Wondering where are the best photo spots in Florence? You are in the right place! I will help you discover the most beautiful places in Florence and make sure you have the best photos to share on your Instagram account.
In this article, you will find exact locations, the best time to take visit these places, what equipment to use, and many more photography tips. We will cover main attractions, hidden gems, the best views over Florence, gardens and so much more.
If you are looking for the best things to do in Florence as you take your photos, read this article.
My guide of best photo spots in Florence is going to ensure that you don’t miss a single photo opportunity during your visit!
Where to stay in Florence to have the easiest access to the best photo spots and main attractions?
Before we get to the best photo spots, I want to share my tips on where to stay in Florence. When I travel, I like to stay close to the main attractions, so I can walk most of the time and avoid using public transport or a taxi. Usually, accommodations in these popular areas are more expensive, but it pays back.
For Florence, I choose to stay in the area of Duomo and you know what? I found an apartment with the best view on the Duomo of Florence or Santa Maria del Fiore. In fact, I will include it as one of the photo spots, so keep reading!
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Duomo
We have to start with one of the best photo spots in Florence and that is Duomo. Massive cupola, attention to detail, pieces of gold, and 463 steps to arrive at the top. Add hundreds of years of history!
Even though the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is a masterpiece of art, it is not easy to take photos here. The square is small and it is always filled with people, so you have to own a wide-angle lens and prepare yourself for a sunrise mission.
I think that this beautiful location deserves a colorful and long dress. I want you to pop out in the photo.
I will add the exact location on Google Maps for every location – just click on the link to find it.
Equipment: If you want to capture the entire front of Duomo, you will need a wide-angle lens. You can take some beautiful portraits and detailed photos.
Best time: You will have to give up your beauty sleep and wake up as early as possible – 10 minutes before sunrise is perfect, so you can find the right spot and take some test shots.
Ponte Vecchio is another iconic photo spot in Florence. However, the best photos are taken from Ponte Santa Trinita – it offers the best view of the bridge and gives you a lot of space to capture the magic of Arno.
Little pastel houses with colorful window shutters build on top of the bridge make it charming and unique. I’m sure you haven’t seen anything like that before.
Hotel Lungarno is another alternative location to capture the beauty of Ponte Vecchio.
Equipment: 50mm will do wonderful work – enough to capture the bridge and create a bouquet effect around you.
Best time: It is not a busy place, so you can take the photo any time – just make sure that you avoid harsh lights. For sunny days – sunrise and sunset time are the best.
Airbnb with the best view on Duomo
Do you remember I said that I found a magical apartment with the best view on the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore? This is the apartment and the view that I was talking about.
The terrace is perfect to capture the magic of Duomo. Set up aperitivo and enjoy the magic of Italian sweet life. It is more than just a perfect photo spot of Florence. Escape the busy tourist streets of Florence, but keep the magical rooftop views over Duomo.
Also, I did my research and there is not a single restaurant in Florence that offers a view like this!
Equipment: It is easy to take good photos in this location, but I decided to play with a 50mm lens – you won’t be able to take a full-body picture, but this lens makes the cupola look massive!
Best time: Here you don’t have to worry about other people in your photos, because it is your private balcony. I advise you to meet sunset here with drinks and some food.
When it comes to Florence photography, you simply can’t leave this city without the photo in Piazzale Michelangelo. This square offers you a magical view over the rooftops of Florence, Arno, Duomo, and many other attractions of Florence.
I have to warn you that this place gets very crowded. Mostly because it is loved by locals. I came here for sunset and it was a struggle, but with a bit of patience, I still got the photos that I wanted.
However, once you see the crowds, that’s when you really understand that this is one of the best photo spots in Florence.
Equipment: Bring your zoom lens collection – it creates unique views over the city!
Best time: As mentioned, this place is crowded! So come here for a sunrise photoshoot… if you are patient like me, you can try sunset, because that’s the time when you can enjoy the true magic of this viewpoint.
I have been to Florence before, but I never heard about Giardino Bardini. It seems like it has become popular in recent years because it offers a beautiful alley of wisteria. To be honest, it has so much more.
Keep in mind that wisteria blooms between April and May, but you still should visit Giardino Bardini even if you are coming to Florence outside these months.
