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2 Days In Florence – The Ultimate Itinerary For A Short Trip To Florence

Florence in Tuscany, Italy, is one of those places we dream of when thinking about delicious wine, intricate cathedrals, masterpieces of art, and the perfect holiday destination!

Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, and is arguably one of the most famous and beautiful cities in Europe (if not the world)!

Florence is of paramount importance to the Renaissance period and to the architecture and artworks that were created during that time.

It’s filled with iconic sites and monuments that make up this cradle of the Renaissance, and it’s well worth the visit for so many reasons.

If you’re planning a trip to Florence and are busy imagining yourself wandering through the alluring streets, discovering the famous museums, churches, and cathedrals, but aren’t sure exactly what to see in Florence, I’ve got your back!

Aerial view of Florence - Photo by Garrit Wes Anderson on Scopio

Aerial view of Florence – Photo by Garrit Wes Anderson on Scopio

I spent 2 days in Florence as part of a bigger Tuscany trip and found it to be a good amount of time to see the city.

While Florence is one of those cities you could live in and never see it all, if you’re travelling with limited time two days are a good start to see all the highlights of Florence.

This Florence 2-day itinerary walks you through some of my favourite sights and experiences in this magical part of Tuscany for the most incredible 2 days in Florence!

I’ve included information on the best things to do, where to stay, where to eat, excursions you have to book and more. I hope you find this guide useful in planning your 2 days in Florence!

Before you read on, have you got everything you need for Italy already? If not, check out my Italy essentials packing list!

Sunset over Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

Sunset over Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

Do you need travel insurance for 2 days in Florence?

After my personal experience spending two nights in a private hospital in Tenerife, and having to pay for it out of pocket (it wasn’t cheap), I always recommend getting travel insurance.

You might not end up needing it, but for a small fee you can travel without worries. Personally, I suggest getting your Italy travel insurance with  Heymondo.

Heymondo offers tailor made travel insurance, providing the best value for money for your specific trip. You can also buy it once you’re already abroad and have forgotten about it before flying (which, if you’re anything like me, is quite likely).

Besides the usual cancellation, medical expenses, luggage coverage and general travel insurance services, Heymondo also has a 24/7 doctor chat and instant assistance through their app.

As a Greta’s Travels reader, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance!

Click here to get your 5% off Heymondo travel insurance!

View over the Tuscan countryside

View over the Tuscan countryside

Florence itinerary: Discovering the best of Florence in 2 days

Florence is such a charming and expansive city that it’s difficult to experience all its awe and wonder in just 48 hours, and it’s best to know where you want to go beforehand, so you can plan your trip and savour each and every moment of your time in Florence.

Day One: places to visit in Florence in 1 day

On the first day of our Florence itinerary, we explored the streets around the centre of Florence and visited the most magical cathedrals and galleries.

We got to see famous architecture and artworks, and it blew our minds! Here’s how I propose you spend Day 1 of your Florence Itinerary:

Walk around the centre of Florence

Florence’s historical centre is small and perfect for discovering on foot. It also gives you time to discover the hidden treasures across the city, and then stop to taste some delicious gelato on a whim!

I’ve always loved discovering a city on foot, getting up close and personal with the sights and sounds of the streets and wandering down whichever lane appeals to me at a time.

First up on this Florence 2-day itinerary is to simply get your bearings. Wander around and admire the incredible architecture, while making detours in intriguing shops and streets that may catch your attention.

The heart of Florence is the historical centre of the city. Here you’ll find many important museums and churches, monuments and a general Renaissance-inspired ambience.

Spend your time admiring the stunning fresco’s, external niches and typical Florentina streets with narrow laneways lined with small businesses.

If you want to make the most of your 2 days in Florence, you can join a walking tour with a local guide.

That way, instead of aimlessly walking around the city centre, you’ll have a local taking you to the best spots, and sharing with you interesting insights in the history and culture of what you’re seeing.

Click here to book your Florence walking tour with local guide!

Or check out prices & availability for your chosen date below!



