4 days Florence itinerary and guide

4 Days In Florence Itinerary With A Touch Of Tuscany Too



Planning a trip to Florence can be overwhelming given the city’s wealth of attractions. If you’ve landed here, it means you’ve committed to spending four days in this enchanting city, a choice I believe to be ideal for both first-time visitors and returning enthusiasts.

In this article, I’ll share my four-day itinerary from my recent October visit to Florence. Rather than cramming in every attraction, my focus is on optimizing your time while tailoring experiences to your interests and goals for the trip.

Of course, no visit to Florence is complete without indulging in its culinary delights, and I’ll provide my top recommendations for dining and drinks.

So, let’s dive in!

The Complete Itinerary

Save this perfect itinerary for the next time you spend 4 days in Florence. It can replace a guided tour and make you feel less like a tourist. 

4 days in Florence itinerary and guide

9.00 am – Piazza Duomo & Florence Cathedral

Once you arrive in Piazza Duomo, take the next hour to enjoy these must-see attractions in Firenze. 

Piazza Duomo

Santa Maria del Fiore

Battistero di San Giovanni

Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

Basilica di Santa Croce

Day one of 4 Days in Florence itinerary

It only takes 25 25-minute walk to reach all the above attractions if you follow that exact order.

You will need a ticket for each of those attractions. One of these combined tickets will cover the Cathedral, Baptistery, and allow you to climb the Dome and more (Opera del Duomo Museum, Santa Separata, and the Bell Tower).

You don’t need a ticket for Santa Maria Novella, just wait in line.

For the Basilica di Santa Croce, you can purchase the tickets here.

11.00 am: Breakfast at Caffè Gilli

This spot is not only my favorite but also the closest to the attractions above and the one after. For more breakfast spots, you can read my Florence Breakfast Guide.

I suggest you book tickets in advance, at least 2 weeks before your visit. You can do it online here.

The PassePartout ticket is the best one in my opinion if you plan to also visit the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens (included in this itinerary on day 4).

The Passepartout Ticket works like this:

When purchasing it, you need to book your day and time slot for visiting the Uffizi Gallery. And you must visit the latter first, to be able to visit the other ones.

Once you’ve visited the Gallery, your ticket will be stamped and you will be able to enter Palazzo Pitti, the Palatine Gallery and Boboli Gardens on any following day, provided it’s within validity.

The ticket is valid for 5 days in total, including the day you visit the Uffizi.

You can purchase it here.

PS: You must head to the Gallery at least 15 minutes before your booked time slot. You will need to pick up the ticket from the ticket office. Once you get there go to the tickets queue, and inform the security that you are there to pick up your Passepartout ticket. He will direct you to the short queue inside the office.

You will be grateful once you see how long the other queue is!

3.00 pm: Gelateria della Passera

This is my favorite ice cream shop in Florence and I have tried a lot, trust me. It also happens to be just 7 minutes from the Uffizi Gallery.

There aren’t many flavors to choose from, about 12 in total, but many of them change daily so you won’t get bored if you visit again.

3.15 pm: Ponte Vecchio & Arno River Walk

After you’ve finished savoring the last bit of ice cream, you can take a 3-minute walk back to Ponte Vecchio and admire the views from this iconic bridge in Florence.

The riverwalk is quite long, so stop whenever you are tired or ready to head to the next attraction.

4.30 pm: Rinascente Rooftop Bar

Take a 6-minute stroll from Ponte Vecchio to the social heart of Florence, Piazza della Repubblica, and enter the Rinascente building.

Enjoy some window shopping if you’d like, as you head to the last floor.

Once you are on the last floor, find the cafeteria and the artisan shop area. Behind that, you’ll see a green stairway leading to the upper floor. Wait in line to be seated, and once you are told to, you can head up another short flight of stairs to the small but gorgeous rooftop terrace overlooking the Duomo Cupola and the Piazza della Repubblica.

6.00 pm: Head to Dinner

I suggest one of these restaurants:

Trattoria dell’Oste

Osteria Cipolla Rossa

Trattoria la Casalinga

The first one happens to be the closest one to the Rinascente. If you’d like to know which one is my favorite one and why, read this article – 2 Hidden Gems Restaurants in Florence.

After dinner, you can take some extra time to explore the city, maybe grab a drink or a dessert. I suggest you have an early night as there’s more walking and a lot to see waiting for you tomorrow.

Day 2 in Florence – More Sightseeing & Shopping

Although I had planned this same itinerary for day 2, I couldn’t stick to it because of a sudden change of plans.

I strongly urge you to book your tickets in advance or head early to the ticket office. If you are visiting in a quieter season, like mid-October for example, you can get a ticket in just a few minutes from the office but you must go as early as possible. This only holds for these two museums as they tend to be less busy than the Uffizi, for example.

8.30 am: Palazzo Vecchio & Piazza Della Signoria

It’s important not to get your hopes up for this one. You see, this museum was the old location of the Local Council, and it’s still used today for many public events and press conferences. For this reason, it doesn’t always open according to the opening hours. But don’t worry, the ticket office will inform you if it’s closed or if part of the rooms are not accessible on that day.

