One of the most popular destinations in the world, Tuscany really needs no introduction. It comes with rolling hills, historic vineyards, and a thriving culinary scene. Being the art capital of the world and containing buildings dating back centuries, it is a must-visit destination for culture vultures and history buffs alike. If you only have time for one destination in Italy, Tuscany offers a little bit of everything that makes the country a top destination year after year.
Tuscany is also quite vast, and going beyond the largest city, it can be tricky to prioritize your time. Each town offers something completely different from the last, so you’ll need to have a good sense of what you want out of your trip before you go. A little bit of research goes a long way to planning the perfect itinerary for Tuscany.
Luckily for you, we’ve done some of this research for you and compiled it into this handy guide. We’ve combined our personal experience with hints and tips from locals and travel experts to bring you the lowdown on the eight best places to stay in Tuscany. Whether you’re looking for culinary, historic, or creative delights, we’ve got you covered.
Map of Where to Stay in Tuscany
- Florence – Overall Best Place to Stay in Tuscany
- Pisa – Best Place to Stay in Tuscany For Families
- San Gimignano – Most Romantic Place to Stay in Tuscany for Couples
- Lucca – Coolest Place to Stay in Tuscany
- Siena – Where to Stay in Tuscany on a Budget
- Arezzo – One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Tuscany
- Cortona – Where to Stay in Tuscany for Foodies
- Montepulciano – Must Visit Destination in Tuscany for Wine Lovers
- Top Places To Stay in Tuscany
- Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Tuscany
The sparkling capital of Tuscany, Florence is a must-visit destination for anyone heading to the region. Considered the Renaissance capital of Europe, this is where you will find some of the most famous art pieces in the world. Its buildings alone are awe-inspiring in their creativity, but behind their walls, you will find the likes of Da Vinci, Boticelli and Michelangelo.
It’s also the home of the modern Italian language and opera. Music can be heard everywhere you go throughout the day, with an eclectic variety of acts available in concerts almost every evening. Florence has been a city of innovation for centuries, and it shows no signs of stopping thanks to the thousands of art students that call the city home.
As the largest city, it is also the best-connected destination in Tuscany, which makes staying in Florence a breeze. If you want to easily get around and don’t have a car, Florence offers fast train connections and even some great bus services for those on a tight budget. It has a reputation as being quite expensive, but there’s something for all budgets within the city limits.
Best Places to Stay in Florence
North of the Arno River is where you will find the best-known attractions, including the Duomo and most art galleries. South of the river, you will find some more budget-friendly options, as well as an alternative vibe. Florence has a comprehensive transport network, so you can also opt to head further out to save some more cash.
Best Airbnb in Florence: Duomo View
Airbnb Plus is a range of properties handpicked for their stylish interiors, unbeatable locations, and above-and-beyond guest service. This gorgeous apartment in a traditional building is well worth splurging on for an unforgettable stay in Florence. There is a small balcony with views over the Duomo – perfect for a peaceful breakfast in the morning. The interiors are modern, while still paying homage to the historic nature of the building.
Best Hostel in Florence: Archi Rossi Hostel
More interested in visiting Florence on a budget? It’s one of the most expensive cities in Italy, but thanks to Archi Rossi, you won’t need to break the bank. Alongside favourable room rates, it also has outstanding guest reviews thanks to the wide social spaces and great location. It is only a two-minute walk from S.M. Novella Train Station – perfect for those including Florence as part of a larger trip.
Best Hotel in Florence: Hotel Lungarno
Florence is the perfect destination for those looking to splurge a little, so why not opt for this five-star hotel right in the heart of the city? It’s located on the banks of the Arno river, with stunning views of Ponte Vecchio from the restaurant terrace. Inside the hotel, you will find classic art pieces – including authentic Picasso and Cocteau paintings. They have a casual lounge bar and a Michelin starred restaurant.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an enduring symbol of Italy across the world, making the city of Pisa a must-visit destination for anyone heading to the country for the first time. Campo dei Miracoli is also home to an impressive Duomo and Monastery, with a small art gallery inside. Even if you don’t choose to stay here, we recommend you pass by.
