Florence in 5 Days: tips, what to see, and much more

If you travel five days to Florence you will have the opportunity to know the capital of Tuscany in detail and, in addition, you can make a trip to Pisa. Here is a possible itinerary for your trip

María Cano

María Cano

13 min read

Florence in 5 Days: tips, what to see, and much more

Florence, Italy | ©Edward Stranks

A five-day trip to Florence is ideal to see all the must-see sights. Its museums, gardens and palaces, basilicas and churches, markets and, of course, immerse yourself in the life and atmosphere of the city. You will also have the opportunity to take a trip to a nearby city like Siena, Pisa or San Gimignano. Here is an itinerary for your five-day stay in Florence. Would you like to join me?

Also, before starting your trip, do not hesitate to read the post what to see and do in Florence and create the best itinerary possible.

Day 1: Get to know the must-see of Florence

Pitti Palace| ©Nathan Rupert
Pitti Palace| ©Nathan Rupert

On your five-day trip to the city of Florence, I recommend that you visit the must-see sites of the Tuscan capital: Piazza del Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Ponte Vecchio and, of course, enjoy the best views from Piazzale Michelangelo.

If you are staying five days in Florence, you are in luck, as you will be able to get to know the city in depth and have the opportunity to take a day trip to a nearby city like Pisa.

Book your guided tour of Florence

Start your day at the Duomo Square

Described by many as an open-air museum, Piazza del Duomo is an amazing place. Read the post all the plans in Florence's Piazza del Duomo and list the best ones according to your preferences. Still, here are the must-sees:

  • Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore: It dates back to the early 15th century and is the third largest cathedral in Europe. You will be impressed as soon as you enter the square and is a symbol of the splendor that came to have the city of Florence. Its white, green and red marble facade is dazzling. Know all the information in this post about the entrances to the Duomo.
  • Brunelleschi's Dome: Climbing the dome is a must. From the top you will have one of the best views of the city of Florence. And it is an architectural challenge for the time. On the climb, which takes place between the two domes, you will see the interior decoration depicting a series of scenes from the Last Judgment created by artists Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari.
  • Battistero di San Giovanni: It is the oldest monument in Piazza del Duomo. Its exterior decoration is, like that of the Cathedral, in white, red and green marble. Do not hesitate to have your picture taken next to the Gate of Paradise. The entrance fee is 5€ for adults and 3€ for children 7-14 years old.
  • Giotto's Campanile: The visit is open to the public from 8:15 am to 7 pm.

Tickets for the Cathedral and Brunelleschi's Dome in Florence

Take a break at the Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria| ©Zolli
Piazza della Signoria| ©Zolli

Next, on your way to the Pitti Palace, don't hesitate to pause in Piazza della Signoria. Take a seat at the Loggia della Signoria and let yourself be dazzled by the different statues, as well as by the Neptune Fountain. In addition, you can enter by buying your tickets online, at the Palazzo Vecchio which is open until 7 pm, except on Thursdays when it closes at 2 pm.

Have a picnic in the Boboli Gardens

And after an intense morning in Florence's Duomo Square, don't hesitate to visit the Boboli Gardens and have a picnic to regain your strength. Then, explore them and discover each and every one of its corners, statues, fountains ... The entrance fee starts at 6 €.

Enter the Pitti Palace

Then, with the batteries charged after the fantastic picnic and a nice walk to explore the Boboli Gardens, make your next stop at the Pitti Palace. Inside you can visit the Gallery of Modern Art, the Palatina Gallery, the Costume Museum, the Silver Museum and the Porcelain Museum. Tickets can be purchased online from a price of 10 € and the opening hours are from 8:15 am to 18:30 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

Book a visit to the Boboli garden and Pitti Palace

See the best views of the city from the Piazzale Michelangelo

And after exploring the different rooms of the Pitti Palace, what better plan than to see the best views from the Piazzale Michelangelo. In addition, you can take a short break while you have an ice cream on one of the steps or a drink in one of the cafes.

