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Things to do in

Florence

The soul of Tuscany brims with Renaissance influence evident in its myriad architectural and artistic wonders.

Our most recommended things to do in Florence

Florence: Chianti Wineries Tour with Food and Wine Tasting

1. Florence: Chianti Wineries Tour with Food and Wine Tasting

After meeting your guide and boarding the coach, drive to the Chianti region. On the way to the first winery, your guide will share interesting facts and curiosities about landmarks along the route. Arrive at the first “cantina” of the day, where you will be welcomed by the winemakers. After listening to a brief introduction about the winery’s history and the types of wine made there, join a guided tour of the facilities and nearby vineyards. Learn all about the winemaking process, the materials used to make the barrels, and what it takes to be classified as a “Chianti Classico”. Then, begin your first tasting session of 4 different wines. You will hear an explanation of each of the wines that you sample, as well as some tips on how to savor the wine and understand its qualities. The wines will be accompanied by local snacks produced in the region, such as cheese, bread, olive oil, and salumi. Board the bus and continue to the second winery. On the way, make a stop at a scenic lookout to observe a stunning panorama of the Chianti Hills. At the second winery, learn about their production methods, what is unique about their vines, and how weather can affect the grapes. Explore the facilities during a short guided tour, and walk through the vineyards. Then, sample another round of up to 3 wines, as the local charismatic wine producer tells you about the peculiarities of each. After some free time, head back to Florence.

From Florence: Tuscany Day Trip with Optional Lunch and Wine

2. From Florence: Tuscany Day Trip with Optional Lunch and Wine

Begin your journey of Tuscany at Florence’s central train station, where you will be greeted by your guide who will take care of you throughout the day.  Head straight to Siena, Italy’s most picturesque medieval city, whereupon arrival your guide will take you on a walking tour. Look up to admire the lovely terracotta roofs adorning the buildings and marvel at the magnificent Gothic and Romanesque architecture of the main cathedral.   Next, head to the hilltop town of San Gimignano, a UNESCO world heritage site, famous for the tower houses built in the Middle Ages. Enjoy free time here to see its splendid squares, palaces, churches, and magnificent towers. The last stop on your Tuscan excursion is a visit to Pisa and its iconic leaning tower. Take a stroll through the Piazza dei Miracoli and see other marvelous monuments, before driving back to Florence. Best of all, choose from either a small-group or private guided experience to make your trip special. Choose the lunch option to enjoy a homemade lunch paired with an informal wine tasting at a traditional wine estate in the Chianti wine region. Savor 4 regional wines at lunch and learn about their unique production techniques. Feast on an organic, farmhouse meal while you overlook the rolling vineyards under the Tuscan sun.

Florence: Cinque Terre Day Trip with Optional Hike and Lunch

3. Florence: Cinque Terre Day Trip with Optional Hike and Lunch

Get a taste of 'la dolce vita' on this jam-packed tour to the Cinque Terre, a collection of quintessential Italian towns dotted along the coast of Tuscany. After meeting your guide in central Florence, listen to an insightful introduction about the Cinque Terre on the 2-hour bus journey to La Spezia. After a quick bathroom break, board the first train of the day. Arrive in Manarola, the first of the Cinque Terre villages you will visit. Here you will join a small guided walk through the vines, and then enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace. Next, take the train to Corniglia. Climb the steps to reach the center of this quaint village and take some time to wander around. If you have selected the add-on, sit down at a local restaurant with a beautiful terrace and sea views. Tuck into a lunch of homemade pesto pasta for your 'primo' and fresh fish for your ‘secondo’. Then, choose to either go on an adventurous guided hike from Corniglia to Vernazza, or if you prefer to take it easy, follow your guide and take a train instead. Once in Vernazza, sit at one of the local cafés, or take a refreshing dip in the sea. Next, board a train to Monterosso, the village renowned for its beautiful beaches and artisan shops. If the weather allows it, you will then board a boat to navigate along the coast of the Cinque Terre. Arrive in Riomaggiore, an ancient fishing village and the most southern of the 5 villages. After exploring this last village, board the train back to La Spezia and then take the coach back to Florence.

