The Port transfer bus will drop you off in a little square just behind the Piazza Grande and behind the McDonalds. In the little park by the bus stop there is a tourist info point but you won’t need it, as you know exactly what to do! So don’t waste your precious time ;)
To see the drop off point of the Port transfer bus check our Livorno Map!
Now, from this point, speed is essential! Especially if you see the time of your train departure is getting closer.
Quickly cross to the other side of the street and walk back up the street the bus just came down! After just a few short steps, you will see a little tobacco shop (Tabacchi) on your right hand side… beat the crowds and purchase your local bus tickets here for approx. €1 per person one-way.
Technically, you can buy your train tickets here as well, which would save you a few minutes at the train station, but once we tried it and the charge was higher than buying the ticket directly at the train station.
Keep in mind your one-way ticket charge from Livorno Centrale train station to Florence is approximately €6.70 per person one-way. Compare the price and get your ticket here if it is the same.
If you are not one of the first people off the Port bus and there is a long line by the Tobacco shop already, head straight to the square and buy your local bus ticket here at one of the news-stand kiosks.
Now see where McDonalds is, turn your back to it and cross the street over to the other side! This is where the second part of your travel to Florence starts: using the local bus #1!
To see the location of McDonalds and the local bus no.1 stop, check our Livorno Map!
If you stay on the side of the street closer to McDonalds, you will be waiting for a bus headed in the wrong direction.
Buses are quite frequent, every 7-10 minutes. Once you get on the bus (#1), validate your ticket in the machine. The ride to the Livorno Centrale train station takes about 10 minutes, depending on traffic.
Once the bus stops in front of the train station, run inside the building to line up by the booth to purchase your tickets. This is where part 3 of your travel to Florence starts: using the train!
If you are sure you will be returning the same way back, buy return tickets straight away.
If your time is tight (about 10-15 minutes before your train’s departure)… when I say run to the ticket booth,literally run! We have often seen people not get on the train and get stuck at the train station waiting for the next train.
As trains leave only once an hour, you will be losing one whole valuable hour of your short day. If that happens to you, we recommend taking the first train to Pisa Italy (which is only 15 mins ride away), taking a quick taxi ride to the Pisa leaning tower, taking a few shots and getting back to the Pisa train station in time to catch the next train or one of the trains that depart straight from Pisa to Florence.
Once you have gotten hold of your tickets, head for the platforms and on the way there (still in the train station building or just outside on its facade) find a little yellow box and stick your ticket inside to get it validated/stamped.
If you are a couple and you are buying return tickets, you will be issued two pieces of paper. The first one will be for both of you in one direction. And the other one will be the same… for 2 people coming back. So don’t stick both tickets in the validating machine thinking each one is for one person. Check only the one that says:
Partenza (Departure): Livorno Centrale
Arriva (Arrival): Firenze SMN
If you don’t validate your tickets before getting on the train, it is as if you don’t have them at all… they are worth nothing and you will be fined if approached by a conductor.
Now, head for the stairs down through the underground passage that will take you to the platform you need. You can check the platform number at the Departure board.
Ok, this was the last little bit of stress, I promise… once you get on the train (be equally quick and don’t be too fussy with seats or you might not get one at all!) you can finally relax for about an hour and 20 minutes because that’s how long the ride will be!
Enjoy the (not so scenic) vistas or listen in on your fellow cruisers in the compartment behind you bragging about their past cruise conquests. We promise you, all you will hear on the train is English as there will be dozens of people doing exactly the same thing you’re doing!
As your train approaches Florence, you will NOT get off at the first stop bearing the name Firenze. You will get off at the second stop (and final stop) which is Firenze S.M.N. or Firenze Santa Maria Novella.
If, for some reason you did not purchase return tickets back in Livorno, now is the time to do it. Do not leave it for later in the afternoon when you return to the Florence train station as the line can be very, very long and you’d risk missing your train. So, have your return tickets in your pocket first thing in the morning!
To find out more about Italian trains in general at Italian Trains basics
Travel to Florence - Getting a taxi from the Livorno cruise dock to the train station
You are eager to spend as much time in Florence and don’t mind spending a couple Euros extra when travel to Florence & saving some time is in question?
Taking a taxi is the right solution for you and can really speed up your travel to Florence Italy!
As we have already explained, Port transfer buses to Piazza Grande in Livorno are very relaxed about their departure times. Usually, the first one is only at 8am.
So, if you are one of the first people to get off the gangway at 7am, as soon as your cruise ship gets cleared and sets up the gangway, and want to catch the 8:11 train to Florence… you might be in for a cold shower on a perfectly sunny Tuscan day.
This can be extremely stressful if you have your tickets booked at the Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia in the morning, or if you have arranged to meet some friends or family in Florence.
In that case, do not spare on taking a taxi when it comes to travel to Florence… it can save you up to 45 minutes when it comes to getting to the train station.
As you get off the ship, the first thing you’ll see will be taxis that are looking to take you for a whole day tour. Do not waste your time with them, you will not persuade them to just take you to the train station.
But… if you head a bit further away from the ship (just a bit, remember you’re not allowed to walk around the dock) you might be able to find some local taxis that will be willing to take you to the Livorno train station.
They normally ask for €5 per person to the train station, minimum 4-6 people, depending on the size of the vehicle. So, if you are a couple, you will either have to cash out for 4-6 people or arrange with another couple or two to share the taxi beforehand.
Sometimes you can catch someone right there on the pier but that can be a waste of time if you’re in a rush. So, the night before arrival ask around, maybe someone from your dining room table party might be willing to share.
Only in moments of the biggest desperation will the taxi drivers agree to a €15 charge.
So you better be ready and organized to spare some time on haggling for the taxi, or waiting for others to share it with you.