The city of Florence is one of great romance, architecture, and history. The views of Florence are absolutely breathtaking, whether it be from some famous viewpoint like the Piazzale Michelangelo or from some hidden gem location such as a rooftop bar or hillside city overlooking the city.
There are also some well-known eateries and some hole-in-the-wall bars with rooftop dining and great views that not too many people know about. Whatever it may be, we will divulge all of the deets here for you all so you get the perfect photos of the city and Tuscan countryside for your selfies or your photography Instagram page.
Tips For Finding The Best Views Of Florence
👗 Wear comfortable clothing, and bring pretty clothes
The last thing thin you want is to be climbing the steps of Florence viewpoints in heels and tight clothing. Instead, wear comfortable clothing that you can walk around in for at least a few miles; this means looser clothing, flowier for summer weather, and warmer clothes for the winter seasons of Firenze. Then if you must take photos in nicer clothing, pack those clothes in your day bag and just change into them.
🧳 Pack for a day out in Florence
Whenever you travel, you want to make sure you are prepared, and Florence is no different; just because you are exploring a city does not mean you don’t have to pack the travel essentials you’ll need. These can vary depending on the type of traveler you are, but we like to pack things like makeup for touch-ups, brushes, womanly products, camera batteries, chargers, medicine, snacks, water, and other women’s travel essentials.
☀️ Sunset and sunrise photos are the best
Everyone knows the golden hours offer some of the nicest photo opportunities for photography, but we get it. You can’t be at all the wonderful views of Florence at the same time, which is why you want to choose the most important views of Florence you want for that golden sunkissed lighting.
🌧️ Check the Weather
The last thing you want is to be getting ready for the day, doing your hair, packing your bag, and stepping out into a raging storm. This is why checking the weather every day is so important when you travel; of course, if you are e packed for the rainy weather and can hang with some frizzy hair that comes with the added humidity f rain, then by all means, explores. way. However, I personally turn into an electric frizz ball when it rains, and it’s not a good look on me 😟.
📷 Be creative with Photos
Chances are, you are not the only traveler exploring the city of Florence. Most of them will be hitting popular viewpoints such as the beautiful Ponte Vecchio, san niccolo tower, Florences skyline, which offers panoramic viewpoints, and a ton more.
Because of this, you want to ensure that you are being creative with your photos and utilizing angles, lighting, and different views of the same areas. You never know that lonely, tucked-away viewpoint may be your next hidden gem.
Best Florence Cathedrals That Offer Amazing Views Of Florence
Florence Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
There is absolutely no doubt about it. With the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore being in the center of the city, it completely dominates most other views in the city and of the city. The best thing about this view is that it gives you the best panoramic views of the city of Florence straight from the city center.
The bad thing about this particular viewpoint is that while you get to see the rest of the city, you don’t get to see the gorgeous cathedral itself since you are, in fact, standing on it. Another bad thing about this view is that the viewpoint itself is a paid attraction, and therefore, there are hours of operation, and there will be long lines. So, forget the nighttime views or views at the crack of dawn as you must pay attention to opening hours.
To get to this Florence viewpoint, you must visit the Cathedral in Florence. Visiting the cathedral itself is free, but you must book tickets to get rooftop or terrace access to Brunelleschi’s dome climb or Giottos Campanile, also known as Giotto’s bell tower. The best time of day to visit will be early in the morning, just after opening time, as lines won’t be as long, and there will be fewer people in your photos and near you in general.
San Miniato al Monte
San Miniato al Monte is a beautiful Romanesque church in Florence. The church is located atop a hill, which means you get great panoramic views of the city while also visiting a famous attraction.
The church does have hours of operation, so while you cannot get inside the san miniato al monte, you can still be in the area and still experience the stunning view of the city from just right outside of the church, which stands at one of the tallest points in the city.
Best City Views Of Florence
Climb To The Top Of The Piazzale Michelangelo
This is undoubtedly the best view of the city and can be accessed at any time of day. The Piazzale Michelangelo is a famous public square with panoramic views of the city of Florence and the Arno river.
Travel Tip: Just like visiting Venice at night, You need to see this Florence viewpoint at night too!
To access this viewpoint, you must first trek the ascent, which isn’t as bad as I’m making it sound. If traveling from the city center, then the trip is a mere 25-minute walk where you’ll have to cross the Arno river and then walk up this big hill with a lot of stairs on it. If you don’t fancy walking, you can take a bus or car to get to the square as well.
The best time to visit this viewpoint is definitely during sunset as you’ll see the brightly illuminated city of Florence with the sun just behind the city. Another popular time to visit is at night as you’ll see the city and all of its bright lights at night.
Fiesole is a neighboring city to Florence, and it is located on a hilltop offering spectacular views of Florence from high up. The city is a bit far, so it’s best to travel there by car or public transit.
