How to Get to Florence by Plane, Train, Car, & Bus

When it comes to how to get to Florence, you’ve got plenty of different options. Read on to discover which is the best one for you! 

Church in Florence, Italy in front of a wide pedestrianized square
Getting to Florence is the first step on your adventure! Photo credit: Mollie Moran

If you’re planning your trip to Florence, you’ll have to deal with Italian means of transportation. But don’t worry—getting on a train or a bus is the best way to make new friends and enjoy a little bit of the real Italian vibes while you get to Florence. Here’s how to get to Florence for every kind of traveler. 

By Plane 

Florence has a tiny little airport, Amerigo Vespucci Airport. But don’t rely on being able to fly into it, as the flights are mostly domestic.  

There’s even a movement of popular resistance against the expansion of the airport, as it could destroy a natural reserve and make airplanes land too close to a university campus. So if you need to fly to Florence, choose another way—one that’s more ethical and ecological. 

If you need to travel by plane, try flying into nearby Pisa instead. Galileo Galilei Airport has way more flights per day and a greater variety of connections with other cities. From Pisa Airport, you can get to Florence via shuttle bus in just one hour. 

Tall white leaning tower on a cloudy day
Flying into Pisa is the perfect excuse to see the Leaning Tower if you have time! Photo credit: Chiper Catalin

By Train 

Trains are great and we love them—you just hop on and enjoy the fast trip! 

There are high speed lines that connect to Naples, Rome, Florence, and Bologna, as well as all the major cities in the north such as Milan, Venice, and Turin. You can choose between the national railway company, Trenitalia, or its rival, Italo. There are no big differences, just find the best offer.  

Insider’s Tip: The high-speed Trenitalia trains are called Frecce (“arrows”), but they stop only in the big cities. If you’re travelling from a smaller city like Livorno or Pisa, you may find our beloved Regionali. These are regional trains that stop in each little town forgotten by the world (and the Internet). Onboard, you’ll be cheered up by every kind of traveler you can imagine, from grumpy teenagers to chatty old men.

Interior of a crowded train station in Florence, Italy with a man in a green shirt in the foreground
Inside Santa Maria Novella, Florence’s main train station. Photo credit: Chris Sampson

Insider’s Tip: Have limited time in the city and want to drop off your bags? Check out our picks for luggage storage in Florence.

By Bus 

Why not travel by bus to Florence? It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s fun.  

Flixbus is a great option. You can find buses from Bologna, Genoa, Rome—basically everywhere. If you’re still unsure how to get to Florence, the bus is a super flexible choice.  

There are three main bus stations in Florence:  

  • The bus station near the Firenze Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station is super convenient and right in the city center. 
  • Firenze-Piazzale Montelungo is a little far out, but served by the tram. 
  • Firenze Villa Costanza Tram T1, near the Florence airport, is also served by tram (one every 15 minutes, from 5 a.m. to midnight). 
Bright green and orange bus with the word Flixbus in white lettering
Flixbus is one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to travel around Italy. Photo credit: Antonio Vera

By Car 

You want to get to Florence by car? Please re-think it. 

Okay, maybe it’s your best option—we get it. But don’t say we didn’t warn you. 

You can’t drive in the historical center of Florence due to the implementation of the ZTL, or Zona a Traffico Limitato. These are specific areas that cars can only enter at specific times, depending on the month and the alignment of the planets. 

The City Council attempts to explain the regulation of the ZTL on the local website, but trust us when we say that it’s easier to decipher a Mayan calendar. We’ve seen Florentines look at a ZTL gate with absolute panic in their eyes.  

If you do have a car, our suggestion is to park somewhere and don’t move the car until the end of your stay.  

A person in a red jacket riding a bike on a pedestrian street in Florence
Many of the streets in Florence’s historical center are pedestrian only, or otherwise restricted to vehicle traffic. Photo credit: Erifili Gounari

Parking Lots & Garages in Florence 

Luckily, if you do have a car, parking is easy if you’re willing to pay. There’s the Parterre (via del Ponte Rosso, 4), at €5 per day, the Santa Maria Novella Garage (Piazza della Stazione, 13) at €3.80 per hour, and the Sant’Ambrogio Garage (Piazza Annigoni, 9) at €2 per hour.  

And all these options are outside the ZTL, so you can park there with a reasonable amount of trust in the world and in Florentine traffic regulations.  

If you want to enjoy the thrill of finding a free parking spot… don’t. Please. Even Florentines who drive spend their time either stuck in traffic or cursing everything sacred in the attempt to find a free parking spot.  

In the unfortunate event of your car having been removed, call the car depository at +39 055 422 4142. 

How to Get to Florence with Car Sharing Services 

Don’t want to travel with the populace? Try BlaBlaCar instead! 

BlaBlaCar is a car sharing service and usually the cheapest and most fun option for how to get to Florence.  

It’s easy to use: Just enter the city where you are and the city you want to go to. The app will show you the drivers traveling in the same direction and you can book a ride directly with them.