As the beating heart of Tuscany and a melting pot of history from Medieval to Renaissance, world-class food, and endless manmade and natural beauty, Florence should sit high atop any traveler’s European bucket list.
Whether you’re looking for masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture or a taste of Tuscan life and delights, you have many places to visit in Florence. This beautiful city has an abundance and finesse in terms of tourist attractions, as well as culinary traditions.
Speaking of culinary traditions, Florence doesn’t fall behind in the Italian food scene, from the Bistecca Florentina to the Lampredotto and Trippa, and much more, you’ll soon figure out that Florence’s food scene is worthy of a trip alone.
Enjoy the impeccable art venues from witnessing Michaelangelo’s David at Academia Gallery to the streets watching beautiful art unfold before your eyes from local talent.
Take a day trip to Cinque Terre or wine country in Chianti, or maneuver a Ferrari, a Vespa scooter or a paraglider. Whichever adventure you choose, the quality of things to do in Florence is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.
1 – Admire World Heritage treasures at Piazza del Duomo
Begin your discovery of the city’s marvels at Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), right at the heart of the Historic Center of Florence — a UNESCO World Heritage site showcasing the magnificence of Renaissance art and architecture.
This popular square is a treasure trove of Florentine creativity. Your head will spin trying to see everything before Brunelleschi’s Dome catches your eye.
Admire famous Renaissance artworks at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Opera del Duomo Museum) for famous artworks like the original Gates of Paradise!
2 – Hunt for truffles (and eat what you catch)
Lean into the Italian fascination for truffles by getting your hands dirty on a truffle hunt!
Join a professional hunter and his cute dog on a trip through the hills of Montefiesole, and learn the trade secrets, and pick (and eat) what you find!
After you’ll have worked up an appetite, take the chance to indulge in a well-earned classic truffle pasta and wine combo — or you might also have a delicious dessert!
3 – Explore the massive Pitti Palace
The intimidating 15th-century palace was once a homestead and treasure house.
But after it was soon inhabited by the Medici Royal Family it quickly became a symbol of power — with plenty of secrets within its walls.
All four sections of the palace showcase the expansive riches of the family through artifacts and artworks by the likes of Raphael, Titian and more. You can find these paintings at the Palantine Gallery, on the same floor where the Imperial and Royal Apartments are situated.
Right above them, you can find the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Costume and Fashion. Admire the decorative arts collection of the family at the Treasury of the Grand Dukes located on the ground floor.
Read more about Pitti Palace tickets price.
4 – Relax and refresh at the Boboli Gardens
There’s no visit to the Pitti Palace without checking out the Boboli Gardens.
These original European gardens just behind the palace are teeming with manicured greenery, old oak trees, sculptures, and fountains — all under that toasty Florentine sun!
Spot Bernardo Buontalenti’s popular grotto which looks familiar to those who read Dan Brown’s novel “Inferno.”
Visitors also love the foliage turning brown in the fall and the fragrant flowers in the spring!
To see the Boboli Gardens, and a few other must-see sights like the Palatine Gallery, Uffizi Gallery, and the Pitti Palace, check out Boboli Garden ticket tours and packages, which also include skip-the-line privileges.
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Porcelain Museum, a sight packed with delicate tableware belonging to the Royal Families of old.
5 – Dress to impress at the Gucci Museum and Garden
For fashion-centric things to do in Florence, look no further!
History and style combine as the accessories and clothes on display showcase the evolution of Italian fashion and lifestyle in a way only Gucci can!
Situated at Piazza della Signoria, Gucci Garden houses a boutique and a bookstore, with an elegantly designed restaurant Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura next to it. Just within the plaza, you can sit for a coffee or a cocktail at its all-day cafe, Giardino 25.
Don’t forget to swing by the gift shop, where the designer items are anything but tacky!
6 – Travel through time at Palazzo Vecchio
Explore this palace museum that was once the town hall of Florence. Palazzo Vecchio which means “The Old Palace” was named by Duke Medici when he moved his residence to Pitti Palace.
Discover magnificent chambers and courtyards decorated with artworks by Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Donatello.
No visit is complete without exploring the hidden corridors and stairways — look for a path hidden behind a painting!
Aside from discovering secret paths within those chambers, you can also spot ancient Roman ruins in this museum.
Then, find the replica Statue of David at Piazza della Signoria and wander the Corinthian capitals at the Loggia Dei Lanzi.
After exploring the marvels inside Palazzo Vecchio, don’t skip out on walking by, the Fountain of Neptune.
Boasting an image of a God of the Sea on a horse-drawn carriage through water, one of the reasons why the sculpture was built was the celebration of the marriage between Francesco de Medici to Grand Duchess Joanna of Austria.
Learn about the Palazzo Vecchio and the Fountain of Neptune more in-depth on a walking tour of Florence, learning more about Florence along the way.
Read more about Palazzo Vecchio tickets price.
7 – Learn to make the local dishes
Sure, you’ve been loving the Florentine food, but where will you find stuff this good back home?
Impress yourself (and any dinner party guests) by taking a cooking class and learning the tricks of the trade from a passionate local chef!
