Where to Stay in Florence: Your Area And Neighbourhood Guide (2024)

Where to Stay in Florence: Your Area And Neighbourhood Guide (2024)

Tuscany’s capital is a Renaissance wonderland of art and terracotta tiles. Florence is one of the most popular city breaks in Europe, and it’s got the celebrity status to prove it. You’ve got the Florence Cathedral, cobbled streets full of independent boutiques, and the Arno River running through the city center. Florence is full of art and culture – but where do you stay to see all the main sights? How do you choose where to stay in Florence?

Best Places to Stay in Florence

Best Place To Stay in Florence Duomo

Florence is a beautiful city to visit. There’s art and beauty everywhere. When it comes to the main sights, you have the Etruscan Archaeological Museum, the bustle of Piazza del Duomo, and the grandeur of Palazzo Vecchio. You’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Where to stay in Florence is different for everyone and every visit. Central Florence has nearly ten different areas, each with a mix of stylish boutique hotels and sights. You can go local and avoid the tourists or pay the price and be within walking distance of everything. After countless visits to the city, we’ve whittled it down to six neighborhoods for you to choose from – we want you to have the best.

1. Centro Storico

Ponte Vecchi Florence

Centro Storico is the heart of Florence and its history. Picture churches that date back centuries, narrow streets, and views of the stunning main attraction in the city: Florence Cathedral. Centro Storico is the absolute hub of the city, and everyone knows it. All the best hotels get booked out over the summer, and crowds of tourists descend on the neighborhood year-round. Most of Florence’s main attractions are condensed into this tiny pocket of history, and the temptation is too much for most visitors to resist. It’s even UNESCO-recognized.

With this great location, you are within easy walking distance of attractions like the Uffizi Gallery, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, and the National Museum of Bargello. The neighborhood is a lively mix of major sites. You can’t beat staying here if you want to explore on foot.

In summary, Centro Storico is where to stay in Florence if you’re a first-time visitor, committed to sightseeing on foot, or only have a couple of days in the city. It is utterly convenient, with the added bonus of being totally gorgeous (mainly thanks to the Duomo’s terracotta domes).

Piazza della Signoria Florence

Luxury: Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy

Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy is an elegant 5-star hotel right next to the Uffizi Gallery. You can book rooms with exceptional views, including one of Piazza del Duomo or the famous bell tower. Rooms don’t come cheap, but you’ll get world-class treatment in exchange.

Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy is easily one of the best luxury hotels in the historic center of Florence.

Mid Range: Hotel Della Signoria

Hotel Della Signoria is a three-star property with a five-star location, just steps from Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio. It offers a range of rooms, including a superior room with a private terrace.

This hotel is good value for money and a joy to experience. The terrace room is definitely a great shout, offering a bit of solace in the busy city center.

Budget: Dante’s Rooms

Dante’s Rooms is your very best choice for budget accommodation in the center of Florence. You get all the basics: free wi fi, comfortable beds, and TVs in each guest room.

Does it have a rooftop pool? No, but the bargain stay is worth the trade-off. If you’re willing to go for a more B&B style experience, Dante’s Rooms is a brilliant budget hotel choice in central Florence.

Piazza Del Duomo in Florence sunrise

Pros Of Staying in Centro Storico

  • Walking distance from major attractions like the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, Piazza della Signoria, and Palazzo Vecchio.
  • Plenty of buzz and an exciting atmosphere.
  • Lots of hotel choices.

Cons Of Staying in Centro Storico

  • Heavy crowds.
  • Hotels can come with a hefty price tag.
  • You only see the “main area”, without the surrounding countryside or suburban areas.

2. Santa Maria Novella


Santa Maria Novella is no-nonsense. The neighborhood is centered around the Santa Maria Novella train station. It is full of in-and-out visitors and, as such, has plenty of budget-friendly accommodation. It can get sketchy around the train station at night, with drug use and the odd opportunistic lurkers ready to bag snatch. But as a whole, the Santa Maria Novella district is where to stay in Florence if you want a cheap and straightforward place to stay. You are just a short walk into the historic city center and to all the main sights, just without the expense of paying through the roof for more central accommodation.

Apart from the main train station (very handy for day trips), the neighborhood has the gorgeous marble Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. You can also check out the antiques along Via dei Fossi, a popular shopping street, and some of the city’s more budget-friendly nightclubs, like Space Club. There are museums, too, including the Marino Marini Firenze Museum and Palazzo Strozzi.

