Are you going to Florence? Then you probably want to know what to do and what attractions are a must-visit.
It is a great city, which also used to be a financial trading center in the Middle Ages. Much is preserved and you can see different epochs throughout history as you walk around the streets and alleys of Florence.
We were there in the end of April and here I have gathered a big list of my favorite things to do in Florence.
Il Duomo – Santa Maria del Fiore
One of the world’s most beautiful church buildings undoubtedly. The details are absolutely amazing and the architecture is magnificent. And, it’s not just the outside that’s amazing, but also the inside with all the beautiful paintings and details.
It is, therefore, no surprise that the Duomo is one of Florence’s most popular attractions.
I mean, just look at these details. How many churches like this have you seen before?
From here you get one of Florence’s best views with views of the canal and the Duomo. You can see the whole city from Piazzale Michelangelo, which is a nice square with constant life and movement. Next to it, you will also find lush parks.
The walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo is also nice and well worth the “effort” when you get up to the square.
Stroll around Piazza della Signoria
One of the many squares around Florence. It is here that Palazzo Vecchio is located along with several of the city’s most famous statues lined up. It is generally always a place with a lot of life and movement. One of the most famous statues here is the one who depicts Perseus holding Medusa’s head in his hand.
In the square, you can also admire the fountain of Neptune, which is another famous tourist attraction in Florence.
An old bridge whose history goes far back in time. Nowadays, Ponte Vecchio is famous for its many gold stores and art dealers. In the evening it’s common with street musicians and performers who are showing off their talent.
Il Mercato Centrale
Do you like food? Then do not miss Il Mercato Centrale, which is the central marketplace in Florence. Here you will find lots of Italian delicacies, but also international food. The atmosphere is alive and there are always a lot of people eating and socializing here, both tourists and locals.
Prices are okay and although you can find cheaper dining places, it’s always nice to stroll around here and maybe taste something new or buy some traditional sandwiches or pastries.
Like any other major city in Italy, there are plenty of shopping with everything from local designers to exclusive designer brands. Florence is also a major producer of leather, although I personally advocate faux leather clothes.
The same applies to many of the famous fashion houses, which are behind animal cruelty and animal testing. Please think about this before shopping for luxury brands. But by all means, enjoy all the shopping in Florence and gladly check out some local designers!
One of the world’s largest art museums. Visiting the Uffizi and seeing the painting Venus’s birth is almost one of the must things to do in Florence, whether you are interested in art or not.
Other things to do in Florence
Check out the nightlife
Florence is a popular city to study in and as usual with cities housing many students, there is a hot nightlife to explore. There are lots of clubs that open up in the evening and several of them are also open during weekdays.
If you want to meet others who like to party as well as experiencing the hottest bars, you can always join the Florence pub crawl. And if you like things a bit quieter, there are plenty of lounge bars and restaurants serving good drinks.
Go to Pisa
Another popular city to visit near Florence is Pisa, which has become world-renowned for the leaning tower of Pisa. If you have time left, it might be worth taking the train to Pisa, which is just an hour away. Tickets are easily purchased before departure at Florence Central Station.
Day trip to Val d’Orcia
If you have a couple of days in Florence, I would highly recommend going out to the lush landscapes and vineyards of Tuscany and especially the Val d’Orcia area, which is amazing, especially when the sun is up and lights up the layering hills.
Santa Maria Novella
A basilica designed by two Dominican monks already back in the 13th century, but it wasn’t until 1360 as it was finished. Today, Santa Maria Novella is home to several famous works of art, of which the most famous may be the Holy Trinity by Masaccio.
If you like art, do not miss Palazzo Pitti, which is often not as full of tourists as other famous sights in Florence. There are several artworks of Botticello mixed with beautiful fresco paintings and ornaments.
Close to Palazzo Pitti is this Italian Renaissance Garden, and if you appreciate beautiful gardens, do not miss Giardino Bardino, which also offers panoramic views of the city.
Eat a Panini
If there is any place to eat panini, it’s in Florence, which has had a strong tradition since the 70’s. Two iconic panini places in Florence are All’antico Vinaio and Due Fratellini. But be prepared to queue, these two places are really popular!
Fortunately, there are lots of other places that serve good paninis. Another place I would highly recommend is SandwiChic, with a stylish and authentic decor, and above all amazing sandwiches for around 5 euros.
The address of SandwiChic is Via S. Gallo, 3 and the sandwiches here are perfect for lunch.
Museum and Art Collections in Florence
Many tourists who travel to Florence come here for museum and art. Going to an Art Museum is one of the most popular things to do in Florence as a tourist and here below I have gathered some of the most visited museums.
- Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
- Museo Nazionale del Bargello
- Museo Galileo
- Palazzo Medici Riccardi
- Uffizi gallery
- Palazzo Vecchio
- Galleria dell’Accademia
- Museo Archeologico Nazionale
Flight tickets to Florence
Find a hotel in Florence
Below you can see an overlooking map of Florence. While the city is quite big, most things of interests for tourists are within walking distance from the city center.
Do you have more tips on tourist attractions in Florence? Or things to do in Florence as a tourist? Feel free to share!