This 48-hour itinerary begins on Friday afternoon (when it is most likely you will arrive in Florence) until Sunday afternoon. If you are planning on visiting Florence on different days of the week, don’t forget to check out the opening hours of each tourist attraction, as these might vary.
If you land in Florence in the afternoon or evening, you will not have much time to visit any of the city’s monuments or museums. Therefore; we recommend spending the day exploring Firenze’s historic centre and walking down its cobbled streets to get a general feel for this enchanting city.
After dropping your suitcase in your hotel, head to the Piazza del Duomo, which is the civic and religious centre of Florence. Here, you will enjoy a postcard-perfect image of the Florence Cathedral, the Campanile di Giotto and the Battistero di San Giovanni. This square is one of the most-photographed of Florence and will leave you open-mouthed.
When you have gazed enough at the magnificent buildings in Piazza del Duomo, take the street Via de’Pecori and turn left on Via de’Brunelleschi until you get to the Piazza della Repubblica. It is one of the main squares in Florence, as well as being the largest. After taking a few photographs or enjoying a steaming cup of Italian coffee in one of the square’s cafés, head down Via Pellicceria until you come across the Fontana del Porcellino (a bronze fountain of a boar). Don’t forget to rub the animal’s snout to ensure a second visit to this superb city.
You will reach the Piazza della Signoria, another landmark in Florence, by crossing Via Porta Rossa. It is one of the liveliest parts of Tuscany’s capital city.
Leave the square behind you and cross the Piazzale degli Uffizi until you get to the Arno River, where you can admire the breath-taking Ponte Vecchio. In our opinion, this is the most romantic part of Florence.
The next day’s itinerary starts bright and early, so make sure to get enough sleep.
On your first day, you should be at the Galleria dell'Accademia at 9 am. This is one of the city’s most visited museums, containing Michelangelo’s sculptural masterpiece, David.
After having admired the magnificent sculptures housed in the Accademia Gallery, leave the museum and walk down Via Ricasoli. After a few minutes, you will come upon the impressive Florence Cathedral, known in Italian as the Duomo di Firenze. In this impressive Gothic-styled temple you can climb to the top of the Dome to admire Brunelleschi’s work up close.
The Battistero di San Giovanni, which is also located in the Piazza del Duomo, is also worth visiting from the outside, where you will be able to marvel at the Gates of Paradise, the structure’s northern gate. After, head towards Via dell’Oriuolo and turn on Via Giuseppe Verdi to get to the Basilica di Santa Croce, an impressive construction and the principal Franciscan church in Florence. Its interior houses numerous impressive tombs.
After discovering Santa Croce, you will most likely want to rest and eat an exquisite lunch in one of Florence’s traditional restaurants. When you have eaten to your heart’s content, we suggest heading to the Uffizi Gallery. This is the most visited Gallery in Florence and one of the world’s top art museums. You will be overwhelmed by some of the most renowned Italian painters, such as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian: all the works of art in this museum date from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century. After visiting Uffizi, we recommend spending the rest of the afternoon exploring the city’s streets and magnificent architecture.
To make the most of your last day in Florence, we recommend getting to the Palazzo Vecchio no later than 10 am. This fortress-looking building was originally used by the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, the Signoria. The Palazzo’s impressive interior is definitely worth exploring.
When you leave the Palace, take the Piazzale degli Uffizi until you arrive at the banks of the Arno River and cross the Ponte Vecchio. If you are not tired you can walk up to the Piazzale Michelangelo, although we suggest taking the buses 22 or 23.
The Piazzale Michelangelo offers the most impressive panoramic view of Florence. If you have taken the bus up to the plateau, why not climb down on foot until you get to the Ponte Vecchio (the descent by foot is a lot more enjoyable). Here, you have two options depending on your preference; the first option is to take Via Lungarno Generale Armando Diaz and turn left down Via del Leoni until you reach the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, a beautiful museum that is famous for its collection of Italian sculptures from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. The second option is to walk down the river bank until you get to the Ponte alla Carraia, then take Via dei Fossi, which will lead you to the Santa Maria Novella Church, a colourful basilica which is as charming outside as it is inside and is worth visiting if you have enough time.
Normally after having visited these various attractions, it will be time to go to the airport.
Over two days in Florence?
If you're spending more than a couple of days in Florence, we also recommend visiting the nearby Tuscan villages and towns. The most fascinating places close to Florence are the following: Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti, Assisi and lastly, Cinque Terre. To visit them you can either book English-speaking day-trips, rent a car or take a bus or train to the various destinations.
Other tourist attractions in Florence
If you have completed our itinerary and still have some time before you leave Florence, the city offers many other interesting tourist attractions like the Boboli Gardens, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo or the Museo Galileo.