quickly become one of my favorite cities in Europe. I was smitten within seconds. Its people, the architecture, the lifestyle – everything about Florence made me love it (okay, the crowds not so much). And I was lucky to visit Florence twice within a few months.
Two days in Florence is surely not enough to see all the highlights, let alone all the attractions and beautiful places. However, it gives you a good idea of what the city is about. It is enough time to fall in love with it.
Also, with 2 days in Florence, you will want to come back again – because it is so rich in attractions and landmarks, that you always have a reason to come back and enjoy more of this gorgeous city!
Hopefully, this 2-day Florence itinerary has given you a better idea of what to expect and what to do and see!
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