One day in Florence Itinerary – A guide of Florence in 24 hours

by Alessia

Florence has been on Alessia’s bucket list for a long time. Finally, we managed to organize one day in Florence before going to Trento for the big Traverse 19 conference. Florence is an amazing city but you need to choose the right time to spend one day in Florence as is a busy city. In our Florence 1 day itinerary, we will show you the best of the city without missing anything.

In the following itinerary of things to do in Florence in one day, we will help you to explore the wonderful romantic Florence.
If you are planning a Florence itinerary remember to prepare in advance your list of things you must see in Florence. There are a lot of places to see in Florence in 2 days as well, so if you can, plan to stay longer. Florence in a day tour is possible.

Ponte Vecchio - One day in Florence
The view from Ponte Vecchio is just stunning. That’s why for us this is one of the pins on our map of places to visit in one day in Florence.

One day in Florence – Must see one day in Florence

  • Basilica Santa Maria Novella
  • Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral
  • Brunelleschi Dome
  • Giotto’s Bell Tower
  • Gates of Paradise
  • St’ John Baptistery
  • Piazza della Repubblica
  • Pig Statue
  • Neptune Fountain
  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Basilica Santa Croce
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Pitti Palace
  • David of Michelangelo

This is just a plan for what to do in Florence Italy in one day, but we can understand that half of could be made if you are going to explore just for half day in Florence. In this case is highly suggested to stay around Santa Maria Novella, where the main train station is, and the transports from the Airport arrives. Willing for a Florence Tours is the best idea if you are on a lack of time.

Basilica Santa Maria Novella

Starting your one day in Florence itinerary from the main train station the first monument you will reach is Basilica Santa Maria Novella. I must say all the monuments and the architecture in Florence is amazing and you can’t have only one favourite place.

The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella has been the main Dominican church in Florence. The interior is very colourful and if you have visited Venice you will see a lot of similarities.

For us, Santa Maria and Santa Croce are the most charming churches in Florence and we definitely recommend to visit them. The charm of this place at night is incomparable, this is going straight in the list of top things to do in Florence in one day.

Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral – Florence in 24 hours

If it’s your first time in Italy and you chose to spend one day in Florence, for sure you won’t regret it. Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is one of the most iconic monuments in Piazza Duomo. It is the third-largest church in the world after St. Peter in Rome and St. Paul in London, those are for us also the best photography places in Europe. Now we can say we have been to all of them. The inside of the church is breathtaking.

The architecture and art are a perfect match in only one structure. The cathedral is located in the heart of the city centre in Piazza Duomo. From now on you can start to explore Florence old town. The city centre is almost completely walkable. Still, there are many places to visit in Florence in 1 day.

Brunelleschi Dome – Florence Italy in a day

Brunelleschi Dome of Florence the best photo spots in Florence Italy
Brunelleschi Dome is one of the top attraction to see in 24 hours in Florence

The symbol of the city, Brunelleschi Dome is a must see in Florence Italy in a day. The dome which covers Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is known as Brunelleschi Dome. It is the most iconic attraction in Florence.

Did you know that you can climb up to the Dome and have a wonderful view over Florence?

Now you know. There is a ticket which you can buy and skip the queue. This is a top attraction in Florence so will be really worth to buy the ticket in advance. Our best travel tips are always regarding plan your journey in advance, skip the queue if you have just one day in Florence, and take the best from the city.

Bell Tower of Florence - Campanile of Giotto Florence - Firenze Italy
Bell Tower of Florence – Campanile of Giotto Florence – Firenze Italy

Giotto’s Bell Tower – What to see in Florence in one day

Giotto’s bell tower is a magnificent example of Florentine Gothic architecture and for sure is one of the four principal monuments in Piazza del Duomo. Making your way up to the top of Giotto’s Campanile will definitely be one of the best moment of your life. Once you will reach the top you will have a stunning view of the city surrounded by hills. Don’t forget you will have a unique perspective where you can admire Brunelleschi Cupola and the Cathedral.

Climbing the top is not easy, there are 414 steps and no lift. Here as well there is a ticket to purchase in advance, for a cheap price check here your ticket. If you only have one day in Florence we highly suggest you purchase a combo ticket for the Piazza del Duomo attractions.