We’d suggest staying in the lower-eastern region of Santa Maria Novella, away from the train station and alongside the Arno River. It has more of a central appeal and is a short walking distance from Centro Storico anyway, which is a nice touch. Santa Maria Novella is easily one of the best neighborhoods if you want a more budget-friendly alternative to Centro Storico without sacrificing much for convenient sightseeing.

Piazza San Marco square and church in Florence

Luxury: Portrait Firenze

Portrait Firenze is a gorgeous 5-star hotel just 30 meters away from Ponte Vecchio. Portrait Firenze is where to stay if you want luxury with water views, and they have glorious hotel rooms with marble bathrooms and windows overlooking the Arno River.

This luxury property is easily one of the best hotels, centrally located, offering tasteful decor and upscale rooms.

Mid Range: Novella House

Novella House is full of character, with a boutique hotel interior featuring patterned wallpapers and frescoed ceilings. It is beautifully located in the Santa Maria Novella district, within an easy walk of Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria.

Novella House is set in a 17th-century building, which is just the cherry on top. It is a historic spot and one of the best hotels if you want plenty of personality.

Budget: Foresteria Sociale Florence Center by New Generation Hostel

Foresteria Sociale Florence Center by New Generation Hostel is perfect for anyone who likes a bargain. The cheapest rooms are dormitory options, with female-only and mixed-sex rooms available. There are also more expensive private rooms with mid-range prices if you prefer privacy but still want a hostel environment.

You can also access a shared kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry facilities.

Where to Stay in Florence, Italy

Pros Of Staying in Santa Maria Novella

  • It is slightly cheaper than Centro Storico.
  • It is still in the city center, meaning you’re within walking distance of major attractions.
  • It has a fun atmosphere.

Cons Of Staying in Santa Maria Novella

  • The area around the train station and Piazza Santa Maria Novella can be sketchy at night.
  • You’re still in the city center, so the best hotels can be expensive.
  • Santa Maria Novella still gets crowded with tourists and local people using the train station.

3. San Niccolò


San Niccolò is a beautiful place to stay in Florence. The historic neighborhood is a network of cobbles and twisting streets backed by artisan workshops before exploding into open expanses of green spaces and villa gardens. It perfectly balances history, culture, and nature. And for those wanting to dodge the crowds, it sits a safe distance away from Florence’s manic city center, overlooking the cityscape from across the Arno River.

San Niccolò is on the city’s south bank, which is the opposite side of the Arno River to Centro Storico and Santa Maria Novella. Because of this, you will need to plan some extra travel time to reach the city center and sightsee things like the major attraction of Florence Cathedral. However, it only takes around 20 minutes to walk from San Niccolò to Florence’s central tourist district – how easy is that? You’ll cross over the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge or Ponte alle Grazia, both of which are pedestrian-friendly.

There is also plenty to see and do in the neighborhood itself. The Piazzale Michelangelo is a panoramic viewpoint overlooking Florence, with a bronze David replica standing guard. The Terzo Giardino and Villa Bardini are also great places for peaceful walks in serene nature.

San Niccolò is where to stay in Florence if you want to experience a quiet culture in the city. It’s full of gardens and serenity, with a chance to experience Florence with fewer crowds.

View of Florence city from Michel Angelo square on the hill.

Luxury: Hotel Lungarno

Hotel Lungarno is another beautiful riverfront property. It is located just a short distance from Ponte Vecchio and offers suites overlooking the water. The hotel is adorned with valuable art, including original pieces by Picasso.

Onsite restaurants and fine dining options are available, and nearly every guest room or suite offers stunning marble bathrooms.

Mid Range: Serristori Palace Residence

Serristori Palace Residence is located in the far west of San Niccolò. The 19th-century building has a mixture of luxury-furnished apartments, giving you the perfect self-catering base.

Every apartment has a kitchen and laundry facilities. You also get access to a small but pretty shared garden. It’s a relaxing base for visiting San Niccolò on a mid-range budget.

Budget: QK Costa58 Home Tower

QK Costa58 Home Tower is as budget-friendly as this neighborhood gets. Luckily, the beautiful setting of this property makes those extra pennies worthwhile. Forget booking a cookie-cutter hotel with a swimming pool or rooftop terrace. Instead, you will be staying in a real medieval tower. You enter the stone tower through classic wooden doors – a real experience.