Florence: Skip-The-Line Uffizi Gallery Timed Entrance Ticket

4. Florence: Skip-The-Line Uffizi Gallery Timed Entrance Ticket

Discover masterpieces of art at one of Italy's (and the world’s) greatest art museums, and enjoy skip-the-line entrance at the world-famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Marvel at Italian Renaissance art by some of the greatest artists of all times. See paintings by Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raffaello, Giotto, Cimabue, Masaccio, and others. Go to the gallery’s most renowned room to see the stunning collection by Botticelli. Admire his “Primavera” and “The Birth of Venus,” and reflect upon his representation of the birth of the goddess as she emerges from the sea foam. Escape the hassle and hurry of organized group tours, and explore at your own pace. You are free to stay inside the museum for as long as you like. To see more stunning art, add skip-the-line entrance tickets to the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens to your tour by selecting the option. After visiting the Uffizi, visit the palace and gardens in any order within the next 5 days.

Florence: Accademia Gallery Priority Entrance Tickets

5. Florence: Accademia Gallery Priority Entrance Tickets

Make the most of your time in Florence with a skip-the-line entry ticket to the Accademia Gallery. Admire one of the world's most famous sculptures, Michelangelo's David, and see some of the sculptor's other works. Skip the long lines and enter the gallery via a separate entrance. Your reserved ticket allows you to skip the ticket office and avoid the worry of whether or not tickets will be available. Visit the main hall to see Michelangelo's statue of David and learn more about his thoughts and ideas. You can also see other Renaissance masterpieces by masters like Bartolini, Giambologna, Di Cione, di Buonaguida, and Monaco. Last but not least, admire the plaster of Lorenzo Bartolini before concluding your visit with paintings by Lorenzo Monaco and other notable 16th-century artists.

Florence: Timed Entrance Ticket to Michelangelo’s David

6. Florence: Timed Entrance Ticket to Michelangelo’s David

Discover world-famous paintings, sculptures, and tapestries with this timed entry ticket to the Accademia Gallery in Florence. See iconic pieces by Michelangelo like 'the Prisoners', 'St. Matthew' and the statue of David. View works by other famous masters like Bartolini.  Admire the 5.17-meter marble statue representing the Biblical hero David, a favored subject in Florentine art. The statue soon came to symbolize the defence of civil liberties embodied in the Republic of Florence, an independent city-state threatened on all sides by more powerful rival states and by the hegemony of the Medici family.    In the adjacent rooms, which were part of two former convents, important works of art are collected here from the Academy of Design, the Academy of Fine Arts and from suppressed convents.  Recently the Gallery has been further enriched by the important collection of old musical instruments from the Cherubini Conservatory, the Department of Musical Instruments.

From Florence: Small Group Wine Tasting Tour to Tuscany

7. From Florence: Small Group Wine Tasting Tour to Tuscany

Depart Florence and journey to the historic Chianti Classico wine region by air-conditioned minibus while your English-speaking driver explains the stunning landscape where the most famous wines from Italy are produced. Visit two wine estates, with wine and food pairings. Sample 3 of the first wine estate's wines, along with some of the fresh olive oil they produce. Learn more about the unique techniques used to produce wine and get a better appreciation of the local viniculture on a tour of the wine cellars. Continue towards the second wine estate to take a tour of the cellars and compare and contrast their techniques with the first winery. Taste different wines and olive oils produced on the farm, paired with local specialties from Tuscany, such as cheese, salami, cold cuts, and bruschetta.

Florence: Entrance Ticket to Pitti Palace

8. Florence: Entrance Ticket to Pitti Palace

The original palazzo was built for the Pitti family in 1457, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. Pitti Palace is the former home of the powerful Medici family, the lavish Renaissance palace now hosts an extraordinary collection of art. Admire some of the incredible works amassed by the Medicis during their rule. See works from Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian, Pietro da Cortona and Rubens. From the windows, catch views of Brunelleschi’s Santo Spirito Basilica and the Boboli Gardens. Today, the Pitti Palace houses some of the most important museums in Florence: on the first floor is the Palatine Gallery, containing a broad collection 16th and 17th century paintings, and the Royal Apartments, containing furnishings from a remodeling done in the 19th century. The Gallery of Modern Art, located on the second floor of the Pitti Palace, has a fine collection of paintings and sculpture, mostly Italian, dating from the late 18th century to World War I. The elegant rooms, which were inhabited by the Lorraine grand dukes, are decorated with works of the neo-classical and romantic periods.

