The striking green-and-white marble facade of the 13th to 15th-century Basilica di Santa Maria Novella flaunts a monastic complex that includes romantic church cloisters and a chapel. The basilica is a treasure trove of masterpieces, culminating in Domenico Ghirlandaio's frescoes. The lower segment of the basilica's patterned marbled facade transitions from Romanesque to Gothic.
The Chiesa di San Marco and an adjoining 15th-century Dominican monastery, where both the talented painter Fra' Angelico and the sharp-tongued Savonarola righteously served God, are located in the heart of Florence's university area. Today, the monastery, also known as one of Florence's most deeply spiritual museums, exhibits Fra' Angelico's work.
When: May to August
What to Expect
When: March, April, September, and October
What to Expect
When: November to February
What to expect
Budget Travel: €51
Regular Travel: €120
Luxury Travel: €288
The enchanting piazzas, magnificent chapels, and fortified castles of Florence are well worth seeing during your visit. Florence's historical center is home to outstanding Renaissance art and architecture. The good news is that most of them are completely free to attend.
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Because Italy is an associate of the Eurozone, visitors are required to obtain a Schengen visa. If you are visiting other Eurozone countries, you can visit Italy as well with a single Schengen visa. Residents of the United States may enter Italy without a visa for a period of up to 90 days. You will also require:
If you intend to travel worldwide, you should buy appropriate travel insurance before leaving. If you already have travel insurance, check to see if it covers coronavirus-related events like hospital attention and travel disruptions, as well as any planned activities like adventure sports. If you're searching for a new policy, look into how it handles these concerns.
Internet usage is quite convenient in Florence. Even if you don’t have a compatible device, you will find public wifi to connect to for an hour. You can also use the internet at public libraries in Florence.
The top internet service providers in Florence are:
Incoming: When dialing to Italy, enter your country's international dialing code. Dial 39, then the remainder of the number, beginning with a 0.
Outgoing: When dialing from Italy, dial 00, the international access code for Italy. If you're dialing from a mobile phone, you can usually just dial +. Dial your country's code, then the phone number.
Drink lots of water, juice, and other fluids to stay hydrated. Another thing you can do is stay as far away from the sun as possible. In Florence, the sun can be quite strong, and it is easy to get sunburned. If you must be outdoors in the sun, wear sunscreen. Here are a few suggestions for maintaining health while in Florence:
Currency: Euro | EUR | €
Credit cards are widely used for payment in Florence. There are numerous ATMs throughout the city where you can withdraw cash. Keep an eye out for ATMs that seem to have been tinkered with. To avoid being charged an exorbitant fee, make sure to ask about additional fees and currency values before changing money. In Florence, the following online payment methods are accepted:
Florence is generally safe for tourists, however, here are some safety precautions to take on your trip to Florence:
Florence has a few tourism rules that need to be followed when you are in the city. These rules are meant to bring more decorum among the visitors. Here are some laws you need to know:
Previously a run-down neighborhood, the San Lorenzo area around Florence's train station has undergone significant renovations in recent years. Via de' Ginori is home to many of the neighborhood's newest hipster hangouts, which are always packed from morning until night. San Lorenzo is a fantastic area for food and drink.
Things to do:
The Le Cure area in Florence is a great place to stay if you're looking for a more residential area that's still close to the city center. The streets are quiet and there are plenty of small cafes and restaurants in the area. It's also a 30-minute walk to the Duomo and other major attractions.
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The southern part of Florence is well-known for its bohemian atmosphere and artisan workshops. Santo Spirito is an especially popular neighborhood in the area, with a leafy piazza lined with eateries ideal for an alfresco lunch or a sunset Aperitivo. Visit the Basilico di Santo Spirito, the neighborhood's namesake church, whose simple facade is a visual trick.