Take a class at the historic center of Florence to learn how to make handmade pasta, gelato and other popular Italian desserts. Your lunch or dinner is definitely covered.
Think bruschetta, pasta, pork, pizza, tiramisu — washed down with Tuscan wine, of course!
MaMa Florence is the perfect place in the city to book your Italian cooking class if you’re looking to choose from a variety of Italian cooking experiences in Florence.
Imagine what it would be like to take a pasta-only making class where you’ll get your hands dirty working the dough or do a Florence Market Walk before heading into the kitchen with your chef instructor to concoct the perfect Italian dish.
The culinary possibilities are endless at MaMa Florence, offering a class for every different diet, occasion, expertise, specialty, and ingredient.
8 – Hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Take that picture.
Pisa isn’t far from Florence, and, on the way, you can check out plenty of charming towns and villages!
Visitors love Lucca and its immense city walls designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
Meanwhile, inside the city is just as historic and attractive.
With marble churches, retro houses, narrow streets and low numbers of tourists, what’s not to love?
9 – Go on a wine and food trip to the Chianti region
Hop on a 4×4 through the Tuscan hills where you experience only the best wonderful wineries and vintage villas!
If time is a challenge to go for a day trip, join a half-day tour from Florence to visit two wineries, meet the winemakers and sample their wines and unique products.
Explore this beautiful mountainous area and experience some of the finest flavors in Tuscany, as you’re surrounded by vineyards and olive trees.
With the stunning hilly countryside in every direction, it’s a must-do.
Read more about the best day trips from Florence.
10 – Walk a secret passageway at the Vasari Corridor
Connecting the “Old Palace” to Palazzo Pitti, this enclosed elevated path walk was named after Giorgio Vasari whom Medici hired to build it — so the duke could walk safely between his residence and the government palace.
The Vasari Corridor starts at the bustling Uffizi Gallery. Prepare for an eerie silence as you’re flanked by self-portraits of artists, before the vibe changes as you pass by Ground Zero of the 1993 attack.
If you continue walking through the passage, you will return to magical Florence and be greeted by beautiful views all the way until you reach Palazzo Vecchio!
11 – Continue unveiling the beauty of Tuscany with a day trip to Assisi and Corton
Take a day trip to the incredible town of Assisi, a town located 2 hours south of Florence, in the region of Umbria.
Brimming with an extensive history, specifically that relating to Catholicism, learn about one of the most famous saints, Saint Francis.
Cortona is another wonderful town along the way to Assisi, only a little over an hour away from Florence.
Due to its placement on a hilltop, the walled city overflowing with Medieval charm awaits curious travelers to explore its streets, and fall in love with one of the prettiest Tuscan towns.
12 – Follow Professor Langdon on an Inferno tour
Fans of the hit Dan Brown novel and Tom Hanks movie, as well as fans of Dante’s original Divine Comedy, will love this!
Visit the sites Professor Langdon, Brown’s fictional character in his book series, went to crack the codes and solve the mysteries — including the Hall of Geographical Maps, the Florence Baptistery and see the actual death mask of Dante himself!
Discover historic monuments and squares, as you walk along with your guide who will narrate the stories and secrets of this Renaissance city.
13 – Spot ‘The Birth of Venus’ at the Uffizi Gallery
Walking through this treasure trove of instantly-recognizable masterpieces is one of the most popular things to do in Florence!
See Venus emerge from the clamshell in the flesh (or in the canvas) and examine its intricate detail in every facial feature and fabric fold.
One of Italy’s greatest art museums, Uffizi showcases a rich collection of sculptures of Roman art and exquisite paintings from Medieval to Renaissance. The gallery also displays architectural masterpieces in its rooms, staircases and corridors.
To get the full details of the Renaissance treasures inside the Uffizi Gallery, stopping by the Piazza della Signora, the Ponte Vecchio, and Biblioteca Degli Uffizi, and a few more stops book your tickets to Uffizi Gallery, with skip-the-line options.
14 – Ride the Tuscan Hills on a vintage Vespa
Tour the city in style while driving this classic scooter made by a famous Italian luxury brand Vespa.
Start by zipping through Florence’s narrow streets and up to the hills until you reach panoramic views from the Church of San Miniato al Monte!
As you head into the poppy and vineyard-laden country with the wind in your face, don’t miss the chance to soak up the atmosphere by stopping for an Italian lunch — as classic as your ride!
Tickets to enjoy a Vespa adventure don’t only include a ride around the scenic roads of Florence, but also include additional experiences on top of that.
Choose between a Vespa tour with lunch at a quaint country home in the hills included, or traveling via scooter throughout the wine region of Chianti hills, and more.
Experience a live concert by candlelight in Florence
Catch live performances of classics such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons or tributes to popular modern musicians and bands like Coldplay, all set to the ambiance of lit candles. Candlelight concerts take place in scenic venues across the city that don’t typically host concerts and events for an unforgettable backdrop to live renditions of your favorite tunes.
15 – Glance at the Florence skyline from Piazzale Michelangelo
Whether at sunrise, sunset, midday or midnight, the views of Florence are magical!
