Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

One Day in Florence: A Concise Itinerary to Maximize Sightseeing

Last Updated on March 29, 2022

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Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

One Day in Florence: A Concise Itinerary to Maximize Sightseeing

Last Updated on March 29, 2022

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If you’re considering spending one day in Florence, you may be wondering where to begin. With a city as culturally and historically significant as Tuscany’s capital, it can be overwhelming to condense your wish list into a single-day timeframe.

While you shouldn’t expect to do it all in one go, Florence is relatively tiny and super walkable, so you can still enjoy a fair bit the first time around.

That said, instead of attempting to shoehorn in every museum and monument, I encourage you to view this itinerary as a realistic roadmap of what’s actually possible to do in one day in Florence.

From selecting the best Florence hotel to uncovering Florence at night, here are my top recommendations for spending a day in the Jewel of the Renaissance!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Customizable One Day in Florence Itinerary

Wait a Minute – Is One Day in Florence Enough?

Before we go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room…

…Is a day in Florence enough for a first visit?

The short answer is yes – but with a caveat.

While a day definitely won’t be enough time to see everything, it is enough time to get acquainted with the city. It’s also more than enough time to fall for its charms. (That will probably happen within the first few minutes.)

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

So instead of putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to cram in every single activity, think of this Florence itinerary as an appetizer sampler. You’ll “nibble” on a smattering of things…and then you can decide to return for a more substantial “entrée” later on!

(Please bear with my terrible food analogies; it’s hard not to be hungry when I’m reminiscing about Italy…)

How to Make the Most of One Day in Florence

The key to seeing Florence in one day is to plan ahead. And hey, that’s what this 1-day Florence itinerary is for, after all!

In reality, this isn’t the sort of trip you’re going to want to wing (unless, of course, you’re totally fine with only seeing about two things because you weren’t prepared…)

…But I’m going to guess that that’s not the case (judging by the fact that you landed on this itinerary and you’re probably looking for some help planning your Florence trip.)

So let’s talk a bit about planning. Just how prepared should you be?

At the very least, you should do the following before your day in Florence:

  • Spend the night prior in the city (and select a Florence hotel wisely)
  • Narrow down your “must-do’s”
  • Book any attraction tickets in advance
  • Suss out the transportation situation (Hint: These boots were made for walkin’)

Accommodation Recommendations for One Day in Florence

For obvious reasons, I’m going to flat-out say that I advise against doing a day trip (wherein you pop in from a neighboring city for the day). Keep in mind that your time will be limited as it is, so you don’t want to cut into that even more.

(That said, if you do end up extending your stay, there are plenty of awesome day trips from Florence to consider!)

Instead, I suggest booking a hotel for the night before. But not just any old hotel! You’ll want to find something that’s in the heart of the city action, not on the outskirts.

As tempting as it may be, avoid setting your heart on a picturesque property atop the rolling hills of Tuscany for this particular trip, no matter how charming. (Trust me, it won’t be so cute in the morning when you’re making the early commute.)

Side Note: In reality, I’m all about the rolling hills of Tuscany and am planning to publish oodles of content about irresistible hilltop towns like Montepulciano in the future. However, there’s a time and place for everything and a rural stay is simply impractical for this quick Florence trip.

Ideally, I suggest booking a hotel near one of the city’s main attractions – such as the Duomo, for instance – for the convenience factor.

Fortunately, I’ve removed the guesswork out of where to stay by covering the best Florence hotels near the Duomo for you! Be sure to have a look at that article when solidifying your accommodations.

Transportation Considerations for One Day in Florence

Given that Florence is super walkable and relatively small as far as cities go (especially by American standards), you can easily get to everywhere on this list on foot.

However, if walking isn’t an option (or you’d simply prefer to rely on wheels to get you around), I’d suggest public transportation. You can check out the Florence bus schedule here and train schedule here.

Personally, I’d advise against driving a car while in the city, especially for just one day in Florence. The hassle (and cost) of hunting down parking really isn’t worth the reward, in my opinion.

