2 Days in Florence : Recommended Itinerary for A Weekend

Weekend in Florence: Best things to do in 2 days

Do you want to go to Florence for 2 days and do you intend to see as much as possible?

This is where it happens!

Thanks to my itinerary to visit Florence in 2 days, you will be able to prepare your stay very easily

I’ll start by giving you my tips for not queuing in front of the main tourist attractions and I continue with my detailed program for your 2 days in Italy .

With all my advice, you are guaranteed to save as much time as possible and make the most of your weekend in Florence.

And as a bonus, also find my selection of the best hotels in Florence according to your budget.

So, where to go and what to do in Florence in 2 days?

Day 1 of this itinerary in Florence

Visit Florence in 2 days – Day 1

Day 1 visits:

A. The gallery of the Academy
B. The dome of the Duomo
C. The monuments of the Piazza del Duomo
D. The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
E. The Basilica of San Lorenzo / Chapels of the Medici
F. The San Lorenzo market

A. The Academy gallery

I suggest you start this 2-day stay in Florence with one of the essential museums of the capital of Tuscany: the Academy gallery.

It is here that you can admire the famous David by Michelangelo , one of the most famous sculptures in the world. A magnificent and particularly impressive work of art over 5 meters high that represents David before his fight against Goliath.

Made in the 1500s, this mythical sculpture is considered the symbol of the Italian Renaissance . It took Michelangelo 3 years to bring this block of marble weighing more than 5 tons to life.

In addition to this masterpiece, the Accademia Gallery in Florence exhibits many works of great Florentine masters of musical instruments or Russian icons.

There is always a long line in front of the museum, even when it opens. It is therefore imperative to book your skip-the-line ticket in advance so as not to waste time on the first visit of your weekend in Florence.

I put here the different solutions you have (click on the orange links or green button to book):

  • Book a guided tour including quick access to the museum and explanations from a guide in French!
  • Buy the Florence Pass which includes priority entry to the Galleria dell’Academia but also to the Uffizi Gallery + Access to the Duomo dome + A Florence audio guide to download.
The Academy gallery, a must-see during a weekend in Florence!

B. The Duomo of Florence

After your visit to the gallery, head to Piazza del Duomo , located just 500 meters away on foot.

You will arrive directly at the foot of the imposing Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore , also called the Duomo of Florence . It took nearly 140 years to build the building which today is one of the largest cathedrals in the world (after that of Saint Peter in Rome and Saint Paul in London ).

Its exterior, all in white and green marble, is magnificent, but the most famous element is undoubtedly its famous dome (or Brunelleschi’s dome) whose dimensions are impressive: 45 meters in diameter and 115 meters high.

Not to mention the magnificent interior paintings adorning its entire circumference and representing the scenes of the Last Judgment.

To get a closer look and subsequently access the outside of the dome, at the top of the cathedral, you will have to take a staircase of 463 steps .

Reward guaranteed once you get to the top with the view of the whole city open to you!

I explain everything in my detailed article: Visiting Florence Cathedral .

Note that you can enter the interior of the cathedral for free if you do not want to go up to the dome. But it’s definitely not worth waiting in line for this as there is nothing to see inside. It is very austere and all the works / sculptures that were there have been moved to the Opera Museum.

Please note, to access the dome and the roof of the cathedral, it is mandatory to book your ticket in advance. The access being very narrow, only a small number of people are allowed to go up by time slot.

Here are the different types of tickets (always the same, the links in orange or green button are made to reserve):

  • Take the Florence Pass which includes access to the dome + priority entry to the Galleria dell’Academia but also to the Uffizi Gallery + A Florence audio guide to download.
  • Single ticket for the dome:
  • Guided tour in French of the Florence dome:
  • Guided tour in French of the dome + Baptistery + Opera Museum + Ticket for the bell tower:
2-day itinerary in Florence – The Duomo

C. The monuments of Piazza del Duomo

Since you are in Piazza del Duomo , I suggest you continue this 2-day trip to Florence , by discovering the other buildings located in the square.

We find there:

1) Giotto’s bell tower which is in fact the bell tower of Florence Cathedral. It is possible to climb to the top, provided you are ready to climb another 414 steps (after the dome, it hurts your calves quickly! 😅). Note that the view is less clear than from the dome.

2) The Baptistery of San Giovianni where many emblematic people of the city were baptized, such as the famous poet and writer, Dante.

