Ah, Florence. The city, known for its stunning Renaissance art, rich history, and delicious food, is one of the top destinations in Italy for travelers. From exploring its famous monuments and landmarks to indulging in its globally recognized cuisine, these are the best things to do in Florence that will keep you busy during your time here.
If you’re a culture vulture aiming to admire stunning works of art, you’ll be amazed by what this city offers. But that’s not all; outdoors fans can hike through the rolling Tuscan hills.
Are you looking for a food-centric experience? Don’t forget to check out the Mercato Centrale, one of the best places to eat in Florence, where you can sample all kinds of local delicacies.
Or, in case you desire a taste of ancient history and architecture, head over to the iconic Duomo and Ponte Vecchio Bridge for some fantastic panoramas and photo opportunities.
Irrespective of your tastes, there are plenty of things to do in Florence that you won’t want to miss, so if you’re planning a trip to this beautiful city, including these top things to do in Florence on your itinerary.
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On this Florence Vespa Tour, you'll get to experience the best of Tuscany while riding a vintage Vespa! Your local guide will take you on a scenic ride through the hills, past the famous Piazzale Michelangelo and the Church of San Miniato al Monte. Then, you'll head back to the country estate for a traditional Italian meal. This tour is limited to 10 travelers, so you're guaranteed an intimate experience. Book now and explore Tuscany in a truly unique way!
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Show Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Florence, Italy
- 1. Piazza della Signoria
- 2. Piazza del Duomo
- 3. Uffizi Gallery
- 4. Basilica di Santa Croce
- 5. San Miniato al Monte
- 6. Palazzo Vecchio
- 7. Palazzo Pitti
- 8. Boboli Gardens
- 9. Piazzale Michelangelo
- 10. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral)
- 11. Piazza della Repubblica
- 12. Mercato Centrale
- 13. Climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome (Cupola del Brunelleschi)
- 14. Bardini Gardens (Giardino Bardini)
- 15. Giotto’s Campanile
- 16. La Giostra
- 17. Parco delle Cascine
- 18. Museo dei Ragazzi al Palazzo Vecchio
- 19. Loggia dei Lanzi
- 20. Piazza Santo Spirito
- 21. Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
- 22. Stroll through the Ponte Vecchio
- 23. Take a day trip to Fiesole for stunning city views.
- 24. Basilica di San Lorenzo & the Medici Chapels
- 25. See an alternative version of David at the Bargello National Museum.
- 26. Shop for Italian goods at San Lorenzo Market.
- 27. Take a day trip to Cinque Terre
- What is Florence, Italy, known for?
- What is the best thing to do with kids in Florence?
- What are some fun things to do in Florence?
- What are some things to do in Florence when it’s raining?
- What are the best tourist attractions in Florence?
- Most significant landmark – Michelangelo’s David
- Best park – Parco delle Cascine
- Best free activity – Mercato Centrale
- Best activity for kids – Museo dei Ragazzi al Palazzo Vecchio
- Best activity for adults – Uffizi gallery
- Best food – La Giostra
- Best nightlife – Santa Maria Novella Plaza
- Best all-around accommodation – Hotel Rosso
Things to Do in Florence, Italy
1. Piazza della Signoria
Address: P.za della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI
This W-shaped square in Florence’s city center is one of the city’s main plazas and a top tourist attraction. Highlights of Piazza della Signoria include the stunning Palazzo Vecchio, which serves as Florence’s town hall, and Michelangelo’s iconic statue of David.
At the town hall, visitors can explore this cultural institution, visit the tower for incredible views of Florence and walk around the beautifully landscaped gardens. Another popular spot in Piazza della Signoria is Loggia dei Lanzi. This beautiful open colonnade houses many vital statues and monuments from across history (but we’ll talk more about that later!).
Besides these legendary landmarks, this bustling square is also home to many cafes and restaurants where visitors can enjoy traditional Italian cuisine and soak up the energetic atmosphere of this one-of-a-kind city.
