Planning a trip to Florence and not sure where to stay? We want to help by explaining which neighborhoods are the best and which hotels to consider. We’ve layed it all out as simply as possible so you don’t have to overthink anything. Enjoy!
Pro Tip: Consider bookmarking this article in your internet browser so you can circle back to it when you are getting ready to confirm hotels. We have lots of great articles on hotels in Florence that could help you make a decision! Once you have accommodation booked consider our guided tours in Florence. Florence is so much more memorable when a guide shows you around and brings the city to life!
The Best Neighborhoods in Florence for Travelers in 2021
Florence, compared to cities like Rome, Paris, Barcelona, has a small historical center. That alone makes planning much easier since you shouldn’t be too nervous about staying in the “wrong side of town”. As a rule of thumb, if you are within 15 minutes walking distance of Ponte Vecchio you are in good position.
That said, nothing beats the perfect location and we built this article to help everyone find their version of “perfect”. We’ve done our best to describe each neighborhood so you can choose the one that matches your travel style. We want to make planning as easy as possible so we’ve added hotel and restaurant recommendations too!
Santa Croce Neighorhood
The Santa Croce neighborhood in Florence is named after the minor Basilica of Santa Croce. The area is the burial ground to famous historical figures of the renaissance and pre-renaissance eras such as Michelangelo and Galileo but also has funeral monuments dedicated to many of Florence greats.
Why I love Santa Croce:
- Home of the famous Sant’Ambrogio market.
- Excellent food scene including some of the best restaurants in Florence.
- Borders the main touristic areas but has a less-crowded feel.
- Walking distance from all of Florence’s main museums and attractions.
Attractions in Santa Croce:
- Basilica of Santa Croce
- Sant’Ambrogio Market
Great Hotels in Santa Croce:
Palazzo Peruzzi Residences
€€ | Apartment Style | Santa Croce | Super Nice
Palazzo Urban Peruzzi Residences is your home away from home. It’s a luxury apartment set within the historic surroundings of a 13th-century palace. The self-check-in through Whats App is clear and simple.
€€€€ | 5 Star | Small Luxury Hotel | Family Friendly
A big reason I like this hotel is they have a nice outdoor garden and seating area which will allow you to unwind after a long day walking around the city. Kids need to run around and an enclosed area with some plants is perfect for them to let some steam out without fearing they will run into a high-traffic street.
Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
€€€ | 4 Star | Rooftop Pool | Family Friendly | Sata Croce
I really like Plaza Hotel Lucchesi for many reasons. First, it has an epic pool on the roof which is great for a hot summer day. It is also simply a nice hotel with classic charms which is something that adds to the experience of visiting an old-world city like Florence.
Hotel Monna Lisa
€€ | 4 Star | Family-Friendly | Near Duomo
When I am not traveling and filming our youtube channel or writing articles like this one, I am normally tending to my flowers. I simply love nature which presents a big struggle when I am planning a vacation in a crowded city. This is why I love hotels like Monna Lisa. There is a nice garden that is tucked away from the crowds and commotion.
Hotel degli Orafi
€€€ | 4 Star | Rooftop Bar | Ponte Vecchio/Uffizi
Hotel Degli Orafi is in a great location. It is just behind the Uffizi Gallery and within walking distance to Ponte Vecchio. That means you are within walking distance to the Santo Spirito neighborhood across the Ponte Vecchio which is home to tons of great restaurants. You are also nearby the Uffizi Gallery which is the best museum in Florence – definitely worth a small group tour!
€€ | Santa Croce | Rooms & Apartments
This is a pretty cool choice with good value. It is a well layed-out and neatly decorated ancient palazzo featuring rooms and apartments. It is an excellent choice for families looking for more space. I truly believe that a little extra room and fresh air goes a long when traveling with the children.
Other Great Hotels:
- Hotel Home Florence – €€ | Great Value & Rooftop Terrace
Santa Maria Novella Neighborhood
Santa Maria Novella is a large neighborhood along the Arno river. When I write about this neighborhood, I am referring to the area from Ponte Vecchio to Ponte Amerigo Vespucci to Via della Scala. It is a small section of the neighborhood that is super posh and relaxing.
It is right next to all of Florence’s attractions but surprisingly calm and relaxing. This is the reason why it is my neighborhood of choice for a romantic stay in Florence.
Why I love Santa Maria Novella:
- It has beautifully paved wide streets that give it a cleaner and more relaxing feel.
- Fancy restaurants and rooftop bars that I really enjoy.
- Close proximity to all the attractions
Attractions in Santa Maria Novella
- The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
- Ponte Vecchio
Great Hotels in Santa Maria Novella:
The Westin Excelsior
€€€€+ | 5 Star | Luxurious & Grand | Ponte Vecchio | Rooftop Restaurant
The Westin has many great properties throughout the world and this one is no exception. The structure is massive with many rooms of varied typologies. There is a rooftop restaurant that has some of the best views in Florence.
Gallery Hotel Art
€€€€ | 4 Star | Contemporary | Ponte Vecchio/Uffizi
Gallery Hotel Art is part of the Lungarno Collection which is owned by Salvatore Ferragamo family. They have a few hotels in Florence including Hotel Lungarno, above, and Portrait Firenze. This particular property is one of my favorites due to its apparent uniqueness.
