Things to do & Eat in Florence
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Florence, known as Firenze in Italian, is a city that has played an instrumental role in shaping the course of art, culture and history for centuries. It's a place where medieval charm meets modern sophistication, and where every cobblestone street seems to whisper tales of the past. This travel guide will help you explore the timeless city of Florence to the fullest.
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Where to stay in Florence, Italy
A tranquil Oltrarno hideaway with an in-the-know vibe, 14 antique-filled rooms and a gorgeous wraparound terrace overlooking Europe’s largest private garden.
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4F Boutique Hotel Florence
A stylish and intimate boutique hotel in the heart of Florence, blending modern luxury with classic Italian charm.
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Set in a restored Byzantine tower, this elegant features luxe rooms and two high-end restaurants in Florence.
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Things to do in Florence, Italy
This magnificent cathedral, with its iconic dome designed by Brunelleschi, is a symbol of Florence. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the city.
Home to an incredible collection of Renaissance art, including works by Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Book tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
See Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Statue of David, among other notable sculptures and artwork.
This historic bridge is lined with jewelry shops and offers stunning views of the Arno River. It's especially romantic at sunset.
Florence's Historic Center
Wander through the historic streets, visit Piazza della Signoria and explore the charming neighborhoods of Florence.
Shopping in Florence
Florence is famous for its leather goods, so explore the San Lorenzo Market for leather bags, jackets and more. You'll also find high-end boutiques along Via de' Tornabuoni.
Explore the Market Centrale - a two-level food market lined with leather merchants on the streets outside. Take some time to browse, drink wine and sample produce.
Florence comes alive at night with a vibrant nightlife scene. Head to the Oltrarno district for hip bars or enjoy live music at one of the jazz clubs.
Florence is the perfect place to take a cooking class. You can learn how to make gelato, tiramisu, tortellini, ravioli and much more. I recommend looking through Airbnb experiences or getyourguide.com
Consider taking day trips to nearby destinations such as Pisa, Lucca, or Bologna. I traveled to Bologna by recommendation of an Italian friend and was so pleasantly surprised. It’s an amazing foodie destination that comes alive at night. When visiting Bologna it isn’t just what to do, but more importantly, what to eat. My love affair with authentic Italian mortadella started in Bologna. It’s too easy to eat honestly. Another absolute must try while in Bologna is the tortellini in brodo (in broth) and tagliatelle al ragu (bolognese). The origins of these dishes stem from Bologna and the Emilia Romagna region and you can taste the time and effort it took to perfect these dishes.
Places to eat & drink in Florence, Italy
Florence is a culinary paradise. Try traditional Tuscan dishes like ribollita (a hearty soup), pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup) and of course, Florentine steak. Don't forget to savor some gelato and local wines.
Best Paninos around
‘Inos - If All’antico Vinaio is the king of street paninos, then ‘inos is the queen! The line can be long, but it moves fast.
All’antico Vinaio - Yes, this place is wildly popular and there’s literally 3 locations side by side and there’s a reason for that. They have some fantastic paninos. I tried the La Paradiso (Mortadella, cream of pistachio and stracciatella cheese with chopped pistachios) and it sent me into another dimension. I still think about this panini.
il Bufalo Trippone - The perfect place to stop when you’re in the mood for charcuterie and wine. This charming tuscan wine bar offers an abundance of fresh salamis, cheese and accompaniments to satisfy your cravings.
Need to Know
Useful Italian Phrases Hello: Ciao Thank you: Grazie Please: Per favore Yes: Sì No: No Excuse me: Scusi How much is this?: Quanto costa? I don't understand: Non capisco
Safety Tips: Florence is generally a safe city, but it's essential to be cautious of pickpockets in crowded tourist areas. Keep your belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings. Another common scam is paintings being laid on the ground in hopes you’ll accidentally step on them and be urged to pay for them. Watch where you walk, keep a hand on your belongings and you’ll be just fine. Enjoy your trip to Florence, where every street corner is a work of art and history awaits at every turn. Buon viaggio! (Safe travels!) Florence is a compact city that is best explored on foot. However, there are also convenient public transportation options, including buses and trams. Taxis and rideshare services like Uber are available but can be pricey. As long as you have comfortable shoes, walking is the best route and I always felt safe.
Helpful: Public Restrooms usually cost a euro.
Getting to/from Florence by train: Some slower trains require you to validate your ticket before boarding by punching it at a yellow or green box mounted on the wall or a pillar. Train tickets that are purchased online are prevalidated and you don’t need to stamp them. Get the RailEurope app and you can book all trains through the app in advance. During the peak travel seasons you’ll need to book train travel in advance and beware of strikes.
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Welcome to the Enchanting Charms of Nice, France.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Florence.