Florence is not a large city but it has a lot of attractions to offer. Most of Florence’s treasures are very close to one another, being actually clustered in the historical center. While many travelers prefer finding accommodation in the middle of the touristic attractions, there are others who are looking for a genuine Tuscan experience, so they choose to stay in one of the small towns around Florence.
Historic Centre - Ideal location for the best of Florence
In addition, Florence’s transport hub, Santa Maria Novella station is located right near the Duomo. So, if you plan to stay in Florence for a few days and you want to get in touch with its incredible art and rich past, booking a hotel in its historic center is a fantastic idea. However, for longer visits, and for people who plan to drive around the city, staying in the center might not be the best option. The historic center is closed for traffic and your hotel will take your car to another location and charge you for parking.
Consider these hotels in the heart of Florence
Owned by a warm and welcoming family, Hotel Davanzati will gives you exactly what you need: comfort and great service. It is a small building with 27 comfortable rooms, located right in the middle of everything in Florence. Besides offering cosy rooms with comfortable beds, the hotel also gives visitors the chance to enjoy a complimentary traditional Italian breakfast. In addition, whether you are interested in tickets for one of the amazing attractions or recommendations and reservations at a great restaurant, everything will be arranged for you in no time by the helpful staff.
It is difficult to find the warmth and hospitality offered at Hotel Davanzati in other places. However, if you prefer tranquillity instead of the busyness present in the historical center, Villa Cora might ideal for you. Located in The Oltrarno district, away from the crowded touristy areas, but still really close to the city's major attractions, Villa Cora is a fantastic boutique hotel with gorgeous rooms and a very personalized service. Be ready to pay a little bit more for your room, but keep in mind that it is something different and it is totally worth the extra money!
Florence outskirts - Best location for a Tuscan experience
While staying in the historic center of Florence will get you closer to the rich history of the city, to its incredible artists and their greatest pieces of art, spending your vacation outside the city, in one of the lovely villages that surround it, will definitely offer you an unforgettable Tuscan experience.
Fiesole is convenient yet away
Foodies love to stay in Bagno a Ripoli
Located 7 kilometers south-east of Florence, Bagno a Ripoli is the perfect place for foodies who can enjoy the delicious dishes served in its popular countryside trattorias and restaurants. Made famous by the two painters, Giotto and Cimabue, by its beautiful landscape and delicious cuisine, Borgo San Lorenzo is another village that should be taken into considerations by travelers who want to understand Tuscany.
If you want a tip, check out my favourite hotel in the outskirts of Florence, Pensione Bencistà in Fiesole. It a small hotel, ran by a friendly family and located amidst olive-clad hills.
Florence apartments - Perfect for families
If you plan to travel to Florence with your kids, you should consider booking an Apartment Suite. These accommodations offer more space and they come with a
well-equipped kitchen to keep fussy eaters happy. Most of the apartment suites are listed on well-established accommodation booking sites like booking.com.
Best Neighbourhoods for Airbnb in Florence
Short term rentals, especially Airbnb are very popular among people who travel to Florence. When searching for an apartment in this lovely city, you should concentrate on those that have best reviews, instead of searching certain areas. Keep in mind that there are only a few areas that should be avoided in Florence.
And if you want a tip, check out my favorite district, Oltrarno. Close to the city center, but not exactly in it, this is an area with fewer tourists but it offers you the chance to easily get to your favorite attractions. Also, if you are looking for an active nightlife, choose Santa Croce, an area known for its busyness during the night.
Avoid staying in these Florence areas
Florence is not a very dangerous city and there aren’t too many areas you should avoid. However, you might want to stay away from Santa Maria Novella Train Station, a place where gypsies drink and sleep sometimes.
In addition, Via Baracca should be avoided during the night, as well as The Cascine quarter, which is a great place for daytime walks, but famous for prostitution and drug dealing, during the night. Last, but not least, you probably want to stay away from The Isolotto quarter, since it’s known for its drug cartels.
If you plan to accommodate far from the city center, I suggest you book into a Chianti Rufina hotel.
If you’d love instead to stay in the city close to the attractions you should consider booking a hotel in Santo Spirito.
Unless you book right in Piazza Santo Spirito, which is very crowded and noisy at night, you will find it is the most beautiful place to stay. Santo Spirito area has the most beautiful houses in Florence.