Visit Florence: Your Travel Guide

What do Dante, Donatello, Machiavelli, and Michelangelo have in common? Florence, of course. Renaissance spirit flows through the city as elegantly as the River Arno. It’s a veritable open-air museum. This city will take your clichés and make them new.

Things to Do in Florence

Piazza della Signoria
Not in the mood to rub elbows with busloads of tourists? Opt to explore this Tuscan classic during siesta time. But by all means go. The square’s so pretty it can’t take a bad picture. The Loggia dei Lanzi is an open-air museum of Renaissance sculptures – and they’re free to peruse. Afterwards, sip an authentic cappuccino in one of the many cafes cloistered nearby.
Piazza della Signoria - 50123
Uffizi Gallery
What makes Florence the epicentre of art? All of it; but specifically the Uffizi Gallery. Its collections cover the ages, but its darlings will always be Renaissance born. You won’t find a better Art History 101 refresher. Hours wilt away inside this U-shaped mansion. The Birth of Venus tops many a best-of list. Better book tickets in advance – the masterworks cause quite a queue.
Piazzale degli Uffizi - 50122
Open Tuesday–Sunday 08:15–18:50.
Piazza del Duomo
Any Florentine trip certainly includes the Piazza del Duomo (the jewel in the city’s crown) and its three UNESCO World Heritage buildings. Rubberneck amid the sketchers perfecting Renaissance imitation. The white marble hits its prime at night, when the Tuscan sky blushes deep blue behind it. When you venture inside, don’t forget to look up.
Piazza del Duomo - 50123
Santa Maria Novella
You don’t have to be religious to fall to your knees inside this 13th century Basilica. This architectural feat (be prepared to awe at its breadth) brims with masterworks from late, great Italians: Ghirlandaio frescoes, Giotto’s paintings and Alberti’s Renaissance facade. Built under Dominican supervision, the monks also gathered herbs and potions for Italy’s oldest pharmacy.
Piazza S. Maria Novella, 18 - 50123
Open Monday–Thursday 09:00–17:30, Friday 11:00–17:30, Saturday 09:00–17:30, Sunday 14:00–17:30. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Ponte Vecchio
Peruse the shops perched above the River Arno on this pedestrian bridge. Dating back to 972, its history is the stuff of storybooks. Ponte Vecchio’s seen it all from noble feuds to ruinous floods. Once a market where vendors sold meat, the smell of raw flesh tossed in the Arno disgusted the Medici dukes. Today’s retailers are much less carnivorous (they’re jewellers).
Ponte Vecchio - 50125
San Lorenzo Market
Noisy in just the right way, the San Lorenzo Market marks the spot for souvenirs. Especially leather. Leather jackets, leather wallets – all with that “made in Italy” artisan wink. Meander the other vendor’s crafty wares until hunger sets in. A piatto of Florentine fair is easy to score at Trattoria Mario, so indulge your growling stomach with something typically Tuscan.
Piazza del Mercato Centrale - 50123
Open Monday–Friday 07:00–14:00, Saturday 07:00–17:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Santa Croce
Science and telescopes almost cost Galileo a Christian funeral. His head finally found rest beneath a tombstone in this Franciscan Basilica. His ghost’s in good company (Rossini, Machiavelli) – and there’s nary a more stunning cathedral in which to spend eternity. View Donatello’s handiwork (the Crucifix and gilded Annunciation) as well as myriads from other masters.
Piazza Santa Croce, 16 - 50122
Open Monday–Saturday 09:30–17:30, Sunday 14:00–17:30. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Pitti Palace
Former home to the grand dukes of Tuscany, this Renaissance-styled gargantuan is a peephole into high society. Much of the residence remains in its original styling. Uncover how the 1% lived with a visit to their Royal Apartments. Or put on your history hat. The Carriage, Costume, and Silver museums will take you to school. Recess in Boboli Gardens with its grottos and green.
Piazza de Pitti, 1 - 50123
Open Tuesday–Sunday 08:15–16:30. Check website for details.
Accademia Gallery
Michelangelo immortalized David (he’s dreamy, we know) from a single marble slab. He’s frozen in exquisite detail moments before his battle with Goliath. Perhaps the world’s most beloved nude, everyone who visits Florence flocks to the feet of David (the line outside proves as much). Take a picture with your mind, cause cameras aren’t allowed.
Via Bettino Ricasoli, 60 - 50122
Open Tuesday–Sunday 08:15–18:50. Check website for details.
Piazzale Michelangelo
You can’t beat a Tuscan sunset seen from here. Follow the winding path and stone steps that scale the hillside from the Arno and Piazza Giuseppe Poggi. Signposts for Viale Michelangelo will lead you straight up to the piazza in a matter of minutes. Decent places to imbibe are nil in these parts, so pack a picnic and bring some vino.
