How To Spend 48h in Florence, Italy

by - April 18, 2020

spend 48 hours in florence, italy

Everything you need to know for a short city trip to the capital of Tuscany.

In February I took my first ever trip to Florence. It is an ever-popular city, and previous to our trip I had seen many gorgeous photos of the city. We only stayed about three full days, but we saw a lot and I feel like you don't need much more than that to experience the city. Here are all my top tips to visit - and of course, some good Instagram advice for amazing photos!

We came to Florence by train from Rome as we had planned a two-stops trip, but you can easily visit Florence directly as it has a (very small) airport accessible via the tram in the city centre. Some may advise you to take a taxi, but I promise that the tram is more than enough to get to and from the airport. You can also take a train from anywhere else in Italy, the fares are cheap enough and the trains very good!
Now, even though we visited in February, Florence was already pretty packed! As it is a smaller city, it felt much more crowded than Rome. I think that no matter the time of the year, you have to expect big crowds in the main streets and around the main tourist attractions. However, entry prices for said tourist attractions (museums, palaces, etc.) are cheaper in low season - there is actually an entry price between March and October, and a different (smaller) price between November and February. A good reason to visit in the winter! Especially because if you want to visit a lot of places, it will come out more on the expensive side.
As for accommodation, ever since I've started using Airbnb I haven't looked back. I now it takes away from local hotels, but the provision you get matches up the price that you pay better, in my opinion. We got an Airbnb about ten minutes from the Palazzo Vecchio, and it was a great location - small place, but with all amenities and in a quiet area. I would recommend staying close enough to the centre (10 to 15min away) so that you can easily walk to the different places you want to visit and avoid taking taxis or public transportation.

travel tips for florence, italy

The Duomo: there are plenty of wonderful sights to see in Florence, the most famous being the Duomo - otherwise known at Santa Maria del Fiore. The dome is definitely a beautiful work of art, and a must-see. There is also a museum linked to the Duomo which we decided not to visit, because it was quite expensive and we felt it wouldn't add to our experience. The outside of the cathedral is stunning, so you should at least see that! There will be a huge queue early in the morning to go inside, so if you want to see the interiors I advise you to go in the mid to late afternoon.
Photo tip: Of course, one can't go to Florence and not take a shot with its star feature! Although the area around the Duomo is almost always crowded, you have a chance to get a photo with no (or very few) people around early in the morning. We went there on a weekday morning at around 10am, and there were only a few people walking around. We managed to snap this picture, and I erased three or four people who were in the background.

visiting the Duomo in florence, italy

Ponte Vecchio: Ponte Vecchio is the other most famous sight of Florence. An old bridge (as the name suggests!) lined with jewellery shops. It's a tourist hotspot that gets very crowded during the day, so you should cross it early in the morning - even late at night when the shops are about to close, the bridge is still very crowded. In my opinion Ponte Vecchio is best seen from afar - so walk on any other bridge along the river to have a beautiful point of view of Ponte Vecchio and the Arno.

Best places to see ponte vecchio, florence

Gallerie degli Uffizi: For the art lovers, this museum holds an impressive collection of major pieces of artwork - from Roman sculptures to Renaissance paintings and statues. Go there to see Botticelli's Birth of Venus, some sketches by Da Vinci and Caravaggio's Medusa on a shield, among many others. It is highly recommended (if not mandatory during the summer months) to book tickets ahead of time, but if you go during the low season, wake up early and show up at opening time and you'll be able to get tickets there and then quite easily - we barely waited 15min before going in. Similarly, you can visit the Accademia Gallery, which I cannot give you advice on as we didn't visit - but if we had had more time, I would have love to see it as well.

Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence best sights

The Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Garden: These are both located in the same spot. Palazzo Pitti is a palace that is divided in several museums and galleries, all worth a visit. If you go during low season, here's a tip to save on the tickets: go to the Palazzo and buy your tickets before 9am to get them half-price! We woke up early on our last half-day in Florence, got cheap tickets and enjoyed a beautiful visit with only a few visitors around us. The Palazzo may have an austere exterior, but the rooms inside are gorgeous, and I can only recommend it. It was my favourite in Florence. Behind the Palazzo is the Boboli Garden, a very typical Italian-style garden that stretches far above the city. Among its best features is a wonderful alley of tall trees reaching up to the sky, a typical landscape feature which you can see a lot of in Tuscany. The gardens are best to visit in the spring and summer, and feel a little bare in the winter - but they are great for an afternoon stroll and a picnic.

Palazzo Pitti in Florence, what to see in Florence in 48 hours
Palazzo Pitti, Florence
The Boboli Garden in Florence, Italy
Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Garden, Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo: Here's a pretty panoramic spot for you. Right after crossing Ponte Vecchio going south, turn left and keep going up in the little streets. There, you will be headed to the Piazzale Michelangelo - and even see a pretty rose garden on the way. The Piazzale has a wonderful view over the whole of Florence, with the Arno river, Ponte Vecchio, and the Duomo. My boyfriend and I went there at sunset on a clear day and the light was stunning. The area does get very crowded, so if you visit in the summer, you should go early in the morning - it's a great sunrise walk!

Taking photos in Florence, Italy

San Miniato al Monte: Right behind the Piazzale Michelangelo is San Miniato al Monte, a small but beautiful basilica sitting at the top of a hill. The outside of the church has a very similar facade to the Duomo and other churches in Florence, but the inside is incredible, with amazingly-preserved wall paintings. The view is also wonderful from there, so don't forget to snap a picture.

Taking photos in Florence, Italy

In Florence, be prepared to eat a lot of sandwiches! Bread is one of the main foods you'll find here, along with cheese and a lot of deli meats from the area. My boyfriend and I found some great foccacia sandwiches at the tiny Amici di Ponte Vecchio - a nice little address which I highly recommend! Of course meat is always on the menu, but I am sure the vegetarians among you could ask for a meat-free sandwich too. For vegans, however, I would imagine it quite difficult to find good eateries as the city holds on to its traditional foods a lot. But difficult doesn't mean impossible, and I'm sure more and more places today offer vegan options - we have just not looked into those ourselves.

Food in Florence, Italy

Another place I can recommend is the restaurant La Fiaschetteria. We picked it at random and it turned out to be an amazing place! There was no one but us in the restaurant. We were literally the only customers that evening, and it made me so sad because the owner was so kind and helpful. He gave us bruschetta bread while we waited for our food, was very generous in his wine serving for me, and when I asked him if the tiramisù was homemade, he literally showed me the whole dish to prove it came from the house! Service was great, and so was the food - I had amazing carbonara, and the homemade tiramisù was one of the best I've ever had. The restaurant doesn't seem to have a Tripadvisor page, so look them up on Google Maps - they are on via dei Neri. Just one word: go there!

What to eat in Florence, Italy

Have you ever been to Florence? Is it on your travel list?
Lots of love,
Julia x


Subscribe to my newsletter for exclusive content!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.
    Powered By ConvertKit

    You May Also Like

    0 commentaires

    Disqus comment count