Get to know Italy from a whole different perspective. Welcome to Florence, the cradle of Renaissance, full of stunning architecture, awe-inspiring art and irresistible charm. What Florence lacks in size, it makes up for with atmosphere, as not many cities are as lovable as Florence is. Romantic, cobbled alleys, candle-lit chapels and beautiful 15th- and 16th-century palaces make Florence one of the most picturesque cities of Italy. Those interested in art will be delighted by the works of Botticelli, Michelangelo and other famous artists, which can be admired in various museums around the city. If you’re a shopping buff, then the boutiques of Florence will make your head spin – from Gucci to Salvatore Ferragamo, they are all here. All these attractions are further enhanced by the stunning cuisine, as Florentines surely know how to feast. After tasting ribollita, panino and T-bone steaks, you will know the true meaning of Florentines' motto – la dolce vita.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Florence
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour
This guided tour will allow you to see the highlights of Tuscany in a single day, under the supervision of a well-accustomed guide and without the hassle of organising your own transport from Florence. Moreover, a three-course winery lunch, as well as wine tasting, are included in the admission fee.
Cinque Terre Hiking Day Trip from Florence
This hiking tour will take you along the picturesque scenery of the Cinque Terre – five idyllic fishing villages, placed on the UNESCO list of heritage places. The trip will take you to areas otherwise inaccessible by car, and afterwards it will allow you to rest during a relaxing cruise down the Riviera.
Taste of Chianti: Tuscan Cheese, Wine and Lunch from Florence
With a proper 4x4 vehicle to take you along some of the harder to get places of Tuscany's countryside, you will also be provided with commentary on the cuisine and wine of the region. The trip includes a number of stops at different wineries, olive-oil mills, and butchers, with tastings at each spot.
Florence Super Saver Tour
Being a great choice for first-time visitors of Florence, this comprehensive tour combines a couple of attractions for a discounted price. The skip-the-line ticket of the tour allows you to save hours of waiting in queues, and a well-accustomed guide will show you on your way and tell you the history of Florence.
Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse
This tour will allow you to take a lesson in preparing the delicious Tuscan cuisine. The tour contains a market tour as well as a cooking class, providing an opportunity for tourists to socialise. You will be able to pick your own ingredients from the market and cook traditional Italian dishes under a chef's supervision.
Small Group Wine Tasting Experience in Tuscany
With a small group of other tourists, a professional guide will be allowed to give you a lot of attention. This trip will take you along the outskirts of Florence, providing you with a way to escape the city’s hassle. You will visit six wineries, where samples of both wines and Tuscan cuisine will be provided.
Pizza and Gelato Cooking Class
Located in a traditional Tuscan farmhouse, this tour will take you straight from the centre of Florence into this picturesque region. You will be able to get an insight on the traditional Italian cuisine with a cooking lesson, allowing you to make some of the most recognised specialties, including pizza and gelato.
Florence to Greve Tour
Take a seat in a comfortable coach with air condition which will take you from the heart of Florence to the picturesque medieval town of Greve, which you will be able to explore on your own. Moreover, tasting sessions and tours of two Tuscan wineries with traditional Tuscan snacks will take place.
Skip-the-Line Florence Highlights
This walking tour will take you to some of the most recognisable tourist attractions of Florence. Visit the Oltrarno art district and Via Tornabuoni shops with a local guide who will tell you the rich history and heritage of the city, and end with a trip to Accademia Museum to see the famous David of Michelangelo.
Pisa Half Day Trip
This trip not only allows you to escape the crowds of the city of Florence for a relaxing trip to Pisa but will also grant you skip-the-line entry to the famous Leaning Tower. Afterwards, a well-accustomed guide will show you around Pisa as you explore Duomo, Baptistery, the Pisa Cemetery and more.
Other Things to See and Do
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Being a famous UNESCO world heritage site, the cathedral is an overwhelmingly gorgeous sight, both on the inside and on the outside. The massive building can be entered for free, but make sure to grasp its architecture from the outside first. For a small fee, you can even climb the cupola of Brunelleschi’s famous dome.
San Miniato al Monte
Regarded by many as one of the most scenic churches in Italy, this marvellous church is located on a hill above the Piazzale Michelangelo. Make sure to stop by this amazing Romanesque church to gaze upon its architecture and experience a real working of a monastery.
Basilica di Santa Croce
This gorgeous church is well-known among locals for holding the toms and monuments of famous residents of Florence, including Michelangelo himself, Galileo, Machiavelli, and many more renowned figures. Inside the church, you can even visit Dante's memorial, adorned with Giotto's frescoes.
