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10 Best places to stay in Florence

  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Last updated: 15 June, 2024
Expert travel writer: Nicky Swallow
  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

This elegant guest house offers warm hospitality and an atmosphere of genteel ‘Old Florence’, steps from Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery.

Occupying the upper floors of a 15th-century townhouse with traditional boxed wooden ceilings, it is decorated in classic Florentine style with antique furniture, oriental rugs and paintings. The two best rooms have full-on views of Florence’s most famous piazza.

The welcome is warm and the service very personalised thanks to the hands-on approach of the owners. A delicious breakfast is served at a huge oval table.

The location couldn’t be more central; all the main sights, both north and south of the river, are within a 5- to 10-minute walk (15 at the most).

Average £290

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

The Continentale is the most contemporary and playful of the Ferragamo family’s four Florentine hotels, dressed up in stylish, retro decor by interiors-whizz Michele Bonan.

Inside, the interior has an edgy vibe – tent-like curtains surround the beds; the clocks run in reverse; pops of bubbly gum colours break the white mood.

At sunset, grab a table on the hotel’s smart rooftop terrace bar, order a Campari Spritz and soak up the panoramic city views alongside a hip Florentine crowd.

It boasts a prime spot in the heart of the city, almost on top of the Ponte Vecchio. It’s the perfect choice for well-heeled weekenders looking to stay in the thick of the Florence action.

Average £420

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

St. Regis Florence

Place to Stay

St. Regis Florence

The St. Regis (formerly the Grand Hotel) is one of the oldest and most glamorous of Florence’s historic hotels. The hotel has been updated with stylish, modern touches, but has managed to retain its old-world atmosphere with its frescoed ballroom and original antiques.

Renaissance-style rooms have hand-carved, canopied beds; around half have views over the Arno River (the rest have less spectacular city views). Specify when you book.

The hotel is a ten-minute walk west of the city centre facing the Arno river on one side and a pleasant piazza along another. It’s expensive but the service is top-notch and includes private butlers.

Average £1000

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2+ bedrooms

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AdAstra

  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

AdAstra

Place to Stay

AdAstra

An aristocratic mansion set in a magnificent private garden, Ad Astra offers 16 beautiful rooms filled with antiques, up-cycled retro pieces and quirky design touches.

High ceilings, plaster mouldings and frescoes, chandeliers, a wrap-around terrace for breakfasts and aperitivi combine with the atmosphere of an elegant private home to make one of Florence’s most captivating hotels.

It is located on a quiet street in the Oltrarno, south of the river, and mere steps from the buzzy nightlife, independent boutiques, artisan workshops and many small restaurants and bars that characterise this intriguing neighbourhood. The Ponte Vecchio is a 10-minute walk away.

Average £300

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

Grand Hotel Minerva

Place to Stay

Grand Hotel Minerva

This conveniently located 4-star hotel offers smart, comfortable modern rooms (many of which have views over historic piazza Santa Maria Novella and its eponymous church), good service and – the USP – a rooftop pool and bar which is an unbeatable spot for sunset cocktails.

Once a pilgrims’ hospice, it was overhauled in the 1950s by famous Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, and the interiors are inspired by that era.

The hotel is a good all-rounder, popular with tourists and business folk and welcomes families.

The hotel is located a few minutes’ walk from Santa Maria Novella train station and the tram stop for the airport; the mian sights are all within a 10-15 minute walk.

Average £360

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

Set on lovely, lively Piazza Santo Spirito, this charming 3-star hotel has a latter day ‘Room with a View’-type spirit with bags of character in spite of modern facilities and services.

Occupying the upper floors of grand, Renaissance Palazzo Guadagni, the public spaces and some of the 15 rooms have original frescoes, old terrazzo floors and plaster mouldings; antiques and period paintings are scattered throughout.

The best feature? The fabulous top-floor loggia wraps around two sides of the building from where the views over the lively piazza and the rest of the city are breathtaking. There are few better spots for a sundowner in the city.

The location in authentic Oltrarno is brilliant; Ponte Vecchio and the art treasures at the Pitti Palace and Brancacci Chapel are within 5- to 10- minutes’ walk.

Average £190

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

Set in the largest privately-owned garden in Florence of 11 verdant acres, the Four Seasons is effectively an urban resort within a city. 116 rooms and suites are spread across a frescoed heritage villa and former convent.

On-site facilities are impressive: there are three restaurants (one Michelin-starred, another serving top-notch pizza), an outdoor pool and a fabulous spa, perfect for a post-sightseeing wind-down. Service is flawless – as you’d expect from a Four Seasons hotel

The hotel combines the advantages of a country resort with proximity to the city’s main attractions. It’s convenient for the Accademia Gallery and the Museo San Marco, but a 15-minute walk (or short taxi ride) to Florence’s historic centre.

Average £900

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

Helvetia & Bristol

Place to Stay

Helvetia & Bristol

The historic Helvetia & Bristol enjoys a fabulously central location and offers sumptuous rooms, bags of atmosphere and top-notch service.

Opened in 1885, the hotel has been updated and modernised without sacrificing its grand, old-world feel (expect antiques, old master paintings and gorgeous fabrics), but it’s all been given a stylish modern take.

Celebrated Florentine restaurant Cibreo has several outlets in the hotel and there’s a lovely pavement café and bar for warm-weather lunches and aperitivi. A new, vast spa opened in spring 2022.

If shopping is your thing, it lies a two-minute sashay from the designer stores of Via Tornasbuoni, and top sights are all within a 10-minute walk.

Average £450

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

The Place

Place to Stay

The Place

This intimate 20-room townhouse hotel, occupying a 17th-century palazzo, is the coolest place to lay your head in Florence.

The original neo-classical interiors have been re-vamped, introducing a sophisticated retro feel.

There is a series of intimate sitting rooms with open fires, a cosy restaurant serving mod-Italian cuisine and a bar that spills onto a fabulous pavement terrace on the piazza in warmer weather.

The location is conveniently close to the train station and tram stops, the main attractions and the designer boutiques of Via Tornabuoni.

One of Italy’s original – and very best – boutique hotels, it has the discreet feel of a private home or gentleman’s club. It’s the perfect Florentine pied-a-terre; guests are treated as privileged friends.

Average £1000

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Florence, Tuscany, Italy

  • Official star rating:

Set on the south bank of the Arno river, the Ferragamo-owned Lungarno is a central, stylish and luxurious place to be based for a stay in Florence. Just make sure you get a room with a river view.

Sleek blue and cream interiors give a vaguely nautical feel to the place, and the close-up river views from the club-like Picteau lounge bar, the intimate, Michelin-starred restaurant and many of the 65 bedrooms and suites play into that.

Service is top-notch as would be expected from the Ferragamo brand.

While many of the main sights lie just across the Ponte Vecchio, this location also offers easy access to the boho-chic delights of the Oltrarno neighbourhood.

Average £700

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2+ bedrooms

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Kids club