Students, international students, interns, backpackers, roomates and digital nomads can book cheap dorms and safe private rooms in downtown Florence, close to boarding schools, high schools, colleges, halls of residence and universities, close to buses or train stations, airports or major attractions in Florence.
Hotel Alinari enjoys a truly enviable position while remaining in the historic centre of Florence, and both the Santa Maria Novella railway station and the bus stop for the airport are within walking distance. The Palazzo dei Congressi is about a five-minute walk away , as are the Fortezza da Basso and the Palazzo degli Affari. The main monuments of Florence such as the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio is only a 10 minutes walk away.
A stone's throw from the main train station and close to every point of interest. The Fortezza Da Basso and Stazione Leopolda, locations of the most important Florentine fairs and exhibitions, can be reached in just five minutes on foot. The Duomo and the historic center are just ten minutes away. The Parco delle Cascine and the Visarno Hippodrome with its unmissable concerts are just 15 minutes away on foot.
Lots of cafes, restaurants, fresh markets & shops all within a 5 minutes walk! 10 minutes from the Duomo. Walking around you will encounter a bustling & bohemian neighbourhood. A maze of little alleyways & streets which have an abundance of shops and life! A 15-minute walk from Ponte Vecchio & Florence Cathedral. The traditional Mercato Centrale is 800 m away. Cappella Brancacci 0.5 km Via Dè Tornabuoni 0.6 km Strozzi Palace 0.6 km Santa Maria Maggiore 0.6 km Cappelle Medicee 0.7 km
Sketchbooks at the ready: it’s time to unleash your imagination with a hostel in the nerve centre of European art. Florence was the engine room of the Renaissance, and backpackers flock to it for its jaw-dropping historic buildings and masterpiece-packed galleries, all wrapped up in winding streets and buzzing public squares. You can’t help but notice the constant stream of tourists, but Florence also has a huge community of creatively-minded international students, based here to study fine art or art history – their influence has helped develop a wealth of backpacker-friendly bars and restaurants, as well as a great range of cheap hostels in the city centre.
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Florence is served by one international airport, so if you’re flying from outside Italy you’ll arrive at Amerigo Vespucci (you may also see it referred to as Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola). To reach the city centre hostels get the Vola in Bus shuttle to Santa Maria Novella train station. It runs every half-hour during the day and every hour in the evenings. The service stops at 1am. A single costs €6, and the journey takes 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, hop in a taxi – it’s a €20 fixed rate, rising to €23 at night.
Santa Maria Novella train station (Firenze SMN) is the main rail hub, right in the heart of the city. It has high-speed lines to Bologna, Pisa and Rome, and is also a hub for local buses. If you’re arriving on an international train, you may arrive at Campo di Marte, a little way east of SMN. There are rail and bus connections between the two stations – but trains are usually a better bet, as Florence traffic snarls up easily.
International Eurolines buses and inter-city SITA services arrive right beside Santa Maria Novella station.
You can ride local ATAF buses on 90-minute tickets, which allow unlimited travel on multiple buses within 90 minutes of validation. They’re also available in multi-tickets, allowing you four 90-minute periods. It’s cheaper to buy your ticket in advance – they’re widely available from newsagents, bars and major stations (look for ATAF stickers in windows). Remember to validate your ticket when you board the bus.
Bear in mind that Florence’s roads can get congested during the day, so experienced backpackers tend to walk as much as possible. The city centre is both small and picturesque – walking is usually the most pleasant way to travel, and it is sometimes quicker too.
Voltage: 220 volts. Many modern sockets are for slim three-pin plugs, but the familiar European two-pin style will usually work in them.
Dialing code: +39 for Italy, 55 for Florence.
Language: Italian. English is likely to be understood in the main tourist areas.
Main office: APT Firenze, Provincia di Firenze, Via Cavour 1r, Florence, Tel 055 290832
Airport branch: Terminal 1, Aeroporto "A. Vespucci", Florence, 055 315874
Via Pellicceria 3 (Piazza della Repubblica), Florence
Hospital S. Maria Nuova
Piazza S. Maria Nuova 1, Florence, Tel 055 27581
Policlinico di Careggi
Viale Morgagni 85, Florence, Tel 055 4277111
Opening hours: Smaller shops and those away from tourist areas will usually shut for lunch – 9.30 to 13.00 then 15.00 to 19.00 is a rough guide. Bars can stay open as late as 03.00.