Florence Travel Guide

Where to Stay in Florence in 2024: Best Hotels and Neighborhoods

Wed 22 May 2024

Where to Stay in Florence in 2024: Best Hotels and Neighborhoods

Fabulous Florence is the jewel in Italy’s Renaissance crown. You haven’t truly been to Italy unless you make a trip to Florence, where masterpieces of art and culture could easily keep you occupied for weeks.  You probably don’t have that long, so to make the most of your time in the city of the Medici it’s vital that you plan ahead. And no choice is more important than where you choose to stay!

Although the centre of Florence is compact, each neighbourhood in the centro storico boasts a unique character of its own. Whether you want a lively area with bars and nightlife options at your doorstep or you prefer a more tranquil, family-friendly vibe, there’s sure to be an option that suits your needs in our neighbourhood guide below.  To help you plan your trip better,  we’ve also made some suggestions for the best hotels in Florence in each area. 

We update this page regularly as new properties emerge and old ones undergo renovations, so bookmark it and check back before booking your Florence trip. Read on to discover where to stay in Florence!


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Why You Should Stay in the Historic Center 

 The Historic Center


The nerve center of Florence is its incredible centro storico. Home to the lion’s share of the city’s most famous monuments and landmarks, probably no other square mile of real estate in the world is as densely packed with cultural delights as the area stretching from the Duomo to Piazza della Signoria. 

The iconic cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, topped by Brunelleschi’s red-tiled dome, is the unmissable highlight here, but Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery, the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Strozzi, Palazzo Vecchio and countless more must-visit landmarks besides will vie for your attention in the historic center of Florence.  This area makes for the perfect introduction to Florence, and it's where we conduct our Florence at Twilight walking tour.

It’s a special experience to stay in the centro storico, right at the heart of the action, and it’s a valid choice. But its many highlights predictably make this the most touristy part of Florence, and so choosing to make this your base does have its drawbacks. Accommodation tends to be expensive, and you’ll find fewer authentic bars and restaurants catering to the locals in the shadow of the city’s famous landmarks. That being said, if you’re not traveling on a budget there are numerous fabulous hotels to choose from.


Where to Stay in the Historic Center


The St. Regis Florence 


St Regis FlorenceRates|Photos|Reviews


You know what you’re getting with a hotel from the St. Regis chain - luxury. The Florence edition is no exception. Hosted in a magnificent 15th-century palace designed by Filippo Brunelleschi himself, the hotel’s Renaissance frescoes and glittering chandeliers have provided the backdrop for the visits of a laundry list of household names who have stayed here since the hotel opened in 1866. You’ll feel like a celebrity yourself if you take an opulent room here - service is predictably impeccable, as is the food at the renowned Winter Garden restaurant. It’s unsurprisingly pricey, but if you’ve got the means then this is definitely one of the best places to stay in Florence.


Palazzo Niccolini Al Duomo


Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo


History drips from the walls of this 500-year old palace, where you’ll be personally hosted by the aristocratic Marchese and Marchesa Niccolini di Camugliano themselves. You’ll have to pinch yourself as well when you see how close the hotel is to the Duomo - you feel like you can almost reach out and touch it from the windows. Staying at the Palazzo Niccolini is like taking a time-machine back to the heyday of Renaissance Florence - we half expected to bump into the Medici over breakfast in the ornate dining room! No less spectacular are the rooms themselves - with their historic frescoes and fittings they might just be the most beautiful in all of Florence. If your budget can stretch to it, staying Palazzo Niccolini is an unforgettable experience. 


Why You Should Stay in Oltrarno 



Located just to the south of the river Arno (the historic center is located north of the river), Oltrarno, which literally means ‘Beyond the Arno,’ is the neighborhood you need to visit if you want to rub shoulders with the locals. Packed full of artisans workshops, atmospheric wine bars where Florentines still outnumber tourists and historic trattorie refreshingly resistant to the passage of time, visiting Oltrarno feels like stepping into the Florence of the past. 

Even though most of Florence’s famous highlights are located to the north of the river, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Oltrarno, from the sprawling Pitti Palace to the stunning Masaccio-decorated Brancacci chapel.  

Oltrarno is divided into two related areas, Santo Spirito and San Frediano. Santo Spirito unfolds around the Brunelleschi-designed church of the same name and its adjacent piazza. Home to a bustling vintage market and ringed by great little bars, it's the perfect place for aperitivo hour, and is always buzzing when the sun begins to set. San Frediano meanwhile is a little quieter and more residential, making it a great base for families. 


Where to Stay in Oltrarno


Ad Astra


Ad AstraRates|Photos|Reviews

Immersed in the greenery of a beautiful private garden, Ad Astra is a great boutique hotel with a fashionable retro vibe - a good alternative to Florence’s innumerable historic hotels that can sometimes feel like museum pieces. The rooms here are bigger than average for Florence, sweetening the deal. 


