Updated: May 4, 2018
Florence Hotels – Tips and Advice
- The absolute best cheap hotels in Florence are Hotel Alessandra (budget), Hotel City (budget), Loggiato dei Serviti (mid-range) and Hotel Pendini (mid-range)
- The best areas for travelers are City Center (lively and closest to attractions), San Frediano/Santo Spirito (best nightlife and food), San Lorenzo/San Marco (near attractions and train station), San Niccolo (low-key feel with easy downtown access), Santissima Annunziata (quietest part of historic center), Santa Maria Novella (near train station, walking distance to attractions), Santa Croce/Sant’Ambrosio (walking distance to attractions, plenty of local color).
- Most hotels in Florence are in historic buildings and subject to strict guidelines for renovations, meaning that many hotels do not have elevators or ADA rooms. If you have limited mobility or will be using a stroller, be sure the hotel has an elevator or book a ground floor room.
- Smoking is still allowed in many hotels in Florence, though usually confined to a particular floor in the hotel. If you are sensitive to smoke, request a non-smoking room or find a non-smoking hotel.
- Tourist Tax: Hotels in Florence are required to collect a city tourist tax that is charged separately from the room rate. The price is equal to €1 per star of the hotel, plus 50 cents, per person per night for the first seven nights. For example, two adults staying at a two-star hotel for three nights will pay €13. Children under twelve are exempt. Many hotels require this tax to be paid in cash rather than credit, and some require its payment at check in.
- Getting around in Florence is easiest on foot. The city is fairly small, with most hotels within five to twenty minutes of the city’s most popular attractions. Buses are great for getting from one side of town to the other, but for destinations inside the historic center, it’s usually faster to walk.
- A note on coffee culture: In Italy, it is considered disgusting to add milk to your coffee after 11:00 a.m. Italians will full-body cringe if they see it. Cappuccinos are considered a breakfast drink only, while straight espresso is preferred for afternoons. Exceptions are made for the espresso macchiato, a shot of espresso with dollop of milk on top, and the marrocchino, a shot of espresso with chocolate and a little milk, basically a mini-mocha. Coffee is typically ordered, served, and consumed standing at the bar.
12 Best Budget Hotels in Florence
1. Hotel Alessandra – City Center
Built in a residence from 1507, and run by the same Florentine family since 1970, this boutique hotel has cozy rooms and spacious suites with a hearty breakfast. Accommodations can be standard rooms, ranging from one to four beds, or junior suites, one with a river view. Their top level Bacio Suite is a spacious one-bedroom that sleeps up to four, with either your choice of one queen or two single beds, plus an additional murphy bed in the living room and a private terrace. All come with air conditioning, free wifi, and a private bathroom, though one room’s bathroom is next door to the room itself. The breakfast buffet offers hot and cold continental selections paired with excellent cappuccino. Located in the City Center overlooking the Arno River, just steps from the Ponte Vecchio and a four minute walk to the Uffizi Gallery.
2. Hotel City – San Lorenzo
Family-run, boutique hotel with extravagant décor, a wide range of room configurations, and an excellent complimentary breakfast. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once inside guests will be floored by the elaborate Murano glass ceiling, hand painted frescoes, and antique furnishings. Rooms are more simply dressed, ranging from cozy singles to family-friendly quadruple bed suites, all with A/C and free wifi. Breakfast is included in the room rates, with a great selection of pastries, meats, cheeses, and fruits, served with espresso drinks. Hotel City sits in San Lorenzo close to everything, right around the corner from the San Lorenzo Church and the Market, five minutes to the Duomo or the train station, and only ten minutes to the Accademia and Uffizi Galleries.
