Two days in Florence will give you the chance to visit its famous touristic attractions, to taste its traditional dishes and to relax while getting closer to the interesting Italian lifestyle.
What to Expect from Your 2-Day Trip in Florence?
Even though you might want to see everything hidden behind its borders, two days are not enough for you to explore the whole city. So, the best way to enjoy your city break in Florence is not to run from one place to another, but to relax and visit the most important attractions.
How to Spend 2 Days in Florence
Since you have just two days and you want to have a great experience, make sure you make a list of the things you want to see during your trip to Florence. This way you don’t miss the most important aspects and you don’t run from one touristic spot to another forgetting to actually enjoy wandering around the lovely Italian alleys. So, you can allow a day for visiting the main museums in the city and spend the next one admiring the inspiring street art available in many of Florence’s neighborhoods.
What to Do on Day 1
There is no doubt that Renaissance made Florence famous. The spirit of the many artists who lived in this amazing city can be felt while enjoying your morning walk but in order to get closer to their soul you must visit the most important museums in the city. You cannot miss the famous Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery, which are two of the most important Florentine and Italian Museums.
In addition, admire the famous Florence Cathedral (Duomo), let the Palazzo Vecchio inspire you and have a look at the Piazzale Michelangelo. Last, but definitely not least, spend some time in the interesting museum dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s work. End your day in the best manner, with dinner in one of the inviting Florentine restaurants. If you want a tip, try the bistecca alla Fiorentina, a delicious Florentine steak or T-bone steak which is one of the most famous local dishes.
What to Do on Day 2
As mentioned above, Florence is one of those cities where you can find a museum or an art gallery on every street. However, if you don’t want to spend both days inside, you can check out the street art in Florence on your second day.
Though the whole city is covered in incredible creations, if you want to have the ultimate street art and graffiti experience check out the Oltrarno quarter. Grab a delicious Italian coffee and explore the beautiful pieces of art in this neighborhood. In addition, make sure you taste the famous gelato. It is a perfect treat, especially if you visit the city during summer. End your day with a delicious dinner in one of the central restaurants where you can have some of the best pasta you have ever tasted.
Is Florence Different on a Weekend Visit?
Many people travel during the weekend so this is the time when the city is full of tourists, but also locals who enjoy their days off. This means you must stay in immense lines no matter where you go and what you visit. However, this is also the best time to experience the nightlife of the city! But if you prefer a more relaxed experience, try to avoid the weekends!
Useful Tips and Suggestions
Where to Stay in Florence?
Florence is full of incredible things to do but it is not an extremely large city. Therefore, most of its touristic attractions are clustered in the historical center, very close to one another. Since you only have two days in the city, you should definitely look for accommodation in one of central areas of Florence. This way you will avoid public transportation, save time and reach your favorite places by foot.
How to Get around the City?
As mentioned before, the attractions are gathered in the historical center so you can walk in order to see them. The only one further is Piazzale Michelangelo and you can go there by bus, or you can rent a bike. You can also use the bike to get out of the central area and explore other scenic neighborhoods in Florence.
What About Walking Tours?
Just like all important European cities, Florence is full of interesting walking tours and booking one is a great way to explore the city, especially if you travel by yourself. With a tour, you get to see the main attractions and learn more about the past as well as the present of the city from its friendly locals.
Visiting Florence with Kids
Florence is one of the top rated destinations for travelers interested in art, architecture, and history. This is why it can become chaotic and even boring for children. However, there are many museums, like the one dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, where kids can have a lot of fun while learning interesting things. You can find more information on how to plan a trip to Florence with kids.
On a Longer Trip
There is no doubt that two days are not enough to get to know Florence. However, you get the chance to see the most important things in the city and the desire to get closer to its spirit, to understand its culture and enjoy its hidden spots on a longer trip.
