Where to Stay in Florence With Kids
Heading to Florence with the kids? Find out where the most child-friendly areas to stay are
Ah, Florence. The birthplace of the Renaissance. A city full of remarkable architecture, art and monuments. A place of influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Birthplace of geniuses like Dante and Michelangelo. Speaking of talent and brilliance, when it comes to destination guides, you’re in the right place. Here at Plum Guide, we know exactly where to stay, what to do and what to see. We are the travel experts after all. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to where to stay in Florence with kids. Once you’ve found the right neighbourhood, take a look at our range of expertly picked rental homes in the area.
Duomo is the heart of Florence. This is the area which surrounds Florence’s gigantic cathedral, the Duomo, formally known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (a bit more of a mouthful). Because it’s so central, this is a great area to stay with the children as you won’t have to travel too far after a long day of exploring. The less walking toward the end of the day, the better. And of course, visiting the Duomo is one of the unmissable things to do in Florence, so you might as well get it out the way. Made up of a medieval tangle of alleys and tiny squares, this area is one of the oldest parts of the city. It’s where you’ll find most of the visitor attractions and is overflowing with museums, churches and palaces. It also has all the modern amenities like souvenir shops, high street and high end stores, as well as plenty of restaurants and cafes. You’ll find gelaterias which come in exceptionally handy when having to bribe your kids to go see yet another museum.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Florence with kids that is really authentically Florentine, Santa Croce is the place to be. This area lies towards the east of the Duomo, and is set along the River Arno. It’s the best place to experience local life, from family-run stands in the Sant’Ambrogio market, to Florence’s last remaining leather artisans. Santa Croce is home to Basilica di Santa Croce, the final resting place of Michelangelo and Galileo. It’s a great place to give the kids a history lesson. When in Florence, as they say. If your lecture is interrupted by protests of mass starvation and boredom, you’ll be pleased to know that Santa Croce boasts some of the best restaurants and bars in the city. Check out the areas around the Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio and Piazza de’ Ciompi that are filled with places to sample the local fare.
Oltrarno, Italian for ‘beyond the Arno’, is one of the coolest and trendiest neighbourhoods in Florence. Spanning the southern riverbank of Florence, Oltrarno has three historic quarters - San Niccolò, Santo Spirito, and San Frediano. Although it’s off the tourist trail, it’s still close enough to get to the city centre. The easy-going charm of Oltrarno makes it perfect for families wanting to explore the city at a slower pace. And, because it’s less touristy than other areas of Florence, you won’t fall victim to those pesky tourist traps. Instead, you’ll find tons of galleries, artisan workshops and boutique shops to browse through.
Make sure to visit Palazzo Pitti to see just how loaded the Medicis were. They’d probably list a few of their homes with us. Once the kids have made it through five minutes looking at artwork, take them to the Boboli Gardens right behind the palace. Being one of the largest and most ornate gardens in Florence, there’s plenty of space to run around in. Looking for where the locals hang out? Most of the action happens around Piazza Santo Spirito. Oltrarno is a great place for foodies, and this is where you’ll find crowds spilling out from the nearby eateries. Fine dining restaurants exist side by side with local eateries, so there’s never a lack of choice.
Yes, you read that right. The countryside should definitely be on your list of where to stay in Florence with kids. During the summer months, Florence can get hot, hectic and overrun with tourists. The city lies within a valley, and the surrounding hills are the perfect place to escape to after a long day of navigating museums. If your hobbies are limited to wining and dining then this is the place for you. And it’s perfect for the kids too; accommodation options here tend to have large outdoor areas and swimming pools so there’s plenty of space for everyone. If you do want to get active, the surrounding hills offer numerous walks and trails. Although there are fewer attractions, it’s not completely out in the sticks - the city centre is just a short bus ride away. By staying here, you’ll also have the rest of Tuscany at your fingertips - and trust us, you don't want to miss out on the accommodation options in Tuscany.