3. Hotel Bella Firenze – Santa Maria Novella
Contemporary, intimate hotel with eleven sunny rooms, all with a welcome bottle of wine, A/C, free wifi, and complimentary breakfast. Rooms are on the petite side and sleep a maximum of three, making this most suitable for couples or small families (children receive a free gift on arrival). A buffet breakfast is included in the room rate and served at a communal table, so guests can get to know one another. Expect friendly and warm service from all of the staff at this family-run boutique. Adjacent to the train station and within fifteen minutes’ walk of most of the city’s attractions, this is an ideal home base for exploring Florence and Tuscany. Bonus for shoppers: the bus to the designer outlets stops right next door.
4. Hotel Crocini – Santa Maria Novella
This quiet, boutique hotel offers complimentary breakfasts and a variety of room types, the largest being family rooms for up to six; all rooms include air conditioning and wifi. The breakfast buffet includes a variety of sweet and savory choices and can be served in their quaint dining room or al fresco in their garden courtyard. Run by the same Florentine family since 1926, the hotel is known for its attentive service and expert local recommendations. Parking is available onsite for travelers renting a car. Located in the quiet side of Santa Maria Novella, between the old and new opera houses, about twenty minutes on foot or 15 minutes by bus to the city’s best attractions.
5. Hotel Casci – San Lorenzo
Fantastic little budget hotel on the second floor of a 15th century palace. The tidy rooms are simply decorated and on the small side, but they do offer large four- and five-bedded rooms for families. All rooms have air conditioning, free wifi, and a mini-fridge; some add balconies. Their Italian-style breakfast includes homemade pastries and espresso and can be set up extra early for travelers taking day trips; the owner is always onsite during this meal to get to know each guest. Located one and a half blocks from San Lorenzo Church, near the Market, and just a three minute walk to the Accademia or the Duomo.
6. Hotel Ester – San Lorenzo
Straightforward boutique hotel on the second floor of a multi-use building, offering clean and contemporary rooms with one to four beds, some with views of Brunelleschi’s Dome and the city’s red rooftops. Rooms all include air conditioning, free wifi, and a mini fridge; some have balconies. Breakfast is included in most room rates or can be added on for €5. Self-serve coffee and tea is available anytime; there is also a shared kitchen and self-serve laundry room. Hotel Ester is conveniently situated in San Lorenzo, near the Market, San Lorenzo Church, and the SMN train station, within fifteen minutes of the Accademia, Uffizi, and Bargello Museums.
7. Hotel Cestelli – City Center
This tiny hotel on one floor of a 12th century palace offers eight charming rooms and is run by a hands-on husband and wife duo. Each room features a unique layout, with either shared or private bathrooms, all with chandeliers and vintage décor. Family rooms are the largest, sleeping up to five and including an ensuite bathroom with a shower and bathtub. Though there is no A/C, each room has a fan and heating. Cestelli is perfectly located in the heart of Florence, within five minutes of the Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi, and Piazza della Repubblica, and less than ten minutes all other attractions in the city.
8. Hotel Giglio – San Marco
Family-friendly boutique hotel with a wide range of room types, all with recently renovated bathrooms, and some with balconies. Double rooms can be classic or superior, which adds extra amenities, like robes and slipper, along with upgraded furnishings. Family rooms sleep up to four with one queen bed and two singles. All rooms include A/C, free wifi, and ensuite bathrooms, two with bathtubs. An Italian breakfast is included in all bookings; they also have a simple cocktail bar available to guests all day. Located in the quiet San Marco neighborhood, near the botanical garden and San Marco Church and fewer than fifteen minutes to the train station, Duomo, and most other attractions.
9. Hotel Nuova Italia – San Lorenzo
Bright, art-filled, boutique boasting newly renovated rooms and complimentary Italian breakfast with fantastic made-to-order cappuccino. Rooms have one to four beds, all with air conditioning and free wifi; room service and laundry service are available as well (unusual for a budget stay). A hotel since 1975, many of the staff have been here since its opening. The hotel sits in a lively part of San Lorenzo with sidewalk cafes, under five minutes to San Lorenzo Church, the Market, the Medici Chapels, and the train station.