Other cool things to do in Fiesole besides enjoying the breathtaking views of Florence are visiting the archeological museum and San Francesco.
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Settignano is another neighboring city to Florence and is located just atop a hill looking down over Florence. If you’re looking to take a small day trip from Florence, then Settignano is a great place to visit as it has some of the best views of Florence and is a short drive away from the city center of Florence.
This famous fort Belvedere is located on top of a hill and gives stunning city views of Florence. The fort is located a 20-minute walk from the city center and is a pretty easy trek other than the uphill part of it. It is accessible only during the summer months of the year and remains closed during winter. There are tickets to enjoy full accessibility of the entire fort but the out side of the villa is accessible to all free of charge.
Tower of San Niccolo
The tower of San Niccolo is, yes, you guessed it, another tower to climb up for great views. The tower is located roughly a 20 minute walk from the city center and is about 160 steps to the top.
Explore the tower, it does require a small ticket fee. Please note that this tower is closed during the winter months and remains open only during the summer months of the year.
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Best Views Of The Arno River In Florence
Ponte Vecchio One of Florence’s Famous Bridges
The Ponte Vecchio bridge is a medieval stone arch bridge in Florence. This is the only bridge in Florence lasting from before WW2. The bridge itself is famous for its medieval design is that it was built in 1345. Another unique quality about the bridge is that it is lined with shops which were once common practice.
The Ponte Vecchio is easily accessible from the city center as it’s under a 10-minute walk. Since the bridge is indeed a part of the city that means it is accessible 24/7 and is free to visit!
Ponte Vecchio offers gorgeous views of the River Arno, especially at sunset when you see the sunset reflecting off the water. It’s also a nice view at night where you see the city lights reflecting off of the Arno river. The bridge also becomes a buzzing nightlife spot where you can grab drinks or food nearby and then sit and enjoy the calm and serene view of the river. Often times, people will sing or play instruments which only adds to the mood.
Tower of Arnolfo- Palazzo Vecchio
The tower of Arnolfo offers an impeccable view not only from the top but you can stop along the way to the top and still capture some amazing photos. The tower is something close to 95 meters tall and offers 360-degree panoramic views of Florence and an amazing view of the Duomo and the Arno river.
The Tower of Arnolfo is located in Palazzo Vecchio, and does cost money to be able to access it. The downside is that the views from the tower are of course only accessible during the hours of operation for the Palazzo Vecchio.
To access this incredible view, you must visit the Palazzo Vecchio, which is roughly a 5-minute walk from the city center. Now after arrive you must gain entry to the Palazzo Vecchio by first purchasing tickets to visit both the museum and the tower of Arnolfo. Then to get to the top of the tower you’ll have to climb something close to 235 steps to get to your viewpoint.
Best Garden Views In Florence
Famous Boboli Gardens
Boboli gardens is an intricately designed outdoor garden located just behind Palazzo Pitti. The gardens are historical and have been around since the mid 1700s. The view of the city the gardens is breathtaking. Plus, you’re at Palazzo Pitti so you can walk around and explore.
The downside to the Boboli Gardens is that there are hours of operation so the views are only accessible during the hours that the gardens are open. Another downside is that tickets are needed to enter so it does cost money to visit the gardens.
Stroll through the Bardini Gardens
The Bardini gardens are located on a hill in Florence, which gives the best views of Florence. The Bardini gardens have been around since the mid 1600s and are an important piece of Florentine history.
The Bardini gardens are about a 15-minute walk from the city center so it’s very easy to find your way there and back. The Bardini gardens do have hours of operation and therefore are only accessible at certain times of the day. There is also a ticket that you must purchase to access the gardens.
Best Restaurants and bars with a view of Florence
- Golden View Firenze
- La Loggia del Piazzale Michelangelo
- Trattoria omero
- View on Art Rooftop Cocktail Bar
- Sesto on Arno Rooftop Bar
- Signorvino Firenze
- Angel Roofbar
- Dining Toscanino
These are some hidden gem eateries, bars, and cafes that all provide you with great views of the city of Florence, either due to their location, rooftop dining, or window views. Don’t forget to tip etiquette in Italy!
Florence Views FAQ
The Florence Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is one of the most visible landmarks in all of Florence.
Climbing the Giattos Bell Tower will offer stunning views of Florence while climbing Brunelleschi’s Dome will also offer great views of Florence; we think the Giottos campanile still is better overall.
Yes, the Florence Duomo Rooftop, while hard to climb, offers amazing views of Florence.
The famous hill in Florence, Italy, is known as the Piazzale Michelangelo. It also offers amazing views of Florence.
Americans will usually hang out near tourist hot spots or college party areas such as Santa Croce.
Giottos Campanile has the best views of Florence when comparing the towers of Florence.
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the best sunset spots in Florence; the views it offers are absolutely stunning and are even better during golden hour.