For families, Pisa has a more laid-back atmosphere than Florence, but still has great train connections to the city. It’s also well connected to nearby Lucca and has some interesting cultural sights of its own. The Leaning Tower is actually outside of the city centre, and the area surrounding the train station feels like a completely different place.
Visiting from elsewhere in Europe? Pisa Airport has some great budget flights, making it a popular gateway to Tuscany from across the continent. The bus connections to neighbouring countries are also quick and easy. Despite being home to a major landmark, Pisa is an excellent option for those looking to save some cash.
Best Places to Stay In Pisa
Pisa can be split into two major areas – the City Centre, where you will find the train station, and the area around Campo dei Miracoli. Both are only a 20-30 minute walk apart along a major shopping street, so we don’t really have a preference. That being said, families might prefer the pedestrianised streets near the Leaning Tower.
Best Airbnb in Pisa: Historical Centre
This apartment has a rustic and moody charm that will make you sad to leave when your trip is over. Sleeping up to four guests across two bedrooms, this is ideal for small to medium-sized families heading to Tuscany. The train station and Leaning Tower of Pisa are only a short walk away. Traffic is limited in the neighbourhood, so you’ll also get to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Best Hostel in Pisa: Helvetia Pisa Tower
This is the closest hostel to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, giving guests unbeatable access to the main attractions in the city. The train station is only a short walk away, as well as buses to the Tuscan coast. We love the cute little courtyard where you can bask under the Tuscan sun and mingle with other guests.
Best Hotel in Pisa: B&B Pisa Tower
Another gorgeous property close to the main attractions, you can actually see the Leaning Tower of Pisa from your window in some of the rooms in this B&B! They offer family rooms that can sleep up to four, as well as double rooms if you need to add on some extra space. Bicycle rental is available for all guests, and a decadent Italian style breakfast is offered every morning.
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While often visited as part of a day trip, San Gimignano has an infectious charm that makes it well worth choosing as a base. The romantic back streets and historic façades make this the perfect destination for couples heading to Tuscany. Rising out of the Tuscan hills, there are also more secluded destinations nearby where you can enjoy a truly rustic experience.
It seems like a sleepy town during the day, but in the evenings, San Gimignano really bursts into life. Trattorias are packed with locals and the few visitors that opted to stay overnight. San Gimignano is most recognisable for its imposing towers, but behind the city walls, you will also find some truly underrated art galleries.
Best Places to Stay in San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a small destination, and most areas can be easily reached on foot. You might opt to head into the nearby countryside for a more rural vibe. Despite its size, it has great road connections – making it a great choice for those with a car.
Best Airbnb in San Gimignano: Medieval Tower
Another gorgeous Airbnb Plus property, this charming apartment in a medieval tower is easily one of the most unique accommodation choices in Tuscany! Dating back to the 12th Century, this apartment oozes charm out of every crevice. The original brickwork has been well maintained, with some modern finishes to give you a little extra comfort. It has two bedrooms but is still well priced for couples.
Best Guest House in San Gimignano: Donna Nobile
Donna Nobile is contained within a fully renovated medieval building. In many ways, this makes it the budget-friendly alternative to our top AirBnB pick for the town. As it is a guest house, couples can stay here safe in the knowledge they have their own private room; however, you still get the benefit of social spaces where you can meet other guests.
Best Hotel in San Gimignano: Relais Cappuccina
Really looking to splurge on a romantic getaway to Tuscany? Look no further than this four-star dream in the outskirts of San Gimignano. This position just outside the town gives you unbeatable views towards the medieval centre – perfect for capturing that all-important Instagram shot. There is an extensive spa and wellness centre on-site – but the hotel is quite small, so it doesn’t get too crowded.
