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Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by Madison Krigbaum
Florence is an extraordinary city filled with culture, history, delicious cuisine and the best leather products in all of Europe. It’s no wonder it’s one of Italy’s most-visited destinations. Combine food, art and views, and what do you get? A plethora of breathtaking Florence Instagram spots.
I’m a Rome-grown girl at heart, but when I had the opportunity to live and work in the heart of Florence…you better believe I jumped on that chance. I spent a glorious year and a half drinking wine, munching on some of the best Italian food in the world and making my way through the best Italian art museums.
This Italian photo tour will not only introduce you to the best Florence Instagram spots, but will also function as a Florence travel guide for your next trip to Italy. If you’re ready to wander through cobblestone streets, haggle for the best prices at the San Lorenzo Leather Market, drink vino on the steps of Piazzale Michelangelo, stuff your face with Bistecca alla Fiorentina and admire the priceless masterpieces shrouding the walls of the Uffizi – and capture it all on camera – keep reading for the best Florence Instagram spots.
Your Trip to Florence: The Quick Version
🏡 Where to Stay in Florence:
The best Florence Instagram spots include some of the city’s most historic and scenic hotels. Shooting gorgeous content without even leaving your accommodation? Sign me up!
BUDGET-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN FLORENCE:
MID-LEVEL HOTELS IN FLORENCE:
📸 The Best Florence Photo Opps:
- Enjoy the views and live music from Piazzale Michelangelo 🌳
- Tour the Duomo di Firenze and Giotto’s’ Bell Tower 👀
- Taste the best food in Florence with my guide to the 26 best places to eat in Florence or book a private food tour 🍕
- Shop for jewelry along the Ponte Vecchio at sunset 🌅
- Barter for Florentine leather goods at the Leather Market 👜
- …then head next door to sample some of Tuscany’s best eats at Mercato Centrale 🍨
- Rub the nose of Il Porcellino to ensure your return to Florence 🐗
- Admire Italian masterpieces in Florence’s best art museums 🖼️
- Take a pasta making class 🍝
- Book a skip-the-line walking tour to some of Florence’s best attractions 🌆
- Enjoy a relaxing day-trip wine tasting in Tuscany 🍷
- Sip on a cold Aperol Spritz with a view of Brunelleschi’s Duomo at View on Art Rooftop Bar 🍹
The Best Florence Instagram Spots for Your Next Trip
Florence is a photographer’s dream city. Every alleyway, every restaurant, every viewpoint is charming, unique and picture-perfect. Although there are definitely no shortage of Florence Instagram spots…it still pays to know the best before arriving. Thankfully, the best Instagram spots in Florence also tend to be the best things to do in Florence.
Long story short, if you’re sightseeing – most of the time you’ll already be there. Enjoy!
Let’s start with the best…shall we?
Piazzale Michelangelo is my personal favorite Florence Instagram spot and a must-add to any Florence itinerary. This gorgeous piazza on a hill is home to the most magnificent views over Florence. I would actually go as far as to say that Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most Instagrammable places in Italy! Cause let’s be honest, we all know that fantastic views = the perfect photo spot.
Locals are known to grab a bottle of wine, a pizza or both and head here to watch the sunset over the spectacular view of the Duomo. There is usually live music in the summer and it’s the best place to end a magical day in Florence.
Il Ponte Vecchio
Il Ponte Vecchio, translating to “Old Bridge” in Italian, has connected the Duomo and Palazzo Pitti neighborhoods above the Arno River since the 12th century. The Vasari corridor runs above the bridge, connecting Palazzo Pitti all the way to Piazza della Signoria. The bridge has survived countless floods, most famously the flood of 1333 where it was almost completely destroyed. It was also the only bridge in Florence to survive the Nazi invasion in WWII.
Today, the Ponte Vecchio bridge is home to many fine jewelry stores and gelato shops. If you time your visit around sunrise when the bridge is free of tourists, it’s one of Florence’s best photo spots by a landslide.
📸 Pro Tip:
Take the best photos with the Ponte Vecchio from the nearby Ponte Santa Trinita.
il Duomo di Firenze and Giotto’s Bell Tower
If you’re looking for places to take pictures in Florence, look no further than the Florence Cathedral – the proud trademark of the Florentine skyline. Piazza del Duomo consists of the Duomo di Firenze and Giotto’s Bell Tower, and this iconic power duo has stood together as a symbol of the Renaissance since the 15th century.
