Best neighborhoods to stay in Florence
The moment in which we plan a vacation and must decide where to sleep we are always attacked by many doubts.
If you are programming to stay in Florence, you will probably be asking yourself some questions such as "which are the best neighborhoods to stay in Florence?", "there are areas or districts safer than others?".
For who desires to stay in Florence, there are essentially 3 possibilities:
Sleep in the historical center
Out of the historical center (but always in the city)
Or in the country around the city
The definitive choice depends on your preferences and necessity, but I have picked up some useful suggestion on the different zones in Florence to help you decide where to stay in your next Italian vacation.
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Florence historical center
The historical center of Florence is little and easy to be visited afoot too. To make you an example, to cross it you only need around a half an hour.
Stay in the historical center has, therefore, perfect sense if you want to visit mainly museums and monuments and if you have little time at your disposal.
This area corresponds to the most ancient part of the city, if you come to Florence by car, you will find that the roads that surround the historical center mark the beginning of the Limited Traffic Zone, where you can enter only with a special permission.
Or you can use the main public service. You can sojourn in the outskirts of the central station, Saint Maria Novella (SMN) at only 5 minutes from the Cathedral.
Choosing a structure next to the Cathedral, you will be at 5 minutes from Palazzo Vecchio, from the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio.
These are all distances afoot, just to give you an idea that the various points of interest in Florence are really close between them.
The historical center is closed to the traffic but visiting it afoot is certainly the best way to enjoy its beauty.
Where to stay in the center of Florence?
You can look at this post to find the best hotels in Florence but choose based on your personal taste. Since that the main attractions are very close to each other, you won't have difficulty to reach them, independently of the selected zone.
If you desire to stay in the true heart of Florence, choose a structure among Piazza San Marco (see below my hotel suggestion), Piazza Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio and Piazza Santa Maria Novella.
This last area is one of the more frequented by the tourists during the whole day and, in summer, at night.
You could also choose to stay in south Oltrarno of the river Arno and sojourn next to the characteristic artisan shops, Palazzo Pitti and the garden of Boboli.
You will still be in the center of Florence, at a brief walk from the monuments, the top restaurants, shops, and main museums.
The zones in the center of Florence have different characteristics that make them more appropriated for some activities. For example, if you are a lover of the nightlife, I recommend you the zone around Via dei Benci in the district of Santa Croce or around Piazza Santo Spirito in Oltrarno. You will find a discreet number of pub and discos in the first area and pub and open restaurants in the second one.
Anyway, many restaurants are open up to midnight in all of Florence. At the same time, people hang out until late in the main streets of these zones and therefore there is some noise. If possible, I don't recommend you rooms that directly lean out to the main roads.
If you like the most vivacious zones I recommend you to lodge next to Piazza San Lorenzo with the day market and the small supermarkets and shops at close distance, you will find a lot of activities and you can buy attractive gifts for you and for your family.
Outside of the historical center of Florence
You can opt to stay out of the historical center of Florence and there are various reasons for this choice.
The first advantage is for your wallet, considering that in the structures out of the historical center the prices are generally lower.
Another good reason to lodge in a residential zone is the possibility to breathe the most authentic and less tourist air of Florence.
Lastly, it is a more comfortable solution if you arrive by car.
Being in the historical center, close to the traffic, your car will probably be useless, while being out you can use it more easily, for trips to the outskirts of Florence. A B&B or a hotel out of the center could offer a private parking lot.
According to the select zone, the historical center could be still close. If you will lodge in the area of Piazza Beccaria or toward Piazza Michelangelo, you can reach the Duomo afoot with only 15-20 minutes.
Which are the safer neighborhoods?
Florence is essentially a safe city. Talking about the safety of a city, you wonder if exist some zones to avoid. While the greatest cities can have some more dark areas, Florence has small dimensions and always very frequented both by tourists and by its citizens, it doesn't have any zones that can be defined as risky. The center is always very alive, especially in daylight.
Obviously, also in Florence, the crime exists. As in all the cities of the world, it is present a micro-criminality and it is opportune to be careful, pay attention to the pickpockets and to stay away from the roads less frequented at night.
Some common sense will be enough and you won't have problems succeeding in fully enjoying Florence in everything of its shine.
Stay in the hills surrounding Florence
If you are thinking about using Florence as a base to visit all the Tuscany, you can decide to sojourn in the outskirts of the city and take advantage to be close to the city, but in the middle of the quiet of the country. In this case, a car will be absolutely necessary.
The structures around Florence offer a private parking lot, ample spaces to open gardens, often also swimming pools, perfect for the families with children too.
Ready to choose the best place?
Here is a selection of recommended hotels:
In the center of Florence
In the outskirts of Florence
I am sure that you will find the perfect hotel for your demands and that you'll enjoy the splendid Florence!