Is it possible to visit Florence in a day? Well, if that’s what you have, we can do our best. With a good itinerary, you can certainly visit the top attractions of Florence in few hours. First of all, I hope your day in Florence is not a Monday because Uffizi and Accademia Gallery are closed; if this is the case, then this article won’t help you, but you can find some valid alternatives here.
My suggestion to visit Florence in a day is to get a full day tour of the city, which will keep you busy for around three hours in the morning and further two or three in the afternoon. More than that would become too much, less than that would mean visiting Florence in half day: even this is possible, skipping some of the attractions, but I will tell you about this in another post. I already wrote some recommendations on what to do in Florence in a day, let me tell you this again: you could opt for a walking tour including Accademia in the morning, coupled with an Uffizi tour in the afternoon, but why waste money? Agencies offer them both in combo tours for a lower price, and these are the offers I’m going to analyze today, selecting the best ones for you, as always. You know that I always recommend private tours (when your budget allows), and in case you have just a few hours in town, this is an even stronger recommendation: you don’t want to waste your time in unnecessary washroom breaks, or walking as slow as the slowest person in a large group. Get a private tour and use the extra time for a longer lunch break or to do whatever you prefer once the guided tour is over.
Florence super saver (full-day or afternoon)
This tour offers all you need: a walking tour including Accademia Gallery in the morning and an Uffizi Gallery tour in the afternoon. It is by an agency I worked for, that I dropped not because their tours are bad, but because they paid sensibly lower fares (compared to other agencies) to their tourist guides. I claim to be a good tour guide of Florence and want to give quality but also have what I deserve in return. I recommend this tour for visiting Florence in a day, and it’s not expensive: at the moment of writing it’s offered at € 86, with a discount on the regular price of € 94. They claim it’s a small group tour, but actually you will join a party of 25, which is as large as you can get (the Uffizi gallery doesn’t allow a single guide to have more than 25 people). You can do this tour as a full-day tour but also can concentrate everything in the afternoon. If you opt for a full-day tour the meeting point is at Piazza San Marco at 8:45 am where you will be given radio sets to listen to your guide. The tour starts at 9 am with the Accademia Gallery, which is very close to the meeting point. Here the guide will show you Michelangelo’s David, then you will have some free time to explore the museum on your own. After joining your group again, you will walk through the city center to see the main architectural attractions, including the entrance to the Duomo. This first part of the tour ends at 12 pm at Ponte Vecchio. You have some time to enjoy your lunch on your own, then you will meet your guide (not necessarily the same person) at the Uffizi gallery at 1:15 pm. You will be given radio sets again, and from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm you will see the highlights of the Uffizi Gallery. If you choose to have both tours in the afternoon, you will meet your guide at 1:15 pm at the Uffizi Gallery, as described above. The visit of the Gallery ends at 3:00 pm, then you have to reach Piazza San Marco (on your own) by 4:15 pm to start the Accademia plus walking tour at 4:30 pm. The tour will end at 7:30 pm. So which option to choose? I recommend the full-day tour, which has several advantages: it gives you some breaks, the first portion of the tour ends at Ponte Vecchio which is close to the Uffizi (where the second portion of the tour starts) and includes the Duomo inside (not possible in the afternoon, because the church will be closed). The afternoon tour has the advantage of better using your time: you have a free morning, plus the lines at the Accademia will be shorter (yeah, even with skip-the-line tickets you will stay in line for a while), but you won’t have much time in between the two tours, because reaching San Marco from the Uffizi means walking for 25-30 minutes. Well, I told you what I know: make your choice.
Florence full-day tour
This tour is a bit different way to visit Florence in a day. It is not the usual Uffizi-Accademia-Duomo-walking tour combination. After meeting your guide at 9:15 am, the tour will start at 9:30 am with a trip on a private coach to see the wonderful city of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo. I like this part very much, it’s like having an introduction from a place where you can see all the architectural attractions. The coach will get you back to the historical center, where you will have a short walking tour including the Duomo, before visiting the Accademia Gallery: you will finish this first part of the tour at 12:30 pm. You can opt to add lunch to your tour of Florence in a day, or have lunch on your own: the second part of the tour starts at 2:30 pm, so you have plenty of time. At 2:30 pm you will hop on your coach again, this time to explore Fiesole, having more wonderful views of Florence. I don’t like this part at all: you waste precious time (much needed for the Uffizi Gallery) after you already went to Piazzale Michelangelo. The fact is that this tour is not sold only as full-day, but also the morning and afternoon parts are sold separately, and they preferred to offer some beautiful sightseeing to both half-day customers, penalizing the full-day buyers. By the way, after the short trip by coach is over, you will visit Piazza Santa Croce and Piazza Della Signoria before entering at the Uffizi Gallery for a tour of the highlights. The tour ends at 5:30 pm. Apart for the second excursion on the coach (one was more than sufficient), I recommend this tour, which has a cost of € 99/person, for people who doesn’t like to stay too much time exploring the same place: expect less time in museums with this tour. What about adding lunch for € 10 more? I wouldn’t expect a great meal for that price: maybe better use the extra time to further explore the Accademia Gallery on your own and join the group again later. This tour runs on Mondays too: the Accademia Gallery is replaced by a visit to the San Marco Museum while the Uffizi Gallery is replaced by a visit to Palazzo Vecchio inside.
Florence in a day private tour
Go this route, if budget allows. We can personalize the duration of the tour, add (or remove) attractions, suggest the best places to have your lunch. Everything will be smoother: we will enter in museums using the lanes granted to individuals, where the “skip-the-line” tickets work best, and you will have a chance to see many more things, without wasting your time. A private Florence in a day tour will cost you between € 500 and € 600 (tickets included), in case you ask an agency, but hiring a local professional guide directly you will have the same for less, paying something like € 60/hour plus the ticket price (€ 33/person for Accademia and Uffizi skip-the-line tickets). If your party counts 5 people or more, the private tour becomes convenient; if less than 5, you will pay more than for a group tour, but still have a much better service. We can customize your tour, or you can choose the standard Florence in a day tour, which includes a walking tour (with Duomo visit) and the visit of the Accademia Gallery and Uffizi Gallery.
What other suggestions can you find in this section?
- The best Florence tours and activities reviewed by a tour guide
- Walking tours
- Uffizi tours
- Florence in one day
- Duomo tours
- Vasari Corridor tours
- Inferno tours
- Skip-the-line David tours
- What to do on Mondays
- Tours of Florence from Rome or Venice
- Florence outdoor activities
- Florence food tours
- Wine tours in Tuscany
- Cooking classes
- Wine tours in Florence
- Day trips from Florence to Tuscany countryside
- Day trips from Florence to Pisa
- Day trips from Florence to Siena
- Day trips from Florence to Cinque Terre
- Day trips from Florence to Rome
- Day trips from Florence to Venice