You can walk, ride or drive to the top for the view — best enjoyed over a drink and a plate of food. You can also join a city tour for the best insights from a local guide! La Loggia has a coffee bar slinging great espresso and a restaurant complete with a terrace if you’re after recommendations.
Besides the impressive sight, Piazzale Michelangelo also boasts a replica of Michelangelo’s David.
16 – Rent a Ferrari for a day
Italians and fast sports cars are a match made in a rev-head’s heaven!
Visit the Ferrari museum on a day trip to Bologna and explore this Emiglia-Romagna city famous for its meaty sauce ragu and covered corridors or porticos.
Make sure to discover some artworks and architectural masterpieces, such as Piazza Maggiore before heading back to Florence.
But nothing truly compares to feeling the steering wheel in your hands and hearing the engine purr as you roar through the countryside.
If you’ve ever wanted to drive one of these spectacular cars, this is your chance to drive the Ferrari Spider on the charming roads of Tuscany!
17 – Get the city’s rundown on a hop-on hop-off bus
Get your camera ready for the views of Florence from an open-air, double-decker bus!
On the bus, enjoy the detailed audio tour giving you the rundown on all the things to do in Florence — before you jump off at whichever stops take your fancy!
There’s always another bus nearby to hop on again to resume your tour.
These buses take you to more than 40 famous sites and attractions, with routes within the city or the outskirts — of course, you can go both.
You can choose from one- to three-day passes, so you can plan where to go and when.
18 – Behold the splendor of Basilica di Santa Maria Novella
Whether you want to marvel at Gothic-Renaissance architecture or perform a religious deed, visiting the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is one of the symbolic things to do in Florence.
Fulfilling both interests, this place serves also as a museum showcasing magnificent artworks aside from the church’s facade, including the Chapel of Filippo Strozzi and frescos like the Holy Trinity by Tommaso Guidi.
Amid the overwhelming grandiosity of this enormous space, your eyes won’t miss Giotto’s “The Crucifix” hung at the center of the church.
In order to beat the crowds, and get the most immersive experience of the artwork inside Florence’s first Basilica, make sure to book your skip-the-line tickets, which depending on your ticket, will include an audio guide.
19 – Go on a treasure hunt
After a thrilling, fast-paced tour of Florence — with prizes at the end — add the treasure hunt to your bucket list!
Follow maps, clues and your intuitions, as you speed through the humming city to complete challenges and find some of its quirkier sites.
Treasure hunts are often themed such as the animal art hunt and family-friendly Medici family hunt!
20 – Get overcome by adventure and thrills on Quad and Buggy tours
Have the ride of your trip on a fun quad tour through the countryside of Chianti on a fun, and unique adventure through the dirt roads.
By renting a quad or buggy tour, you’re signing up for a thrilling adventure that literally takes you down the road less traveled, where you’ll drive through olive groves, picturesque cypress trees, beautiful hilly roads, as well as through some of the beautiful medieval towns along the way.
Another fun option is booking an electric buggy tour, where you’ll jump-start your adventures through Firenze on a unique tour unlike anything else.
Along with a professional tour guide, you’ll also enjoy a delicious lunch midway, or a wonderful cheese and prosciutto snack.
21 – Drive the countryside in a vintage Fiat 500
Italians have loved this car since the 1950s, and once you get behind the wheel, you’ll quickly understand why.
Grab your stylish 1960s model Fiat 500 from the garage and hit the road in your sweet ride for the day!
While your guide speaks through your radio, the surprisingly powerful vehicle will have no trouble conquering the hilly countryside as you explore.
Pass by or stop over for snapshots at iconic landmarks, including Piazzale Michelango, Basilica San Miniato al Monte, Villa Pian dei Giullari and Villa del Poggio Imperiale.
Popular self-drive vintage fiat tours include a traditional meal with local delis (such as crostini and salami) at a classic house in Chianti with an amazing Tuscany scenery.
22 – Roam around the historic center on a Segway
First-timers will be amazed at how simple a Segway is to ride! After a few minutes, it becomes second nature.
As an entertaining tour guide leads travelers through narrow streets, town squares and bridges, it’s the perfect chance to discover every part of the city.
Best of all, the guide gives a local’s perspective on Florence, full of anecdotes, insider’s stories and handy tips!
23 – Discover Florence’s natural beauty with canyoning in Rio Selvano
There are lots of beautiful manmade attractions in Florence but the region is also rich in natural beauty. Enjoy an exhilarating half-day of canyoning in Rio Selvano to experience the area’s most wild and picturesque places.
Spend the day climbing, sliding and abseiling along rugged natural cliffs before immersing yourself in the cool river waters. Bring out your inner adventurer during your time in Florence.
24 – Cross the Ponte Vecchio
Holding the Vasari Corridor that connects the Vecchio and Pitti palaces, this historic bridge is miraculous.
The oldest of its kind in Europe, this stone bridge has withstood everything since reconstruction after being destroyed by the flood in 1345.
Among the bridges over the Arno River, Ponte Vecchio is the only one to survive the Second World War.
Crossing this Medieval bridge — considered the city’s historical good luck charm — is one of the essential things to do in Florence.