Things to do:
San Niccolo, a small and charming neighborhood in the city's Oltrarno district (south of the Arno), is buzzing with new businesses, particularly along Via San Niccol. As a result, it is an excellent shopping neighborhood. There are plenty of things to see and do in San Niccolo, including visiting the Stefano Bardini Museum and enjoying the local cuisine.
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Until recent gentrification, San Frediano was the poorer cousin to the more affluent neighborhoods nearby. Borgo San Frediano is now lined with food establishments worth a visit, with craft cocktails and Tuscan gastronomy satisfying Florentine foodies.
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The Via Bolognese is on the fringes of Florence. The ideal location for those seeking to avoid the chaos of the city center. The Via Bolognese neighborhood's suburban vibe suggests that there won't be many if any, tourists in the area.
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The Santa Croce neighborhood, situated east of the city center, is bordered by the Arno river. When it comes to shopping and relaxing, the area provides its residents with a plethora of options. With so many bars and restaurants in the area, you should expect the streets to become quite lively at night.
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This is the city's civic heart and, possibly, the best starting point for museum-goers. It's a well-kept tourist area, but it still has the slender medieval pavements where Dante grew up. A few buildings north of the Ponte Vecchio have decent shopping options as well.
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A cool fleet of buses and battery-powered minibusses circulates the city. Buses are extremely useful for avoiding the uphill tramp to the scale model David statue on Piazzale Michelangelo, or for trying to escape the scorching city heat in the summer with an out-of-town excursion to the leafy hilltop village of Fiesole. Since November 2021, local bus company Autolinee Toscane has operated Florence's unique vintage orange city buses as well as relatively new white-and-purple and blue buses. A single journey ticket is the cheapest way to purchase it, either digitally via the Tablet app or in person at the Santa Maria Novella bus terminal ticket office on Via Santa Caterina da Siena. Florence does not have a full-service night bus system, but rather what is known as "Nottetempo" - a service that runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and travels through various city neighborhoods.
Fare: €1.50 For a Single Ticket
Florence is one of the world's most walkable cities. Whether you're moving between fountain-clad piazzas, discovering bijou chapels hidden away on softly lit back alleys, or slipping across artisan training courses in the Oltrarno and San Frediano, getting around on foot is the key to discovering the city's greatest treasures. It's also the best way to understand the distinct best features of each Florence suburb. The things you come across on the back roads, as well as the big sights, stick with you.
Locals enjoy zipping around town on two wheels, but there are no specialized bike lanes or bike parking in the historic area, and motorists pay little attention to cyclists, so you're in for a bumpy ride. Bike-sharing services like Ridemovi have been around for a while, but shared e-bikes and e-scooters are a new trend. Away from the center, bike lanes appear, particularly along the Arno River and towards the gem-like villages beloved by Florentines desiring a peaceful green getaway in the hills.
Fare: Around €12.00 for 5 hours
Florence currently has two tram lines in action, with two more under development. Line T1 runs north to south, and line T2 connects Florence Airport to Piazza Della Unità next to Santa Maria Novella railway station. Trams run from 4:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. (1:40 a.m. or 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday) using the same tickets as buses. Conveniently, every tram halt has a ticket machine that accepts coins and credit cards.
Fare: €1.50 For a Single journey
This list, of course, begins with Florence's most renowned dish, Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, or Florentine steak. It's a large t-bone cut that can weigh up to 4kg, is fire-grilled, pink on the inside, is seasoned with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon, and is customarily baked over roasted chestnuts for a smoky flavor. Remember not to request that the chef prepare the steak to your liking.
This is one of Florence's common-folk dishes from the medieval period. Florentines appear to be divided on this street food dish; some love it, while others despise it. It is a sandwich made of thinly sliced tripe that has been boiled in broth, seasoned, and served on a plate or in a sandwich. You can get it with either a spicy red sauce or a herby green sauce.
Pappardelle is a long, wide, flat pasta that is typically served with a hearty sauce, such as ragu. Cinghiale is traditionally made with wild boar (which is now generally free-range from a farm), but the dish can also be made with a wild hare, goose, or rabbit. Wild boar is surprisingly tasty meat with a rich flavor and mouthfeel that makes a luxurious ragu.