If you plan on doing a food tour in Florence (which we recommend!), Piazza della Signoria is a great place to start. It’s the perfect place for people-watching and experiencing the city’s incredible energy – while enjoying some Italian cuisine.
Signoria Plaza is rich in history and was once the seat of the Republic of Florence and home to the Medicis, who ruled the city for centuries. Today, it’s one of the top places to visit in Italy – so consider this iconic square on your list.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Milan, Italy
2. Piazza del Duomo
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI
Located centrally in Florence, Piazza del Duomo is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city. This beautiful plaza is home to iconic landmarks, including Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Campanile bell tower, and the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.
Known as “Il Duomo,” this incredible cathedral is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world. Visitors can tour its intricate interior to glimpse some of Florence’s most magnificent architecture.
Another must-see attraction at the square is the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. This landmark houses many of the original sculptures and mosaics from the cathedral. Outside, visitors can walk along the surrounding piazza and enjoy incredible views of the city’s rooftops and its other beautiful churches and monuments.
The Duomo SkyWalk is another popular spot in this plaza, where visitors can take a panoramic elevator up to the cathedral’s roof for some fantastic 360-degree views of Florence.
A walk around this beautiful plaza is indispensable when visiting this iconic Italian city. I recommend staying near the Duomo in Florence, as it’s within walking distance of most of the city’s attractions.
This modern one-bedroom apartment is located inside a prestigious XVI-century building and faces the Duomo Cathedral directly. It’s so close you can almost touch it.
See Related: Things to Do in Genoa, Italy
3. Uffizi Gallery
Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI
The Uffizi Gallery, located in Piazzale degli Uffizi, is a world-famous museum that is the perfect place for connoisseurs of the arts to spend a day exploring some of the finest works of art from the Renaissance period.
This beautiful building sits on the banks of the Arno River and houses an unparalleled collection of Renaissance art and masterpieces. Within its walls, visitors can explore exhibits featuring some of the most renowned artists in history, including Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael, and Caravaggio.
The Uffizi Gallery also houses a rich collection of classical sculptures, gothic art, and medieval illuminated manuscripts – making it a highly recommended destination in Florence as it’s one of the top art museums in the world.
Not kidding: this museum is one of the most-visited attractions in Italy, drawing over two million visitors every year. If you love art and history, put the Uffizi Gallery on your Florence itinerary.
Uffizi Gallery gets pretty packed, so book your tickets in advance and plan for a bit of wait time. But trust us – the incredible art and history that await inside more than make up for it. Make sure to consider this iconic Florence museum on your list of things to do, so do not leave Florence without visiting this museum. Trust me on this.
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4. Basilica di Santa Croce
Address: Piazza di Santa Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI
Basilica di Santa Croce is one of the city’s most iconic churches and an unmissable gem for any traveler. Dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, this beautiful Gothic church is a popular spot to visit and a crucial place for Florentines to come and pay their respects.
Construction on this majestic church building started in 1294 and lasted almost 150 years before opening its doors in 1442. Since then, it has quickly become one of the most impressive sites in Florence.
This basilica is a sight to behold, featuring a beautiful gothic facade, intricate interior, and stunning rose window over its main entrance. Visitors can admire its stunning 13th-century facade and detailed interior and crypt, which feature beautiful arches, frescoes, stained glass windows, sculptures, and mosaics.
With its impressive facade, tall bell tower, and ornate interior, you can’t visit Florence without seeing the Basilica di Santa Croce. Check out its beautiful frescoes, elegant marble sculptures, and stunning altars – all genuinely incredible scenery.
See Related: Best Restaurants in Florence, Italy
5. San Miniato al Monte
Address: Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI
Travelers on a budget looking for free things to do in Florence should head to San Miniato al Monte, a beautiful church and cemetery on top of one of the city’s highest hills. Perched above the rest of Florence, this iconic church is an excellent place for locals to visit and a highly recommended destination for tourists with incredible views over the city.
