Also known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo is the centerpiece of many Florence tours. The red Duomo Dome was once the largest in the world, and you can climb the 463 steps for staggering views out across the city. You’ll be the highest person in all of Florence!
As you tour the vast cathedral complex, you’ll visit the octagonal Baptistry of St. John, the Opera del Duomo Museum, and the crypt. Keep an eye out for the colorful 16th-century frescoes by Vasari and Zuccari, and walk in the footsteps of illustrious historical figures on the polished marble floors.
The Uffizi Gallery is a veritable treasure trove of Renaissance art, with famous masterpieces on every wall. Here, you can admire Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, and wander through a whopping eight rooms that are dedicated solely to works by Caravaggio.
The 16th-century building itself is spectacular too, with colonnades and columns adding to the regal feel. This is the oldest museum in the world, and you can really feel the history beneath your feet.
Touring the Uffizi Gallery with a local guide means you’ll get so much more out of your visit, with plenty of insider secrets bringing the art to life.
Tuscany is one of the world’s most famous wine-producing areas, and Florence makes a great base for visiting vineyards. Popular wine tour locations include the beautiful region of Chianti and the medieval hilltop villages of Montepulciano and Montalcino.
During your tour, you’ll learn about the grape to glass process from your expert guide while exploring the lush vineyards that carpet the slopes. Of course, tasting these excellent wines is all part of the experience, and you can even buy a bottle or two to take home.
Some winery tours also include lunch with sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside.
Home to Michelangelo’s original David statue, the Accademia Gallery is a mecca for art and history lovers. It’s a popular spot on many Florence tours, with more works of art than you can see in a week, let alone a day!
Your guide will show you some of the other iconic masterpieces on display and divulge just enough history to keep you intrigued. Expect to see lots of giant marble sculptures by Michelangelo, as well as powerful pieces like Botticelli’s Madonna and Child.
There’s even a dedicated musical instrument museum with a Medici violin made by Stradivari himself!
Get down with the flavors of Florence on a themed food tasting tour with a local connoisseur. You’ll walk through the ancient streets, stopping at markets and cafés beloved by the people of Florence, which are a world away from the tourist hotspots.
You’ll discover delicacies like schiacciata flatbread, lampredotto sandwiches, and torta della nonna tarts, as well as sample Tuscan wine and delicious local coffee.
Want a go at rustling up some of Florence’s iconic food yourself? Pizza and gelato cooking classes are all the rage and give a tasty insight into just how these Italian favorites are made.
Walking tours are the best way to get to know a city, and this is especially true in Florence, which was designed to be explored on foot. As you meander along the atmospheric streets, you’ll discover popular spots and hidden gems that few tourists get to experience.
You’ll see highlights like the Piazza del Duomo and Pitti Palace, as well as pass by places such as the Basilica of Santa Croce, which is the final resting place of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Rossini.
Free walking tours are a fun option for those on a budget, where you simply pay the guide what you think the experience was worth.
Seek out lesser-known sites in the historic center on one of these two-wheeled Florence tours. You’ll follow your guide along the photogenic alleys, cycling past palaces and around piazzas, stopping for breathers at scenic spots.
Get out of town with a tour in the hills around Florence, with electric bikes giving you an extra boost on the slopes. Chianti is a popular destination for bike trips from Florence, where rolling green landscapes, vineyard visits, and food tasting go hand in hand with cycling.
Evening bike tours are also available, showing you the city illuminated against the night sky.
If you’ve always wanted to sit behind the wheel of a vintage Italian car and cruise through rural Tuscany, a Fiat 500 tour is just the ticket. This self-driving adventure is the ultimate way to explore!
After being introduced to your retro car, it’s time to cruise along the streets in a colorful convoy, following your guide to secret destinations in the surrounding countryside. Vineyards, villas, and olive oil tastings are all on the cards during your mini road trip.
If you want to feel the wind in your hair, why not opt for a Vespa tour instead, and ride through the Tuscan hills like a local?
The 13th-century Palazzo Vecchio on Piazza della Signoria is resplendent with its ornate architecture and legendary sculpture collection. Once the private apartments of the powerful Medici family, today the Palazzo Vecchio is Florence’s town hall.
On your guided tour you’ll explore the extensive palace halls and chambers and discover how the Renaissance is believed to have begun right here. The jewel in the crown is the imposing Salone dei Cinquecento, a 15th-century council hall decked out in frescoes. Dante’s death mask is here too, as well as lots of secret passages built by the Medici family to be used in times of war.
There are heaps of Florence tours to try, each giving you a different insight into this famous Italian city. Hop-on hop-off bus excursions are a fun way to get about, and you can alight at any of the designated stops to take in the sights that most interest you.
Active explorers will love cruising the streets on a Segway tour, ticking off lots of attractions in a short space of time. Golf cart and electric tuk-tuk rides are also available for those who don’t fancy walking, while private tours offer a more exclusive experience that can often be tailored to your interests.
Delightfully situated in the rural region of Tuscany, Florence is one of the most visited cities in Italy. Home to master artists like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Botticelli, Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance with architecture that makes the old town feel like an open-air museum.
Florence tours come in all shapes and sizes, but most have art, architecture, or food at their heart. The stars of the show are the famous museums and the iconic Duomo. Yet the shopping is good too, while traditional restaurants and buzzing bars add to the romantic atmosphere when the day turns to dusk.
The best way to get around Florence is on foot, as many of the attractions in the old town are close together. Trams and buses are always on hand if you want to venture further afield.
First time in Florence? Then book a hotel in the centro storico - historical district - so that you can wake up to the city’s best sights on your doorstep. For fewer tourists and a vibrant café scene, make your base in Santa Croce, which is just east of the city center.
Top tip - in Italy, Florence is known as “Firenze,” so don’t get confused when traveling from the airport or train station!
Scavenger games add a unique twist to some Florence tours, while street art excursions and boat trips show you a new side to the city. For more Gothic and Renaissance architecture with a generous helping of famous frescoes and paintings, visit the church of Santa Maria Novella.
Looking for free things to do? Wandering through the Piazza del Duomo, watching the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo, and exploring San Lorenzo Market won’t cost a cent!
To escape the city heat, head out to the Boboli Gardens for strolls past grottoes and fountains. Or, for something further afield, day trips from Florence to places like San Gimignano, Pisa, and Siena can be easily arranged.