First things first, right? You need a place to stay before you arrive! Well I happen to find the best apartment in Florence. Do you like impressive views and aesthetic design? Then you might want to book this Airbnb right now. The view doesn’t get better than this. And the location.. 2 minutes and you are in the heart of Duomo. The online downside is the fact that there is no elevator and it is on the last floor. However, after eating all the carbs, we can use this option to burn the calories! Also, the owner is a superhost, so I can guarantee that this will be great experience. Click here to check prices and availability.
Food is another essential when traveling. You will notice that Tuscanians are very proud of their meat and I believe you will find Bistecca alla Fiorentina (it is basically 1kg of meat) in almost every restaurant, so I want to show you something different, yet extremely loved. Even by locals!
It is called Osteria All’antico Vinaio and it is an experience that you must try! Their specialty? Sandwiches! I must admit that I am not a sandwich person, so I was skeptical, but let’s say that now I understand why there is constantly line of people. That’s probably the only downside.
This sandwich shop dates back to 1989 and was born inside of an old wine cellar, which only adds to the shop’s appeal. No matter what type of sandwich you want, they have it on the menu here. They have a restaurant where you can sit down and enjoy the meal as well, but if you choose to go for a sandwich, you won’t be able to sit down. However, Ponte Vecchio is just around the corner, so grab your lunch and enjoy it with a view!
Let me start with the obvious. But Piazzale Michelangelo is the best viewpoint in Florence and that is the reason why it is so popular. You might find it very busy for sunset, so why don’t you visit early in the morning and start your day with unforgettable sunrise over Florence?
How to get to this viewpoint? You can choose to walk, but its not the easiest walk. And considering that you are already walking all day to see Florence, I highly suggest to take the bus (1.50 EUR) or grab a taxi (around 15EUR from Duomo).
If you are visiting Florence with a car, I suggest you leave it at home. Parking is expensive, hard to find and driving in Italy.. not the easiest task. Apart from few locations, Florence is very walkable. Considering that we stayed near Duomo, this was the only time when we had to take taxi.
Welcome to Giardino Bardini – beautiful flower garden hidden in Florence. It comes with a bonus – another unforgettable viewpoint over Florence. This place is used for weddings, fashion shows and many event, but you have the chance to see it with your own eyes and get away from hectic and overcrowded Florence during busy hours.
My favourite part? Wisteria pergola and I will let the photo do the job here. You will find this between April to May and here you can check livecam to see how it is blooming.
This place has 2 entrances – Via dei Bardi 1r and Costa San Giorgio 2. We arrived from Costa San Giorgio 2 (there was no parking nearby!) and walked all the way down. Considering that it was a hot summer day, I think we made the right decision and avoided all the climbing. Entrance fee is 10 EUR, however, working hours are constantly changing, so it is better to call and make sure that it is open.
Best cocktail bar
There are many cool bars in Florence, but I found a hidden gem that felt like a little escape. Palazzo Guadagni is situated at the upper floor of this ancient Palazzo built in 1505. Gorgeous view, beautiful design and amazing drinks! You will find it in the heart of Oltrarno – one of my favourite neighbourhoods of Florence. Not so well known by tourists, so this is the place where you find local restaurants, boutiques, markets and hand crafted goodies.
Palazzo Guadagni is a hotel with beautiful rooms, so this could be a nice alternative for those who choose hotels over Airbnb. The owner of the hotel is there to welcome you and share his knowledge about the city. Very welcoming.
Sorry, but I haven’t discovered anything new here. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Duomo is the best attraction that you will find. In fact, is it considered one of the most significant architectural achievements of the Renaissance and it dominates every panoramic view over Florence. Massive cupola, attention to details, pieces of gold and 463 steps to arrive to the top.
There is a single admission ticket giving you access to Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, the Crypt of Santa Reparata and the Opera Museum. Entrance into the Cathedral itself is free. You can purchase the “Grande Museo del Duomo” combination ticket online for 18 euros, which gives you one entry to each of the Duomo sites over 72 hours. If you choose to buy this ticket, you can use the option to book your climb up to Duomo. You need to have a reservation to do that.
Best local souvenirs
Wondering what to bring home from Florence? Wine, leather and gold. Wine and leather you can find all over the city, but there is one particular place where you would like to go gold shopping and that is Ponte Vecchio. It happens to be the most iconic bridge in all of Florence.
There have been shops on Ponte Vecchio since the 13th century. Initially, there were all types of shops, including butchers and fishmongers and, later, tanners, whose “industrial waste” caused a pretty rank stench in the area. In 1593, Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewellers be allowed to have their shops on the bridge in order to improve the wellbeing of all, including their own as they walked over the bridge.
It is a very unique bridge, something that you won’t find anywhere else, so use the moment and admire it from outside as well. Best view on Ponte Vecchio is on the bridge nearby – Ponte Santa Trinita.
Best hidden gem
I want to take you to Basilica of Santa Croce. Yes, it might look like a little cousin of Duomo, but I was surprised to see it so empty. Turns out, not many people know about this place. And it is much bigger than it looks like, so make sure you enter and see it from inside as well. Here you will find from Della Robbia ceramics to the frescoes by Jacopo Ligozzi, Andrea Orcagna and more work by Donatello.
Right next to Basilica of Santa Croce there is a restaurant called Osteria Battipalla. We had an amazing breakfast here, but seems like they have great lunch and dinner menu as well. If you get a table outside, you can admire the beautiful Basilica as you enjoy your meal.
Uffizi Gallery.. I am 100% sure you have heard about this place before and there is a reason why I am so sure. This art museum opened in the 16th century and it’s not only home to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, but you can also admire many incredible artworks from Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo and Caravaggio.
You can book your tickets here. Keep in mind that you should book it in advance and it will cost you between 10-16 EU. This will take you more than 2 hours and I highly advice to book a guided tour.
Best day trip
Siena is the best day trip option from Florence. But I personally think it deserves more than just a day trip. I have been to many places around Italy, but I think Siena wins when it comes to medieval and charming places. If that is something that you might like, plan a trip to Siena. If you are still thinking, maybe this article will convince you – 25 PHOTOS THAT WILL MAKE YOU VISIT SIENA.
I hope this article helped you with your Itinerary for Florence. I believe you can add many cool things to your itinerary and enjoy only the best and finest things in Florence. I personally have been to Florence twice and first time I did not enjoy it. Do you know why? Because I didn’t know about these best things.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.