Dating back to the Etruscan era, Lucca is among the oldest cities in the world. While it has retained some of its ancient architecture, the gothic buildings that can be seen across the city make it one of the best travel destinations in Italy. It has also retained its city walls, which visitors can enjoy a charming walk around while admiring the scenery.
Lucca is well connected to Pisa and Florence – as well as some of the smaller destinations mentioned in this guide. For this reason, we believe it is an excellent choice for first-time travellers, especially since it also has direct connections with Pisa Airport. Its laid back vibes mean you can enjoy a peaceful night of sleep before exploring further afield in Tuscany.
Best Places to Stay in Lucca
Like Pisa, Lucca is a pretty small city, and most of the attractions can easily be reached on foot. If you care about an authentic experience, we suggest staying within the ancient city walls. Outside of this area, you will also find some budget-friendly accommodation.
Best Airbnb in Lucca: Angeloni
Airbnb Luxe goes above and beyond the usual service you would expect from self-catering accommodation. Properties in this range offer a wide range of additional service, including spa services, concierges and butlers. This large villa is a restored traditional Tuscan home with space for up to ten people. It is surrounded by lush forest and even has its own private pool.
Best Guest House in Lucca: Villa Sunrise
There aren’t many hostels in Lucca, but this charming guest house is a great alternative for backpackers that want a little extra privacy. They offer a complimentary breakfast every morning, so it’s a wise choice for those sticking to a tight budget. They have some small social spaces, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialise with other guests.
Best Hotel in Lucca: Lula B&B
This bed and breakfast is a little bit of an upgrade – but still totally affordable! Guests are given free bicycle rental, a great way to take in the sights and sounds of Lucca. There is a typical Italian breakfast served every morning that is highly rated among previous guests. We love the cute little garden around the back, with small tables where you can enjoy your breakfast with a view.
Tuscany has a reputation as one of the most expensive destinations in Italy – and there’s really no escaping how much higher prices are when compared to the south. That being said, Siena has some excellent budget-friendly accommodation and dining options. You’ll get to enjoy a little bit more for your money staying here – and it’s well connected to Florence.
Of course, Siena isn’t primarily known as a budget destination and has plenty of fascinating attractions in its own right. The Il Palio horse race is a colourful event held twice every summer – but even if you can’t make that, you should take some time to admire the medieval architecture dotted around the town.
Best Places to Stay in Siena
The city centre can only be accessed on foot – and is, therefore, a great spot if you’re looking for somewhere peaceful to rest in the evenings. The city is quite small, and outside of these limits, you won’t find many accommodation options.
Best Airbnb in Siena: Central Apartment
This stylish apartment only has one bedroom, but there’s also a hidden mezzanine, meaning it can actually fit up to four guests. This makes it an excellent budget option for groups and families heading to Siena that want the benefits of self-catering accommodation. It’s also only a two-minute walk from Piazza del Campo and the Chigiana Music Academy.
Best Guest House in Siena: Casa Di Alfredo
There aren’t any hostels in Siena, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few great options for budget backpackers! Our favourite is Casa di Alfredo, a cute little guesthouse with private rooms going at the same rate as dorm beds in Florence. Right next to Porta Camollia, you’ll only be a short walk away from the main attractions in Siena – as well as good transport links to elsewhere in Florence.
Best Hotel in Siena: Hotel Minerva
If you want to upgrade for a more typical hotel experience, this three-star dream still won’t break the bank. Not only do they provide a complimentary breakfast, but you also get to enjoy it over stunning views of Siena and the Tuscan hills. It is located a little bit outside the town centre, but you can reach the train station and main attractions within 15 minutes on foot.
Tuscany is a very fun place and one could easily get carried away while visiting. It’s important to remember that no country is perfect though.
Read our safety guide for Italy before planning your trip so you will be extra prepared when you arrive.
