3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary

Looking to spend 3 days in Florence? This 3 day Florence itinerary is packed with the best things to do in Florence including major attractions, hidden gems, amazing vantage points for the best view of the city and a detailed itinerary to see it all without feeling stressed!

We spent 3 days in Florence after our visit to the Amalfi coast and spending 3 days in Rome during our 14 days Italy Itinerary.

Florence is the most culture-rich city of Italy. Sure, Rome is bigger and a lot more popular and houses a plethora of amazing museums, but Florence is THE birthplace of Renaissance.

Whether you’re an art-lover, history buff or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in Florence. Before diving into how to spend 3 days in Florence, let’s answer a few important questions about visiting Florence.

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How many days do you need in Florence?

3 days in florence - how many dyas
3 Days in Florence

A total of 3 days is enough to see the highlights of Florence. You can spend the first two days to see the major highlights and a couple of hidden gems of the city and the third day to make a day trip to other beautiful villages of Tuscany.

What is the best month to visit Florence in 3 days?

Spring is the best time to visit Florence and Italy in General. May is our favorite month to visit Florence as it has beautiful weather, the days are long enough to see a good number of sites, there are fewer tourists and hotel and flight rates are better as well.

The winter months are the off season, so you might not encounter a lot of crowds but the weather is highly unpredictable.

The summer months are the hottest, with unbearable heat and even more unbearable crowds! Expect the prices to soar sky high and a large number of people at all locations that can make your vacation a little bit of a hassle.

How To Get Around Florence

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – How to get Around Florence

Florence is in general a very walkable and compact city. All the major attractions are located within walking distance from each other.

Hence, our favorite way to get around Florence is by walking and taking in the sights. There’s a plethora of hidden gems and beautiful buildings you can discover on foot that you might miss otherwise.

Another great option is to rent a bike. There are lots of bike rental shops located in the city that offer bikes at €10 per day.

You cannot drive a car in Florence as the streets are too narrow and most of the city comes under the No-Traffic Zone.

If you’re on a road trip across Italy and already have a car, you will have to park them at one of the many garages on the out skirts of the No-Traffic Zones.

You can park your car in Florence at one of the following popular parking garages:

  1. Garage Sant’Ambrogio
  2. Garage delle Terme
  3. Garage delle Oblate

 Public transportation mainly includes buses and trams. Trams cover a limited area but buses cover most of the city.

You can buy bus and tram tickets from newsstands, tabacchi (tobacco shops) or the automatic vending machines at the bus stops.

We personally didn’t feel the need to use public transportation during our trip to Florence.

What is the best area to stay in Florence?

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Best area to stay in Flornece

The city center, especially the area around Santa Maria Novella is the best area to explore Florence. All the major attractions are approachable on foot.

Also, in case you wish to travel somewhere farther, the area is well connected via public transportation as well!

Another option is the area of San Giovanni, located just east of the city center. You may find cheaper hotels here compared to the city center and still be in the middle of all the action.

We stayed in an Airbnb located in this area. For the sake of spending an efficient 3 days in Florence, we recommend staying close to the city center if budget is not an issue.

There are even cheaper Airbnbs in the Oltrarno neighborhood located south of the Arno river. This is a much quieter area of Florence where a lot of locals live and it houses the famous Pitti Palace and the Boboli gardens. It is located a little farther from all the other attractions, so chose your hotel accordingly.

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s get on with our fully packed 3 days Florence itinerary.

Day 1 of 3 Days Florence itinerary

Day 1 of your 3 days in Florence, shall include the major attractions of Florence in the city center area. We shall start the day with the iconic building that has been adorning Florence’s skyline for centuries – the Duomo.

As in all our Italy blogs, we recommend starting your 1st day in Florence early in the morning to avoid crowds.

Piazza del Duomo

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Florence Cathedral

Piazza del Duomo is the most popular tourist square in all of Florence as it houses the iconic Florence Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

The other two absolute gems that share its famous marble design and Gothic architecture are the Florence Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile – the Cathedral’s bell tower.

The Cathedral is free to enter and it opens at 10 AM. The Dome and Bell tower open at 8:15 AM.

We recommend visiting them before the Cathedral opens as it gets really crowded later in the day.

Giotto’s Campanile

The bell tower provides an amazing view over the beautiful city of Florence. However, there’s no elevator and a total of 414 steps to the top.

If you’re someone that can have a problem with that, it’s best to avoid the climb. The view is definitely worth it but you shall be able to enjoy that from the Brunelleschi’s Dome too.