Piazzale Michelangelo - 50125
The Campanile Tower
It might mean a workout, but it’s worth the climb to reach the top of Giotto’s Campanile – from the top, you get the Florentine panoramas seen in city postcards. At the same dizzying height as the hulking dome of Florence Cathedral, you can take your time and gaze down across the terra-cotta rooftops below.
Duomo di Milano
Sometimes you have to take your time to get things just right, and this colossal cathedral is the perfect example. Originally started in 1386, it spent nearly six centuries as a work in progress until its completion as recently as 1965. The result is a breathtaking mix of architectural styles – it's as unique as it is enormous. From the outside, countless spires and pinnacles jut skywards, and the interior is an overwhelming panorama of columns, arches, and paintings.
Palazzo Vecchio
When you're the family whose wealth and influence was one of the driving forces of the Renaissance, you'd better have a pretty impressive place to stay. The famous Medici family lived in the Palazzo Vecchio in the 16th century, and it's easy to see why. The stark, fortress-like look of the exterior hides extravagant decoration, mezzanines, and an abundance of treasures within – the Hall of the Five Hundred's elaborate battle frescoes are definitely a highlight.
The Baptistery
One of the gems of this truly bejeweled city. This amazing octagonal baptistery dates all the way back to the 11th century, making it one of Florence’s oldest buildings – not to mention one of its most magnificent. From the outside it has a two-tone sweetness, but inside, the mosaic-covered dome shines with gleaming gold.
Basilica di San Lorenzo
If you’re on the trail of the Medicis, this basilica should be near the top of your must-see list. This was the parish church of this notorious dynasty and comes with all of the grandeur you’d expect from a Medici church. Highlights include the Laurentian Library, lined with the family’s personal collection of manuscripts, as well as their collection of saintly relics.
Da Nerbone
Da Nerbone has been around for as long as Florence’s Central Market has existed. This ground-floor stall draws in a local crowd who line up for its "lampredotto" (tender cow’s stomach), perfectly prepared risotto, and mouthwatering boiled beef rolls. After you pay and pick up your order, squeeze into a seat surrounded by this establishment's regulars.
Trattoria Sostanza
Trattoria Sostanza might just look like another restaurant from the outside, but inside they're serving up pure quality from start to finish. Highlights from their stunning Tuscan menu include butter chicken, artichoke soufflé, and steak Florentine. Word’s already spread, so just make sure you book ahead – and be prepared to share a table with other satisfied diners.
Mercato Centrale
Mercato Centrale is Florence’s go-to fridge-stocking emporium. From fresh fruit and veggies to an endless selection of meats, oils and wines, you’ll find what you’re looking for and more here. Once you work up an appetite (which will definitely happen quickly!), make a stop at Da Nerbone. This ultra-traditional stall has been running since 1872 and serves up Tuscan delicacies that will satisfy anyone's taste buds.
L’Osteria di Giovanni
Tuscany is well known for its fine wines, perfect pastas, and succulent meat dishes. This traditional restaurant hits all the right notes with regional cuisine. There’s something for everyone here, but meat lovers are especially well taken care of, from the juicy suckling pig to the tantalizing house steak Florentine that falls right off the bone.
San Marco Square
During your stay in Florence, chances are you’ll end up wandering through San Marco Square more than once. Good thing it’s full of restaurants and takeaway shops! For quick-and-easy pizza slices, stop by Pugi, and for classic, fresh gelato, head to Gelateria Delice Glace. If you have a little more time on your hands, Ristorante Accademia is the place to go for hearty Tuscan meals.
Vecchio Palace
When you're the family whose wealth and influence was one of the driving forces of the Renaissance, you'd better have a pretty impressive place to stay. The famous Medici family claimed residence in the Palazzo Vecchio in the 16th Century, and it's easy to see why. The stark, fortress-like look of the exterior hides sumptuous decoration, mezzanines, and an abundance of art treasures within, with the Hall of the Five Hundred's lavish battle frescoes standing out as a particular highlight.
Galleria dell' Academia
Michelangelo immortalized David (he’s dreamy, we know) from a single marble slab. He’s frozen in exquisite detail moments before his battle with Goliath. Perhaps the world’s most beloved nude, everyone who visits Florence flocks to the feet of David (the line outside proves as much). Take a picture with your mind, cause cameras aren’t allowed.
