Ah, Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance and one of the most beautiful cities in Italy that I’ve ever been to.
In fact, I loved it so much that after spending five days exploring Florence; I extended my stay for another week!
I absolutely adored getting lost wandering around this city aimlessly, sipping on a spritz or prosecco often, as I was there during a heat wave!
If you’re anything like me, this city will quickly steal your heart.
Since you’ve only got one day in Florence, it’s important to realize that you can see a lot of things 24 hours, but you won’t be able to see everything.
Prioritize the things that matter to you most and use this itinerary for one day in Florence to help you plan your visit.
Spending the Morning in Florence
Have Breakfast Near Palazzo Vecchio
Start your day with a delicious breakfast near Palazzo Vecchio.
Opt for a classic Italian cappuccino and a cornetto, the Italian version of a croissant, at one of the charming cafes that surround the piazza.
These are some spots you should check out for breakfast near Palazzo Vecchio:
See the Statue of David at Accademia Gallery
After breakfast, head to the Accademia Gallery to marvel at Michelangelo’s world-famous Statue of David.
You absolutely should book tickets early to avoid long queues, as this gallery is one of Florence’s most popular destinations.
I went right when the opened last summer and waited about 45 minutes to buy a ticket in person.
Thankfully, the Statue of David lives up to all the hype. The rest of the museum had some cool stuff, but I don’t think I spent more than an hour wandering around.
Don’t forget to take in the other art pieces on display, including works from Renaissance greats like Botticelli and Ghirlandaio.
Book your tickets to Accademia Gallery early to avoid waiting in line!
Stroll Around Piazza della Signoria
Once you’ve finished admiring David, take a leisurely stroll to Piazza della Signoria, the heart of Florence’s political and social life.
Here you’ll find a beautiful open-air sculpture gallery called Loggia dei Lanzi, showcasing masterpieces like Cellini’s Perseus and Donatello’s Judith and Holofernes.
The piazza’s vibrant atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for a bit of people-watching and soaking in Florentine culture.
Your morning in Florence would not be complete without a visit to the Uffizi Gallery, one of Italy’s most renowned art museums.
This gallery holds an enormous selection of priceless art, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Raphael.
You’ll absolutely want to spend a few hours wandering around this place!
Trust me, this is one place were you want a skip-the-line ticket to avoid long waits.
What to Do During Your Afternoon in Florence
Take a Peak at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Next up, you can make a stop at the iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
I was seriously impressed when I saw it. The cathedral has magnificent architecture and an intricate facade, which took centuries to complete.
Oh, and don’t forget to step inside and marvel at the beautiful frescoes that adorn the dome.
Want to check out the inside? Reserve your spot today!
Check Out the Baptistery and Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise
Just across from the cathedral, you will find the historic Baptistery.
See if you can spot Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, a masterpiece of gold-plated bronze doors depicting biblical scenes that took Ghiberti 27 years to finish.
Walk Across Ponte Vecchio
Next, head to the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest and most famous bridge in Florence.
As you stroll along this historical gem, admire the beautiful jewelry shops that line the bridge and take in the stunning views of the Arno River below.
Bonus points if you grab a gelato at La Strega Nocciola to enjoy while you walk!
Enjoy a Delicious Lunch
By now, you’ve probably worked up an appetite. It’s time to refuel with a delicious Italian meal at a local trattoria.
I always love using my meals to try the local specialties.
I recommend both the ribollita, a hearty Tuscan soup, or tender bistecca alla Fiorentina. Though fair warning, you have to be a party of two or more for restaurants to sell you a Florentine Steak.
I know this because I met one of my now good friends Erin in Florence, while we were both traveling solo and running into this issue.
We quickly bonded as foodies and solo travelers, and prompted scheduled a fun night of wine and steak, which was delicious!
These are the spots near Ponte Vecchio that I’d suggest hitting up for lunch:
Explore Palazzo Vecchio
After lunch, discover the Palazzo Vecchio, a former residence of the powerful Medici family and now the city’s town hall.
