Train from London to Florence
The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence has a long and rich history: home to such great figures as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Dante – not to forget the powerful Medici family – Florence has been influential in shaping the modern world. Today, it remains one of Italy’s major cities and one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. With a host of celebrated sites, from the glorious dome of the Duomo and the shop-lined Ponte Vecchio bridge, to the world-renowned Uffizi and Pitti galleries, Florence is not short of sights for the visitor. Its elegant streets, squares, and palaces invite you to stroll, or to linger over Tuscan cuisine served up with the region’s celebrated olive oil.
Option 1: via Paris (sleeper)
Sample itinerary: Leave London at 1404 and arrive in Paris at 1726. Catch the 1852 sleeper service from Paris-Bercy and arrive in Florence at 0713 the next day for an early breakfast.
Price: From £212 return
London St Pancras International to Paris Gare du Nord in the heart of Paris. Don't forget check-in time for Eurostar is at least 30 mins before departure.
First train departs 0540 (Mon-Fri), 0618 (Sat), 0819 (Sun).
Last train departs 2001 (Mon-Sat), 2031 (Sun).
Frequency of service: 18 trains Mon-Thur, 20 trains Friday, 22 on Saturday, 17 on Sunday.
Journey time: From 2 hrs 16 mins
Transfer time: Allow 50 mins.
Book a hotel near Gare de Bercy
Book a hotel near Gare du Nord
|Leg 2:||Paris Gare de Bercy to Florence (sleeper)
Train leaves Paris at 1852 and arrives in Florence S.M.N (Santa Maria Novella) at 0713.
Frequency of service: Daily
Journey time: 12 hrs 21 mins
Benvenuto a Firenze
Most visitors coming by train will arrive directly at Florence’s Santa Maria Novella (SMN) railway station, on the north-western edge of the city centre. However, there are two other stations in the city, Firenze Campo Marte and Firenze Rifredi: it is possible you may have to make a change at Rifredi to arrive at SMN, but this should be covered by your train ticket (for no extra cost) – check with the train operator in case of doubt.
Central Florence is compact, and much of it is barred to through traffic, so walking is a great option for getting around and enjoying what the city has to offer. Alternatively, you could choose to hire a bike – taking advantage of the flat terrain and quiet central streets (outside the centre, there is however traffic to contend with) – the city’s official tourist website offers a list of different cycle hire providers in Florence.
For longer journeys across and around the city, you may need to take advantage of the city’s bus system. ATAF, the bus operator, offers information, maps, timetables and a journey planner in English on its website: basic tickets, valid for 90 minutes, cost 1,20€, and various other options are available. There is also a tram system under construction, however only one line (of limited use to visitors) is currently in operation, and the website is in Italian.
If you’re going to spend several days in Florence, and intend to head to several of the city’s museums and attractions, you might want to consider investing in the Firenzecard, which gives access to thirty of the city’s main sites, and unlimited public transport use.
Book a hotel near Santa Maria Novella