An insider’s guide to the best area to stay in Florence and Florence neighborhood guide to help you pick the best place to stay in Florence on your first visit.
If you are planning more than a few hours in Florence, chances are you are looking for a good place to spend a night and wondering about the best neighborhood to stay in the city.
Florence has a wide array of hotels catering to all types of visitors and most of them cluster in the city center, the area with most of Florence must-see sites.
This is the best area in Florence to stay for sightseeing and no matter where your hotel ends up being, you are likely to find yourself walking distance from all the main attractions.
However, different neighborhoods in Florence have different styles and feel so it is worth getting familiar with them to pick the best place to stay in Florence for your specific needs and group.
This is our overview of the best areas to stay in Florence, based on your own first-hand experience of the city.
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Where to stay in Florence: neighborhoods overview
City center / Duomo: the best area to stay in Florence for first-time visitors, sightseeing, visitors who love the option of walking everywhere and do not mind a busy location.
Hotels vary in cost and style and tend to fill out fast. Advance booking is recommended.
City center/ Santa Croce: the best area to stay in Florence for access to restaurants and nightlife, still very close to Florence’s main attractions.
The area has slightly cheaper accommodation options than the duomo area and has some nice hotels and apartments.
Smaller streets and higher-end properties make this a nice area for families too.
City Center/ San Lorenzo: characterized but the famous San Lorenzo Market and Mercato Centrale, this is a vibrant, fun area to stay in Florence perfect for foodies and market lovers.
Santa Maria Novella: this is the area near the main Florence train station and a convenient place to stay if you need easy access to trains and buses.
This is also the best place to stay in Florence on a budget.
Oltrarno / Santo Spirito: the area of Oltrarno is a mixed area, with a vibrant nightlife but also some very nice, quiet, local streets perfect for a family stay.
This is an ideal area of Florence for those who want easy access to the Boboli Gardens and Piazzale Michelangelo and want to experience a slightly more local feel
Le cure / Via Bolognese: Le cure is an area outside Florence city center most suited for longer stays in Florence and for people who do not mind catching the bus to go to the city center.
Pretty, green and well served, this is the best area to stay in Florence for families with kids who want to experience a local and quieter side of Florence while still being within easy reach of the center.
This is also the best area to stay in Florence to go to the European University and Fiesole.
The best area to stay in Florence for sightseeing: city center/duomo
City center / Duomo is the best area to stay in Florence for first-time visitors, sightseeing and visitors who love the option of walking everywhere and do not mind a busy location.
This area is right in the historical center of Florence and it is where you are likely to spend most of your time if visiting Florence for the first time.
Here you are walking distance from all Florence main attractions such as the duomo, Santa Maria Novella, Ponte Vecchio, San Lorenzo and even Oltrarno, with Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens.
The only downside to this area is that it can get busy, prices can be high and it is very much an inner-city location.
It is ideal if you want to be in the center of it all but not quite as ideal if you are hoping for a restful few days in a green setting.
For that, the area of the hills around Florence is more suitable.
Some hotels to consider in this area are:
The best areas to stay in Florence for nightlife
The area of Santa Croce is within Florence city center and it is therefore good for sightseeing.
However, it has a bigger concentration of restaurants and bars and it is therefore particularly suited for people who want to enjoy the vibrant Florence’s nightlife.
If you stay in Santa Croce, you can still walk to Florence’s main attractions during the day and have a lot of evening entertainment options at your doorstep.
This is the best area to stay in Florence if you want to go out with a young crown yet still be in close proximity to all Florence must-see sites.
A good accommodation option to consider here is:
Oltrarno / Santo Spirito: the area of Oltrarno is on the other side of the Arno river from Florence city center proper (this is what the name means’).
It is close to the city center which you can still reach on foot, it is perfect to access Boboi Gardens and Piazzale Michelangelo and it is one of the best areas to stay in Florence for nightlife.
Here you have plenty of restaurants and bars open until late at night.
However, this area still has many quieter streets that make it good for a restful night too.
Beautiful accommodation options here are:
The best area to stay in Florence for foodies
If you are a foodie, then chances are you already have Mercato Centrale on your Florence itinerary and what better way to experience it than staying nearby?
Staying in Sal Lorenzo gives you great access to the market, it is great if you intend to get a cooking class with a market visit and it is still very close to Florence’s main attractions, so it is a great area for sightseeing too.
Some hotels to consider in this area are:
The best place to stay in Florence on a budget
The most budget-friendly area to stay in Florence is Santa Maria Novella, close to the Florence train station by the same name.
This area is mixed in terms of style.
The area of Via Faenza offers good low-cost accommodation options, while the area towards the river has an atmosphere similar to those around the duomo.
Overall this is a good area to stay in Florence for visitors on a budget or those who need easy access to the station.
Some higher-end hotels in this area strike a nice balance between convenience and comfort.
The best area to stay in Florence for families and the best family hotels in Florence
The best areas to stay in Florence with family are the city center, Oltrarno and le Cure (this last one is outside of the center).
The city center is the most conveniently located for sightseeing and it is the best area for families with older kids who are happy to walk and do not mind an inner-city, potentially busy locations.
The area of Oltrarno is suited for families who want a quieter location yet stay close to the city center.
This is the area with the easiest access to the Boboli Gardens and Piazzale Michelangelo and while it has many restaurants and cafes great for nightlife, also has nice family-friendly hotels in quiet streets that make it excellent for families with kids
Le Cure is a very different area from the two mentioned above as it is outside of Florence City center.
This is a wonderful area for families on a budget or for a longer stay and it is suited to families with older kids who do not mind to catch a bus to go into town (this is where we stayed last: wonderful place and great to explore Tuscany due to the proximity to the hills).
Good family hotels in Florence are:
- Residenza Marchesi Pontenani (Santa Croce)
- Family Apartments Signoria (City center)
- Hotel Lungarno (City center)
- Hotel Palazzo Belfiore (Oltrarno)
- Palazzo San Niccolo’ (Oltrarno)
- Antica Torre via Tornabuoni (City center)
- Hotel Davanzati (City Center)
I hope you found this overview of the best areas to stay in Florence useful and it helped you pick the best hotel for you. Safe travel planning!