Best Activities for One Day in Florence

Start Your Day with a Tasty Breakfast (Or at Least an Espresso)

While you can find plenty of breakfast options in a city as popular as Florence, I personally advocate for booking a hotel that includes breakfast. This is what my husband and I did and it saved us a lot of time.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Be sure to check out our hotel experience and peep the most spectacular Florence hotels with Duomo views!

Alternatively, if breakfast isn’t available at your chosen hotel, here are a few charming cafés and pasticceries to consider around the city:

Visit the World-Famous Piazza del Duomo

While it may sound cliché, no trip to the city is complete without a visit to the Piazza del Duomo, especially when you’re just in Florence for a day!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Piazza del Duomo – which translates to “Cathedral Square” in English – isn’t only one of the most frequented sites in Florence, it’s also one of the most visited places in the world!

For this reason, I recommend starting your day here, as the area draws a crowd quite quickly.

This magnificent square consists of several different buildings, including the Florence Cathedral with Brunelleschi’s Dome (affectionately known as “The Duomo”), Giotto’s Campanile (Bell Tower), the Baptistery of St. John, the Opera del Duomo Museum, Loggia del Bigallo, and the Arcivescovile and Canonici’s Palace.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Depending on how much time you want to spend here, you can tour one or more of the magnificent structures. I recommend doing at least one tour.

PRO TIP: Make sure to book any tours at least a few days in advance, particularly for the Duomo! We learned this the hard way and got shut out.

While entrance to the inside of the Florence Cathedral is free, you’ll need to purchase a ticket for all other attractions. These include Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery of St. John, the museum, and roof terraces.

PRO TIP: Be respectful by dressing appropriately inside the cathedral and its surrounding structures. Moderate dress includes covering the shoulders and knees. Leave hats/head coverings, sandals, and sunglasses behind.

Here are some entrance ticket & tour options I recommend:

How to Get Here:

Piazza del Duomo is located at Piazza del Duomo 50122 Firenze Fl.

Take a Stroll Through Piazza della Repubblica

Another one of the main squares in Florence, Piazza della Repubblica has been considered the city center since Roman times. Piazza della Repubblica – translated to “Republic Square” in English – is located only about three minutes walking distance from the Duomo.

The square has endured much change and has underwent massive reconstruction since its medieval beginnings.

Today, the highlight of this central hub is the iconic carousel that sits in its center.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

It’s also a common throughfare and a popular gathering place for travelers, featuring numerous restaurants and tourist draws.

How to Get Here:

Piazza della Repubblica is located at Piazza della Repubblica 50123 Firenze Fl.

Admire the Magnificent Sculpture Gallery of Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria is considered to be the most beautiful square in central Florence – and it’s easy to see why!

Dating back to the 14th century, this magnificent “outdoor museum” is more than just a square; it’s a full-on public sculpture gallery featuring everything from a replica of David, to the Fountain of Neptune, to a bronze equestrian statue.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

This L-shaped section of the city also serves as the entranceway to Palazzo Vecchio, the city’s famous palace. You can read more about the impressive monuments of the Piazza della Signoria here.

The Piazza della Signoria is a wonderful place to stroll outdoors and take in some of the city’s most beloved sculptures – all for free!

How to Get Here:

Piazza della Signoria is located at P.za della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI.

Visit One of Florence’s Impressive Basilicas

Did you know that Florence has stunning basilicas located throughout the city?

Outside of the infamous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (which I mentioned earlier when discussing Piazza del Duomo), there’s also the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce.

Personally, I love Santa Maria Novella, considered one of the most significant Gothic churches in Tuscany. It dates back to 1246, when construction began.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

While the cathedrals are stunning from the outside, I’d recommend checking out one church interior as well.

In addition, depending on time, you may also wish to tour one of the basilicas:

Grab Some of the Best Pizza in the City for Lunch

After a fun-filled morning, you’ll probably start getting hungry. In order to save yourself some time – while still enjoying a delicious bite to eat – I recommend Pizza Napoli 1955.

