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Where to Stay in Florence

Updated September 17, 2023

Escape to the picturesque city of Florence for a multi-day adventure. The dreamy Tuscan capital is ranked the Best City in Europe by travelers, and our locals recommend it as one of the top destinations to stay in Italy. Florence is cited as the birthplace of the Renaissance, a cultural movement that remains embedded in the city’s architecture, art, landmarks, and neighborhoods. Soak up the rich history of this fascinating metropolis, and experience the Florentine lifestyle with an overnight stay. We encourage visitors to give themselves a few days or more to discover why this charming location continues to be a crowd favorite. Are you a foodie looking for the best restaurants? Trying to pack in all the top attractions in a short amount of time? Our local city guides have created this handy guide to help you find where to stay in Florence. 

Table of Contents

1. Centro Storico - Best Neighborhood for Sightseeing

Centro Storico is the city hub for sightseeing, which makes it the ideal place to stay in Florence for first-time visitors. In the historic heart of the city lie iconic highlights such as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, a magnificent cathedral with an ornate interior, and the regal Piazza della Signoria, the city’s main square. The piazza is flanked by excellent museums including the Gallerie Degli Uffizi, one of the oldest art museums in the world. According to our locals, a visit to the gallery is one of the best things to do in Italy. Jam-packed with historically significant sights that date back to the Romans, the center has earned a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list and is a sought-after locale to stay in Italy. Centro Storico is very compact and walkable, which makes it an ideal place to lodge for those who want to avoid long commutes during their visit. The downsides are that since it is such a prime location it can be quite noisy, crowded, and expensive. 

For those who are willing to pay for the location, there are both hotel and Airbnb options in Centro Storico. Hotel Costantini is an economic option located just across from the famous Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. For an apartment stay check out this picturesque mini-suite with a rooftop terrace that offers a dynamite view of the cathedral.  

2. Santa Maria Novella - Best Neighborhood for Budget Travelers

Not as aesthetically pleasing as some of the other neighborhoods in Florence, Santa Maria Novella is sometimes overlooked by visitors. Home to the train station and an arrival point for airport trams, many travelers see the area merely as a transit point. But travelers looking for wallet-friendly lodging would do well to consider staying in this district. What this neighborhood lacks in looks it makes up for with attractive prices for lodging, restaurants, cafes, and shops. In fact, this locale is home to some of the best things to do in Florence. Sightseeing highlights include the stunning Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, a Renaissance-era church with famous artworks inside; Museo Novecento, Florence’s modern-art museum; and Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, the world’s oldest pharmacy. 

If you are looking for more budget-friendly accommodations in the city try Hotel Boccaccio. This modern stay offers comfortable rooms and is conveniently located next to the station. For a homier option book this well-placed, colorful rental

3. Santa Croce - Best Neighborhood for Nightlife

Outdoor market in front of Santa Croce Basilica |  user32212 / Pixabay

If you enjoy staying close to the action then the lively neighborhood of Santa Croce is the place to be. The buzzy neighborhood is the lifeblood of Florence’s nightlife scene and is teeming with bars and clubs, and during the summer months even hosts festivals. Centrally located, this trendy district is within walking distance of the popular attractions of Centro Storico. However, our locals say in addition to the must-visit sites of the center, travelers will want to set aside time to enjoy the ambiance of Santa Croce. Foodies will love the assortment of first-class restaurants and cafes. In recent years, the area has seen a boom in businesses but still boasts a genuine Florentine atmosphere. Before your night out enjoy a craft cocktail during aperitivo hour with the locals along the Via de’ Benci. For those seeking an authentic, fun atmosphere Santa Croce is without a doubt the best place to stay in Florence. 