Hotel Lungarno


Hotel LungarnoRates|Photos|Reviews


One of the finest riverside hotels in Florence, Hotel Lungarno is owned by the fashion house Ferragamo - and it shows! Meticulous attention to detail, stunning views and impeccable service are the order of the day. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for the modern art masterpieces dotted on the hotel’s walls - including a Picasso.


Why You Should Stay in Santa Croce


Santa Croce  

Dominating the Sana Croce neighborhood is the church that gives the area its name. This extraordinary medieval edifice was built in the 13th century as a grand new headquarters for the Franciscan order, and remains the point of reference for this part of the city today. 

The large piazza in front of the church is one of Florence’s largest and most important public spaces, which is transformed into a sandy battleground for matches of calcio storico - an extremely violent variant of football beloved by Florentines - each June. Popular with students, the area around Santa Croce is known for its nightlife. You won’t find a shortage of pubs and bars in the neighborhood, but if you’re looking for a peaceful corner of the city then this isn’t it.

Much calmer is Sant’Ambrogio, just to the north of Santa Croce. Here local residents still hold sway, and if you choose to stay here you’ll get a great feel for an authentic side of Florence. The key attraction in Sant’Ambrogio is the open-air market of the same name. It’s one of the best places in the city to pick up fresh produce for picnics or some at-home cooking if you choose to book a self-catering stay!


Where to Stay in Santa Croce 


Plaza Hotel Lucchesi


Plaza LuccheseRates|Photos|Reviews


We're big fans of rooftop pools (who isn’t!), and the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi boasts one of the best. Kicking back in the pool as the setting sun paints the roofs and towers of Florence in tangerine hues is just an unforgettable experience, making this hotel a winner in our book. Nice interiors and excellent service complete the picture.


La Maison du Sage


Masion du Sage



Located right in the heart of the Santa Croce neighborhood, not even a stone’s throw from the steps of the Basilica, we love La Maison du Sage for its great location and lovely interiors. The rooms in this 16th century palace are decorated in a striking 1920s key, with pastel colors like duck egg blue, sage and pale pink creating a light and airy atmosphere. 


Why You Should Stay in San Lorenzo



One of the busiest neighborhoods in Florence, the San Lorenzo district is centered around the city’s most important market, the fabulous Mercato Centrale. Filled with shops, stalls and street traders of every variety, San Lorenzo is always bustling - and great if you’re looking to bag a bargain on leather goods or stock up on local delicacies. San Lorenzo is also the most multicultural area of downtown Florence, lending a vibrant, colorful atmosphere to the area. 

There are plenty of sites to keep culture vultures happy here too: the neighborhood was at the epicenter of Medici power during the Renaissance, and it’s in San Lorenzo that you’ll find the grandiose Palazzo Medici Riccardi, with its amazing Chapel of the Magi, as well as the church of San Lorenzo - home to Brunelleschi architecture and Michelangelo’s iconic Medici Chapels, with magnificent sculptural allegories and portraits of the Medici princes. 


Where to Stay in San Lorenzo


The Social Hub


The Social HubRates|Photos|Reviews

The name says it all, really. With a youthful and hip vibe, The Social Hub is particularly popular with a younger set. Initially geared towards students (indeed, there is long-term student accommodation on site as well), the hotel is a great option for anyone - young or old - who isn’t looking for the stuffy formality of a conventional hotel. It’s keenly priced, and you’re sure to meet lots of interesting people here. Best of all is the huge rooftop, which is home to a buzzing bar and pool where you can relax after a long day’s sightseeing.  


Hotel Collodi


Hotel CollodiRates|Photos|Reviews

A lovely little independent hotel right in the heart of the action in San Lorenzo, Hotel Collodi is a great value option offering spotless rooms, helpful staff and an excellent breakfast. Rooms retain a charming, old-world Tuscan charm, with the kind of timeless interiors that are always fashionable. A lovely little roof terrace is perfect for a glass of wine when the sun goes down. Best of all, prices here (as little as $100 for a double in low season) are amongst the lowest for a hotel of this level in Florence. 


Why You Should Stay in San Marco



Located just to the north of San Lorenzo, San Marco is home to Florence’s university as well as a number of important cultural institutions. It’s here that you’ll find the Accademia, where Michelangelo’s David is the star of the show, as well as the majestic monastery of San Marco, decorated all over with stunning frescoes by the early Renaissance master Fra Angelico. 

The elegant Piazza Santissima Annunziata, surrounded by sweeping Brunelleschi-designed colonnades, is the beating heart of this area of the city. Late afternoon sees university students spilling out of class and flopping onto the piazza’s stairs to while away the evening. Plenty of nice cafes dot the neighborhood, perfect spots for taking a break from sightseeing. 

San Marco is a good area to make your base, as whilst it’s close to all the sites it still feels much more tranquil than the city center. Accommodation prices are usually more reasonable here, although you'll also find some of the city's finest 5-star hotels in the area too.


