Things to do in Florence
Stroll at the Giotto’s Campanile, Art Exploration at Galleria Degli Uffizi, Take a tour of Galleria Dell'accademia, Exploring the Palazzo Vecchio, Riding across the Ponte Vecchio, Photographing the Piazza Del Michelangelo, Musical Evening at the Oblate Cafeteria, Clubbing and Partying, Moonlight Stroll in Historic Center and many more.
Florence is an enchanting city that breaths, history, art and romance in its every nook and cranny. With plenty of things to do in Florence, no tourist gets bored in the gorgeous Tuscan Capital. Right from strolling around the city, admiring its numerous attractions to seeing its spectacular bridges, or devouring some of the best food and wine you will ever taste, Florence as your next vacation destination will more than suffice.
Enjoy the activities to do in Florence and start your tour by visiting the centers of art located throughout the city. The Duomo museum and cathedral, the Piazzale Michelangiolo and the wonderful Giotto’s campanile, some of the most admired places displaying prominent artworks are perfect to begin the Florence excursion. Further, you can also explore the old bridges, town halls, and administrative centers in the city and appreciate the beautiful architecture.
If you are still wondering What to do in Florence? The answer is to take a weekend detour to reach the nearby Tuscan villages for the most breath-taking landscapes. Also, while here do not forget to enjoy meals like the Bistecca Fiorentina and wines from the local Tuscan wineries, as well as exploring the city at night to experience its true glory.
Places to Visit and Things to Do in Florence
People Also Ask About Florence Things To Do
Which are the best things to do in Florence?
Being an extremely popular tourist destination in Italy, Florence offers plenty to the visitors. Here are some things to do in Florence that you should not miss out on during your vacation.
1. Stroll at the Giotto’s Campanile: The Giotto's Campanile is a marvel of Gothic architecture, with pink-green accented polychrome marble decoration in the heart of Italy. Constructed between 1334 and 1359.
It is a separate building divided into five distinct levels where tourists can take casual strolls and admire the neo-gothic architectural style. This monument also does not disappoint when it comes to vantage. All you have to do for an undying view of Florence and the Duomo is climb the 414 steps of the campanile.
Location: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy (located in the Piazza Del Duomo).
Price: 18 euros.
2. Art Exploration at Galleria Degli Uffizi: Housing some of the greatest pieces of art known to the world, the U shaped art gallery at Uffizi is a stunning building. The extending colonnades and linear columns designed by architect Giorgio Vasari depict the era's incredible architectural brilliance.
The Medici family in 1743 gifted the gallery with their art collection on the condition that it would never leave Florence, and accurate to the word, the paintings here are not for sale. Exploring art on a lazy afternoon here is one of the best things to do in Florence for art lovers. Start by taking a look at the famous ‘the Birth of Venus’ art piece in the horseshoe-like gallery and venture further from there.
Location: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy.
Price: 20 euros.
Timings: 8:15 am–6:50 pm (closed on Mondays).
3. Take a tour of Galleria Dell'accademia: Perhaps the most famous sculpture of all time, Michelangelo’s David finds a home at this place. A visit to this spot is one of the best things to do in Florence for those who are curious about renaissance art. Although this art gallery also displays other significant sculptures and historical paintings, David's almost perfect build enchants visitors the most.
A 26-year-old Michelangelo is said to have carved this masterpiece out of a mocked and abandoned piece of marble and turned it into the most revered body. You might have to bear a long queue of visitors to try out this activity to do in Florence, but a selfie with David is well worth it.
Location: 60, Via Ricasoli, 58, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy.
Entry Fee/Price: 20 euros.
Timings: 9am–6pm on Saturdays and Sundays | 9am–2pm from Tuesdays to Fridays (closed on Mondays).
4. Exploring the Palazzo Vecchio: If you are puzzled about what to do in Florence during a busy week, heading over to the Palazzo Vecchio might be a good idea. Once the Signoria of the Republic of Florence and later turned into a town hall, this building still showcases its unabashed glory while serving as the main administrative center.