That’s what happened to us, so we had to postpone the visit to another day.

The museum is only a short visit but I did enjoy it, especially the upper floor of the main hall and the terrace, so I suggest you take the time to see this one too.

10.00 am: Breakfast at Galleria Iginio Massari

I didn’t have the best experience with this one, but I think yours might be a different one if you keep in mind the tips I give you in my Florence Breakfast Guide. Plus, once you see how gorgeous the place looks, you’ll understand why I am still recommending it.

The only thing I’d like to add is that if you are looking for a local breakfast experience, with traditional Italian cuisine breakfast pastries, then this one is not for you.

11.00 am: Enjoy Some Shopping in Florence

Even if it’s just for window shopping, take a walk along these two main shopping streets:

Via Roma

Via dei Calzaiuoli

You will see many designer shops, so if your budget doesn’t allow it, I am afraid this area is not the best for low-end shopping. 

Via Giovanni Umberto, the street we were staying in, is full of local boutiques that are more affordable and also offer unique finds. However, it’s 40 minutes out of the city center on foot, so you may want to leave that for another time.

1.00 pm: Riccardo Medici Palace

Head to the ticket office and assess the queue. If it’s too long, you can always skip this museum or leave it for an early morning.

Please note that the Riccardo Medici Palace ticket doesn’t include access to the Medici Chapels. 

2.30 pm: All’Antico Vinaio Late Lunch

If you are looking for the best street food in Florence, this is it. Once you taste it, you’ll get what I am saying and you will be longing for more.

There are 3 different outlets at the moment I am writing this. However, the one in Via Ricasoli is the closest to Palazzo Medici.

I suggest you order the Soppressata Sandwich if they have it. If it has run out, all the other options are as delicious. Look at the menu for inspiration or make your own by choosing all the ingredients.

PS: There’s one specific location that gets an unbelievable queue, independently of when you go. I talk about that and how to avoid the queue in my Breakfast in Florence article.

3.00 pm: More Attractions To Visit in Florence

If you still have the energy to walk around, the attractions below were on my day 2 itinerary. However, I couldn’t fit them in.

– Oltrarno Neighbourhood

There’s nothing particular you must see in this neighborhood but being one in the proximity of the river, it looks very charming.

– Giardino Bardini

You will need a ticket for these gardens. You can get it here.

San Niccolo neighbourhood Florence

– San Niccolo Neighbourhood

This is another neighborhood located near the river. If you are taking an Arno river walk, you can visit it quickly. You’ll see the statue of San Niccolo on the right side of the river if you are coming from the direction of Ponte Vecchio. 

To explore the neighborhood, just enter the street on the side of the statue.

Piazzale Michelangelo on day 2 of 4 days in Florence

– Piazzale Michelangelo with bus 12 or 13

To reach Piazzale Michelangelo you can take a bus. Many lines go there. It depends on where you get the bus from. You will need to buy a 90-minute Biglietto Urbano from a Tobacco shop. It should cost around €2 (€1.70 when I bought it). 

Once you are there you’ll get to enjoy the panoramic view overlooking the city center of Florence. This is in my opinion the best view of Florence after the Uffizi Gallery, that doesn’t require climbing hundreds of stairs. 

My third day in Florence was a little different. We took a day trip to the beautiful nearby city of Lucca. I talk about our experience and our Lucca itinerary in this other article.

Don’t worry, if you’d rather spend the 4 days in Florence, I have another day of exploring planned out for you. See today’s itinerary below.

8.00 am: Breakfast at Caffè Lietta

I suggest you order one or two budini di riso, which are local breakfast pastries in Florence. You can find more about them and other breakfast foods in my Florence breakfast guide.

8.30 am: San Marco Neighbourhood walk

This neighborhood is probably my favorite one. It’s not near the river but I like the buildings. It’s also near Caffè Lietta.

The Accademia Gallery is the number one museum in Florence with the longest queue, from what I saw every time I walked past the entrance.

That means that booking your tickets in advance is fundamental if you want to see this museum. You can get them here.

Noon: Brunch or Lunch

If you’d like a quick lunch, the Antico Vinaio in Ricasoli is located on the same street as the Accademia Gallery entrance. That’s why I kept seeing the long queue because we nearly grabbed a sandwich every day.

If you’d rather have a bigger and longer lunch, I recommend a great lunch spot in my Hidden Gems Restaurants in Florence post.

Free Afternoon in Florence Or Short Day Trip

In my opinion, the best way to enjoy a city is to roam freely across the streets and take the time to stop and enjoy what you see without planning it.

Do this for the rest of today.

If you’d rather get outside the city and enjoy the Tuscan countryside, I suggest a short trip to the nearby town of Certaldo.

How to get to Certaldo?
You’ll need to head to the Santa Maria Novella Train Station, wait in line at the ticket shop, and get the ticket for Certaldo. 

You can buy the return in Certaldo, not at the train station but from the Stationery on the main road (it’s located just on the opposite street from the train station entrance and exit).

Certaldo Alto (Old Town)
Once you get in Certaldo, google the Certaldo Funicular and head there. It takes just a 5-minute walk. Go inside, buy the ticket (just €1.50 per person including the return ride), and hop on the next ride.