What You Can’t Do in 2 Days
Getting to know all the hidden gems in Florence would be ideal, but you cannot do that in two days. Unfortunately, because the city is filled with amazing historical spots and incredible museums, you don’t have enough time for everything. So, during these two days catch a glimpse of the touristy spots and leave exploring the “local” Florence for your next visit.
Day 1 - Start as a tourist
Morning - Explore the Piazza del Duomo:
- Climb Brunelleschi's Dome and see panoramic views of the city (Prior booking a must)
- Marvel at the mosaics in the Baptistery of San Giovanni in the morning sunlight
- Check out the Giotto bell tower next to the cathedral
- Explore the interior of Santa Maria del Fiore, the third largest church in the world
- Explore the crypts of Santa Reparata
Your morning will probably start in the gorgeous Piazza del Duomo, where the city's iconic cathedral is located. You can climb the Dome of the cathedral from 8:30am. The cathedral itself does not open until 10am, so until then you could see the mosaics in the Baptistery, one of Florence's most ancient churches. You can also see Giotto's bell tower (and you can even climb it if you think you have the energy after climbing the Dome!). The museum next door is also worth checking out, and you can buy a single ticket (or a Firenze Card) that allows you to go into every attraction of the Duomo complex.
Afternoon - Get to know Florence art
- Discover some of the finest statues in the city in a museum that used to be a prison.
- Check out the open-air museum at Piazza della Signoria and see where the statue of David used to be.
- See the exterior of the grand Palazzo Vecchio.
- Wander through the Florence's famous Uffizi gallery to see some of the finest paintings of the Renaissance.
- See Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus"
After you have had something to eat along the way, continue on past the Piazza del Duomo and check out the Bargello museum on your way to Uffizi. This museum is a former prison, and holds some of the city's finest sculptures, including works by Donatello, Michelangelo and Ghiberti.
Next, you will be heading to the famous Uffizi gallery. The best way to experience the Uffizi is to book a time in advance so that you do not have to wait in the notoriously long queues. Book a time for mid-afternoon so that you have enough time to wander through the hallowed halls.
Evening - Wander through Florence at night
Your first evening in Florence will be one for relaxing and checking out the beautiful buildings at night:
- See the Arno River at night
- Enjoy Tuscan wine and cuisine
- Cross the Ponte Vecchio
- Explore the Palazzo Vecchio at night
- See Florence's main attractions lit up at night
Day 2 - Get somewhat local
On your second day you can continue your tour of the city by checking out more famous galleries, absorbing the smells and sounds of the local market, and crossing the river into the artisanal district.
Morning - David and markets
Your second morning will be dedicated to more famous galleries and wandering through bustling markets:
- Be stunned at seeing Michelangelo's David
- Explore the Accademia gallery beyond David (Prior booking recommended)
- See the precious stones and marble artworks in the Opificio delle Pietre Dure museum
- Wander through the San Lorenzo market
- Buy Florentine souvenirs and goods
- Try the local cuisine
Afternoon - Cross the Arno
Your second afternoon will be spent exploring the other side of the river and finding spectacular views of the city:
- Cross the busy and iconic Ponte Vecchio
- Explore the artisanal Oltrarno district
- Visit the magnificent Pitti Palace, home of the ruling families in Florence
- Walk in the extensive and beautiful Boboli gardens
- Climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo for stunning views of the city
Evening - Wind down with chants and bars!
Your evening will be a night to relax and enjoy the nightlife of Florence after you have watched the sun go down over the city:
- Visit the Monastery of San Miniato by climbing up from Piazzale Michelangelo
- Listen to traditional Gregorian chants (5:30pm)
- Watch the sun start to go down over the city
- Get a taste of Florence nightlife
We say that Florence is an open-air museum. If walking around town alone won’t be enough for a short visit in Florence, you should totally have as a priority the Uffizi museum and the Dome.
Considering that probably the Uffizi will take you an entire day, you could spend the other day visiting the Dome and the “Battistero” which is right in front of the Dome. You’ll complete your day by visiting the “Cupolone” of the Dome!