Best Day Trips from Florence with Kids

9 Fantastic Day Trips from Florence Italy in 2024

Florence, Italy is known for its amazing array of Renaissance art, its wonderful food, and its picturesque streets. The capital of Tuscany, it’s also a great base for exploring smaller towns around Tuscany. Here are the best day trips from Florence for all travelers, from couples to families.

These day trips are 2 1/2 hours or less from Florence, so if you have kids you can easily get there and back without keeping the kids up all night.

We spent a month in Florence with kids as part of our Family Year Out, when our kids were 5 and 7.

Be sure to check out where to eat in Florence for all the best family-friendly places. There are so many fun things to do in Florence, we spent a month there and still didn’t get to them all!

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Famous Piazza del Campo in Siena Italy great day trip from Florence

Best Day Trip From Florence
Short on Time?
Visit 3 iconic towns in one day:
Tour of Pisa, San Gimignano, and Siena

The Best Day Trips from Florence for Families

Florence makes a great base for exploring smaller towns around Tuscany. We spent a month in Florence- with one day trip a week, we still only just scratched the surface of exploring the area around this wonderful city. We’ve rounded up the best day trips from Florence whether you are traveling solo or with kids.

We’ve asked some friends to share their experiences with more of these amazing towns around Florence with kids, so you’ll have a complete list of the top day trips from Florence. We’ll also cover some of what you should see and do once you get there!

All of these locations are family-friendly. While they may not have attractions that are geared specifically toward kids, they are accessible to family members of all ages. Everyone should be able to find something to enjoy in these locations.

Quick Guide: The Top Day Trips from Florence Italy

Famous Piazza del Campo in Siena Italy great day trip from Florence

Tour of Pisa, San Gimignano, and Siena

Full Day Tour Visits 3 Towns
Includes 3 Course Lunch with Wine

The colorful houses of Riomaggiore, one of the five villages of Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence

Includes 4 Villages:
Riomaggiore, Manarola, Monterosso,
and Vernazza

up close view of the leaning tower of Pisa

Small Group Tour of Pisa

1 Hour, Skip-the-Line Tour
Includes Climbing the Tower

1. Editors Pick: Tour of Pisa, San Gimignano, and Siena

Famous Piazza del Campo in Siena Italy great day trip from Florence

🌟 Rating: 4 1/2 Stars   ⏳ 12 Hours   ✅ 3 Towns, 3 Course Lunch   🔎 Check Rates

This tour is our top pick if you are short of time and want to see a lot of Tuscany in one day. This tour visits three iconic towns in one day trip. This trip includes visits to Pisa, San Gimignano, and Siena. You’ll have about one hour in each town, this tour includes a guided tour of Siena and a 3-course lunch in San Gimignano.

I liked that Siena had a guided tour to learn of the towns history. There was a little free time after the tour to wander the beautiful streets (I didn’t do the Cathedral tour).
Lunch in San Gimignano was in a beautiful winery where the owner explained all the food, wine and condiments we were tasting. We started with some meats and cheese, then a pasta and an almond biscuit to finish and tried some olive oils and aged balsamic. We got just over an hour free time in San Gimignano town where a lot of us bought gelato.

samantha_B (Read more reviews)

It’s a long day and involves a lot of walking, so wear good shoes and be prepared for lots of steps. You won’t have a lot of time in each town, but you’ll get a sense of each place and see the most iconic sites.

Book Now: Tour of Pisa, San Gimignano, and Siena

We have also included details on visiting each of these cities separately, as each one makes a wonderful day trip on their own if you prefer more time to explore. We spent a full day in each place and would have loved more time.

2. Venice

Gondola on the Venice Canals
Gondola on the Venice Canals

If we had to choose just one day trip from Florence, it would be Venice! Venice makes a magical day trip from Florence. This is the longest day trip we would consider- the train takes 2 1/2 hours to reach Venezia St. Lucia Station. Once you exit the train you quickly see the canals and can start wandering across bridges.

With no cars on the island, and no loud motorbikes on the streets, you can wander freely, and the kids can run without fear of staying to the side.

When I was planning our trip, I wasn’t sure whether a pricey gondola ride was going to be worth it, but we did it and I’m so glad we did!

Plan to take a gondola ride as early in the day as possible. The canals will be less crowded, the gondoliers less tired, and the sun not as hot! The price is the same all across town and refers to the boat, not the number of people. For more time in the smaller, quieter canals, and less time on the grand canal, start your trip inland, such as at Ponte San Polo.

