7 Best Areas to Stay in Florence, Italy

Situated about 270 km (168 miles) northwest of Rome, Florence, or as the Italians call it, Firenze is a city of wonders. Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region and is located in central Italy on either side of the Arno River.

It is a picturesque city adorned with hills, bountiful orchards, and vineyards, and home to some of the world’s finest wine, as well as the leading fashion brand Gucci.

Florence is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Italy, however, if you’re planning to visit Florence for the first time, you might feel a little bit lost about where to stay in Florence.

However small, Florence has several distinct areas that vary in culture, flavor, and nightlife. In this article, I have put together a list of the best areas to stay in Florence with pros-cons and hotel recommendations for each area.  Let’s get into it!

*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*

Overview of the Where to Stay in Florence

Florence is a relatively small city (that’s why 2 days in Florence is enough to see all the main attractions), and its center, also called the medieval or the Renaissance heart, is still compact.

Florence’s center lies between the Duomo in the north and the Arno River in the south. To the east of the city center are the Santa Croce and Sant’Ambrogio areas, while the Santa Maria Novella area is towards the west.

North of the city center is housed by San Lorenzo and San Marco, whereas Santo Spirito and Piazzale Michelangelo tend towards the south. You will get a pretty good idea of these different areas when you look at the city map below.

If you are wondering where to stay in Florence, this article will help you understand each neighborhood’s unique personality.

Here’s a quick overview of the best areas to stay in Florence with hotel recommendations for each area.

AreaRecommended Hotels
Piazza della Signoria or Duomo (first-time visitors, sightseeing)Relais Tosinghi
Santa Maria Novella (family friendly, budget friendly)Hotel Croce di Malta
San Lorenzo and San Marco (museums, budget friendly)Arte' Boutique Hotel
Santa Croce (vibrant nightlife, bars, restaurants)Eurostars Florence Boutique
San Frediano and Santo Spirito (local vibes, affordable nightlife)Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio
San Niccolò & Piazzale Michelangelo (city views, museums)Art Hotel Villa Agape
Sant’ Ambrogio (up-scale restaurants, nightlife)Hotel Cardinal of Florence
Florence Hills (adventurers, panoramic views)Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel

Best Areas to Stay in Florence

Still not sure where to stay in Florence? Don’t worry, I got you covered! In this article, you will find all the best areas to stay in Florence, together with a bunch of useful information about each area, pros and cons, and some hotel recommendations.

If you’re a visual type, you can use the below map to get familiar with each area mentioned in this article.

1. Piazza della Signoria or Duomo – Best area to stay in Florence for first-time visitors

Duomo di Florence, one of the best things to visit in 2 days in Florence

Piazza Della Signoria is the heart of Florence. This area is in the city’s center and is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Florence for museums and sightseeing.

All the major sights are either concentrated in this area or are located within walking distance. In Piazza Della Signoria, you will find narrow streets dotted with trendy cafes and high-street brand boutiques.

The area’s iconic landmarks include the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with the Duomo and Giotto’s Campanile, the Bargello Museum, and the Uffizi Gallery. Climbing on top of the Duomo is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Florence, where you can get incredible views of the entire city!

You can also walk through the fantastic collection of Italian Renaissance sculptures at the Bargello Museum.

Piazza della Signoria is a heaven for food lovers and is one of the best areas to stay in Florence for foodies – you can grab a sandwich at I’ Girone De’ Ghiotti, savor a home-made pizza at Gustarium, and sip a cappuccino at Il Vinile.

Pros and cons of staying in Piazza della Signoria or Duomo


  • The Duomo area is just 5 minutes walking distance from Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio
  • Lots of cafes, bars, and restaurants surround this area


  • The area is crowded with tourists
  • The area is in high demand, hence the accommodations are usually more expensive than in the other areas

Best places to stay in Piazza della Signoria or Duomo

2. Santa Maria Novella – Best neighborhood to stay in Florence for family travelers

Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy

Located on the north side of the Arno River, Santa Maria Novella is home to Florence’s main train station and is one of the city’s most well-connected areas. This neighborhood is just 15 minutes walking distance from Duomo, the city center.

Although living near the train station is very convenient, I advise you to avoid the nearby noisy and chaotic area and move further towards the more pleasant and charming neighborhood hub. If you are traveling with your family, Santa Maria Novella is hands down the best area to stay in Florence.

In this area, you will find the Church of Santa Maria Novella, which is the region’s Dominican church and the city’s first great basilica. This is also the area where you will find Parco delle Cascine, Florence’s historical park, which is perfect for family outings.

Also, visit the Chiesa di Ognissanti, an important Italian Renaissance church where Botticelli is buried, as well as the Museo Novecento, where you can browse through interesting works of modern art. Another gem is the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy which is the world’s oldest pharmacy. 

Pros and cons of staying in Santa Maria Novella


  • The area has good access to other parts of the city
  • The neighborhood has the most budget-friendly lodging and dining options


  • The areas near the train station may seem shady and are best avoided at night

Best places to stay in Santa Maria Novella

3. San Lorenzo and San Marco – Best areas to stay in Florence for budget travelers

San Marco church in Florence, Italy

Located north of Duomo, San Lorenzo and San Marco are neighborhoods stuffed with historic palazzis, museums, and churches. You will find many budget accommodations in these areas, making it one of the best areas to stay in Florence.

