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20 Best Things To Do In Florence

If you're looking for things to do and see in the beautiful city of Florence, then look no further! From its breathtaking architecture, to its delicious cuisine and vibrant culture, this Italian city is sure to impress. Whether you're visiting as an avid history buff eager to explore the birthplace of the Renaissance movement, or are simply for seeking a romantic getaway with your partner in tow - there's something that will satisfy anyone and everyone who visits Florence. So without further ado - let us take a look at some of the best things to do in Florence while exploring this captivating city!

1. Florence Cathedral

Florence Cathedral-Duomo di Firenze

Possibly the most iconic landmark in Florence, the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is a must-see in Florence. The Duomo di Firenze, located in the Tuscan city of Florence, is one of the best places to visit for its stunning structure and incredible history.

Built between 1296 and 1436, the cathedral was designed with intricate features that can be seen from miles away. Upon entering this beautiful landmark, visitors are in awe at its spectacular dome and Renaissance architecture. The exterior’s white marble facade enables it to stand out among the other buildings in Florence.

Inside the cathedral, there is a large area filled with chapels which were created by some of the world’s most renowned artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. There is also a large bronze statue known as “The Triumph of Religion” which sits atop the main altar below 5 stained-glass windows depicting scenes from Jesus Christ's life.

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2. Giotto’s Campanile

Giotto’s Campanile in Italy

Many people believe that Giotto’s Campanile is one of the most beautiful bell towers in Italy. If I ever had the chance to visit one place in all the world, I would choose Giotto's Campanile in Florence, Italy. This incomparable structure was designed and constructed by Italian painter and architect Giotto di Bondone between 1334 and 1337.

Standing at just over 84 meters tall with 414 stairs inside winding up its interior walls, it is an impressive sight to behold. It is said that visitors can get a sweeping view of Florence from the top of the campanile!

The facade of this incredible structure contains four levels with intricate carvings decorating each one. The first level features ornate columns, while the second has rows of trefoils along with Giotto’s famous sculpture depicting two angels carrying a Madonna and child figure. So this is definitely an attraction you want to visit.

3. Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

Whilst the Duomo may be the most iconic building in Florence, Palazzo Vecchio is certainly the most impressive. Built in 1299, this grand palace has been the home of many powerful Florentine families over the years, and today it serves as a stunning museum. During your stay in Florence, you will have the opportunity to visit the Palazzo Vecchio, a imposing palace and official residence of the Republic of Florence.

Located in Piazza della Signoria, it was built over 800 years ago and stands as one of the true landmarks of Florence even today. The building has been renovated multiple times throughout its long history and still keeps its magnificence.

The interior is decorated with Renaissance-era frescoes, created by some of Italy’s most renowned artists from that period. It also contains a large collection of artworks from different eras as well as sculptures including Michelangelo’s David replica. Among other attractions are rooms such as Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of Five Hundred) and Sala dei Gigli (Lilies Hall).

4. Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio bridge

Ponte Vecchio in Florence is one of the most iconic and interesting places to see in Florence. The bridge itself was constructed back in 1345 and was the only bridge connecting Oltrano and San Nicolo. Its impressive architecture is a combination of gothic, Romanesque, and renaissance styles throughout its construction. What makes it even more remarkable is that it has been standing for centuries despite several floods ravaging through the city of Florence over time.

Today, Ponte Vecchio houses bustling shops where tourists can find souvenirs and traditional Italian jewelry as well as other products made by local artisans like leather goods, handmade crafts, and artwork. It's also known for having some incredible restaurants with gorgeous views accompanied by delicious food from many different cultures all across Italy – from Tuscan cuisine to Roman pastas!

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5. Basilica of Santa Croce

Basilica of Santa Croce

Whilst the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore may be the most impressive structure in Florence, the Basilica of Santa Croce is certainly the most atmospheric. The Basilica of Santa Croce is one of the oldest buildings in Florence. This Franciscan church was built in 1294 and has been a prominent symbol of Italian culture for centuries.