The double room is your most budget-friendly option and has great views over the city below.

Pros Of Staying in San Niccolò

  • There are more peaceful areas of nature and green space.
  • There are artisan workshops, villas, and off-the-beaten-track culture.
  • You experience fewer crowds.

Cons Of Staying in San Niccolò

  • There are fewer hotels to choose from.
  • You are further from the city center.
  • There are fewer major tourist attractions.

4. Santa Croce

piazza santa croce florence

Santa Croce is widely hailed as the most “charming” place to stay in Florence. It has tons of lingering heritage, being the final resting place of huge names like Galileo and Michelangelo. You have bars and cafes, plus fresh produce sold at the wholesome street market of Sant Ambrogio. It’s a romantic and ever so slightly eclectic neighborhood. You’ll find monumental tombs of the late and greats on one street and al fresco dining and markets on the next. We love its sense of street culture and outdoor living. And if you want somewhere with history but laidback culture, urban Santa Croce is where to stay in Florence.

Santa Croce sits east of the city center, less than a 15-minute walk from all the central sightseeing and attractions like the Uffizi Gallery. The south border overlooks the Arno River, while the east borders the Florence ring road, providing swift access for those driving or catching a taxi to the airport. It’s central enough to still be convenient but far out enough to escape the stifle of other weekend city breakers.

In Santa Croce itself, you’ve got the Florence National Central Library, Casa Buonarroti, the gorgeous Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze, and monumental tombs. It’s great for art, literature, and academia. And when you aren’t embracing creative history in Santa Croce, you can be shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables. The general consensus is apt; Santa Croce definitely has a “charm”.

Piazza di Santa Croce Florence

Luxury: YiD Cantoria

When staying in Santa Croce, YiD Cantoria is by far your best luxury option. The stunning apartment has a private entrance and interior designs to die for. Fresco-style artwork pieces adorn its walls, and plenty of wooden notes. It’s a mix between trendy and traditional, and it sleeps up to six people – group trip, anyone?

You also get a private balcony with gorgeous street views. It’s an excellent choice for anyone wanting privacy and independence in Santa Croce.

Mid Range: Borgo Signature Rooms

Borgo Signature Rooms is a guesthouse in Santa Croce with splendidly decorated rooms. It is the place to stay if you want aesthetically pleasing guestrooms on a mid-range budget. The mixture of wooden furnishings and artwork is just beautiful.

As if all that wasn’t enough, you are just minutes from the Basilica di Santa Croce Firenze. Borgo Signature Rooms are dead centrally located.

Budget: Bargello Guest House

Bargello Guest House offers guestrooms in a B&B style with numerous shared spaces, including a comfortable lounge area. Each room has a private ensuite with complimentary toiletries and a TV for downtime after sightseeing.

Bargello Guest House is one of the few budget-friendly accommodation options in Santa Croce, so snap it up while it’s available.


Pros Of Staying in Santa Croce

  • It is central and within walking distance of all the main attractions, including the Uffizi Gallery.
  • It has a beautiful market scene for laidback, authentic living.
  • There’s tons of fascinating history, especially art history and monumental tombs belonging to Galileo and Michelangelo.

Cons Of Staying in Santa Croce

  • It can get busy still.
  • You still have to walk a little longer than if you stayed more centrally (15 minutes on average rather than 5 minutes or so).
  • Accommodation can be expensive and sell out in peak months.

5. Santo Spirito


The Santo Spirito neighborhood is trendy, with an electric sense of nightlife. This is where you can stay in Florence if you want parties after dark, and it has a chic collection of vibrant bars that stay open long into the early hours. Santo Spirito is a fantastic place to embrace the local vibe and socialize on your trip to Florence. Oh, and it also has great restaurants, if those lively bars weren’t enough for you. Unsurprisingly, it’s considered one of the best neighborhoods in Florence.

Santo Spirito is located south of the river, like San Niccolò. However, it’s slightly more central, located just off the steps of the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Because of this, you are already on the outskirts of the city center and just a short walk to Florence’s main attractions like the cathedral and Piazza della Repubblica. It’s just a bit more convenient.

