The Best Hotels in Florence

Updated: August 4, 2016

Where To Stay in Florence – Top Luxury Hotels

Florence Tips and Recommendations

The 9 Best Hotels in Florence, Italy

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16 questions and comments

  1. 1 Week in Italy – Where To Go?

    We are planning to spend over a week in Italy to see everything from Milan all the way to Rome.
    We want to see things like Leaning tower of Pisa, Amalfi Coast, Lago di Coma. Would you recommend renting a car or is transportation very easy? We will be using Eurrail for the main cities, not sure if it goes to the smaller ones.

    Regarding Cinque Terrre- Do you recommend staying there over night or is one day trip good enough?

    What places would you say not to visit in Italy? (Which I know is a tough questions with all the beauty, but we are limited on time and don’t want to waste too much time going out of our way to see little cities).

    thank you so much! You’ve been a great help in the past!

    Amy

    1. hotelsdave The Hotel Guy

      Fitting everything into a week is a tough task, but if you move quickly you could just about do it.

      A possible itinerary might look something like this. Spend the first day exploring Milan, then head up to Como for a day on the lake. On day three, double back to Milan and pick up a train to Florence. Take a day to explore the city’s Renaissance treasures then push on west to Pisa and the Leaning Tower. Next, head up to the Cinque Terre for some spectacular coastal scenery. Finally, finish up with two days in Rome. As an alternative you could drop the Cinque Terre and build Venice into the route. So, you’d do Milan, Como, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome. To include the Amalfi Coast, which is south of Naples, you’d need to add an extra day or two to the trip. I’d definitely travel by train rather than car. Everywhere on the itinerary is accessible by train and driving in Italy’s main cities can be stressful. A day trip to the Cinque Terre would be fine.

  2. Best Day Trips from Florence

    We have a week in Florence, my wife and I (early 40s), and though we aren’t tempted to travel to Pisa, Rome, or Venice, we are considering exploring one or more nearby towns or villages. A few questions I hope you can help with:

    –What are the best small towns or villages near Florence for a day trip?
    –Is local transport the best/easiest way to reach these towns or should we rent a car?
    –Is anything gained by staying a night in any of these towns?
    –We love a good boutique hotel, any worth mentioning in the neighboring towns?

    Thank you and appreciated,
    Justin

    1. hotelsdave The Hotel Guy

      The classic day trip from Florence is to Fiesole, a hilltop village about 8km out of town. It’s easy to get to by bus and boasts a smattering of ancient ruins as well as superb views of Florence’s skyline.

      Slightly further away, the Chianti wine country makes for a great drive. You can take in towns like Greve in Chianti and Panzano in Chianti, famous for its wonderful bistecca (steak). The area is also littered with wineries, some of which you can book to visit. To dine or overnight in the area, I’d recommend an agriturismo (literally a farmstay, but in reality often more like a charming country hotel). They serve seriously good food and wine and many allow you to take a cooking course and cook your own food from the locally grown produce.

      Another possible day trip from Florence – and accessible by bus via Poggibonsi – is San Gimignano, a hilltop town celebrated for its medieval towers.

  3. How Much Time in Florence, Rome, and Naples?

    We have a 15 day trip to Florence, Rome, and Naples. (We fly into Pisa on June 1 and fly out of Naples on June 16.) We don’t have any particular interest beyond seeing the main sights and maybe doing a day trip or two (e.g. Pompeii). How would you recommend we split our time between Florence, Rome, and Naples? i.e. How many nights in each? We are very much into food, does one city have a better reputation for great restaurants than the others?

    1. hotelsdave The Hotel Guy

      Rome is the largest of the cities and has most to see, so I’d suggest up to six days there. That will allow you to take in all the headline sights and to try at least one day trip – both Ostia Antica and Tivoli are easily accessible and well worth visiting. Five days in Florence should be enough. Once you’ve covered the city, you could spend a day in nearby Fiesole and possibly another day in Siena, one of Italy’s most graceful medieval cities. That leaves four days for Naples and the surrounding area. Pompeii is a must and you might also consider a day trip to Capri, the most famous of the bay islands and an easy hydrofoil ride away.

      In terms of food, they all have a good range of restaurants, trattorias, and pizzerias. Florence is famous for its bistecca (steak) and the surrounding Tuscany region produces some of Italy’s best red wines. Naples is, of course, home of the pizza and the city’s pizzerias are legendary. Seafood is also a Naples highlight as are sfogliatelle (pastries stuffed with ricotta).

  4. Spring or Fall in Florence

    Wonderful website!

    We are an active couple in their late 20s who love to sightsee, walk, and explore. We can choose between a Florence (and Siena and Pisa) visit in the Spring (probably late April/early May) or Fall (early October), when would you suggest we visit? Budget is not an issue, more concerned about crowds and weather. Perhaps some fun festivals or local events might tip the scales too. Thanks.