Florence Baptistery

The Baptistery dates back to 1059 AD making it almost a thousand years old.

You can admire the Bronze doors and the architecture, but the highlight of this building is the ceiling!

Prepare to be amazed by the beauty of the incredible mosaics on the marvelous ceiling.

Brunelleschi’s Dome

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – The Frescoes by Georgio Vasari

The climb to the dome opens as early as 8:30 AM. As a result, you can again avoid waiting in line for the Cathedral to open and head up to see the most surreal view of Florence.

On the way, you can also admire the beautiful frescos by Giorgio Vasari inside the Dome up close.

Beware, the climb to the top of the dome is 463 steps and there are not elevators to the top. We recommend climbing the dome instead of the Bell tower as the bell tower has a net which makes it difficult to admire the view or take pictures.

Make sure you book a ticket with Dome climb in advance to avoid queueing.

Florence Cathedral:

The Florence Cathedral is the highlight of Florence’s skyline. There’s a reason why people have been queueing 2 hours before its opening time.

This 13th century Gothic Cathedral is truly a work of art and it is evident right from the outside.

Once inside, admire the vastness of this humongous monument and the marble patterns on the floor.

Make sure you book a skip the line guided tour to understand the history and architecture of the cathedral and avoid wasting time in lines!

Opening Hours

Cathedral: 10 AM to 4:15 PM | Monday to Saturday

Baptistery: 11:15 AM to 5:15 PM

💶Tickets: Check out Skip the line tickets to the Cathedral that includes Duomo Climb

🧑🏻Recommended Guided Tour: Guided Tour of the Duomo Comlplex with Dome Climb

Mercato Centrale

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Mercato Centrale Exterior

After climbing all those steps, you’d definitely have worked up an appetite. Take a detour for lunch and reach Mercato Centrale, the main market of Florence.

The Mercato Centrale roughly translates to Central Market and it can be an attraction in itself.

The interior of the market houses vendors selling the best local produce, cheeses, meats and other food items.

You will also find a lot of vendors selling some of the best street food in Florence. I mean, you can’t spend 3 days in Florence without hogging on all the amazing street food, right?

We’re talking about some delicious paninis and arancinis! Wander around the market, take in the atmosphere and enjoy the street food.

For a quieter experience, head over to the upper floors or the terrace and sit down at one of the cafes or restaurants for lunch and enjoy the sights and sounds of the market below.

💡Worldwide Wander recommendation: We absolutely loved our lunch at Da Nerbone. The restaurant serves amazing Tuscan food at very reasonable prices and has a good number of vegetarian options as well!

The exterior of Mercato Centrale is home to various vendors selling artisan goods like leather products, ceramics and jewelry.

You shop for souvenirs here right now or at the end of your 3 days in Florence, but make sure that you haggle well to get the best deal.


3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Michelangelo’s David in Accademia Gallery

Once you’re done with lunch and have rested those legs, head to the Galleria del’Accademia.

The Accademia houses some really famous works of art, including Michelangelo’s world-renowned sculpture – David.

Other great pieces of art include Michelangelo’s Prisoners and St. Mathew sculptures, as well as works of other famous artists such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Perugino.

The best way to see the Gallery is through a timed entry ticket that gives you the flexibility to see the gallery without waiting in lines.

Buy a timed entry ticket to the Galleria for 2 PM (or whenever you feel you’ll be done with lunch) and spend about an hour or two admiring all the art to your heart’s content.

Opening Hours: 8:15 AM to 6:50 PM | Monday to Sunday | Closed on the first Sunday of the month

💶Ticket price: Check out the price of Timed Entry Ticket here

🧑🏻Recommended Guided Tours: Guided Tour of the Accademia Gallery

Leonardo Interactive Museum

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Model of a Flying Machine by Leonardo da Vinci

A mere 100 meters from the Accademia Gallery is the vastly popular and truly magnificent Leonardo Interactive Museum.

Contains over 50 life-size, working machines created after studying the drawings contained within the famous Da Vinci codes.

Even more awesome is the fact that you can operate these machines!

All the machines are built to scale and are a must-visit attraction during your 3 days in Florence, esp. if you’re visiting Italy with kids.

You can even build and dismantle Leonardo’s bridge and dome and the polyhedron along with interacting with the various machines and understanding their working.

This museum provides a refreshing change from all other museums in Florence where you can only passively admire great art.