When you aren’t partying or walking briskly over Ponte Vecchio for inner-city sightseeing, there’s plenty to do in Santo Spirito. The biggest attraction in the neighborhood is Pitti Palace. Pitti Palace is an art gallery complex within a Renaissance royal palace and opens onto the Boboli Gardens.

Santo Spirito is undoubtedly the place to stay if you love to party and experience nightlife in new cities. However, it’s equally an excellent place to let your hair down in nature and admire artwork – the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens are two of Florence’s most impressive outer-city attractions.


Luxury: Brunelleschi Imperial House

Brunelleschi Imperial House is a beautiful two-bedroom apartment in central Santo Spirito. The design is extravagant, with warm lighting and impressive features like a stone fireplace. You even get access to a hot tub. With all this on offer, the luxury of self-catered accommodation to slink back to for privacy, peace, and quiet after a long day is brilliant.

The apartment sleeps up to six people. You have a spacious lounge and superb kitchen facilities, so it’s a beautiful spot if you want spacious accommodation in Florence.

Mid Range: Hotel Palazzo Guadagni

Hotel Palazzo Guadagni oozes tradition and class. Its most eye-catching quality is its stone rooftop terrace, adorned with stone columns. The whole property is decorated with antiques and frescoes. If you want somewhere memorable to stay in Santo Spirito, this is the place to choose.

Some rooms overlook the Pitti Palace, and some bookings include a daily breakfast (on the terrace, of course). If you really want a memorable experience, you can book one of the rooms featuring an open fire. This is a nice option in winter.

Budget: Home in Florence

Home in Florence is a traditional little apartment with terracotta-tiled floors and a wrought iron bed frame. Staying here is equivalent to stepping into a novel or TV show. The property’s slightly basic, rough-around-the-edges allure gives it that authentic vibe. Think of Emily in Paris if Emily moved to Florence instead.

This one-bedroom apartment has everything a couple or solo traveler needs. You get a kitchen, living room, and a bathroom with a beautifully tiled shower. Quaint and gentle on the wallet, Home in Florence is a fantastic budget-friendly option in Santo Spirito.


Pros Of Staying in Santo Spirito

  • It has a trendy bar scene for after-hours socializing.
  • It is just a short walk over Ponte Vecchio to reach the city center.
  • You’ve got beautiful attractions like Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.

Cons Of Staying in Santo Spirito

  • You still have a 15-minute walk or so via the Ponte Vecchio to reach the northern city center’s attractions, like the Florence Cathedral and Piazza del Duomo.
  • It can be rowdy and busy in parts.
  • There are fewer hotels, so book in advance for peak months.

6. San Lorenzo


San Lorenzo is a beautiful neighborhood to the northwest of the city center. It’s right on the cusp of being in the central historic district, making it one of the most convenient places you can stay in Florence. So, apart from its location, what exactly makes San Lorenzo so special? In a word: food.

The whole neighborhood revolves around hospitality and culinary experiences. It is where you’ll find the Mercato Centrale, selling street food from 9am until midnight seven days a week and a mixture of low-light wine bars and upscale restaurants. If you take a food tour in Florence, San Lorenzo is where guides will take you. So, if you’re a foodie, you may as well skip that and just book to base yourself there instead.

It isn’t all food in this culinary-focused neighborhood (although what would be wrong with that?), and you’ve got attractions like the Basilica di San Lorenzo and the Museo di Casa Martelli. You are also less than a 10-minute walk from major sights like the Piazza del Duomo, so you can easily spend your days sightseeing. This neighborhood is where you can stay for leisurely sightseeing and culinary experiences in the galore.


Luxury: Hotel Cerretani Firenze

It doesn’t get more gorgeous than Hotel Cerretani Firenze on this side of town. This 4-star hotel is just 300 meters from Florence Cathedral, and some of its rooms have views of the terracotta dome. Each room oozes elegance, with complimentary details like slippers and robes. You can choose from a mixture of superior rooms and suites. Almost every booking includes a complimentary daily breakfast service, with 24-hour room service available.

Hotel Cerretani Firenze is set in a 17th-century building. It offers a lounge bar and onsite restaurants, so basically, everything you need is inside its four walls.

