Can’t wait to wander at the extraordinary sites of Florence but unfortunately you don’t have much time to spend in the city? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
The Tuscany capital is not as big as you might think and it’s very easy to visit the main attractions by foot and take a first look at the Cradle of Renaissance in a short time.
If 1 day is all you have, we are going to put together for you a great itinerary full of fun things to do in Florence in 1 day.
First of all you should know that many Florence top attractions are not far from each other and, although you wont have much time to spend indulging at each one of them, you will still have the chance to enjoy the great sites that make this Italian City one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Santa Maria Novella
Our starting point for this 1 day itinerary in the Cradle of Renaissance couldn’t start from a different place. Santa Maria Novella Square is one of the main Florence hubs and is a feat for the eyes. Marvel at its beauty and, if you want, visit the same-name Basilica (you need to buy a ticket for it).
Location: Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 50123 Firenze (FI), Italy.
Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore
7 minutes walking from Santa Maria Novella
This is the most famous church in town and it’s definitely a must-see. If you feel like climbing the 463 steps to the Brunelleschi cupola you will be rewarded with the most breath taking view you can find in Florence.
Take your time to enjoy your visit and consider at least 2 hours for seeing the church and the cupola.
Location: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze (FI), Italy.
Piazza della Signoria
5 minutes walking from Santa Maria del Fiore
This beautiful square lays just in front of Palazzo Vecchio and houses a replica of the original Michelangelo’s David sculpture (but you are going to see the original one in a bit) along many other impressive statues and the magnificent Fountain of Neptune.
Location: Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze (FI), Italy.
Galleria dell'Accademia (and Michelangelo's David)
11 minutes walking from Piazza della Signoria
It’s time to head to Galleria dell’Accademia, home of the original Michelangelo’s David. It’s highly recommended to buy tickets in advanced in order to skip the long lines outside. It can get very crowded during the day as this is one of the Florence top attractions! David is considered the essence of Florence and its well worth to take some time to admire the sculpture from any angle.
Location: Via Ricasoli, 58, 50122 Firenze (FI), Italy.
Mercato Centrale (Central Market)
8 minutes walking from Galleria dell’Accademia
After filling your eyes with so much beauty, it’s now time to fill your stomach too. Few minutes away from your position you can find Florence Central Market, a recently renovated indoor food gallery where to shop and eat local delicacies. Close to Mercado Centrale there is San Lorenzo Market (they are actually considered 2 parts of the same big market), where you can keep wandering at inspiring food stalls and treat yourself to great Italian food.
Location: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell'Ariento, 50122 Firenze (FI), Italy.
Basilica of Santa Croce
15 minutes walking from Central Market
The Gothic Basilica of Santa Croce doesn’t to need any introduction. Mentioned among the best places to visit in Florence in any tour guide, Santa Croce is the final resting place of both Michelangelo and Galileo. Take your time to sit in the lively piazza outside the church and enjoy a well deserved pit-stop, and don’t forget to try some glorious gelato on the way!
Location: Piazza di Santa Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze (FI), Italy.
Fontana del Porcellino
8 minutes walking from Santa Croce
One of the many fun things to do in Florence is definitely put a coin into this boar’s mouth so that it falls exactly into the grate below - where the fountain water hits - for bringing good luck to yourself. And if you want to ensure you will return to Florence again, don’t forget to rub his nose!
Location: Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, 6, 50123 Firenze (FI), Italy.
2 minutes walking from Fontana del Porcellino
This is definitely the best spot in the area for watching the sunset. The famous medieval bridge over the Arno river features many jewelry shops and craft workshops all along.
Location: Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze (FI), Italy.
5 minutes walking from Ponte Vecchio
Before or after the sunset have a stroll in the district at the other side of Arno river. Oltrarno area features few other Florence top attractions like Palazzzo Pitti, Santo Spirito and San Frediano, where it happens to be the best nightlife in Florence!
Location: 50125 Firenze (FI), Italy.
The city of Florence is a big art gallery a cielo aperto (open-air) as Italians would say. Something really unique about the city is the harmonic coexistence between ancient and modern, with renaissance buildings and modern graffiti just few steps away from each other.
Tip - pay attention to the curious street signs while heading to your favorite places to visit in Florence! The French artist Clet Abraham, who have been living in town for the past 20 years and is very popular among locals, has been decorating traffic signs in the city for around 15 years, creating few of the most instagrammable corners you may find in Florence!
Tips for 1 day in Florence
When you have a short time to spend in the city every minute counts so here a few tips on how you can avoid delays and time-waste moments affecting your schedule for the day.
1) Start your day early
Many attractions open between 8.00 and 8.30 am so we recommend to start your day early and be at your starting point when the doors open. This way you will have plenty of time during the day to wander at Florence top attractions and enjoy your day in full.
2) Have an Italian style breakfast
Before starting your first visit of the day treat yourself to a quick breakfast Italian style: a heavenly cappuccino (it’s kind of impossible to find a not-so-great cappuccino in town) drunk directly at the counter in one of the many bar (coffee shop) in your area plus a croissant or some other sweet pastry.
Sitting at the table while having breakfast is overrated (and often overpriced) so just embrace the Italian way and go with the flow, it’s one of the fun things to do in Florence!
3) Get an idea of what food you want to try and plan ahead
The Tuscany capital is a food paradise on earth and part of the journey is
4) Pre-book your tickets online
Florence is one of the most visited cities in the world and you will probably have plenty of company during your itinerary. In order to avoid spending hours in a queue at local ticket offices, try to book tickets online and plan ahead, you will have much more time to spend marveling at the sites of your choice and enjoy the many places to visit in Florence!