Browse the shops along the passageway for some of the best jewelry, artworks and other types of souvenirs from the city.
Wondering how this works? Simply purchase the scavenger hunt game, and follow the prompts in the email confirmation that will be sent to you shortly after. You’ll download the app to play, and soon enough, you’ll be hitting the streets on a mission.
25 – Revel in the best of Florence’s street art
There’s more to Florence than Renaissance and fine art. The bohemian art scene is just as impressive!
Once on the other side of Ponte Vecchio, you can find impressive street art as you explore Piazza Pitti in Oltrarno.
Let a tour guide take you through the highlights — often hidden masterpieces in unassuming small streets — while pointing out the workshops, bars and cafes full of budding up-and-coming artists!
Maybe you’ll be inspired to take up a class?
26 – Have the meal of your life at one of the best restaurants
Try the dish of Florence, the Bistecca alla Fiorentina (a hearty t-bone dish) at Regina Bistecca, located in the heart of Florence. Adorned by art-filled walls, high vaulted ceilings, and beautifully warm ambiance, you’ll want to return time and time again.
Enjoy the minimalistic approach to dining coupled with big flavors at Essenziale, which as the name says, offers you the essentials via their menu offerings of international fusions, and Italian classics with a twist.
Pop into a typical Florentine restaurant serving homemade classic dishes, in a small, yet comforting space. Vini e Vecchi Sapori warns its guests that they won’t be finding pizza or cappuccinos here, but rather real Florentine dishes like pappardelle pasta with duck sauce.
27 – Take a foodie tour of Florence
Start by letting your nose be your guide at San Lorenzo Market and seeing what tickles your taste buds!
As you keep discovering Florence, uncover the local culinary specialties and just what makes them so special — rich coffee, rustic bread, deli sandwiches, cheese, olive oil, gelato, and of course, wine!
After satisfying your cravings at the delis, head to a wine shop or what Italians call “enoteca”. Your guide will show you some traditional pairings with local cheeses and meats to match your Tuscan wine.
And of course, nobody forgets the gelato! You might need to queue up for a bit if you’re aiming for the most popular flavors.
28 – Climb the Torre Grossa at San Gimignano
The heritage-listed medieval town can be a little off the beaten path as it takes a half-day trip from Florence, but San Gimignano has plenty to offer worthy of a visit.
Heading towards this small walled village situated on top of a hill over 300 meters above sea level, you can easily spot the towers.
These are the remaining ones out of the 72 towers built by rich families to symbolize their feudal economic power during the Renaissance period.
Climb the tallest tower Torre Grossa with 214 steps to conquer — for breathtaking scenery!
If the breathtaking scenery of the Tuscany region of Italy calls out to you, check out the combination day trips that make stops in other picturesque towns dotting the bountiful Tuscany region.
Some day trip tours to San Gimignano can also include a stop in the medieval city of Siena where you can stroll through the circular historic Piazza del Campo.
Another stop may also include getting to know Monteriggioni, a quaint town overflowing with Medieval charm, and enchanting views of the Chianti region.
29 – Time travel at the Leonardo Interactive Museum
The Leonardo Interactive Museum is a unique interactive museum dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s life and work.
Visitors can explore real functioning machines and mechanisms designed by the Universal Genius himself.
Each prototype is accompanied by the corresponding original drawing, making it a great destination for families with children.
The museum is located in the heart of the historic center of Florence, and it’s a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci.
30 – Try truffle beer at Mercato Centrale
This market is where food meets art!
Some quirkier finds are Il Tartufo, a display of Tuscany’s love for truffles that puts them in everything from pasta to beer — and Il Lampredotto, home of the famous beef tripe sandwich!
If that’s a little too odd for your tastebuds, indulge in various flavors of pasta, pizza, seafood, and beer and wine selections created by local artisans.
This vibrant food court has served as the country’s hub of culinary traditions.
31 – Sample the best of Tuscany’s wines
Wine in Tuscany isn’t a drink, it’s a way of life!
Experience a bit of the lifestyle in the breathtaking hills and villages on a day trip from Florence — some of the most visited places are Pienza and Montepulciano.
The artistic heritage of these beautiful villages forms an integral part of the final product you drink from your glass while gazing over the Italian countryside.
When you see what goes into every bottle, it’ll taste even better!
Want to explore more (and keep drinking) through Tuscany’s incredible wine region? Consider visiting the Orcia Valley on a day trip, where you’ll be surrounded by the idyllic views of cypress trees, those calm rolling hills, and exquisite wine and cheese pairings from the region.
Another great place to explore Tuscany’s wines is Montalcino, a beautiful hilltop commune where you’ll stop by some of the other hilltop wine communities nearby, as well as spend time at the Montalcino winery.
32 – Get souvenirs or groceries at San Lorenzo Market
With an outdoor section dedicated to clothes, souvenirs and leather goods to buy for friends, this market has two interior levels for food — glorious food.
Located in San Lorenzo square, this historic market where leather products take a spotlight is bustling and teeming with tourists — it never sleeps!
The ground floor is geared toward groceries for travelers with kitchens, otherwise, the top floor’s food court (Mercato Centrale) is great for eat-in or takeaway!
