Top 8 best things to do in Florence

The best things to do in Florence, Italy as a tourist

Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is known as one of the biggest cultural centres in Europe. Home to many historical wonders of renaissance art and architecture, the city invites you for a trip of a lifetime. Florence is packed with romance, world-class art, and native gourmet – the Tuscan cuisine.

Therefore, a trip to this beautiful city in Europe includes sightseeing, food, and art under your itinerary of things to do in Florence. The weather in Florence is best in spring, summer and fall, making it a great destination pick almost all year long.

Catedral di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence

A view of Catedral de Santa Maria del Fiore
The impressive Catedral de Santa Maria del Fiore – © Wikimedia

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, also known as the Duomo di Firenze – is the centre piece of the city. To get to the top of the Florence cathedral, climb 463 steps and witness the true beauty of the city.

If you still got breath left after climbing up the cathedral, head to the bell tower (Giotto’s campanile) for another magnificent set of panoramic views. Check out the Opera Duomo Museum and witness all the beauty within the same Florence Duomo tickets.

The Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery
Inside the Uffizi Gallery – © Wikipedia

The number one tourist attraction in Florence, the Uffizi gallery, is a must-visit place for every art lover. Constructed in the 16th century, it is designed by the Italian painter Giorgio Vasari.

You will also find art pieces of other renowned artists and classical sculptures that will transfix your eyes in admiration. The gallery is a treasure of Renaissance art and is certainly one of the best things to do in Florence, Italy.

Piazzale Michelangelo

View of Florence
Spectacular views of Florence – © Flickr

Get a spectacular view of the city for free at the Piazzale Michelangelo! Located across the river, it’s a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts that lets you view the Duomo, city walls, and the Arnolfo Tower of the Palazzo Vecchio.

A classic tourist stop that surely provides an unforgettable panorama. The Piazzale Michelangelo could be on your list of things to do Florence, Italy.

Florence’s Mercato Centrale

Inside Mercator Centrale in Florence
A food stall at Mercato Centrale – © Flickr

Mercato Centrale, also known as the San Lorenzo Market or Mercato di San Lorenzo, is a famous and historic food and produce market in Florence.

It is a well-known destination for tourists and locals alike, where you can indulge in the fresh, colourful offerings of fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses. You’ll also find other food staples, mostly from the Tuscany region.

Visit the top floor – a foodie paradise that offers street food and gourmet cuisine. Also consider taking a Florence food tour to learn more about Italian food and to know about Florence’s best restaurants.

Giardino Bardini

Giardino Bardini
Inside Giardino Bardini – © Wikimedia

Located in the hilly part of Oltrarno, the Bardini garden is a must-visit spot if you want to take a walk amidst nature.

Unlike the Boboli garden, you will find this place less crowded. A visit in April should be on your cards when you can witness the magnificent purple wisteria arch.

To reach the top and gaze at some magnificent views of the city, you can either climb the baroque stone staircase or use the shady wisteria arbor.  

Arno River and Ponte Vecchio

Arno River and view of Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio, one of the most famous landmarks of Florence – © Wikipedia

Take a paddleboat ride and you will find a new way to look at Florence! Arno is one of the most renowned rivers in Florence.

If you just want to take a break from all those history tours, then paddleboat rides will refresh you with unique landscapes.

Make sure to also check Ponte Vecchio, one of the best things to see in Florence.

Caffé Gilli

Cafe Gilli
Why not drink an espresso like the locals at Cafe Gilli – © Wikipedia

In business since 1733, Caffé Gilli still follows its swanky, historic ambiance which drives local citizens of Florence to hang out. It is the perfect example of the nostalgia – “Somethings never change.”

Located at the corner of Piazza Repubblica, it is the ideal place to sip your espresso. Also have some pastry like the other Florentines!

Osteria dell’ Enoteca

Osteria dell'Enoteca
A steak at Osteria dell’Enoteca, one of Florence’s best restaurants – © Osteria dell’Enoteca

Osteria dell’ Enoteca is a contemporary space whose specialty is seasonal Tuscan cuisines, cooked with a modern twist. It is owned by Pitti Gola e Cantina and had become a recommendation by many for Florence best restaurants.

One of the finest dining places in the city, it is famous for its seafood like spicy Octopus served with potato soup, cheesy Gazpacho, and T-bone steaks.

Hotels in Florence

The Villa Cora
The stunning lobby of The Villa Cora, Florence’s best hotel – © Villa Cora

With so much history and heritage, Florence not only has streets filled with museums. It also has many hotels, which were earlier renaissance palaces. Some of them are just a stone’s throw away from major tourist attractions, while others are at quieter places like by the side of Arno River.

One of the best Florence, Italy hotels is The Villa Cora. 15 minutes’ walk from the Ponte Vecchio, this 5-star hotel is a 19th-century villa. Hotel Lungarno – situated at the south side of River Arno and The Grand Hotel Minerva, located at the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella are also prominent stays.

You will find several hotels, decorated with contemporary art pieces and a rooftop floor with a view of the Duomo’s distinctive dome.


Already visited Florence, Italy? Why not check out our guide of the best things to do in Athens!

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