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Where to Stay in Florence in 2024 – 9 Best Areas

Explore Florence's finest areas to stay in with this concise guide. Find ideal spots for every budget, from luxury to economical, ensuring a memorable Tuscan journey.
Where to Stay in Florence

Florence is a gem of Italy, a must-visit for any traveler. With an abundance of hotels and accommodations, you’re spoiled for choice. From budget-friendly hostels and quaint B&Bs to luxurious villas, Florence caters to every taste and wallet.

Staying in the city center is almost always a fantastic choice. Each neighborhood brims with its own charm and character. But hey, if you’re like me and crave a bit of tranquility, consider staying on the outskirts. Picture this: a serene rural hotel or a Tuscan villa, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, offering a peaceful retreat from the city bustle.

The historic heart of the city is where it’s at. Imagine being steps away from iconic spots like Piazza della Signoria, Piazza del Duomo, and Piazza della Repubblica. Each of these areas boasts a unique vibe and is a stone’s throw from Florence’s famous landmarks. Let’s dive into each one and see what makes them so special.

1. Piazza della Signoria, best area to stay in Florence for first time

Piazza della Signoria
Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria in Florence is the beating heart of the city, where politics, culture, and urban life blend seamlessly. If you’re looking for the ideal place to stay, this area is a top pick.

The square, shaped like a W, sits proudly in front of the majestic Palazzo Vecchio or Palazzo della Signoria. This spot isn’t just a square; it’s a cornerstone of Florence’s rich democratic history.

As a tourist hub, it’s brimming with sights to see. You’ve got the Uffizi Gallery, a treasure trove of art, and the Loggia dei Lanzi, an open-air sculpture gallery that’s absolutely mesmerizing. And let’s not forget the array of statues gracing the front of Palazzo Vecchio – a feast for the eyes!

Now, keep in mind, since it’s one of Florence’s hotspots, the hotel prices here can be on the higher side. But trust me, the experience of staying in such a historically rich and vibrant area is worth every penny.

Best Hotels in Piazza della Signoria

  • (€€€) Hotel Bernini Palace: Nestled in a 16th-century building, this place oozes classic elegance. Its location? Absolutely central. But, fair warning, its price tag might not be for every budget. Think of it as a splurge for those special occasions.
  • (€€) Hotel degli Orafi: Α 4-star hotel just a stone’s throw from Piazza della Signoria. It’s one of the area’s gems, offering a perfect blend of location and luxury without breaking the bank.
  • (€) Hotel della Signoria: It’s one of the more affordable options in Florence’s heart. The best part? Enjoying breakfast on a terrace with a panoramic city view. Now that’s a way to start your day in style!

2. Piazza del Duomo, best area to stay in Florence

Florence Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo
Florence Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Piazza della Signoria lies the stunning Piazza del Duomo. This square is the proud home of Florence Cathedral, hence its name ‘Piazza del Duomo’ which translates to ‘Cathedral Square’.

This area is sandwiched between two architectural marvels – the Santa Maria Novella and the Basilica di Santa Croce. And let’s not forget, just a short stroll away, you’ll find the Galleria dell’Accademia, the sanctuary of David of Michelangelo.

Looking for a place to stay? Every street around here is a prime spot. The area is bustling with shops, bars, and restaurants. Trust me, you won’t miss a thing. It’s a lively mix of history, culture, and modern convenience – an ideal base for exploring Florence.

Best Hotels in Piazza del Duomo

  • (€€€) Rocco Forte Hotel SavoyOne of the best hotels in Florence. It’s a blend of elegance, luxury, and sophistication that makes it one of the city’s finest.
  • (€€) Hotel Cerretani Firenze – MGallery Collection: Imagine luxurious, spacious rooms housed in a beautifully renovated 17th-century building. It’s just 300 meters from Florence’s Cathedral. With a bit of hunting, you might even snag a room for under €200 a night!
  • (€) Hotel Perseo: The best choice if you want to stay on a budget but don’t want to skimp on quality. While it’s not the cheapest, given the generally high prices in the area, it offers comfortable and welcoming rooms that won’t break the bank.