Opening Hours: 10 AM to 6 PM

💶Tickets: Check out the latest ticket prices here

Piazza della Signoria

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Piazza della Signoria

After taking in all the art and grandeur of the Accademia, it’s time to head to one of the most happening squares of Florence – Piazza della Signoria.

The piazza is bustling with many restaurants, cafes and has frequent live music and street performances going on, making it a must-visit attraction to capture the essence and flavor of Florence.

Also, the Piazza is a gold mine of history with all the sculptures, fountains and buildings that are located in this square.

The most prominent attraction is Neptune’s fountain. This grand fountain is located in the center of the square and depicts the Roman God of Sea, Neptune. It was designed by Bartolomeo Ammannati in the 16th century!

Next is the extravagant Loggia dei Lanzi – a free to enter open-air gallery that features a splendid collection of sculptures by Cellini, Giambologna and Donatello. The most prominent sculpture, however, is that of “Perseus with the head of Medusa”.

Don’t forget to a take a little detour and visit the legendary Fontana del Porcellino nearby. It is a bronze statue of a wild bore.

According to legend, touching the snout of the boar is considered to bring you good luck.

Opening Hours: Open Round the clock!

💶Ticket price: No entrance fee required

🧑🏻Recommended Guided Tours: Brilliant Walking Tour of Florence (⭐4.9/5)

Palazzo Vecchio

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Palazzo Vecchio

The most prominent building located in the Piazza della Signoria deserves some special attention and hence, detailed explanation in this blog post!

The palace has a rich history and is one of the most recognizable buildings through the history of Florence.

The main highlight is the Salone dei Cinquecento, a grand hall that was used for important civic ceremonies in the past and is now home to a collection of absolutely beautiful frescoes.

Also amazing is the Sala dei Gigli, a ceremonial hall decorated with frescoes and sculptures depicting the symbol of Florence – the Lily.

Stroll around the historical palace by buying this skip the line ticket that also comes with a very handy video guide.

Alternatively, to get a detailed history of the Palace, opt for this amazing Guided tour of Palazzo Vecchio.

Avoid planning your trip on a Monday as the Palace closes a little early on Monday as stated below.

Opening Hours: 8:15 Am to 2 PM on Mondays | 8:15 AM to 7 PM Tuesday-Sunday

💶Ticket price: Check out Skip the Line ticket with Video guide here

🧑🏻Recommended Guided Tours: Palazzo Vecchio Guided Tour (⭐4.9/5)

End your Day 1 of 3 days in Florence by sitting down for aperitifs and dinner in one of the many restaurants in the Piazza della Signoria.

Day 2

Start your day 2 of 3 days in Florence at the gallery that hosts the largest collection of Italian art – Uffizi Gallery.

Post that follow the route across Ponte Vecchio to Pitti Palace and the Boboli gardens. End the day at the other side of the Arno river with the best view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo.

Uffizi Gallery

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Uffizi Gallery

As explained above, the Uffizi gallery holds one of the largest collections of Renaissance era Italian artists and is famous all over the world for its collection.

We recommend starting as early as possible (8 AM) so that you have enough time to explore the rest of the day even if you get a little lost admiring the huge collection of art in Uffizi.

Even early in the morning, the queues shall be absolutely exhausting. We, hence, recommend that you buy a skip the line ticket.

Also, if it’s your first-time admiring art like us, we recommend that you opt for a guided tour like we did.

This highly-rated 2 hour tour helps you understand every famous art piece in the gallery by keeping you focused and most importantly, teaching you how to admire art.

If you’re already experienced in art, we recommend focusing your efforts on the more famous rooms first.

These include Hall 15 ( Leonardo da Vinci), Hall 41 (Michelangelo and Raphael), Hall 83 (Titian), Hall 90 (Caravaggio), Hall 2 (Giotto), Hall 8 (Lippi) and most importantly Halls 10-14 (Botticelli).

Some of the most famous pieces of art you can see in the Uffizi are:

  1. The Birth of Venus by Botticelli
  2. Primavera by Botticelli
  3. The Annunciation by Leonarda da Vinci
  4. The Adoration of the Magi by Giotto
  5. The Medusa by Caravaggio
  6. The Adoration of the Child by Fra Angelico
  7. The Holy Family by Rosso Fiorentino
  8. The Holy Trinity by Masaccio
  9. The Allegory of Spring by Botticelli
  10. The Deposition by Pontormo
  11. The Venus by Tiziano.

