Sleeping in Airports

Florence Airport Layover Sightseeing

This article includes links to our travel partners at Tripadvisor, where you can read traveller reviews, book tours and plan your visit to Florence.

Florence Airport Layover Sightseeing
(photo credit waku / Shutterstock)

Together with Rome, Milan, and Venice, Florence is undoubtedly one of the most visited destinations in Italy. Known to be the capital of the Renaissance, strolling through the streets of this city will give you the impression of being in an open-air museum. From the perfect beauty of the David to the imposing dome of Santa Maria Maggiore and the picturesque Ponte Vecchio stretching over the Arno river, visiting Florence is like stepping into a fairy tale town. But what if you are here only for a short layover?

Airport Overview

Florence Airport, known as Amerigo Vespucci Airport, is only six km from the city centre. This makes quick trips to the capital of the Renaissance extremely easy. However, if you are on a short layover, you may want to avoid risking it. But no reason to worry! You can still have a blast at the airport. Get a taste of Tuscany cuisine in one of the many restaurants in the building, browse through books, perfumes, or hand-made leather goods in the airport boutiques, or relax in the VIP lounge on the first floor. Free WIFI is accessible throughout the terminal, allowing you to contact friends and relatives before your next flight. For more details of what you can do at the airport, check out our  Florence Airport Guide.

Florence Sightseeing Attractions

Below are a few of the top things to do in Florence:

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

Santa Maria Del Fiore
(photo credit: Melinda Nagy / Shutterstock)

Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is one of the most visited churches in Italy and for good reasons. Started in 1296, this is one of the biggest churches in the world. With red, green, and white marble to decorate its outside walls and stunning paintings to adorn the interior of its majestic dome, this site is always worth seeing.

  • How to get there: Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is in the city’s centre. You can easily reach this site by bus or tram, both of which depart from the airport. This will take you from 20 to 30 minutes, to which you will also have to add a 10-minute walk to reach the cathedral.
  • Time Required: This largely depends on what you want to see. If you are only interested in the church, 30 minutes should suffice. However, if you explore the bell tower and the dome, budget at least an hour. Guided tours are also available on the official website.
  • Plan Your Sightseeing: Visit Tripadvisor for more information about Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, read traveller reviews or book a tour.

The Uffizi

Uffizi Gallery
(photo credit: Mistervlad / Shutterstock)

If you decide to visit Florence, you must take advantage of the chance to see The Uffizi, the most visited museum in Italy. Here, you will find renowned works of art ranging from the Birth of Venus to the Primavera and the Medusa.

  • How to get there: You can take the tram or one of the buses departing from the airport. The ride will take about 20 to 30 minutes and leave you at Santa Maria Novella. From here, you can reach The Uffizi with a quick 15-minute walk.
  • Time Required: The Uffizi is massive, and you can easily spend a whole day here. Budget at least two hours if you are in a rush, but remember that it will take three to four hours to see this enormous museum properly.
  • Plan Your Sightseeing: Visit Tripadvisor for more information about Uffizi, read traveller reviews or book a tour.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo
(photo credit: Maria Vonotna / Shutterstock)

Piazzale Michelangelo is ideal for the most stunning view over Florence. The piazza is located atop a steep hill, which is accessible by taxi or by foot. If you’re walking, you will get a workout on your way up, but the panoramic views at the top will be worth it.

  • How to get there: Take one of the buses or trams connecting the airport to Santa Maria Novella station. You can enjoy a 35-minute walk or opt for public transport from here. In total, the trip will take you about one hour.
  • Time Required: 30 minutes is enough to admire the view.
  • Plan Your Sightseeing: Visit Tripadvisor for more information about Piazzale Michelangelo, read traveller reviews or book a tour.

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio
(photo credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock)

Ponte Vecchio is another must-visit destination in Florence. This medieval bridge is home to several shops, from jewellers to art dealers and souvenir stores.

  • How to get there: Take one of the many buses or trams departing from the airport and arriving at Santa Maria Novella station. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes. From here, you can then enjoy a 15-minute walk to Ponte Vecchio.
  • Time Required: Half an hour should be enough to visit the bridge and get a nice picture.
  • Plan Your Sightseeing: Visit Tripadvisor for more information about Ponte Vecchio, read traveller reviews or book a tour.


Square of Miracles sightseeing
(photo credit: pisaphotography / Shutterstock)

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is undoubtedly one of the most famous sites in Italy. However, it is essential to remember that this city only has a little to offer apart from the tower and the adjacent Cathedral and Pisa Baptistry. So, head here only if you are genuinely interested in this site, as the city itself may be disappointing.

  • How to get there: Arriving in Pisa is quite time-consuming, but it can be done. Hop on one of the trams or buses connecting the Florence Airport to Santa Maria Novella station. This will take you about 20 to 30 minutes. From here, you can take a train to Pisa S. Rossore. The trip lasts from 70 to 90 minutes. Once you arrive at the station, you can reach the Leaning Tower with a 20-minute walk. The journey will take about two to three hours, so make sure you have enough time to visit this site. A great tip is to schedule your next flight from Pisa airport so you won’t waste time on your return journey.
  • Time Required: On average, you can visit the whole complex in about two to three hours. But don’t forget to add the time needed to reach this site from the airport.
  • Plan Your Sightseeing: Visit Tripadvisor for more information about Ponte Vecchio, read traveller reviews or book a tour.

Airport Transportation

Florence Airport is only a few kilometres from the city centre, meaning you can reach renowned sites such as Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi in just a few minutes. But what are your best options for you to head there? Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Trams: Trams are one of the most popular options. A ride will cost you €1,50 and take you to Santa Maria Novella, Firenze’s main station, in about 20 to 30 minutes. From here, you can reach the heart of the city in just 10 minutes by foot. Trams depart every five minutes and can be found outside the terminal, on the left of the arrivals.
  • Buses: Another good option is the bus. These will cost you about €6.00, or €10.00 if you decide also to buy the return trip, and will take you to Santa Maria Novella station in about 20 minutes. Buses depart from the airport roughly every 30 minutes.
  • Taxis: If you prefer more comfort, you can opt for a taxi. This will cost you from €20.00 to €25.00 and will take you to the centre in about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic. If you are considering booking an Uber, you may want to reconsider. Only black Ubers, the ones charging high fees, are available in Italy. This means that you will be highly overcharged. To give you an idea, the same trip by Uber will cost you about €60.00.

Before You Go: Layover Tips

Time to pack your luggage and travel back in time to the Renaissance period! But wait! There are still a few things we need to tell you…

  • Do you need a visa? You probably didn’t think about it, but you may need a visa to exit the airport if you are not an EU citizen. Check out the Farnesina website, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to see whether this is your case.
  • When is your next flight’s check-in time? Always arrive at the airport in advance so you can comfortably go through all the security checks without rushing. When in doubt, ask your airline for information on when to arrive at the airport to avoid missing your flight.
  • What are security wait times like at the airport? Some airports are notorious for extended security wait times, so research in advance and factor that into your overall time budget.
  • What’s happening with your luggage? While some airlines will take care of your luggage between flights, others will ask you to pick up your luggage and check in again. If this is your case, you can check this link to see all your luggage storage options in the city centre.

Other Useful Resources

Finally, here are a few handy resources to help you plan your layover even more thoroughly: