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14 Best Views of Florence – Info & Prices [2023]

Wondering where you’ll get to see the best views of Florence? Here are the very best spots from where you’ll enjoy the most gorgeous vistas of the Renaissance city!

There is nothing quite as breathtaking as a great view, and Florence definitely tops the list of photogenic panoramas. The winding Arno river, the red terracotta roofs, and the heart-stopping grandeur of Brunelleschi’s dome are the predominant elements in the best views in Florence, Italy.

Growing up in Bologna, less than a one-hour train ride from Florence, I came to the city fairly often. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to visit many of the best viewpoints in Florence – and I’d go as far as saying that all of them are breathtaking!

While Florence is perfectly charming at street level, this list of elevated destinations will give you a chance to gain a new perspective on the world’s favorite renaissance city. Chasing views is definitely a must-do on your Florence itinerary, especially if you’re visiting for the first time.

Brunelleschi’s Dome

Image of terracota-colored rooftops seen from above, hills in the distance, and a bell tower to the left of the picture, viewed from Brunelleschi's Dome, one of the best views of Florence.

Soaring above the rest of the city, this dome is the epitome of the renaissance spirit. Florentines were so confident during this period of intellect and discovery, that they actually designed their cathedral with an opening so large that they didn’t know exactly how they were going to close it.

In fact, the only possible solutions would require technology that didn’t even exist yet. Talk about ambition! 80 years later, enter Filippo Brunelleschi, who brought the Florence cupola to completion in 1436.

It is the largest masonry dome ever constructed, and to this day is still the 3rd largest dome in the world. At 91 meters high and with 463 steps, the view of Florence from the top of the Duomo is positively stunning.

➤ The Entry to Brunelleschi’s Dome grants you instant admission to the venue, without having to wait in line, and includes a digital guide. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKET HERE

➤ With the Brunelleschi’s Dome Tour you’ll get to skip the line at the entrance, and explore this iconic Florentine monument with a local guide. You’ll learn all about its history and construction as well as enjoy the magnificent views from the top. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Keep in mind that it isn’t unusual for visiting hours to be restricted or even canceled on Sundays and during religious events, so try and visit on weekdays.

Location: Piazza del Duomo
Opening Hours: Daily from 8.15 AM to 7.45 PM

Giotto’s Bell Tower

At 85 meters high and with 414 steps, Giotto’s bell tower gives you an excellent close-up view of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. It is covered in the same white, green, and pink marble as the Cathedral, though the original bas-relief decorations and sculptures are actually preserved in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.

While the view of Florence from the bell tower is obviously exceptional, you may find yourself unable to tear your eyes away from the magnificent dome right next door.

➤ The tours and tickets for the Dome that I mentioned in the previous section also include access to Giotto’s Bell Tower.

Location: Piazza del Duomo
Opening Hours: Daily from 8:15 AM to 7:45 PM

Palazzo Vecchio

Image of Santa Maria dei Fiori with Brunelleschi's Dome and Giotto's Bell Tower in the center. The building is surrounded by terracota rooftops, and green hills in the background. It's one of the best views of Florence!

This is another opportunity to enjoy a 360-degree view of the historic city center. Serving as Florence’s city hall since the middle ages, Palazzo Vecchio also contains a museum and marks the beginning of the Vasari corridor.

While the windows themselves provide excellent views of the surrounding city, the best way to appreciate the panorama is to walk along the parapet where guards once kept watch from on high.

It is also possible to go up the Arnolfo Tower. From April to September, opening hours extend into the evening for magical views of Florence illuminated in the dusk. It’s something you can’t miss!

⚠️ Keep in mind that tower visits may not be available in rainy weather.

Tickets to Palazzo Vecchio also include access to the Arnolfo Tower and the museum, as well as a multimedia-guided tour. By selecting your time slot you’ll get to skip the line at the entrance. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKET HERE

Location: Piazza della Signoria
Opening Hours:
Friday to Wednesday from 9 AM to 7 PM, Thursday from 9 AM to 2 PM

La Terrazza Cafe

If amazing views aren’t enough of an incentive for you to walk up hundreds of stairs, then perhaps the rooftop terrace of La Rinascente is more your style. No stairs to climb here, just walk into the department store at Piazza della Repubblica 4, and take a ride up the escalator.

At the top of La Terrazza, you can enjoy a view of the piazza, the Duomo, and surrounding Tuscan hills while sipping a coffee or glass of wine. Keep in mind that the terrace is very popular, so you might have to wait in line a bit before being seated, especially during the high season.