The Duomo of Florence and Battistero of San Giovanni in front of it

The Duomo of Florence and Battistero of San Giovanni in front of it

Visit the iconic Duomo

You can’t visit Florence without going to see one of the most iconic sights, the Duomo.

The Duomo is a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome that was engineered by Brunelleschi, and its famous bell tower made by Giotto.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Piazza del Duomo are situated in the heart of Florence.

We spent some time admiring the exquisite mosaic floors and the incredible and intricate frescoes on the walls above the main altar of the cathedral.

Sometimes said as built inside out, the monuments on the outside are pretty amazing too! The Duomo is not only Florence’s important religious centre but also the most recognisable attraction in the city.  

Getting up close to the majestic Duomo of Florence

Getting up close to the majestic Duomo of Florence

It was constructed during the 14th-century and Brunelleschi’s red-tiled cupola is unmissable and attracts thousands of art-lovers to admire its beauty.

The outside of the cathedral is also a work of art. It has intricate designs and distinguishing features of Italian Renaissance architecture, like details rose windows and high arches.

We loved exploring the cathedral, and the views from the top of the dome are incredible. Climbing to the top of the Duomo is one of the absolute best things to do in Florence!

Just keep in mind that if you’d like to climb the cupola or the bell tower, it’s best to book tickets in advance so you don’t have to queue on the day, but the cathedral itself is free.

Click here to book advance tickets to the Florence Duomo dome!

Or click below to see prices & availability for your trip dates!



The view from the top of the dome of the Duomo of Florence - Photo by Giuseppe Trimarchi on Scopio

The view from the top of the dome of the Duomo of Florence – Photo by Giuseppe Trimarchi on Scopio

Wander across Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio is the old bridge that connects the city centre to the district on the south bank of the river Arno.

It’s one of Florence’s most celebrated landmarks and dates back to the 12th century, making it the oldest bridge in Florence! (Hence the name)

Spanning the Arno River in the centre of Florence, this medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge has many important characteristics.

When looking at the bridge, it doesn’t look like a traditional bridge but retains the original form that many Italian bridges had in the past, lined with small shops on top of each other.

In the past, these shops housed butchers and fish sellers. Today, you’ll find jewellers, art shops and souvenir shops, which all make great stops to find some small memorabilia to take home with you.

Light reflections at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Light reflections at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Explore Palazzo Pitti

The Palazzo Pitti, or the Pitti Palace, is a vast and mainly Renaissance-architectured palace on the south side of the River Arno. It’s the perfect place to head to after crossing the Ponte Vecchio.

These elegant and embellished buildings have a large square in front – which was an innovation in residential architecture at the time of construction in circa 1440.

At this time it was also the largest and most impressive private residence in the city of Florence!

The Palazzo Pitti is now a large complex of impressive galleries and museums that house very important collections of works of art.

Here you can spend some time exploring the beautiful Boboli Gardens and admiring the wonderful Italian style.

Palazzo Pitti gets very busy, so make sure to purchase skip-the-line tickets online beforehand. After all, you only have two days in Florence, you don’t want to waste them queueing!

Click here to purchase your priority entrance to Palazzo Pitti!

Or click below to see prices & availability!



Florence lights up for the night - photo by Scopio

Florence lights up for the night – photo by Scopio

Piazza della Signoria

Next up on the Florence itinerary is a continuation of the walk via the street by the bell tower to reach the magnificent Piazza della Signoria. This was the centre of Florence’s political power for centuries!

We walked around admiring the prominent Palazzo Vecchio overlooking the square and admiring the famous sculptures with their hefty political connotations.

Make sure you don’t miss the replica David statue by Michelangelo and Bandinell’s Hercules and Cacus (1534) to the right of it.

These statues represent the Republic’s defiance of the tyrannical Medici and followed by the appropriation by the Medici family to represent their physical power after their return from exile.

We found them fascinating and were allured by historical significance!

End off here with a walk around the Fountain of Neptune, which was sculpted around 1563 by Bartolomeo Ammannati and Giambologna in order to celebrate the opening of a new aqueduct.

Exploring Piazza della Signoria in Florence at sunrise - photo by Curious Little Trips

Exploring Piazza della Signoria in Florence at sunrise – photo by Curious Little Trips

Palazzo Vecchio

We then strolled back along the Ponte Vecchio bridge to again admire the jewellery sparkling from the window shops and admire this monumental piece of history.

Discover the secret routes and chambers of this medieval fortress of Roman ruins.

Palazzo Vecchio offers amazing Renaissance chambers and paintings in a microcosm where art and history have been bound for centuries, as the main symbol of civil power in Italy!

It’s a fascinating place to wander around, finding the underground ancient theatre and visiting the museum and archaeological sites.

Visit Palazzo Vecchio in Florence Italy - phot by Italian Trip Abroad

Visit Palazzo Vecchio in Florence Italy – phot by Italian Trip Abroad

As well as marvelling at the fascinating labyrinth of interior design and rooms magnificently decorated by artists such as Michelangelo, Giorgio Vasari and Donatello!

If you want to visit the inside of Palazzo Vecchio (and you should!) make sure to purchase your skip-the-line entrance tickets beforehand. It can get very busy, and you don’t want to waste hours queueing outside!

This priority entrance includes also a video guide, so you can discover Palazzo Vecchio at your own pace, while still learning about all the beautiful sights you’ll see.

Click here to purchase your Palazzo Vecchio priority entrance & video guide!

Or click below to see prices & availability for your chosen dates!



Discovering the inside of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence Italy - photo by Italian Trip Abroad

Discovering the inside of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence Italy – photo by Italian Trip Abroad

Sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo

To end off your first day of incredible sightseeing and walks through the convoluted history of power, architecture and art in Florence, I recommend stopping to enjoy the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo.

This square overlooks the city from the first hill in Oltrarno and offers a stupendous view of the city at sunset!

Enjoy watching the sun slowly sink down in the sky over the incredible places that you’ve spent the day visiting all over Florence!

The Florence skyline also offers something unique in that buildings were historically not allowed to be built higher than the base of the cupola of the Duomo.

Making a somewhat uniform skyline with the cathedral’s dome aloft it all! I thought this was one of the most amazing things to see in Florence!

View over Florence from Piazza Michelangelo at golden hour - photo by Scopio

View over Florence from Piazza Michelangelo at golden hour – photo by Scopio

Day Two: What to see in Florence Italy in 2 Days

The second day of this Florence itinerary will be spent discovering more famous works of art and admiring the amazing architecture all around.

Before experiencing the city like a local while you check out the awesome and vibrant markets that can’t be missed while in Florence for 2 days!

Visit The Uffizi Gallery

It’s best to get tickets online beforehand for this one.

We actually missed out on visiting the Uffizi Gallery when I visited with my mum, as we didn’t buy tickets online beforehand and the queue was so big we decided to skip it. 

The famous Uffizi Gallery is one of Italy’s top museums and one of the most important in the world.

This is where you’ll find Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and da Vinci’s Annunciation, as well as large collections of work by Michelangelo and Rafael, just to name a few!

It’s so vast and there’s SO much to see that you can easily spend two hours or more in the Uffizi.

Uffizi Gallery in Florence Italy - photo by Curious Little Trips

Uffizi Gallery in Florence Italy – photo by Curious Little Trips

You can also choose to take a guided tour. After all, Uffizi Gallery has 101 rooms to explore, with iconic masterpieces all throughout. A guide will ensure you don’t miss the top masterpieces!

The gallery was Europe’s first modern museum that was created by the Medici family towards the end of the 16th century, located alongside the Arno river.

Occupying the first and second floors of the U-shaped Palazzo degli Uffizi, you’ll find prominent art masterpieces such as Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” Raphael’s “Madonna of the Goldfinch” and Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”. The whole gallery is an art lover’s dream.

I have listed below a few popular options for Uffizi Gallery entrance and tours. Whether you want to explore independently or have a local guide with you at all times, the links below will help you have a smooth visit at Uffizi Gallery.