The “star of the show” has always been Brunelleschi’s Dome (shown below). Constructed in 1436, it is the largest masonry dome ever built and Michelangelo’s inspiration for St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
On the official website, the Brunelleschi Pass costs €30 and buys you access to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore Museum, Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Archaeological site of Santa Reparata. You’ll also gain entrance to climb the 463 steps to the top of the Duomo and the 414 steps to the top of the Bell Tower (a height of 278 feet).
When you purchase a ticket in advance, which I would strongly recommend doing if you plan to hit these Florence Instagram spots, you can make a reservation for a specific time to climb up to the observation deck of the Duomo. Climbing the Bell Tower, on the other hand, usually includes waiting in a line a couple hours long. If you have your heart set on climbing both, I would recommend getting in line at opening time for the Bell Tower. Then you can climb the Duomo later in the day!
🚩 Or Skip the Line Completely…
If you didn’t budget for hours of waiting-in-line time during your Florence trip, consider booking an all-inclusive skip-the-line guided tour. Below are some of Viator’s highest rated Florence Cathedral tours:
- Skip-the-Line Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi’s Dome Climb -Duomo Only (⭐️ 5/5)
- Skip the line: Duomo Skywalk – Florence Heaven – Duomo Only (⭐️ 5/5)
- Florence Baptistery, Cathedral, Duomo Museum, Giotto’s Belltower – Duomo and Bell Tower (⭐️ 4.5/5)
Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
Designed by the famous Italian architect and designer, Filippo Brunelleschi, the original Palazzo Pitti was built in the 15th century for the Pitti family. The palace was greatly enlarged in the 16th century when it was sold to the Medici family.
Today, Palazzo Pitti houses some of the most impressive art collections in Florence, including the Palatine Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art. Behind the Palazzo lies the famous Boboli Gardens, the largest gardens in Florence. The development of the gardens spanned over 400 years, from the 15th to the 19th century.
The palace and the surrounding gardens are one easily one of the most Instagrammable spots in Florence. Wander around feeling like Italian royalty while snapping a few beautiful shots to show your friends back home. However, I would not suggest going in the dead of summer like we did…105 degrees is not wandering weather.
View on Art Rooftop Bar
Since I’m forever chasing a rooftop, View on Art is my favorite cocktail bar in the city and the perfect Florence photo spot.
Located around the corner from Piazza della Repubblica, it was my favorite place for a “casual” spritz or glass of chianti overlooking the Duomo di Firenze. View on Art is the perfect spot to bring visiting friends and family or to wrap up a trip to Florence with a killer view and a refreshing cocktail. It’s also shockingly not as expensive as you’d think it would be.
And let’s be honest, it tops the list of most Instagrammable restaurants in Florence, does it not?
Piazza Santa Croce
Piazza Santa Croce holds a special place in my heart since my little Italian apartment was located a stone’s throw from the stunning Santa Croce Basilica. The basilica and the surrounding piazza is one of the Florence Instagram spots that’s not-to-be-missed during your trip.
This basilica is actually the burial spot of many famous Italians, including Michelangelo and Galileo. There is a statue memorial to Dante as well (shown below to the left of the Basilica), but Dante’s remains are buried in Ravenna after he was exiled from Florence.
As stunning as the exterior of the Basilica is, it’s even more impressive inside. Famous frescos, paintings and gold details cover the interior. For only €8, I would say it’s definitely one of the most picturesque places in Florence.
📸 Pro Tip:
To photograph Santa Croce at its most scenic, visit Florence at the end of December and wander through the Italian Christmas markets with a cup of mulled wine and a warm crepe!
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella
If you’re looking for Florence photography locations, it doesn’t get much better than the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella.
This 13th century convent turned basilica is often overlooked on the typical tourist’s itinerary, but its gorgeous facade is one of the best Florence photo spots. It’s also the only church in Florence with its original interior.
Entrance to this basilica costs only €7.50 and grants you access to beautiful works by Masaccio, Giotto, Filippino Lippi, Duccio di Buoninsegna and Ghirlandaio…as well as a can’t-miss Florence photo opp.
Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte
Only a short walk from Piazzale Michelangelo (five minutes according to Google Maps), the Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte basilica was built somewhere between the 11th and 13th century. Since the basilica overlooks the entire city, it’s safe to say this is one of the best photo spots in Florence.
