FLORENCE.

Get to know Italy from a whole different perspective. Welcome to Florence, the cradle of Renaissance, full of stunning architecture, awe-inspiring art and irresistible charm. What Florence lacks in size, it makes up for with atmosphere, as not many cities are as lovable as Florence is. Romantic, cobbled alleys, candle-lit chapels and beautiful 15th- and 16th-century palaces make Florence one of the most picturesque cities of Italy. Those interested in art will be delighted by the works of Botticelli, Michelangelo and other famous artists, which can be admired in various museums around the city. If you’re a shopping buff, then the boutiques of Florence will make your head spin – from Gucci to Salvatore Ferragamo, they are all here. All these attractions are further enhanced by the stunning cuisine, as Florentines surely know how to feast. After tasting ribollita, panino and T-bone steaks, you will know the true meaning of Florentines' motto – la dolce vita.

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Florence

Best Period to Visit Florence

Accomodation Tips for Florence

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Florence

Getting Around Florence

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Florence

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Florence

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Visit the churches

Since most of the churches in Florence allow tourists to enter for free, they are a good place to stare at some marvelous architecture. Gaze at the gorgeous columns and old paintings, created by renowned artists, at places such as the San Miniato al Monte, which allows free admission each and every day.

Try the food markets

While some more high-brow restaurants in Florence are surely expensive, the food markets around the city provide a means for trying the local cuisine on a budget. It is best to avoid the more tourist-oriented spots in Florence, as they tend to overprice their menus, and instead try the street food with its simmered meat.

Cheap accommodation

If you’re looking for a way to save some money right from the start of your vacation in Florence, try to stay out of hotels when it comes to accommodation. There is plenty of hostels, offering accommodation for as cheap as €9 a night, made in a 15th-century style giving them a unique feel.

Gaze at the public art

The whole of the city of Florence is an open-air museum, and although many of its treasures lie closed-off behind the doors of a gallery or a chapel, there are plenty of spots to look upon if you want to see some beautiful works of art. First of all, try the piazzas, which often provide a view of beautiful facades and building exteriors.

Visit the museums on Sundays

Since the initiative of the Italian government which started in the July of 2014, the museums, cultural sites, and archeological sites are all free to visit on the first Sunday of each month. Make sure you arrange your trip to get the chance to visit them on such a day but be mindful of large groups of tourists.

Stroll around the gardens

If you are looking for a place to have a peaceful afternoon walk, you might want to try out the gardens laid out in the Oltrarno district. The district contains more than three hundred different varieties of roses, and it is at its most beautiful in late spring, but it can still be enjoyed all year round.

Visit the universities

Being famous for its important role in cultivating the scientific spirit of Renaissance, Florence keeps to the tradition of its predecessors and hosts university-run museums, which are cheap, if not free, to enter. Such museums include a museum of anthropology, zoology, a wax model museum, and many others.

Cool off in public pools

If you happen to visit Italy during the summer, you will probably be surprised by the high heat of the sun if you are not accustomed to such weather. If you cannot stand the heat anymore, take a walk to one of the public pools around the city, which offer reduced admission after 3 p.m., making them a great way to cool off.

Watch some free movies

If you missed the hot summer months while in Florence, do not worry – there is plenty to do off-season. During the entire month of August, there are a few piazzas which host free film screenings of the work of Italian horror film director, Dario Argento. Moreover, there are also a couple of dance events and visual artists.

Combine your tickets

When on your trip to Florence, you will surely want to visit as many attractions and cultural spots as possible. While at it, why not conserve some money and get a cumulative ticket to some of them? Some attractions, such as the Duomo Complex, allow admission to several monuments for a reduced price.

Best Period to Visit Florence

Tourism

Florence is the most crowded between May and September – this this is when the warm weather, art festivals and open-air events draw thousands of tourists to the city. Those who prefer to do their exploration with some space around them should consider visiting Florence outside these months.

Weather

From late May to early September, the weather in Florence can be quite extreme, with temperatures hitting as high as 31°C around July and August. Between December and early March, it gets substantially colder, but it's nothing unbearable – the lows are around 1°C in January.

Money

Florence is very expensive from May to September, which is the prime tourist season. Those looking for discounts on food, accommodation and entertainment should consider visiting the city around late fall and winter when prices can drop a good 30%.