It was built in 1299, and the same architects who worked on the Duomo and church of Santa Croce are credited with its building. Walking through or gazing at the coat of arms on the front façade or exploring the sublime Hercules Room and the Room of Cybele in its interior is considered to be one of the best things to do in Florence according to most visitors.
Location: Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy.
Entry Fee/Price: 10 euros.
Timings: April - September, 9am—12am (except Thursdays and special days) | October - December, 9am—7pm (except on Thursdays and special days).
5. Riding across the Ponte Vecchio: It is not just elaborate old buildings that Florence is famous for, for its bridges are equally gorgeous. One of the most relaxing things to do in Florence includes riding across the Ponte Vecchio, an old bridge spanning over the river Arno.
The unique feature of this bridge are the countless shops built into its walls and the ones that line the main walkway. If you are asking yourself what to do in Florence, at the ancient Ponte Vecchio, start by exploring the local jewellery shops for souvenir shopping. Moreover, you can simply stroll along the bridge and shops, while admiring its vintage look, one that dates back to the 996 AD.
Location: Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy.
Timings: The shops have designated timings.
6. Enjoy the views from Giardino Bardini: Giardino Bardini is a grand pergola-covered establishment in Florence, it is a shallow stairwell that leads to the Belvedere Renaissance terrace garden of the Bardini Villa, on the hilly region of Oltrarno.
From the top you can get an uncanny view of the entire city, which is also one of the best activities to do in Florence. This place is also a nice break from the rest of the city tour as you get a moment to just relax, reflect and immerse in the surrounding beauty.
Location: Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy.
Entry Fee/Price: 10 euros.
7. Take on the Aperitivo and Cocktails Tour: This is probably the best way to dive into the drinking scene of Florence and get a taste of the most delectable aperitif - alcoholic beverages (cocktails). These are privately held tours for small groups, keeping in mind the guest's preferences and liking.
Usually starting from Piazza della Repubblica or via dei Tornabuoni, you are accompanied by a team of professional culinary experts who take you around the best restaurants, cafés and pubs for tasting of quality drinks.
Which are the best tourist places to visit in Florence?
There are several places in Florence meant to enchant tourists if you are confused about what to do in Florence as a tourist, head over to the following areas for a unique historical and cultural experience.
1. Cathedral of Santa Maria Fiori And Piazza Duomo: Concealing Italy's greatest artistic treasures, the Piazza Duomo is the most popular tourist site of Florence which showcases the works of artists like Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Giotto, Michelangelo and Donatello.
Exploring the magnificent cathedral built in here and its stained glass windows and elaborate railings with inscriptions is considered to be the best activity to do in Florence. The baptistery, the bell tower and the high museum of this complex comprise stunning architectural artwork and the Brunelleschi’s dome offers picturesque views of the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Location: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy.
Entry Fee/Price: 18 euros.
2. Piazza Della Signoria and the Loggia Dei Lanzi: Originating in the 14th century, this square is Florence’s power centre. An important activity to do in Florence, exploring this square in depth is a dream for every visitor. The remains of the roman and the Etruscan empire can be found in the pavements of this square.
At the centre lies the Neptune fountain, and at its one side is the Palazzo Vecchio. Moreover, the Loggia Dei Lanzi is also a part of this square and shares a wall with Uffizzi, the famous art gallery. This place too houses several sculptures and art pieces on its walls, including the Perseus with the head of Medusa – created by Benvenuto Cellini.
Location: Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy.
Entry Fee/Price: 10 euros.
3. San Lorenzo and Michelangelo's Medici Tombs: The San Lorenzo and Medici Tombs were both commissioned by the Medici family, patrons of fine arts. While they gave the cathedral to Brunelleschi for design and development, Michelangelo undertook the tomb, also called Michelangelo's church.
However, the tomb could never reach completion due to the artist's untimely death. That being said, the remnant structure made entirely of marble is still visited by thousands who appreciate the architectural marvel. The must-visit parts of this complex include the Prince’s Chapel, Laurenziana Library, Old Sacristy and the New Sacristy. At the library, you will find plenty of artwork from Donatello and Lippi as well.