Venice’s most famous square is the Piazza San Marco. Here you’ll find Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. This square can get crowded. It often has standing water which creates bottlenecks as people walk around the pooling water.

St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace Access & Doge’s Palace

🌟 Rating: 4 1/2 Stars   ⏳ 3 Hours   ✅ St. Marks w/ Terrace, Doge’s Palace  🔎 Check Rates

A tour of St. Mark’s Basilica is the only way to access the terrace of St. Mark’s overlooking the famous square. You’ll also skip the long lines and get to cross the famous Bridge of Sighs when visiting the Doge’s Palace. You’ll learn all about the politics of the Venetian empire and see the Doge’s private apartments.

If you appreciate history, this tour is for you. Mose, our tour guide, was so well versed on the history of Venice. He has clearly studied this material, and the result is a thoughtful, insightful tour considering the former Republic of Venice in its historic glory both locally and far-reaching. Wonderful tour!

Megan_W (Read more reviews)

Since you’ll be entering a Basilica, be sure to cover your knees and shoulders. Also, backpacks are not allowed inside St. Marks. If you can, book your tour for the morning to avoid both the crowds and the heat.

Book Now: Tour of St. Mark’s and the Doge’s Palace

You may also want to visit the lavish and highly decorated Teatro La Fenice. With audio guides for adults and children, you can sit in the red and gold-hued Royal Box and gaze into the theatre below. This was a really hit with our kids, they felt like royalty!

If you have time, grab a water taxi from Fondamente Nove and take the ten-minute ride to the island of Murano. Known for their blown glass and millefiore glass technique, you’ll find lots of glass shops and hopefully can watch a glass-blowing demonstration. Don’t arrive too late in the day or you may miss the demonstrations.

Not sure if Venice is worth it? Check out all the reasons we recommend a visit.

3. Pisa

up close view of the leaning tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa by Dymabroad

One of the best day trips from Florence for families is one to the city of Pisa. Pisa is a small well-known city that has a lot of things to do and see beyond the iconic leaning tower.

One of the best things to do in Pisa is to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This is a very famous bell tower that has a lean of about 4 degrees. You can go to the top of the tower (ages 8 and up) and it is also great to take fun photos in front of it.

You will find two other historic structures next to the Tower of Pisa, as well as several museums. These are the Pisa Cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry. Besides that, it is great to go for a stroll in the city while seeing other historic places, such as Piazza dei Cavalieri. We think Pisa is worth a visit, despite the summer crowds.

Small Group Tour of The Tower of Pisa

🌟 Rating: 4 1/2 Stars   ⏳ 1 Hour   ✅ Climb Tower, Skip-the-Line   🔎 Check Rates

This skip-the-line, small-group tour of Pisa is limited to 15 people. It includes all the highlights of Pisa, including climbing the tower. A great way to learn all the history and not miss a thing!

Skip-the-line tickets to go up the tower are worth the cost. Eloise was a great guide who provided history and a locals love for the area. Having a guide in the Cathedral is a definite bonus.

sue_A (Read more reviews)

Remember, you must be 8 years or older in the current calendar year to climb the tower. There are over 250 steps to climb the Tower of Pisa which can be slippery, so come prepared with good footwear.

Book Now: Small Group Tour of Pisa

Pisa is also great for families because there are many places where you can get delicious gelato and authentic Italian food. You can reach Pisa from Florence by train in about 1 hour or by car in about 1.5 hours. Once you are there, most of the city’s sights are easy to reach on foot from the train station.

Recommended by Dymabroad

4. Lucca

City of Lucca, day trip from Florence
Town of Lucca by Places of Juma

The town of Lucca is about one and a half hours west of Florence and only half an hour from Pisa. You’ll find a beautiful old town which delights with its picturesque alleys and charming squares.

Walking around the city you will discover several very interesting sights. Climbing up one of the dizzyingly high towers or taking an entertaining bike ride along the city walls are great experiences for families.

The most important landmarks in Lucca are the well-preserved city walls, which enclose the entire old town. These are some of the best-preserved walls in Europe, with a length of 4 kilometers.

Don’t miss the Torre Guinigi, a famous tower with impressive holm oaks on the top of the structure. There are also many churches and beautiful city squares worth seeing. Children may also enjoy the botanical garden of Lucca, where countless small turtles cavort in the pond.

The best way to explore the city walls of Lucca is by bicycle, or as a family with a 4-wheel tandem bike. These bikes can be rented by the hour at almost every corner, and with them, you can circle much of the city. During this fun ride, you will experience many viewpoints with the wind at your back, and you can also stop at one of the cozy coffee houses directly on the wall.