    1. hotelsdave The Hotel Guy

      Springtime in Tuscany is great, but this is also high season which means the only way you will escape crowds is to pick an unknown destination (or at least less popular than Florence, Siena, and Pisa). However it also means that many of the gardens are in full bloom, for example April and May in Florence is prime-time to visit the Rose garden just below Piazzale Michelangelo and the delicate Iris garden. Fall is also great in Tuscany, in part because of the many food fairs ‘sagre’ around the region. Siena is probably the quietest of the three, people tend to do day-trips there or go for a more tranquil sort of getaway, it is quite beautiful though. Florence will always be full of people, no matter what time of year, but you can always stay somewhere a little more hidden. The Oltrarno area is wonderful, such as Piazza Tasso for a more authentic experience. A new boutique hotel just opened up over there, Astra Due, which is a real find for off-the-beaten-path sort of locations. Pisa is great too, not as much to do as Florence but since many tourists just go to the leaning tower, they almost always skip the charming historical center.

  5. Hotels in the Hills but Still Walking Distance to Florence

    We’re looking for a hotel that is walking distance to Florence (don’t want to have to drive or bus into the city every day) but with great views, a little bit up in the hills. Any suggestions?

  6. Best Authentic Restaurant in Florence

    We have one full day and 2 nights in Florence. We’d love to find a great Italian restaurant for one or both nights. Something really authentic and special. Could be a hole-in-the-wall eatery or a 5 star restaurant with great views (budget not an issue). Any suggestions or recommendations?

    1. hotelsdave The Hotel Guy

      There are plenty of amazing restaurants in Florence, for something more authentic and hole-in-the-wall go to the no-frills Trattoria Brindellone near the Santo Spirito neighborhood, this is the perfect spot to eat like a Florentine – get the bistecca alla fiorentina (t-bone) and ribollita here. For nicer options, the best in town as far as creative Italian cuisine is the Michelin-starred Bottega del Buon Caffe, and a personal favorite (with great views) is La Leggenda dei Frati in the Villa Bardini museum garden complex. The chef is young and creative and can arrange for a special night-visit of the Museum if you call ahead. It also overlooks Florence so you get a really unique view of the city.

  7. Pisa or Florence Airport

    We are planning a trip to Florence in June from Chicago. There are flights to both Pisa and Florence with the fares to Pisa about $95 cheaper. How much more difficult and time consuming is it getting from Pisa airport to Florence than from the local airport. We are a family of 4 so it’s 4×95 which is a fair bit but if it means 2 hours added to our trip I don’t think it’s worth it. What do you think?

    Grace

    1. hotelsdave The Hotel Guy

      t’s very common that flights are cheaper (and more abundant) from Pisa than Florence. Most people who live in Florence regularly fly out from the Pisa airport because it is very easy to reach via train and bus, but of course it depends on how fast you want/need to arrive in Florence. The Terravision website is currently advertising a 4.99€ one-way rate from Pisa airport to the Florence Santa Maria Novella train station. The bus is direct and has a travel time of 70 minutes. While the train costs 9,70 € one-way and has a change at Pisa Centrale (easy but will be more of a hassle with luggage and a family of 4). The Florence airport is definitely more convenient and is a quick 25 minute bus ride from the city center or an easy taxi ride which would cost around €20.00 to €25.00.

  8. Westin or Grand Hotel Cavour in Florence

    We are planning our honeymoon for May. Deciding between The Westin Florence and the Grand Hotel Cavour. Can you offer any insight into the location of these hotels? Looking for something within an easy walk of restaurants or bars. Also, is there a specific area of Florence that is good for nightlife?

    Thanks,
    Beth Sonos

    1. hotelsdave The Hotel Guy

      One thing to keep in mind is that Florence is very small and walkable. I can tell you that both hotels are great options though I would lean towards the Westin Excelsior because of their prime view along the Arno river and they have an excellent rooftop bar, SESTO, with prime views of the city, even at night. It is still walking distance to everything in the historical center, including nightlife.

      The options on where to go out depend on what kind of scene you are looking for. Santa Croce (which is closer to the Grand Hotel Cavour) is the prime spot for American students who prefer to go to places on Via dei Benci or the cheap clubs in the side streets (Bamboo, Red Garter, Dolce Zucchero) – a good option for a bar in that area is Rex on Via Fiesolana, 25, a lot of locals go here and the place is beyond charming.

      If you are looking for something a bit more mature – head to Piazza Strozzi or the Oltrarno area of town. Near Strozzi (which is very close to Piazza della Repubblica) check out Slowly bar which has great drinks or nearby club YAB (which can be hit or miss). Otherwise the vibe in Piazza Santo Spirito is always fun, Volume bar often has live music and drinks aren’t too pricey. The options for dancing are quite minimal in the historical center. I do however recommend getting a taxi and heading to Otel or Tenax which are two true European clubs that are worth the 15-20 minute taxi ride. You have to pay an entrance fee, but most nights it’s worth it.

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