Florence is one of the greatest gems of Italy. It has the artistic and cultural splendor of any major European city, but is small enough to remain charming and friendly, even amidst lots of tourists. There’s certainly much to see in Florence, but a weekend is the perfect amount of time to visit all of the notable locations. This itinerary includes what are usually considered to be the top things for visitors to see and do in Florence. Use it as a guide to plan your perfect weekend in the city!
How to spend a weekend in Florence | Friday itinerary
Visit the Piazza del Duomo
This “plaza”, located in the center of the city, is home to the iconic cathedral, baptistry, and duomo of Florence. Most iconic photos of Florence include at least one of these landmarks. They are all, of course, stunning from the exterior… but it is worth the trip inside all of them! While you’re in the area, cool down at Edoardo il Gelato Biologico for your first (and hopefully not your last) gelato experience at one of the best spots in the city.
Watch the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo!
This spot requires a bit of a climb to reach, but the spectacular view of the city offered at the top is entirely worth the effort. Make the trek early to ensure you will get a seat on the steps of the piazza, which will likely be filled with tourists.
How to spend a weekend in Florence | Saturday itinerary :
Spend the morning in the Uffizi Gallery
Start your day by visiting the Uffizi Gallery early in the morning. You should allow yourself as much time as you need to wander through the massive floor plan of the museum. It is easy to spend around 2 or 3 hours in the gallery; if you consider yourself to be an “art person” it could be your whole day! Among the notable works include those from some of Florence’s most famous artists, from Donatello to Brunelleschi.
Visit Piazza della Signoria
This area, not far from Uffizi Gallery, has long been the political center of Florence. Michelangelo’s David statue used to be located in this square; a replica now stands in its place. This is a very lively area filled with restaurants and shops… scope out the leather shops Florence is so famous for! (Beware of vendors selling fake leather… check out our 7 tips on finding leather in Florence to learn the difference.)
Walk across Ponte Vecchio
The evening is a perfect time for a walk along Florence’s iconic bridge. Built in 1345, this bridge has a lot of history! Ponte Vecchio is lined with jewellery stands, and by the time the sun starts to set, the air will be filled with the sounds of street musicians. The views of the city from either side are stunning. The Bridge itself can be crowded, so be sure to take a walk along the river and admire the bridge from a distance as well. You can also find souvenir shops along the river to grab a few Florentine mementoes.
How to spend a weekend in Florence | Sunday itinerary :
Explore the Galleria dell’Accademia
This gallery is the location of Michelangelo’s David and it’s a must see. Make sure to visit the Gallery early in the morning so you can beat some of the crowds and see Michelangelo’s sculpture of the David and other sculptures before the afternoon.
Visit the Santo Spirito neighborhood
This charming neighborhood is a great last stop in the city. Its main feature is a basilica designed by Brunelleschi… the same guy that did the Duomo! Interestingly, the facade of this basilica was never finished and still, today, remains that way. When you’re inside you’ll find that Michelangelo’s Crucifix is located inside. Stop for lunch at Tamero, where you can watch the delicious pasta you will eat being made. This neighborhood is also a great area to finish up any last-minute shopping before heading out of the city.