WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN FLORENCE?
Florence is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, a true open-air museum with an incredible number of monuments to visit. Cradle of the Italian Renaissance, the capital of Tuscany is an exceptional tourist destination and particularly appreciated by lovers of art and architecture. You can discover the emblematic Duomo, with its gigantic dome visible from far away, but also many artistic treasures, palaces, churches, museums and historical squares. Florence has an incredible charm and must absolutely be on your travel itinerary if you are going to Italy.
On this page, you will be able to discover in pictures the essential experiences not to be missed in Florence, its essential tourist sites and the less known but worth a visit attractions (museums, churches, squares…).
Although it is impossible to see everything at once, this selection may be useful for you to plan a travel itinerary if you are going to visit Florence for the first time, giving you a taste of the best things to do and places to visit. Be careful, most of the tourist sites in Florence are not free and you will have to make choices if you have a small budget.
Here are 20 best things to do and see during a trip to Florence:
1. The Duomo
Florence’s number one sight: head for Piazza del Duomo, where the Baptistery of St John the Baptist (Battistero di San Giovanni) and the Cathedral of St Mary of the Fiore are located. Then, climb the 463 stairs to the top to see Cupola di Brunelleschi up close and admire the view of the city. If you have enough strength, don’t miss the view from Giotto’s Campanile, the large white tower next to the cathedral.
L’incontournable de Florence: rendez-vous vers la Piazza del Duomo, où se trouve le baptistère Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Battistero di San Giovanni) et la Cathédrale Santa Maria del Fiore. Ensuite, montez les 463 escaliers jusqu’au au sommet pour voir de près la Cupola di Brunelleschi et admirer la vue sur la ville. Si vous avez assez de force, ne manquez pas la vue depuis le Campanile de Giotto, la grande tour blanche accolée à la cathédrale.
2. The Galleria degli Uffizi
Remember to pick up your ticket in advance and get up early to visit this art collection, one of the most beautiful in the world.
3. The Galleria dell’Accademia
Tourists come to visit this museum first and foremost to see the famous statue of David from Michelangelo, but it also houses many works by Botticelli. Remember to book your ticket in advance or queue before the opening if it is high season.
4. Touching the bronze boar
The statue of Il Porcellino, which is located in Mercato Nuovo, next to Piazza della Signoria, is a replica of the original marble statue in Uffizi. It is said that throwing a coin through his lucky jaw, and rubbing his nose will bring you back to Florence. You will notice the small bugs that are carved at the foot of the fountain.
5. The view from the Piazzale Michelangelo
It is the place to go for a magnificent view of the city and admire the sunset. Be careful, there are a lot of people there. Access is free of charge.
6. San Miniato al Monte Basilica
The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte overlooks Piazza Michelangelo. It is within walking distance from it and also offers a superb view of Florence.
7. Medici-Riccardi Palace (Palazzo Medici-Ricardi)
The former palace of the rich Medici family, which was built between 1444 and 1462. You can visit the chapel and its superb frescos.
8. Santa Croce Basilica
It houses Giotto’s frescoes and the chapeau Pazzi. Remember to cover your shoulders and legs before you go home.
9. The Ponte Vecchio
For a beautiful view of Ponte Vecchio, go to Ponte Santa Trìnita opposite, especially for sunset.
10. The Bargello Palace
It houses the National Bargello Museum (Museo Nazionale del Bargello) and is a good complement to the Uffizi Museum (and there are fewer tourists). Admission costs €4. We can see works by Michelangelo.
11. The Pitti Palace, and Boboli & Bardini gardens
A huge palace that houses eight museums and where you can admire many paintings. Boboli’s garden is just behind it.
12. The Palazzo Vecchio tower, its museum and the Piazza della Signoria
After the Duomo Square it is the place to see first and foremost in Florence. Piazza della Signoria is located just opposite the Palazzo Vecchio Tower, where the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio is located.
13. The Santa Maria Novella Basilica
Located not far from the station and in front of the square of the same name. Its facade is superb and it is especially famous for its frescos.
14. The Museo di San Marco
Located in the Basilica of San Marco, which is not far from the Galleria dell’Accademia. You can see some beautiful frescoes.
15. The San Lorenzo Basilica, the Laurentienne library and the Medici chapel
These three places are glued together. Remember to check the closing times carefully.
16. The view of Florence from the city of Fiesole
A city perched on a hill 8km north of Florence, and the perfect place if you want to escape the hordes of tourists.
17. The Brancacci Chapel
It is located inside the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine and you can see some very beautiful frescoes.
18. The Mercato Centrale
The place to go to taste different Italian dishes (pizzas, pasta, pastries…) and buy various products. The food court is on the first floor, the prices are reasonable.
19. The Piazza della Republica
One of the largest squares in Florence located in the heart of the city, with many cafés and restaurants and a carousel for children.
20. The Galileo Museum
It is located on the banks of the Arno River, just behind the Galleria degli Uffizi. We can see ancient instruments of the Italian astronomer Galileo.