You’ll get to tour the elegant rooms and the impressive frescoes that tell stories of Florence’s fascinating history.
Book your tour of Palazzo Vecchio today!
Do Some Shopping at Mercato Centrale
Your next stop is the bustling Mercato Centrale, a vibrant market where you can immerse yourself in Florence’s food culture.
Shop for local ingredients, enjoy a sampling of Tuscan cheese and wine, and absolutely grab a few gifts for yourself to enjoy when you get home from your trip.
Watch the Sun Set at Piazzale Michelangelo
Finish your afternoon by making your way to Piazzale Michelangelo, the city’s most famous viewpoint.
You absolutely need to get here at least 45 minutes before the sun sets to grab a good spot if you’re visiting in the summer.
When I went I didn’t time it right after staying at apertivo a bit too long. I arrived right as the sun was going down and the entire area was packed!
So arrive early, find a comfortable spot, sit back, and watch as the sun sets over Florence, casting a golden glow on its magnificent buildings and bridges.
Bonus points if you bring some wine or prosecco to enjoy with the view.
Cherish this moment as your unforgettable day in Florence comes to a close.
Spending Your Evening in Florence
In Florence, there’s nothing better than sipping a refreshing apéritif like Aperol Spritz or Negroni while enjoying light snacks and gorgeous views.
Stop at one of these cozy bars or cafés in a charming square and ease into the night.
Order Wine at a Wine Window
Take a step back in time and order wine through a “buchetta del vino,” or wine window.
Wine merchants once used these small openings in the walls of historic buildings to sell wine directly to customers.
It’s such a fun way to grab a quick drink on your way to dinner!
Have a Late Dinner
After your aperitivo, it’s time for dinner! Embrace the Italian custom of dining later in the evening by treating yourself to a delicious meal at a local trattoria or osteria.
Indulge in scrumptious pasta, pizza, or a traditional Florentine steak, making this meal one to remember.
These are some hot spots to score a table at:
- Pizzeria Giovanni Santarpia
- Trattoria Da Burde Firenze
- Ristorante Il Guscio
- Trattoria Ruggero
- Dalla Lola
Stroll Around Piazza della Repubblica
With its fascinating history and vibrant atmosphere, the Piazza della Repubblica is a magnificent spot to stroll around at night while you digest dinner.
This square was the city’s marketplace in medieval times, and today it serves as a cultural hub for locals and tourists alike.
Don’t forget to make a wish by tossing a coin into the Fontana del Porcellino.
Hit Up a Rooftop Bar
If you have any more energy or time left, make your day in Florence a memorable one with breathtaking views from a stylish rooftop bar.
Just imagine gazing out over the city’s stunning skyline as you sip on a cocktail, reflecting on the unforgettable experiences of the day.
These are some of the most popular Florence rooftops to hit up:
Getting Around Florence
Bike and Walking Tours
To truly experience the charm and beauty of Florence, join a bike or walking tour.
This way, you’ll be able to see more of the city in a short time, while receiving fascinating insights into its attractions.
Many tours cover top attractions such as the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio.
Themed tours of art, history, or local cuisine are also super fun to take.
Reserve a bike to ride around Florence to make the most out of your visit!
Where to Stay in Florence
Selecting the right accommodation is crucial for your brief stay in the city.
Florence offers a wide range of options to cater to different preferences and budgets.
For a more authentic experience, opt for a boutique hotel or a charming
Staying in this area ensures that most major attractions are within walking distance, allowing you to make the most of your limited time.
If you prefer a more luxurious and pampering stay, consider one of the elegant 5-star hotels near the Arno River or Piazza della Signoria.
These upscale establishments often have tons of amenities like spa services and rooftop bars.
Visiting Florence in Different Seasons
Spring is a fantastic time to visit Florence, as the mild temperatures and blooming flowers create a magical atmosphere.
It’s also an especially delightful time to explore Tuscany’s rolling hills and picturesque countryside.