Built in the 11th century, San Miniato al Monte has long been a landmark for excursionists and locals, featuring gorgeous Renaissance-era architecture, beautiful frescoes, and mosaics.
On sunny days in Florence, it’s worth packing a picnic lunch and heading up to San Miniato al Monte for some incredible views over the city – you won’t be disappointed.
This historic church is perfect for admiring its beautiful interior, enjoying the peace while taking in the sun, or simply snapping photos of its iconic architecture and gorgeous views. It’s a great way to start (or end) a day of sightseeing in Florence.
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6. Palazzo Vecchio
Address: P.za della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI
The magnificent Palazzo Vecchio is a stunning palazzo and home to the city’s old town hall. As one of Florence’s most iconic buildings, this is a can’t-miss destination for any traveler wanting to experience some of the city’s incredible architecture up close.
Palazzo Vecchio is a striking scene built in 1299 to symbolize power and wealth. This beautiful palazzo is iconic Italian architecture and features magnificent sculptures and artworks and stunning frescoes inside its walls.
Visitors can explore its many rooms and courtyards, admire its gorgeous interiors, and even climb up to the top of its famous bell tower for incredible views over the city.
On a tour of the Palazzo Vecchio, you’ll find famous works of art like Michelangelo’s “Piet,” and the incredible Salone dei Cinquecento, a vast room adorned with beautiful frescoes that are worth checking out. The famous “Adam and Eve” sculptures by Leonardo da Vinci can also be found within the palazzo, along with many other fascinating pieces and works of art.
When it comes to places to visit in Florence, you can’t beat visiting this historic symbol of the city’s culture and heritage. This is a highly recommended destination for anyone interested in its incredible architecture or art history.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Sorrento, Italy
7. Palazzo Pitti
Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI
Situated on the south side of the Arno River lies the magnificent Palazzo Pitti, one of Florence’s most iconic palaces and home to someawe-inspiringe art collections. This historic, massive palace spanning 32,000 square feet is quite an impressive site worth visiting, especially on a nice summer day, since the gardens are incredible.
Palazzo Pitti, sometimes called Pitti Palace, was originally built in 1458 as a military fortress and later converted into a palace by the powerful Medici family. Featuring stunning Renaissance-style architecture and beautiful gardens on its grounds, this historic palace is one of the most iconic attractions in Florence.
Inside its walls, visitors can admire some incredible works of art, including paintings by Titian and Filippino Lippi and sculptures by Giambologna. With its outstanding art collections, Palazzo Pitti hosts multiple museums and galleries, including the famous Boboli Gardens, one of Florence’s top attractions.
See Related: Things to Do in Italy & Places to Visit
8. Boboli Gardens
Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI
If you desire a beautiful and peaceful escape from the lively streets of Florence, check out the iconic Boboli Gardens. Set just behind Palazzo Pitti, these stunning gardens are a favorite among locals and visitors.
They offer visitors a quiet oasis in the middle of the city. With sprawling greenery, charming fountains, and incredible views of the surrounding cityscape, these gardens are vital places to visit in Florence.
The Boboli Gardens date back to the 16th century when famous Florentine architect Bartolomeo Ammannati first created them for Grand Duke Cosimo I de Medici.
Since then, they have undergone many renovations and addition but still feature the same remarkable beauty that made them famous. Whether admiring the gorgeous flower beds or exploring the amphitheater in its center, visiting the Boboli Gardens is a lasting impression.
Add the Boboli Gardens to your itinerary to relax in this historic city. Whether exploring its secret pathways or simply relaxing in its peaceful atmosphere, these stunning gardens are an excellent place to spend a picnic or a cheap day date.
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9. Piazzale Michelangelo
Address: Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI
When planning your trip to Florence, chances are you’ve heard of Michelangelo’s famous statue of David. But did you know there’s, even more, to admire at this historic square? Piazzale Michelangelo, perched high on a hill overlooking the city and Arno River, is a can’t-miss destination in Florence.
