Best of Florence: Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Florence

Giardino Bardini

Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and it is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. But I am here to share only the best things about Florence. In this article, you will find everything that you need to see, try, and taste in Florence. So keep on reading.

Best Airbnb

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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 a great experience. Click here to check prices and availability.

Best food

 Osteria All’antico Vinaio Florence

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!

Osteria All’antico Vinaio

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 a constant line of people. That’s probably the only downside. 

This sandwich shop dates back to 1989 and was born inside 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!

Best viewpoint

Piazzale Michelangelo

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 an unforgettable sunrise over Florence? 

Piazzale Michelangelo

How to get to this viewpoint? You can choose to walk, but it’s not the easiest walk. And considering that you are already walking all day to see Florence, I highly suggest taking the bus (1.50 EUR) or grabbing a taxi (around 15 EUR from Duomo).

Piazzale Michelangelo

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 a few locations, Florence is very walkable. Considering that we stayed near Duomo, this was the only time when we had to take a taxi. 

Best garden

Giardino Bardini

Welcome to Giardino Bardini – a beautiful flower garden hidden in Florence. It comes with a bonus – another unforgettable viewpoint of Florence.

This place is used for weddings, fashion shows, and many events, but you have the chance to see it with your own eyes and get away from hectic and overcrowded Florence during busy hours. 

Giardino Bardini

My favorite 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.

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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 down.

Considering that it was a hot summer day, I think we made the right decision and avoided all the climbing. The 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

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

There are many cool bars in Florence, but I found a hidden gem that felt like a little escape. Palazzo Guadagni is situated on the upper floor of this ancient Palazzo built in 1505. Gorgeous views, beautiful designs, and amazing drinks!

You will find it in the heart of Oltrarno – one of my favorite neighborhoods of Florence. Not so well known by tourists, so this is the place where you find local restaurants, boutiques, markets, and hand-crafted goodies. 

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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.

Best attraction

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Sorry, but I haven’t discovered anything new here. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Duomo is the best attraction that you will find.

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 detail, pieces of gold, and 463 steps to arrive at the top. 

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Duomo of Florence

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 

Ponte Vecchio

Wondering what to bring home from Florence? Wine, leather, and gold. Wine and leather can be found 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. 

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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 jewelers be allowed to have their shops on the bridge to improve the well-being of all, including their own as they walked over the bridge.

Ponte Vecchio

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. The best view of Ponte Vecchio is on the bridge nearby – Ponte Santa Trinita.

Best hidden gem 

Basilica of Santa Croce

I want to take you to the 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, and Andrea Orcagna, and more work by Donatello.

Right next to the Basilica of Santa Croce, there is a restaurant called Osteria Battipalla. We had an amazing breakfast here, but seems like they have a great lunch and dinner menu as well. If you get a table outside, you can admire the beautiful Basilica as you enjoy your meal.

Best museum

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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.

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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 advise to book a guided tour.

Best day trip

Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Siena is the best day trip option from Florence. But I 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 in Italy.

Further reading for best things to do in Florence

Or read about other popular regions of Italy

Dolomites | Liguria | Lombardy | Piedmont | Puglia | Sicily | Tuscany | Veneto

Other useful tips for visiting Italy

🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide and Viator have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Italy? Use Rentalcars
✈️ Looking for the best flight deals? Check WayAway
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo

In conclusion…

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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 the 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.

Pin it for later and make sure you know the best things to do in Florence!



  1. Thanks for all of the excellent tips and inspiring photos for a trip to Florence! It was going to be our next trip before Covid, now I’m hoping we will get there within the year. Saving so we can reference your article.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I’m sure it will help you plan your trip and fingers crossed you can reschedule your trip!! Thank you so much, Erica!

  2. Your pictures are wonderful! I’m excited to plan my trip to Florence and Tuscany this year and take helpful tips from your articles 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      That means a lot, thank you! And I’m sure you will have a wonderful time in Tuscany 😍

  3. Everything looks so amazing in Florence. Especially the Uffizi gallery. I’d love to see the art and sculptures! And what incredible viewpoints you found to overlook that city!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Florence is full of art and beautiful views, so I’m sure you would love it!