Santa Croce Church
Science and telescopes almost cost Galileo a Christian funeral. His head finally found rest beneath a tombstone in this Franciscan Basilica. His ghost’s in good company (Rossini, Machiavelli) – and there’s nary a more stunning cathedral in which to spend eternity. View Donatello’s handiwork (the Crucifix and gilded Annunciation) as well as myriads from other masters.
Palazzo Pitti
Cross the River Arno to Pitti Palace, a “palazzo” turned museum. Wow at the bounding wealth. Peruse the ornate costumes, collections of silver, antique clocks, and preserved apartments from the likes of the Medici Dukes. Catch a concert at the Boboli...
Academy Gallery
Visitors looking to gaze upon Michelangelo’s "David" should skip the replica at Piazza della Signoria and head straight to the Galleria dell’Academia, where the original can be seen in all its glory. The gallery also houses several other of Michelangelo’s works, plus more Italian greats like Boticelli and Andrea del Sarto.
Hidden within the walls of the Palazzo del Bargello fortress there's a huge collection of gothic and Renaissance sculptures, including Michelangelo’s "Madonna and Child" and Donatello’s bronze and marble "David" statues. One of the oldest buildings in Florence, this one-time prison first opened its doors as a museum back in the mid-19th century.
Duomo Opera Museum
The Opera Duomo Museum recently underwent a transformation, with the space renovated and redesigned to bring the art to life for its visitors. Housing more than 750 Renaissance masterpieces—200 of them never-before-seen works—the museum’s walls are adorned with historical texts, with the era's music filling each carefully curated room.
La Specola
The eclectic cabinets of La Specola contain a collection of zoological and scientific curiosities from the centuries. Exhibitions include striking 18th-century anatomical waxworks, a menagerie of extinct animal skeletons, and a stuffed hippo that was once a Medici family pet. Found next to the Pitti Palace, the building is also just as interesting, decorated with beautiful frescoes and polished stone artwork.
Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral
This beautiful cathedral is proof that good things come to those who wait. The building's construction started at the end of the 13th century, but it wasn’t considered ready for consecration until 1436, when the magnificent dome was finished. Even then, the facade wasn’t completed until 1887. When you visit, you’ll see that it was worth the wait!
Alle Murate
The touch of class around this restaurant is visible as soon as you walk in. The vaulted ceilings are decorated with medieval frescoes, giving an air of sophistication to the place – and that’s before you get to the food. Go for the tasting menu to really make the most of your visit to this Michelin-star establishment.
Enoteca Pinchiorri
Dinner at Enoteca Pinchiorri comes with a hefty price tag, but if you want to treat yourself, the experience is worth it – especially if you’re a wine buff. The cellar here features a wide selection, including many a top-notch “premier cru,” so the pairing options will be endlessly pleasing to the palate.
Antica Trattoria da Tito
This cozy restaurant is one for meat lovers. And if you’re into steak, it’s an absolutely must-visit. The luscious filets here are made with tons of love and a whole lot of know-how – just don’t commit the crime of ordering yours well done. Book a table on the terrace to set the vibe, wake up your taste buds with a succulent meat dish, then finish it off with a complimentary sip of limoncello.
Gallery of Modern Art (Pitti Palace)
Located in a Medici palace dating back to the 15th century, this collection jumps forward in time by showcasing works from the late 18th century until the 1930s. Inside, you can discover innovative pieces created by Tuscany’s very own schools, like the Macchiaioli and the Futuristi. Outdoors, elegant gardens and serene views are just waiting to be discovered in the Giardino di Boboli.
National Archaeological Museum of Florence
Part of the Uffizi Gallery, this collection was another of the Medici’s interests, specializing in relics from the Etruscan era. Take a journey through time to explore the Greek and Egyptian sections that are made up of over 14,000 pieces, including a chariot and bronze pieces from throughout the ages.
Palazzo Strozzi
The Medici might have a legacy in Florence’s cultural scene, but this Renaissance marvel belonged to their arch rival, Filippo Strozzi. The building will keep architecture buffs happy and is noted for its wrought-iron torch holders. Inside, changing exhibitions have featured works from Klimt, Botticelli and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Keep an eye on the venue’s schedule to check out cultural and artistic events!

