Florence is always a good idea. The capital of the Italian Renaissance is loved by visitors from all over the world, looking for art, culture and great food. What to see in Florence in 2 days? Find out with our guide.
Two Days in Florence: 7 Things to See
Whether it’s your first time or not, visiting Florence in 2 days isn’t an easy task. There are so many attractions (and queues!) to include in your itinerary: from the most famous ones, like the Duomo and the Galleria degli Uffizi, to the most hidden, such as Florentine street art.
For our stay in town we picked The Student Hotel, whose contemporary design and panoramic view of Florence from the rooftop bar make one of the coolest places for creative young people.
What to see in Florence in two days? Here is a list of must-see attractions for a weekend in Florence between tradition and innovation.
- Duomo of Florence
- Piazza della Signoria and Loggia dei Lanzi
- The Uffizi Gallery
- Ponte Vecchio and Lungarno
- Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
- Street art in Florence: Blub’s works
- Visiting Palazzo Strozzi during an art exhibition
1. The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral)
The famous self-supporting Dome is one of the symbols of Florence. It’s the work of Brunelleschi, and with its splendor dominates Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, better known as the Duomo. Admiring the view of the city from up there it’s an experience worth living.
But the complex of Opera del Duomo doesn’t finish here. Besides the Cathedral, you can also find the spectacular Baptistery and Giotto’s Bell Tower, 85 meters high. If you love taking pictures, we advice you to climb up the tower and shoot the Dome from up there.
Visiting the entire complex of the Duomo takes time and patience: high season means long queues and half a day just to complete the visit. If you are travelling to Florence at Christmas, you’ll find a big Christmas tree near the facade.
Duomo of Florence
- Combined tickets cost €18 e and last 72 hours starting from the first entry
- You can buy them either online or at the ticket machines
- It’s not possible to buy separate tickets for the single attractions
- Booking is mandatory to get on top of the Dome
- Timetables and website of Opera del Duomo
2. Piazza della Signoria and Loggia dei Lanzi
Piazza della Signoria is the beating heart of Florence and its history, which for centuries was written inside Palazzo Vecchio. Visiting Palazzo Vecchio means to take a dip into the past, at the time of the Medici, lords of Florence and art patrons.
Their love for art is clear in the wonderful Salone dei Cinquecento, where the Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy used to meet between 1865 and 1871, when Florence was the capital of Italy. Not to mention the Cortile di Michelozzo, which precedes the entry of the Palazzo Vecchio and can be visited without a ticket.
In Piazza della Signoria you can find other famous art-works: a replica of Michelangelo’s David (the original one can be seen at Galleria dell’Accademia), the Fountain of Neptune and the Loggia dei Lanzi. Also known as Loggia della Signoria, this building hosts masterpieces like Cellini’s Perseus.
- Tickets €4
- Timetables and website
3. The Uffizi Gallery
Visiting Florence without making a stop at the Uffizi Gallery wouldn’t be fair. It is undoubtedly one of the most loved museums in the world. Walking across the Gallery full of sculptures fills your heart with wonder and joy.
Among the works worth of attention there are The Spring and The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, the portraits of Federico from Montefeltro and Battista Sforza, masterpieces by Tiziano, Raffaello, Michelangelo and Caravaggio, like the Medusa.
- Full price tickets from 12 to 20€
- Tickets from 6 to 12€ for young Europeans within 25 years old
- Free entry on the first Sunday of every month
- With online tickets you can choose day and time of your visit
4. Ponte Vecchio and Lungarno
Once you’re done with churches and museums, there’s nothing better than a walk alongside Lungarno in Florence. The river goes across the city, giving it a unique and romantic atmosphere, thanks to its famous bridges.
Ponte Vecchio is known for its goldsmith shops and for the Vasari’s Corridor, a raised walkway wanted by Cosimo I de’ Medici, who aimed to link Palazzo Vecchio with Palazzo Pitti, his private residence.
5. Panoramic View of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
The most stunning view of Florence can be enjoyed from Piazzale Michelangelo, on an elevated position on the left side of the river Arno. From the city center, you can reach the Piazzale with a 30-minute walk, with a final stretch uphill.