Events

Fashion Shows (January)
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (April-June)
Fuochi di San Giovanni (June)
Calcio in Costume (June)
Florence Biennale (December)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

Serviced apartments offer a completely different travelling experience, compared to staying in a hotel. Especially families will be satisfied with this accommodation option, as most apartments come equipped with a kitchen annex, allowing for preparing your own food. Nightly rates vary greatly, depending on the standard and size of the apartment.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

Travelling to Florence on a budget? Proper accommodation ensures substantial savings! To save a lot of money, pick a cheap hotel in Florence. Nightly rates for these budget hotels start around €10.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

The so-called "middle range" hotels in Florence, ones with 3 or 4 stars, offer convenient location and a satisfying degree of service. Nightly rates for standard hotels in Florence start around €50.

Luxury hotels in Florence

Luxury hotels in Florence offer state-of-the-art facilities, flawless service and excellent location right next to the best attractions and clubs in the city. Of course, such convenience comes at an additional expense, as nightly rates for these hotels start around €200, but can reach much higher.

Getting Around Florence

Bicycle

Since most places in Florence are restricted to vehicles, getting around on a bike might not be a bad idea. There are also some bike rentals if you did not bring your own bicycle, which provide reasonable prices for their services. Take notice, that some of those rentals require you to leave your ID as a deposit.

Bus

A good way of getting around the city for an affordable price is with the buses and electric minibuses run by the local transport company. Most of the buses start and end their journey at the stop opposite the southeastern exit of Stazione di Santa Maria Novella. Regular tickets for the buses are valid for 90 minutes and cost €1.20. Keep in mind that since the drivers do not give any change, the cost of the ticket onboard is €2, so you might want to buy the tickets at kiosks.
There are also day passes available for one, three, and seven days, that cost, respectively, €5, €12, and €18. Make sure to stamp your ticket when you enter a bus, as a fine of €50 will be put on you during one of the frequent checks.

Car and Motorcycle

You are in bad luck if you want to travel Florence with your own vehicle, as only resident traffic is allowed in central Florence for most of the week. It is better to avoid having a car in the city at all, but if you decide to do so, make sure to remember that there are strict limitations on parking. Florence’s historic centre is closed off to parking between 7:30 a.m and 7:30 p.m Monday to Friday, and 7:30 a.m to 6 p.m Saturday. The traffic is monitored by cameras, so don’t hope to escape the authorities.
There are still plenty of car parks, which cost around €3 per hour, and there is even free street parking around Piazzale Michelangelo, but don’t hope to find any spot there.

Tram

There is not much to say about tram traffic in Florence since there is only one line running, which uses the same tickets as buses.

Walking

Walking will probably be your most often used method of transportation in Florence, as the city is quite small and you do not want to skip any of the picturesque streets and alleyways. If you have an especially long journey, use the buses, but otherwise, it is highly recommended you travel around on foot.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Florence

Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour

This guided tour will allow you to see the highlights of Tuscany in a single day, under the supervision of a well-accustomed guide and without the hassle of organising your own transport from Florence. Moreover, a three-course winery lunch, as well as wine tasting, are included in the admission fee.

Cinque Terre Hiking Day Trip from Florence

This hiking tour will take you along the picturesque scenery of the Cinque Terre – five idyllic fishing villages, placed on the UNESCO list of heritage places. The trip will take you to areas otherwise inaccessible by car, and afterwards it will allow you to rest during a relaxing cruise down the Riviera.

Taste of Chianti: Tuscan Cheese, Wine and Lunch from Florence

With a proper 4x4 vehicle to take you along some of the harder to get places of Tuscany's countryside, you will also be provided with commentary on the cuisine and wine of the region. The trip includes a number of stops at different wineries, olive-oil mills, and butchers, with tastings at each spot.

Florence Super Saver Tour

Being a great choice for first-time visitors of Florence, this comprehensive tour combines a couple of attractions for a discounted price. The skip-the-line ticket of the tour allows you to save hours of waiting in queues, and a well-accustomed guide will show you on your way and tell you the history of Florence.

Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse

This tour will allow you to take a lesson in preparing the delicious Tuscan cuisine. The tour contains a market tour as well as a cooking class, providing an opportunity for tourists to socialise. You will be able to pick your own ingredients from the market and cook traditional Italian dishes under a chef's supervision.