10. Hotel Fiorita – Santa Maria Novella
Boutique hotel with fourteen rooms offering a complimentary breakfast as well as free coffee, tea, and snacks throughout the day. Rooms can have one to four beds and come in economy or classic levels. Spring for a classic level room to get larger windows with views onto the courtyard or the Duomo. All rooms have A/C and free wifi, some with balconies. Most of the rooms come with ensuite bathrooms, except for one economy single with an ensuite shower and sink but an external private toilet. Located near the SMN train station, within five minutes of San Lorenzo Church and Market and only ten minutes to the Duomo.
11. Hotel Relais il Cestello – San Frediano
This charming boutique hotel is popular with couples for its romantic, Florentine style with tile floors, exposed wood, and terra cotta ceilings. Rooms sleep a maximum of three guests, and all include air conditioning, free wifi, and ensuite bathrooms. Rates are inclusive of a daily Italian breakfast with homemade pastries and excellent espresso drinks; room service is also available for breakfast or for drinks throughout the day. Located on a quiet side street in San Frediano, near the city’s best bars, restaurants, and artisan workshops and only a short walk to Florence’s most important cultural and historical sights.
12. Loggia Fiorentina – San Marco
Family-run boutique hotel with recently renovated rooms and an optional Italian breakfast buffet. Rooms have one to three beds, and fall into one of three categories (standard, deluxe, or superior) depending on whether the rooms has a sink, sink and shower, or a full ensuite bathroom. One superior room has a full bathroom and balcony; all rooms have air conditioning. A no frills hotel for sure, but a truly great value for the money. Loggia Fiorentina is just one block away from San Marco Church, near the Ospedale degli Innocentes museum, and the San Lorenzo Church and Market.
8 Best Mid-Range Hotels in Florence
1. Loggiato dei Serviti – Santissima Annunziata
Romantic, boutique hotel in a 16th century monastery’s guest quarters. All rooms have unique layouts, ranging from cozy rooms for couples and larger family rooms or two-bedroom, two-bathroom suites, sleeping up to five guests. All rooms are decorated with period antiques and brocade fabrics, some with original frescoes or ornamental ceilings. All rooms offer A/C, free wifi, and a mini-fridge, many with balconies. An excellent continental breakfast is included, and a great little cocktail bar is open in the evenings. Staff is always friendly and attentive. Located in SS Annunziata across from the Brunelleschi loggia and adjacent to the piazza’s namesake church, around the corner from the Accademia and San Marco Church, and within a fifteen minute walk to Florence’s museums and historic sights.
2. Hotel Pendini – City Center
Historic boutique hotel built inside the landmark arch in the Piazza della Repubblica, offering vintage decorated rooms and a complimentary breakfast. Rooms can be double, triple or two-bedroom family suites, sleeping up to five, all with air conditioning and wifi. Within these categories, rooms can be standard with courtyard views or deluxe with sweeping views onto the gorgeous piazza below. The Sitting Room bar serves cocktails and wine daily until 11 p.m. Expect impeccable, friendly service from their experienced staff. The hotel is in the very heart of Florence, within easy reach of major attractions in any direction you choose to walk.
3. Il Guelfo Bianco – San Lorenzo
Il Guelfo Bianco offers eclectic rooms and suites, a cocktail bar, and an amazing restaurant in a 15th century palace. No two rooms are alike here (though they all have A/C and wifi), from the cozy double rooms to spacious junior suites to the grand two-bedroom apartment with a kitchenette, sofa bed, and washer/dryer. Their house restaurant Desco Bistrot highlights organic produce from the owners’ own farm, along with artisanal beers and wines; an outstanding complimentary continental breakfast is served here daily, with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. The cocktail and coffee bar is open until midnight. Perfectly situated in San Lorenzo, just a two minute walk to the Accademia, near San Lorenzo Church and Market, thirteen minutes on foot to the train station, and easily walkable to all attractions.