Located roughly one-mile southwest of the historic city center, Piazzale Michelangelo is known for its incredible views of the city and surrounding hillsides. Visitors can admire stunning panoramas of Florence’s most notable points of interest, including the Palazzo Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Duomo Cathedral, while also taking in amazing sunsets over the Arno River.
Along with its beautiful scenery, Piazzale Michelangelo is also home to multiple significant monuments, including the statue of Michelangelo’s Davi and a replica of the famous Pietà sculpture. A trip to Florence wouldn’t be complete without getting up close and personal with this iconic statue (even though it’s just a replica).
Pro tip: I recommend visiting during sunset and bringing a nice bottle of red wine to enjoy the gorgeous orange Tuscan hue project across the city landscape.
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10. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral)
Address: Q7F4+79 Firenze Fl
One thing about Italy, there is no shortage of stunning cathedrals and churches. Florence is one of the finest examples of Italian Renaissance architecture, and sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s real. Among the most famous churches is Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, one of the oldest churches in Europe.
Featuring some of the most impressive architecture in Italy, this magnificent Florence cathedral boasts beautiful stained glass windows, intricate carvings and sculptures, and a 500+ foot tall dome, known as the “Duomo” or “Cupola.”
Tucked within the heart of Florence’s historic city center, the cathedral is easily the best thing to do in Florence. This massive cathedral opened in the 14th century, drawing visitors worldwide to admire its beauty and marvel at its incredible architectural feats.
Today, visitors can tour the cathedral’s interior, climb to the top of its Dome for sweeping views over Florence, or marvel at it from outside while wandering through the city streets.
If you want to stay near the Florence Cathedral while visiting the city, there are a few beautiful hotels and guesthouses. For a budget-friendly hotel, I recommend staying at Hotel Rosso23, a charming and cozy property steps from the cathedral. Or, for a luxury experience, check out the Hotel Atlantic Palace, a 4-star hotel that offers unparalleled city views from its rooms.
11. Piazza della Repubblica
Address: Piazza della Repubblica, 50123 Firenze FI
Among the finest places in Florence’s historic city center is Piazza della Repubblica, a popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike. Surrounded by beautiful cafes, restaurants, shops, and other businesses that line the piazza’s perimeter, this lively square is the ideal spot to enjoy some people-watching as you sip on your favorite Italian espresso or enjoy a delicious authentic Italian meal.
Whether you want to go dancing in one of the clubs or bars lining the piazza, catch a street show, or relax with a glass of wine on a gorgeous terrace overlooking the plaza at sunset, Piazza della Repubblica is worth checking out when you’re visiting Florence.
I recommend hopping on a walking tour of Florence to see some of the city’s most iconic piazzas, like Piazza della Repubblica, up close. This bustling square is home to some of the city’s most notable points of interest, including the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Carmine, Orsanmichele Church, and the beautiful Loggia dei Lanzi. It’s impossible to get bored here with many things to do and explore.
See Related: Things to Do in Milan, Italy
12. Mercato Centrale
Address: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell’Ariento, 50123 Firenze FI
After a long day of sightseeing and exploring, there’s no better place to unwind than the Mercato Centrale in Florence. This bustling indoor market is a superb choice for foodies, as you’ll taste local delicacies and see the curation of regional Italian cuisine firsthand.
Located right centrally located in historic downtown Florence in Piazza del Mercato Centrale, this bustling indoor market is home to a wide variety of food vendors selling everything from freshly-made pasta and pizza to artisanal cheese and freshly baked pastries. The Mercato Centrale accommodates diverse desires when seeking quick, casual, or more upscale dining.
If you love cooking and food, you’ll surely want to pick up some fresh ingredients here to take home with you. Or, if you’d rather skip the cooking and indulging altogether, this bustling market also offers plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy a sit-down meal. My favorite foods at Mercato Centrale include fried artichokes, fresh mozzarella, and seafood pasta.
