When planning a trip to Florence, There comes the matter, where to stay in Florence, choosing the right area to stay in is essential for a memorable experience. The Historic Centre (Centro Storico) is widely regarded as the best area, occupying one-fourth of the city and brimming with history, culture, and charm.


Florence’s neighborhoods are deeply intertwined with its rich religious and cultural history, with many areas named after the prominent churches that define them. Each district reflects the influence of these iconic structures, serving not only as places of worship but also as landmarks around which community life revolves.

 

From the majestic Duomo, the heart of the city, to the serene Santa Croce, the bustling San Lorenzo, and the elegant Santa Maria Novella, these churches lend their names and heritage to their respective neighborhoods, creating a unique blend of spirituality, history, and local identity.


Popular Neighborhoods in the Historic Center

All the neighborhoods mentioned below are within the Historic Center.

Duomo :

The Duomo area is the best place to stay in Florence. Named after the iconic main cathedral, this area is at the heart of the medieval town. It’s perfect for those planning to do walking tours and sightseeing as most important landmarks are nearby.

Despite being crowded during the day, it’s surprisingly quiet at night. However, it has fewer restaurants compared to other areas, making it less crowded in the evenings.

Piazza Strozzi:

Piazza Strozzi is the geographic center of the city, where locals come for lunch, surrounded by shops, theaters, and art galleries. This area is perfect for those looking to indulge in luxury shopping, as many travelers come to Florence specifically for this purpose. It is also the meeting point for the best small-group walking tours in Florence

The streets around Piazza Strozzi are filled with high-end shops offering clothing and bags at prices lower than in the United States.

Oltrarno:

Oltrarno, located across the river from the most crowded areas, is quieter and more residential. Tourists often overlook this area as many landmarks here are not as photogenic from the outside. However, it offers a more authentic experience and less crowded living spaces. The Santo Spirito square in Oltrarno is known for its accessible and reasonably priced restaurants, though it can be loud at night due to its vibrant nightlife.

Santo Spirito:

Spirito square, located in the vibrant Oltrarno area of the city, is a must-visit destination for both tourists and locals. Known for its accessibility, charming restaurants, and the rare presence of trees, Santo Spirito offers a unique blend of culture, cuisine, and natural beauty.

Santa Croce:

Santa Croce is centered around the Santa Croce Church and its square, which features several good restaurants and aperitif spots. The main nightlife area is about a five-minute walk from the church, where the European bar-hopping culture thrives. This area is lively and perfect for experiencing Florence’s social scene.

San Lorenzo:

San Lorenzo is not recommended for a quiet stay. Although it has the central market with various bars and food courts, the noise from market vendors dismantling their stands can be very disruptive. The narrow stone streets amplify the noise, making it difficult to sleep.

Santa Maria Novella:

Santa Maria Novella is close to the train station, making it ideal for those traveling around Tuscany. This area offers quick access to bus stops and transportation options, making it convenient for travelers.

Types of Accommodations

Luxury Hotels:

Luxury hotels offer many perks, including rooftop terraces, bars, organized events, and sometimes swimming pools. These hotels are perfect for those who can afford the extra cost and want to enjoy exclusive amenities and services.

Regular Hotels:

Regular hotels are ideal for short stays of one to two days. They provide comfortable beds, breakfast, and basic amenities without the need for additional facilities like washing machines.

Airbnb:

Airbnb accommodations are perfect for families or groups  to stay in Florence. They provide entire apartments with kitchens, multiple bathrooms, and sometimes terraces. This option is cost-effective for families, as cooking meals can save on restaurant bills. However, be aware that many Airbnb properties are in ancient buildings without elevators, which can be challenging with luggage or strollers.

Hostels:

Hostels are the most budget-friendly option, suitable for solo travelers and students. They offer shared rooms and bathrooms, fostering a social atmosphere. However, they are not recommended for families with children due to the communal living arrangements.

Tips for Choosing the Right Accommodation

Tips for Choosing the Right Accommodation

Quiet Place: Choose an apartment or hotel that is not on the ground floor or in subterranean levels to avoid noise and humidity. Ask about the location and ensure it’s in a less trafficked street.

High Floor: Staying on higher floors reduces noise and mosquito issues, even if it means climbing stairs in buildings without elevators.

Terrace: Look for accommodations with a terrace or balcony to enjoy outdoor meals and relaxation.

Large Bathrooms: Ensure the bathroom size is adequate, especially if you’re traveling with family or elderly people with mobility issues.

Air Conditioning: Verify that the accommodation has air conditioning, especially during the summer months.

Reading Reviews and Ratings:

Always read reviews and ratings on booking platforms like Booking.com or Airbnb. Reviews provide insights into the experiences of other travelers and can highlight potential issues with noise, cleanliness, and amenities.

Additional Resources:

For more detailed information about accommodation options and tips for booking in Florence, consult travel guides and forums. Websites like TripAdvisor and travel blogs offer comprehensive reviews and recommendations that can help you make an informed decision.

By carefully selecting the right neighborhood and type of accommodation, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Florence.