While there aren’t as many accommodations in this part of the city as one would think, you can still find some good hotels and Airbnbs. Enjoy a relaxing stay at the opulent Palazzo Galletti, which features rooms decked out with Renaissance-style frescoes and glittering chandeliers without the luxury price tag. Or spend your trip living like a local at this roomy, Florentine-style apartment

4. San Lorenzo - Best Neighborhood for Foodies

Inside the bustling Mercato Centrale Firenze | Sailko, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Italians take great pride in their culinary traditions and Florence is one of the best cities to stay in Italy to indulge. To sample the best Florentine cuisine there is no better spot than the neighborhood of San Lorenzo. The area is home to the vibrant Mercato Centrale Firenze, which our locals recommend to foodies as one of the best things to do in Florence. A magnificent roofed food hall, the venue was designed in 1874 by Giovanni Mengoni, the same architect who designed the famous Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II in Milan. The market is a wonderland of food stalls that offer fresh vegetables, fruits, cheese, fish, meats, and more. On the upstairs floor is a good court of mouth-watering budget-friendly eateries that serve until midnight. Mercato Centrale is not the only delicious highlight in San Lorenzo. The neighborhood is also one of the top spots in town for traditional Tuscan food, found in rustic trattorias (restaurants). 

Travelers who wish to stay in this quarter can find a variety of well-priced accommodations to choose from. Set in a historic building, the Locanda Dei Guelfi hotel is a lovely rustic accommodation with spacious rooms, located a short walk from the train station. Or check into this snug apartment, just a stone’s throw from the San Lorenzo Market.

5. Santo Spirito - Best Neighborhood for Artisan Charm 

One of two neighborhoods in the Oltrarno district, Santo Spirito has claimed the title of the arts district. For generations Santo Spirito has served as a home base for Florentine artisans and craftsmen and offers a bohemian atmosphere. The area is separated from the city center by the Arno River and therefore is not as tourist-heavy. Spend the day wandering cozy cobblestone streets and discover traditional handicraft workshops and one-of-a-kind stores. The Piazza Santo Spirito is the district’s main square and is a lively spot packed with restaurants, bars, and shops. Depending on the day you will find markets and events taking place in the buzzy hub. If you want to experience a relaxed Florentine lifestyle our locals say this is the perfect place to hang your hat during your stay in Florence. 

Santo Spirito offers one-of-a-kind boutique hotels and bohemian apartments that radiate the same aesthetic as the neighborhood. Rest your head at the SPIRIT OF FLORENCE Boutique Rooms, which features unique, bright, comfortable rooms. Or opt for this spacious, artsy loft located in Piazza S Spirito. 

6. San Frediano - Best Neighborhood for Young Travelers

Over the years San Frediano has experienced a Cinderella-story transformation. The once seedy neighborhood is now a haven of hipster eateries and cafes, funky vintage shops, and trendy bars. Popular with young Florentines, the sector was even named one of the best neighborhoods in the world by Lonely Planet. Younger adventurers will be charmed by this up-and-coming destination’s eclectic establishments and affordable nightlife. While it is not the most centrally-located area to be based in, it still features some interesting sights. Visit the Galleria Romanelli, founded in 1860 it is one of the world’s oldest operational sculpture studios. Also housed in the neighborhood is Santa Maria del Carmine, a church renowned for its magnificent Renaissance frescoes by Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale. Come see why this is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Italy.

Because of its location, it is easier to find wallet-friendly lodging in San Frediano. The AdAstra is a favorite hotel among travelers due to its location to nearby attractions, picturesque outdoor terrace, and glamorous decor. For travelers looking for a more economical option try this lovely rental housed in a 17th-century building.

7. San Marco - Best Neighborhood to Escape City Crowds

For our more low-key travelers, our locals recommend a getaway in the tranquil neighborhood of San Marco. Located north of the city center, this residential area provides a welcomed escape from the tourist hubbub. Apart from the Galleria dell’Accademia crowded with visitors coming to see Michelangelo’s renowned masterpiece, David, San Marco offers a relaxed atmosphere. The district is home to Florence’s prestigious Accademia Italiana University, a public research school. Travelers are invited to visit the university’s notable institutions such as the Museum of Natural History and the Botanical Garden of Florence. Well-connected by public transit, but set away from the action, this neighborhood is for lodgers searching for peace and quiet over nightlife and eateries. 

For overnight stays, there is a decent selection of well-priced accommodations in San Marco.