When to Go to Florence

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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70 ℉ 55 ℉
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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

Florence is a bustling one of a kind city that makes you want to return again. Lots of history and places of interest. And the food...well it never disappoints! Easy to visit other places nearby like Pisa, Sienna, Parma etc. This is our fourth visit and certainly not the last!
December 10, 2017
Florence has an amazing city centre. The old part of the city has so much history. When walking around at night you can see why it is one of the most romantic cities in the world.
December 8, 2017
Small enough to walk everywhere we wanted to go - a lot of places both sides of the river. Especially loved the Leonardo da Vinci museum, a hand-on museum with full size working models of his amazing designs. Absolutely fascinating.
United Kingdom
December 9, 2017
Trainers required for all the walking but no need for any taxi/ public transport once in the city
United Kingdom
December 7, 2017
Very Good
Tuscan food and opera and shops including gold street in area around palazzo pitti at night.
December 8, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Florence

Hotel De La Ville

8.9 Excellent

Score from 2,352 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    302 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    217 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    112 related reviews
Grand Hotel Baglioni

8.5 Very Good

Score from 1,929 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    183 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    158 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    95 related reviews
Hotel Alba Palace

8.9 Excellent

Score from 1,821 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    176 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    106 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    77 related reviews
Grand Hotel Minerva

9.4 Awesome

Score from 816 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    215 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    174 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    113 related reviews
Hotel Pendini

9.1 Awesome

Score from 1,781 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    417 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    234 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    198 related reviews
Hotel Paris

8.4 Very Good

Score from 2,443 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    201 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    112 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    98 related reviews
Hotel degli Orafi

9.2 Awesome

Score from 1,076 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    149 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    119 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    82 related reviews
Hotel Corte Dei Medici

8.9 Excellent

Score from 1,544 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    143 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    96 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    54 related reviews
Hotel Jolì

8.9 Excellent

Score from 1,402 reviews


Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    136 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    126 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    114 related reviews
Discover Florence

Popular Neighborhoods in Florence

Florence Historic Center

2531 properties

Our best advice for exploring the centre? Travel on foot. Pretty as the paintings that adorn its most illustrious galleries, Florence will charm you with stories and beg you to make your own. Get lost among the jewellery makers and trinket buyers of Ponte Vecchio; then tie your love to a lock on the bridge’s fence (for good luck).


396 properties

Both district and world-famous gallery. Art students stand agog in front of masterworks (ah, Botticelli) in the Uffizi Gallery. After a Renaissance morning, buy a gelato from “Perché no!" (the mozzarella with chestnut honey is a must!) and lick it all the way to Piazza della Signoria. Navel-gaze amidst pigeons, people, and sea-coloured statues.

San Marco - Santissima Annunziata

326 properties

Ah, David. Just the statue you’ve been looking for. The many replicas around town can’t hold a candle to real thing at the Galleria dell'Accademia. Wax political in nearby Piazza Santissima Annunziata (the site of 2012’s “Occupy Florence” protest). Activists aren’t the only ones with a penchant for the piazza; many a hipster is spotted here.

Palazzo Pitti

322 properties

Cross the River Arno to Pitti Palace, a “palazzo” turned museum. Wow at the bounding wealth. Peruse the ornate costumes, collections of silver, antique clocks, and preserved apartments from the likes of the Medici Dukes. Catch a concert at the Boboli Gardens next door (if you’re lucky) or sip a cappuccino outside and tan your limbs Italian.

San Lorenzo

303 properties

The luscious scent of leather, the deep-seated desire to buy a souvenir. The San Lorenzo Market is open all day, every day. Dying to pay your respects to the ghosts of Florence past? The Medici family tombs are located in the nearby Medici Chapel. The façade of this Renaissance masterwork was never finished; Michelangelo was arrested mid-design.