Other Great Hotels:
- Helvetia & Bristol Firenze – €€€ | 5 Star
- Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni – €€€ | Terrace
- Tornabuoni Suites Collection – €€ | Great for Families
Santo Spirito & Oltarno Neighborhood
Bohemians, Foodies Lovers of Nightlife
The Medici chose Santo Spirito as their area of choice so who are we to question? Santo Spirito is across the Arno river which makes it perfect for contrarians who like to escape a bit. There are great restaurants in Santo Spirito and access to Florence’s famed Piazzale Michelangelo for great views. All these reasons are why SS is our top neighborhood choice when visiting Florence.
Why I love San Spirito & Oltarno:
- The Arno river separates it from the main attractions which give SS a more local feel.
- One of the best, if not the best, food scenes in Florence.
- Close proximity to Piazzale Michelangelo to watch sunsets.
Attractions in San Spirito & Oltarno:
- Pitti Palace (Medici Palace)
- Boboli Gardens
- Basilica di Santo Spirito
- Giardino di Palazzo Frescobaldi
- Ponte Vecchio (Shared with S.M. Novella)
Great Hotels in San Spirito & Oltarno:
Hotel Lungarno Florence
€€€€+ | 5 Star | Luxury | Santo Spirito
Hotel Lungarno is part of the Ferragamo-owned Lungarno collection and sits in an incredible location near Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery which makes it an ideal choice. You have to imagine that the hotel was opened by the owners of one of the world’s greatest fashion houses which says a lot about its decor and design.
Hotel La Scaletta Florence
€€ | 3 Star | Rooftop Restaurant | Pitti Palace
Hotel La Scaletta is a really nice find in Florence. It is just over the Ponte Vecchio from the “happening” center of Florence which means you can walk to Uffizi or the Florence Cathedral. At the same time, it is tucked back into the Santo Spirito neighborhood which is a little less crowded but has tons of great restaurants and places to grab a drink.
Hotel Pitti al Ponte Vecchio
€€€ | 4 Star | Rooftop Restaurant | Ponte Vecchio
Hotel Pitti Palace is located just across the Ponte Vecchio from all the “main” attractions in Florence. It is just down the street from the former Medici Residence known as the Pitti Palace which is a museum in itself. The hotel is nice and priced reasonably low. It has a great rooftop restaurant with excellent views of Florence. A great modest choice.
Other Great Hotels:
- Hotel Ponte Vecchio Suites & Spa – €€€ | 5 Star
- SoprArno Suites – €€€€ | Feels Like a Movie
- Palazzo Mannaioni Suites – €€ | Clean & Modern
Florence Cathedral/Duomo Neighborhood
Center of Everything
The Florence Cathedral, aka il Duomo, is without argument the center of Florence. The Medici would probably say something romantic like the Cathedral is the beating heart of the city and they would be correct to say it.
It is a wonderful, if not the most wonderful area of Florence but normally I tend to avoid it in terms of accommodation. That said, Florence is small and this area gives you access too all of Florence’s best neighborhoods so I still recommend it if you can find good accommodation. Luckily, we have that too!
Why I love the Duomo area:
- It is the center of everything in Florence.
- Walking distance from all of Florence’s attractions.
- Close proximity to other neighborhoods so you can see them all!
Check out our top restaurant choices near the Florence Cathedral.
Attractions near the Duomo:
- Basically everything
- The Florence Cathedral / Il Duomo
- Giotto’s Bell Tower
- The Baptistery of St. John (Bronze Doors)
- Accademia (Michelangelo’s David)
- Uffizi Gallery
- Palazzo Vecchio
- Piazza Signoria
- Loggia dei Lanzi
- The House of Dante
- Piazza della Republica
- Tons more
Great Hotels near the Duomo:
Hotel Savoy by Rocco Forte
€€€€+ | 5 Star | Refined Luxury | Center of Florence
Hotel Savoy is an extremely luxurious and meticulously decorated hotel which is probably why they can charge so much for a room. The hotel is right in downtown Florence and within walking distance to the Duomo, Accademia, Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, and pretty much everything in the city..
Palazzo Uguccioni Apartments
€ | Apartments | Near Uffizi
Palazzo Uguccioni Apartments is an excellent choice for families or multi-generational groups that don’t need all the bells and whistles that go along with a hotel. It is inexpensive and right in the heart of Florence. What is not to love?
€€€€+ | 4 Star | Upscale Boutique | Near Duomo
We’ve worked with Brunelleschi Hotel for years via our trip planning service and sister brand, Finelli & Shaw, and we consistently get positive feedback from customers. Their hotel is simply very cool and well decorated. It’s the only 4-star hotel in our “Super Expensive” category in really any city we cover. That is because the location is perfect, the building is so cool, and the hotel has excellent service.
Galileo 2000 B&B
€€€ | 4 Star Hotel | Elegant Design | Uffizi
Galileo 2000 B&B is a nice and centrally located B&B near the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. One of the coolest things about the hotels is the classic furniture and design in each room. The rooms are also slightly more spacious than your average European hotel room.
Palazzo Castri 1874
€€€€ | 4 Star | Pool & Courtyard | Family Friendly | Near Accademia
Hotels like Palazzo Castri 1874 are a mystery to me. They somehow are in the center of a city but have this expansive outdoor space. Their pool is small but perfect for a central Florence hotel. This hotel is great for couples, kids, and anyone who wouldn’t mind taking a “dip” after a long day of exploring!