3. Santa Maria Novella, best area to stay in Florence for public transportation

Santa Maria Novella
Santa Maria Novella

Right around Florence’s Central Railway Station (Firenze Santa Maria Novella), you’ll find the lively Santa Maria Novella area. It’s not just super convenient for train travelers but also a stone’s throw from the city center.

This neighborhood is a hub of activity, boasting a vast array of hotels and everything you could need – from restaurants and shops to essential services. It’s especially great for family vacations, offering a slightly more affordable option than some of the pricier central areas. Whether you’re looking for convenience, variety, or a bit of savings, Santa Maria Novella has it all.

Best Hotels in Santa Maria Novella

  • (€€€) The St. Regis Florence: It’s close to the train station and the river’s edge. It’s all about opulent rooms decorated in Florentine style and a Michelin-starred dining experience.
  • (€€) Grand Hotel Minerva: While it’s not the cheapest, keep an eye out for deals like I did. Its rooftop pool and sun-drenched terrace offer stunning views of Florence’s historic center, and it’s just 300 meters from the Santa Maria Novella station. Talk about location and luxury!
  • (€) La Porta del Paradiso: A budget-friendly hotel. This minimalist Bed & Breakfast not only goes easy on your wallet but also boasts rave reviews. It’s proof that sometimes, the simplest options are the best.

4. Via Faenza, best area to stay in Florence for families

Via Faenza, nestled in the heart of historic Florence, is a charming street bustling with life. It’s a popular spot filled with shops, bars, and eateries, all offering wallet-friendly prices. If you’re wandering with kids, consider this area for your stay. It might be a tad further out, but it’s a pleasant walk to all the main attractions.

This neighborhood is a haven for those seeking budget-friendly accommodations. You’ll find an array of affordable hotels and places to stay. It’s an excellent choice if you want to experience Florence without stretching your budget too thin. Plus, the vibrant street life and local flavors here add to its appeal!

Best Hotels in Via Faenza

  • (€€) Globus Urban Hotel: stands out as a top-notch choice for those seeking great value. This 4-star hotel might have smaller rooms, but they’re cozy, well-designed, and surprisingly affordable.
  • (€) Hotel Mia Cara & Spa: is all about simplicity and savings. The rooms are straightforward, fully equipped (yes, even with a computer), and the cherry on top is the spa with its inviting whirlpool.
  • (€) Hotel Nella: It’s another fantastic option for budget-friendly stays. The rooms are simple yet stylish, and its proximity to the Fortezza da Basso conference center makes it ideal for those in town for business or events.

5. San Marco, best area to stay in Florence close to Galleria dell'Accademia

Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco and San Marco Church in Florence / photo: wikipedia

Nestled just north of the Duomo, the San Marco neighborhood is a stellar pick for your stay in Florence. It’s conveniently close to the train station and central areas, making it a practical and appealing choice.

San Marco is a treasure trove of sights and attractions. You’ll find the Basilica di San Marco and Monastery, the Etruscan Archaeological Museum, the famed Galleria dell’Accademia, and the historic Ospedale degli Innocenti.

What I love about this area is its slightly more alternative vibe compared to the more polished central districts. The bars and restaurants here are more budget-friendly, offering a laid-back, authentic experience.

While hotel prices are similar to those in central Florence, San Marco often has some great deals up its sleeve. It’s perfect if you’re looking to balance cost with convenience and a dash of local charm.

Best Hotels in San Marco

  • (€€€) The Four Seasons Hotel Firenze: is a masterpiece of luxury. Occupying the historic 15th-century Palazzo della Gherardesca and the 16th-century former monastery La Villa, this hotel is a feast for the eyes with its expansive gardens. It’s a place where you’ll be constantly pinching yourself in disbelief!
  • (€€) Hotel Orto de’ Medici: This hotels is for a more down-to-earth but equally delightful experience. This 4-star establishment is straightforward yet highly acclaimed, offering a comfortable and pleasant stay.
  • (€) Hotel Miceli – Civico 50:  if you’re on a budget,  is a perfect choice. This small, modern hotel offers affordability without sacrificing style or location, sitting conveniently close to the Galleria dell’ Accademia. It’s proof that elegance and economy can go hand in hand.