In just 2 minutes you will reach the upper part of Certaldo, which is the only one worth visiting in my opinion.

What to do in Certaldo?
Once you are there, take in the views of the surrounding countryside and Certaldo from above.

Exploring Certaldo Alto only takes a maximum of one hour, so take it slowly and enjoy the views and traditional farmhouse buildings.

If you are lucky to find a restaurant open, I suggest you sit down and grab a drink on a terrace.

Day 4 in Florence – Pitti Palace, Street Food & More Ice Cream

8.30 am: Breakfast at Ditta Artigianale & Hario Cafe

In my Florence breakfast guide, I share with you my first impressions and overall thoughts about this cafe spot in Florence. You will also get to see what we had for breakfast there and where we sat.

9.30 am: Palazzo Pitti + Boboli Gardens

If you like palaces with gardens, don’t miss visiting this one during your time in Florence. It’s one of the best examples of Florentine Renaissance Palaces.

You will need 4 hours to cover all the gardens, or 3 hours if you’d rather speed it up. The gardens require climbing a lot of stairs, so be prepared with good footwear. 

1.00 pm: Street Lunch at L’Antico Trippaio

If you have enjoyed my recommendation of All’Antico Vinaio, here’s another great one. L’Antico Trippaio is even older and it features the famous Lampredotto sandwich.

Unlike the other one, this is a food stand and not an actual shop. You can find it in Piazza de Cimatori. It should take you 15 minutes to reach it once you are done visiting Palazzo Pitti and the gardens.

Final Afternoon in Florence

I suggest you spend your last afternoon revisiting the neighborhoods, shops, and spots that left an impression on you. 

If you’d rather see something new, here are more attractions you can visit.

– Bargello National Museum

You can get your tickets here. Scroll to the bottom to read the details about the Cumulative ticket. If you plan to visit the other museums included in that one, the combined ticket is always the best option, both in terms of money and time.

– Santa Croce Neighbourhood

This neighborhood is near the Basilica of Santa Croce I suggested visiting on the first day. If you wanted to visit the inside, now would be a good time to do that but remember you need a ticket for that.

If you don’t, feel free to skip this one.

– Gelateria La Carraia

Don’t miss one final ice cream in Florence. This spot makes it a great one for a late afternoon or evening walk along the Arno River. Plus, it’s my second favorite ice cream shop in Florence. I suggest the Marmo di Carraia flavor.

If you could stay longer in Florence..

In case you are still not set on the exact number of days you will be spending in the city, I suggest you read this article – How many days in Florence? 

It will not only help you make up your mind about that, but also suggest more things to do on the extra days.

If on the other hand, you are looking to get outside the city and explore Tuscany, you will find this Florence to Tuscany guide very insightful.

Useful Info For Your Time In Florence – FAQ

Is 4 days in Florence enough?

4 days is a good amount of time to see the highlights of Florence. You can hit the major museums and landmarks while still having time to wander the city.

Where should I stay in Florence for 4 days?

Stay near the historic center so the top sites are walkable. Hotels near the Duomo or Ponte Vecchio put you in a central location but if budget is a concern, consider areas like Campo di Marte.

Where to have breakfast in Florence?

Caffè Gilli and Caffè Rivoire are classic cafés to try. For a more contemporary one, try Caffe Ditta Aritigianale which has 4 outlets scattered throughout the city.

Which restaurants do you recommend in Florence?

My favourites are Trattoria dall’Oste and Osteria Cipolla Rossa.

Which day trips do you suggest outside Florence?

Day trip options include Siena, Lucca, Pisa, Chianti wine region, and medieval San Gimignano.

What to know before visiting Florence?

Get tickets for the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery (David statue) ahead of time. Wear comfortable shoes for walking around on cobblestones.

How many days shall I spend in Florence and Tuscany?

For a split trip, spend at least 3 full days exploring Florence itself then allow 3 or 4 days for visiting Tuscan hill towns.

What’s the number one museum about the Medici Family in Florence?

The number one Medici museum is the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the family’s Renaissance palace in Florence.

What’s the number one example of Florentine Renaissance Palace?

The Palazzo Pitti is the top example of a magnificent Florentine Renaissance palace in Florence.

What’s the number one world heritage site in Florence?

Florence’s historic center was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its incredible concentration of art and architecture.

Where can I see Lorenzo De Medici in Florence?

Sculptures and artwork depicting Lorenzo de’ Medici can be seen in the Uffizi Gallery and the Medici Chapels.

Where can I go wine tasting near Florence?

Top regions for wine tasting from Florence include Chianti, Montalcino, and Montepulciano. Greve in Chianti is the easiest way to enjoy a winery experience with just a short train ride from Florence. 

What are the best day trips from Florence?

Top day trips are Siena to see medieval architecture, Lucca for pretty squares, and Pisa to see the Leaning Tower.

How much can I see in Florence in 4 days?

In 4 days you can visit the major museums, see top sites like the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio, explore neighborhoods like Oltrarno, and take at least one day trip. It makes for a nice introductory visit.

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