Recommended by Places of Juma

5. Siena

Siena Cathedral, day trip from Florence
Siena Cathedral in Siena

Siena is a small UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tuscan town that is known for its famous Palio horse race through the Piazza del Campo, the magnificent Siena Duomo (Cathedral), and its traditional specialty foods like panforte.

Just over an hour’s train ride from Florence, Siena makes an easy day trip. From the train station, you’ll have a twenty-minute walk to the center of town. You can also take the bus to Siena, which drops you much closer to the center of town.

There are often lines at the Cathedral, so you should buy tickets ahead of time online. Our kids loved the “Door to Heaven” tour, which takes you through hidden spaces above the cathedral (feels a bit like an attic at times) and lets you peek down through stained glass windows into the interior of the Cathedral, as well as having wonderful views outside.

Once a year, the mosaic floors of the Cathedral are exposed, generally from Mid-August through September. The rest of the year they are covered by a carpet- if you can time your visit to see these wonderfully expressive floors, it’s well worth it.

Be sure to visit the slanted Piazza del Campo, which is anchored by the Palazzo Pubblico- the town hall. You can climb the Tower of Mangia for great views over the city.

There are a lot of separate spaces to visit in the Cathedral. Rather than waiting in lines for the various parts of the Cathedral (Main with Piccolomini Library, Baptistry, Crypt, Museum, and Facciatone (panoramic view) consider a guided tour of the Siena Cathedral.

Siena Duomo and Walking Tour

🌟 Rating: 5 Stars   ⏳ 2 Hours   ✅ City Tour, Guided Duomo Tour   🔎 Check Rates

This tour of Siena includes a walking tour of the city, so you’ll understand all those “contrade” flags you’re seeing around town, as well as skip-the-line tickets for the cathedral and a guide to point out all the amazing artworks inside the duomo.

This tour was amazing! We had been to Siena before and even had a short tour on our previous trip so I though this might be more of the same, but this tour far exceeded my expectations. Elio was a phenomenal guide who was friendly, informative, and funny at all the right times.

zach_W (Read more reviews)

Book Now: Siena Duomo and Walking Tour

6. Saturnia

Hot Springs at Saturnia in Tuscany
Saturnia Hot Springs by Tori Pines Travels

Tuscany is filled with rolling hills, handmade pasta, and loads of gelato. But did you know there was a natural hot spring in Tuscany too? Located two and a half hours south of Florence is the small hilltop village of Saturnia, home to these beautiful hot springs.

The hot springs make a perfect day trip from Florence, but a car is required to get here. There are no public transport options to get to this small town, so rent a car and venture into the hillside on your own. Driving through Tuscany is a breeze, and you’ll love having the day to explore on your family’s timeline.

The springs are located just a few minutes from town and are a fun activity for all ages. Natural pools were carved into the hills by the bright blue mineral water and are lined with little pebbles. The rocks aren’t sharp, but water shoes are definitely still recommended to be comfortable.

The water is warm year-round, and depending on where you swim, can be hotter or cooler for the kids to enjoy. Pick a pool that is lower down the hill for cooler temps. This spot is great for families as it’s a spa-like environment for parents and an exciting water activity for the kids!

Recommended by Tori Pines Travels

Thinking of renting a car to explore Tuscany? We recommend (and use!) Discover Cars. They offer quotes from many companies, and their prices are always straightforward.

Book a Car Rental: Discover Cars

7. Cinque Terre

The colorful houses of Riomaggiore, one of the five villages of Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore, one of the five villages of Cinque Terre from Daniela Santos Araújo

Besides being one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in Italy and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cinque Terre is one of the best day trips from Florence for families of all ages.

Check out this 1-Day Itinerary to Cinque Terre to make the most of your time there.

If you’re traveling with babies or toddlers in strollers, you’ll love visiting Monterosso al Mare for its large sandy beach and flat seawall.

Families with school-age kids will also enjoy Vernazza, Manarola, and Riomaggiore for their colorful houses, gelato shops, and tiny harbors filled with fishing boats.

And last but not least, Corniglia is more suitable for older children or teenagers who love hiking (you’ll need to climb almost 400 steps to reach this village!) and Italian food – bonus points if they try local specialties such as pesto sauce!

Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence

🌟 Rating: 4 Stars   ⏳ Up to 12+ Hours   ✅ 4 Villages, Swimming   🔎 Check Rates

If you’d like someone else to handle all the logistics, consider a tour of Cinque Terre– this small group tour takes you to four of the five villages, and back to Florence in one day! This tour includes a guide who will introduce each village as you arrive, and give you tips about where to go, and then leave you to explore on your own, then meet up to move to the next village.

