Florence is a remarkable city overflowing with beauty, history, and charm, so it’s no wonder why millions of families, solo travelers, and adventure seekers choose to visit it each year. With an abundance of things to do ranging from climbing up Brunellschi’s famous Renaissance Duomo to admiring the artistic masterpieces stored within Florence’s many prestigious museums, you may even be ready to start planning a trip yourself! Whether you have explored Italy’s Tuscany region before or are a first timer, this guide will tell you all you need to know about the best times to visit Florence so that you can plan a dream vacation that suits your desires and preferred style of travel.
Choosing the Best Time For You
While you can technically visit Florence year round, planning strategically can allow you to avoid the crowds and unpleasant weather
Since Florence is a largely populated city, it is needless to say that it functions year round. Thus, it is possible to visit this fascinating location during any season or time of year. However, picking the perfect time to travel to Florence really depends on your budget, preferences for the weather, and the amount of crowds. While the enjoyable temperatures and long days are a major perk of visiting during peak tourism season, choosing to plan your visit during the low season will make you feel as if you have city to yourself, plus, it costs much less!
High Season Brings Sunshine & Large Crowds
May through September in Florence may bring clear skies, but these warmer months also attracts a ton of tourists causing streets like this to become jam-packed
The high season in Florence generally begins in May and ends in September as people from all over the globe make their way to Italy for a much needed holiday. During the months of May, June, and September, you can expect to find amazing temperatures and little rain which sets the perfect scene for romantic outdoor dinners and evening strolls through the picturesque Italian streets. Sounds amazing, right?
July and August in Florence however, are known to get boiling hot, making it sometimes unbearable to walk under the afternoon sun. So, if you cannot handle high temperatures, you may want to avoid traveling to Florence during these months or rather opt for staying in a place with a pool to keep cool during the day. Also keep in mind that during the month of August, many Italians go away for their summer holidays so it is common for some businesses to be closed for a few weeks at a time.
While the climate may be pleasant during peak season, the city streets are packed with tourists who also want to take advantage of the nice weather. Of course this translates into higher plane and train ticket prices, along with hotel and B&B rates. Furthermore, peak season results in busy storefronts, crowded restaurants, and extremely long wait times at museums such as the world renowned Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery where Michelangelo’s David is located.
It is also possible to book tickets in advance online or sign up for a guided tour to avoid the terribly long lines of peak season in Florence. To learn more, check out our top-rated skip the line tours of Florence’s Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery or opt for our Ultimate Florence in One Day Tour to see them both in one day!
Low Season Has its Perks
Believe it or not, visiting Florence during the low season can save you a lot of money on travel and accommodation- just be prepared to bundle up for the cold weather!
If you don’t do well with crowds but can handle a little bit more moody weather, visiting Florence during the low season in November, February, or March is definitely for you! Besides having the streets to yourself and shorter wait times for activities such as climbing the Campanile or entering the world famous Florence Cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore), you can also save a lot of money. Since these months aren’t a popular time to visit the city, you’ll find much lower rates on transportation to and from Florence no matter how you choose to get around Italy. Hotels and other accommodations are also known to lower their prices during the low season in order to fill up their rooms so you end up paying much less than you would during peak season.
As said, the low season in Florence is not known for its fantastic weather. Although it very rarely snows, it does get fairly cold and rain is often in the forecast. This means that you may have to bundle up and prepare to get wet on your Renaissance walking tour. If the weather gets too unbearable at one point during your stay, there are plenty of indoor things to do in Florence as well that will surely keep you occupied. For example, you can tour Florence’s amazing churches, taste the region’s delectable Chianti Wines, or eat a delicious meal full of traditional Tuscan food!
Autumn in Florence: The Sweet Spot
Autumn in Florence makes for perfect views from Piazzale Michelangelo
The high season craze in Florence begins to die down during October and gets quite quiet in November before it peaks again for a brief time during the holiday season. Thus, choosing to plan your visit during late Fall can actually be pretty ideal. In October you’ll still find pleasant day time temperatures, though you will definitely need a jacket at night. Meanwhile, November is a bit colder and gloomier, but is nonetheless beautiful.
The major perk of visiting during this time period is taking in the views of the colorful leaves on the trees scattered throughout the city. To take advantage of this kaleidoscope of colors, we recommend taking the short hike or car ride up to Piazzale Michelangelo where you will find fantastic panoramic views of the city!
Florence Shines During the Holidays
During the holiday season Florence is full of festive spirit!
Okay, it might feel really cold outside, but Florence around Christmas time is magical! A huge tree stands outside of the iconic Duomo, festive markets pop up in the piazzas, nativity scenes fill the churches, and twinkling lights line the streets. To say the least, Florence does Christmas big which makes it a terrific place to celebrate! If you are able to stick around after New Year’s Day, January is a month well known in Italy for its amazing shopping sales!
Florence also hosts other popular events for celebrations throughout the year such as Epiphany, Easter, and Carnival. Keep in mind, however, that prices may rise around the big holidays in Florence.
Temperatures Fluctuate So Pack According to Season
Winters can get quite chilly in Florence while Summers bring an intense heatwave
So by now you have probably learned that July and August in Florence are HOT. But just how hot and cold does it really get in Florence? During Winter, highs can reach close to 50 degrees Fahrenheit while lows fall near 30 degrees F. Meanwhile, summer highs can skyrocket into the 80’s and even the early 90’s so be prepared to take more than a couple water breaks throughout the day. Learn more about Florence weather patterns at climate-data.org.
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