During the climb, you can rest a little bit at the Roses Garden, where you can find about 350 different types of roses and some sculptures by the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon, such as Partir, a huge bronze suitcase that frames the view of Florence.
Once you are on the top, the view from Piazzale Michelangelo leaves you speechless: Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, the Dome and Palazzo Vecchio dominate the city as in a postcard. If you choose to go up there at sunset, romance is certain.
6. Street Art in Florence: Blub’s Works
Florence isn’t all about Middle Age and Renaissance. The city is becoming more and more modern, attentive to new trends and contemporary art. An important side of this transformation is the street art, which can be found where you least expect it: in the alleys, on road signs and electric cabins.
Don’t miss out on Blub’s works, the graffiti writer that takes art and history celebrities and makes them wearing diving mask. His works have a precise social meaning: if society makes us feel like we’re drowning, let’s wear a diving mask and face reality!
7. Visiting Palazzo Strozzi During an Art Exhibition
Palazzo Strozzi often hosts art exhibitions, and they are always different. We visited it on the occasion of Marina Abramović. The Cleaner, retrospective dedicated to the “grandmother of performance art”.
The exhibition ended on the 20th of January 2019. It was a must-see event for all the admirers of this incredible woman, brilliant and provocative, who – since the Sixties – keeps on making art with her body. Marina Abramović gets under your skin through pictures, videos and some of her performance restaged by professional artists.
Where to Stay in Florence: The Student Hotel Lavagnini
What’s the best place to stay in Florence? We wanted something special, and The Student Hotel is exactly what we were looking for. At a short distance from Florence’s railway station, this new hotel and luxury student dormitory is part of a brand widespread all over Europe.
Due to its pop colors and hipster decor, it’s easy to give in to the temptation of taking pictures. Rooms are cozy and equipped with all comforts, with lots of tiny details that definitely make a difference. There are also coworking spaces, street art works, shops and three restaurants.
However, the true strength of the Student Hotel is its rooftop bar with a pool and a magnificent panoramic terrace, from where you can see the whole of Florence. From 6.30pm the bar is open also to the outsiders who want to enjoy an expensive and yet unique aperitivo.
Where to Eat in Florence
Florence makes you want to eat a lot. Between one museum and another, what do you think about trying a delicious schiacciata? It’s like stuffed focaccia, but crunchy, and it’s typical of Florence. Here are some addresses where to eat well in Florence without emptying your wallet.
It’s her, the Florentine schiacciata! Just a few steps away from Basilica of Santa Croce, Lo SchiacciaVino was an exceptional discovery. A few tables, tasty schiacciatas, a nice wine list and a young and friendly staff… this place is perfect to try a super Florentine meal.
- Where is it? Via Giuseppe Verdi 6/red
When it comes to schiacciata, All’Antico Vinaio is a proper institution… and the long queues don’t lie. Close to Piazza della Signoria, this street food shop will fill your stomach for many hours with its delicious stuffed focaccias.
- Where is it? Via dei Neri 65 R
If you’re looking for a typical Tuscan dinner, you need to try La Cantinetta. This traditional tavern is loved by both Italian and foreigners thanks to its generous and tasty dishes. It’s the right place to eat the acclaimed Florentine steak or taste local cheeses and cured meats. Prices are average for Florence.
- Where is it? Via Borgo San Lorenzo 14
Mercato Centrale of Florence
Another place where to eat in Florence is the Mercato Centrale, on the first floor of the historical San Lorenzo market, a place where you can try Florentine street food and lots of other products.
The concept is the same of many other food markets in Europe: counters of chefs and artisans, shared tables and many tourists. From truffle to sushi, from steak to pizza: it’s nearly impossible not to find something worth tasting.
- Where is it? Piazza del Mercato Centrale
So, what do you think of our Florence itinerary between art and tasty food? If you have more than 2 days, there’s a lot more to see, such as Palazzo Pitti and Boboli’s Gardens. We can only wish you a happy trip!