All of these along with countless others are noteworthy paintings that you can find in Uffizi and a guided tour like the one recommended below will help you appreciate them all in a limited time.

Opening Hours: 8:15 AM to 6:30 PM | Closed on Mondays

💶Ticket price: Check out the latest Skip the line ticket prices here

🧑🏻Recommended Guided Tours: Guided Tour of the Uffizi Gallery (⭐4.7/5)

Ponte Vechio

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio has the sad fortune of being the last remaining bridge in Florence that wasn’t bombed in World War 2.

It is one of the most famous bridges in the world, known for its picturesque views and the row of shops that lines it.

The shops on the bridge, which date back to the 14th century, were originally occupied by butchers and fishmongers, but today they mostly sell jewelry and souvenirs.

Note that the bridge can get very crowded, so be prepared to navigate through a lot of people.

If you’re interested in shopping, be sure to bargain with the vendors, as prices can be steep.

Take the time to walk across the bridge and take in the views of the Arno River and the surrounding city.

It’ll probably be lunch time by the time you cross the Ponte Vecchio, so grab a meal to go at one of the many panini shops in the Ponte Vecchio or sit down for a meal near the Arno river front on your way from the Uffizi Gallery.

Ponte Vecchio also the houses the famous Vasari Corridor – an elevated platform that connects the Uffizi Gallery to the Pitti Palace.

The corridor was built by Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century on the request of the Medici Family who didn’t wish to rub shoulders with common folk while crossing the Ponte Vecchio.

Vasari Corridor is closed to the public but on special requests and guided tours, it is accessible from the Uffizi gallery.

We couldn’t find the tickets. Let us know in the comments if you do

Opening Hours: Always Open

💶Ticket price: Absolutely Free of Cost

Pitti Palace

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Palazzo Pitti

After crossing the Pointe Vecchio, you’ll reach the Grand Pitti Palace.

It was originally built in the 15th century for a wealthy merchant, but was later purchased by the Medici family, one of the most powerful and influential families in Renaissance Florence.

Today, the palace is open to the public and houses several museums and art collections, including the Palatine Gallery, which features works by Raphael, Titian, and Botticelli.

Another great art gallery is the Gallery of Modern Art that is houses art works from the 18th Century to World War 1.

There is also a Costume Gallery, which displays clothing and accessories from the 16th to 18th centuries. However, we weren’t very interested in it an skipped it.

Instead, we had lounged a little in the vast lawns in front of the palace and munched on our Paninis that we’d got packed from Ponte Vecchio.

We then visited the Galleria delle Carozze, which is a museum of carriages to have look at some magnificent and ornate carriages that frequented the streets of Florence.

Opening Hours: 8:15 AM to 6:30 PM

💶Ticket price: Check Out the latest ticket prices here

Boboli Gardens

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Boboli Gardens

After visiting the Pitti Palace, explore the next destination – the Boboli Gardens adjoining the museum.

The Boboli gardens are the finest examples of Italian Renaissance garden design and feature a wide variety of landscaping, sculptures, and architectural elements.

One of the most notable spots in the gardens is the “Isolotto,” an island located in the center of a large pond.

The Isolotto is home to a number of sculptures and a small temple, and offers a great vantage point from which to admire the rest of the gardens.

The most notable feature of the Isolotto that we loved was the sculpture of Perseus on a half-submerged horse. It is mentioned in Dan Brown’s famous novel Inferno too!

Another highlight of the Boboli Gardens is the “Grotta del Buontalenti” an artificial cave that was created by the architect and artist Bernardo Buontalenti. The cave is adorned with frescoes and sculptures, and features a small waterfall.

However, our favorite activity was to walk across the Avenue of the Cycas, a long walkway covered with beautiful cycas plants that lead to small pavilion.

Spend the afternoon marveling at the many beautiful sculptures and fountains of the garden as well as the wide variety of trees and plants.

Recharge and rejuvenate here in the Boboli Gardens before heading to our favorite viewpoint during our 3 days in Florence.

Opening Hours: 8:15 AM to 6:30 PM

💶Tickets: Book your timed entrance ticket here

Piazzale Michelangelo

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – View of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo is the best viewpoint you will encounter during your 3 days in Florence.

It is our favorite spot to witness the sun setting over the beautiful city of Florence.

Along with panoramic views of the city, the square is adorned with replicas of some of Michelangelo’s most famous sculptures, including David!

If you have little bit of time, we would recommend doing what we did and booking an ebike tour to the Michelangelo Square.