San Marco houses the San Marco church, Museo di San Marco, and the Accademia Gallery, which is home to Michelangelo’s famous David statue. In San Marco, you could also visit the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata and explore the Museo degli Innocenti, which houses a wonderful collection of Tuscan art.

On the other hand, San Lorenzo houses the Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Medici chapels. San Lorenzo is a hub for foodies where you can get to savor authentic Tuscan cuisine. You can never experience Italy at its finest if you haven’t tried a plate of pasta or a pizza at the Trattoria Pizzeria San Gallo!

Pros and cons of staying in San Lorenzo and San Marco


  • Both areas are close to the Duomo, the city center
  • Many museums and churches


  • Busy and crowded areas
  • Be wary of counterfeit products sold in the market

Best places to stay in San Lorenzo and San Marco

4. Santa Croce – Best area to stay in Florence for vibrant nightlife

Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy

Located to the east of Florence’s center, Santa Croce is a neighborhood known for good food, local flavor, and amazing nightlife. Home to the majestic Basilica of Santa Croce, this area has a vibrant culture.

The chapel at the Basilica serves as a resting place for some prominent Italian artists, including Michelangelo and Galileo. 

Santa Croce is packed with clubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes that attract both locals and tourists. It is the best area to stay in Florence for young people looking for parties and fun.

The neighborhood also houses several flea markets and authentic Tuscan shops. You can also find the Florence National Central Library, Church of Saint Ambrose, and various other attractions in the vicinity.

Pros and cons of staying in Santa Croce


  • It is the best area to stay in Florence for party lovers
  • Important landmarks are close by
  • The area offers the real Italian vibe and genuine Tuscan experiences


  • Not suitable for a quiet stay
  • Not many hotel options to choose from

Best places to stay in Santa Croce

5. San Frediano and Santo Spirito – Best areas to stay in Florence for local vibes

San Frediano and Santo Spirito are great neighborhoods located in the Oltrarno district, south of the Arno River in Florence. If you are looking for a quiet offbeat place to stay in the city, then these are the best areas to stay in Florence for you.

These areas are filled with boutique shops, small cafes, fine dining restaurants, and artisan workshops holding up centuries-old traditions of handicrafts.

These Florence neighborhoods house Palazzo Pitti – the Renaissance palace, and the Boboli Gardens – a historical garden. You can marvel at the elaborate interiors designed by Brunelleschi inside the Basilica di Santo Spirito.

Santa Maria del Carmine is also an important landmark that is the best example of Gothic architecture. You can take night strolls on the Ponte Vecchio bridge, shop for artifacts at the Santo Spirito flea market, and grab a drink at one of the bars or bistros.

Pros and cons of staying in San Frediano and Santo Spirito


  • These areas are best for quiet yet lively stays
  • Affordable nightlife and bars


  • Being offbeat areas, finding transportation can be troublesome
  • Major sightseeing destinations are a little away

Best places to stay in San Frediano and Santo Spirito

6. San Niccolò & Piazzale Michelangelo – Best areas to stay in Florence for city views

Panoramic view from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy

San Niccolò lies along the river Arno towards its southern banks, whereas Piazzale Michelangelo is located on the hills south of San Niccolò.

Both these areas offer incredible views of the city, making them amongst the best neighborhoods to stay in Florence for honeymooners and romance seekers. The areas also suit travelers of all budgets and are quieter than the rest of the city’s places. 

You can explore the Gate of San Niccolò, located just below Piazzale Michelangelo, and admire Florence’s spectacular views. Some of the nicest workshops with unique pieces of art are lined along the streets of San Niccolò.

It’s also home to fantastic museums like Museo Bardini and Museo Casa Siviero. Climb to the best vantage points of Piazzale Michelangelo to take in Florence’s views. This area is best for watching the sunset.

Pros and cons of staying in San Niccolò & Piazzale Michelangelo


  • Provides the best view of Florence city
  • Accommodations that suit all budgets are available in these areas


  • Have quite a smaller number of hotels, hence finding a place to stay is often difficult

Best places to stay in San Niccolò & Piazzale Michelangelo

7. Sant’ Ambrogio – Best area to stay in Florence for foodies

Tempio Maggiore in Florence, Italy

Sant’ Ambrogio is located towards the east of the Santa Croce area. It is a quiet neighborhood known for some of Florence’s best affordable cuisine.

Sant’ Ambrogio houses the city’s oldest Jewish Synagogue – Tempio Maggiore of Florence, whose central-most dome can be viewed from Piazzale Michelangelo.

You can also shop at the Sant’ Ambrogio market, taste the Tuscan cuisines at Trattoria Da Rocco, savor authentic Jewish cuisines at Ruth’s, and drink the best Tuscan wines. 

Sant’ Ambrogio also houses the Church of Saint Ambrose, a Roman Catholic church. At night, the neighborhood attracts a young crowd to its bars and upscale restaurants.

Lots of accommodation options are available in this area both for luxury and budget travelers. This is the best area to stay in Florence for tourists on a budget trip who still want to reside centrally.

Pros and cons of staying in Sant’ Ambrogio


  • This is the best neighborhood to stay in Florence for food and restaurants
  • A safe place for families


  • The area can become noisy during the nighttime owing to parties and live bands

Best places to stay in Sant’ Ambrogio

More Italy Travel Guides

Pin It for Later!