See Related: Best Restaurants in Italy
13. Climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome (Cupola del Brunelleschi)
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI
Located at the heart of Florence’s historic city center, Brunelleschi’s Dome is one of the most iconic landmarks in this beautiful Italian city. As one of the crowning jewels of Florence’s impressive Cathedral, Brunelleschi’s Dome is a highly recommended destination for any visitor to experience all that Italy features.
Brunelleschi’s Dome, formally known as Cupola del Brunelleschi, is an impressive architectural masterpiece that took nearly 140 years to complete. Featuring intricate carvings and beautiful frescoes, this iconic Dome has become a symbol of Florence’s rich history and culture.
Today, visitors can explore Brunelleschi’s Dome either on their own or as part of a guided tour, giving you an up-close look at the incredible craftsmanship and stunning artwork that went into making this landmark. Choose to climb the 463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome or admire it from ground level; either way, you’ll be in awe of its sheer beauty and grandeur.
Lovers of history aiming to explore Florence’s past features or those who love admiring stunning architecture will love spending time at this iconic monument.
See Related: Best Pompeii Tours from Naples, Italy
14. Bardini Gardens (Giardino Bardini)
Address: Via de’ Bardi, 1, 50125 Firenze FI
intending to spend some time outdoors between seeing monuments and scarfing down plates of pasta? Then consider Bardini Gardens on your list on your next trip to Florence. Located just a short walk from the historic center of town, these beautifully landscaped gardens are home to some of the city’s most stunning panoramic views and well-manicured lawns.
With more than 17 acres of lush greenery, Bardini Gardens is perfect for a relaxing amble or peaceful picnic. Whether you want to admire the fantastic panoramas from the garden’s terrace or seek some quiet contemplation in one of its secluded gardens, Bardini Gardens is sure to please.
This 17th-century villa is also home to numerous architectural wonders, including gothic ambrotype windows and a quaint bell tower. The gardens bloom with colorful spring flowers, making it the ideal spot to take beautiful photos.
If you’re traveling with kids, head to the Gardens’ petting zoo, where little ones can get up close and personal with some friendly farm animals. And for those searching for more adventure, you can rent a bike or segway and explore the gardens at your own pace. Bardini Gardens is also another terrific budget-friendly option on the list of Florence things to do!
Should you desire to stay near Bardini Gardens, this two-bedroom Bardini Garden apartment is the ideal place to call home in Florence. The conveniently-located apartment features free wifi, two bathrooms, and a spacious living room with plenty of natural light.
15. Giotto’s Campanile
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI
I hope you’re not afraid of heights. Giotto’s Campanile is one of the tallest buildings in Florence, standing proudly at over 270 feet tall. The famed bell tower was built in 1334 by Giotto di Bondone and has become an iconic landmark for anyone exploring the city’s historic center.
While you may be tempted to admire this famous tower from afar, explore the magnificent views from the top. Located just a short climb up 414 steps, the bell tower is the perfect spot to get sweeping views of Florence’s rooftops and stunning architecture.
Visitors entering this bell tower will have 45 minutes to climb to the top, take the views, and head back down. But don’t worry; if you climb straight up (without stopping at the platforms), you can easily reach the top in about 10 minutes.
Whether you’re searching for a fun way to get your heart pumping or want a birds-eye view of this beautiful city, this opportunity will not disappoint and is a must-add to your Florence bucket list. Just bring your camera along to capture stunning photos of this iconic city from a unique perspective.
See Related: Things to do in Ravello, Italy
16. La Giostra
Address: Borgo Pinti, 10/18R, 50121 Firenze FI
Guess what time it is? Ora di mangiare, ragazzi! When you desire fun things to do in Florence, stop by La Giostra. Located right at the core of the city’s bustling historic center, this local favorite serves some of the best pasta, pizza, and panini.
