Florence Italy skyline - Budget 4-Day Itinerary

Florence on a Budget in 4 Days Solo

Revised 5/5/20

If you’re using my How to Spend 2 Weeks in Italy and planned your 2 Days in Siena, now you’re ready to find out how I saw Florence on budget in 4 days, packed with art, historic sites, wine tasting and an Italian cooking class with dinner. You won’t want to miss this itinerary.

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Prices in this post reflective at time of writing.

Florence on a Budget (or Not) Guide

Tourists on Florence Duomo Italy
Florence Duomo from Campanile Tower

To help with your Italy travel planning, remember to check out my great Italy travel guide along with my travel resources

Don’t forget to also peruse my Guide to Budget European Accommodations for additional accommodation-planning information.

Let me state here that when I say “budget”, I mean your daily travel expenses should total €100 or less.  Yes, it is very possible to visit Florence on less than €100.  It’s up to you and your budget. The following travel guide can work for anyone, budget or not. The key factor that can push you out of the “budget” range is the accommodations you choose, not the attractions. Nice, huh?

Ok, now let’s get you to Florence on a budget.

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Florence Transportation

From most Italy locations, it is more than likely you will arrive at the Florence Santa Maria Novena train station.  From there you can take other trains or regional or local buses outside of Florence, if you wish.  No rental car is really needed.  The Florence historical center can really be done on foot, and if you’re staying within my recommended area (see map below), you can also walk to/from the Florence train station.

Where to Stay in Florence

Florence is larger than Siena but smaller than Rome.  For optimum ease of walking and seeing the sights, it is recommended to stay within the historic district and walking distance to the train station.  I recommend staying within the circle on the map:

Where to stay in Florence Italy map
Where to stay in Florence

For budget purposes, my hotel recommendation/value for the money with breakfast and taxes included at €54/night is Hotel Casci or Sunflower Guest House. Both are in great locations – walking distance to the train station – with pleasing breakfasts and staff, and include all of the lovely amenities you could need.

If you want cheaper accommodations, there are other hotels and hostels to choose from starting at around €25/night, depending on what amenities and location you want. Hostelworld has some great, Florence listings.

Conversely, if you want to pay more, take a look at Florence accommodations.  I would still recommend staying in the suggested area noted above.

Many accommodations may not let you check in until 3-4pm, but if available, have them store your luggage until your room is ready so you can get out and enjoy Florence.

Florence Attraction Musts

View of Duomo from Campanile Bell Tower Florence
Florence Duomo from Campanile Tower

The capital of the Tuscan region, Florence can be seen in two days or twenty.  If you have never been to the historic center of Florence, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the following are attractions that would a shame to miss. You can easily do 3-4 Florence highlights in a day without being too tired, but I suggest you pace it out to enjoy the leisure time in Florence.  Some attractions are free.

The reason why I suggested the following “musts” is that they are not-to-be-missed, amazing attractions, and, of course, they are also big tourist draws sure to draw long lines, especially April to October and on the weekends.

Firenze Card

That said, the first thing you should do upon arriving to the Santa Maria Novena train station, before you check in to your hotel, is walk across the street from the train station (there are big red flags out front so you can’t miss it) and purchase a Firenze Card, which costs €72 and is good for three days starting at the first point of entry. Trust me, it is completely worth the money – not just because you get into the best attractions and you’ll have a great walking map, but that you pass all those people standing in line! 

Even if the card is slightly more than all of the attractions you want to see, I feel it’s worth the extra expense for simply saving time from standing in lines.  Seriously, if you see a long line in front of any of the attractions, go right up to the front door and show them your Firenze Card.  They will let you right in!  The time you save from lines is priceless.  If you don’t get a Firenze Card, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Firenze Card

Even though you have your Firenze card, you will still need to make a reservation to go to the top of the Duomo Dome and enter the Duomo Cathedral.  These are the only attractions where the Firenze Card does not let you skip the line.  

The first Duomo Dome tour of the day is 8:30am, which I highly suggest you get. When you’re done, you can then go down and enter the Cathedral. 