4. Hotel Rosary Garden – The Oltrarno, east of San Niccolo
Amazing boutique hotel inspired by the Tuscan countryside and English gardens, with comfortable rooms, exceptional amenities, and personalized service. Rates include continental breakfast, served in the dining area or directly to guests’ rooms, as well as complimentary afternoon tea service, free self-serve cocktails, and loaner bikes. Most rooms are designed for two, though larger groups can opt for connecting rooms or the one-bedroom suite; all accommodations include air conditioning and free wifi. Located east of San Niccolo and outside of the Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL), this is an ideal hotel for travelers who plan on driving to visit other Tuscan cities. Without a car, it’s just a 15 minute bike ride, 18 minute taxi ride, or 25 minute bus ride to the City Center (cars and buses are slower than bikes, because of the many one-way streets, traffic, and navigating the ZTL maze).
5. Hotel Torre Guelfa – City Center
Comprised of a medieval tower and palace with a modern annex, this romantic boutique hotel boasts a wide range of rooms, junior suites, and a one-bedroom family apartment with a kitchenette. Rooms in the medieval portion are all unique, with décor that blends Baroque, Renaissance, and neo-Victorian styles; rooms in the modern wing are contemporary in pearl grey. All rooms come with A/C, free wifi, and a mini-fridge, some with bathtubs, and one with a balcony. All guests have access to the panoramic terrace on top of the tower, the highest private tower in the city accessible by a 72 step climb. In the summer months, a bar is set up on the tower for sunset cocktails; in winter, piano concerts are held in the lobby. Torre Guelfa’s spectacular location is just around the corner from the Ponte Vecchio, within a five minute walk of the Uffizi, Duomo, and Pitti Palace and only fifteen to the Accademia.
6. La Farina Apartments – Campo di Marte, northeast of Sant’Ambrosio
Contemporary apartment hotel, offering spacious studio and one-bedroom suites. Suites all come with sofa beds, while deluxe suites have theirs in a loft. Sunny studios and suites all come with A/C, free wifi, and fully equipped kitchens, complete with dishwashers and full-sized refrigerators. Self-service laundry and bicycle rentals are available onsite. The hotel sits outside of the ZTL with free garage parking included in the room rates. Located in a residential neighborhood just outside of Sant’Ambrosio, around the corner from a small grocery store, a fifteen minute walk to the Great Synagogue and Ospedale degli Innocente, and within twenty to twenty-five minutes on foot to the Accademia and Duomo.
7. Hotel Botticelli – San Lorenzo
Blending contemporary and historic design, this family-run boutique hotel offers modern rooms built in a 16th century palace. Restorations in the common areas repaired the original frescoes and highlighted the vaulted ceilings and original Florentine terra cotta floors. Classic rooms come with one to three beds, all with air conditioning and free wifi; superior rooms have queen beds and add a sitting area. A traditional Italian breakfast with pastries, fruits, and espresso is included in all room rates; they also have a tiny bar with service on request. Additional services include babysitting, room service, bike rental, and laundry. Their fantastic location is just a block to San Lorenzo Market and a block and a half to San Lorenzo Church, five minutes to the Duomo or Accademia, and super accessible to everything the city has to offer.
8. Hotel Corona d’Italia – San Lorenzo
Cheerful hotel from 1870, with a wide range of rooms, including six wheelchair accessible rooms and adjoining options for families. Most rooms have two or three beds, though they also have larger family rooms that sleep up to four guests; all rooms include A/C and an Italian breakfast buffet. Wifi is available for a fee, €8 for a day or €10 for a week. A full bar is available in the lobby, offering cocktails, beer, and wine every evening until midnight. The hotel sits just one block to San Lorenzo Market and two blocks to the Church, about six minutes to either the Duomo or Santa Maria Novella train station.
Technically “San Giovanni,” this area is most commonly called City Center, and is often labelled “Duomo” on tourist maps. The heart of Florence houses the city’s most impressive Renaissance architecture, shopping, and museums: Brunelleschi’s Duomo (flanked by the towering Campanile and the Baptistery of St. John), the Uffizi Gallery, (home of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus), Piazza della Repubblica, and the historic Ponte Vecchio.
