A day in Florence

I only have one day in Florence, how should I spend it?

If you want to see Florence in a single day, you'll have no time to pace yourself. It's art-on-the-run time—and it'll be key that you book ahead for tickets into the Uffizi and Accademia, so you don't waste hours in line (or book a tour that includes tickets and skip-the-line privileges).

Reserve the earliest tickets possible for the Accademia to see Michelangelo's David. Spend no more than 30 minutes here so you can be admiring Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise on the baptistery in front of the Duomo by 10am. Seeing the inside of the Duomo itself takes only 15 minutes, but you might want to give yourself another hour to make it up to the top of Brunelleschi's dome.

After lunch-on-the-go at I Fratellini wine bar, make your way to Santa Croce to pay your respects to the earthly remains of Michelangelo and Galileo and to see Giotto's frescoes. You might also want to pop into the famous leather school. Exit the piazza by the north (right) end. Take a right on Via Verdi and an immediate left onto Via dei Lavatoi, which will spill out onto Via Isola delle Stinche right above by Vivoli ice cream parlor, with the best gelato in the city.

Next, make your way west to the Uffizi to peruse some of the greatest art Italy has to offer until they kick you out just before 7pm. In the twilight, wander amid the statues of Piazza della Signoria and get an eyeful of the Palazzo Vecchio.

Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio before dinner and wander back through the medieval heart of Florence between Piazza della Signoria and the Duomo after a gut-busting Tuscan feast at Il Latini lubricated by plenty of good wine.

1 day in FLORENCE | 2 days in FLORENCE | 3 days in FLORENCE

Tips & links

Consider daily tours

Prefer to leave some of the planning and information-providing to a professional? Consider signing up for a guided tour—doesn't have to be a standard bus tour; our partners at Viator.com offer loads of neighborhood and thematic walking tours, private guides, and other fun ways to explore the capital as well.

Day 1

All sights: Most sights: Accademia: Duomo: Uffizi:

Consider a tour from Rome

With just one day, you might consider booking a Florence tour from Rome with our partners at Viator.com.

Make your vacation your own

These are merely blueprints; you really should spend your time on whatever catches your own interest. Some people would rather get a root canal than visit one more museum filled with Renaissance paintings, but for others a day amongst the Old Masters would rank as the highlight of their trip. Same goes for shopping: heaven for some, hell on earth for others. For some less-famous sights to visit, check out Reid's List: Florence

Wacth out for Sundays and Mondays

Keep in mind that you may have to adjust these itineraries in case one of the days you're in town happens to fall on a Monday (when most museums are closed) or a Sunday (when many things are closed, and those that remain open tend to operate on shorter hours).

How long does Florence take?

Planning your day: Florence would well be worth a week, but you can still fit a lot into just a day or three.

To help you get the most out of your limited time in the Cradle of the Renaissance, here are some perfect itineraries, whether you have one, two, or three days to spend in Florence.

» Florence itineraries

Florence tours

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  • Emergency service/tow: tel. 803-116
  • Highway agency: Autostrade.it (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
  • Italian automotive club (~AAA): Aci.it
  • ZTLs: Ztl-italia.blogspot.com (lightly outdated, but handy, links to cities' traffic-free zones)
  • Transport Florence—Livorno cruise terminal
  • Viator.com (private car: 90 min, €40–€260)
  • Trenitalia.com (train: 68–100 min, €9.10) + Livorno port-station transfer (€1 bus; €20–€30 taxi)


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