33 – Cycle through Florence (but stop for gelato)
Weave around the Florentine traffic and major roads into pedestrian areas and laneways, off the routine tourist trail on an eco-friendly bike.
Your guide will make sure you don’t get lost along the way and you get a pitstop at all the highlights — which naturally includes a gelato break!
Most bike tours take two hours and include must-see and iconic locations, including the Riccardi Medici Palace, Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio.
Follow the route towards the Arno River and stop at the Ponte Vecchio for souvenir artwork or jewelry. Explore the surroundings of the “Old Palace” and discover some street art along the way.
34 – Go horse riding through Tuscany
If the windows of a bus or 4×4 aren’t your thing, consider a horseback ride through the lush olive groves and vineyards instead.
If you book a tour, you can have a pickup from a hotel for a less than an hour ride to the stables. Meet your horse and get a safety orientation. Beginners are welcome! No prior experience is required.
Complete your adventure with a traditional lunch and wine pairing! You can visit two wineries and sample different wines, as included in most horse riding tours.
35 – Cruise down the Arno River on a barchetto
Glide through the Arno River on Florence’s version of a gondola called barchetto, a traditional small rowing boat, and admire the city in a romantic way.
This one-hour cruise takes you under the Ponte Vecchio and the charming Uffizi, Corridor Vasari and Palazzo Corsini from the river.
Let a Florentine boatman — steering this wooden boat with a long pole — bring you back to the times when it was used to transport construction materials for building the city walls.
Sail in the calm water with a prosecco in hand and bask in the Italian sun, while hearing the tales of the town and the river that runs through its heart!
36 – Experience Florence from a hot-air balloon
Is there a better view of the Tuscan countryside than a bird’s-eye view at 6,000-feet, as the sun begins to rise? The scenery from high up in the clouds is second-to-none — certainly worth the early wakeup.
See for yourself the arrangement of buildings and road grids, tracing the old walls that used to enclose the city. Notice the elaborate patterns and designs of the majestic lush gardens accentuating the dominating brown bricks.
And, of course, the champagne breakfast after landing is the cherry on top!
Whether you’re celebrating a special day or taking your partner to a romantic moment, this one-hour flight over the Renaissance city offers a chance for “rebirth.”
37 – Follow the scent of fresh roses
Plant lovers will not want to miss the incredible gardens of Florence brimming with beauty, aroma, and peacefulness.
Step inside the lush and extremely aromatic Rose Garden in Florence, showcasing a few walking paths boasting incredible 400+ rose varieties and other aromatic plants, fruit trees, and more, equalling around 1,200 different plants.
Giardino Bardini looks like a garden taken straight out of a magazine, as it dazzles visitors with its hundred-year-old fountains, and sculptures, as well as its three different gardens inside: The Italian Garde, The English Garden, and the Agricultural Park.
38 – Go rafting down the San Niccolo dam
Nature lovers and adventure seekers, go for urban rafting down the Arno River towards the San Niccolo dam for a little extra thrill.
While paddling an inflatable boat, take time to admire the scenery and famous monuments from the river — like when you’re passing under the Ponte Vecchio.
In most tours, you get to sip an aperitif and simply cherish a remarkable experience.
39 – Adore Florence from above — while skydiving
Anyone chasing the ultimate thrill? You can’t get a more adrenaline-pumping, heart-in-mouth experience than skydiving!
Jump off a plane up to 10,000 feet above the ground with a tandem instructor. You have a minute of free fall which, for most people, was an amazing moment. It’s a perfect time to appreciate the beauty of Florence and the Tuscan hills.
Skydiving over Chianti will satisfy that need for amazing Florence views.
Alternatively, skydiving over nearby Bologna has the added historical perk of following the footsteps of the heroic Allied paratroopers in World War II’s Battle of Bologna.
40 – Bottle your own perfume
Florence has a rich history of perfumeries, dating back to the Renaissance alchemists who tried curing ailments with fragrant ingredients!
Nowadays, since Italy is a hub of perfume, why not learn a little about the process by visiting a laboratory?
While it will be a learning experience for you, you can also create your very own one-of-a-kind scent to take home!
One sniff will take you back to Florence in an instant.
41 – See the historic Hospital of the Innocents
For over 600 years, Ospedale degli Innocenti or Hospital of the Innocents has housed not only fine arts but, most importantly, thousands of orphans or what Italians called “innocents” of the city.
See the famous window where the infants were left by their parents. Most of them were believed to be illegitimate children of noble people or offsprings of poor parents who could not support them.
Famous for its arcade facade, the building was the first project of Filippo Brunelleschi, a pioneer in Renaissance architecture.
Visit the onsite museum and gallery to learn how Ospedale also depicts the Renaissance ideas of humanism and childcare — one of the oldest running institutions in the world.
42 – Laugh like a little kid at the Carousel at Piazza della Repubblica
Located in the quaint Piazza della Repubblica is a Carousel that has been the center of entertainment for children, as far back as the early 20th century.
Owned by 4 generations of the Pici family, the Carousel at Piazza della Repubblica is the only carousel in the piazza, welcoming a new wave of children, and nostalgic adults.