Santa Croce

199 properties

Pay homage to Galileo and Michelangelo, both buried beneath this Basilica. But don’t pray and run. Giotto’s frescoes decorate the Franciscan church’s interior chapels. French writer Stendhal coined his syndrome of the same here (an illness of “awe” marked by symptoms of intense nervousness caused by seeing great art).

Santa Maria Novella

195 properties

Ready to cut your teeth on 20th century Italian art? Museo Novecento’s got just the collection. Afterward, let an espresso buzz you through Santa Maria Novella’s Gothic Basilica. Next door is Italy’s oldest apothecary and perfumery (1221), where aromatic elixirs steep in decanted bottles, and chemists still concoct colognes from the past.


190 properties

Florence’s heart beats in Brunelleschi’s dome. A Florentine skyline without this Gothic cathedral? Unthinkable! Did you remember your camera? So did everyone else. Perfect the Italian art of navigating crowds sans that lens to your eye, and take in the dome’s milky greens and pinks in the melting morning light.


140 properties

Gucci certainly approves of the high-fashion boutiques that abound in his hometown. Heels and cobblestone? Not a problem for the Florentine female. This block is a who’s who crash course of Italian high fashion–from Armani to Versace and everyone in between. Even the air smells expensive. Window-shop your heart out, honey.

Piazzale Michelangelo

57 properties

Hot, hungry, and dreaming of pecorino? Sounds like you made it through the tree-lined streets to the heights of Piazzale Michelangelo. The Duomo looms high above the terracotta rooftops. A few flights up, you’ll find the prettiest church in Florence called San Miniato. Picnic among the ornate tombstones of the church’s cemetery (if you dare).

Local Tips for Florence

San Miniato al Monte Abbey
Alice by Alice

Alice lived in Florence as a student and believes the romantic city offers a timeless appeal.

For breathtaking views of Florence minus the crowds, the 11th Century San Miniato al Monte Abbey is a must visit! Set on a serene hilltop above Piazzale Michelangelo, the basilica features medieval interiors. Lucky visitors may experience the chanting of the Gregorian monks at sunset.

  • Via Delle Porte Sante, 34 - 50125
  • Open Monday–Sunday 08:00–13:00 and 15:30–19:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Le Buchette del Vino
Elena by Elena

A born and bred Tuscan, Elena is an adventurous traveler who always has her suitcase ready to go!

Scattered throughout the city Buchette del Vino ‘wine portholes’ are remnants of where noble Florentines would sell wine in the 16th Century. Often built into a palace’s façade, there are roughly 80 across the city – some decorated and others with original family inscriptions.

  • Palazzo Capponi (between Via de’ Bardi and Piazza Santa Maria in Soprarno)
Giardino Torrigiani
Andrea by Andrea

Having lived in Florence his entire life – 29 years, Andrea is an expert on the Renaissance city!

Hidden behind the city walls between Piazza Tasso and Porta Romana, is a beautiful secret garden. Owned by an ancient Florentine family, Giardino Torrigiani is a lush retreat dotted with grand houses and has an enchanting feel. Tours are available in English and Italian.

I'Margaritaio Cocktail Bar
Giorgio by Giorgio

Intrepid traveler Giorgio believes the best way to experience a destination is to follow the locals!

If you’re looking for killer cocktails and a fun atmosphere in the city centre, then this is your place! I’Margaritaio serves classic cocktails with a twist, like the Calabrian Mojito mixed with licorice and hot pepper. The frozen margaritas are a happy hour crowd favourite.

Vasari Corridor
Roisin by Roisin

Roisin loves to wander Florence’s maze of ancient streets, in search of hidden treasures.

The Vasari Corridor is a painting-lined passageway, linking the Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace. Once a private corridor for the Medici family, this tucked away gem can only be visited by booking an appointment in advance.

Stibbert Museum
Matteo by Matteo

Born in Rome and educated in London, Matteo loves socialising with friends over an expensive meal.

The Stibbert Museum is a unique and extensive collection of weaponry and impressive suits of armour. The rare house museum features many rooms that have been individually furnished to invoke different time periods. Afterwards you can wander the enchanting little garden and lake!

Gelateria De' Medici
Elisabetta by Elisabetta

Australian Elisabetta has lived in Italy for 3 years and appreciates a wide range of cuisines.