Not to mention, it’s the perfect opportunity to visit attractions with fewer crowds than in summer.
Summer in Florence can be hot and crowded, but it’s also full of life and excitement.
The city’s piazzas are bustling with outdoor activities, street performers, and vibrant markets.
The key for a successful summer trip is to book accommodation with air conditioning and to remember to stay hydrated.
I was in Florence during a heatwave last summer, and would’ve paid anything to have been in an
If you’ve never been to Europe before, it’s important to know people don’t have air-con.
Oh, and it’s also helpful to pre-book as many hotspots as possible to avoid disappointment or insane lines.
Fall in Florence brings cooler temperatures, making it a great time to explore the city without breaking a sweat.
It also provides an opportunity to witness the beautiful changing colors of the Tuscan landscape while enjoying a nice Tuscan red wine.
Fewer crowds also make this a great time to experience Florence’s art and history.
You’ll have a more intimate experience of the enchanting city if you’re willing to brave the cooler weather.
Winter holds its own unique charm in Florence. While temperatures can be chilly, the city takes on a more serene and romantic ambiance.
Museums and attractions will be much less crowded, allowing you to explore at a more leisurely pace.
Eating in Florence
Traditional Florentine Cuisine
While spending your day in Florence, indulging in its renowned traditional dishes, is a must!
Try ribollita, a hearty Tuscan soup, and bistecca alla Fiorentina, a mouthwatering T-bone steak.
Paired with a glass of local wine, such as Chianti, these dishes will deepen your appreciation for the region’s culinary heritage.
Where to Eat in Florence
Now that you’re excited about trying authentic Florentine cuisine, here’s a few recommendations for where to eat during your day in Florence:
- Trattoria Mario: Established in 1953, this popular eatery offers excellent dishes at reasonable prices. Frequented by both tourists and locals alike, it’s a fantastic spot for a memorable lunch.
- Osteria dell’Enoteca: Known for its exceptional wine selection and delicious traditional dishes, this upscale restaurant is the perfect choice for a special dinner.
- I’Brindellone: Located slightly off the beaten path, this family-run trattoria is beloved by locals for its delicious food and warm atmosphere.
What are the top attractions to visit in a day?
During your one day in Florence, there are several must-see spots.
Start by exploring the Piazza del Duomo, which includes the Florence Cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, and the Baptistery.
Next, visit the world-renowned Uffizi Gallery to admire famous works of art. Other highlights include the Ponte Vecchio, the Pitti Palace, and the Basilica of Santa Croce.
What is the best walking tour for a day in Florence?
A walking tour is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Florence.
There are several walking itineraries available online that cover the major attractions if you want to do a self-guided tour.
I prefer hopping on a free local walking, one of Devour’s food tours, or one of Walks’ city tours. I’ve been on tours with both companies in a few cities now and always am so impressed with their quality and the knowledge of their guides.
Can I cover major sites in Florence in one day?
Yes, it is possible to cover major sites in Florence in one day, but it will require a well-planned itinerary and an early start.
You should prioritize the attractions you want to visit most. I’d aim to see The Statue of David, the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, and the Duomo, leaving time to stop by a wine window and obviously time sample local foods.
Save time by booking your entry tickets now!
How can I maximize my time during a day trip to Florence?
To make the most of your time in Florence, plan your itinerary ahead, focusing on the top attractions.
Book tickets in advance to avoid long queues, especially at popular museums like the Uffizi Gallery.
Travel light and wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be walking throughout the day.
Are there any must-see hidden gems for a day in Florence?
Florence is full of hidden gems waiting to be explored.
Some places you shouldn’t miss are the Piazzale Michelangelo, which offers a panoramic view of the city.
Also, swing by the Mercato Centrale, where you can taste delicious local cuisine.
Final Moments of Your 24 Hours in Florence
In just one day, you can indulge in the artistic and architectural wonders, making Florence an excellent choice for a day trip.
I hope this itinerary helps you plan an unforgettable day in Florence!