Book a room at Hotel Loggiato dei Serviti, set in a former monastery dating from the early 16th century. The rooms boast dark wood interiors and elegant canopy-draped beds. For an Airbnb option check into this stylish loft, that features a large balcony.

8. Campo di Marte - Best Neighborhood for Sports Fans 

Known as Florence’s “sports neighborhood,” Campo di Marte is an athletics playground for teams and their fans. Constructed in the 20s and 30s, it was designed as a sports district, featuring impressive facilities to host games. The working-class area boasts the Municipal Football Stadium Artemio Franchi, home of ACF Fiorentina, one of the most successful professional soccer clubs in Italy. Other sports halls in the neighborhood include the Luigi Ridolfi Athletics Stadium, rugby and baseball fields, the Mandela Forum Sports Hall, and the Costoli Swimming Pool. Be warned that accommodations closer to the stadium can be quite pricey. For reasonably priced lodging look in the more residential parts of the district. 

Visitors will find Hotel Ungherese Small Luxury Hotel to be a quiet oasis featuring a lovely terrace surrounded by lush gardens. The rooms are modern and comfortable and an Italian breakfast buffet is offered daily. For an apartment stay try this funky flat, with large windows and a lovely outdoor balcony located close to the stadium. 

9. San Niccolò - Best Neighborhood for Romantic Getaways

Paris isn’t the only city for lovers, Florence has earned the title of one of the world’s most romantic cities, and rightfully so. With picturesque hills, quaint terracotta houses, and winding cobblestone roads, the city is fit for a postcard. For a romantic stay in town, couples would be wise to consider San Niccolò. The fairytale neighborhood is the oldest in Florence and has maintained the aesthetic of a medieval Tuscan settlement. Set at the southern foothills of the city, the location boasts magnificent views. Locals recommend Piazzale Michelangelo for the best overlook of town and the surrounding countryside. In addition to scenic views, visitors can find a smattering of charming galleries, shops, restaurants, and bars. 

Palazzo San Niccolò is a comfortable condo hotel that offers the convenience of a hotel but with self-catering facilities. The enclosed outdoor gardens and roomy apartments create a tranquil, and intimate setting for couples. If you want even more privacy book this atmospheric Tuscan countryside-style home that features a romantic private garden.  

10. Sant’Ambrogio - Best Neighborhood for a Local Atmosphere

Daily life around Piazza dei Ciompi | Manuelarosi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sant’Ambrogio is the perfect locale for adventurers enticed by authentic experiences. The dreamy provincial neighborhood is dotted with sweet cafés, delightful boutiques, and vibrant markets. Sant’Ambrogio Market is a local hub for Florentines shopping for groceries and is the oldest market in Florence. The indoor food hall features stalls of fresh, regional products including meats, produce, cheese, and more, and offers a true Florentine atmosphere. If you are in town during the last Sunday of the month wander over to the popular Piazza dei Ciompi flea market. The bazaar is a treasure trove of vintage Italian clothes, furniture, books, and accessories. You never know what you might find. Whether you are just visiting or staying in the area, make a visit to Vivoli ice cream parlor, one of the oldest and leading gelaterias. Grabbing a cone at Vivoli is one of the best things to do in Florence. Overall Sant’Ambrogio is a delightful classic district where travelers can immerse themselves in local life. 

If the local life appeals to you, check into the charming Hotel Cardinal of Florence, located close to center city attractions. Another well-placed option is this lovely, minimalistic flat outfitted with all the modern comforts of home. 

Local Recommendations on Where to Stay in Florence 

The dreamy city of Florence has lots to offer travelers from history to cuisine to nature. Each neighborhood is full of curiosities waiting to be discovered and our local Florentines are here to help you navigate them. To find the best place to stay in Florence connect with our travel guides, who are up-to-date on the best things to do in the city and can help you create an individualized itinerary. Start planning your Tuscan escape now!

Travel Tidbit: Keep in mind that prices for accommodations tend to fluctuate based on the time of year. Even budget stays can be pricier during tourist season. 

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