If scooping delicious fruit flavoured sorbets out of the actual fruits themselves sounds like heaven to you, then head to Gelateria De’ Medici. Popular with locals and tourists alike, this ultimate desert experience features a variety of gelato flavours including gorgonzola and rice!

Santo Spirito Flea Market
Romina by Romina

Originally from the land down under, Aussie Romina is a globetrotting bargain hunter!

Every second Sunday of the month the Piazza Santo Spirito comes to life with a bustling flea market! Delight in the eclectic mix of vintage goods including clothing, furniture and books. It’s a great place to scout for bargains or simply sit back and people-watch.

  • Piazza Santo Spirito - 50125
Bellariva/Nannini Pool
Michelle by Michelle

Michelle traveled to Florence to learn Italian but stayed to live inspired by the city’s beauty.

If you’re visiting Florence in summer then the Bellarive pool is the perfect place to escape the heat! Located next to the Arno River, you can enjoy splashing around in the cool waters or relax in the sun. There’s also a children’s pool, spacious shady lawn areas and a restaurant.

  • Lungarno Aldo Moro, 6 - 50136
Gelateria Il Sorriso
Nikos by Nikos

Nikos loves playing tour guide for his family and friends in Florence, and once had a food fight!

Escape the throngs of tourists and discover your own piece of sweet paradise at Gelateria Il Sorriso. Serving generous portions for reasonable prices, there’s flavours for both the conservative and adventurous. Try the peach yoghurt laced with cinnamon, or the ricotta!

Santa Margherita de' Cerchi Church
Giulia by Giulia

South African born, Giulia is a working mum who loves exploring nature parks and hidden gems.

Fall in love with Santa Margherita de’ Cerchi, an ancient church so tiny it’s almost a chapel. Known as the Church of Dante, it was here that Dante was said to have met his beloved Beatrice. Visitors leave notes in a basket next to her shrine, asking for blessings in their love life.

  • Via Santa Margherita - 50122
Read our FAQs on this destination –>

Recommended in Florence asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Florence for food?

You need to visit the Mercato centrale (first floor) the coolest place to eat and drink in Firenze The food is all cooked fresh with fresh ingredients and you can watch them prepare it, the variety is amazing for local foods pizza's, pasta, fish and meat all on offer at great prices The staff are brilliant and helpful always with a big smile Hundreds of locals use it to eat in so it has to be good it is open all day till midnight great for young and old alike This is a must do if in Firenze.........

Uffizi gallery, Palazzo Pitti gallery, Accademia gallery. Buy your tickets on the internet in order to avoid the long lines! Or buy the Florence Card! Duomo including climbing the cupola and the bell tower and visiting the beautiful Battistero - all for €10 altogether, in a single ticket. Also: Medici Chapel, Santa Croce church with the famous tombs, and Santa Maria Novella church. And lots more.... And there is beauty everywhere in Florence...

Several museums offer a reservation service. You can book your ticket up to one day before visiting at additional 4 EUR added to the ticket price. Another alternative is buying Florence city card which entitles you to enter most of the attractions and skip the line. However, the cost is 72 EUR, so if you do not plan to visit many attractions, it is better to use the option with reservation.

The art tended to be historic in nature. I was thrown when one of the art galleries had an exhibition of modern art. I thought this meant contemporary art but in fact it was art in the last century! We were fortunate to have left visits to 2 main art galleries on a Sunday when access was free.

To stand before Machiavelli's and Michelangelo's grave monuments in Santa Groce and think on all the years, people have taken care of the place, gives magnificent feeling. There is some hope for mankind, if such individuals have lived, and the monuments are kept and cared for so long.

We had a personal guide that we hired recommended by our hotel who gave us more insight into the stories behind the scenes which was invaluable.

Buy the Firenze card, skip the queues. Go out early. Walk. Go down side streets. Go to places away from the centre to get Florence to yourself.

Most shops are expensive ones however in the market we found great leather things with great prices


Florence Transportation


Florence Peretola is the city’s main airport, just a 15-minute taxi ride from the city centre for a cost of 20 EUR. A cheaper option is the Vola in Bus shuttle, 10 EUR will get you a return trip from the airport to Firenze Santa Maria Novella – the city’s main train station. The service runs every half an hour from 05:30-01:00 and tickets can be purchased on board or at a ticket office. Car hire is also available at the airport.


