The 5 Best Day Trips from Florence
One of the benefits of visiting Florence is that you can go on day trips to other parts of Italy. Whether you want to have lunch in a Tuscan vineyard or explore the historic wonders of Siena, there are so many magical experiences just a few hours outside of the famous Renaissance city.
In this guide, we showcase some of the best day trips from Florence that will be the perfect addition to your Italian itinerary. We discuss how you can travel around Italy and the best ways to go on day trips from Florence. Then we highlight 5 day trips from Florence that will take you into the heart of Tuscany and beyond.
So if you’re thinking about heading to fabulous Florence, read on to see what amazing day trips await you.
Transport from Florence
Before you can embark on a dazzling day trip from Florence, you first need to consider how you will be traveling. Florence is a well-connected city in Italy, so there are plenty of ways that you can get out and explore the charming towns and bucolic countryside. You can get to a variety of top destinations in Italy via trains and buses, but you could also use a hire car if you want to be more flexible.
Trains from Florence
One of the best ways to travel from Florence is via train. As the capital of the Tuscany region, Florence has high-speed train links to other towns like Arezzo and Pisa. Many of these amazing destinations can be reached in an hour by train, making them very accessible and suitable for day trips.
It is worth noting that not all towns and villages in Tuscany have train stations, so you may need to get an additional bus or taxi to reach them. If you want to go on a day trip from Florence by train, you can check ItaliaRail to see what routes you can take.
Buses from Florence
A cheaper way to go on day trips from Florence is to travel via bus. There are a number of bus routes which can take you to Tuscan towns and other Italian cities. This is ideal if you want to save some money and enjoy the scenic views on your bus ride.
However, be warned that buses from Florence are not always reliable and can sometimes run late. Likewise, they take much longer to reach destinations like Siena, so you might want an alternative mode of transport if you’re pressed for time.
Get a Rental Car
Hiring a rental car for Florence day trips is a brilliant idea, especially if you want to tick off a lot of your itinerary. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore as you’d like, meaning you can spend more time in areas that steal your heart.
If you do plan on getting a rental car for your Florence vacation, you should look into the parking at your day trip locations. Parking can be quite pricey in some parts of Italy and you’ll want to make sure that you leave your rental in a safe and secure place while exploring.
Tours from Florence
Another great way to go on day trips from Florence is to join a guided tour. At Italy4Real we have a variety of tours from Florence which can be tailored to your preferences. Our day trip to Pisa is a great way to see the Tuscan countryside and visit top sites like the Leaning Tower and the Piazza dei Miracoli. Or perhaps you’d prefer our ‘evening bike ride through Tuscany’ tour.
We also provide bespoke tours around Italy that are entirely customisable to your travel needs. So whatever Florence day trip you fancy, we will do our best to make it happen.
The 5 Best Day Trips From Florence
Now that you know how you can go on a day trip from Florence, it’s time to start thinking about some destinations. We’ve compiled a list of the best day trips from Florence to get you inspired for your Italian vacation. For each destination, we detail how you can get there as well as some of the top sites.
Lucca is a gorgeous walled city in Tuscany that is famous for its medieval architecture, but it’s not as popular as other major cities in Italy. This makes it ideal for travelers who want to enjoy a calming day trip without worrying about crowds. One of the main highlights of Lucca is the walls that surround the city, offering excellent views and a serene route for walking and cycling.
The best way to get to Lucca from Florence is by train or bus. Trains depart from Florence’s main station, Santa Maria Novella, and take approximately 1 hour to reach Lucca. You can also hop on a bus from the SITA terminal near the station, but this will take slightly longer.
Once you’re in Lucca you will find there are so many fabulous sights to discover, making it one of the best Tuscany day trips from Florence. The city is brimming with culture, from the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro to the Duomo di Lucca. We highly recommend climbing up Torre Guinigi, a medieval tower with trees growing on top.
Our next day trip from Florence is one of the best places to visit in Tuscany, the charming hill town of Arezzo. This gorgeous hamlet is known for its wonderful art museums, exquisite cultural heritage and vibrant antiques market. It’s one of the best Florence day trips for travelers with an eye for art and history.