Whether you want to grab a quick bite on the go or sit down for a leisurely lunch, La Giostra caters to multiple tastes. With an array of tasty options on the menu, from classic Italian favorites like pizza and pasta to more unique dishes like chicken parmigiana or smoked tuna sandwiches, there is absolutely an item for every palate at this local hotspot. This popular restaurant has hosted many celebrities, such as famed actors and actresses like Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Alba.
when searching for a great meal in Florence, head to La Giostra for delicious food, friendly service, and an authentic Italian dining experience you will never forget. Buon appetite!
17. Parco delle Cascine
Address: Piazzale delle Cascine, 50144 Firenze FI, Italy
Let’s head outdoors and spend some time at Parco delle Cascine or Cascine Park. This sprawling, open green space is the perfect place to get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine in Florence. Whether you want to walk, run, or lay on the grass and soak up some rays, Parco delle Cascine has options to suit numerous interests.
This massive outdoor space covers over 395 acres, filled with tall trees, blooming flowers, and charming waterways. There are also plenty of things to do here, including a petting zoo, playgrounds for the kids, sports courts and fields, and even an outdoor swimming pool. This historic park was initially opened as a hunting reserve in the early 16th century, but today is a popular spot to take in some of the city’s remarkable architecture.
How about packing a picnic and heading down to Parco delle Cascine for a day outdoors? Whether you want to spend time with friends and family or get away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
With plenty of bike and scooter rentals available on-site, you can also explore the park on two wheels. And if you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love checking out the playground inside this sprawling park.
18. Museo dei Ragazzi al Palazzo Vecchio
Address: P.za della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Interested in a unique Florence museum that the whole family can enjoy? Then make sure to stop by the Museo dei Ragazzi al Palazzo Vecchio. Located inside one of Florence’s most iconic landmarks, this children’s museum contains interactive exhibits and fun activities that entertain kids and adults for hours.
Whether you want to walk down a medieval street, dress up as a Renaissance painter, or even design your piece of jewelry, this fun museum has options to suit a range of interests. Plenty of exhibits centered around the city’s rich history and culture will give kids a unique glimpse into Florence’s past.
The Bambini visiting Florence can enjoy a wide range of activities here, from painting their masterpiece next to a larger-than-life replica of Michelangelo’s David and exploring the city’s winding streets through an interactive 3D model to learning about Florence’s famous Medici family or even taking part in one of a few instrument building workshops.
19. Loggia dei Lanzi
Address: P.za della Signoria, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
Loggia dei Lanzi, also called Loggia della Signoria, is one of Florence’s most beautiful and coveted landmarks. Situated in the center of Piazza della Signoria, this stunning medieval-style loggia is a popular spot for tourists to take photos and enjoy the city’s fantastic architecture.
The Loggia dei Lanzi was first constructed in the 14th century as a private residence, but today is home to a few incredible sculptures and works of art. Here you can find indispensable pieces by Giambologna, Cellini, and Bernini, including the Michelangelo above’s David replica and the Fountain of Neptune. This outdoor gallery is also home to five iconic marble statues, including Matidia, Marciana, Agrippina Minor, Sabine, and a barbarian prisoner.
Exploring Loggia dei Lanzi is not to be missed if you’re a fan of art and history or want to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in one of the city’s most picturesque spots. It’s located in the Signoria Plaza with many surrounding attractions, making it easy to stop by and see in between sightseeing. It’s also free to visit, making it a budget-friendly option for tourists and locals.
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20. Piazza Santo Spirito
Address: Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
In case you haven’t noticed by now, one of the most popular things to do in Florence is to visit the city’s many beautiful and historic piazzas; one of the most famous is Piazza Santo Spirito. This bustling square is just a short walk from Florence’s stunning Duomo and boasts some of the city’s best cafes, restaurants, and shops.
