Sulfonamides inhibit the catalytic activity of carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC 220.127.116.11), enzymes participating in the regulation of acid-base balance and ion transport in many tissues. Carbonic anhydrase IX (CA IX), a transmembrane isoform with predominant association with tumors and limited distribution in normal tissues, is strongly overexpressed by hypoxia. Hypoxia increases the catalytic performance of CA IX contributing to microenvironmental acidosis, which influences cancer progression and treatment outcome. CA IX represents a target for detection and therapy of hypoxic tumors. Sulfonamide CA IX selective inhibitors accumulate only in hypoxic cells containing CA IX, reversing acidification mediated by this enzyme. The design of fluorescent sulfonamides that preferentially inhibit the activity of CA IX, showing reduced penetration through the plasma membranes and binding to hypoxic cells expressing CA IX, is reported here. These inhibitors represent promising candidates for developing anticancer therapies based on tumor-associated CA isozyme inhibition and offer interesting tools for imaging and further investigation of hypoxic tumors.