A fantastic tour with magnificent beaches and views that is unforgettable. The towns are very interesting that it brings out the local scene.”

derek_T (Read more reviews)

You can choose whether to have lunch and transportation included in your tour. If you choose “escorted transfer” you will only have drop off in the first village, and pick up at the end of the day, but none of the transport or guidance in between. “Tour in English” or “Tour with Lunch” both include full transportation throughout the day.

Book Now: Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence

Located on the coastline of Liguria, a region of north-western Italy, the Cinque Terre (literally ‘Five Villages’, in English) can be easily reachable by train from Florence.

To do so, head over to Firenze Santa Maria Novella and look for the direct train to La Spezia Centrale. The journey lasts approximately two hours.

Once you arrive in La Spezia, hop on the Cinque Terre Express, which runs every 15 minutes and stops in all five villages.

Recommended by Daniela Santos Araújo

8. San Gimignano

Towers of San Gimignano in Tuscany
Town of San Gimignano

Just south of Florence is a charming hilltop town called San Gimignano. The town is accessible by a 2-hour bus ride, or by taking a group day tour. Either option is great for a trip to San Gimignano and will give you time to explore this Tuscan Village.

Filled with locals, a visit here will give you a much better sense of the Italian lifestyle. The small-town vibes and kind locals will make you want to never leave.

San Gimignano is known for its skyline of medieval skyscrapers. The many iconic towers make this place easily recognizable from afar and are just one of the reasons this is a popular town to visit for a day trip from Florence.

This private San Gimignano Day Tour also includes the town of Volterra with its fortress and the Palace of the Priori.

Book Now: San Gimignano Day Tour

The other, and arguably more important reason to venture into the countryside is to try the best gelato in the world. Visit Gelateria Dondoli, the Gelato World Champion. It’s soft and creamy, and the flavors are fresh and bold.

Wander the charming cobblestone streets of the town as you eat and take in the stunning ancient architecture. Pop into the shops filled with handmade goods, and buy something made of the local genuine leather, like a jacket, shoes, or a bag.

The paved pathways surrounding the town are perfect for walking off the gelato and letting your kids run around and explore, making it a great day trip for kids. There’s tons of green space here to enjoy while taking in views of the surrounding hillside. Some other activities in the area include truffle hunting with the sweet local pups and a visit to the family-friendly vineyard of Tenuta Torciano.

Recommended by Tori Pines Travels

9. Bologna

Piazza Maggiorre lit up at night in Bologna, Italy
Piazza Maggiore lit up at night in Bologna, Italy by Chef Denise

For families who love food, Bologna is one of the best day trips from Florence. The food of Emilia-Romagna is some of the best in Italy. This region produces some of the most famous food products of Italy like prosciutto de Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Modena balsamic vinegar. You can find all of these goodies and more in the capital of the region, Bologna.

Walk to the main square, Piazza Maggiore. Many of Bologna’s highlights are located here including the Basilica of San Petronio, Palazzo d’Accursio, the Clock Tower, Palazzo Bianchi, and Palazzo del Podesta. 

Kids will love climbing the Due Torri– the two towers, they will also enjoy making gelato at the Carpigianni Gelato Museum, an entire museum dedicated to kids’ favorite treat in Italy.

Then head to the Quadrilatero, where you’ll find food markets and ample restaurants to enjoy lunch outside in one of the alleys. Cheese and salumi boards with the local round bread, and tigelle abound.

Although Bologna is a large city, the main sights are so conveniently located that they can easily be seen in a day. The train is the easiest way to get to Bologna from Florence. It’s fast, approx. 35 minutes, and you won’t have to worry about parking.

Recommended by Chef Denise

There You Have It: Amazing Day Trips from Florence

These cities in Tuscany make great day trips from Florence for anyone looking to explore more of Italy. From Pisa to Venice, each Florence day trip has attractions that make it unique, and memorable. Explore ancient towers and famous canals on your next vacation in Florence.

You may also like our itinerary for 4 Days in Rome with kids, as our tip picks for hotels in Trastevere and hotels in Rome with a pool.

While in Rome, don’t miss Where to Eat in Rome when on a budget with kids. Kids also love all that the Vatican has to offer (bonus, it is its own country!)

Want to see more of Rome? We have the best golf cart tours in Rome and the best Rome catacombs tours (which are much more than bones!)

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