The streets of Florence are pounded by 16m tourists every year. Most come to explore the famed Renaissance art and architecture, visit Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and admire the stupendous Duomo. Thankfully, there are plenty of accommodation options in the City of Lilies. From communal digs to luxury retreats, Florence caters to all tastes and budgets. Here’s our pick of the best places to stay in Florence, all bookable online with Culture Trip.
Just a few steps from Santa Croce Basilica, this elegant B&B occupies prime real estate. From the hotel’s entrance, it will take just 10 minutes on foot to reach landmarks like Piazza del Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery. When you’re not exploring, you can be relaxing in your comfortable room. Each one is individually designed, but all are ensuite and soundproofed. In the mornings, a typical continental-style breakfast served in a nearby restaurant will set you up for the day.
Casa Howard combines the tailored guest experience of a B&B with the elegance of a boutique hotel. Breakfast, for example, is served straight to your room, so you can chow down on your toast with homemade marmalade, Tuscan honey and creamy butter in private. The location of the guest house on the Via della Scala is within easy reach of Florence’s landmarks, and its rooms are individually designed.
In the Florentine hills, this two-bedroom villa offers tranquillity away from the hubbub of the city. Its garden is probably the main attraction, especially if you enjoy al fresco dining. Here you’ll also find a dipping pool, barbecue and boules court. A bus can be taken into the centre of Florence, but you may also be tempted by the nearby vineyards of Chianti, an hour away by car.
On the bank of the Arno, Riva Lofts is an uber-stylish retreat within walking distance of the historical centre. Its sleek decor was curated by local architect Claudio Nardi, blending contemporary pastels and metallics with traditional feature stonework. During the summer, when not exploring the city on the hotel’s vintage bikes, guests can chill in the garden’s lap pool. In the winter, when temperatures dip, gather in the common lounge around the fire.
Built by a rich Florentine family during the booming 16th century, these palaces passed to the family Niccolini 300 years later, who have lived here for four generations. They’ve converted the family pied à terre into one of the finest Florence hotels out there. Rooms are palatial, with frescoed walls, icing-sugar stucco, gilded mirrors, rich upholstery, and Murano chandeliers. Aim for a room with a freestanding bathtub offering views over the exquisite monochrome architecture of the famous Duomo.
In a 14th-century building in Florence’s centre, an easy stroll from Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo, Milu Hotel comprises five floors interconnected via a grand 19th-century staircase. The 22 rooms all share a contemporary simplicity, with bright feature walls and funky textiles. There are superb views over the pink and peach Florentine cityscape from the hotel rooftop and terrace, and this artsy place works as a gallery space, with changing exhibitions.
The 16th-century Palazzo Roselli Cecconi was designed by one of the Medici’s favourite architects, Giuliano da Sangallo. This Florence hotel has a grown-up feel, with wood-beamed ceilings, dark velvet upholstery and parquet floors. The rooms with a view make for a wonderfully romantic base for a Florentine sojourn, with roof terraces and a colonnaded courtyard. You’re only a few paces from Florence’s church of Santa Croce and the graceful piazza of the historic centre.
With warm yolk-yellow walls and loungey raspberry-pink sofas, frescoes and a sweeping stone staircase, the Monna Lisa is a historic building bursting with character. Richly decorated interiors, sloping wood-beamed ceilings, and polished terracotta-tiled floors draw the eye while the garden is likewise ablaze with colour, all bursting pots of bougainvillea and manicured hedges. It feels like a country house and yet sits right in the historic centre, an easy stroll from the Duomo, Santa Croce, and the Ponte Vecchio.
This charming clutch of guesthouses is on par with the best boutique Florence hotels. Rooms are filled with antiques and some have four-poster beds; others boast polished wooden headboards, and there are terraces with views across the Florentine rooftops to the Duomo. You’re in the quiet yet central San Gallo quarter, near Piazza San Marco, walking distance from the San Lorenzo Market, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the Medici Chapel and the church of Santa Maria Novella.
Soprarno is a characterful, hip Florence guesthouse blending vintage pieces and antiques with contemporary fine art and an eccentric approach to styling and colour. There are rolltop bathtubs, polished parquet floors and views over the Florentine streets, while the best of the doubles has its own balcony. The hotel overlooks a 12th-century courtyard, while the Palazzo Pitti and Santo Spirito basilica are just a few minutes away on foot.
Looking for inspiration for your itinerary? Discover the must-see attractions in Florence.
Sheree Hooker contributed additional reporting to this article.
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