3) The dell ‘Opera del Duomo museum which houses all the sculptures and works of art that were previously in the cathedral. Everything is super well highlighted. If you have time, I recommend that you favor this visit over other monuments.

The museum also has a beautiful terrace with a clear view of the dome.

To visit the monuments of Piazza del Duomo on this 2-day Florence tour, you can also choose a guided tour in English.

On the program: guided tour of the dome + the baptistery + the Opera del Duomo museum + 1 ticket to climb to Giotto’s bell tower (free access – without a guide).

To book it, nothing could be simpler, click on the button below:

The Museum of the Opera del Duomo in Florence – 48 hours in Florence

D. The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

I suggest you continue your 2-day itinerary in Florence by going to see the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.

From Piazza del Duomo, allow less than 10 minutes on foot to reach it.

Built in the 13th century , the basilica is renowned for its sumptuous frescoes by the greatest Italian masters of the time, including Brunelleschi (the same who painted the dome of the Duomo in Florence) and Giotto.

To visit the interior of the basilica with an audio guide in French, you can book your skip-the-line ticket by clicking on the button below:

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella – Visit Florence in 2 days

E. The Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Medici chapels

Only 5 minutes on foot separate the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella from the next visit of the day: the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence.

It is in this building that the chapels of the Medici, the most famous wealthy family in Florence, are located . Their role has been preponderant not only in the history of the city but also in that of all of Tuscany.

The tombs of the members of the family are grouped together in 3 richly decorated chapels , part of which was built by Michelangelo himself:

  • The New Sacristy
  • The Princes’ Chapel
  • The chapel of the Treasury.

As the site is one of the must-see places to see in Florence in 2 days , I strongly recommend that you book your skip-the-line ticket to visit the Medici Chapels and the Basilica of San Lorenzo directly online:

As I told you, the Medici marked the history of Florence.

If, during your 2-day trip to Florence, you want to learn more about one of Italy’s most powerful families , I recommend that you book a guided tour in French “in the footsteps of the Medici”:

The Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence – To see in 2 days in Florence!

F. The San Lorenzo market

To end this first day of visiting Florence in 2 days, I suggest you go for dinner at the San Lorenzo market.

In addition to a traditional market with fruit and vegetable stalls, the place has a food court. There you will find several restaurants offering local cuisine (pizzas, pasta, etc.).

The concept is great since you can have a dish in any of the restaurants and then sit down at the tables located in the center of the market. No more arguments to choose a restaurant, everyone can eat what they want!

The San Lorenzo market is open every day , for lunch and dinner.

San Lorenzo market, Florence

Day 2 of this weekend in Florence

Visit Florence in 2 days – Day 2

The visits of day 2:

A. The Uffizi Gallery
B. The Ponte Vecchio
C. The Piazza della Signoria / Palazzo Vecchio
D. The Palace of the Bargello Museum
E. The Basilica of Santa Croce

A. The Uffizi Gallery

Impossible to visit Florence in 2 days without planning to discover the Uffizi Gallery.

Just like the Academy Gallery and the Duomo, this is a must visit.

This museum houses an impressive collection of paintings by the greatest Italian artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli or Michelangelo.

The place is simply huge and the works superbly highlighted.

I cannot repeat it enough, but do not plan to visit the Uffizi Museum in Florence without having a skip-the-line ticket. There is at least 1 hour of waiting from the opening and it only gets longer during the day.

Here are the different options (click on the links or green button to book):

  • Small-group guided tour in French:
  • Buy the Florence Pass which includes priority entry to the Uffizi Gallery + Accademia Gallery + Access to the Duomo dome + A Florence audio guide to download.
The Uffizi Gallery – 2 days in Florence

B. The Ponte-Vecchio

Leaving the Uffizi Museum, walk along the Arno River for a few dozen meters and you will come to Ponte Vecchio, the most famous bridge in Florence.

Built in 1345 , it has a rather particular architecture because small houses are built on it. Former butchers’ stalls, these now house around ten shops selling gold jewelry.

Gentlemen, it’s time to take out the wallet (or take a detour! 😆).

To take a nice photo of the Ponte Vecchio , direction:

  • The Ponte Alle Grazie
  • The San Trinita Bridge
  • The point of view from the bar of the Lungarno hotel.
Ponte Vecchio, Florence

C. The piazza della Signoria / The Palazzo Vecchio

I suggest that you continue your 48-hour itinerary in Florence via Piazza della Signoria, located just a 5-minute walk from the bridge.

