LivingTravelThe 8 Best Florence, Italy Travel Guides of 2019

The 8 Best Florence, Italy Travel Guides of 2019

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Florence’s iconic Renaissance skyline is just the tip of the iceberg – once on the ground, you’ll find stunning art and architecture that will have you taking your camera out at every turn. There is so much history and so much to see, in fact, that the city can be overwhelming when planning your itinerary. The good news is, if you have five days on a budget or 48 hours to splurge, there is a travel guide available for you.

Rather than feeling like you have to cross absolutely everything off your list, it can be helpful to start with a focused guide, which is why we’ve found a few that focus on design and luxury travel. There are also guides that take into account the larger region; After all, if you are heading to the door of Tuscany, you should, if time permits, spend some time exploring the vast landscape and gastronomy of the area. Read on to see our favorite guides to Florence.

Our best picks

01
of 08

Fodor’s Florence & Tuscany: with Assisi and the best of Umbria

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Fodor’s is one of the biggest names in travel, and this comprehensive guide to Florence and the surrounding regions of Tuscany and Umbria is a boon for anyone planning a vacation in the region. Although not specifically dedicated to Florence, we love this option for travelers planning a trip to the larger region, or planning to stay in the city and use it as a base before setting off on day trips. Expect the options to fit a moderate budget, though there are suggestions for more budget activities, lodging, and meals, as well as options toward the luxury end of the scale. At 413 pages, the guide is quite long, but still well designed and easy to use, so travelers in the middle of the planning stages won’t get bogged down or overwhelmed with decisions. One note: as the guide was published in 2017,

02
of 08

Wallpaper * City Guide Florence

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Florence is a destination for art lovers, and what better tour guide to take than a book that emphasizes architecture and design? Wallpaper * city guide presents the best of what Florence has to offer, no matter the length of your stay. There are great suggestions for those in town for 48 hours, as well as those in town for a week or more. Expect advice on the best design hotels, concept shops, and great bars and restaurants that transform a simple drink or meal into an experience. Don’t expect a lot of budget suggestions – the places in this well-preserved book tend to come at a price, but for travelers looking to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, this guide will be perfect.

03
of 08

Rick Steves Florence and Tuscany

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Chances are, if you come to Florence, you’re not going to leave without exploring the surrounding region of Tuscany at least a little bit, and this guide covers it all. Rick Steves has been one of the leading names in travel for decades, so his volume focused on Florence and Tuscany doesn’t disappoint. Expect plenty of information on how to make the most of your trip, from top landmarks like the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo to little-known spots that allow travelers to dine, drink, and shop like a local. The more than 400 pages are printed on thin paper, so you get all the information without the typical volume of books of that length. We love all the self-guided walking tours of the city, as well as the information on the surrounding areas such as Siena, Lucca, and Montepulciano, and after a busy day of sightseeing,

04
of 08

Fodor’s Florence 25 Best

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Fodor’s is a top resource for travelers wanting comprehensive, well-curated destination guides, and this 25 Best Edition for Florence is worth it. Expect a quick swipe of the essentials to see in the Renaissance city, with overviews of the best restaurants, drinks, accommodation, cultural activities, and shopping. It’s easy to get past, which is a huge plus – this doesn’t require a long sit-down read (trip planning takes plenty of time, after all). We especially like this list of essentials for those in town on business and for those who are wandering around town on a trip that may last only a few days. Fodor’s is not known for its travel budget, but the suggestions are still accessible enough for travelers on a moderate budget.

05
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Clued In Florence: The Concise and Opinionated Guide to the City (2019)

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Full Disclosure: This one-time guide is only available on Kindle, but if you’re traveling with an e-Reader anyway, it’s a perfect fit. Florence is a dense city with so much to see and do, and this guide ranks the sites that aren’t worth it so you can get to the good stuff faster. The guide is meant to make visitors fall in love with the city, and it does a great job, offering suggestions like a friend who happens to be a travel expert. There are also plenty of practical tips that may take time to figure out on your own, such as tips on how to tip, Florence’s unique ‘opening hours’, and the best way to get from the airport to the city center. And for those who want to get out of the city for a day, this practical manual also includes suggestions for a day trip to Siena.

06
of 08

LUXE Florence

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If your travel preferences lean toward the luxurious end of the jet set, you’ll want to pick up a copy of this book for your next trip to Florence. The luxury-focused book offers a comprehensive guide to the best of where to eat, sleep, a night out, pamper yourself, and do a little souvenir shopping in between. There’s a ton of information in this little volume, so read it carefully to see all the hints and tips woven together. There’s also a free mobile download, so if you want to travel even lighter, you can.

07
of 08

A Complete 5 Day Travel Guide to Florence + Tuscany

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This guide is specifically designed for those who don’t have much time in the city, making it a wonderful resource for travelers coming to the city on business or incorporating a stop over on a larger week-long Europe trip. The guide is designed to suit many different types of travelers, from those with very small budgets to those with funds to pull. There is great information on local customs, local tour companies, and even the food you will find there, making this a great introduction to the city, as well as a comprehensive resource once you have passed the planning stages and are really on the ground. Also, if you’ve always dreamed of being able to recite a little Italian, there are some useful phrases tourists should know as well.

08
of 08

FLORENCE: a traveler’s FunBook

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Flying to Florence is not the easiest thing for children: there are many rushed and long flights and very little room to run. This book saves lives when it comes to entertaining children; Its 45 pages are filled with crossword puzzles, decoders and word searches, as well as other games like Spot the Difference, Bingo, and “Who am I?” Best of all, the clues and answers for each puzzle are themed Florence itself, so young travelers will start learning about the city they will visit before they even make landfall. The book is slim enough to fit in handbags and backpacks, making it easy to carry around while on the go. In fact, it’s a great way to keep your little ones busy while queuing at museums, restaurants, or on public transportation.

Our process

Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular Florence guides on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different guides, selected options from 15 different publishers, and read over 50 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds to recommendations you can trust.

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