  4. I don抰 even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! ❤️

  5. Nina Clapperton says:

    Shopping was definitely the highlight when I was in Florence! I never even got to post of these things – especially the gardens which look lovely

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds amazing! Florence has so many high quality products to offer once it comes to shopping! ❤️

  6. Florence looks beautiful! definitely could use some of that air right now..

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Hope you get a chance to visit soon ❤️

  7. It’s been over four years now since I visited Florence and this post definitely makes me want to go back! Your photos are absolutely beautiful.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a plan! Thank you very much, Anna ❤️

  8. It’s been a while that I visited Florence. Your pics are awesome. and it feels. like I need to go there again, soon!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I think Florence is always a good idea haha! Thank you so much, Pia! ❤️

  9. Ahh, Florence (and Italy in general) has been on our bucket list for ages! We were hoping to visit this year for Candace’s 30th birthday, but our plans got derailed due to the pandemic. Great blog post! All of your photos are stunning – and very Instagrammable 😊! The viewpoint at Piazzale Michelangelo looks absolutely stunning; we will definitely have to add this to our itinerary for our visit, along with Duomo and Basilica of Santa Croce – wow, so pretty! Thanks for sharing all of this info. Xx Sara

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Sara! I’m glad that you find it useful and enjoyable. I really hope you can reschedule your trip to Italy, it is such a beautiful country.. all around! Best wishes ❤️

  10. Your photos are so amazing. They make me want to book a flight to Florence right now, although I’ve been there before 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Why not? Haha, thank you so much for your kind comment ❤️

  11. Your photos are FAB! i love Florence and would have a hard time picking ‘bests’. The Uffizi for sure for best museum. The garden you highlighted was gorgeous. Loved the Wisteria pergola.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I must admit, it wasn’t easy haha. But thank you for your kind words, that garden really deserves a visit 😍

  12. Ah, your post has me dreaming of being back in Italy. I agree with your recommendations, especially the fact that the Duomo will always be the best. 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Undoubtedly haha! Thank you so much, Michelle! Really hope you get a chance to come back soon ❤️

  13. Definitely pinning so I can find that view point next time I’m in Florence!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a great idea! 😍

  14. Your photos of Florence are stunning! This is one Italian city that’s right at the top of my bucket list.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you! Hope you get to visit soon! ❤️

  15. These views are GORGEOUS!! I’ve never had Tuscanian food, so those food pics have me salivating. I would love to just spend a day at the Uffizi Gallery. Wonderful recommendations!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh thank you so much, glad to hear your kind feedback! Hope you get to try their local food asap, it’s amazing ❤️

  16. Thanks for this great post about Florence! It was going to be part of our next big trip in 2020, so I’m pinning to use when we get to make that trip happen. Beautiful photos!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh thank you so much, Erica! Fingers crossed you can reschedule it soon and see more of this beautiful city!

  17. I agree! All of your bests would be my picks too. I love the city of Florence, it’s one of the most romantic places. Your photos were oh so dreamy too.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad to hear that! Florence is full of magic indeed 🥰 Thanks ❤️

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you Jordan! 🥰

  18. Stunning photos! Love this guide to the best things to do and see in Florence, Italy!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! 🥰

  19. Florence looks like a dream! What a gorgeous place. All of your recommendations are wonderful, but I would especially love to see the sunrise at Piazzale Michelangelo!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sometimes early wake up calls can be so worth it! Glad you enjoyed it ❤️

  20. Oh I have only visited Rome and Florence has been on my list for so long. The viewpoint from Piazzale Michelangelo looks incredible!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I hope you get to visit rest of the Italy as well.. and Florence is a great start 🥰

  21. Vanessa Shields says:

    What a wonderful list of things that are a must when visiting Florence! I’ve visited a few times and adore the city although I haven’t been to Giardino Bardini as it looks gorgeous with the views and wisteria! I also would love to have drinks at the top of that palazzo too!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad to see that you enjoyed it and found something new for yourself! Villa Bardini is such a gem, hope you get a chance to visit next time ❤️

  22. This is a lovely post on Florence! I loooove Italy, and even been on a solo trip to Naples two years ago. I am heading to Venice next week, can’t wait!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Italy is magical, right?! Don’t miss Burano as well ❤️ Glad you enjoyed it!

  23. Your photos make me want to jump on a plane now and visit Florence! 🙂 Giardino Bardini looks just beautiful..this would be my first stop.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh thank you! Hope you get to visit one day 🙂

  24. Meravigliose foto in contesti da sogno realizzate con maestria e professionalità colori che riempiono l’anima…. Modella elegante e di classe che rende magica ogni foto veramente un lavoro di grande professionalità

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sei gentilissima! Grazie mille per le tue belle parole! Apprezzo tanto❤️

  25. Love the shots! They made me miss Florence even more! Especially that we didn’t have time to visit a lot of the places you mentioned, like Bardini Gardens.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you Aga! I hope you get a chance to go back.. Bardini gardens certainly deserve a visit, especially in spring ❤️

  26. Truly a remarkable job Lāsma! I loved how you fit all the most important things to know about Florence! Now i am craving some tuscanian food btw!
    And we are almost ready for our next destination

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you my love! Hopefully we can return to Florence one day ❤️

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