St. John Baptistery – 1 day in Florence

Another must-see monument in 1 day in Florence is St. John Baptistery which you will find in the main square Piazza Duomo. The Baptistry of San Giovanni is one of the most ancient churches in Florence. This stunning structure combines faith, history and art and you can’t miss to visit it on your one day in Florence.

The Baptistry got three sets of splendid bronze doors which Ghiberti masterpiece is the East Door, called by Michelangelo the Gates of Paradise. For many people, these doors have given the start to the renaissance period of Florence, under the Medici family. This is always on the top Florence guides, but not always the tourists give the right appreciation to the masterpiece. Even if we are not an Art blog, but just a Travel Blog, we will take your attention to the details of this underrated place in Florence.

Gates of Paradise of Florence - the most instagrammable palces in Florence
Gates of Paradise of Florence – One day in Florence Itinerary

Gates of Paradise – An underrated masterpiece of Florence

The Gates of Paradise is the main gate of the St. John Baptistery located in from of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. Each wing of the Gate of Paradise contains five rectangular reliefs of scenes from the Old Testament.

Michelangelo called the Baptistry door Gates of Paradise for its impressive beauty. Here you will find all the best guides Tours of Florence that we suggest. If you are visiting Florence on a Sunday, you will enjoy better the Architecture, while the tourists are going away.

Piazza Della Repubblica – Things to do in Florence in one day

This Piazza is one of the main squares in Florence and is one of the things to do in Florence in one day. The piazza is surrounded by several popular coffee shops, like Giubbe Rosse, known as one of the most frequented by the number of famous artists and writers.

Piazza Della Repubblica creates an interesting contrast with its historic surroundings with narrow alleys and centuries-old buildings. It is one of the main reason we fall in love with Pizza Della Repubblica and because it is a perfect spot to take pictures as well.  

Pig Statue – Florence 1 day itinerary

Il Porcellino is the local Florentine nickname for the bronze fountain of a boar. It is one of the stops which you can’t miss during your Florence 1 days itinerary. This is coming from an old legend narrated by Hans Christian Andersen. The statue is standing close to the old town Market, the Mercato Centrale will be the right place to eat something in a local surround.

The tradition of Pig Statue:
Put a coin into his mouth and make a wish. If the coin falls through the gate the wish will become true. But, not only this, the most important is the tradition surrounding his nose. You need to rub it while making the wish and if you do so you will return to Florence one day.

Like you flip the coin Trevi Fountain in Rome same is to put a coin into Porcellino Statue and making a wish.

Neptune Fountain – Florence in a day

Located in Piazza Della Signoria in front of Palazzo Vecchio, Neptune Fountain was built by Bartolomeo Ammannati and Guambologna for the inauguration of the new aqueduct. It’s an impressive fountain where the surrounded statue only serves to highlight the central figure which is Neptune, who stands predominant over the other statues.

The complex of this square is just stunning, with many masterpieces of the golden age of Florence. This is a must see in Florence in one day. We headed here early in the morning, to be able to snap the best from this fountain.

Piazza Della Signoria – What to see in Florence in one day

In your itinerary of what to do in Florence in one day, you need to visit Piazza Della Signoria. It’s the symbol of the Florentine Republic. In the main square, you will find the Neptune Fountain as we described above, but also Palazzo Vecchio and Loggia dei Lanzi sculpture. As you can see wherever you look, you find masterpieces. This is the real Florence, the ones that standing out for charming and it amazes you with every corner.

You can visit some of the best of Florence in one day, helping your itinerary, booking in advance the best tours of Florence. Check our suggestions.

Loggia dei Lanzi

The statue of Perseo holding Medusa’s head is a reminder of what happened to those who crossed the Medici. The graceful Loggia dei Lanzi sits to the right of Palazzo Vecchio and it is an open-air sculpture and considered one of the most beautiful and historical which you can find under the arches of Loggia dei Lanzi. The tourists are attracted here by the sculptures, but still here for the shades. But we are honest this makes one day in Florence worth it.