Although this casual spot doesn’t look like more than a run-of-the-mill pizza joint from the outside, looks can be deceiving. Personally, this was the best pizza I’ve ever had!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

In fact, we liked it so much we couldn’t resist ordering seconds!

I know, I know, it seems totally unoriginal to eat pizza in Florence, but honestly, it’s a sensible choice. Not only is the pizza here delicious (and adorably heart-shaped if you come as a twosome), but this brief stop will still leave plenty of room in your schedule for exploring this wonderful city (as opposed to a long sit-down affair which will drain your time).

Plus, you can always go all out for dinner!

How to Get Here:

Pizza Napoli 1955 is located at Via dei Neri, 73r, 50122 Firenze FI.

Pick a Museum to Visit

Since one day in Florence can go by quickly when you’re museum-hopping, I recommend limiting yourself to just one museum for the day.

Although there are many museums to consider in the city, the Galleria dell’Accademia is an easy choice. Home to the beloved David, this fantastic museum houses a wonderful collection of works by world-renowned artist Michaelangelo as well as other impressive Florentine masters.

If you decide to visit the Galleria dell’Accademia, I recommend purchasing your timed, skip-the-line ticket in advance here:

Or, you may wish to opt for a guided tour:

Alternatively, Uffizi Gallery is another popular choice, with a timed ticket option as well:

In addition, there are numerous tours to choose from if you decide to visit the Uffizi Gallery:

On the other hand, if you’re a museum buff and you’re dead-set on visiting both Galleria dell’Accademia and Uffizi Gallery (and omitting other items from this itinerary) here are a few tour combination options to consider:

In addition, here are some other Florence museums to consider:

You can check out the ticketing and tour options for some of these museums here:

While you may be tempted to purchase the popular “Florence Pass,” I’d advise against it for just one day in Florence. You’ll likely end up spending more on activities that you don’t actually have time for.

Instead, I recommend securing skip-the-line tickets and/or booking museum tours in advance.

Visit One of Florence’s Beautiful Gardens

While many visitors never venture beyond the famous squares and museums, Florence is also home to some gorgeous gardens that are worth exploring.

That said, for one day in Florence, I’d limit this particular trip to a single garden visit in the interest of saving time. My personal recommendation is Giardino Delle Rose, the city’s rose garden. In addition to offering striking views over Florence, it’s also free to visit!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Although Giardino Delle Rose is arguably most beautiful in May when the roses are in full bloom, it offers ridiculously magnificent views year-round!

In addition, here are some other Florence gardens to consider:

Climb Up Piazzale Michelangelo & Admire the Skyline View

If you decide to visit Giardino Delle Rose, Piazzale Michelangelo will be a cinch to get to, as it’s located just above it! (That is, if you’re prepared to make the climb up all the steps!)

Piazzale Michelangelo is a spectacular 19th-century piazza with unbeatable views. In fact, from here, you’ll witness the incredible Florence skyline from the best panoramic viewpoint in the city!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

This is also a popular sunset spot and one of the best places to witness Florence in the evening, if you wish to save the fun for the end of the day.

Just be aware that you won’t be the only one with sunset-stalking aspirations here. To the contrary, this is one of the most popular places to be when the sun goes down!

How to Get Here:

You’ll find Piazzale Michelangelo at Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI.

Take in the Sunset by the Ponte Vecchio Bridge

Before nightfall, you’ll want to head to one of the city’s prime sunset spots.

My location of choice is by the Ponte Vecchio Bridge.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

The oldest bridge in Florence, this icon is incredibly popular with tourists, so do bear that in mind. Unsurprisingly, the bridge is lined with shops and merchants selling their wares to enthusiastic travelers.

While strolling the bridge is a must-do unto itself, for sunset time, I think it’s more spectacular to watch the bridge from a distance than to walk across it.

In particular, you can enjoy this spectacular viewpoint at sunset as you walk down Lungarno delle Grazie.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Alternatively, you may wish to take in the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo, as I mentioned earlier.