You’ll find everything from fine Italian cuisine to international favorites and many artisanal shops selling everything from handcrafted leather goods to jewelry. The square is also home to a charming fountain, numerous outdoor cafes where you can sit back and enjoy an espresso or glass of wine, and even a weekend street market.
Want a small-town, authentic Italian experience? You’ve got that here. Want a lively outdoor space with great food and shopping? This historic square has that too. It’s honestly one of a kind and essential experience for visitors exploring Florence.
If you want to make this area your home base while visiting Florence, head to Hotel Palazzo Guadagni, located centrally in Piazza Santo Spirito. This hotel is one hotel you certainly don’t want to miss out on, featuring cozy and stylish accommodations, a charming garden terrace, and some of the best views in the city.
21. Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
Address: P.za di Santa Maria Novella, 18, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Yet another iconic landmark in Florence is the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Located conveniently near many of the city’s other top attractions, this historic basilica is an unmissable gem for any serious history or art buff. Built-in 1246, this beautiful Gothic church has seen many changes over the years and today stands as one of the city’s best examples of Italian Renaissance architecture.
Inside you’ll find incredible works of art by some of the most famous artists in history, including paintings and frescoes from Giotto and Masaccio. The basilica is also home to a crucial museum dedicated to religious artifacts and relics and a monastery where you can see how the monks live and work.
When searching for an absorbing activity in Florence’s history, art, and culture, stop by this historic church in Florence during your visit. It has long been an indispensable part of the city’s history, and today is a can’t-miss destination spot for anyone aiming to experience everything that Florence features fully.
And in case you desire somewhere comfortable and convenient to stay during your visit, head to The Moon Boutique Hotel & Spa – one of the best hotels in Florence, steps from Santa Maria Novella. With elegant accommodations and top-notch service, this is the perfect place to stay while you explore Florence!
Not only is this one of the best neighborhoods for dining in Florence, but the area surrounding the basilica offers a lot of nightlife. Famous bars like Santa Cocktail Club and The Fiddler’s Elbow Irish Pub are great places to grab a drink and meet some locals. If you enjoy the nightlife scene, check out the famous Space Club, which stays open late at night. You’ll find it here if you’re in the mood for great food, a bit of nightlife, or some authentic Italian culture.
22. Stroll through the Ponte Vecchio
Address: Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Ponte Vecchio was my favorite nighttime walk as the bridge is lit up by the jewelry stores lined along the sides of the bridge. This bridge is incredibly famous, and for a valid reason.
This bridge never gives up. The resilience of this bridge is unparalleled, as it’s the only bridge to be left standing after World War II. It’s also one of the most photographed bridges in all of Europe, given its picturesque placement in a Tuscan landscape that is hard to believe is sometimes accurate.
As someone that lived in Florence for a few months, I have very fond memories of this bridge. First-timers to Florence need to visit the historic Ponte Vecchio. It can get jam-packed during the peak tourist season, so I recommend walking leisurely through at night. If you’re traveling with your significant other, there’s a love-lock section in the Ponte Vecchio. It’s a beautiful spot to snap a picture over the Arno River.
23. Take a day trip to Fiesole for stunning city views.
Address: R74R+WX Fiesole
If you are someone who loves stunning aesthetics, then you’ll love spending an afternoon in Fiesole. This small town is located atop a hillside 5 kilometers outside Florence. The city also features a ton of history, dating back to the Roman and Etruscan eras. Visiting Fiesole is an easy day trip from Florence, and access here.
While you’re here, take in the panoramic views of Florence by dining at one of the excellent restaurants overlooking the city. There is also a market in the main town square that you can plan a visit around to make the most of your day.
24. Basilica di San Lorenzo & the Medici Chapels
Address: Piazza di San Lorenzo, 9, 50123 Firenze FI
The Basilica di San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence Cathedral) is one of the main religious sites in Florence, Italy. It’s one of the city’s oldest churches and has been around since its completion in 1470. Located in the historic center of Florence, it’s close to many other popular sites, such as the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria. For many people, St. Lawrence Cathedral symbolizes Florence during the Renaissance period.