Why? Well, it’s a beautiful garden filled with flowers and peace that you won’t find anywhere else in Florence. On top of that, it offers a great view over Florence – you will find it right after the ticket office at the entrance on Costa San Giorgio 2.
Equipment: Zoom, zoom, zoom! I personally love this photo from Florence and I still get questions on Instagram about the place and equipment that I used for it because it is so unique. Zoom lens will do a great job here.
Best time: Working hours are constantly changing, so advise you to call them before. I think late afternoon is the best time to visit – keep in mind that you will need a couple of hours to see it all.
Giardino Delle Rose
Giardino Delle Rose is very similar to Giardino Bardini, however, the view of the city is very unique and that’s what makes it one of the best photo spots in Florence.
It is right under Piazzale Michelangelo and it is free to visit. Giardino delle Rose was created in 1865 and it’s home to more than 400 varieties of roses. If you are visiting in summer, come here to see the flowers and escape the crowds from Piazzale Michelangelo.
Equipment: Another location that lets you play with a zoom lens and get creative! Try it! Picture above was taken with 200mm or even 300mm lens.
Best time: You should combine it with Piazzale Michelangelo. Not too crowded, so easy to take photos, but once again, avoid harsh lights.
Piazza della Signoria
Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio – it doesn’t get more Tuscanian than this. Typical colors of Tuscany, traditional architecture, and square that attractions thousands of tourists every day.
I have to admit that it is very difficult to take photos here because there will always be someone around. Luckily, the square is big, so few people won’t be so visible in your photos.
Make sure you see The Fountain of Neptune in Florence and appreciate every detail of this masterpiece. Don’t forget to capture it as well!
Equipment: I used 35mm for the photo that you see above. I think this little street created a beautiful framing around Palazzo Vecchio.
Best time: Make sure you combine this with another spot, maybe Duomo or Ponte Vecchio.
Basilica of Santa Croce
This is not your typical Instragam photo spot in Florence. In fact, I would even say that this is a hidden gem of Florence. I visited around 11 am and there were not many people around. Especially not many to capture the beauty of this distant cousin of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
It has the same style as Duomo, however, it is much smaller and easier to capture. Yes, it is not as impressive as Duomo of Florence, but it still deserves a photo. In fact, it will help you create a unique photo that not everyone has.
Equipment: The square in front of the Basilica of Santa Croce is relatively big, so you have a lot of space to capture it. I used a 50mm lens because whenever I have enough space, I choose to use a zoom lens in order to create a unique effect.
Best time: You can take a photo here any time of the day, but always avoid time from midday until 3/4 PM.
Piazza della Repubblica
Another beautiful square in the heart of Florence. In this square, you will find many Italian designers, beautiful column buildings, even an arch, but the thing that makes it magical? Historical carousel in the middle of the square.
I think you should experiment here and find a way to capture the beauty of the carousel and the art that surrounds it!
Dress up like Italians would, don’t be camera-shy, and have fun! I guarantee that the results will be amazing.
Equipment: Square is big enough, so almost any lens can do a great job here. Depends on what kind of result do you want to get.
Best time: Don’t get scared of crowds, it is part of the essence. If you come here early in the morning, it just doesn’t have the same energy.
Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte
is a basilica in Florence, central Italy, standing atop one of the highest points in the city. While you can see it from most of the places in Florence, people still don’t make effort to visit this hidden gem.
It has been described as one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany and one of the most scenic churches in Italy. Yet I don’t see anyone talking about this cool spot in Florence.
You can get a beautiful photo with a facade, but make sure you visit inside as well!
Equipment: You will need a wide-angle lens because the square is tiny and you don’t have much space to capture it. The photo that you see above is taken from Giardino Bardini with 200mm lens.
Best time: Late afternoon is a perfect time to visit and take photos. You can combine it with Piazzale Michelangelo, Giardino Bardini, or Giardino Delle Rose.
I’m sure that after reading this article you will have the best photos from your trip to Florence and you are fully prepared now. Don’t forget to try local Tuscanian dishes, connect with locals and enjoy this magical city.
If you are looking for more photo spots around the world – click here.
If you have any questions or additional tips, let me know in the comments below.
Equipment that I use for my photos
- Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR
- Nikon Nikkor AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8G ED
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G
- Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D
- Tamron SP 70 – 200 mm f/2.8 di VC G2
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