One Day in Florence is Enough for First-Time Travelers

You only need one day in Florence to stroll through the historic center, take photos, and try the Florentine gelato. A day trip is enough if you’re not planning to attend any walking tours and want to avoid visiting museums or climbing the cathedral’s dome. For beautiful photos, there are several places in Florence with fantastic panoramic views. Still, good weather is essential for the experience to be worthwhile.

Places to visit for a day stroll in Florence with good weather:

TIMEPLACEINFO/PRICE
11:00Cathedral’s SquareFree/Cathedral’s entrance is also free
11:30Gelato at Edoardo’s 4
12:00Photos in Signoria Square Free/The main square with identical copy of the David
12:30The Ponte VecchioFree/The oldest bridge with jewelry shops
13:00Lunch with Lasagna at Pizzino Caffe (veg lasagna as well)10
14:30Best panoramic photos at Bardini Gardens (last admission at 3 pm)10€/ last admission 3 pm
16:30Boboli gardens Included in your Bardini tickets
17:30Grab a sandwich/pizza slice anywhere 7
18:00Santa Maria Novella oldest perfumery in the worldFree/merchandise starting at 20
18:30Back to the Train Station5 min walk from the perfumery

  • Mornings are usually foggy, do the panoramic photos after lunch.
  • If you have only one day do not waste your time standing in line for anything.
  • On Mondays everything is closed.

A Rainy Day in Florence? Palazzo Vecchio is Our Top Recommendation

Suppose you come to Florence for one day and it’s raining. In that case, the best thing to do is visit the Palazzo Vecchio, the government’s building. Inside the palace you can also climb the Arnolfo tower where you get a panoramic view, covered from rain. Palazzo Vecchio and the tower climb will take about 2,5 hours. Palazzo Vecchio has gorgeous interiors, plenty of different art, and a map room. After the museum you have time to try Florentine gelato. If it stops raining before sunset, you can go to Ponte Vecchio, where you can take beautiful sunset pictures. The best sunsets usually happen after the rain.

Places to visit for a day stroll in Florence with bad weather:

 

WHEN TO GOWHERE TO GOINFO/PRICES
11:00Start with the CathedralLine is 15 min/entrance in free
12:00Signoria squareYou are covered from rain where the statues are and inside the Vecchio Palace/free
12:30Get a sandwich at InoThe only good sandwich place with space to sit down on the inside/ 10
13:00Vecchio Palace + Arnolfo Tower10€+10€
15:00Walk along the Uffizi and then Arno riverBoth places cover you from the rain/free
16:00Visit jewelry shops in Ponte VecchioBest place to hide from the rain/price for jewelry starts at 50
17:00Gelateria La CarraiaOne of the best gelatos in Florence 4
17:30Sunset photos from one of the bridges along the riverIf you’re lucky and the rain has stopped you will have best photos
18:00Ognissanti Church Fresco by Botticelli and Amerigo Vespucci’s tomb/Tuesday closed/Free
18:30Santa Maria Novella perfumeryThe oldest perfumery in the world/Free
19:00Back to the train station5 min from the perfumery

  • If it’s raining the best thing to do is to go inside every landmark or shop on the way.
  • Don’t waste your time on Michelangelo’s square on a rainy day

Two Days in Florence Can Be Enough To Cover the Basics

You need two full days in Florence if you would like to visit the Uffizi gallery, see the David by Michelangelo, climb the dome of the Cathedral, and attend a free walking tour that explains the main landmarks in the city. If you’re traveling during the high season, Uffizi and the dome of the Cathedral need to be booked at least one week in advance.

The best way to see Florence in 2 days is to attend a morning free walking tour on your first day, have lunch, and visit the Uffizi gallery in the afternoon. On the second day you can start with climbing the dome of the Cathedral. After lunch, you can see David by Michelangelo in the Accademia gallery. Or the other way around. Going to Michelangelo’s square is unnecessary if you’ve climbed the dome.

The full day you have Florence: See the Michelangelo’s David, Botticelli’s Venus, learn about the Medici family, take pictures on the Old Bridge (Ponte Vecchio)

DAVID + MEDICI TOUR + FOOD + UFFIZI + DRINKS + FOOD

08:15 David in the Accademia
09:45 Breakfast
10:30 Medici and Michelangelo Tour [Old Bridge/Medici/David explained]
13:00 Grab a sandwich
14:30 Uffizi (min. 3 hours) [Venus]
18:00 Aperitivo on a rooftop terrace [Panoramic photos]
19:30 Dinner

The day in which you have just the morning:
08:30 Breakfast
09:00 Climb the cathedral’s dome (needs prior booking)
10:30 Gelato at Edoardo’s
11:00 Visit The Bargello Museum [statues museum] or the Church of Santa Croce [tombs of geniuses]

The day in which you have just the afternoon:
15:00 Geniuses of the Renaissance Tour [Cathedral’s square/Bargello/Santa Croce]
17:30 Coolest perfumery in Florence Aqua Flor
18:00 Sunset photos along the river (in March, April, September, October)
19:00 Dinner

Our Advice: Three to Four Full Days Is Ideal to Understand Renaissance

You need three days in Florence to see the most important sights and get a complete city overview. In addition to the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia, and the cathedral, there are three other sights that you should visit to get a complete overview of Florence. Those sights are:
The Bargello – the most important museum of sculpture;
The Pitti Palace – the most epic of the Medici palaces in Florence;
The church of Santa Croce, where Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo are buried.
You should combine the Bargello museum and Santa Croce in one day, as they are a 5-minute walk from each other. Bargello will take you about 1,5 hours and Santa Croce around 40 minutes.
Pitti Palace can be seen right before dinner as it is a 5-minute walk from Santo Spirito Square, where you have plenty of great restaurants to choose from.
If you’re an art history nerd and want to understand the Renaissance in art technically and see all the firsts, you need four days to see Florence. You must add visiting Santa Maria Novella church, the Medici chapels, and Palazzo Vecchio to the list of landmarks from the three-day trip.

Plan to Explore All of Florence? Book a Week-Long Trip

With 78 museums in the city, you need a whole week in Florence if you’re planning to see everything, attend three or four tours, and also do some shopping. But we’re talking about just the city of Florence, not the whole of Tuscany; this means excluding cities like Pisa and Siena and doing a bunch of stuff in the Tuscany region.