Location: Piazza della Repubblica, 4.
Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 9 PM, Sunday from 10.30 AM to 8.30 PM

Boboli Gardens

Requested by the Medici to complete their Royal Palace, Boboli Gardens is easily the most famous backyard in Florence. Open to the public since 1766, it quickly inspired all other European courts to copy the “Italian Garden” style.

Thanks to its stunning architectural landscaping, collection of sculptures, and impressive botanical specimens, it is considered to be an excellent example of an open-air museum.

Now you may ask, how am I supposed to get a view of Florence if I’m stuck down in a garden? In this case, you should consider that several of Florence’s most important gardens are actually on the hill facing Florence from across the Arno river.

Within the Boboli Gardens, some of the most popular Florence lookout points are the Kaffeehaus and the Knight’s Garden.

➤ The skip-the-line ticket to the Boboli Gardens also grants you access to the Bardini Gardens (described below!) and the Porcelain Museum, so it’s great value for your money! ➥ BUY YOUR TICKET HERE

Location: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1
Opening Hours: Daily from 8:15 AM to 6.30 PM

Forte di Belvedere

Image by Anna Hristova |

Forte di Belvedere is a Renaissance fortress that can be found on the highest point of Boboli hill.  Designed by Bernardo Buontalenti for the Medici, it was meant to defend the city from external invasions… or to defend the family itself from any anti-Medici locals.

It was eventually incorporated into the fourteenth-century walls of Palazzo Pitti within the Boboli gardens, so residents would have an easy escape route in case of trouble.

These days, it is used for events and exhibitions, with its gardens and terraces providing an evocative setting with fabulous views of Florence. Unsurprising, since its name literally translates to Beautiful View Fortress“.

➤ It can be reached in just a few minutes by taking the FB bus line from Pitti Palace, or you can reach it on foot after an enjoyable 20-minute stroll through the beautiful Boboli Gardens. 

Location: Via di S. Leonardo, 1
Opening Hours:
Friday to Sunday from July to October. 10 AM to 6 PM are the usual opening hours, although days and hours may vary according to the events and exhibitions being held.

Bardini Gardens

This wonderful Baroque garden is often overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbor, the Boboli Gardens.

However, the Bardini Gardens are the logical next stop for anyone taking a leisurely stroll through the hills of Florence. In addition to breathtaking views of Florence, it also evokes a fairytale setting with its flower architecture.

EXTRA TIP: While the gardens are open all year, the best time to visit is in spring to see the beautiful tunnel of wisteria in bloom (late April to early May). 

➤ The Bardini Garden ticket also includes access to the Boboli Gardens and the Porcelain Museum, so you’ll get to visit great vantage points with one entrance fee. It’s a skip-the-line ticket, so no queues for you; just head to the entrance and start your visit. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Location: Costa S. Giorgio 2, Florence.
Opening Hours:
Daily from 10 AM to 4 PM. Closes every first Monday of the month, and booking is mandatory on weekend days and holidays.

Piazzale Michelangelo

For the best view in Florence, head to Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the utmost vantage points in the city. Whenever you see a panoramic view over Florence in pictures or postcards, it’s likely that it was taken at this very spot. The most photographed skyline in Florence is the one you get from this beautiful Piazzale!

As it should be, this Florence view is dominated by the iconic Brunelleschi’s dome rising from a red sea of terracotta roofs.

The Florence viewpoint is often crowded with both tourists and locals, especially during sunset, as the Florence night view from Piazzale Michelangelo cannot be beaten.

Here you’ll also find a replica of the David, in honor of the Piazzale’s namesake, although it is largely ignored in favor of the view. Probably a first for a Michelangelo statue! If you only have one day in Florence, this is the view you want to check out.

➤ Piazzale Michelangelo is just a 15-minute walk along a pedestrian path starting from the San Niccolò Tower (30 minutes if you’re starting from Piazza del Duomo). Otherwise, you can take bus number 12 or 13 from the city center.

Location: Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence
Opening Hours:
24 hours
Admission Fee: Free

San Miniato al Monte

Once you reach Piazzale Michelangelo, feel free to take a break and enjoy the view, but don’t simply turn around and head back into the city. If you do, you will be missing out on one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Florence.

San Miniato al Monte is literally right behind the Piazzale, but many people are so distracted by the view that they forget to walk just a little further up the hill.

With more than 1000 years to its name, the San Miniato al Monte basilica is bursting with ancient artistry, and you have plenty of time and space to admire every detail since it’s not nearly as crowded as the churches down in the city.

➤ Entrance is free and the view of Florence at dusk from here is gasp-out-loud gorgeous.

Location: Via delle Porte Sante 34
Opening Hours:
Daily from 9:30 AM to1 PM and from 3.30 PM to 7 PM
Admission Fee: Free

The Iris Garden

This little-known treasure is very different from the classic Italian Garden found at Pitti Palace. Instead, you are free to meander among romantic paths that wind through meadows scattered with olive trees and irises. It’s quite a dramatic contrast to the sprawling view of urban Florence!