Where to Stay in San Marco


The Four Seasons


Four Seasons


We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore… The opulence of the Four Seasons in Florence has to be seen to be believed. Spreading out over two Renaissance palaces immersed in a leafy garden, if you’re anything like us you’ll gasp when you first get an eyeful of the hotel’s historic interiors, complete with frescoes, stuccoes and sculptures. Services and facilities are just as good: the hotel restaurant has a Michelin star, while a swimming pool, spa and playground will keep big and little ones alike entertained. 


Antica Dimora Johlea


Antica Dimora JohleaRates|Photos|Reviews

In a city with as spectacular a skyline as Florence, roof terraces where you can drink in the panorama are worth their weight in gold. And the Antica Dimora Johlea has one of the finest. Even though this refined boutique hotel is located in the tranquil surrounds of San Marco and away from the tourist bustle of the center, you’ll realize how strategically located it is when you climb to the terrace and see Brunelleschi’s amazing Duomo rising before you. Rooms are cozily furnished with antiques and thick rugs and service is very friendly. Antica Dimora Johlea is also very reasonably priced, making it one of the best value hotels in Florence. 


Why You Should Stay in Santa Maria Novella


Giving its name both to an extraordinary Gothic church and the city’s main train station, the neighborhood of Santa Maria Novella provides most visitors their first taste of Florence. Unlike many major cities, however, the area home to the train station is anything but seedy. Located on one of Florence’s most beautiful piazzas, the basilica of Santa Maria Novella itself is an absolute must-see for art lovers, its massive interior home to groundbreaking frescoes by Masaccio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Uccello and others.

Given its strategic connection - beyond having the train station just steps away, Santa Maria Novella is also within short walking distance of all the major areas and sites of the city - the neighborhood can make a great base for stays in Florence, and has some of the city's swankiest shopping streets. Sweetening the deal, accommodation here tends to be more affordable than in the nearby historic center.


Where to Stay in Santa Maria Novella


Helvetia and Bristol



A Florence classic that’s been on the go since 1894, the ever-popular Helvetia and Bristol has received a makeover in the past few years, adding some contemporary touches to its old world charm. A top-notch bar, restaurant and spa means you’ll be pampered to within an inch of your life here!


Velona’s Jungle Luxury Suites


Velona's Luxury SuitesRates|Photos|Reviews

Don’t be fooled by the slightly kooky name - there’s nothing tricked up about Velona’s luxury Suites. Inspired by wildlife and the natural world, the curated  interiors of this small but stylish hotel are truly exceptional - so good in fact that they were featured in Architectural Digest. Service is personable and friendly, meaning you’ll feel at home the minute you arrive. 


Why You Should Stay in San Niccolò 



Located on the southern bank of the Arno in the eastern part of Oltrarno, well-heeled San Niccolò is a charming and leafy enclave featuring narrow cobbled streets, unspoiled medieval architecture and great views. At the heart of the neighborhood is Via San Niccolò, a long and narrow street paralleling the Arno that’s home to a series of great wine bars and restaurants rubbing shoulders with artisan workshops and boutiques. 

Perched atop a hill overlooking San Niccolò is the magnificent medieval church of San Miniato al Monte: make the climb to visit the Romanesque interior, then drink in amazing views from the adjacent Piazzale Michelangelo. 

We love San Niccolò for its tranquil atmosphere; the neighborhood almost feels like it's hidden away in plain sight, seemingly a million miles from the tourist bustle and yet within easy walking distance of the center. As there are fewer tourist accommodation options here than other parts of the city it might not be Florence’s cheapest area to stay in, but for our money it’s one of the best!


Where to Stay in San Niccolò


Palazzo San Niccolò


Palazzo San NiccoloRates|Photos|Reviews

A superb option immersed amongst the artisan workshops and local restaurants of San Niccolò, and just steps from the foot of the staircase that leads up to Piazzale Michelangelo, Palazzo San Niccolò offers up rooms, suites and apartments in a lovingly-restored historic building. The attention to detail that has gone into the restoration is everywhere apparent, with delightful and tasteful features and furnishings throughout. A real boon is the concierge service, which provides great local tips and help with bookings. 


Monica Apartment with Garden


Monica ApartmentRates|Photos|Reviews


A great way to experience the off-the-beaten-path locals vibe of San Niccolò is to choose an apartment rental for your stay. Not only will you feel more like you’re at home, it also gives that satisfying feeling of independent travel. At Monica Apartment you won’t have to give up the creature comforts of a hotel stay, either. The space features a modern, spacious design that is suitable for longer stays as well. The jewel in the crown is the garden, however - having morning coffee beneath the trees serenaded by birdsong, you’ll find it hard to believe that downtown Florence is so nearby!


We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to help you choose where to stay in Florence! Through Eternity Tours offer a range of insider itineraries in the City of the Medici, so if you’re taking a trip to Florence this year check out our website or get in touch with our expert travel planners today! 



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