Get your seat on one of the 20 horses, and gently feel the movement of the horse as the carousel starts up as it has for the past 100 + years or so.
43 – Pose with Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery
Although the statue of David is the most iconic masterpiece here, Although David is the most iconic masterpiece here, Accademia Gallery has more to offer.
Having the most number of Michelangelo’s works in the world, it’s one of the best museums in Florence to visit!
Browse the gallery’s collection of paintings from the Medieval, late-Gothic, Renaissance to Realism and Impressionism.
Learn about various painting techniques, including gold ground and egg tempera which use egg yolk and pigments.
Music lovers can rush straight to the Department of Musical Instruments to find the original Medici violin, collection of elegant wind instruments and the predecessors of the modern piano!
Read more about Accademia Gallery tickets price.
44 – Get a snapshot of Florence at the Bargello Museum
Now an art museum, this impressive building was formerly a police headquarters, a prison and a palace — a setting for a bunch of Florence’s most significant events!
Located in Palazzo del Bargello, this national museum houses various sculptures and statues. Gaze at the walls decorated with coats of arms of the highest Italian official, and look up at the porticos filled with patterns and symbols of the city’s district governments.
Visitors will be amazed by the historical tour of the building, before delving into the art exhibits with works by Michelangelo and Raphael, just to name a few.
45 – Muse upon the monuments at Medici Chapels
The Royal Family’s church of choice, as well as its resting place, is a venue absolutely fit for a king!
Wherever your eyes look — from the floors to the ceilings — the building shows off the grandeur of the family.
The mausoleum is a rare instance of Florentine Baroque art, and some of Michelangelo’s finest sculptures are in the family tomb too.
These marble sculptures include symbolic human figures representing the dukes of Nemours and Urbino, as well as the “Medici Madonna.”
46 – Keep watching the skies at Galileo Museum
Get a glimpse into the Father of Modern Science, who was tried by the Inquisition for his radical idea that the Earth goes around the sun.
The museum is devoted to Galileo’s great scientific advances — particularly in astronomy — with early telescopes, compasses and models used to observe and map the night sky!
Experience the progress of science from ancient times through artifacts collected by the Medici family and Lorraine dynasty, such as celestial globes, thermometers, chemistry cabinet and winter plate electrical machine.
Check out the library if you want to learn more about what you have seen in the museum. It’s mainly used for research and study, but visitors can browse the database of digital versions of books, manuscripts, photos and more.
47 – Satiate your thirst at the best pubs and breweries
Move On to one of the best bars in Florence, called Move On, located in the historic center, where you can get the best of Italian beers as well as music, books, and more. The bar’s record studio is considered the largest collection of records and books and offers curated collections.
Live music and the best beers come together at Birreria Art 17, guaranteeing a moment of pure relaxation and appreciation for the beverage, as you learn about the craft beer scene from the bartenders. Located in the historic center, it’s easy to get to this local favorite watering hole.
Try your new favorite beers on tap at Archea Brewery, a pub that prides itself in the wide variety of spirits and beers both locally, and internationally. As you sip your beer, glance at the collection of vintage bottles from different parts of the world.
48 – Stroll the villages of Cinque Terre
If you only have time for one day trip, make it to Cinque Terre.
Here, the cliffs along the Italian Riviera hold five gorgeous fishing villages, beaming with color.
Immerse yourself in the villages by strolling through them, then choose between taking a train to the next village or hiking the spectacular seaside trail.
Camera at the ready — the preserved nature and the candy-colored houses of the villages are to die for!
Unofficially considered the 6th of the Cinque Terre quaint villages is Portovenere, a charming fishing village with little winding streets to get lost in and explore the Medieval culture and architecture that sits right beside the sea.
Only a 2-hour road trip from Florence, consider checking out a day trip excursion that departs the city and stops at or goes directly only to Pontevenere. Sometimes tours to Cinque Terre will include a stop at the lovely seaside village.
Hot tip: Check out our list of fun things to do in Cinque Terre.
49 – Visit the San Marco Museum and its famous frescoes
History lovers, take note. In this pristine 15th-century convent, you can get a taste of how ancient monks once lived.
This grand building — complete with a fine library, garden and captivating frescoes on its walls — was designed to evoke a simple life where the monks could concentrate on spirituality.
This spiritual aura still rings true today.
50 – Watch the opera at Santa Monaca Church
Art aficionados, culture queens and kings, get your tickets!
Catching an Italian opera in a gorgeous 15th-century church could only be more quintessentially Florentine — if you’d go to get gelato for dessert afterward!
Formerly a monastery of the Augustinians, the church is now used for concerts, exhibits and other cultural events.
Witness and be amused by wonderful performances of famous arias such as the ones by Bellini, Mozart and Rossini.
The acoustics, decor, costume, music and choreography will delight the ears and souls of anyone lucky enough to be in the audience.
51 – Refine your wardrobe at Mall Firenze
Italy is still the fashion capital!
Shoppers love the Mall Firenze offering the best designer labels such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and Roberto Cavalli with their prices slashed.