Enjoy a Eucharistic celebration at San Miniato al Monte

San Miniato al Monte| ©Benjamín Núñez González
San Miniato al Monte| ©Benjamín Núñez González

And, of course, once at the top, you have to enter the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte. In addition, you can coincide your visit with one of the Eucharistic celebrations that take place in Latin and Gregorian chant. The schedule is from Monday to Saturday at 6 pm and on Sundays and holidays at 5:30 pm.

Look for good luck by touching the snout of the porcellino

Afterwards, take the opportunity to go downstairs while you enjoy a pleasant walk and get to know the city. Once downstairs, go to the New Market area, visit the various leather goods and tourist stalls and buy some souvenirs. Also, and most importantly, touch the snout of the porcellino. This way, you will be sure to have good luck and return to the city.

Marvel at the Vechio Bridge

To end the day and after dark, head to the Ponte Vechio and get to know the most characteristic place in the city of Florence. This stone suspension bridge is even more beautiful during the day than at night under the moonlight.

Book your guided tour of Florence

Day 2: Visit the main museums and get to know the atmosphere of San Lorenzo

Inside the Uffizi Gallery| ©Matteo Lezzi
Inside the Uffizi Gallery| ©Matteo Lezzi

On the second day, don't hesitate to visit the Uffizi Gallery, the most visited museum in the city of Florence and one of the most visited art galleries in Italy, for which you can buy your tickets here. Also, take the opportunity to go to the Accademia Gallery and see the 'David', the quintessential work of Michelangelo, as well as the Oltrarno district and Santa Maria Nouvella, which you can get to know in detail by hiring a tour. Also, enjoy all the atmosphere of San Lorenzo.

Start the day at the Uffizi Gallery

Start the day with energy and very early at the Uffizi Gallery in order to avoid the long lines that form throughout the morning and to be able to see the best works of the Uffizi Gallery at your leisure. The Uffizi is the Italian museum that registers the highest number of visitors throughout the year and you will have to get used to the idea that there are always many people, but you can always try to go at times of the day when there are fewer tourists. Regarding the price of tickets to the Uffizi Gallery is from 12 €.

Buy tickets to the Uffizi Gallery

Visit the Oltrarno

Oltrarno by night| ©Mirko Radi
Oltrarno by night| ©Mirko Radi

Once you have seen the best works of the Uffizi, cross the Arno River and visit the Oltrarno district, one of the most lively areas of Florence. You can take the opportunity to have a piadina or a focaccia to recharge your batteries and then visit the Basilica of Santo Spirito, which houses Michelangelo's 'Wooden Crucifix'. Visiting hours are from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm and on Sundays and holidays from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm. Regarding the price of admission is 2 €. And before crossing the Arno again to Santa Maria Nouvella, our next stop, enjoy the best Italian ice cream at the Gelateria La Carraia, next to the Carraia Bridge, in Piazza Nazario Sauro. They have a wide variety of flavors and the prices are very affordable.

Visit Santa Maria Nouvella

In Piazza Santa Maria Nouvella you have an unquestionable visit to book a tour: the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, from the fourteenth century, whose opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays from 12 - 1 pm to 5 pm. And then head to the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, in Via della Scala, which sells perfumes and remedies made with traditional formulas.

Get to know the San Lorenzo district

Before the construction of Santa Maria del Fiore, the city's cathedral was located in the Basilica of San Lorenzo where the Medici Chapel is located. The entrance fee starts at 7€ and the visiting hours are from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on **Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:**30 p.m. And after the visit, go to the San Lorenzo Market where you can buy souvenirs of your trip: leather goods, textiles, handicrafts, food...

Meet the 'David' at the Accademia Gallery

David, by Michelangelo at the Galleria Accademia| ©Elias Rovielo
David, by Michelangelo at the Galleria Accademia| ©Elias Rovielo

And the tour of this second continues in the Accademia Gallery, which you can visit until 6:45 pm and where you can see the 'David', the quintessential work of Michelangelo. I recommend you to buy your tickets in advance and online. The price starts at 25€.

Book a guided tour of the Accademia Gallery

See the impressive Piazza della Repubblica under the moonlight

The Republic Square is an impressive square that if you have the opportunity I recommend you to visit from sunset when the Arc de Triomphe and the Column of Plenty are illuminated. This has been throughout history a focal point of the city of Florence.