Uffizi Gallery skip-the-line Timed Entrance Ticket – Perfect for those who want to explore Uffizi Gallery independently, just select your visit time slot and skip the queue.

Uffizi Gallery Priority Entrance & Tour – This option gives you priority entrance and a local guide inside Uffizi Gallery, who will give you a proper tour of this unique Florence sight.

Uffizi Gallery Guided Tour & Florence Walking Tour – If you want a more complete experience, this tour includes also a bit of walking tour around Florence, as well as a guided tour of Uffizi Gallery.



Beautiful courtyards in Florence - photo from Scopio

Beautiful courtyards in Florence – photo from Scopio

Walk Around The Markets

Spend the second afternoon wandering through Florence’s famous markets. These are great for shopping.

Find small souvenirs to take home with you or simply take photos of the colourful and bustling spaces while enjoying some people watching.

Florence, as the birthplace of the Renaissance and the focal point of medieval history, has many other little trinkets and treasures that can be found in the vintage markets. Making it an adventure of its own!

There’s just so much to see in Florence in two days! Spend your afternoon discovering the Tuscan produce and goods, whilst drunk on Tuscan sunshine and enjoying the remainder that Florence has to offer at these wonderful markets!

The San Lorenzo market is an outdoor leather market and is a fascinating place to see some interesting leatherwork and enjoy the atmosphere.

Also known for its leather goods and scarves is the Nuovo Market, which is a newer version of San Lorenzo’s market. 

St Lorenzo Market in Florence Italy - Italian Trip Abroad

St Lorenzo Market in Florence, Italy – photo by Italian Trip Abroad

Right next door to the leather market is the indoor Central market, which was definitely one of our favourite places in Florence! This bustling market is open 6 days a week (closed on Sundays) until about 14:30.

They also serve some delicious food and condiments to take home, with the ground floor selling everything from fruit to fresh fish to olive oil. There are a few stalls that sell yummy cooked meals like takeaway Italian pasta!

There are lots of awesome places to eat in Florence, and the central market is without a doubt one of them.

On the upper floor, you’ll find even more stalls selling prepared foods with a seating area to relax and enjoy your meal after all the walking you’ve been doing around Florence!

There are also many weekly and monthly markets that take place in Florence, so its also worth checking what’s on during your 2 days in Florence!

Light reflections at Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Light reflections at Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Where to stay in Florence in 2 days

During our 2 days in Florence we stayed at Palazzo Riblet.

There are loads of hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, guest houses and cool places to stay in Florence, but Palazzo Riblet is a particularly special accommodation.

It’s a family run hotel located in a historical building with affrescos on the ceilings, beautifully decorated and in a central position in Florence. It’s also very affordable and won’t cut into your Italy trip budget too much.

It was the perfect place to stay in Florence during for our two day trip.

Click here to book your stay at the Palazzo Riblet!

Sunset at the Giardino delle Rose in Florence

Sunset at the Giardino delle Rose in Florence

Final thoughts on two days in Florence

This small scenic city that is tucked amidst the Tuscan hills casts a long shadow through history and is a fascinating place to explore for architecture and art-lovers, and even adventurous souls like myself! 

2 days in Florence is not enough to see everything there is to see, but it’s enough to feel like you’ve travelled back through time into the Renaissance era, and to feel like a bit of an art boff!

Not only that, it’s well worth the visit for its gorgeous sunsets, Italian cooking and welcoming romantic charm. Especially if you’re visiting Italy in summer, it will make for a fascinating holiday destination.

As one of the few cities in the world that is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are hundreds of sights to see and wine and food to savour.

This 2-day itinerary is a perfect introduction to this amazing city, that will surely bring you back for more! I hope you’ve enjoyed this 2-day Florence itinerary.

No matter how limited your time is, this guide will help you plan your best holiday and give you a good idea of what to see in Florence in 2 days. 

It only just scrapes the tip of the iceberg of all the awe and wonder that’s possible in this magical place.

Looking for more Italy inspiration? Check out these Italy guides:

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