It’s impossible to separate Florence, widely recognized as the birthplace of the Renaissance, from its magnificent art. But, there is so much more to this magical city. Come to Florence to experience its gorgeous views, Romanesque and Gothic architecture, breathtaking sunsets, nearby day trips, amazing Italian cooking, and so much more.
The guidebooks say to make the most of your time in the city, you should let a local show you around. Our bed and breakfast host was kind enough to give us all the tips we needed to experience Florence like a local.
BTW, we stayed at 🏨📍Bed & Breakfast il Bargello. Highly recommended!
*View from our Bed & Breakfast
Florence Airport – You can take T2 tram from the airport to the center of Florence for around 2 euros. The tram stops by the Santa Maria Novella train station. You can opt for the slightly more expensive bus or the even pricier taxi option, which is around 6 euros and 22 euros respectively.
Santa Maria Novella – This is the main train station in Florence and your stop if you are traveling from one of the other main cities of Italy. Located near the center of Florence, it is a 10- or 15-minute walk to the Duomo.
Taxi – Taxis are your friend in Florence if you don’t want to walk. Driving your own vehicle is not recommended as the city has traffic exclusion zones. If you drive into the zone…even by accident you will be fined…every time. This will be an expensive surprise, especially if you have a rental car when you add the additional fees for getting fined from the rental car company.
Walking – Most of the tourist locations are within walking distance of Florence city center.
-Best Things To Do:
Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) - Probably the city's most recognizable attraction. Occupying the Piazza del Duomo in the heart of the city.
Piazzale Michelangelo - Overlooking the city it's quite an uphill walk to get there, but the panoramic views of Florence from there are worth the workout. Bring a bottle of wine and some snacks or order an Aperol Spritz at the bar on the corner and enjoy the view.
Ponte Vecchio - The oldest bridge in the city at over 700 years old. A unique feature of the bridge is the elevated, enclosed corridor, which allowed the Medici family to cross the bridge in safety during the period they controlled the city. If you have money then you should check out the goldsmith shops that have operated on the bridge for centuries.
Mercato Centrale - There’s no better way to feel like a local in Italy than with a trip to the local market. The historical indoor food market has been here since the mid-1800s.
Uffizi Gallery - Just a few blocks from Ponte Vecchio. Create a list of what you want to see beforehand so that you don't miss anything or aren't overwhelmed by the number of artworks and masterpieces displayed here.
Galleria dell’Accademia - One simple reason: Michelangelo’s David in all his authentic glory.
Florence boat tour on a Florentine gondola - Glide under the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge and across the Arno River on a Florence river cruise. I haven't done this myself, but it's on my list for the next time.
Palazzo Pitti – The former residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and briefly the main royal palace of the Kingdom of Italy, the Palazzo Pitti is the largest museum in the city. The vast collection includes everything from artwork to theatrical costumes and even carriages used by the former Grand Dukes.
Giardino di Boboli – The Boboli Gardens is one of the best examples of Italian Gardens in Italy. Located behind the Pitti Palace it is definitely worth checking out!
Coquinarios - For a traditional Florentine sandwich called a Lampredotto check out Coquinarios. Since it is made with tripe it may not be for everyone, but…If you’re feeling adventurous…then it is worth trying!
I' Girone De' Ghiotti - offers large and delicious sandwiches for an affordable option close to the Uffizi once you have worked up an appetite looking at the world class art collection.
Ristorante La Spada - is a wonderful dinner option for those looking for a classic Tuscan dining experience.
Rose's - offers a diverse menu that can include dishes based on medieval Italian recipes as well as more modern cross-cultural options.
Perché no!... - offers exceptional gelato that you will find yourself returning to again and again….some people have been known to go 3 times in the same day.