Top 5 things to do in Florence | Travel Guide

Florence is one of my absolute favourite cities, not just in Italy, but the WORLD. It has a laid back charm that even the harden planning freak can’t help but find infectious. Be prepared to walk a little slower, sleep in a little later, and spend many an evening soaking up the atmosphere… and the local wine!

Florence may be small but it is PACKED with things to do. In fact I found it pretty hard to narrow it down to just five, however here they are, my five must do’s in Florence, Italy.

Walk to Piazzale Michelangelo

You were expecting me to mention the Duomo here, weren’t you? Go on admit it! As amazing as the Duomo is Piazzale Michelangelo tops my list. I think the view speaks for itself as to why.

Florence Italy | view from Piazzale Michelangelo

Situated on the south of the river, Piazzale Michelangelo is located on the top of a  hill, one that feels pretty massive in the summer heat. It’s all paved and very easy once to get going, but there is also a bus running if you’re not feeling particularly brave or if mobility is an issue.

Florence Italy | view from Piazzale Michelangelo

As the top, apart from the views, you’ll find a few cafes and sometimes a small market. Visit in the late afternoon and you may be lucky enough to watch the sunset.

Visit the Duomo

You can’t possibly visit Florence and not visit the Duomo, it’s simply stunning. Be sure to go early if you can as queues do get large during the day. Be sure not to miss the steps down under the main church to see the archeological excavation down below.

Florence Italy | Duomo Exterior

Be sure to head up Campanile di Giotto to truly appreciate the Duomo. The stairs are not for the faint hearted though, there’s a very good reason why there is a first aid centre at the top! I didn’t take any photos of myself at the top as I resembled a huge rasberry, I don’t think I’ll be attempting it again myself, but it was certainly an experience!

Florence Italy | view from the top of giottos campanile

Visit the Uffizi Gallery

My favourite Gallery in Florence. Even if you don’t like art you can still appreciate the building and the setting.

Florence Italy | Uffizi Interior

For art lovers, it’s a paradise. With artworks by Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian and my favourite, Botticelli, you’ll be completely spoilt for choice on where to look next.

Florence Italy | Uffizi Gallery Botticelli

My big tip here, and it applies to Florence in general, is to get the Firenze Card, it’s not cheap (€72 for 72 hours) but if you plan on doing lots of sightseeing over a few days it more than pays for itself. The front of line pass you get for the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia to view David saved us HOURS  of queuing.

As an example, here’s the queue for the Accademia 30 minutes before it opened..

Florence Italy | queue for david

yeah, you’ll want to skip that! Still get there early though, the “fast” queue was still pretty eyewatering at midday.

Try a traditional Florentine meal

Florence is famous for it’s “Bistecca alla fiorentina” a large T Bone steak often served rare. We enjoyed ours at Ristorante Pizzeria Il Teatro, where we enjoyed a two course traditional meal and a bottle of wine for €30.

Florence Italy | Bistecca fiorentina

The steak was obviously the stand out dish, but the garlic potatoes and tuscan beans served alongside it were delicious as well, as was the wine it came with… we ordered another bottle!

Florence Italy | Traditional Meal

Grab a bite to eat at the Mercato Centrale

The Mercato is exactly that, a market. Spend some time exploring the stalls, it feels a little touristy so don’t expect many bargains here, although there are some great stalls for meat and cheese if you wish to try some.

Florence Italy | Mercato Centrale

The surprise is upstairs where the area has been converted into a series of bars and food stands offering a variety of dishes.

Florence Italy | Mercato Centrale

Much of the renovation was government funded and there’s even a cookery school here that on certain days you can book a table to be the student’s practise guests.

There are of course many, MANY, more places to visit, including some amazing churches but these 5 are my not to be missed recommendations. What do you think, what would have made your top 5?

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20 Comments

  1. July 3, 2017 / 4:34 pm

    Florence is so lovely, these pictures take me back to when I went!

    Emma x

    imemmalouise.wordpress.com

  2. Kayleigh Zara
    July 3, 2017 / 7:13 pm

    Florence is somewhere I’d love to visit I’ve heard so many people say how amazing it is! Your photography is stunning too x

    Kayleigh Zara 🎨 http://www.kayleighzaraa.com

    • hannah
      August 17, 2017 / 7:30 pm

      thank you x

  3. July 3, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Your photos are gorgeous! I’ve never been to Florence but it looks like a gorgeous city and it’s definitely on my list!!

  4. July 3, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    I’m gonna pin this right now! I want to go to Italy so bad! It’s been on my bucket list my whole life.

  5. July 3, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    Beautiful photos! I desperately need to visit Florence, it looks amazing!

  6. Megan Beth
    July 3, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Oh my god I love this! I so want to visit here! Great post!!!! The pictures are gorgeous too!

  7. July 4, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    I have been to Tuscany and Florence when I was younger and did the galeria and the duomo. Such a busy and expensive city though! xx corinne

    • hannah
      July 4, 2017 / 6:52 pm

      it sure was, I had to do a fair bit of research before we went to find some reasonably priced places.

  8. July 4, 2017 / 6:24 pm

    I’ve never been to Florence but it sounds awesome! I also love your photos! I too suffer from looking like a raspberry after hiking up a bunch of stairs. I always have to wait to return to a usual complextion before taking a photo of myself.

    • hannah
      July 4, 2017 / 6:53 pm

      I wish I could, it was so hot I was pretty much a permanent raspberry!

  9. July 4, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    Florence is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go! If I ever plan on going there I’ll make sure to come back to this super helpful post! xo

    Hanney | http://www.blogabouthanney.com

  10. July 4, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    Looks amazing and sounds even better! Will Defo keep this in mind as we hope to do Italy next year!

    Jessica & James | foodandbaker.co.uk / foodandbakertravels.co.uk

    • hannah
      July 4, 2017 / 6:53 pm

      ooo yes do. We are heading back to italy in a few weeks and I can’t wait

  11. July 4, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    I’ve never been to Florence but instantly want to now! These photos are stunning (: xx

  12. July 4, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    I have always wanted to visit Florence, it looks like such a beautiful romantic city. Thanks for these tips, definitely going to bookmark this for when I do eventually visit!

    Kirsty | The Monday Project | themondayproject.co.uk

  13. July 4, 2017 / 6:46 pm

    Florence looks absolutely stunning! I’d definitely spring for that front of the line pass, too, because waiting on holiday is terrible. And I want to try that steak!

    xx
    Emily
    emilyhallock.blogspot.com

  14. July 4, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    Florence has been on my list for ages. I need to explore more of Italy because it’s got so many gems and they are all different. I’m going to use your list when I go to Florence. Such beautiful pics, glad you enjoyed! Monica @ thewongblog.com x

  15. July 4, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    Florence looks amazing!
    I want to see more of Italy, I have only been to Venice so far,

    hayley // hayleyxmartin.com

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