Because it contains two delectable local ingredients, truffle, and porcini mushrooms, this dish can be found almost anywhere in Florence. Tagliatelle simply means "cuts," because the pasta is thinner, longer, and flatter than fettucine and comes in a variety of sizes. The combination of these two mushrooms results in a deliciously flavorful yet simple dish.
This is basically an appetizer of many sorts of bruschetta — little pieces of Tuscan bread covered with various sauces, purees, or vegetable salsas. A chicken liver paté on top of a crunchy Tuscan bread is one of the most traditional antipasto Toscano and you should definitely try it. Order the tagliere (a Tuscan meat and cheese board) to try a little bit of everything.
Florence has some of Italy's best gelato. Avoid sellers who have bright mountain ranges of artificially colored gelato and extravagant garnishes. Small batch production is the way to go. Another gelato connoisseur's tip: if the pistachio flavor is any brighter than a dull greenish-brown, keep walking – it's not good quality, handmade gelato.
Although the name suggests salty bread, it actually refers to a sweet Florentine cake. This soft, spongy yellow sweet is rectangular in shape, made in one flat layer, coated in icing sugar, and easily recognized by the large fleur-de-lys stenciled in cocoa powder on top. This cake is normally consumed around the time of Carnivale and can be found in almost every bakery in the city.
When it comes to famous treats in Florence, Cantucci is known all over the globe as biscotti, but in Italian, that is the generic word for cookies. These small almond cookies are widely available and have modern variations such as hazelnuts or pistachios in place of almonds. The iconic recipe is served with a thick amber dessert wine titled vin santo as a dessert.
Zuccotto is a well-known Italian dessert that is thought to have originated in Florence. The frame of the cake is made by lining up lightened ladyfingers or a sponge cake around the mold, while the center is filled with a delicious, creamy filling. Finally, the cake is turned upside down. Its unconventional appearance is thought to be inspired by the Florence Duomo.
Torta Mantovana is a Prato-based orthodox Italian cake. It contains eggs, egg yolks, butter, sugar, lemon rind, flour, almonds, and pine nuts. To make a base, the eggs are combined with sugar, flour, and butter. The bottom is then adorned with almond and pine nut pieces. Torta Mantovana is typically embellished with icing sugar after it has been baked.
The Rennaisance hub has tens of thousands of lodging options, which can be overwhelming. When it comes to choosing a place to stay, the most important factor is usually the budget. This guide will give you all of the information you need about the options available for different budgets. This list contains everything from five-star hotels and upmarket experiences to low-cost backpacker hostels.
Staying in Florence can be costly, but if you know where to look, you can find some excellent budget hotels. In Florence, there are innumerable low-cost hotels that will provide you with a pleasant stay without spending a fortune. Some of the best low-cost hotels are as follows:
There are plenty of mid-range options in Florence if you want more customary hospitality, regardless of your budget. The two banks, as well as the Palazzo Vecchio's surroundings, are among the most desirable neighborhoods for hotels. The following are some of the best mid-priced hotels:
In Florence, there are several options for a more extravagant hotel experience. Some highly-rated deluxe hotels are regarded to be quite affordable when compared to other premium hotels around the world. Here are a few examples of Florence's most expensive hotels:
Hostels in Florence might be a wonderful alternative for budget-conscious travelers. Not only are they less costly than conventional hotels, but they also provide a more genuine Florence experience. While staying in a hostel, you will be able to meet new people and make new friends, and you will most likely get to know the nearby roads quite well.
If you want an eloquent and one-of-a-kind hospitality experience in Florence, a boutique hotel may be the best alternative for you. Smaller hotels offer a more personal and unique service, with many incorporating distinctive design elements and/or themed rooms.