When it comes to the most unique place to stay in Tuscany, everywhere mentioned in this guide would be able to take the crown for one reason or another. What truly makes Arezzo stand out is its place as a major trading centre of industry, agriculture and gold. Arezzo is the place to come if you want to experience local life without staying out in the sticks.
Arezzo was an important town in the Etruscan era, and much of the architecture harks back to this part of Italy’s history. There are a number of museums in the town with a more understated vibe than those in the larger urban centres in Tuscany. Arezzo maintains a sleepy vibe, making it the perfect place to kick back and relax.
Best Places to Stay in Arezzo
The Centro Storico is where you will find the main attractions in Arezzo. There are also a few more rural areas in the town, but these can, at times, feel stiflingly secluded. We’ve made an exception for our agriturismo suggestion as it is so unique, but generally, you should stick to the town centre.
Best Airbnb in Arezzo: Splendido Loft
This gorgeous loft beautifully combines Tuscan tradition with modern design to create a warm and inviting space. Just like the Siena suggestion, this apartment makes use of a mezzanine floor to give you enough space for four guests. The famous antique fair is right outside your front door, letting you experience a small slice of Arezzo every Sunday.
Best Guest House in Arezzo: Poggio del Drago
This is one of the most affordable guesthouses in Tuscany, but also one of the most beautiful! The rustic interiors match the traditional architecture, giving you a truly authentic experience in the Tuscan countryside. It is located just outside Arezzo, but you can easily reach the centre of town on foot. This secluded location, we believe, adds a little extra charm to their offering.
Best Hotel in Arezzo: Agriturismo II Palazzo
Agriturismo is Italian for a farmhouse that has been let out to tourists, making this one of the most unique experiences in Tuscany. You will get the chance to watch a working farm from the comfort of your hotel room. They also offer horseback riding for guests, as well as complimentary bicycle hire so you can explore the region at your own pace.
Like basically everywhere else in Italy, Tuscany is a massively diverse food region, and you’re sure to sample delights wherever you go. What makes Cortona stand out is all of the cooking classes on offer. Going beyond just letting you taste everything the town has to offer, foodies will be able to learn the skills to make delicious meals back home.
At 600 metres above sea level, Cortona is also a very photogenic location, with panoramic views across Tuscany. The city was the location of Under the Tuscan Sun and has attracted plenty of movie crews ever since. Like Arezzo, it was part of the Etruscan league, so you also won’t be short of historical delights.
Best Places To Stay in Cortona
There are a few great agriturismi in the area – a unique accommodation experience on a working farm. If you would rather stay in the centre of town, the buildings here are very old, so you are sure to experience a little slice of Etruscan history.
Best Airbnb in Cortona: Romantic Cottage
This stunning AirBnB Plus house oozes rustic Tuscan charm while still benefiting from modern interior design and appliances. The interiors were recently renovated, with unique ceramic walls and a modern kitchen. The cozy little patio round the back might seem small, but it’s a great spot for enjoying a peaceful breakfast before you head out to explore the region.
Best Farmhouse in Cortona: Casa del Sole
Like our Arezzo hotel, this accommodation is located on a functioning farm. It is, however, offered at much more affordable rates, making it a totally unique experience for backpackers on a budget. They can only accept up to nine guests across the two apartments, so this is more suited for those looking to get away from society for a little bit.
Best Hotel in Cortona: Monastero Di Cortona
Housed in a converted monastery dating back to the medieval era, this hotel is a small slice of Tuscan history! There is a roof garden where you can admire stunning views of Cortona. We love the on-site spa, with a wide range of holistic therapies and treatments. Basilica di Santa Margherita is only a short walk away, and a complimentary breakfast buffet is included.
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Luxury travellers take note – Montepulciano is one of the most exclusive destinations in Tuscany. Accommodation and dining here certainly costs a pretty penny, but not without good reason. Montepulciano is the most prolific wine region in Tuscany, with more vineyards than you can manage in a single trip.