Indulge in a Delicious Dinner

Once the sky has gone to bed, it’s time for a well-deserved dinner after a full day of exploration!

Be sure to check out my companion post on the best things to do at night in Florence for my dinner recommendations. In there, I’ve included top city restaurants specializing in everything from seafood, to steak, to traditional Tuscan fare.

Alternative Activity Ideas for Your One Day in Florence

Given the challenge of narrowing down the best things to do in Florence in a single-day timeframe, I did want to offer some alternative suggestions. Feel free to swap out an item or two with one or more of these options as you see fit.

Here are some additional activities to consider for your one day in Florence:

  • Visit Palazzo Vecchio – If you’re looking for another activity to do in the evening, you may want to consider a visit to Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s beautiful town hall. From April – September, this medieval masterpiece remains open until 11 PM (with the exception of Thursdays).
  • Take a sunset cruise – What better way to watch the day come to a close than on a sunset cruise like this one?
  • Rub the nose of Il Porcellino – A beloved bronze pig statue – Il Porcellino – sits along the side of Mercato Nuovo. Many visitors believe that rubbing the boar’s nose and putting a coin in his mouth brings good fortune and ensures a return to the city. (I mean…I guess it can’t hurt to try. Then again, who knows? Perhaps it’s all a bunch of hogwash! ::Insert pig snort here::)

And on that terribly unfunny note, we’ve sadly reached the end of this Florence itinerary. I hope it’s given you a clearer picture of what’s actually possible to do with just one day in Florence. As you can see, there are many wonderful things to do in Florence in a single day.

The key to a successful first trip to Florence (and to Italy, for that matter) is to manage your expectations, resist cramming in too many activities, and plan ahead. Although it’s unrealistic to do everything in one quick go, it is totally doable to make a sizable dent in the city!

Have you explored Florence in a day before? What were some of your favorite activities? Let me know in the comments below!

Planning a trip to Florence? Check out my other city guides:

Did you find this post useful? Pin it to your boards!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide
Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide
Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

If you’re considering spending one day in Florence, you may be wondering where to begin. With a city as culturally and historically significant as Tuscany’s capital, it can be overwhelming to condense your wish list into a single-day timeframe.

While you shouldn’t expect to do it all in one go, Florence is relatively tiny and super walkable, so you can still enjoy a fair bit the first time around.

That said, instead of attempting to shoehorn in every museum and monument, I encourage you to view this itinerary as a realistic roadmap of what’s actually possible to do in one day in Florence.

From selecting the best Florence hotel to uncovering Florence at night, here are my top recommendations for spending a day in the Jewel of the Renaissance!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Customizable One Day in Florence Itinerary

Wait a Minute – Is One Day in Florence Enough?

Before we go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room…

…Is a day in Florence enough for a first visit?

The short answer is yes – but with a caveat.

While a day definitely won’t be enough time to see everything, it is enough time to get acquainted with the city. It’s also more than enough time to fall for its charms. (That will probably happen within the first few minutes.)

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

So instead of putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to cram in every single activity, think of this Florence itinerary as an appetizer sampler. You’ll “nibble” on a smattering of things…and then you can decide to return for a more substantial “entrée” later on!

(Please bear with my terrible food analogies; it’s hard not to be hungry when I’m reminiscing about Italy…)

How to Make the Most of One Day in Florence

The key to seeing Florence in one day is to plan ahead. And hey, that’s what this 1-day Florence itinerary is for, after all!

In reality, this isn’t the sort of trip you’re going to want to wing (unless, of course, you’re totally fine with only seeing about two things because you weren’t prepared…)

…But I’m going to guess that that’s not the case (judging by the fact that you landed on this itinerary and you’re probably looking for some help planning your Florence trip.)

So let’s talk a bit about planning. Just how prepared should you be?

At the very least, you should do the following before your day in Florence:

  • Spend the night prior in the city (and select a Florence hotel wisely)
  • Narrow down your “must-do’s”
  • Book any attraction tickets in advance
  • Suss out the transportation situation (Hint: These boots were made for walkin’)

Accommodation Recommendations for One Day in Florence

For obvious reasons, I’m going to flat-out say that I advise against doing a day trip (wherein you pop in from a neighboring city for the day). Keep in mind that your time will be limited as it is, so you don’t want to cut into that even more.