Milan is the first city that comes to mind when we think of shopping in Italy because it is known as the fashion capital of the world. However, in reality, the city of Florence is home to some of the most mind-boggling memorabilia and clothing options. The shopping experience in Florence provides a true glimpse of Italy's high-end quality and stunning designs. Not only that, unlike its sister cities in the country, it also has open-air markets that are suitable for all budgets. So, if you're planning a trip to Italy, make a stop in Florence to purchase the city's most prized charms.
San Lorenzo is a bargain hunter's paradise and one of the best places to shop for cheap in Florence. You can get everything from fine leather apparel to Tuscan trays for less than €100 and €10, respectively. Aside from upgrading your wardrobe, you can also buy souvenirs for your loved ones for as little as one euro.
Location: San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy
What to Buy: Bargain souvenirs
Simply put, this is Florence's most famed shopping street. This street is home to all of the top-tier boutiques and designer stores, including Salvatore Ferragamo and others. Some of the stores that will draw your eye and pinch your savings are Gucci, Versace, and Tiffany & Co. This is one place where even window shopping is pleasurable.
Location: Via de’ Tornabuoni, Florence, Italy
What to Buy: Luxury items
Angela Caputi's accessories store, inspired by the high fashion days of Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s, is a must-see while shopping in Florence. The collection's elegant yet chunky pieces made of locally generated resin, plastic, and crystal make it a timeless masterpiece that you'd love to own for yourself or a loved one.
What to Buy: Retro and high fashion accessories
If good perfumes are one of your favorite things, Aqua Flor is one of the best places to shop in Florence on your trip. As the sole outlet of master perfumer Sileno Cheloni, this shop sells some of the finest scented candles, body care products, and other items made from fragrances created in the back of the store.
What to Buy: Boutique fragrances
The Mercato Centrale, a 19th-century glass and metal structure, is another popular shopping destination in Florence. You can shop to your heart's content on the ground floor before heading upstairs to smother your taste buds with freshly made mozzarella, pasta, pizza, and more. You can also sample Tuscan wines and listen to live music.
What to Buy: Food and local shopping
Guided tours in Florence are a fantastic method to explore all of the city's biggest tourist attractions without wandering aimlessly. You can learn about the history of each tourist attraction and discover interesting facts about them that you would not have known normally. In addition, you'll be able to avoid crowds and huge queues at the attractions. Here are some of the best Guided Tours in Florence:
Top Guided Tours in Florence
Combo Tours can be the best way of exploring the city of Florence if you are on a stringent budget. Combo Tours let you access multiple attractions on a single ticket and often at a very high discount. Florence is a city where you have a lot to see and experience, and therefore, a combo tour ticket can come especially handy when you are on your visit.
Top Combo Tours in Florence:
As you drive through the Tuscan countryside, take in the brilliance that the university town of Pisa has to offer. Drive through Pisa's Arno Valley, marveling at the gorgeous monuments in and around the Catedral area. Relish a fun assisted visit to the Piazza Dei Miracoli too. This trip will give you the chance to take some of the best pictures on this trip.
Good For: History and sightseeing
Things to do at:
Explore two of Italy's most popular cities, San Gimignano and Siena, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A deluxe minivan will transport you from Florence to San Gimignano and Siena on this semi-private tour. As you stroll through San Gimignano's narrow streets, take in the medieval atmosphere. At Siena, you will be able to learn about the local traditions from your guide.
Good For: History and Culture
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Immerse yourself in Chianti's flavors. Visit a delightful medieval village encased by vineyards and sample excellent wines and local products at two wineries in the heart of Chianti Classico. Enjoy your journey in a pleasant minivan while admiring the hilly landscapes of the Tuscan countryside.
Good For: Sightseeing and Leisure
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Travel to the heart of Italy's demographically rich region of Tuscany. Get the chance to taste four outstanding wines in a fabulous winery overlooking the rolling Chianti Hills. Discover magnificent Siena locations such as the Palazzo Pubblico, the Cathedral of Siena, and Monteriggioni. Enjoy this trip in a comfortable vehicle and absorb all the information you can from your multilingual guide.