Over 40 minutes drive from the historic center of Florence, the luxury outlet mall provides a direct bus that runs daily with four trips from Florence starting at 8:50 a.m. and five from the mall until 7:20 p.m.
Outlet Barberino, on the other hand, is a shopping village with over 100 shops offering Italian and international branded fashion at up to 70% off along with a playground, bars and restaurants!
52 – Get up to Basilica San Miniato al Monte
Another brilliant vantage point of Florence, the Basilica San Miniato al Monte is not only higher up than Piazzale Michelangelo, but also offers more to explore!
Located on one of the city’s highest points, the church displays a fine Romanesque-style architectural design — among the best in Tuscany.
The green and white marble church — with a 13th-century golden mosaic in its central window — is a work of art in itself.
Meanwhile, the cemetery (one of the oldest in Florence) has some intricate statues and is the resting place of Carlo Collodi, creator of Pinocchio!
53 – Go paragliding off Mount Bargiglio
Want to fly over Tuscany like the native birds?
Glide from the top of the mountain and see the expansive countryside beneath you with a paragliding adventure!
In tandem with a certified pilot, you will take off at 700 meters above sea level on Monte Bargiglio. You can choose between flying the paraglider yourself to control the flight, or simply letting the instructor take control — while you get that perfect picture of the awesome views!
Your soft-landing will be near your meeting point with the instructor.
54 – See the workings of a genius at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum
The ultimate Renaissance man is the prime example of a universal genius — a writer, inventor and artist.
Discover over 50 of his actual machine codes and models based on them which actually work at Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, located right at the heart of Florence, a three-minute walk from Piazza del Duomo.
Witness these in action along with the other exhibits (and an intriguing documentary) and appreciate that there’s never been another mind like da Vinci — so far in the history of humankind.
Unless you don’t mind waiting in long lines, make sure to book your skip-the-line ticket entry into the museum, with a bonus self-guided tour with the Lokimo App of Florence, free with your skip-the-line ticket purchase.
55 – Witness a tale of revenge at Strozzi Palace
Little did the Medicis know when they exiled the Strozzi family that the Strozzis would return to show up the Medicis!
In the 16th century, they finished building the biggest, swankiest palace in the city — importantly, larger than Palazzo Medici!
The owner Filippo Strozzi passed away in 1491, almost 50 years before the construction was completed. In the same year, Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici seized it and he only returned it to the family three decades later.
The Strozzi family also vowed to display art for the public, which the house continues to do to this day!
Check out its calendar for current and upcoming art exhibitions, and it also offers guided tours and audio guides for individual visitors.
56 – See the antiques and weapons at the Stibbert Museum
Walking into the house-museum is a jump back in time from modern Florence and into the 19th century!
The rooms are lifelike and made up as if Stibbert himself should be home, sipping coffee in the other room.
Additionally, there are 50,000 pieces that formed his collection — including the Egyptian temple over the lake!
57 – Revere the ‘Journey of the Magi’ at Riccardi Medici Palace
One of Florence’s oldest mansions, the pearl of this intractable 15th-century building is the Chapel of the Magi inside.
There, visitors will be treated to a series of attractive frescoes of the biblical Cavalcade of the Magi done by Benozzo Gozzoli, whose face appears in the fresco.
Don’t forget to roam the palace’s libraries and columns while you’re there!
58 – Cure what ails you at Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
This herbal pharmacy has been bottling aromatic cures and delectable scents since its founding by Dominican monks in 1221!
Visitors will first notice the potpourri as they enter, but there are plenty more for sale and on display.
Its expertise in cosmetics and health products sprang from the cultivation of a garden of aromatic plants at the convent of Santa Maria Novella.
Browse the Firenze 1221 editions of colognes, body cream and bath gel among other body care items — and step back in time with classic fragrance.
Make your way to the back room where the pharmacy concocts its own herbal tea!
59 – Have the gelato at Vivoli
It’s bold to claim one of Florence’s myriad of incredible gelaterias is the cream of the crop, but the verdict is in and it’s Vivoli!
Since 1930, the same family has been pedaling the best gelato in Florence, with flavors chosen daily based on the fresh ingredients coming into the store.
Taking pride in not using additives and preservatives in its products, Vivoli promises to offer genuine flavors from real ingredients.
Cake and ice cream sounds perfect, right? Pair your ice cream with some “Vivoli style” pastries, cakes, cookies, rice puddings and tarts. Make sure to try its other specialties such as the Semifreddo (semi-frozen desserts) and the affogato (coffee cream).
You won’t stop at one scoop!
60 – Have a millefoglie at Caffe Gilli
Florence’s oldest cafe has had plenty of time — almost 300 years in fact — to perfect its craft. The results are the best cakes and pastries in town!
Over the years, Gilli has been serving its customers with traditional Italian flavors by using the finest ingredients.
The millefoglie, a feather-light vanilla custard slice, is to die for! You might as well order one at the bar with a cup of coffee. Otherwise, you’ll be paying a pretty penny to sit inside!
61 – Browse the Medicea Laurenziana Library at the Basilica di San Lorenzo
The Basilica di San Lorenzo, Florence’s oldest church, appears unassuming with its unfinished facade.
