Where to Stay in Florence on a budget: 4 Best areas

Wondering Where to Stay in Florence on a budget? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Florence on a budget and budget-friendly places to stay in each neighborhood.

Florence is generally considered an expensive city to visit. As a popular tourist destination and a cultural hub in Italy, the cost of accommodation, dining, and attractions in Florence tends to be higher compared to other cities in the country. Prices in peak tourist months (such as summer) are more expensive than in off-peak periods.

While many first-time visitors choose to stay in Centro Storico due to its prime location, it can be expensive for accommodation and dining. If you travel on a budget, there are plenty of neighborhoods that are well worth looking into, to book your hotel.

Where to Stay in Florence on a budget?

The best areas to stay in Florence on a budget are Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo, Santa Croce, and San Marco. These areas are located close to the historic center and offer many budget-friendly accommodations and dining options.

They also provide good access to public transportation, allowing you to explore other parts of Florence easily. When choosing a place to stay, consider the specific amenities, reviews, and prices of individual accommodations to find the best option that suits your budget and preferences.

Map of the best areas to Stay in Florence
Map of the best areas to Stay in Florence

4 Best areas to Stay in Florence on a budget:

1. Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella is a great location for budget travelers visiting Florence. This area offers a convenient location, easy access to attractions, and affordable lodging and dining.

Santa Maria Novella is centrally located on the western edge of Florence’s historic center, between the Arno River to the south and the Santa Maria Novella train station to the west. 

Due to its proximity to the main train station, it is a convenient base for exploring the city and taking day trips to other parts of Tuscany such as Lucca, Siena, or San Gimignano.

Santa Maria Novella is within walking distance of many of Florence’s major attractions, including the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio. It is also close to the lively San Lorenzo Market, where you can find affordable food and goods.

One of the main attractions in the area is the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella with its stunning Gothic and Renaissance architecture and its impressive collection of art. Inside the basilica, you can find works by famous artists such as Masaccio, Ghirlandaio, and Giotto.

Piazza Santa Maria Novella is a charming square located in front of the basilica, surrounded by historical buildings and offering a relaxing spot for people-watching.

There are also attractions such as the Museo Novecento, Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (one of the oldest pharmacies in the world), and the vast waterfront Parco Delle Cascine park.

In terms of accommodation, Santa Maria Novella offers a variety of budget-friendly options, such as hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. The area between Piazza Santa Maria Novella and the river has nicer accommodations compared to the area right next to the station.

However, it’s worth noting that Florence is a popular tourist destination, so prices can vary depending on the season and demand. It’s always a good idea to compare prices and read reviews before making a final decision on accommodation.

Best places to stay in Florence in Santa Maria Novella:


2. San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo is a popular area centrally located on the north west of the historic center, between San Marco and Santa Maria Novella. It offers convenient access to the main train station and many attractions including the Duomo and Accademia Gallery, making it a practical choice for visitors on a budget.

San Lorenzo is known for its lively atmosphere, as it houses the famous Mercato Centrale (San Lorenzo Market), with an indoor market with food stalls and an outdoor market with vendors selling affordable leather goods, souvenirs, and local delicacies. 

Additionally, the area is home to several budget-friendly guesthouses, hostels, and budget hotels that cater to the needs of budget-conscious travelers.

The area is named after the Basilica di San Lorenzo, one of the oldest in Florence, showcases beautiful Renaissance architecture and houses the Medici Chapels, the burial place of the Medici family.

If you are into books, the Laurentian Library has some of Italy’s most important antique books. The staircase done by Michelangelo is also well worth a visit.

Overall, It’s an excellent choice for travelers on a budget who want to experience authentic Florentine culture and enjoy proximity to the historic center. It has a vibrant local atmosphere, budget-friendly trattorias, and affordable accommodation options.

Best places to stay in Florence in San Lorenzo:


3. Santa Croce

Santa Croce is a lively neighborhood located on the eastern end of the historic center, along the right bank of the Arno River. It offers a mix of budget-friendly hotels, guesthouses, and apartments. 

One of the main attractions in Santa Croce is the Basilica di Santa Croce. It is one of the most important Franciscan churches in Italy and is considered a masterpiece of Italian Gothic architecture. The basilica houses the tombs of several notable figures, including Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Gioachino Rossini.

The Piazza di Santa Croce is a lively square in the neighborhood, often hosting events and gatherings. It is surrounded by various cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it a popular meeting place for both locals and tourists. 

The square also features the towering Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Alfieri, a memorial dedicated to the Italian playwright and poet Vittorio Alfieri.

Santa Croce is known for its vibrant nightlife and is home to numerous bars and clubs. The area comes alive in the evenings, attracting both locals and visitors looking to enjoy the city’s vibrant social scene. 

The neighborhood is also known for its leather goods, and you can find many shops selling high-quality leather products, including jackets, bags, and accessories.

During the day, you can explore the Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio, a bustling market where you can experience the local atmosphere and find a wide range of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other food products. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the daily life of Florentines.

Santa Croce offers easy access to popular attractions like the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Duomo. The area offers a mix of historical charm, cultural landmarks, and modern amenities, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Florence.

Best places to stay in Florence in Santa Croce:


4. San Marco

San Marco is a residential neighborhood north of the Duomo, and is known for its artistic and cultural significance. It houses the Accademia Gallery, which is home to Michelangelo’s famous statue of David. 

Other popular highlights of San Marco are the Massacre of Innocents Orphanage, Museum of Archaeology, San Marco Museum, Santissima Annunziata Church, the church of San Marco, and Statue of David.

Being home to the University of Florence, the neighborhood has numerous affordable eateries, cafes, and bars that cater to student budgets. This creates a lively and social atmosphere, perfect for those looking for a student-y vibe.

This area offers a range of budget accommodations, including affordable hotels and guesthouses. San Marco provides a more residential feel and is a quieter alternative to the bustling city center while still being within walking distance to major attractions.

Best places to stay in Florence in San Marco:


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In conclusion, Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo, Santa Croce, and San Marco are the best places to stay in Florence on a budget. These areas offer affordable accommodation options while still being close to major sights in the historic center.

Santa Maria Novella is perfect for those seeking convenient transportation, San Lorenzo is perfect for foodies and market lovers. Santa Croce has lively nightlife, and San Marco caters to students and backpackers. Choose wisely and enjoy an affordable stay in Florence’s charming neighborhoods.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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