Good For: Leisure and Sightseeing
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On this delightful day tour from Florence, plunge into Italy's best-kept mysteries and examine the quaint side villages of the Ligurian coast on land. With round-trip transfers on comfy, air-conditioned coaches included, you won't have to think twice about transportation. Travel by train to famous coastal towns, with each ride offering scenic coastal views.
Good For: Leisure and Sightseeing
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Florence is one of Europe's most evocative cities for both young and old. For children, simply strolling the cobblestone streets of the compact historical center is a sensory adventure as they savor creamy gelato, listen to street musicians, and gaze out the Ponte Vecchio. However, parents will want to visit some of the world's most famous museums and galleries, some of which are more kid-friendly than others. When traveling with children, it's a good idea to alternate museum and gallery visits with fun outdoor activities. Here are the best things to do in Florence with kids.
Florence is a popular destination for international visitors to Italy. The city is an active center of art and culture, hosting regular art shows and art festivals. Florence procured its Renaissance castles and squares during the Italian Renaissance, transforming them into living museums. Many squares, including Piazza Della Signoria, feature well-known statues, and fountains. Florence is also a city with unrivaled indoor pleasures. Its chapels, galleries, and museums are a limitless treasure, acquiring the complex, often the enigmatic spirit of the Renaissance better than any other place in the country.
Florence's prestigious gallery, the vast U-shaped Palazzo Degli Uffizi, was built as a government building and houses the world's greatest catalog of Italian Renaissance art. The Medici family bestowed the collection to the city in 1743 on the condition that it never leave Florence, and it contains some of Italy's most famous paintings, along with a room full of Botticelli classics.
A line forms outside the door to this gallery, which was built to house Michelangelo's David, one of the Renaissance's most recognizable masterpieces. However, the world's most renowned statue is well worth the wait. Michelangelo was also the mastermind behind the gallery's incomplete San Matteo and four Prigioni. You may need to visit Accademia Gallery more than once.
From the 13th century until 1502 the podestà (governing magistrate) delivered justice behind the stark walls of Palazzo del Bargello, Florence's first public building. Today, the structure houses Italy's most complete selection of Tuscan Renaissance statues, including some of Michelangelo's earliest works and several by Donatello. Look for Brutus' marble bust and the David/Apollo from 1530–32.
Florence does not lag behind any other premier European attraction when it comes to entertainment options. The heart and soul of Tuscany and a melting pot of Medieval history, world-class cuisine, and unending manmade and scenic wonders, the city should be at the top of any European traveler's bucket list. Whether you're looking for Renaissance art and architecture or want to take a day trip to Cinque Terre or wine country, the variety of things to do in Florence will leave you wanting more.
The best time to visit Florence is in the months of April, May, October, and November.
Florence can be quite hot from June to August.
Yes, you must see the lit Ponte Vecchio reflected in the Arno river after sunset in addition to the Duomo.
The best places to eat in Florence are located in the central area of the city, like Panini Toscani, I' Girone De' Ghiotti, Le Cappelle Medicee, and Trattoria Mario.
Italian, English, French, and German are spoken in Florence.
The live entertainment options in Florence include music shows, concerts, live theater, and operas.
For Florence, you should always pay close attention to the weather forecast. The summer months are very hot and require breathable clothing and sunblock. The winter season requires multiple layers. It also rains in Florence in the autumn months, so be sure to carry waterproof clothing.
Avoid ordering a cappuccino in Florence after lunch, do not visit popular tourist destinations during the high season on weekends, and don’t be careless about your belongings when traveling by public transport.
You can stay at one of the many hotels in Florence available for a wide array of budgets. The city also has boutique hotels and hostels. Visitors seeking a more tranquil experience should stay near Le Cure and Campo di Marte, while those seeking to be in the thick of the action should stay in Piazza Della Signoria.
The best way to get around Florence is through the bus and tram network.