But inside, the church is full of stunning artwork and acts as the resting place of the artist Donatello.
Bibliophiles will light up at the vintage library designed by Michelangelo himself, one containing 3,000 original manuscripts.
Why so many? So the Medicis could demonstrate they were also people of learning (not just wealth).
62 – Explore the Forte di Belvedere
The star-shaped and near-impenetrable fortress is a stunning art gallery and exhibition center with views of Florence to boot!
Speaking of stars, the fortress is so beautiful it was chosen by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West as their wedding venue!
Built in the 16th century to protect the city from any attacks, Forte Belvedere today hosts major art exhibitions and cultural events. Check out the website for updates!
63 – Buy the Castello di Sammezzano
Anyone looking for an Italian summer home?
The hey-day of this Moorish-oriental castle has long passed and it is left to deteriorate without an owner. Still, it’s certainly worth a visit.
Volunteers sometimes run tours of the grand structure, where they tell the sad story of this building that waits longingly for its owner to come and save it from ruin.
64 – Hear the Jewish story at the Synagogue
Florence’s Jewish history is both fascinating and tragic, with a story as iconic as the brilliant green-dome synagogue that sits on Via Luigi Carlo Farini.
With ghettos, emancipation, German occupation and modern-day renewal — the tumultuous tale of the small community that refused to fall apart in the face of danger is uplifting and powerful.
Having various initiatives for its restoration, the building also displays ceremonial objects significant to Judaism.
65 – Watch the Calcio Storico at Basilica of Santa Croce
Outside of the usual beauty and artistry expected of the city, you can find the resting place of Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli and Galileo Galilei — at the largest Franciscan church, the Basilica di Santa Croce.
However, visitors who are lucky enough to be here in June will see four local neighborhood teams compete in a Calcio Storico tournament. It’s a historical sport combining football, rugby and wrestling — in front of the church!
The Piazza Santa Croce is believed to be the venue where this sport, as well as a celebration of Florence, started during the Middle Ages.
66 – Dance the night away in Florence’s rooftop bars
Who’s ready to party it up amid the wild Florentine nightlife?!
The best views come from the Grand Hotel Minerva rooftop bar where you can watch the sunset with a cocktail and some nibbles.
Whatever you prefer, rooftop or not, what matters is that you’re having the best flavors and fun in one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
How to get to Florence?
The main method of getting to Florence, especially internationally, is flying into the city’s only and main airport, Amerigo Vespucci Airport. However, some travelers have also tried flying into Pisa International Airport (Galileo Galilei Airport) around 60 miles away.
You can take the T2 shuttle tram from the airport to the city center, however, if you are looking for a faster journey to the city center, consider booking an airport transfer, starting at $38 USD.
Where to stay in Florence?
Relax every night at Casa G. Firenze, enjoying the spacious high vaulted ceilings, beautiful views of the historic center, and being close to the city’s main sights like the Piazza Duomo and Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Wake up every morning to the glorious light pouring into your room through the large windows, as you get ready to enjoy your complimentary breakfast.
Feel welcome when you enter Hotel Roma, located in the heart of the historic center of Florence. Relish the elegant room decor, with views of the charming streets below, and enjoy the expansive breakfast spread served daily.
Absorb all the Tuscan vibes at Sangaggio House B&B, a 19th-century family-run bed and breakfast, that has all the modern amenities like air conditioning, and wifi. Be steps away from the railway station to transport you to all the main sights. Enjoy the lovely pastry spread offered every morning.
Visiting Florence on a budget?
Make sure to join a free walking tour of Florence, winding your way through the charming streets, stumbling into the main piazzas, and learning all the historical facts.
When you book a free walking tour with a local, you can also learn about current events happening in the city, that you may want to know as a visitor.
Where to go next?
Italy is undoubtedly one of the most visited countries in the world, and with so much to choose from, make sure to check out our picks on the best places to visit in Italy.
Considered Italy’s second capital, Milan offers opulence through its famous Gallerias, culture through its famous sights like the Duomo di Milano, and enveloping bohemian vibes in the Brera district.
Don’t miss your chance to visit Genoa, the sparkling jewel of the Italian Riviera, with fascinating maritime history and a charming old town full of grand palaces, museums and lively squares.
Rome charms visitors with its emblematic structures that changed the world like the Colosseum and housing the sovereign city-state of Vatican City within its borders, you’ll find an endless supply of things to do in Rome.
Get in touch with your romantic side in Verona, with countless things to do from viewing Juliet’s balcony, to strolling the lovely Giardino Giusti, and more.
Crisscross through Venice’s canal streets, crossing bridges, that lead to picture-perfect photo ops. From the things to do in Venice, taking a gondola ride should be on your list!
While you’re visiting Florence, and you’d like to explore further beyond the city, consider looking into multi-day trips, to see more of the picturesque Tuscan region.
Experience your own Renaissance at the birthplace of the Renaissance, strolling through the emblematic Piazza del Duomo, enjoying a Vespa trip through the Tuscan Hills, and standing in awe of the priceless beauty of the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella.
What could possibly be holding you back from visiting Firenze?
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 58 fun things to do in Florence, Italy.