The basilica was built in a Romanesque style and featured a few crucial works by famous Renaissance artists such as Donatello, Michelangelo, and Brunelleschi. You can find the Medici Chapels decorated with beautiful frescos by Michelangelo.
Despite suffering damage from bombs during World War II, the church still stands as a testament to Florence’s rich history and culture. Its iconic architecture serves as a reminder of why Florence is so beloved by tourists worldwide.
25. See an alternative version of David at the Bargello National Museum.
Address: Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122 Firenze
If you’re a statue lover, visit the Bargello National Museum. The exhibition center is incredibly affordable, only 8 euros to see, and is often one of the most overlooked museums in Florence.
The exhibit features a vast collection of statues and sculptures from the Renaissance, set in a former palazzo dating back to the 13th century. There are three statues of David here. Renaissance legends completed this museum, Donatello (one is done in marble and one in bronze) and Andrea del Verrochio, one of Leonardo di Vinci’s understudies.
In the above image, you can see Verrochio’s Statue of David in the foreground and Donatello’s Statue of David in the background. Both are unique because they offer a different approach than the one you so famously know housed at the Galleria Della Academia.
26. Shop for Italian goods at San Lorenzo Market.
Address: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell’Ariento, 50123 Firenze
Just outside the Basilica di San Lorenzo is a bustling daily market that tourists flock to for its vast array of goods and wares. The market is best known for its handcrafted leather products.
Beyond the goods, you can find everything from fresh produce, meats, and cheeses to handmade Italian jewelry and handcrafted leather items. The market also offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to explore the local culture with numerous street performers and vendors.
With its exciting atmosphere and the lively hustle and bustle, San Lorenzo Market is a highly recommended destination when visiting Florence. It’s one of the most visited places in Florence, making it a great place to visit during your stay in Italy.
27. Take a day trip to Cinque Terre
Address: Province of La Spezia, Italy
If you’re looking for day trip ideas from Florence, add the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cinque Terre to your list. It’s a great way to escape city life and explore a national park filled with hiking opportunities, scenic towns, and excellent food. Cinque Terre is known for being the five towns on the hills of the Ligurian Sea coastline; each town offers incredible views and one-of-a-kind structures.
To get there, consider taking a private tour to make your day trip efficient. Alternatively, you can take the train from the central Florence train station to get there. You’ll need it for about 2.5 hours via car or train. To plan a full day in your itinerary. It’s worth it, though, and the hiking will give you enough exercise that you’ll be excited to relax on a car or train ride back to Florence.
What is Florence, Italy, known for?
Florence is one of the best examples of art, architecture, and culture from the Renaissance period, making it one of the most stunning cities in the world. The city is filled with examples of this through the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio, and its vast number of other incredible basilicas and squares. The city was once home to some of the most iconic artists in world history, including Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo Di Vinci, Andrea del Verocchio, and many others.
In addition, the city is the capital of Tuscany, a famous worldwide food and wine region. If you love Italian food, come hungry because it simply doesn’t get much better than the cuisine in Florence. Checking out Florence is like entering a time capsule of history.
What is the best thing to do with kids in Florence?
Several captivating things to do with kids include visiting the famous Florence Children’s Museum, exploring the city’s many beautiful parks and gardens, and taking a tour of the iconic Duomo Cathedral.
What are some fun things to do in Florence?
My favorite activities while living in Florence included walking leisurely along the scenic River Arno, exploring the bustling Piazza della Signoria, or taking a day trip to nearby Tuscan towns like Siena and Pisa.
What are some things to do in Florence when it’s raining?
Visiting one of the city’s many art galleries and museums or heading to one of the local indoor markets like Mercato Centrale is outstanding for rainy days in Florence.
What are the best tourist attractions in Florence?
Duomo Cathedral, the world-famous art museum Uffizi Art Gallery, and the Boboli Gardens are popular Florence attractions.