Firenze Santa Maria Novella (SMN) is the city’s main train station. Services are ideal for day trips around Tuscany but not used for travel within the city. Tickets are available from automatic ticket machines or online, remember to stamp your ticket at the machine on the platform before boarding. Buses and taxis depart from the southern exit of the station (near the chemist's).


Florence is a compact city which is easily explored on foot. The city buses (orange or red-and-white in colour) are best used to discover the outer suburbs or to access Piazzale Michelangelo. Services run from 06:00 to 01:00. Tickets can be purchased from newspaper kiosks and tobacconists for EUR 1.20, or on board for EUR 2. Each ticket is valid for 90 minutes after you stamp it in the machine when boarding the bus.


Taxis in Florence can be expensive and are only necessary when travelling to or from your accommodation with luggage. White in colour, taxis cannot be hailed on the street, but can be called or found at the many taxi ranks across the city. Fares consist of a fixed rate plus extra fees for time and distance, and are slightly more expensive in the evening.


The Tramvia tram system in Florence connects Santa Maria Novella Train Station with the outer suburb of Scandicci in a 25 minute trip. This T1 line has 14 stops, running every 3-12 minutes from 05:00 to 00:00. Tickets can bought on board at 2 EUR for 90 minutes, and be sure to validate it once you enter the tram.


Florence’s city centre is protected from traffic by the ZTL (limited traffic zone), which requires a permit to travel through. These are hard to obtain, and without them hefty fines apply. Parking is pricey and must be outside the ZTL. If you plan to venture out of Florence then solutions would be to rent a car at the airport or hire a driver with a ZTL permit.

Food in Florence

Top Restaurants in Florence

Cheap Eats
I Due Fratellini
Mid-Range Fare
Cantinetta dei Verrazzano
  • Via dei Tavolini, 18/20r - 50122
  • Open Monday–Saturday 08:00–21:00, Sunday 10:00–16:30.
  • 0039 055268590
Mid-Range Fare
Hard Rock Cafe Florence
Upscale Dining
  • Via de' Tosinghi, 11r - 50123
  • Open Monday–Sunday 09:00–20:00.
  • 0039 055215013
Upscale Dining
Caffè Giacosa
Cheap Eats
Pizzeria O'Vesuvio
Upscale Dining
La Grotta Guelfa
  • Via Pellicceria, 5r - 50122
  • Open Monday–Sunday 12:00–22:30.
  • 0039 055210042
Mid-Range Fare
Caffe Giacosa
  • Piazza Strozzi 1, 50123
  • Open Monday–Sunday 09:00–20:00.
  • 0039 0552776328
Mid-Range Fare
Upscale Dining
Hostaria Bibendum
Upscale Dining
  • Via delle Terme, 51r - 50123
  • Open Monday–Saturday 19:00–23:30.
  • 0039 055212421
Mid-Range Fare
Obika Mozzarella Bar
Mid-Range Fare
I' Mangiarino
Upscale Dining
Caffe' Coquinarius
Cheap Eats
  • Via del Campanile, 2 - 50122
  • Open Monday–Sunday 10:30–00:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
  • 0039 055216158
Cheap Eats
Fiaschetteria Nuvoli
  • Piazza dell'Olio, 15 - 50123
  • Open Monday–Saturday 07:30–21:00, Sunday 09:30–17:30.
  • 0039 0552396616
Upscale Dining
Enoteca Alessi
Cheap Eats
Cheap Eats
I'Margaritaio Cocktail Bar
Upscale Dining
Ora d'Aria
Upscale Dining
  • Piazza della Signoria, 34r - 50122
  • Open Monday–Sunday 08:00–23:45.
  • 0039 055294553
Upscale Dining
Brown Sugar Lounge Bar
  • Via della Condotta, 3 - 50122
  • Open Tuesday–Sunday 08:00–00:00.
  • 0039 055217031
Mid-Range Fare
Antico Fattore
  • Via Lambertesca, 1/3r - 50122
  • Open Monday–Saturday 12:00–15:00 and 19:00–00:00.
  • 0039 055288975
Mid-Range Fare
Osteria Vecchio Vicolo
Mid-Range Fare
Cacio Vino Trallalla'
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