(That said, if you do end up extending your stay, there are plenty of awesome day trips from Florence to consider!)

Instead, I suggest booking a hotel for the night before. But not just any old hotel! You’ll want to find something that’s in the heart of the city action, not on the outskirts.

As tempting as it may be, avoid setting your heart on a picturesque property atop the rolling hills of Tuscany for this particular trip, no matter how charming. (Trust me, it won’t be so cute in the morning when you’re making the early commute.)

Side Note: In reality, I’m all about the rolling hills of Tuscany and am planning to publish oodles of content about irresistible hilltop towns like Montepulciano in the future. However, there’s a time and place for everything and a rural stay is simply impractical for this quick Florence trip.

Ideally, I suggest booking a hotel near one of the city’s main attractions – such as the Duomo, for instance – for the convenience factor.

Fortunately, I’ve removed the guesswork out of where to stay by covering the best Florence hotels near the Duomo for you! Be sure to have a look at that article when solidifying your accommodations.

Transportation Considerations for One Day in Florence

Given that Florence is super walkable and relatively small as far as cities go (especially by American standards), you can easily get to everywhere on this list on foot.

However, if walking isn’t an option (or you’d simply prefer to rely on wheels to get you around), I’d suggest public transportation. You can check out the Florence bus schedule here and train schedule here.

Personally, I’d advise against driving a car while in the city, especially for just one day in Florence. The hassle (and cost) of hunting down parking really isn’t worth the reward, in my opinion.

Best Activities for One Day in Florence

Start Your Day with a Tasty Breakfast (Or at Least an Espresso)

While you can find plenty of breakfast options in a city as popular as Florence, I personally advocate for booking a hotel that includes breakfast. This is what my husband and I did and it saved us a lot of time.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Be sure to check out our hotel experience and peep the most spectacular Florence hotels with Duomo views!

Alternatively, if breakfast isn’t available at your chosen hotel, here are a few charming cafés and pasticceries to consider around the city:

Visit the World-Famous Piazza del Duomo

While it may sound cliché, no trip to the city is complete without a visit to the Piazza del Duomo, especially when you’re just in Florence for a day!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Piazza del Duomo – which translates to “Cathedral Square” in English – isn’t only one of the most frequented sites in Florence, it’s also one of the most visited places in the world!

For this reason, I recommend starting your day here, as the area draws a crowd quite quickly.

This magnificent square consists of several different buildings, including the Florence Cathedral with Brunelleschi’s Dome (affectionately known as “The Duomo”), Giotto’s Campanile (Bell Tower), the Baptistery of St. John, the Opera del Duomo Museum, Loggia del Bigallo, and the Arcivescovile and Canonici’s Palace.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Depending on how much time you want to spend here, you can tour one or more of the magnificent structures. I recommend doing at least one tour.

PRO TIP: Make sure to book any tours at least a few days in advance, particularly for the Duomo! We learned this the hard way and got shut out.

While entrance to the inside of the Florence Cathedral is free, you’ll need to purchase a ticket for all other attractions. These include Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery of St. John, the museum, and roof terraces.

PRO TIP: Be respectful by dressing appropriately inside the cathedral and its surrounding structures. Moderate dress includes covering the shoulders and knees. Leave hats/head coverings, sandals, and sunglasses behind.

Here are some entrance ticket & tour options I recommend:

How to Get Here:

Piazza del Duomo is located at Piazza del Duomo 50122 Firenze Fl.

Take a Stroll Through Piazza della Repubblica

Another one of the main squares in Florence, Piazza della Repubblica has been considered the city center since Roman times. Piazza della Repubblica – translated to “Republic Square” in English – is located only about three minutes walking distance from the Duomo.

The square has endured much change and has underwent massive reconstruction since its medieval beginnings.