Location: Piazza di San Lorenzo, 9, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy.
Entry Fee/Price: 7 euros.
Timings: 10am–5pm (closed on Sundays).
4. Santa Croce: Santa Croce is a church and mausoleum with stunning geometric inlay work and a typical Tuscan façade. It houses artworks by Florence's most celebrated artists like Capella Bardand, Capella Peruzzi, as well as Giotto and Tadeo Gardi's amazing frescoes that are also a part of this beautiful complex and adorn the ceilings and the walls.
To know more about Florentine Renaissance humanism, you can take a look at Donatello’s Christ crucified painting here. While the mausoleum has beautifully decorated tombs of people like Ghiberti, Michelangelo, Galileo, Gioacchino Rossini, and Machiavelli.
Location: Piazza di Santa Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy.
Entry Fee/Price: 8 euros.
Timings: Monday to Friday, 9:30am–5pm | Sundays, 2pm—5pm (closed on Saturdays).
5. Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens: Palazzo Pitti is a Renaissance era palace that is situated alongside river Arno. These construction of this marvelous edifice began in 1446 and several renowned Italian artists contributed to its design and décor.
Presently the palace is among the largest museum complexes in Florence which houses museums, royal apartments, amphitheater, a quarry, the exquisite Boboli gardens - these are terrace gardens filled with fragrant flowers, from here you can also enjoy the best views of Florence.
Location: Piazza de' Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy.
Entry Fee/Price: 15 euros.
What can you do for free in Florence?
There are plenty of free things to do in Florence for every tourist. Some of the best include:
1. Strolling at the Piazza Del Duomo: This is a significant square in Florence that has been a part of the city's establishment since the Italian Renaissance era. The Piazza houses many timeless monuments including a cathedral, museum and a bell-tower that you can admire from afar for free.
2. Explore the Piazza della Signoria: Another prominent Florentino Square, this place too houses several sculptures and beautiful architectural marvels that you can easily witness with paying a buck. Some of the best to keep an eye on are the replica of Michelangelo’s David, see Medici lions and find Hercules and Cacus.
3. Photographing the Piazza Del Michelangelo: Located south of the river Arno and above Piazza Pogi, Piazza Del Michelangelo is the best spot in Florence to enjoy the city's panoramic views. The centre of the Piazza contains a gorgeous terrace where local vendors sell food and tourist souvenirs as well.
4. Musical Evening at the Oblate Cafeteria: Florence's world-famous oblate library recently opened a cafeteria atop it to the public, and attending musical nights has become one of the new favourite free things to do in Florence for both, the locals and tourists alike.
This cafeteria, with a quaint and majestic ambience, is known for its serene musical evenings, for which entry is free. Various local bands from around the city perform here and present a vibrant fest of musical wonder to visitors.
5. Visit Ponte Vecchio: This 12th century's Bridge is probably the best most visited tourist attraction in not just Florence but all of Italy. You can take a stroll here and take a break to admire the views of river Arno and the colourful shops and markets around it.
What is there to do in Florence at night?
Florence doesn’t disappoint tourists when it comes to its nightlife. Here are some things to do in Florence or Firenze at night that every visitor to the city must try.
1. Clubbing and Partying: Most of Florence is known for its chic wine bars and high-end restaurants. However, there are also plenty of things to do in Florence for those who wish to party hard. The Bob Club at Santa Croce is a two-storied lounge and bar attracting great international crowds at night. There is also the flo lounge bar offering panoramic views of the city and high-end clubbing experiences. This outdoor bar and lounge are perfect for grabbing a bite early in the evening and then dancing the night away later.
2. Moonlight Stroll in Historic Center: Florence has a historic center, a stroll through which makes up the perfect thing to do in Florence at night. This landmark center is comprising of locations like the Piazza Del Duomo, Piazza Santa Croce, Piazza Santa Spirito, Piazza Della Signoria, and the Ponte Vecchio. All of the narrow alleyways and the renaissance era buildings look utterly spellbinding under the moonlight. If you are looking to unravel Florence at its best, start taking a tour of these locations as the sun descends. Top off your evening with a candlelit dinner at any quaint late-night restaurant around the area.