Small Group Wine Tasting Experience in Tuscany

With a small group of other tourists, a professional guide will be allowed to give you a lot of attention. This trip will take you along the outskirts of Florence, providing you with a way to escape the city’s hassle. You will visit six wineries, where samples of both wines and Tuscan cuisine will be provided.

Pizza and Gelato Cooking Class

Located in a traditional Tuscan farmhouse, this tour will take you straight from the centre of Florence into this picturesque region. You will be able to get an insight on the traditional Italian cuisine with a cooking lesson, allowing you to make some of the most recognised specialties, including pizza and gelato.

Florence to Greve Tour

Take a seat in a comfortable coach with air condition which will take you from the heart of Florence to the picturesque medieval town of Greve, which you will be able to explore on your own. Moreover, tasting sessions and tours of two Tuscan wineries with traditional Tuscan snacks will take place.

Skip-the-Line Florence Highlights

This walking tour will take you to some of the most recognisable tourist attractions of Florence. Visit the Oltrarno art district and Via Tornabuoni shops with a local guide who will tell you the rich history and heritage of the city, and end with a trip to Accademia Museum to see the famous David of Michelangelo.

Pisa Half Day Trip

This trip not only allows you to escape the crowds of the city of Florence for a relaxing trip to Pisa but will also grant you skip-the-line entry to the famous Leaning Tower. Afterwards, a well-accustomed guide will show you around Pisa as you explore Duomo, Baptistery, the Pisa Cemetery and more.

Other Things to See and Do

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Being a famous UNESCO world heritage site, the cathedral is an overwhelmingly gorgeous sight, both on the inside and on the outside. The massive building can be entered for free, but make sure to grasp its architecture from the outside first. For a small fee, you can even climb the cupola of Brunelleschi’s famous dome.

San Miniato al Monte

Regarded by many as one of the most scenic churches in Italy, this marvellous church is located on a hill above the Piazzale Michelangelo. Make sure to stop by this amazing Romanesque church to gaze upon its architecture and experience a real working of a monastery.

Basilica di Santa Croce

This gorgeous church is well-known among locals for holding the toms and monuments of famous residents of Florence, including Michelangelo himself, Galileo, Machiavelli, and many more renowned figures. Inside the church, you can even visit Dante's memorial, adorned with Giotto's frescoes.

Santa Maria Novella

With a breathtaking facade made out of a combination of vibrant green marble and stylish white marble, this 13th to the 15th-century complex is comprised out of small churches cloistered together, as well as a chapel adorned with frescoes. It is also a great place to relax with gardens and benches all over.

Church of Orsanmichele

Located in the centre of Florence, this church is famous for its sophisticated stone exterior. The outside of the church is decorated with statues, but the insides of the church are no less worth seeing. Make sure to stop by, as the church will surely be somewhere along the path of your sightseeing trip.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Regarded as having the best available view of the city, the Piazzale Michelangelo requires a little walk up the hill, but it will surely be worth it. Make sure to take pictures as you stand in a full view of the gorgeous cityscape of Florence, surrounded by local wineries and charming cafes.

Ponte Vecchio

Providing a picturesque view of the Arno River, this iconic bridge of Florence is also one of the oldest ones in all of Italy. The bridge is lined with shops, presenting stalls by local artisans and craftsmen, who showcase their work. As always, you can freely look at their handiwork for free.

Rose Garden

When going back from your trip to the Piazzale Michelangelo, make sure to take a walk through the rose gardens of Florence. Filled with hundreds of varieties of roses, lemon trees, and exotic plants from all around the world, the garden is filled with vibrant colours, allowing you to relax in tranquillity after a long day.

Parco delle Cascine

Located right in the middle of the city of Florence, this hundred and sixty-hectare park is a historical spot of the city. If you are looking for the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic with your family and friends, this will be the place to go – the spots over the Arno River, which is right next to it, provide great views of the sunset.

Medici Villas

Around the outskirts of Florence, the villas of the Medici family are nestled, making for a great escape from the crowded city. These gorgeous villas are placed on the UNESCO world heritage site lists, and they proud themselves on their gorgeous gardens, unique architecture, and marvellous views of the landscape.

Iris Garden

If Rose Garden did not prove enough to you, feel free to visit the Iris gardens, which show another two hundred plant species, located on the hills right beside Piazzale Michelangelo. Make sure to come to Florence during springtime, as the Iris garden is open only for a limited time during that period.