Most of these vineyards come with tourism experiences – ranging from picking your own grapes to sampling the best vintages. The town itself has a romantic charm typical of Tuscany’s rural idylls.
Best Places To Stay in Montepulciano
Montepulciano is totally worth splurging on. The quaint town centre gives you an authentic experience, and the rolling vineyards are worth checking out for the panoramic scenery alone.
Best Airbnb in Montepulciano: Villa Montepulciano
This is another beautiful Airbnb Luxe property – and it’s totally worth splurging on! It is located within a working vineyard, allowing wine enthusiasts to get up close and personal with the production process. Guests are also given the chance to sample these wines, all within a rustic and traditional setting. Sleeping up to 15 guests, it’s great for a large group.
Best Guest House near Montepulciano: I Tre Rioni
This guest house is super basic – but Montepulciano is one of the most expensive areas in Tuscany, so it is your best bet for visiting the town on a budget. With only four guest rooms, you will get to enjoy an intimate experience. Central Montepulciano is only a short walk away, as well as the largest vineyard in the region. Rooms are beautifully decorated with traditional Tuscan furnishings.
Best Hotel in Montepulciano: Castello di Velona
Montepulciano really is the place to splurge in Tuscany! This five-star resort, part of the Leading Hotels of the World Range, will give you the chance to experience the ultimate luxury accommodation. It is housed in a restored castle from the 10th century and overlooks the rolling hills of Tuscany. It’s a little secluded – perfect for those that just want to unwind.
Top Places To Stay in Tuscany
Tuscany is a vast region, and getting between areas can be a little tricky – but if you’re hiring a car, it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours. Don’t mind which place you end up staying in? These are our top three overall accommodation picks.
Best Airbnb in Tuscany – San Gimignano – Medieval Tower
It doesn’t get any more unique than this in Tuscany! Housed within a 12th Century Tower, you’ll be transported back in time to Italy’s medieval era. It is located on the main square, and you will be rewarded with gorgeous views of the Duomo from the rooftop balcony and dining area. It’s part of the Airbnb Plus range, so you’ll have to splurge a little – but is nevertheless affordable for couples and groups of three.
Best Guest House in Tuscany – Arezzo – Poggio del Drago
Outside of Florence, you won’t find many hostels in Tuscany – but backpackers still have plenty of great budget options in the form of guesthouses. This gorgeous retreat just outside Arezzo lets you experience authentic Tuscan charm on a budget. They also have some great social spaces where you can mingle with other travellers – and a complimentary Italian breakfast every morning.
Best Hotel in Tuscany – Florence – Hotel Lungarno
Ready to splurge? You can’t get any better than this gorgeous five-star hotel right on the banks of the Arno River in Florence. Not only do you get mesmerising views of Ponte Vecchio, but you also only need to walk across the bridge to visit the historical monuments and awe-inspiring art galleries of the city centre. Once back at the hotel, you’ll be rewarded with fine dining, a laid-back lounge bar and private art pieces.
Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Tuscany
It should come as no surprise that we believe Tuscany is a destination everyone should visit at least once! This highly diverse region has so much to offer, including world-class cuisine, fascinating historical attractions, and thriving art hubs. The Renaissance capital of Florence is by far the most popular destination, but there’s so much more to discover outside of the city.
If we had to pick one destination as our favourite, we would struggle – but Lucca is an excellent choice for first-time visitors. It is only a short journey away from Pisa and has great connections with Florence. This is a great way to maximise how much you get out of your first trip to this stunning region. It’s also a beautiful city in its own right.
That being said, Tuscany has so much variety that we really do recommend travelling around the region. Public transport options aren’t that bad, but hiring a car is the only way to guarantee you’ll be able to fit it all in.
We hope this guide has helped you plan your upcoming trip to Tuscany. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Tuscany
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple—just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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