You will then discover one of the most beautiful squares in the city.

In its center sits an impressive fountain representing Neptune on his chariot and all around you can admire many sculptures, as well as beautiful typical buildings including the Palazzio Vecchio.

It is in this palace that part of the Medici family lived before seeing bigger and moving to the Palazzo Pitti.

Today, Palazzo Vecchio houses the Florence Town Hall, but you can still visit the interior where there are splendid paintings and frescoes. It is also possible to climb to the top of the tower to admire the view.

You will need to book your skip-the-line ticket (+ audio guide) in advance by clicking here:

Palazzo Vecchio, in Florence

D. The Palace of the Bargello Museum

We continue with another palace to do in 2 days in Florence: the Bargello palace.

To get there from Piazza della Signoria, it’s just a 3-minute walk.

You can just admire it (you might be a bit overdosed on museums but there are so many interesting ones in Florence) or visit it. Inside, you will discover many sculptures made by Donatello and Michelangelo.

Remember to buy your skip-the-line ticket by clicking on the green button below:

The Bargello museum

E. The Basilica of Santa Croce

Last visit to the program of this weekend in Florence: the Basilica of Santa Croce.

It takes just 5 minutes on foot from the Bargello to reach it.

It is in the basilica, considered the largest Franciscan church in the world , that the tombs of many very famous Italians can be found. We can in particular quote Dante, Michelangelo, Machiavelli or Galileo.

Also not to be missed, a stroll in the interior garden to admire its architecture, a mixture of different styles and really very pretty.

And here I have given you all my advice to visit Florence in 2 days!

After a good meal in an authentic Italian trattoria, spend a final night at the hotel before catching your return flight the next day. And since we’re talking about hotels, you have my selection just below!

To learn more about the history of the basilica, nothing better than a guided tour in French:

Basilica of Santa Croce – Visit Florence in 48 hours

Where to sleep in Florence

I still have one question to address: do you know where to sleep during your weekend in Florence?

Because it is very useful to know how to visit Florence in 2 days but it is also practical to book your accommodation in advance. Demand is high in Florence and the hotels offering the best value for money sell out very quickly.

To help you out, I’ve put together my selection of the best hotels in town.

So, where to sleep for these 48 hours in Florence?

  • Plus Florence: Youth hostel located just 1 km from Piazza del Duomo. Bed in dormitory from 25 €, breakfast at 7.50 €. It is also possible to sleep in a double room, from 80 € per night. Strong points: the swimming pool, the terrace with a view of the dome, the comfort and cleanliness of the rooms and dormitories. A great idea where to sleep inexpensively for 2 nights in Florence!
  • Hotel St. James: Located near the Academy Gallery. Spacious double room from € 80 per night, breakfast included. The strong points: the ideal location, the private parking, the warm welcome.
  • TSH Florence Lavagnini: Located 15 minutes walk from the cathedral. Modern and colorful double room from € 95, breakfast € 12. Strong points: the rooftop with a magnificent view of Florence, the swimming pool, the architecture and design, the services offered. This is our favorite for its service / price ratio in Florence!
  • c-hotels Ambasciatori: Located next to the Church of Santa Maria Novella. Warm and super comfortable double room from € 160, breakfast € 10. Strong points: the great location, the very good breakfast, the friendliness of the staff. A great choice where to sleep in Florence!
  • Horto Convento: Located 1 km from Pitti Palace. Modern and tastefully decorated double room from € 170, breakfast included. The strong points: the garden with terrace, the calm, the delicious breakfast, the charm of the hotel.
  • NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa: 5 star hotel located 300 meters from Ponte Vecchio. Double room with refined decor from € 315. The most: the friendliness of the staff, the great breakfast. This is our recommendation for an upscale stay in Florence.
  • Four Seasons Hotel Firenze: This 5 * hotel is located 15 minutes from the Uffizi Gallery and offers sumptuous rooms combining modern and Renaissance elements. From € 750, breakfast at € 48. Strong points: the Spa, the Michelin-starred restaurant, the magnificent park. One of the best luxury hotels in Florence!
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze – Luxury hotel to sleep in Florence

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Steve Batides

I am passionate about travel, writing and music. I like writing books, landing in an unknown country, brassens, beer, cats, jazz and shells. I put a point of honor to seek for you the best information to sublimate your travels. A question about a destination, a visit, a good plan? I'll answer in the comments.

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