This guided ebike tour ends at Piazzale Michelangelo but also offers a brief visit to all the other amazing buildings in Florence that you might not be able to cover during your 3 days in Florence.

What’s more, it’s available in multiple European languages including English!

Opening Hours: Open At All Times

🧑🏻Recommended Guided Tours: Ebike Tour With Michelangelo Square (⭐4.7/5)

Day 3 of 3 Days in Florence

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – A day trip on the roads of Tuscany

You’ve covered all the major attractions during your first 2 days in Florence. Hence, take a Day trip to nearby Tuscan towns and villages on the third day of your Florence itinerary.

This will allow you to get an amazing glimpse of the Tuscan country side and all that it offers.

You can either rent a car and drive your way through the country or opt for one of the many amazing tours where everything is already taken care of for you.

Consider one of the following day trips from Florence for Day 3 of your 3 days in Florence.


3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Pisa Day Trip

Pisa is the first and the most obvious day trip you can take from Florence .

We have all heard about the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and its amazing Cathedral and Baptistery.

Check it off your bucket list and click Instagram worthy shots with historic Tower.

Our favorite shot is that of the leaning tower in a Gelato cone while the subject is pretending to lick it!😅

Choose from the following options for a guided day tour to Pisa from Florence:

Chianti Vineyards

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Chianti Vineyards

Chianti wines are famous the world over and they’re created right here in Tuscany!

So, why not make the most of your trip to Florence by visiting one of the vineyards in the region while you’re there.

Tours generally include tour of the facility, wine tasting, lunch with cheeses, focassia, salami and Tuscan pasta. Some tours also include vegetarian options for people like us who don’t eat meat.

You can rent a car and visit the vineyards yourself or you can take one of these highly rated day tours:


3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary

Our next favorite town in Tuscany is the beautiful and well-preserved medieval town of Sienna.

Get lost in the streets lined with medieval buildings and beautiful churches.

Our favorite church in the region is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, a stunning example of Gothic architecture with a wealth of art treasures, including the famous “Maesta” altarpiece by Duccio di Boninsegna.

However, our favorite activity was to visit the picturesque medieval square, Piazza del Campo.

The square is home to Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia, a watch tower that offers panoramic views of the beautiful town.

Check if your travel dates coincide with the famous Palio horse race which takes place twice a year in the same square!

We recommend that you club a visit to Siena with other nearby towns like Pisa, Cianti and San Gimignano.

Here are some recommended day trip options:

San Gimignano

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
3 Days in Florence – Roam the streets of San Gimgnano with the world’s best gelato in hand

Just like Siena, another great medieval town is that of San Gimignano.

Located quite close to each other and often included in the same day trip package, San Gimignano is an amazing example of a Tuscan town.

Roam around the central square with a gelato in hand and admire the beautiful architecture of surrounding buildings.

Speaking of gelatos, you can find the best Gelato in all of Italy at Gelateria Dondoli located right in the central square.

This gelateria is famous all over the world has been frequented by some very famous people!

The owner, Sergio Dondoli is revered as the World Champion of Gelato makers and creates some exceptional gelato flavors.

You can either opt for the traditional flavors like hazelnut and pistachio or some of its unique flavors like pink grapefruit and sparkling wine, saffron and pine nuts, ginger, red wine and lavender.

DO NOT miss this place when visiting San Gimignano. If you have only one gelato in Italy (good luck with that!), have it here.

San Gimignano, like Siena should also be clubbed with other regions for a day trip like the following:

Cinque Terre

3 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Guide and Itinerary
Cinque Terre

The last and the most ambitious day trip you can take from Florence is that to the Cinque Terre National Park.

Cinque Terre literally translates to Five villages that constitute this national park: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernaza and Monterosso.

We’ve already published a detailed DIY Travle guide on visiting Cinque Terre in one day.

However, doing it from Florence requires a lot of planning, dedication and discipline to avoid wasting time.

All of the other day trips mentioned above can be done by car, but Cinque Terre can only be done by train, boat or foot.

Hence, we recommend that you go on a guided trip like some of the highly rated ones below, esp. if you’re a fan of hassle-free travel like us:

In a Nutshell

This brings us to the end of our 3 days in Florence. As you can see this 3 days in Florence travel guide is a perfect mixture of fun, food and culture like all trips to Florence must be.

Let us know in the comments below if you found this guide helpful and ask us your questions if you wish to know a little more from our experience.

Your response and feedback are what keeps us motivated in running this informative travel blog.


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