Today, the highlight of this central hub is the iconic carousel that sits in its center.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

It’s also a common throughfare and a popular gathering place for travelers, featuring numerous restaurants and tourist draws.

How to Get Here:

Piazza della Repubblica is located at Piazza della Repubblica 50123 Firenze Fl.

Admire the Magnificent Sculpture Gallery of Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria is considered to be the most beautiful square in central Florence – and it’s easy to see why!

Dating back to the 14th century, this magnificent “outdoor museum” is more than just a square; it’s a full-on public sculpture gallery featuring everything from a replica of David, to the Fountain of Neptune, to a bronze equestrian statue.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

This L-shaped section of the city also serves as the entranceway to Palazzo Vecchio, the city’s famous palace. You can read more about the impressive monuments of the Piazza della Signoria here.

The Piazza della Signoria is a wonderful place to stroll outdoors and take in some of the city’s most beloved sculptures – all for free!

How to Get Here:

Piazza della Signoria is located at P.za della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI.

Visit One of Florence’s Impressive Basilicas

Did you know that Florence has stunning basilicas located throughout the city?

Outside of the infamous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (which I mentioned earlier when discussing Piazza del Duomo), there’s also the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce.

Personally, I love Santa Maria Novella, considered one of the most significant Gothic churches in Tuscany. It dates back to 1246, when construction began.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

While the cathedrals are stunning from the outside, I’d recommend checking out one church interior as well.

In addition, depending on time, you may also wish to tour one of the basilicas:

Grab Some of the Best Pizza in the City for Lunch

After a fun-filled morning, you’ll probably start getting hungry. In order to save yourself some time – while still enjoying a delicious bite to eat – I recommend Pizza Napoli 1955.

Although this casual spot doesn’t look like more than a run-of-the-mill pizza joint from the outside, looks can be deceiving. Personally, this was the best pizza I’ve ever had!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

In fact, we liked it so much we couldn’t resist ordering seconds!

I know, I know, it seems totally unoriginal to eat pizza in Florence, but honestly, it’s a sensible choice. Not only is the pizza here delicious (and adorably heart-shaped if you come as a twosome), but this brief stop will still leave plenty of room in your schedule for exploring this wonderful city (as opposed to a long sit-down affair which will drain your time).

Plus, you can always go all out for dinner!

How to Get Here:

Pizza Napoli 1955 is located at Via dei Neri, 73r, 50122 Firenze FI.

Pick a Museum to Visit

Since one day in Florence can go by quickly when you’re museum-hopping, I recommend limiting yourself to just one museum for the day.

Although there are many museums to consider in the city, the Galleria dell’Accademia is an easy choice. Home to the beloved David, this fantastic museum houses a wonderful collection of works by world-renowned artist Michaelangelo as well as other impressive Florentine masters.

If you decide to visit the Galleria dell’Accademia, I recommend purchasing your timed, skip-the-line ticket in advance here:

Or, you may wish to opt for a guided tour:

Alternatively, Uffizi Gallery is another popular choice, with a timed ticket option as well:

In addition, there are numerous tours to choose from if you decide to visit the Uffizi Gallery:

On the other hand, if you’re a museum buff and you’re dead-set on visiting both Galleria dell’Accademia and Uffizi Gallery (and omitting other items from this itinerary) here are a few tour combination options to consider:

In addition, here are some other Florence museums to consider:

You can check out the ticketing and tour options for some of these museums here:

While you may be tempted to purchase the popular “Florence Pass,” I’d advise against it for just one day in Florence. You’ll likely end up spending more on activities that you don’t actually have time for.

Instead, I recommend securing skip-the-line tickets and/or booking museum tours in advance.

Visit One of Florence’s Beautiful Gardens

While many visitors never venture beyond the famous squares and museums, Florence is also home to some gorgeous gardens that are worth exploring.

That said, for one day in Florence, I’d limit this particular trip to a single garden visit in the interest of saving time. My personal recommendation is Giardino Delle Rose, the city’s rose garden. In addition to offering striking views over Florence, it’s also free to visit!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Although Giardino Delle Rose is arguably most beautiful in May when the roses are in full bloom, it offers ridiculously magnificent views year-round!