The church is renowned for its intriguing architecture, which combines elements from both Gothic and Baroque styles. The structure is composed of three naves with a total capacity of over 2000 people, making it one of the largest churches in Florence. It also contains 16 chapels adorned with frescoes that depict scenes from the life of Jesus Christ as well as stories from other religious figures.

Santa Croce’s interior boasts many works by revered artists such as Giotto, Donatello and Michelangelo, including his famous “Pietà” sculpture which was left unfinished at the time of his death.

6. Baptistery of St. John

Baptistery of St. John

Completing the trio of iconic buildings around Florence Cathedral is the Baptistery of St. John. When you visit the Italian city of Florence, one Florence must-see is the 14th century Baptistery of St. John. Located next to Florence Cathedral, this is a magnificent example of Italian architecture from the Middle Ages.

The exterior is decorated with 28 statues from different periods and styles, depicting biblical figures and stories. Inside are impressive marble inlays that depict scenes from the Old Testament on each side of the church. Not only does it contain an octagonal baptismal font made in 1209 but also a renowned sculpture by Lorenzo Ghiberti which was completed in 1424: "Gates Of Paradise".

Together with its adjacent bell tower, this building forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site listed as "The Historical Centre Of Florence". It's definitely one of the best places to see if you're looking for awe-inspiring sights while exploring one of Italy’s most beautiful cities!

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7. Uffizi Palace and Gallery

Uffizi Palace

One of the best things to do while visiting Florence is to tour Uffizi Palace. Located just off the Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery is one of the premier art galleries in Europe. Built in 1560, this massive palace was once home to the powerful Medici family and now serves as one of the world’s most famous art museums.

Travelers can marvel at Renaissance masterpieces created by such renowned artists as da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Raphael among many others. Not only does Uffizi offer an array of captivating works from old masters but it also features a variety of more modern pieces from contemporary artists.

Uffizi also provides a glimpse into its historical past with its carefully decorated interior that features frescoed ceilings and beautifully painted walls depicting scenes from Greek mythology and ancient times.

Contact:

Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

Phone: +39 055 294883

8. Basilica di San Lorenzo

Basilica di San Lorenzo

When you make a trip to Florence, one of the places to go is the Basilica di San Lorenzo. It is one of the oldest churches in Florence in close proximity to the Uffizi Palace, and it is one of those places known for its beauty and architecture. Inside the church, there are many works of art, including sculptures by Donatello and paintings by Ghirlandaio.

The church also houses Michelangelo's Medici Chapel, which contains some of his most famous sculptures such as 'Night' and 'Day'. The basilica has been around since 393 AD and was originally built with stone from Rome. In 1419, it was enlarged by Filippo Brunelleschi who added numerous architectural features that still exist today. Visitors can explore this ancient structure at their own leisure while admiring its stunning Renaissance Florence style architecture.

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9. Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria

Secondly only to the Piazza del Duomo, the Piazza della Signoria is one of Florence’s most iconic squares. Piazza della Signoria is an incredibly important public space in the city. Located in the center of Florence, it has served as a meeting point for Florentines since Medieval times.

The rectangular piazza is surrounded by some of the most iconic buildings and sculptures that the city has to offer. On one side sits Palazzo Vecchio, which was once home to the Medici family and now to the mayor of Florence. Alongside Palazzo Vecchio stands a sculpture gallery with such famous masterpieces as Michelangelo's "David" and Cellini's "Perseus".

At both ends of Piazza della Signoria stand two large Doric columns topped with statues of Lions – symbols of Florence’s strength and bravery. During summertime, visitors can enjoy relaxing or dining at numerous restaurants located around the piazza.

10. Galleria dell’ Accademia

Galleria dell’ Accademia

Located in close proximity to the Ponte Vecchio, is the world-famous Galleria dell’Accademia. Galleria dell Accademia is an iconic art museum located in the heart of Italy. It was established in 1784 and houses one of the most impressive collections of Renaissance sculptures, paintings, and drawing anywhere. The gallery is home to some of the greatest works created by Raphael, Michelangelo, and other influential artists from that era.