If you do not book in advance online, you can go to the Duomo ticket office off the side of the piazza.  If you wait to purchase and reserve at the ticket office, I recommended this being your next stop after getting your Firenze Card, or checking into your hotel. You’re only in in Florence for 4 days, and Duomo reservations could already be booked through those days so making your reservation is something you’re going to want to do early.

Florence Activity – Reservations Required

  • Duomo Dome, Cathedral – Climb 463 steps to the top for great views of Florence
  • Duomo museum and cathedral

Florence Activity – Reservations Recommended

Other Florence Attractions

Cherub sculpture Florence Italy
Pitti Palace

  • Baptistery
  • Monastery of San Marco (Fra Angelico)
  • Ponte Vecchio bridge
  • Palazzo Vecchio
  • San Lorenzo market
  • Corridoio Vasariano
  • Palazzo Pitti
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Museo delle Cappelle Medicee (“Medici Chapels”)
  • Galileo Science Museum

You’ll Also Like:

Florence Events Calendar

If it helps in planning what you would like to see, here is a list of annual events held in Florence and annual events held in the Tuscany region.

More Florence Activities and Tours

When in Florence, why not take a cooking class?  That’s what I thought, so I did!  Here is the class I took and had a wonderful time and met some great people. I recommend this Tuscan Cooking Class and Dinner activity when in Florence.

If you’re into wine tasting, like I am, and have a free day in Florence after using up your Firenze Card, why not take a half-day wine tasting or full-day wine tasting trip and enjoy the Tuscan countryside?

The Tuscan region is famous for its wine so many fabulous wine tours abound for you to experience. Check out Tuscany in a Bottle if you need more inspiration.

If you’re on a budget and cannot afford a group wine tasting trip, how about trying a Do-It-Yourself wine tasting trip without a car, much like you did Montalcino

Grassina, Rignano sull’Arno, and Greve are only a 36-minute, 49-minute and 60-minute bus ride from Florence, respectively.  Doing one stop is easily doable, but why not try two?  And you don’t have to worry about driving. All the better.

Florence Dining

People dining in Piazza del Duomo Florence Italy
Piazza del Duomo

  • The San Lorenzo Market has good shopping and opportunities to grab lunch.
  • The Mercato Centrale is famous for its fresh food where you can also grab a bite at a stand.
  • If you are a meat lover, find a Florentine steakhouse where you can enjoy Chianina beef and local Chianti.
  • On a budget? The Curious Appetite has some great recommendations on how to eat cheap in Florence.
  • My recommendation? Osteria Pastella!  Pietro is the owner. He gets his food fresh daily and his menu and food is sublime!  You can see them prepare fresh pasta in the window.  I also think his version of tiramisu is the best.  I admit ate there more than once my last time in Florence. Don’t just take my word for it, check out the reviews.

Florence on a Budget: 4-Day Itinerary

My suggested Florence hotels can be booked for €216 for 4 nights (a fabulous breakfast and taxes included). If you get a better deal or choose a more budget-friendly accommodation, then your average daily costs with all meals could be less than €100.

With the that in mind, and having the Firenze Card (€72), here is my suggested 4-day itinerary for seeing Florence on a budget without sacrificing comfort or skimping on the major sites.

Note: prices below do not reflect lunch or dinner meals, and attractions prices may have changed slightly since time of writing.

Florence Italy landscape
Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

Florence Day 1 = €78

Florence Day 2 = €78

  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Ponte Vecchio – cross the bridge, explore or shop
  • Walk in the Oltrano district – explore local shops and artists
  • Palazzo Pitti
  • Piazzale Michelangelo – great city views
  • Firenze Card
  • Hotel (breakfast and taxes included)

Florence Day 3 = €78

Florence Italy street art vendor
Art vendor

Florence Day 4 = €78 or €146*

Alternatively, if you wish to spend your last day outside of Florence:

Self-Guided Greve Wine Tasting – Day 4 = €93

  • Round trip bus to Greve
  • Three wine or grapa tastings, Greve
  • Hotel (breakfast and taxes included)

Let Me Hear From You

I would love to hear if this Florence 4 day itinerary was helpful to you. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!

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