End the day at the Palazzo Strozzi

If you cross the Arc de Triomphe, you will find yourself facing the Palazzo Strozzi, of Renaissance architecture. This stone palace was designed by Filippo Strozzi and can be visited until 8 pm, except on Thursdays when it is open until 11 pm. The entrance fee starts at 15€.

Day 3: A day to discover Florence

Church of Santa Croce| ©Ana Rivas
Church of Santa Croce| ©Ana Rivas

The itinerary of the third day will also be quite complete and includes Santa Croce and the Florence Synagogue. In addition, you can enjoy a delicious lunch at Le Carcelie and get to know the surroundings of Santissima Annunziata.

Discover Santa Croce

Book your tickets for the Church of Santa Croce because it is a must-see on your trip to Florence. It is the largest Franciscan church in the world and houses more than 300 tombs of great historical figures such as Galileo Galiei, Michelangelo, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Machiavelli. The entrance fee starts at 8€ and the visit can be made on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and on Sundays and holidays from 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm.

Enter the Synagogue of Florence

Very close to Santa Croce is the Synagogue of Florence, whose green bronze dome can be seen from different parts of the city such as the Dome of Brunelleschi, the Campanile of Giotto or the Piazzale Michelangelo. You can enter from a price of 6,50€ and it is a visit that will really surprise you.

Lunch at Le Carceri

And after several days in Florence, I recommend that you do not leave without visiting Le Carceri, a perfect restaurant to taste the bistecca alla fiorentina, one of the most popular dishes of the region. But if you don't like meat, don't worry, as you can also try their wood-fired pizzas, which are a real delight. This restaurant is located in a former convent that was later a male prison and preserves original 18th century frescoes and details of the cells.

Meet Santissima Annunziata

After recharging your batteries, do not hesitate to continue your itinerary at the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata. A free visit that is open in the afternoon from 4 pm to 6:30 pm. Then you can enter the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the first official residence of the Medici family. Visiting hours are from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Day 4: Visit the surroundings of Florence

National Museum of the Bargello| ©RH&XL
National Museum of the Bargello| ©RH&XL

On the fourth day of your trip to Florence I recommend a morning excursion to Fiesole. In addition, in the afternoon you can discover other museums in Florence such as the Museo Galileo, the Museo Casa Di Dante or the Museo Nazionale del Bargello.

Take an excursion to Fiesole

About 20 minutes from Florence is Fiesole, a town located on a hill about six kilometers from the capital of Tuscany and from where you will have another of the best views of the city. In addition, during your visit you can visit the Roman theater and baths, the Etruscan-Roman temple, the Duomo of Fiesole dating from the eleventh century, tour the Etruscan walls of the city or visit the Convent of San Francesco.

Visit the National Archaeological Museum of Florence

After a lunch break I recommend that you continue your itinerary by visiting the National Archaeological Museum of Florence, an important museum that houses the second most important collection of Egyptian art in Italy, as well as an important display of Etruscan art. Get your tickets in advance from this link.

Delve into the history of science at the Museo Galileo

Galileo Museum| ©Elias Rovielo
Galileo Museum| ©Elias Rovielo

Next, you can choose to go to the Galileo Museum that brings together an important collection of scientific instruments such as Galileo's first telescope, thermometers of the Academy of the Foundation and important experimental objects. The price of admission is from 9 € per adult and from 5.5 € for reduced admission and the visiting hours are from 9:30 am to 6 pm. You can purchase tickets for the museum in advance.

Visit the Orsanmichele Church

The Church of Orsanmichele dates back to the 14th century and is located in Via Dell'arte della lana. The visiting hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the visit, whose price starts at 2€, is a real wonder. The temple is characterized by exterior statues, arches and its beautiful interior decoration.

Delve into the work of Dante and Donatello

Of course, you should not leave Florence without visiting the Museo Casa Di Dante where you can delve into the life and work of the author. The entrance fee is from 8 € for adults and reduced admission costs from 3 - 5 €. Another of the most popular museums in Florence is the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, which has Sala di Donatello, a room that houses important works by the artist. It also houses a collection of sculptures from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, a military display, as well as other objects of great artistic value. The price starts at 10€.