The highlight of this remarkable collection is undoubtedly Michelangelo's statue, David. This iconic work stands over 17 feet tall and has been described as one of the most perfect statues ever created by humankind. Another standout piece featured in this incredible museum is Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Battle Of Anghiari', which is considered to be a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance painting.

Contact:

Address: Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy

Phone: +39 055 098 7100

11. Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Pitti

Located on the Southern bank of the Arno river, is Palazzo Pitti. Palazzo Pitti is a marvelous palace that has been around since the 15th century. It was originally constructed as a grand home for banker Luca Pitti, and it has housed many influential figures over the years. It stands out among its peers in the city for its architecture and history, making it well worth a visit when you’re in the area.

The Palazzo Pitti contains several museums within its walls along with many Botanical Gardens and other must-sees in Florence like Boboli Gardens and the Porcelain Museum. Each museum offers something unique to explore; from classic paintings of Renaissance masters to modern installations of art from all over Europe, there's something for everyone here. Moreover, guests can take a walking tour through the collection’s vast historical archives stretching back centuries.

12. Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens

Connected to Palazzo Pitti is the Boboli Gardens - a magnificent park that was opened in 1550. Boboli Gardens was designed for use by the Medici family during the Renaissance era. It contains a wide variety of pieces from different eras along with a series of statues and sculptures that are positioned along its long pathways. The gardens span nearly 45 acres and have served as an important site for recreation and entertainment since 1550 when it was first constructed.

The gardens feature numerous fountains, ponds, and grottoes that add to its charm. City trippers can explore a vast network of outdoor paths while admiring the unique features such as several Egyptian obelisks, ancient Roman sculptures, and famous works like Michelangelo’s “Genius of Victory” statue located at the centre fountain.

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13. Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most iconic locations of Florence with the best views. Situated atop a hill overlooking the city, this public square is renowned for its stunning panoramic views and artwork. At the center of Piazzale Michelangelo stands a replica of David by Michelangelo - one of Florence's most famous pieces. Tourists from all over the world come to visit and take pictures with this iconic figure during their trip to Italy.

The terrace surrounding the piazza features an amazing view from the top that stretch out across Florence's rolling hills and lush countryside. Visitors can admire the grand Duomo Cathedral in the distance, surrounded by an array of historical buildings and monuments such as San Miniato Church, Giotto's Campanile Tower, and Palazzo Vecchio Palace. On a clear day you can even see up to Fiesole Hill in Tuscany.

14. Church of Santa Maria Novella

Church of Santa Maria Novella

Located in front of the main railway station, one of the oldest in Florence is the Church of Santa Maria Novella. This unique Romanesque and Gothic style church has been around since 1279 but wasn't officially established until 1360. It stands tall against the Tuscan skyline and has been a popular tourist attraction for hundreds of years. The exterior of the building features a stone façade that dates back to 1470 with vibrant frescos by Andrea di Bonaiuto (1343-1377).

Inside the church di Santa Maria you’ll find more awe-inspiring artwork from masters like Paolo Uccello, Filippino Lippi and Domenico Ghirlandaio. One particularly special piece is “The Trinity” by Masaccio that sits behind the main altar and depicts Jesus surrounded by his father, mother and several saints.

15. San Miniato al Monte

San Miniato al Monte on hill in Florence

Located high up on a hill on the South Bank of the Arno river, San Miniato al Monte is a beautiful basilica located in Florence, Italy. It has a long and interesting history, having been built in the 11th century. The grounds are home to some of the most stunning monuments in Florence, including an ornate marble pulpit and marble pavement dating back to 1207. Also visible from the basilica is an exquisite view of the city and its surrounding areas.