Which are the best Museums and Galleries in Florence?
One of the most fun things to do in Florence remains to explore its historical museums and vibrant art galleries. While in the city, here are some museums and galleries you should not miss visiting.
1. Uffizi Gallery: This building was once used to store office administration records and was commissioned by Giorgio Vasari. Today, the stunning gallery houses artful masterpieces like Leonardo Da Vinci's Annunciation, and Sandro Boticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Primavera among many others. And taking a tour of here is among the best offbeat things to do in Florence.
2. Duomo: Undoubtedly the most recognizable building of Florence, exploring the Duomo and the works of artists and sculptors like Arnolfo di Campio and Ghiberti, inside the building is one of the best offbeat things to do in Florence.
The colourful marble structure itself is a sneak peek into the days of the Italian Renaissance. The famous Brunelleschi's dome atop Santa Maria del Fiore, a cathedral, a museum, a baptistery and a light-filled bell tower also add to the overall charm.
3. Palazzo Vecchio: This art gallery was once used to be the seat of Government in Florence. This building has courtyards with gorgeous stucco and frescos, colonnades, corridors and high-ceilings that depict the rich design.
Moreover, the first floor is Salone dei Cinquecento which is decorated with works of Michelangelo and Leonardo. The second floor houses art collectables from the Medici family.
4. Galleria Dell'accademia: This gallery is the second most visited, after the Uffizi gallery in Florence. The main highlight that draws many tourists is the original masterpiece - David by Michelangelo, an all marble sculpture of a male figure.
Besides this, the gallery also exhibits other significant works from Michelangelo and others such as Perugino, Filippino Lippi, Pontormo, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Bronzino.
Which are the places with scenic views in Florence?
Enjoying breathtaking views from coveted vantage points is one of the most fun things to do in Florence, for both tourists and locals. If you want to enjoy some once in a lifetime views of the gorgeous renaissance era buildings of the city, here are some places you must visit.
1. Piazza Del Michelangelo: On a hill atop Arno river, the Piazza Del Michelangelo is undoubtedly the most preferred vantage point of Florence. This place has a massive terrace with several tourist shops and can offer you views of the continuing skies and beautiful sunsets. If you are looking for offbeat things to do in Florence, enjoy an authentic Italian dinner while enjoying a local musician's guitar here.
2. Church of San Miniato: A cathedral located a little distance away from the Piazza Michelangelo, the Church of San Miniato is an ancient renaissance era building where you can intake vistas of the entire region of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside. It is a beautiful place to relax in, where you can also head inside the church and participate in a prayer service.
3. Giardino Bardini: With an incredibly diverse collection of flowers and breathtaking views of the city, the Bardini Garden is one of the best tourist places in Florence. You can lounge on the expanse of lush green grass here, or take a look at the magnificent wisteria collection here. This garden is a mere 10-minute walk from Ponte Vecchio and is a delightful venture from the city crowds.
4. Duomo of Florence: A visit to the Duomo is considered to be one of the most fun things to do in Florence, primarily because of the views this church offers. The tall Brunelleschi dome is one of the highest peaks in the region. To reach the vault, be prepared to ascend almost 400 steps, but the view at the top is worth all the effort. Renaissance-era houses, cathedrals, museums, and vibrant streets of the city are all visible from here. You can also head to the baptistery, cathedral and the museum within the Duomo for a wholesome tour.
How to reach Florence?
Several daily flights operate from the large metros of India to Florence International Airport. Private and government airlines operate these direct and connecting flights. The easiest way to reach Florence is to take a flight from the Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi.
What is Florence famous for?
Being the capital of the Tuscany region in Italy, there are plenty of famous spots for which tourists visit Florence. One of its most prominent features is the renaissance era architecture and art scattered throughout the city. Most of Florence’s buildings have been built by artist architects such as Brunelleschi who personally designed the Duomo. Places like Santa Maria Del Fiore and the Piazza Michelangelo further reflect the deep-rooted Renaissance influence over the city.
