When visiting Florence, it is important to control your own pace. It may be a small city, but it is filled with treasures that can be overwhelming: the magnificent Duomo; lavish rooms in the Pitti Palace; works by Michelangelo, Fra Angelico, Raphael … the list is endless. You cannot see everything and trying to do so is futile. Allow yourself time to browse the shops, stroll along the Arno, sip coffee and people-watch.

Staying in the city center obviously makes exploring easier, and there is a wide range of accommodation to choose from, from high-end hotels and luxury B&B restaurants to simple ones. pension and self-catering apartments. To escape the tourist crowds at night, choose one of the luxury establishments in the suburbs – these often have tranquil gardens and perfect views of the Tuscan hills.

Wherever you choose to stay, try and book early – especially if you want a room with a view.

The best hotels in Florence are:

Neighborhood: Ponte Vecchio

Sophisticated luxury at Hotel Lungarno, filled with works of art

(Hotel Lungarno)

This sleek hotel on the banks of the Arno River is an art lover’s dream. Not only does it have stunning views of the Ponte Vecchio, a favorite subject of artists for centuries, but it’s also filled with over 400 artworks by famous Italian artists as well as figures like Picasso and Cocteau. The rooms and suites have a sophisticated style, making you focus on the dreamy views of the river in the distance. There is culinary art also on display. Borgo San Jacopo, a Michelin-starred restaurant, offers experimental dishes like potato spaghetti.

Price: From €540 per room

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Neighborhood: Piazza del Duomo

Suite Pagliazza Tower at Hotel Brunelleschi

(Hotel Brunelleschi)

Just a short distance from Florence’s iconic Duomo, this 4-star hotel is imaginatively combined with the ruins of a medieval church, San Michele in Palchetto and a 6th-century tower, Torre della Pagliazza – arguably one of the most unusual structures in the city. The decor contrasts cleverly with exposed stone walls and wooden beams with sparkling mirrors, pearl chandeliers and soft neutral fabrics. Downstairs, there is even a small museum where you can see the ruins of a Roman caldarium or take a hot shower.

Price: From €333 per room

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Neighborhood: Piazza del Duomo

Baptistery living room

(Baptistry living room)

This popular bed and breakfast is so close to the Duomo that you almost feel like you could reach out and touch it. It is located on the upper floor of the Loggia del Bigallo, a romantic building dating back to the 14th century. Downstairs, a small museum features religious works such as a cross created by the so-called artist “Master of Bigallo”. There are only a handful of rooms, all of which are simply furnished, clean and comfortable. Some have fascinating views of Brunelleschi’s famous dome. You are really in the heart of the city here.

Price: From €115 per room (£94)

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Neighborhood: San Marco

One of the deluxe rooms at the Florence Four Seasons

(Four Seasons)

It really doesn’t get any more lavish than this: a hotel in two restored Renaissance buildings set in lush 11-acre private gardens, with a Michelin-starred restaurant and a spa, where treatments include masks made of 24-carat gold. The most lavish rooms were once the residences of the Italian aristocracy and were a feast of frescoes, silk wall murals and chandeliers. The hotel is located on the edge of the city center, a short walk from Santa Croce church and provides a sense of peace after a busy day of sightseeing.

Price: From €1,100 per room (£940)

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Neighborhood: Republic Square

The murals in the shared lounge at the budget hotel Hotel Scoti

(Scott Hotel)

This tradition pension housed in a 16th-century mansion on Via de’ Tornabuoni, the smartest shopping street in the city. It offers excellent value with 11 clean, comfortable rooms recently refurbished and now all with en suite bathrooms. You have breakfast on a tray in your room and there is a cozy communal lounge, decorated with magnificent frescoes, making it feel like you are truly at home.

Price: From €102 per room

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Neighborhood: City suburbs in Fiesole

Sunset at the romantic Villa San Michele

(Villa San Michele)

Housed in a former 14th-century convent, this luxury hotel truly knows how to take care of its guests. It combines a historic atmosphere with 21st-century amenities – rooms with rich fabrics and marble bathrooms, lemon trees on the terrace, lush gardens and a heated swimming pool out side. While it’s not the most central location, having a free shuttle and views of the Tuscan hills are romantic. It’s a honeymoon paradise.

Price: From €813 (£695)

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Neighborhood: San Marco

The terrace at Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni 1 has a beautiful view of Florence

(Old tower over Tornabuoni 1)

You’ll quickly feel at home in this chic little bed and breakfast. Rooms are individually decorated, combining traditional Tuscan features and antique paintings, with brightly colored silk screens, comfortable beds and sparkling bathrooms. There’s free wifi and an honest bar where you can enjoy your own hot drinks and snacks. Most special is the lovely terrace, where you can have breakfast in the summer and see the Florentine skyline.

Price: From €167 (£143)

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Neighborhood: City suburb, Porta Romana

Luxury in the luxury of Villa Cora

(Villa Cora)

Built in the mid-19th century, this striking villa sits on a hillside just outside the city. It was once the city’s trendiest residence and at one time belonged to the former Empress Eugenié, widow of Napoleon III. Tchaikovsky is also said to have stayed here. The villa was restored a few years ago and is so gorgeous now, it really shines – the guest rooms are a sumptuous combination of rich fabrics, gilded ceilings and marble bathrooms Carrara jelly. Most memorable is the sumptuous ballroom – an impressive play area with glittering mirrors, gilding and statues where you can have afternoon tea and drink in the limelight.

Price: From €429 (£367)

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Neighborhood: Piazza Ognissanti

Premium Deluxe Arno River View Room at St Regis

(St Regis)

Housed in a Renaissance mansion designed by Brunelleschi, St Regis opened in 2011 after a complete restoration of the building. The rooms, many with views of the Arno, blend classic five-star luxury – think frescoes, antiques and rich velvets – with modern technology. The public rooms feature an elegant library, and the Michelin-starred Winter Garden restaurant. It has grown in popularity as a celebrity hideaway, attracting celebrities like Madonna, so you never know who you might spot.

Price: From €753 (£643)

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Neighborhood: Republic Square

The view from the terrace at Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni 1

(Old tower over Tornabuoni 1)

This hotel is located on two adjacent historic buildings, one of which is a monumental 14th-century tower. Accommodation includes comfortable, classically furnished rooms and suites, as well as several apartment. It is conveniently located on the Arno so would make a good base for a stroll to all the main attractions. Above all, it is a photographer’s dream, with terraces that can provide panoramic views of the city.

Price: From €307 (£262)

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