Discover the BEST time to visit Florence Italy! Learn which months offer the perfect mix of fewer crowds and good weather to make your trip a success!
Florence Italy is one of my favorite cities and holds a dear place in my heart as I studied abroad here during my college years. The food, art, history, architecture, and gelato make for a charming and memorable city. The historic core is small and walkable with nothing more than a 20 minute walk away.
The compact center makes for a quaint city during the quiet months but is also a recipe for disaster when the crowds descend upon Florence.
The streets can quickly become a mass of shoulder to shoulder tourists during the summer months which is why it's imperative to research the best time to visit Florence Italy before you book your ticket!
Florence really is two different cities depending on when you visit. If you've been during peak tourist season and compared it to shoulder or slow season, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
Florence in August, when many locals skip town and the streets are filled primarily with tourists, is completely different than Florence in November where you get a mix of locals and tourists and can actually find peaceful streets and quiet restaurants.
This is why it is imperative to do your research and pick the best time to visit Florence Italy and make sure you get a mix of decent weather and fewer crowds.
Short and Sweet: The BEST time to visit Florence, Italy is late fall and early spring
Autumn in Florence - September through November
the best time to visit florence Italy for ideal sightseeing weather and fewer crowds (late fall)
My personal favorite and the best time to visit Florence, Italy is autumn. October is the sweet spot bringing nice weather and fewer crowds. I would also say that fall is the best time to travel to Italy in general. Temperatures will range between the 50s and low 70s and rain can be hit or miss depending on the year.
Each time I've visited Italy in October I've barely seen any rain and an abundance of autumn sunshine, but October has been known to vary. Some years being rainy and chilly and others being absolutely glorious.
October is becoming a more popular month to visit as earlier months are becoming overly crowded, so I would recommend making reservations for Florence attractions and top restaurants in advance.
Late September will bring weather with highs in the 70s and a little less rain than October but also more crowds with tourists taking advantage of the last stretch of warm weather and sunshine. In fact, early September has seemed almost as crowded as summer in recent years.
If you're trying to avoid the crowds I would recommend visiting in late October and November. Just note that the chance of rain hits its peak in November.
If warm weather is important and your picture of visiting Florence includes enjoying gelato on a sun warmed bench and dining alfresco, then late September through early October is the best bet. Just be prepared for fairly high crowd levels.
November is perfect for those not worried about needing a light jacket or a higher chance of rain as the tourists really empty out by this month. Lower hotel rates and lines into tourist attractions along with the ease of getting into top restaurants without reservations might be worth the hassle of packing your jacket and umbrella.
Florence in Spring - March through May
Similar to fall, Spring is the best time to go to Florence for good sightseeing weather and fewer crowds
Spring is also the best time to go to Florence with lower crowds than summer and good weather. The chance of rain will typically be lower this time of year as opposed to fall. This is my second favorite time to visit Italy and comes after the fall season.
Late March to mid April is the sweet spot in spring with very few crowds and good hotel deals. The weather will require a coat as highs will just reach the high 50s but it's perfectly pleasant for runs along the river and touring the city by foot as long as you dress appropriately. Pack an umbrella and dress in layers as it can warm up quite a bit if you're in the sun.
Late April and May bring more sunshine and more tourists. Try to end your trip by mid May as Florence becomes packed and much of the charm is lost with shoulder to shoulder crowds.
Winter in Florence - December through February
The best time to visit italy for lower crowds and hotel prices
December through February is the best time to visit Florence Italy if you're looking for an authentic experience paired with the least amount of visitors.
The city is blissfully quiet this time of year and almost seems like a normal town as the number of tourists are at a minimum.
Winter in Florence brings great hotel deals as this is slow season. You'll have no problem getting into top Florence sights and restaurants.
Florence doesn't go all out for Christmas like other European cities but the quaint decorations and twinkle lights do add to the charm. Temperatures in December aren't bad either, ranging from the high 30s to low 50s.
January and February see similar temperatures. In general, chance of rain is lower in winter than both fall and spring with early December seeing the highest amount of rainfall.
Florence in Summer - June through August
Summer is not the best time to visit florence for an enjoyable experience with insane crowds, high prices, and few locals
Florence becomes almost unrecognizable during the summer. In fact, with its rise in popularity, I'll actually include late May and early/mid September to the definition of "summer crowds and prices".
The city swarms with shoulder to shoulder crowds. The first time I visited Florence during this time of year was when I planned summer trips and traveled with college basketball teams.
We were in Florence in August...and I can't believe I'm about to say this because Florence is one of my favorite cities...but I couldn't wait to get out. I could not believe how crowded this city could get.
Combine packed streets, long lines and waitlists with hot weather and you'll be wishing you considered fall or spring to visit instead. All reservations need to be made long in advance and hotel prices will be steep.
If summer is your only option my best recommendation is to avoid August at all costs and aim for as early in the summer as possible. Generally speaking, August is the one month I would say is NOT the best time to travel to Italy and for all travelers to avoid.
August not only becomes unbearably hot but is also the least authentic experience. Italians shut down their shops and leave town to take their own vacation and escape the worst of the crowds and heat.
For the perfect mix of fewer crowds and enjoyable weather, the best time to visit Florence, Italy is October through early November and late March through mid April.
Winter in Florence is actually fairly mild and brings the plus of minimal crowds. If you don't mind cooler weather and are focused on finding great hotel deals and experiencing the top sights and restaurants without a million other people, winter is the winner.
In general, I avoid summer as it can become very hot and the crowds make the city almost unbearable. If summer is you're only option, try to visit early June.
**FLORENCE HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS**
- Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy
- The St. Regis Florence (Marriott)
- The Westin Excelsior, Florence (Marriott)
- Baglioni Relais Santa Croce
- Hotel Bernini Palace
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best time to visit Florence Italy
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