Why this particular flower? Because Florence’s symbol, the famous “Lily of Florence”, is actually an iris. With over 1500 varieties, the Garden was created in the 1950s when the Italian Iris Society established an annual competition that continues to attract horticulturists from all over the world.

Participants have to wait three years to find out if they win though, since that’s how long it takes for the first flowering once planted in the garden.

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Florence at the right time, here you’ll find some incredible views of Florence in a breathtaking setting. Welcome to spring wonderland!

Entrance is free, and the garden can be found right next to Piazzale Michelangelo (at the corner of Viale Michelangelo). 

➤ Irises bloom in the spring, so the Iris Garden is only open from April 25 to May 20.

Location: Viale Michelangelo, 82. Right next to Piazzale Michelangelo.
Opening Hours: Between April 25th and May 20th from 10 AM to12.30 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM
Admission Fee: Free.

The Rose Garden

Mirroring the Irises on the other side, this rose garden is also found right next to Piazzale Michelangelo. Its official entrance is at Viale Giuseppe Poggi 2.

➤ To better appreciate the unique viewing experience this Garden has to offer, you should visit sometime between April and July. That is when the 1000 varieties of roses bloom, creating a perfume that you will forever associate with a stunning view of Florence.

Location: Viale Giuseppe Poggi, 2.
Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Saturday & Sunday opens at 10 AM.
Admission Fee: Free.

Uffizi Museum

Yep, it’s going to be even better on a sunny day!

The Uffizi Museum is known for the incredible art collection it houses, where you’ll find masterpieces by Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, and Michelangelo, to name a few.

But from the museum’s terrace, you’ll also get magnificent Arno River and Ponte Vecchio views to one side, and Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s bell tower to the other.

You should plan to spend a couple of hours in this spot, so you don’t miss the art exhibit as well as the views!

➤ The Uffizi Gallery regular ticket allows you to skip the line and includes an audio guide as well as access to a live guide for questions. You can also opt to join a guided tour for small groups, or get priority entrance tickets. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKET HERE

Location: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15 AM to 6.50 PM


If you prefer bucolic views to those of the city, you don’t need to go far. Firenze is surrounded by nature, and you can get the best views of Florence from Fiesole, a town 3 miles (5 kilometers) to the north of the city.

Since Fiesole is nestled in the hills, situated higher than Florence, it’s a fantastic natural viewpoint, and it also makes for a great half-day trip from the city.

➤ On this 3-hour bike tour you’ll get to ride around Florence and past olive groves, Tuscan villas, and churches as you make your way to Fiesole. You’ll enjoy the splendid sunset vistas from above and get to learn about the area from your guide. You’ll also visit a traditional Tuscan farm to taste their bread and local oil. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

San Niccolò Tower

The San Niccolò Tower is one of the city’s icons, but not many people know that it can be climbed. Now you know, so be sure to check it out for some amazing views of Florence if you’re visiting during the summer. The tower is open for climbing only from June to September, and it offers 360-degree views; a real treat for the eyes!

The tower was built in the 14th century for defense purposes, so it also holds a lot of history. You can get guided tours on-site if you’re interested in learning more about it.

Location: Piazza Giuseppe Poggi
Opening Hours: Daily from 5 PM to 8 PM. Last entrance 30 minutes before closing time. Entrance Fee: €6 only in cash.

EXTRA TIP: If you’re a movie buff, you’ll probably enjoy staying in the room with a view in Florence. Get where I’m going? Immortalized in its namesake movie by James Ivory, this room offers views of the Arno river and Ponte Vecchio, and it will make you feel part of the film! ➥ CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY HERE

As you can see, Florence isn’t lacking incredible viewpoints, way too many for you to check out during your trip! Choose a couple of the best views of Florence and bring your camera – you’ll need it!


Where can I watch the sunset in Florence?

The most popular spot for watching the sunset in Florence is Piazzale Michelangelo. This viewpoint offers magnificent views of Brunelleschi’s Dome, the Arno river, and Ponte Vecchio, so you can expect it to be crowded at this time of day! For a less touristy spot, head to the nearby town of Fiesole.

Where can I see the sunrise in Florence?

The most gorgeous views of Florence during sunrise can be seen from the popular Piazzale Michelangelo.

Do you need tickets for Piazzale Michelangelo?

Piazzale Michelangelo does not require entrance tickets, it’s completely free!

Can you walk to Piazzale Michelangelo?

You can definitely walk from downtown Florence to Piazzale Michelangelo. Remember to wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be walking uphill part of the way.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

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