The Abbey contains the remains of famous Italian men, including Carlo Lorenzini, the author of Pinocchio. The church is free to enter and, if you’re wondering where to watch sunrise in Florence, this is it baby 👏🏼
It’s also a great place to enjoy the sunset, especially if the Piazzale Michelangelo steps are full.
As the leather capital of the world, it’s no surprise that Guccio Gucci himself is Florentine.
Located in Piazza della Signoria in the historic Palazzo Mercanzia, the Gucci Garden consists of a multi-floor exhibition as well as a restaurant by a three-star Michelin chef. The galleries and pieces are exquisitely ornate and sometimes it’s fun to admire clothing that’s worth more than a house!
If your Instagram feed is a little on the bougie side, Gucci Garden definitely makes the list of the most Instagrammable places in Florence.
San Lorenzo Leather Market
Shopping time! Florence is the leather capital of the world, so what would this great city be without a series of leather markets?
The biggest and best is San Lorenzo, located near the train station, Stazione Santa Maria Novella. The vendors are always willing to give you a better price if you pay with cash, but make sure to never accept the first price they give you. Almost all vendors in the leather market are willing to barter for goods.
In addition to some great shopping, the San Lorenzo Leather Market is one of the best Florence spots for an impromptu photo opp – so plan in advance.
🍨 Pro Tip:
While you’re in the Santa Maria Novella neighborhood, don’t miss out on a visit to Mercato Centrale to try some of Florence’s best Italian food. Head here to try traditional Italian dishes such as cannoli, arancini and Neapolitan pizza, as well as international options like dumplings, sushi and imported beers.
Florence Street Photography
Some of the best Florence Instagram spots can be found by simply wandering around the city! Florence is filled with ancient cobblestones, Tuscan architecture and winding alleyways. With quaint enotecas and osterias on every corner, the city itself is an Instagrammer’s paradise.
Piazza Santo Spirito
Don’t be fooled by this basilica’s plain facade. Basilica di Santo Spirito is an incredible representation of Renaissance architecture and is one of the best Florence Instagram spots for your photo journal.
During its design, Brunelleschi considered not only the visual aspects of its construction, but also how the priests would move about the space. Many consider the original design to be some of the best work of Brunelleschi’s career.
You can enter the church for free or snap some shots outside in front of the basilica. If you go inside, be warned – it’s one of the only churches in Florence that requires women to cover their shoulders upon entry.
Il Porcellino: the Bronze Boar Statue
The Bronze Boar, Il Porcellino, is located near the Ponte Vecchio in the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo (a mini version of the San Lorenzo Leather Market). Water flows from the boars mouth and its original purpose was to provide water to the merchants trading here.
Similar to throwing a coin in Rome’s Trevi Fountain, legend says that rubbing the boar’s nose will ensure your return to Florence. Whether legend is true or not, it certainly is one of the best Instagrammable places in Florence for a memorable photoshoot.
Florence Instagram Spots at the City’s Best Art Museums
What’s more Instagrammable than priceless works of art?
Many of the world’s greatest works are housed in Florence’s art museums. For the price of admission, you’ll be free to admire masterpieces by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Giorgio Vasari, Fra Angelico and many others. If you’re in search of Florence Instagram spots, add these Italian art museums to your list!
The Uffizi Gallery
Along with the Louvre Museums in Paris and the Vatican Museums in Rome, The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most visited art museums in Europe. It holds some of the world’s most precious masterpieces from the middle ages all the way into the modern period. One of its most beloved pieces is Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.”
An entrance ticket to this world famous museum costs €25. But keep in mind, it’s not the price that stops tourists from seeing the Uffizi, it’s the popularity. If you plan to visit, make sure to make a reservation online on the official website at least 10 days in advance.
💡 YOu May Also Enjoy…
…a guided art tour! If you know nothing about art, like myself, it’s helpful to have a knowledgeable guide to show you around and explain the significance of each piece. Browse Viator’s most highly rated Uffizi tours below:
Another of the best Florence Instagram spots is the world-famous home of Michelangelo’s David, Galleria dell’Accademia.
The Accademia Gallery houses many priceless Italian paintings and sculptures from the Renaissance period. However, the star of the show has always been the statue of David. There is a fake David standing in Piazza della Signoria in place of where the original statue once stood. When a chair thrown out a window of the Palazzo Vecchio landed on David and cracked off one of his arms in 1910, the original was moved inside and out of harm’s way.