Uffizi Gallery - Florence - Best photo spots in Florence
The Uffizi Palace is just a stanning building on the riverside of Florence

Uffizi Gallery – One day in Florence itinerary

The main attraction in Florence, Uffizi Gallery need to be in your bucket list when planning one day in Florence itinerary. The perfect place where you can admire some of the most renowned works by Giotto, Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and many others. All the tourists when arriving in Florence and want to visit Uffizi Gallery knows that there is along queues to wait.

One of the main reasons is because only small groups of visitors can enter, but if you don’t want to wait a lot you can pre-buy the tickets in advance, paying only a small fee.

When you will reach the Gallery from outside you will see the statue of artists, writers and great figures which made the greatest Florence.

Buy here your Uffizi Fast Track Entrance.

Ponte Vecchio – Florence itinerary

There is nothing better than walking through Ponte Vecchio at 7 am with no one around. A Florence itinerary needs to be planned in advance to try to make the most of it.

When the Medici moved from Palazzo Vecchio to Pitti Palace they decided they needed a connection between Uffizi and Pitti Palace and they built Vasari Corridor which runs above the little goldsmiths’ shops on the Ponte Vecchio. All the shops on Ponte Vecchio today are jewellery shops. As Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewellers would be allowed to have their shops on the bridge in order to improve the wellbeing of all.

Now if you need to propose to your partner and you are in Florence you know where to go.

Basilica di Santa Croce – One day in Florence Italy

Situated in Piazza di Santa Croce another sightseeing attraction is Basilica di Santa Croce. The statue of Dante Alighieri will welcome you into the square, just on the side of the Basilica. The things that we love to underline is the lateral part of the building. It is nude, not gorgeous like the facade, but curious. The Altare Maggiore,  the high altar is a unique piece of baroque arts. Still thinking about what to do in Florence Italy? Visit the Basilica of SantaCroce, or just going around with a certified guide that will show you the best in a short time.

David Florence - Masterpieces Arts - Instagrammable Florence
You will find a full replica of the David of Michelangelo outside the Palazzo Vecchio – The statue will welcome you into the entrance to the political centre of Florence.

David of Michelangelo – One day in Florence

Of course in your one day in Florence itinerary, you can’t miss saying Hello to David! Michelangelo masterpiece, located in the Accademia Gallery in the city centre is one of the things to see in Florence Italy in one day.

We recommend pre-booking the tickets in advance if you want to visit David in the Accademia Gallery. The entrance price during high season, which is from 1st March till 31st October is 20 euro plus the commission fee which is 4 euro. One day is not enough to get inside and give the right tribute to a masterpiece, skip the queue with a unique ticket, it is worth it.

More time in Florence? Visit Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens

Tips for one day in Florence

Florence is one of our favourite cities in Italy after Naples and Rome. It’s a busy city where people from all the world come and visit it even for just one day.

If you have only one day in Florence, plan your journey in advance.

  • Start your day early
  • Have an Italian breakfast to motivate you to wake up so early
  • Organize your day in advance and book all the tickets that you might need
  • Pick up food option ahead. As in Florence, you need to try the typical Schiaccia, or if you feel lazy prepare a quick sandwich.

Have you got just a day on a weekend in Florence?

Usually, when we got only one day we always want to make the most of it. We always try to combine flights or trains to our need. We prefer to arrive in the late morning and depart in the afternoon the following day. Why? Because we can explore the city first. Then the following morning we can wake up for the sunrise and take pictures without no one around.

Thanks to that we were able to make our own list of most instagrammable places in Florence. We did an epic trip to Italy by train. You can easily plan a Florence one day itinerary as a day trip from Rome, Naples or Milan. Or, stay in the city and go for some of the best day trips from Florence.

If you have time visit the Leonardo da Vinci Museum.

One day in Florence Itinerary

We loved Florence so much even if it was full of people. The architecture, art and history are combined in one amazing city. If you are planning even one day trip to Florence you will love it. The city centre of Florence is small enough to be visited in one day. Take your camera with you and start to stroll around, be ready to walk a lot. We did almost 30 kilometres in a day in Florence, looking for the best things to do in the city.

The Piazzale Michelangelo is the highest point of Florence, take it like your arrival place. Michelangelo Square is on the other side of the old town, easy to reach with public transport as well. San Lorenzo Market is another pin on your map of Florence things to do, it is the right place for food lovers.

Check our guide to the best cooking classes in Florence

Check the Vegan guide to Florence, you will find an amazing spot where to eat.

Visit Tuscany – One day in Florence and Pisa

Florence is not the only place to visit in the amazing Italian Region Tuscany. This part of Italy is gorgeous, you can check for cities like Pisa, Livorno or Siena. If you are landing in one of the main airports of the Italian Capital, Rome, you can dedicate one day in Florence and Pisa. From Rome to Florence by Train will take you just 2 hours.

There are also many private transfers that will take you all around the Tuscany Countryside which is an awesome experience to do, hiking vineyard and drinking great wine. If you are arriving in Livorno by cruise you can enjoy the seaside of Tuscany or visit Pisa, just half an hour away. An alternative route is to go one day in Florence from a cruise ship, by train.

Best photo spots in Florence - River Arno photography Spots Florence

Day trip to Florence from Rome

Planning an Italian Itinerary, Florence needs to be on your list of places to visit in Italy. Medici’s city is just 2 hours away by train from Rome. The city is also reachable by bus, cheap routes are available with 4 trips a day. From the main train station of Rome – Termini – You can have the choice between Trenitalia and Italo, both have got fast trains.

Trenitalia has got also a cheap trip with a Regional Train that will take longer. The last option is not the best if you are planning 24 hours in Florence. Usually, the tickets for the flight to Rome are cheaper than landing to the Firenze’s Airport.

See our itinerary on how to spend 2 days in Rome.

Florence to Milan day trip

Florence is well connected to Milan as well. Many trains are passing by Florence and arriving in Milan in less than 2 hours.
After spending one day in Florence you can plan a Florence to Milan day trip and discover the Fashion Capital of Italy.
Milan, as the fashion capital, needs to be in your list of things to do in Italy at least once in your life.

Plan your one-day itinerary in Milan and check our guide.

Are you planning to stay more time in Florence?

Great to know! We are so happy that you decided to spend more time in Florence. Strolling around for 24 hours in Florence no-stop will be really exhausting. Stay more in Florence will help you to see more of the city. Many places are uncovered in this guide as in one day in Florence is possible to see just the main attractions. Two of the main things that we love to suggest to you to see are the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens.

Oh! How are amazing the gardens of Florence?

The green side of the city is the Boboli Gardens, where you can enjoy a fancy picnic or just grab a quick sandwich. At the sunset is time to hike up to the Piazzale Michelangelo, from there you will have the best view on Florence. Later on, get down and eat at one of the best restaurants for a typical “Fiorentina”.

Foodie spots in Florence - Where locals eat - San Lorenzo Market

Where to eat in Florence

Florence and Italy are well known for their amazing and tasty food. All around, from North to South of Italy you will eat well. Florence has some great traditional food dishes and in one day is impossible to try everything. We will suggest to you to head to Via dei Neri, this is the main street of the wine shops, small restaurants and “focaccerie”.

Now that we have attracted your attention, we will give you another tip to try in your 24 hours in Florence. “Lo Schiacciavino” is a small restaurant just behind the Theater of Verdi. It is a place frequented by locals, with average price and super gnummy.

The view on the River Arno of Florence is worth in one day

Is one day in Florence worth it? Yes, one day is enough to explore Florence.

We say yes to this question a few times. Obviously, if you want to take the best from a place you have to stay more, try to act like a local and get into the traditions. But Florence is different, in summer became so hot, and so busy. You will find tourists everywhere, the attractions are busiest as well and one day in Florence will be enough just to see the best things to do in Florence.

Following our guide, you will not miss anything and get back home with a nice idea about Florence. If you are an art lover, Florence is the right place for you, but one day is not enough at all.

If you like it, you might also like:
How to spend 24 hours in Naples with our full itinerary

Pin Me! One Day in Florence Italy - Pinterest

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1 comment

Vegan Guide to Florence, Italy | Alternative Travelers June 26, 2019 - 2:20 pm

[…] Universo Vegano is one of the most centrally located vegan restaurants in Florence. Super important if you are strapped for time and only have one day in Florence! […]

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