Mid Range: B&B Lorenzo di Medici

B&B Lorenzo di Medici offers a range of room options, all including complimentary daily breakfast and thoughtful perks like a shuttle service to the airport. The interior design is fresh and modern – a trendy base for your time in Florence. It’s just that perfect step between reasonable prices and luxuries you crave. And while these are guestrooms, not apartments, you still get helpful amenities like a microwave, fridge, coffee machine, and toaster.

It’s easy to see why the reviews are kind to B&B Lorenzo di Medici. It’s a cool mid-range spot in this foodie neighborhood in Florence.

Budget Hotel: Hostel Archi Rossi

Hostel Archi Rossi is one of the few typical hostel accommodations in Florence, and it doesn’t fail expectations. It offers a fun environment with white wrought iron beds in dormitories for up to nine people. There’s hand-painted artwork everywhere and a really sociable layout. It’s a great place to stay if you want to stick to a budget and make plenty of friends.

You also get a shared kitchen, which is great for saving money when eating out. Hostel Archi Rossi is cheap and cheerful.


Pros Of Staying in San Lorenzo

  • There are hundreds of food experiences.
  • You are just minutes from major attractions.
  • There’s a beautiful church and historical attractions.

Cons Of Staying in San Lorenzo

  • It can get busy, especially in peak seasons.
  • It has fewer attractions than other neighborhoods in Florence.
  • Accommodation can be expensive.

Best Areas to Stay in Florence: FAQ’s


By now, you are well prepared to make your final decision on where to stay in Florence. You really are spoiled for choice, and the city has some of the best hotels, too – just thinking of Hotel Palazzo Guadagni’s rooftop terrace makes us want to head back to Florence!

Before you make any final decisions, though, here are some common FAQs. This section will help solidify your choice, especially if you’re visiting Florence for the first time.

Popular Area in Florence

What part of Florence is the best to stay in?

Centro Storico is the best part of Florence if you’re visiting for the first time or just for a weekend. This is because you are right in the middle of everything and just a pleasant walk from attractions like Piazza della Signoria, Florence Cathedral, and Piazza della Repubblica. It’s the heart of the city, which is excellent for a time limit.

Where should I stay in Florence for the first time?

Again, Centro Storico is the best option for first-time visitors to Florence. Its easy access to central sights is unbeatable. It’s convenient and exciting for first-time visitors to be so in the thick of it. Book in advance to avoid steeper prices and peak times, though.

Where to avoid staying in Florence?

We wouldn’t recommend staying on the outskirts of Florence, especially as it’s such a city break-style destination. If you’re visiting for a weekend, save your time on ridiculously long public transport trips just to reach the city center.

What is the most beautiful area in Florence?

San Niccolò is beautiful. It’s full of lovely gardens, wine bars that sprawl out in al fresco seating, and views of Florence’s cityscape from across the Arno River.

Where not to stay in Florence

Where not to stay in Florence

In general, anywhere in central Florence is great. The worst you’ll have to put up with is tourist crowds and the opportunistic petty crime that can sometimes attract – like pickpocketing or bag snatching. As a whole, central Florence is safe and easy to navigate, with most places accessible within a short walking distance.

However, we would rule out neighborhoods in Florence’s outskirts. Not only are these areas more prone to crime, but you’re also battling lengthy journey times on public transport just to reach the city center to sightsee. It’s the last thing you want. Here are a few in particular to avoid:

1. Peretola: The region around the airport is too far from the city center and has almost constant noise pollution.

2. Le Piagge: A budget-friendly region that unfortunately struggles with low-level crime in northwestern Florence.

3. Galluzo: A pretty unpleasant region in the south of Florence, most famous for its large prison facility.

Instead, if you want a more suburban and off-the-beaten-track place to stay, head to San Niccolò. It is set on the opposite bank of the Arno River, away from the city center, with more green space and a laidback atmosphere.

Why we love Florence

There’s no denying that Florence is one of the prettiest cities in Europe. We adore its gorgeous architecture and the cultural things to do. Choosing where to stay in Florence is just the cherry on top —good accommodation is heaven-sent and helps you immerse yourself even more deeply into the city and its culture.

In Florence, the neighborhoods have such individual senses of character. You’ve got San Niccolò’s laidback greenery and Santa Croce’s market buzz. Or Santa Maria Novella’s no-nonsense budget accommodation scene. Wherever you choose to stay, we hope you have a fantastic time.

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