Day 5: Excursion to Pisa

Visiting Pisa| ©Saffron Blaze
Visiting Pisa| ©Saffron Blaze

On the last day of your trip to Florence I recommend a day trip to Pisa. The city of the leaning tower is located approximately 80 kilometers from Florence. However, if you prefer to visit other cities such as San Gimignano or Siena, visit the post what to see in Florence in seven days and learn about other possible excursions.

Look for your selfie at the Leaning Tower of Pisa

One of the essential plans of your trip to Pisa is to go to the Piazza dei Miracoli and see in person the Leaning Tower of Pisa. On your walk to this enclave of the city you will glimpse it among the buildings and you will realize that it is just as you imagined it. This monument dates from the twelfth and fourteenth centuries and is about 56 meters high and has almost 300 steps.

Visit the Cathedral of Pisa

Next, head to the Pisan Romanesque Duomo of Pisa. It is located next to the tower and dates back to the 11th century. It stands out for its bronze door, as well as for its marble facade with black and white stripes. Regarding the interior, the pulpit, by Giovanni Pisano, stands out.

Enter the largest Baptistery in Italy

The Baptistery of Pisa will leave you totally impressed. It dates back to the 13th century and is the largest building of its kind in Italy. In fact, it has a similar height to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Inside, its baptismal font stands out. Octagonal in shape, it has a diameter of approximately 30 meters.

Get to know the Cemetery

The Cemetery or Monumental Cemetery of Pisa is the last monument that remains to be visited in Piazza dei Miracoli. Its cloister, in Gothic style, is a true marvel and I recommend you take some time to contemplate the 14th and 15th century frescoes by, among other artists, Andrea de Bonaiuto, Antonio Veneziano, Taddeo Gaddi or Benozzo Gozzoli. Like Santa Croce in Florence, the most illustrious personalities of the city of Pisa can be found here.

Book an excursion to Pisa from Florence

Pause at Piazza dei Miracoli

After seeing all the monuments in Piazza dei Miracoli or Piazza del Duomo do not hesitate to find a place to take a break and have a pizza taglio while you contemplate everything around you. This square was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is a true marvel.

Walk around the Piazza dei Cavalieri

Piazza dei Cavalieri| ©Sailko
Piazza dei Cavalieri| ©Sailko

The Palazzo dell'Orologio, the Palazzo del Consiglio dei Dodici, the church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri or the Palazzo della Carovana are located in the Piazza dei Cavalieri, another of the essential visits on your trip to Pisa where the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen was located, which was also the seat of civil power during the Middle Ages and, today, houses the Scuola normale di Pisa. Depending on the time you have ahead you can spend more or less time, but be sure to go and admire the various buildings in the square, as well as the statue of the Grand Duke Cosimo I de Medici, founder of the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen.

Cross the Ponte di Mezzo

The second most photographed place in Pisa after the tower is the Ponte di Mezzo and it is not for less since it is an amazing enclave. Be sure to take a walk along the banks of the Arno and contemplate the different colorful buildings that are next to the bridge. It is a wonderful postcard.

Be dazzled by the Church of Santa Maria della Spina

On your walk along the banks of the Arno, head towards the Church of Santa Maria della Spina, a 13th century Gothic church whose exterior ornamentation has the signature of artists such as Giovanni Pisano, Andrea Pisano, Lupo di Francesco or Giovanni di Balduccio, among others.

Visit to the National Museum of San Matteo

End your day in the city of Pisa with a visit to the National Museum of San Matteo, located in a medieval convent in Gothic style. Its collection includes works by various Tuscan artists between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries amongwhich the 'Croce di Fucecchio' by Berlinghieri Berlinghiero, a bust-reliquary of 'San Rossore' by Donatello, the statue 'Madonna del latte' by Nino Pisano, 'Madonna col bambino' by Gentile da Fabriano or 'San Paolo' by Masaccio.

Book an excursion to Pisa from Florence