Things to Do in Florence: Where To Go, Eat & Sleep Like a Local
Florence is home for me - where I was born and where I live. I am super excited to share my secret book of the best things to do in Florence - addresses and places that are must-visit when you’re there. Florence is a place where if you don’t have insider tips, you can easily fall into tourist traps. A trip to Florence is very suitable for couples, solo travelers and families with children.
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Where to stay in Florence
Set in a restored Byzantine tower, this elegant features luxe rooms and two high-end restaurants in Florence.
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Helvetia & Bristol Firenze
A timeless and elegant luxury hotel in the heart of Florence, where historic grandeur meets contemporary sophistication.
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Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
An oasis in the city center, home to an Old World style, a Michelin-starred restaurant and Florence’s largest private garden.
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Things to do in Florence
Florence Cathedral (Duomo): Visit the iconic Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo. Climb to the top of the dome for panoramic views of the city.
Uffizi Gallery: Explore one of the world's most famous art museums, the Uffizi Gallery, which houses an extensive collection of Renaissance masterpieces, including works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli.
Accademia Gallery: See Michelangelo's famous statue of David at the Accademia Gallery. The museum also features other sculptures by Michelangelo and a collection of Renaissance art.
Ponte Vecchio: Walk along the historic Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge spanning the Arno River. The bridge is known for its shops, especially jewelry stores.
Piazza della Signoria: Visit this central square, surrounded by impressive sculptures and the historic Palazzo Vecchio. The square is a hub of cultural and political activity.
Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens: Explore the Palazzo Pitti, a grand palace, and stroll through the beautiful Boboli Gardens behind it. The gardens offer a peaceful retreat with stunning views of the city.
Santa Croce Basilica: Visit the Basilica di Santa Croce, a Franciscan church that houses the tombs of many notable figures, including Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli.
Galleria dell'Accademia: In addition to the David, this museum houses an impressive collection of Renaissance art, including works by Botticelli, Lippi and more.
Mercato Centrale: Immerse yourself in Florence's culinary scene at the Mercato Centrale. This bustling market offers fresh produce, meats, cheeses and a variety of local specialties.
Palazzo Vecchio: Explore the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence, and visit the Salone dei Cinquecento, a magnificent hall adorned with impressive frescoes.
Piazzale Michelangelo: For panoramic views of Florence, head to Piazzale Michelangelo. It's a popular spot to watch the sunset over the city.
Tours and Activities
Florence Fashion Tour: I highly recommend booking one of these shopping tours for your next trip in Florence. My clients have so much fun discovering local artisans, hidden vintage boutiques, Florentine fashion designers and so much more. They can take you to places selling authentic gold and leather for bargain prices!
Foods of Florence | Food Tours: Nothing better thank booking one of these food tours to immerse yourself in the Italian culinary traditions. My clients are always super excited to visit local food producers, chefs and eating spots under the wings of an expert.
Places to eat & drink in Florence
La Casalinga: A no-frills restaurant where you can try all the traditional Florentine dishes, from pappa al pomodoro (tomato soup) to Tuscan steak at exceptional prices.
Sabatino: Cheap eats and a traditional atmosphere with shared tables and kind, attentive staff.
Palazzo Portinari Bistrot: A refined dining experiences, in a historic noble palazzo. All dishes are cooked by a famous Italian chef, Vito Mollica.
Il Locale: In a building that dates to the 1200s, this stylish bar has a noteworthy art-themed cocktail list.
Procacci: After more than 100 years, Procacci continues to be an institution among Florentines, the perfect setting for savoring delicacies made with truffles together with an extraordinary selection of Marchesi Antinori wines, served with contemporary flair and finesse.
Perchè No gelato: Started in 1939, this ice cream shop is a locals only spot where you can savor authentic Italian gelato. What I love about it, it's that flavors change seasonally (watermelon gelato in the summer or chestnut in the fall!)
Brac: If you're vegan or vegetarian, this restaurant is a must-visit place in Florence with yummy vegan and vegetarian-friendly options (all their pasta based dishes are a dream!)
Pino’s: Looking to try real Italian sandwiches? I highly recommend Pino's, where you can taste fresh ingredients coming from the South of Italy. I always like to put grilled eggplants in my sandwich, you should try too!
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Kimberly Sessions’s guide, Local Quick Bites in Florence.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Florence.