The exterior of San Miniato al Monte is covered with white, green and pinkish marble, while its interior features stunning frescoes and mosaics depicting scenes from the life of Jesus. Its facade boasts intricate Romanesque details such as arcades which were added in a later restoration project during the 14th century.

Visitors can also explore tombs belonging to members of prominent Florentine families who have made their mark on the city over time. Its exterior is a combination of Romanesque and Gothic styles - making it one of the most attractive places to visit during your Florence visit.

16. Piazza del Duomo

Piazza del Duomo in Firenze

Located in the centre of Florence, the Piazza del Duomo is one of the city’s most iconic squares. The Piazza del Duomo is home to Giotto's bell tower, Brunelleschi's dome, and many other breathtaking structures that attract city trippers from all over. With a history stretching back to 1296 when Arnolfo di Cambio designed it, it has been witness to centuries of events that helped shape Florence into what it is today.

The dome of Florence has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants or just want to people watch in front of Santa Maria Del Fiore, there's always something interesting happening here. The square itself is adorned with statues, fountains and monuments that make perfect photo opportunities if you're visiting on vacation to see Florence and make a visit to the Duomo.

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17. Corridoio Vasariano

Corridoio Vasariano

The Corridoio Vasariano is a magnificent and unique work of art lacated in central Florence. It was built by Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century to connect the Pitti Palace with the Uffizi Gallery. This incredible passageway features works of art throughout its length, including frescoes and paintings that tell stories about the Medici family who commissioned it.

A great example is “The Triumph of Cosimo I” which celebrates Cosimo I's victory over Siena in 1555. The corridor also includes several sculptures and other decorations that have been added through its long history. This masterpiece stretches over 500 meters in length with many windows that offer stunning views of the Arno River, Ponte Vecchio and beyond.

18. Forte di Belvedere

Forte di Belvedere

Forte di Belvedere is an impressive 16th century fortress located in the hills of Florence. It was designed as a defensive structure to protect Grand Duke Ferdinando I and his court during times of war. The fort has the best views in Florence over the surrounding countryside, making it one of the most visited attractions in the city.

The architecture of Forte di Belvedere is a combination of both Mannerist and Baroque styles, adding to its charm and grandeur. Its walls are made from blocks of sandstone that are heavily decorated with geometric designs and decorative elements like garlands and plaques. Inside the fortress, visitors can explore several large courtyards, galleries, staircases ,and terraces that lead up to breathtaking views from its ramparts.

Contact:

Address: Via di S. Leonardo, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

Phone: +39 055 055

19. Statue of David

Statue of David in Florence

Possibly the most famous of all the attractions Florence is known for, is Michelangelo’s iconic Statue of David. The Statue of David by Michelangelo is one of the most iconic sculptures in Florence, Italy. Located in the Galleria dell’Accademia museum, it was created between 1501 and 1504 as a symbol of strength and power for the people of Florence. The standing marble sculpture stands at 17 feet tall, depicting the biblical figure King David triumphant after his victory over Goliath.

The statue is renowned for its exquisite detail in both its body and facial features; Michelangelo's classic style and expert craftsmanship are evident in every aspect of the piece. His utilization of Renaissance techniques such as contrapposto—the slight shift in weight between legs to create an asymmetrical figure—creates a realistic movement throughout David's body that has captivated viewers since its creation five hundred years ago.

20. Bargello Museum

Bargello Museum

Another of Florence’s fine museums, the Bargello Museum houses an impressive collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture and decorative arts that are sure to leave you in awe. The magnificent Bargello museum in Florence is one of Italy’s greatest treasures.

It was once used as a guardhouse and prison, but today it is home to incredible works of art from the Renaissance period. If you are fortunate enough to visit the Bargello, you will have the chance to explore its spectacular collections of antiquities and sculptures by some of the most well-known artists, including Donatello and Michelangelo.

The museum also hosts a wide range of temporary exhibits that showcase different themes throughout the year. Whether you are interested in seeing ancient works from centuries ago or modern pieces from contemporary artists, there is something for everybody at this remarkable institution. The grandiose building itself has an exotic charm with its high ceilings and intricate wood carvings that were painstakingly crafted in Medieval times.