Florence: Baptistery, Duomo, and Brunelleschi's Dome Tour

9. Florence: Baptistery, Duomo, and Brunelleschi's Dome Tour

Discover the Santa Maria del Fiore, the Brunelleschi Dome, and the St John's Baptistery on this tour with a local guide. Enjoy the convenience of skip-the-line tickets to some of Florence's most popular landmarks featuring panoramic views of the whole city from atop the Brunelleschi Dome. Save your precious time by skipping the long line of Duomo and diving into the simply magical atmosphere that will take you back to the times of the Golden Age of Florence. Explore the crypt of Santa Reparata church, the remains of which were carefully conserved by the OPA organization that takes care of all monuments in Duomo Complex. Learn about the work of some of the most remarkable gothic and renaissance masters that contributed to making the Duomo of Florence a one-of-a-kind monument. Reveal the known secrets behind the construction of the Largest Dome in the world by the father of Renaissance himself, "the mathematician of beauty" Filippo Brunelleschi. Admire the timeless charm of Last Judgement frescos by Vasari & Zuccari. Visit the oldest monument of Florence, the Saint John's Baptistery. Admire the stunning XIII century mosaics on Baptistery's dome, representing the Last Judgement which was unsurprisingly the inspiration for Dante's Divine Comedy. After your exploration, you will have the opportunity to climb on your own pace the 463 steps leading to the highest point of Florence, the very top of Brunelleschi's Dome. Pass between the double dome while admiring the finest architectural masterpiece built in the XV century. Reach the Lantern of the Dome and enjoy 360° views of the birthplace of the Renaissance.

Florence: Reserved Entry Ticket to the Boboli Gardens

10. Florence: Reserved Entry Ticket to the Boboli Gardens

The gardens extend over a vast area forming an open-air museum with antique and Renaissance statues, grottoes, and large fountains. Exploring its numerous and varied walks one is able to evoke the spirit of life at court. The Grotta del Buontalenti is an artificial cave filled with false stalactites and stalagmites, with statues of sheep, shepherds, and Romans goddesses. The cave is located close to the entrance of the Boboli Garden and at the end of the Vasari Corridor. 

Frequently asked questions about Florence

What top attractions are a must-see in Florence?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Florence?

The best day trips and excursions from Florence are:

Pisa

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Florence

Paul & Mark are full time travel bloggers who discover hidden gems and local specialities on their blog Anywhere We Roam. They've travelled to Florence many times and never tire of this Renaissance gem.

What should I do on my first trip to Florence?

Florence is best known for being the birthplace of Renaissance art, so visiting one of the world-class galleries is a must for first time visitors to the city. The Uffizi Gallery has one of the most prestigious art collections in the world including 2 Leonardo da Vinci paintings and several works by Botticelli. Michelangelo’s famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia is another unmissable Florence experience.

What are some hidden gems to see in Florence?

A great hidden gem in Florence is the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica. Established in the 13th century, it's one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. Today you can buy perfumes and wellness products from the beautiful gothic vaulted sales room. To slow the pace in Florence, Torrigiani Garden is a private green oasis in the centre of the city which has been carefully transformed into a romantic English garden. As private tours need to be organised with the owner, it's the perfect hidden gem in the city.

How much time should I spend in Florence?

Florence is packed with wonderful things to do, so allow at least 3 to 4 days to see all the main sights. This will be enough time to visit 2 - 3 of the main art galleries, several of the more notable churches, and some of the other main attractions that give you a taste for Florence’s vibrant culture. If you are particularly interested in art and sculpture, you would need at least 5 days to see all the galleries.

What food is Florence known for?

A great dish to try in Florence is Tagliatelle with Porcini mushroom and truffle. The simple pasta with earthy local ingredients gives it an amazing depth of flavour that has made it one of the most popular dishes in the city. Follow it up with Cantuccini e vin santo; the small almond biscuits known as biscotti elsewhere in the world, served with sweet dessert wine for dunking.

What is the best way to get around Florence?

Florence is a very compact city with all the main tourist attractions within easy walking distance of each other. With tight medieval laneways and all but local cars banned from the centre, taxis can generally take longer than walking. Another great way to get around is to hire a bike or go on an organise bike tour with a guide.