Ideal For: Travelers who want quick access to the city’s major attractions, or are on a limited schedule – but note that this area can be extremely crowded, chaotic, and noisy.
The Best Cheap Hotels in the City Center
- Hotel Alessandra • budget
- Hotel Cestelli • budget
- Hotel Pendini • mid-range
- Hotel Torre Guelfa • mid-range
The Best Restaurants in the City Center
- Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori • Authentic, Tuscan restaurant, serving elevated comfort foods.
- Irene • Fine dining with al fresco seating on Piazza della Repubblica.
- Gelateria Edoardo • Organic gelato and seasonal sorbet with vegan options.
- The Fusion • Amazing cocktails and Nikkei cuisine, for something completely different.
San Frediano and Santo Spirito
These adjacent neighborhoods are found south of the Arno river, in an area known as the Oltrarno. A bit removed from the chaotic City Center, they’re still within walking distance to major attractions. There’s an authentic Florentine feel here, evoked by charming, narrow lanes that house artisan workshops and the city’s best restaurants, bars, and music venues. Attractions include The Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, and the Santo Spirito Basilica.
Ideal For: Travelers who want easy access to Florence’s main attractions, but prefer to stay where’s there’s a more authentic neighborhood vibe.
The Best Cheap Hotels in San Frediano and Santo Spirito
- Relais Il Cestello • budget
The Best Restaurants in San Frediano and Santo Spirito
- Trattoria Giovanni • Traditional Tuscan recipes with exceptional wine in casually elegant setting.
- Momio • Creative, contemporary dining, fusing flavors from around the world; excellent for brunch or dinner.
- Rasputin • Upscale, romantic speakeasy serving meticulously crafted cocktails.
- Mad Souls and Spirits • The best bar in Florence! Amazing drinks, friendly faces, and a lively atmosphere.
- Cantina del Gelato • Handmade gelato with traditional and creative flavors. Try the black rice gelato!
San Lorenzo and San Marco
These neighborhoods sit to the north of the City Center and to the northeast of Santa Maria Novella train station. There are loads of loads of affordable restaurants and bars in San Lorenzo; San Marco has a few great restaurants of its own, with fewer bars in the area, making for quieter evenings. Attractions include: San Lorenzo Church (the Medici Chapels), San Marco Church (the frescos of Fra Angelico), and the San Lorenzo Market (local fresh food vendors on the ground floor, an amazing food court on the upper level, and a sprawling outdoor leather market).
Ideal For: Foodies on a budget.
The Best Cheap Hotels in San Lorenzo and San Marco
- Hotel City • budget
- Hotel Casci • budget
- Hotel Ester • budget
- Hotel Giglio • budget
- Hotel Nuova Italia • budget
- Loggia Fiorentina • budget
- Il Guelfo Bianco • mid-range
- Hotel Botticelli • mid-range
- Hotel Corona d’Italia • mid-range
The Best Restaurants in San Lorenzo and San Marco
- Trattoria Mario • A genuine Florentine experience, Mario’s is open for lunch only and serves local favorites at communal tables, cram packed with locals and travelers alike.
- Ciro & Sons • Glitzy, fun Italian restaurant, serving Florentine and Neapolitan favorites, with a huge selection of gluten-free pizzas and pastas, truly a rare find!
- Sabor Cubano • Cuban cocktail bar, serving refreshing mixed drinks with live music in a chill environment.
- La Divina Enoteca • Fantastic wine bar specializing in boutique Tuscan wines, and serving local cured meat and cheese plates for an aperitvo.
- Vivanda • Eco-chic, organic, vegetarian restaurant that makes their own organic wines.
San Niccolo makes up the eastern third of the Oltrarno area, south of the river and just outside the boundaries of the ancient city walls. San Niccolo has an artsy feel to it, with a few galleries and street art, several great restaurants and bars, and the Florentine hills, San Miniato al Monte, and the iconic viewpoint of Piazzale Michelangelo within easy (uphill) walking distance.