Take time to explore the city of Florence, and you’ll be rewarded with a journey filled with culture, art and history. With so many amazing attractions in Florence to choose from, it’s easy to understand why so many visitors make this captivating city their holiday destination. So why not book your trip today and start planning your Florence adventure! You won't regret it!

Contact:

Address: Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

Phone: +39 055 064 9440

How Many Days Does It Take To Visit Florence?

tourists in florence

That depends on you. Of course, the top sights of the city can be seen in just a few days - but if you want to get the full experience, then we recommend that you spend at least a week there.

If art and culture are what draw your attention, then no tour of Florence would be complete without seeing some of its world-renowned galleries and museums. The Uffizi Gallery holds some of the most exquisite artwork from famous Italian painters, including Botticelli and Michelangelo, while the Bargello National Museum offers an array of sculptures for you to admire.

If food is your thing, then Florence definitely has something for you too! You can sample all sorts of Italian delicacies, from pasta and pizza to gelato, or take a cooking class for an afternoon and learn how to make your own authentic Italian dishes.

And don't forget about the city's stunning architecture that lines its cobbled streets - it's no wonder Florence is often referred to as 'the Renaissance City'. From the Duomo to the Ponte Vecchio, and from Santa Croce to Palazzo Pitti - there is no end to the picturesque sights that you can take in during your visit to Florence.

I hope this list of things to do in Florence has provided you with some ideas on what to explore while visiting this charming Italian city. From its stunning architecture and iconic sights, to its delicious cuisine and vibrant culture - there is something to suit every type of person! Whether you're looking for a romantic escape or an educational journey, Florence promises a memorable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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FAQ

Q: What is Florence best known for?

A: One of Florence's most famous attractions is undoubtedly the Uffizi Gallery. Home to some of the finest masterpieces in the world, including works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael; it’s a must-visit site for any art lover. Another popular attraction is the iconic Duomo Cathedral which stands tall in all its glory at the Piazza del Duomo - an architectural masterpiece designed by Brunelleschi that took nearly 140 years to complete.

Q: How many days is best in Florence?

A: If you are a history buff or an art lover, then you'll want to spend at least 3-4 days in Florence. This will give you enough time to explore all of the major museums and galleries like the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia Gallery, and Palazzo Pitti. If food is your focus however, then 2-3 days may be enough time to explore Florence's culinary scene.

Q: Is Florence a cheap city?

A: Accommodation in Florence can be pricey, especially if you're staying in the heart of the historic center. However, there are plenty of affordable options available just outside of this area. Likewise, dining out at fancy restaurants can quickly add up, but it's easy to find delicious local dishes like fresh pasta or pizza at more reasonable prices if you venture off the beaten path.

Q: Which month is best in Florence?

A: If you’re wondering which month is best in Florence, then the answer lies in Spring and Fall. March to May (Spring) brings cooler temperatures with colorful blooms decorating the streets and parks. It’s a great time to explore outdoor attractions such as the Boboli Gardens or climb up Piazzale Michelangelo for panoramic views of the city. On the other hand, September through November (Fall) also boasts mild weather conditions with fewer crowds that make sightseeing more enjoyable.

Q: Is Florence a walkable city?

A: The answer to this question is an unequivocal yes. Florence is a walkable city that has plenty to offer those who love exploring new places on foot.

The historic center of Florence, which houses many of the city's must-visit sights such as the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and Duomo di Firenze (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore), is compact and easy to navigate. Most of the streets in this area are pedestrianized, making it pleasant for tourists to stroll around without having to worry about traffic.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO FLORENCE

Book Your Hotel In Florence

You can book your hotel in Florence with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like guesthouses, hostels and apartments.

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Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Florence. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airline companies around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Florence?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Florence here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Florence?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Florence, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Florence.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Florence without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you go to Florence. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

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