Discover the best views in Florence, Italy with the most picturesque backdrops! Save the included Google Maps and get ready for some epic photo opportunities.
Florence has held a dear place in my heart for over 15 years. This Renaissance city oozes Italian charm with its picturesque streets, old-world wine bars, sidewalk cafes, and bustling piazzas.
It's easy to arrive and instantly become overwhelmed with all the photo opportunities. If this is your first time in the city and you only have a few days to explore, you'll need a plan of where to find the best views in Florence for the most spectacular photos.
I've included all the top Florence viewpoints in Google Maps. You can easily save this list on your phone and jet from spot to spot without having to second guess a thing!
This map shows each Florence viewpoint and photo spot included in this post. Click the icon in the very top left to see a list view of each pinned location. Click the top right button to enlarge the map. Click the star to save to your own Google Maps account. To access this map once saved (after clicking the star), open Google Maps (on your phone/computer/tablet), click the menu button, go to "your places", select "maps", and you will see this map listed.
1. Piazzale Michelangelo
The spot to go for the best views in Florence, Italy...perfect for a skyline backdrop
Piazzale Michelangelo is hands down one of the best views in Florence offering a panoramic sweep of the city below. This (and the Ponte Vecchio) is probably one of the most popular Florence Instagram spots.
I make a point to walk up to this Florence viewpoint at least twice each time I visit. Once at sunrise and once at sunset.
A visit in the morning will offer ideal lighting and minimal crowds. This is the best time to go for photos if you want to make sure there are no people in the background.
Some of my favorite memories are making the early morning trek to this viewpoint, taking photos, and then just soaking it all in...with no one else in sight.
Sunset is a popular time to visit Piazzale Michelangelo and will offer a completely different experience than morning. The steps will be filled with both tourists and locals (some with a bottle of wine) taking in the beautiful sight of the Florence skyline washed in a blaze of gold and yellow as the sun sets.
Sunset is the best time to take photos if you're only capturing the skyline (not trying to get you or someone else in the photo without a crowd of photobombers).
2. Ponte Vecchio
One of the best views in Florence for an iconic backdrop
When Florence is mentioned one of the first things that comes to mind is the Ponte Vecchio. The shop-lined bridge painted in warm tones of honey and gold. A trip to Florence without a photo of the Ponte Vecchio would be a shame.
It's no surprise this is the number one Florence Instagram spot/photo.
The best place to take photos of the bridge is about a 2-minute walk north of the actual bridge (near the back of the Uffizi museum).
This is a Florence view you'll want to engrave in your memory. It's particularly beautiful at night. The contrast of the bright lights on the bridge and surrounding buildings to the dark sky and water below is truly memorable.
3. Basilica di San Miniato
One of the best Florence viewpoints for minimal crowds
This Florence viewpoint is one of the best-kept secrets. If you want to escape the crowds this is where you want to go.
The actual viewpoint is below the steps of the Basilica. For the best photos, you need a good camera with zoom. Set up your tripod on the steps and zoom in to the actual viewpoint below. This ensures more of the Florence skyline makes it into your photo.
I love how quiet this Florence viewpoint is and it's a peaceful break for when the city is crowded.
A selfish part of me did not want to include this and keep it secret...but I wouldn't do that to my readers/fellow travelers 😉.
4. Duomo – Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Another iconic Florence backdrop - climb the dome for a bird's-eye view
The Duomo is another iconic Florence sight and will surely take your breath away the moment you see it.
If there's one spot in Florence that offers a variety of viewpoints, angles, and perspectives, the Duomo is it.
There are so many areas to take gorgeous photos around the Duomo I often find I have to return multiple mornings because I didn't get all the shots I wanted before the crowds arrived.
Don't forget to walk down the side streets around the Duomo (I pinned a few on Google Maps). It makes for a fun picture to see a slice of the massive Duomo at the end of a narrow street.
5. Piazza della Signoria
One of the best photo spots in Florence to capture a bustling European Square (Piazza) complete with statues, fountains, and GRANDIOSE architecture
Piazza della Signoria is an impressive L-shaped square surrounded by restaurant patios and historical sights. The Palazzo Vecchio, a towering medieval palace, fortress, and tower, makes for an impressive backdrop.
A copy of Michelangelo's David and the Fountain of Neptune frames the front of the palace.
To the right of the Palazzo Vecchio, you'll find an open-air sculpture gallery.
For an extra photo opportunity, turn the corner (walking along the sculpture gallery towards the Palazzo Vecchio) and you'll find the Uffizi Gallery. If there isn't construction (which there has been the last few years) this makes for a very Instagrammable spot.
Honorable Mention - Piazza della Repubblica
One of the best Florence Instagram spots for night shots
Piazza della Repubblica is one of the main squares and marks the very center of Florence. In this square, you'll find a stately Arch of Triumph, an old-world carousel, and plenty of sidewalk cafes.
This is one of my favorite places to visit at night with the carousel lit up and the surrounding cafes emanating a welcoming glow. The square is always lively and great for people watching.
Now you know the best views in Florence that offer some of the best photo opportunities. Grab your camera, save the Google Maps I created for you and hit the ground running.
It’s absolutely doable to visit these top Florence views in one very hectic day or two normal paced days. These are all areas that you'll be sightseeing around anyway, so you won’t have to go out of your way to visit these Florence photo spots. Well, except for Basilica di San Miniato...but it's well worth the trek.
Whether you’re looking for the best Florence views or where to take that perfect Instagram shot, these places are sure to stay in your memory for a lifetime.
**FLORENCE HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS**
- Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy
- The St. Regis Florence (Marriott)
- The Westin Excelsior, Florence (Marriott)
- Baglioni Relais Santa Croce
- Hotel Bernini Palace