What are the best months to visit Florence?

The best time to visit Florence is May and June when the weather is warm and the city comes alive with festivals and outdoor dining experiences. The main attractions are all operational at this time, and the significant tourist numbers and very hot weather of July and August has not yet arrived.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Florence?

One of the best neighbourhoods in Florence is Sant’Ambrogio. Just east of the imposing duomo, tiny laneways overflow with fresh food markets, local restaurants, and traditional cafes. It's the perfect slice of old-school Florence. For something different, the San Lorenzo area is developing a reputation for artisanal food, organic restaurants, and some of the best gelato in Florence.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

One of the best areas for food in Florence is Santo Spirito. Just across the river from the centre, Santo Spirito is a local neighbourhood with a bohemian feel. Pizza restaurants line leafy squares that are perfect for casual outdoor dining. Via Santo Spirito is the main street which is usually lined with patrons leaning up against the old walls, sipping a wine as they wait for a table to come available.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

San Niccolò is a great area for independent luxury shops especially perfumeries and jewellery stores that look more like museums than retail spaces. But for more traditional Florentine shopping, the open-air market, Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, is one of the best places in the city to shop for leather goods with a staggering number of options to choose from.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Florence?

The historical centre of Florence is the best place to stay with easy access to the main attractions. The area around Santa Croce is on the edge of the main tourist centre but it has a slightly less-crowded feel and great options for dining. The area around Santa Maria Novella is slightly further away (about a 7-minute walk) but it has a lovely local residential feel.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Florence?

The Uffizi Gallery has organised family tours specially designed for young kids and teenagers including treasure hunts, trivia and interactive games. The whole family will enjoy the climb up to the top of the dome of the duomo for stunning views over Florence and the Leonardo da Vinci museum is great for older teenagers with an interest in the sciences.

What is the best thing to do in Florence for solo travelers?

Florence has a large expat community and it's full of travellers throughout the year, so you'll not feel out of place travelling solo in Florence. It's common to see people enjoying the restaurant scene by themselves and the bar of a traditional cafe is the perfect place to while away some time by yourself. One of the main benefits of solo travel in Florence is the ability to spend exactly as long as you wish exploring the world-class art galleries.

What is the best thing to do in Florence for couples?

One of the best things for couples to do in Florence is to simply pick a fantastic spot to watch the sunset over this beautiful city. Piazzale Michelangelo is a park about 25 minutes’ walk from the centre of the city with sweeping views over Florence. After the sun goes down, take in a classical concert at one of the churches for a truly memorable evening.

What are the best annual events in Florence?

One of the best annual events in the city is the Florence Carnival which celebrates the diverse world of culture with live music and parades through the city featuring a massive puppet dragon. In the summer months (June and July), the Florence Dance Festival overtakes the city with a programme of music, poetry and cinema.

What are the best things to do around Florence?

While in Florence, it’s a great idea to take advantage of the beautiful Tuscan countryside surrounding the city. One of the best places to explore is San Miniato which can be visited on a day trip from Florence. The charming hillside village is set in a stunning location and it’s the home of truffle hunting in Italy.

Other Sightseeing Options in Florence

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What people are saying about Florence

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 58,217 reviews

These Tuscan towns are breathtaking, I need to win the lottery to move here and enjoy the beauty, the people, the history, culture, charms and love these towns have to offer. Barbara was a wonderful guide who was always very attentive to our needs. Katia our local tour guide in Assisi is a great person. Her passion for such culture and history shows in all her explanations. Thank you Barbara and Katia.

The trip was loads of fun. Yenna was a great guide and very personable. The two winery we went to were stunning in their own ways. I felt very accommodated as a vegetarian. I only wish there was vegan options available. Made some lovely friends. Was a great addition to our honeymoon trip.

Great experience with a small group. Tasted several salamis and cheeses with wine, then strolling through the streets with history while tasting supplì, then a traditional trattoria and finally gelato for dessert. Wonderful and relaxing evening. You will not leave hungry!

Great tour guide and helper ! Equipment was fun and easy to get The hang of. Florence is busy but the path they take isn’t hard. A very enjoyable event !

The cathedral is in many ways a "must", especially on the outside. The dome and the bell-tower are both worth the effort.