Ideal For: Travelers who prefer a quieter stay in an area that’s well-removed from (but still walkable to) City Center.
The Best Cheap Hotels in San Niccolo
- Hotel Rosary Garden • mid-range
The Best Restaurants in San Niccolo
- Boccadarno • Cozy, quiet restaurant specializing in Mediterranean seafood.
This neighborhood is located north of the Duomo, and its biggest attraction is the Galleria dell’Accademia, home to Michelangelo’s David. Other draws include the Piazza della SS Annunziata and the basilica that shares its name, and the Ospedale degli Innocente. There are some great restaurants in the neighborhood, too; especially in the areas bordering San Marco, San Lorenzo, and the City Center. This area is not as popular for travelers – its vibe is relatively calm, other than the area immediately around the Accademia.
Ideal For: Travelers hoping to get away from the crowds, while still being very accessible to the Florence’s top attractions.
The Best Cheap Hotels in Santissima Annunziata Hotel
- Loggiato dei Serviti • mid-range
The Best Restaurants in Santissima Annunziata
- Arà: è Sicilia • small shop specializing in Sicilian foods, but best known for their gelato and cannoli.
- Novantuno Api • Fresh, seasonal menus for breakfast, lunch, and aperitivo. This is a fairly new, local haunt that the tourists haven’t discovered yet.
- Osteria de L’Ortolano • Tuscan and regional Italian foods with seasonal dishes. Though you may order a la carte, its best here to get one of their tasting menus, prepared with the freshest ingredients of the moment, with each course paired with wine, beer, or spirits.
Santa Maria Novella
This large area runs from the train station to the Arno, and from the Santa Trinita Bridge to the highway. It’s not the most scenic part of Florence and is very noisy at night; the main draw here is proximity to Santa Maria Novella train station. That said, the southwestern area along the river is home to several luxury hotels, beautiful gardens, and romantic, river-view restaurants.
Ideal For: Budget travelers on quick overnight visits, and those based in Florence while taking a series of day trips.
The Best Cheap Hotels in Santa Maria Novella
The Best Restaurants in Santa Maria Novella
- Manifattura Tabacchi • Retro ‘50s style Italian bar, serving only Italian-made products.
- Antico Caffè del Moro • OK, it doesn’t look like much, but this is the spot to hit for super fresh, flavorful, fruit-based cocktail, stuffed with enough fruits to make a meal out of.
- Pensavo Peggio • Amazing Florentine and regional Italian dishes in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Santa Croce and Sant’Ambrosio
These east Florence neighborhoods offer convenience to attractions, with plenty of authentic Florentine character. Main draws: Santa Croce Church and piazza, high quality leather shops, the Bargello Museum, the Great Synagogue of Florence, and the Sant’Ambrosio Market. Sant’Ambrosio is the last truly Florentine neighborhood north of the Arno.
Ideal For: Travelers who want proximity to the action, with a local and family-friendly atmosphere.
The Best Cheap Hotels in Santa Croce/Sant’Ambrosio
- La Farina Apartments • mid-range
The Best Restaurants in Santa Croce
- All’Antico Vinaio • The best sandwiches on the face of the earth! The line will be crazy long, and you might have to eat standing up in the alley but it’s one hundred percent worth it.
- Le Vespe Café • The best spot for a hearty brunch: great food, great cocktails, casual ambiance.
- Bitter Bar • Experimental, experiential cocktail bar with a Roaring Twenties vibe.
- Il Procopio • Fantastic gelato with some traditional favorites along with some more unusual flavors packed with candied orange peel, pistachios, cake bites, and more.
- Florence – Best Hotels
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- Florence – Pet-Friendly Hotels
- Florence – Hotels with Private Pools and Jacuzzis
- Florence – Best Restaurants
- Florence – Best Bars
- Florence – Best Gelato
- Florence – Best Wine Tours
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- Florence – Renting a Car
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