Moreover, the gorgeous art galleries showcasing works of artists like Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo are a treat to the eyes. Another offbeat thing to do in Florence is a shopping tour of its local markets that blossom with fresh local produce, choicest local wines and beautiful handicrafts. Overall, Florence is the ultimate Italian experience every tourist seeks.
Are Firenze and Florence the same thing?
Firenze and Florence are the same cities. Firenze is the Italian translation of the word Florence, while the old Italian translation is Fiorenze.
How do I spend a day in Florence?
Your typical Florentine itinerary should comprise of a planned visit to the most famous historical monuments in the city, followed by a quick tour of the gorgeous museums. In the afternoons or during sunset, you can visit a vantage point and top off your beautiful day with a traditional Italian dinner at a local upscale restaurant. Here is a suggested itinerary of a day in Florence.
1. Start your mornings with breakfast at the local cafes. A fulfilling Italian breakfast should be on the menu.
2. Head over to the Duomo to begin your tour. Ascend the 400 steps to reach the top of Brunelleschi’s dome, take a tour of the famous Duomo museum, and visit the baptistery and the ancient church housed within the building. While at the museum, do not forget to inspect the works of artists like Michelangelo.
3. The Piazza del Michelangelo or the Oblate Library are two places where you can spend the afternoons. Both of them offer beautiful views of the surroundings and are excellent relaxation spots.
4. After enjoying your afternoon detour, you can have dinner at the Piazza or go to the Oblate cafeteria. Enjoy a hearty meal and some local music while overlooking the city’s gorgeous panorama.
What food is Florence best known for?
Italy is nothing if not a foodie’s heaven, but filling portions of pasta and pizzas are not the only things you must try when in Florence. Here are some local dishes that every visitor to Florence must enjoy.
1. Bistecca Fiorentina: If you are a meat lover, the great Florentine steak is something worth having on your trip. This hearty steak is best-enjoyed medium rare with some fresh veggies either tossed in olive oil or pan-fried. Most restaurants around the city serve this dish.
2. Crostini De Figatto: Made with white bread and mimicking bruschetta, Crostini are bite-sized appetizers that will melt your tastebuds. This dish is garnished with fresh vegetables and served with a chicken pate.
3. Ribollita: The best of Tuscany is encompassed in the delicious Ribollita. This bread and vegetable soup is perfect for spice lovers or those who prefer more straightforward dishes over fine dining. Most local cafes serve this with garnish and some fine wines.
How many days do you need in Florence?
A tour of 5-7 days should be adequate for exploring both Florence and the neighboring Tuscan countryside. The city is large, and exploring all the national monuments, museums, art galleries and Piazzas can take a few days. If you want the rural experience, take a detour to the villages nearby or head to the vineyards located on the outskirts of Florence.
Is it safe to walk in Florence at night?
Florence is exceptionally safe to wander in at night. Since most nighttime activities to do in Florence last overnight, the local police are especially active to help tourists and locals. If you face any trouble or are uncomfortable, you can approach the police or the concerned authorities present. The locals are also accommodating in case of emergencies.
What should I buy in Florence?
Florence’s markets are lively and vibrant, selling some of the best Italian delights. Here are some things you can shop for in the city:
1. Elegant leather jackets and Tuscan plates at the St. Lorenzo Market.
2. Apparel and jewelry from high-end brands like Gucci, Versace, and Tiffany can be bought at Via De Tornabuoni.
3. Customized old Hollywood jewelry from Angela Caputi
4. Leather accessories at Scuola del Cuoio
5. Exotic Perfumes at Aqua Flor.
How much time does it take and cost to get a visa for Florence?
Getting a Schengen visa from India takes roughly 15 days, although the period can extend depending on the individual’s application. The cost for Indians to achieve an Italian Visa is about 60 euros or around 5000 INR.
How many days do you need in Florence?
The total duration of 3-5 days is enough for a thorough tour of Florence and the neighbouring Tuscan villages.