Florence is, without doubt, a charming small city with a long history that dates back in antiquity. From its signature red roofs to the world-renowned religious facades to a bustling intoxicating cobblestone street that’s an open art gallery – Florence has it all. Though a compact tiny city – you can walk from one end of the city to the other in a little over 30 minutes – it has different neighborhoods you can explore to savor the city’s flavor.
So, depending on your preference whether your goal is staying in a place closer to the train station, or within walking distance of the famous tourist sites, or you prefer lounging in a location with a more neighborhood feel – here’s a list of the best places to stay during your visit to Florence.
Duomo is your best bet if you’re looking for a place close to all the alluring sites Florence is noted for. It’s the heart and soul of Florence and a 5 minutes walking distance to other neighborhoods. It’s worth noting; though, Duomo is also the busiest part of the city. It’s a beehive of activity with tourists and historical hunters streaming through its streets in the summer.
However, the magnificent high-end fashion stores via the Tornabuoni; the medieval sights of the Brunelleschi’s dome, and the ancient Baptistery all within short distances of each sure beats anything. You can enjoy your stay at the centrally located high-end boutique, stay at the centrally located high-end boutique, Hotel Brunelleschi. From here, you can easily walk to any of the numerous sight-seeing sites.
Looking forward to a thrilling nightlife in Florence? You may want to consider making Santa Croce your base when you visit. Packed full with characteristic restaurants lining the streets, it’s the main hotel district of Florence, and home to the eponymous Santa Croce Basilica. And yes, there’s literally a party going on every night on this side of the city. So, if you prefer a neighborhood with both the touristy feel and local flair, then Santa Croce offers just the perfect combination.
While here, there’s pretty so much you can do from admiring the historic architecture, dining in some of the best restaurants in Florence.
Slightly located away from the city center though just a 10 minutes’ walk. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods that offer authentic local experiences plus bustling student life. You’d be surprised to find that for a city that’s oppressively touristy, this neighborhood is uncharacteristically free from the crowds.
Stay here if you’d want to avoid the hordes of camera-carry wide-eyed tourists and enjoy an authentic local experience. You can even visit Mercato di Sant’Amrogio the largest and arguably the best local market here.
San Lorenzo/ Santa Maria Novella
Close to the train station, these two neighborhoods offer the best setting if you’re pressed for time since you can quickly dash into the city for a look around; then catch a train. If however, you have a couple of days to spend, check out the chaotic but colorful San Lorenzo market – it’s the main shopping area in the city.
Located here is the Medici Chapel, explore it to learn about the powerful Renaissance-era family that played crucial roles in the history of Italy. Right beside San Lorenzo is Santa Maria Novella with its quiet, eclectic residential neighborhood. If you want a bit of peace; then you should consider staying in Santa Maria Novella.