If you plan on including the Accademia Gallery in your Florence photo tour, I would suggest making a reservation online at least a week in advance.
💡 You May Also Be Interested In…
Palazzo Vecchio & Loggia dei Lanzi
The Palazzo Vecchio is not only the city hall of Florence. It’s also one of the city’s best art museums and a Florence Instagrammable place that’s not-to-be-missed.
Palazzo Vecchio is also the former residence of the Medici’s – the Italian banking family that helped fund the Renaissance in the 15th century. Their famous Vasari corridor spans all the way from Piazza della Signoria, across the Arno, to Palazzo Pitti on the other side. The museum houses masterpieces by Michelangelo, Vasari and Donatello. If you love art, it’s definitely worth a visit while in Florence.
Standing in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Loggia dei Lanzi houses one of the first open-air sculpture gardens in the world. Built in the 14th century, the most interesting fact about the Loggia is that all of the masterpieces, with the exception of Michelangelo’s David, are originals.
Shown below are two of the most recognizable statues: Perseus Holding the Severed Head of Medusa (1554) and Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabines (1583).
Both Palazza Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi should be on your shortlist of Florence Instagram spots!
The Best Instagrammable Day Trips from Florence
As the hub of Tuscany, there is no shortage of historic Italian towns to visit from Florence. Your photo tour of the best Florence Instagram spots isn’t complete without a day trip or two to these Insta-worthy destinations.
Fiesole offers some of the best views in Tuscany…so it’sdefinitely worth a visit on your Florence photo tour!
The Monastery of San Francesco sits at the top of the hill and is the best place to enjoy both the views and the sunset. Since it’s only an hour bus ride from Florence, Fiesole is easy to fit into any itinerary.
Cinque Terre, translating to five lands, is one of Italy’s most picturesque coastal towns. Although I would definitely suggest adding it to your itinerary, it can be difficult to plan. If you attempt it, make sure to pay careful attention to the train timetables. Trains are the only way to navigate between the five towns, and they only run until a certain time. After that, you’re pretty much stuck in whatever town you’re in until morning, and Airbnbs here are anything but cheap.
The easiest way to get to Cinque Terre from Florence is by taking the train into La Spezia Centrale. From there, you can take a local train to any or all of the five towns.
Only a short, 30 minute train ride from Florence, Siena is one of Tuscany’s most famous towns. It’s filled with historic landmarks, beautiful architecture and magnificent churches. It’s best known for hosting the Palio horserace twice a year.
At around €14 for a round-trip ticket, there’s pretty much no excuse not to visit Siena and snap plenty of Insta-worthy shots.
San Gimignano is in the heart of wine country and is home to 15 stone towers. At the height of its power, the town boasted a total of 72 towers! After the plague ravaged the city in 1348, it faded from the world’s view…until it was rediscovered as a tourist attraction in the 19th century.
San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fantastic spot to sample local Tuscan wines. It’s also the location of the best gelato in the world and is filled with Instagrammable spots around every corner.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this Insta-famous Italian gem! Venice is well known wordwide for it’s picturesque canals, gondola rides and being one of the best places to celebrate Carnevale.
The easiest way to get to Venice from Florence is by train to Venezia St. Lucia. The ride only takes about two hours, but I would suggest a day-trip of no more than five or six hours. Although Venice is interesting to visit, there is not much to do in the actual city besides Piazza San Marco and a gondola ride.
However, you will need more time if you visit Venice during Carnevale. Expect the streets to be completely packed with tourists. You may need to get up early to get the best IG shots.
When it comes to Pisa Instagram spots, the Leaning Tower pretty much takes the cake.
This landmark is famous worldwide, and tourists flock to Pisa from every corner of the globe to take cheesy photos with this epic failure of Italian architecture. The tower is very impressive to see in-person and the town itself is charming. However, like Venice, you don’t need to budget a lot of time to see Pisa.
Florence Instagram spots are not hard to come by in this magnificent Tuscan city. Every viewpoint, every street corner and every Italian restaurant is the perfect Insta-shot just waiting to happen. Make sure to charge up your camera, pack all your photography essentials and get ready to capture some amazing content in beautiful Florence.
If you enjoyed my guide to the best Florence Instagram spots, you may also enjoy my related posts linked below. And don’t forget to follow along for the adventure on Instagram @madisonsfootsteps.