6. Santa Croce, a local area in Florence with bars and restaurants

Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence
Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence

Santa Croce is a neighborhood that buzzes with authentic local life. It’s less touristy, which I personally find refreshing. Plus, all the major tourist spots are just a stroll away.

The area’s crowning jewel is the Basilica of Santa Croce. It’s not just a stunning church; it’s also the final resting place of legends like Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and Rossini. Imagine walking the same halls as these historical giants!

You’ll also discover gems like the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, the Palazzo Antinori-Corsini-Serristori, and the Museo Horne. Each spot offers a unique slice of Florence’s rich history and culture.

And let’s talk about nightlife – Santa Croce is buzzing! With a variety of restaurants, cafes, bars, and even nightclubs, it’s perfect if you’re someone who enjoys lively evenings. For a stay that combines historical exploration by day and vibrant entertainment by night, Santa Croce is the place to be.

Best Hotels in Santa Croce

  • (€€€) Relais Santa Croce by Baglioni Hotels: Housed in a gorgeous 18th-century building, it features timeless decor and boasts an exceptional restaurant. It’s the kind of place where every detail whispers elegance.
  • (€) Plaza Hotel Lucchesi: a 4-star hotel complete with a rooftop pool offering stunning river views. It’s the perfect blend of luxury and relaxation, ideal for those who appreciate a scenic dip.
  • (€) Hotel Bodoni: is a great choice for a more modest but equally charming stay. It’s a quaint hotel with a vintage charm, known for its cleanliness and included breakfast. It’s proof that comfort doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag.

7. Novoli, best area to stay in Florence on a budget

Novoli is a residential area in Florence, known for its lack of tourist crowds and quieter atmosphere. It’s a bit off the beaten path from the city center but makes up for it with some of the most affordable accommodation options.

A 30-45 minute walk from the Duomo, Novoli is well-connected by public transport, whisking you to the heart of Florence in just a few minutes. It’s a great alternative for those on a modest budget who want to save on accommodation without sacrificing convenience.

Novoli might not be in the heart of the action, but its tranquility and connectivity make it a hidden gem for budget-conscious travelers.

Best Hotels in Novoli

  • (€€) Starhotels Tuscany: is a 4-star hotel offering modern and comfortable rooms at prices you’d expect from a 3-star hotel in the city center.
  • (€) Hotel Paganini: an economical choice, is popular for its rates and is conveniently located near a tram stop that takes you straight to the city center.
  • (€) B&B Hotel Firenze Novoli: strikes a balance between affordability and modernity. It’s clean, contemporary, and near a bus stop that gets you to the old city in just about 15 minutes.

8. Oltrarno and Santo Spirito, best places in Florence for nightlife

Palazzo Pitti
Palazzo Pitti

Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno district is a little slice of Florence just across the Arno River. Despite its location, it’s surprisingly close to the city center, thanks to the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge.

While it’s not overloaded with tourist sites, aside from the majestic Palazzo Pitti and its lush Boboli Gardens and the quaint Piazza Santo Spirito, Santo Spirito is a haven for artisan shops, antique stores, trendy cafes, and superb restaurants. The area has a local vibe, frequented more by residents than tourists.

Nightlife seekers will find Santo Spirito ideal, with its array of bars and dance spots for late-night fun.

Best Hotels in Santo Spirito

9. Sant'Ambrogio, a cool area to stay in Florence

Sant’Ambrogio is a hidden gem for accommodation in Florence, far from the touristy hustle and bustle.

Located northeast of Santa Croce, it’s a neighborhood loved by students and is known for its Jewish community. Strolling through its streets, you’ll come across synagogues and kosher restaurants.

Though it’s a bit removed from the city center, the main points of interest are still within a walkable distance. It’s an ideal spot if you’re looking for affordable lodging in Florence without being too far from the city’s heart.

Best Hotels in Sant'Ambrogio

  • (€€) Palazzo Virginio: This hotel offers spacious apartments with glowing reviews. It’s perfect for those who need a little more room to spread out.
  • (€) Boutique Hotel La Casa di Morfeo: A charming small boutique hotel where you can snag a room for under 100 euros. I highly recommend this one for a blend of comfort and style.
  • (€) Hotel Bodoni: If you need a simple, no-frills place to rest your head, this hotel is ideal. Plus, it’s super budget-friendly.

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