You can get to Arezzo from Florence via train and there are multiple services every day, so you can be quite flexible. The journey will take just under an hour, giving you plenty of time to explore the art town. You could also drive to Arezzo if you’ve rented a car and this will take about 1 and a half hours.
Start your visit to Arezzo by exploring the Piazza Grande, a stunning historic square in the heart of the town. Then make your way to the Arezzo Cathedral and take note of the beautiful architecture and masterful works of art within. If you fancy a hike, walk up the hill to the Medici Fortress where you can take in panoramic views of Arezzo.
If you happen to be visiting Arezzo on the first Sunday of the month, then make sure to peruse the Antiques Market. This monthly market attracts antique dealers from all over Italy and is a great place to find a unique souvenir or a gift for that special someone.
One of the most popular day trips from Florence is a delightful excursion to Siena. This marvelous Italian town attracts visitors with its medieval atmosphere and spirited local culture. Whether you want to hop between the quaint trattorias or explore the different historical buildings, Siena is certain to have something for you.
Siena is one of the best day trips from Florence as there are regular buses between the two destinations. This makes it a cheaper alternative to other Florence day trips but the journey will take up to 2 hours depending on traffic. There isn’t a direct train between Florence and Siena, but you can get a connection at Empoli which will take just under 2 hours.
On a day trip to Siena, you should visit some of the fascinating historical sites like the Duomo di Siena and the Baptistry of San Giovanni. You can also explore the town hall, Palazzo Pubblico, and climb the Torre del Mangia for incredible views of the Sienese skyline. While exploring be sure to visit some of the amazing museums in Siena like Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and Santa Maria della Scala, where you can learn more about the town’s complex history.
Another popular day trip from Florence is Pisa, a city famous for its striking Leaning Tower. Pisa is one of the top bucket list locations in Italy and it’s very easily reachable from Florence. While you could spend a few days in Pisa, many of its top sights are situated in the central square, Piazza dei Miracoli, which means you can pack a lot into one day.
Pisa and Florence are very well connected, which makes this one of the easiest day trips to undertake. There are frequent trains between the two cities which take around one hour. If you’d prefer to travel at your own pace, driving to Pisa will only take you an hour and you can park near Piazza dei Miracoli.
There are so many things to do in Pisa which makes it an excellent day trip from Florence. Of course, the Leaning Tower is a must, but make sure to visit the Duomo di Pisa for its gorgeous sculptures. Nearby you can also find the Camposanto Monumentale, a historic cemetery with impressive tombs and Roman artifacts.
If you find yourself with some extra time while visiting Pisa, take a delightful stroll down the Arno River. You can soak up the lively ambience of the city and stop in at one of the many restaurants along the banks.
Our final day trip from Florence will take you to the rustic Italian Riviera to explore Cinque Terre. This iconic part of Italy is made up of five fishing villages perched on steep coastal cliffs and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The five villages that make up the Cinque Terre are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore and they are known for their colorful buildings and narrow, cobblestone streets.
You can get a train to one of the five villages from Florence which will take around two to three hours, depending on where you go. Alternatively, you can visit Cinque Terre on a guided tour, like our 8-Day Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre tour, where all transport and activities are organized for you.
On a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre you can explore each of the villages and take in spectacular vistas of the Ligurian Sea. You can lounge on the beaches at Monterosso, wander the picturesque harbor of Vernazza and admire the rustic charms of Corniglia.
One of the best things to do in Cinque Terre is to go hiking or walking. There are various trials which connect the five villages, like the Sentiero Azzurro which has immaculate coastal views. If you do plan on walking in Cinque Terre, we’d suggest wearing sturdy footwear as the paths can get quite rugged.
There are so many day trips from Florence that will make a wonderful addition to your Italian vacation itinerary. Florence is very well connected to various towns in Tuscany and other regions of Italy, making it a great base for further exploration and sightseeing. You can get to most destinations via trains from Florence but in some cases, buses or tours may be more convenient.
Fans of history will be delighted by the scenic offerings of Siena and Lucca, while art lovers will be taken by Arezzo. Those looking for culture will be drawn in by the fascinating attractions of Pisa. If a quaint coastal escape is your ideal day trip, then Cinque Terre is just the place for you.
To learn more about delightful day trips from Florence, contact Italy4Real now to find out about our small group tours and bespoke Italian itineraries.
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