Orticoltura Garden

Being one of the greenest spots in all of Florence, the Orticoltura Garden was constructed in 1859 to showcase some of the beautiful green meadows of the city. Adorned with lush flowerbeds and tranquil atmosphere, the Garden is a great place to relax after a hard day of sightseeing and hiking around Florence.

Piazza della Signoria

The Piazza della Signoria is one of the most attended spots in the city by locals, allowing you to overhear some of their talks and watch their daily routines. The Piazza is also filled with charming cafes, where you can get an Italian cappuccino or grab a bite of the traditional Italian cuisine.

Leather Markets

If you're into handicraft, you will surely like it in the leather markets of Florence, where local artisans present their handmade goods. Filled with handbags, belts, shoes, and other articles of clothing and more, the leather markets are a great place to come even if you are not planning on buying anything.

Mercato Centrale

Take a trip to the haven of all food lovers – the centre of Tuscan cuisine. The market is situated on the second floor of the building and is filled with local chefs who specialise in traditional Italian dishes. Here you can find homemade pasta, fresh fish and pastries – it is worth it to come just to look and smell.

San Lorenzo Market

When you are done with exquisite delicacies of the Mercato Centrale, make sure to stop by the San Lorenzo Market, located right outside. Here you will not find any more food, but instead more products made by the local artisans, from pottery, through clothing, to souvenirs and memorabilia.

Officina Profumo

Being truly a unique and unusual attraction, this 14th-century perfumery is a place worth visiting for anyone on their first trip to Florence. The perfumery is located just around the corner from the church of Santa Maria Novella and showcases some of the gorgeous frescoes of the city, as well as an arrangement of perfume fragrances.

Mercato Nuovo

While it may seem like just another market filled with artisans and their craft, there is more to this one. While admiring the gorgeous handwork of the craftsmen from Florence and surrounding villages, make sure not to forget to rub the nose of the wild boar statue, which is said to bring good luck to travellers.

Fountain of Neptune

Take a look at some of the ancient Italian heritage and gaze upon the gorgeous fountain located on the Piazza della Signoria, adorned with a statue of Neptune, the god of oceans. The fountain was commissioned in 1565 and was created by the famous Bartolomeo Ammannati, a renowned sculptor.

Rodolfo Siviero Museum

If you’re into arts, make sure to step by the Rodolfo Siviero Museum, named after a keen art collector who managed to gather an impressive collection. The breathtaking variety of his art includes some ancient Roman works, medieval paintings and sculptures, works of the Italian Renaissance, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Florence city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Florence are: Grand Hotel Cavour, Grand Hotel Baglioni, C-Hotels Ambasciatori, Room Mate Luca and Grand Hotel Adriatico Florence. Discover the full list of best hotels in Florence.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Florence?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Florence include Hotel Berchielli, FH55 Hotel Calzaiuoli, Laurus Al Duomo, NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa, Hotel Rivoli Florence, Grand Hotel Minerva and . Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Florence.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Florence?

    Those trying to visit Florence on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as Hotel Pendini, Relais Hotel Centrale - Residenza d'Epoca, Hotel Davanzati, Hotel La Scaletta Florence, Hotel Rosso23, Hotel Cosimo de' Medici and Hotel Caravaggio Florence. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Florence.

  • What is the best period to visit Florence for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Florence for a city break are May, June, July and September.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Florence?

    Florence offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Florence include: Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour, Cinque Terre Hiking Day Trip from Florence, Taste of Chianti, Florence Super Saver Tour and Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse.

  • How much does an Florence city pass cost?

    A city pass in Florence costs around €59.

  • How much does public transport in Florence cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Florence costs around €14.

  • What are the best night clubs in Florence?

    The best night clubs in Florence include: Tenax, Rex Café, Flo Lounge, The Blob and Space Electronic Discoteca.

  • What are the best bars in Florence?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Florence are: Angie’s Pub, La Cite, The Lion’s Fountain, Popcafé and Moyo.

  • What are the best places to eat in Florence?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Florence may vary depending on your taste, however, Trattoria Da Burde Firenze, Trattoria Sabatino, Ristorante Il Guscio and Culinaria Bistro are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Florence?

    Top 5 restaurants in Florence include: Nobile Bistro, Fuoco Matto, 50 Sfumature di Gusto, Nedo L' Officina Dei Golosi and La Buchetta Café.