Santa Maria Novella
With a breathtaking facade made out of a combination of vibrant green marble and stylish white marble, this 13th to the 15th-century complex is comprised out of small churches cloistered together, as well as a chapel adorned with frescoes. It is also a great place to relax with gardens and benches all over.
Church of Orsanmichele
Located in the centre of Florence, this church is famous for its sophisticated stone exterior. The outside of the church is decorated with statues, but the insides of the church are no less worth seeing. Make sure to stop by, as the church will surely be somewhere along the path of your sightseeing trip.
Regarded as having the best available view of the city, the Piazzale Michelangelo requires a little walk up the hill, but it will surely be worth it. Make sure to take pictures as you stand in a full view of the gorgeous cityscape of Florence, surrounded by local wineries and charming cafes.
Providing a picturesque view of the Arno River, this iconic bridge of Florence is also one of the oldest ones in all of Italy. The bridge is lined with shops, presenting stalls by local artisans and craftsmen, who showcase their work. As always, you can freely look at their handiwork for free.
When going back from your trip to the Piazzale Michelangelo, make sure to take a walk through the rose gardens of Florence. Filled with hundreds of varieties of roses, lemon trees, and exotic plants from all around the world, the garden is filled with vibrant colours, allowing you to relax in tranquillity after a long day.
Parco delle Cascine
Located right in the middle of the city of Florence, this hundred and sixty-hectare park is a historical spot of the city. If you are looking for the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic with your family and friends, this will be the place to go – the spots over the Arno River, which is right next to it, provide great views of the sunset.
Around the outskirts of Florence, the villas of the Medici family are nestled, making for a great escape from the crowded city. These gorgeous villas are placed on the UNESCO world heritage site lists, and they proud themselves on their gorgeous gardens, unique architecture, and marvellous views of the landscape.
If Rose Garden did not prove enough to you, feel free to visit the Iris gardens, which show another two hundred plant species, located on the hills right beside Piazzale Michelangelo. Make sure to come to Florence during springtime, as the Iris garden is open only for a limited time during that period.
Being one of the greenest spots in all of Florence, the Orticoltura Garden was constructed in 1859 to showcase some of the beautiful green meadows of the city. Adorned with lush flowerbeds and tranquil atmosphere, the Garden is a great place to relax after a hard day of sightseeing and hiking around Florence.
Piazza della Signoria
The Piazza della Signoria is one of the most attended spots in the city by locals, allowing you to overhear some of their talks and watch their daily routines. The Piazza is also filled with charming cafes, where you can get an Italian cappuccino or grab a bite of the traditional Italian cuisine.
If you're into handicraft, you will surely like it in the leather markets of Florence, where local artisans present their handmade goods. Filled with handbags, belts, shoes, and other articles of clothing and more, the leather markets are a great place to come even if you are not planning on buying anything.
Take a trip to the haven of all food lovers – the centre of Tuscan cuisine. The market is situated on the second floor of the building and is filled with local chefs who specialise in traditional Italian dishes. Here you can find homemade pasta, fresh fish and pastries – it is worth it to come just to look and smell.
San Lorenzo Market
When you are done with exquisite delicacies of the Mercato Centrale, make sure to stop by the San Lorenzo Market, located right outside. Here you will not find any more food, but instead more products made by the local artisans, from pottery, through clothing, to souvenirs and memorabilia.
Being truly a unique and unusual attraction, this 14th-century perfumery is a place worth visiting for anyone on their first trip to Florence. The perfumery is located just around the corner from the church of Santa Maria Novella and showcases some of the gorgeous frescoes of the city, as well as an arrangement of perfume fragrances.
While it may seem like just another market filled with artisans and their craft, there is more to this one. While admiring the gorgeous handwork of the craftsmen from Florence and surrounding villages, make sure not to forget to rub the nose of the wild boar statue, which is said to bring good luck to travellers.
Fountain of Neptune
Take a look at some of the ancient Italian heritage and gaze upon the gorgeous fountain located on the Piazza della Signoria, adorned with a statue of Neptune, the god of oceans. The fountain was commissioned in 1565 and was created by the famous Bartolomeo Ammannati, a renowned sculptor.
Rodolfo Siviero Museum
If you’re into arts, make sure to step by the Rodolfo Siviero Museum, named after a keen art collector who managed to gather an impressive collection. The breathtaking variety of his art includes some ancient Roman works, medieval paintings and sculptures, works of the Italian Renaissance, and more.