In addition, here are some other Florence gardens to consider:

Climb Up Piazzale Michelangelo & Admire the Skyline View

If you decide to visit Giardino Delle Rose, Piazzale Michelangelo will be a cinch to get to, as it’s located just above it! (That is, if you’re prepared to make the climb up all the steps!)

Piazzale Michelangelo is a spectacular 19th-century piazza with unbeatable views. In fact, from here, you’ll witness the incredible Florence skyline from the best panoramic viewpoint in the city!

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

This is also a popular sunset spot and one of the best places to witness Florence in the evening, if you wish to save the fun for the end of the day.

Just be aware that you won’t be the only one with sunset-stalking aspirations here. To the contrary, this is one of the most popular places to be when the sun goes down!

How to Get Here:

You’ll find Piazzale Michelangelo at Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI.

Take in the Sunset by the Ponte Vecchio Bridge

Before nightfall, you’ll want to head to one of the city’s prime sunset spots.

My location of choice is by the Ponte Vecchio Bridge.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

The oldest bridge in Florence, this icon is incredibly popular with tourists, so do bear that in mind. Unsurprisingly, the bridge is lined with shops and merchants selling their wares to enthusiastic travelers.

While strolling the bridge is a must-do unto itself, for sunset time, I think it’s more spectacular to watch the bridge from a distance than to walk across it.

In particular, you can enjoy this spectacular viewpoint at sunset as you walk down Lungarno delle Grazie.

Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide

Alternatively, you may wish to take in the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo, as I mentioned earlier.

Indulge in a Delicious Dinner

Once the sky has gone to bed, it’s time for a well-deserved dinner after a full day of exploration!

Be sure to check out my companion post on the best things to do at night in Florence for my dinner recommendations. In there, I’ve included top city restaurants specializing in everything from seafood, to steak, to traditional Tuscan fare.

Alternative Activity Ideas for Your One Day in Florence

Given the challenge of narrowing down the best things to do in Florence in a single-day timeframe, I did want to offer some alternative suggestions. Feel free to swap out an item or two with one or more of these options as you see fit.

Here are some additional activities to consider for your one day in Florence:

  • Visit Palazzo Vecchio – If you’re looking for another activity to do in the evening, you may want to consider a visit to Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s beautiful town hall. From April – September, this medieval masterpiece remains open until 11 PM (with the exception of Thursdays).
  • Take a sunset cruise – What better way to watch the day come to a close than on a sunset cruise like this one?
  • Rub the nose of Il Porcellino – A beloved bronze pig statue – Il Porcellino – sits along the side of Mercato Nuovo. Many visitors believe that rubbing the boar’s nose and putting a coin in his mouth brings good fortune and ensures a return to the city. (I mean…I guess it can’t hurt to try. Then again, who knows? Perhaps it’s all a bunch of hogwash! ::Insert pig snort here::)

And on that terribly unfunny note, we’ve sadly reached the end of this Florence itinerary. I hope it’s given you a clearer picture of what’s actually possible to do with just one day in Florence. As you can see, there are many wonderful things to do in Florence in a single day.

The key to a successful first trip to Florence (and to Italy, for that matter) is to manage your expectations, resist cramming in too many activities, and plan ahead. Although it’s unrealistic to do everything in one quick go, it is totally doable to make a sizable dent in the city!

Have you explored Florence in a day before? What were some of your favorite activities? Let me know in the comments below!

Planning a trip to Florence? Check out my other city guides:

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Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide
Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide
Are you looking to spend one day in Florence but unsure how to divvy up your time? Fortunately, you’re in luck because this concise 1-day Florence itinerary will help you maximize your time and select the best Florence activities! From firsthand insight on where to stay in Florence, to the best things to do in Florence, to how to make the most of Florence in a day, you’ll find it all in this 1-day Florence itinerary! #dayinflorence #florenceitaly #florencetravelguide