Florence Travel Guide: Things to Do on Your First Trip

beautiful florence streets

The word ‘Florence’ has its origin from a Latin word which means blossoming and just like its literal meaning, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region – Florence – has also blossomed and evolved into one of the most beautiful cities of the world!

The city that leaves you speechless because of its inventive and the most imaginative pieces of art was a dream come true. We were in Florence for a short period of time; all those hours spent there seemed so less in front of the grandeur and magnificence of the beautiful city!

Every building, every statue depicted a story – a story of art and the great artists! Perhaps, this place was meant to be the renaissance of art in the modern world of digital paintings!

On our short visit to Florence, we went to a lot of popular places (although for a short span of time) to savor the taste of art and feel artsy!!

Here is the guide to Florence where every infrastructure is a head-turner and can leave you in ambiguity that which edifice to visit and which to skip. But we put together a list of best things to do in Florence Italy, especially for those on a short city break.

You may also want to read about Our Visit To The Vatican City in Rome

Our visit to the Florence Cathedral

This was our very first destination in Florence. One of the most popular and populated place! It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi – a Gothic structure that stands tall over the city. Its exteriors were a classic mix of pink, white and green marble, contradictory to its plain interiors. The mosaic art was the USP of this place.

Not to forget, the authorities expect utter silence in the premises because one tends to see a big crowd here, the reason being free entry.

Florence Cathedral - best things to do in Florence Italy

Florence Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore

Rendezvous with Giotto’s Campanile

If panoramic views are your favorite thing then Florence is your place! On our list of best things to do in Florence was taking in the breathtaking sight of Giotto Campanile. If you are ready to climb around 414 steps (no elevators or shortcuts, until you are a monkey and can jump), stand at a height of 8470 metres and get a splendid view of the city, then this is definitely a must visit.

Apart from sculpted pieces of arts, rich in detail interiors and exteriors, another perk of being to this place is a one-time payment for the ticket and access to other places like baptistery, bell tower, crypt and museum within next 48 hours of the entrance!

best things to do in Florence Italy- Giotto Campanile

Giotto’s Beautiful Bell Tower on the Piazza del Duomo

Uffizi Gallery – a Mini World of Art

For art lovers, this is going to be their number one place! After the Vatican Museums, it has the highest footfall. Long queues and a tiring schedule can be expected on any day of your visit. But, with over 2200 artworks, anybody will feel overwhelmed with ecstasy!

Since we were short of time, we couldn’t explore much of this beautiful place but for the inquisitive minds, we would recommend that you book your tickets online and opt for a guided tour. In fact you can walk a few steps from Giotto Campanile to visit the Loggia della Signoria – an open-air museum with beautiful works of art. 

best things do in florence italy - Loggia della Signoria

Spend some time at the Loggia della Signoria Museum

Ponte Vecchio – All about the Bridge and the Gold

The gloriousness of the city can be experienced at this old bridge – Ponte Vecchio! It is a place that will have the best scenic beauty in the evening when the sun goes down and overlooking at the river can be a serene and blissful experience. One of the reasons it is called a romantic spot!

Also, you will find here a lot of gold and jewellery shops, so nothing better than buying some for yourself and an icing on the cake if you have your better half with you to make the choice! Guess, who got lucky during the visit here? 😉

Ponte Vecchio best things do in florence italy

Ponte Vecchio – the oldest bridge in Florence, Italy

Piazzale Michelangelo – the Perfect Panorama Shot

One beautiful panoramic view was at the Campanile and another one was here. What a landscape and a picturesque location! You could look at this city of art from here and really feel glad to have visited this place.

You can either take a bus or drive a car to reach this place, or can even walk just like we did by climbing up from Piazza Poggi found at the base of the hill on which Michelangelo is situated.

There are a lot of quaint cafes here and you can also stop by the rose gardens and take a look at the replicas of famous pieces of Michelangelo’s works! This place is worth the visit because of the perfect postcard view it gives!

Panoramic view of Florence at Piazzale Michelangelo

Panoramic Piazzale Michelangelo

Hey Florence, you beauty!

Apart from going to the places that had historical and cultural significance, here is a list of other best things to do in Florence Italy – one’s we indulged in and absolutely loved doing –

a) Eat Gelato everyday

There were a lot of gelato shops there and for a person like me who is so fond ice-creams, having two scoops every now and then was the best feeling!

b) Ride Horse-drawn carriages

You can find cars and buses everywhere and can walk anywhere but taking a horse-drawn carriage in this world of art and artists can give your trip a fairy-tale touch and twist.

horse drawn carriage florence

Up for Horse-drawn carriage ride in Florence?

c) Explore Local Markets

Local markets are the most fun-filled places, where you learn a lot of new things that cannot be found in the books and on the internet. People, there were very welcoming and engaging. Also apart from interaction with the people, you can do shopping too!

shopping in florence- best things to do in Florence Italy

Or some souvenir shopping in quirky Florence market?

kiosks Piazzale Michelangelo

Friendly locals all around

d) Pay homage

Pay homage to the Florence’s famous grave! A lot of famous people like Galileo, Machiavelli, Rossini and Michelangelo have lived there. Some of them have been even buried in Florence.

Paying respect at such graves and at the graves of other not-so-famous artists can be a great experience too. Reading the epitaphs and realizing how small humans (despite of the achievements) are, was a learning experience for us!

e) Click Pictures

Last but not the least, our favorite is to get lots of pictures clicked and also click the famous and antique pieces of art. Preserving them in our photo gallery, revisiting them is a great feeling! And, Florence is indeed one of the best locations to get a perfect click.

church florence

A good day in Florence

Hope our Florence pictures can inspire your next visit  🙂

Check out these helpful travel guides:

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Author: Prerna

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13 Comments

  • Reply Priya November 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve been following your blogs for a long time now. Love your fashionable take on travels. Would love to visit Florence.

    • Reply admin November 22, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      That’s so sweet Priya. Happy to have you here always 🙂

  • Reply Preethika November 20, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Florence has been on our list for long now. The Ponte Vecchio and the pan view of this city is a must on my list. Great post you guys 🙂

    • Reply Prerna Harsh December 3, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Thanks Preethika. Happy to know you enjoyed reading it 🙂

  • Reply Coralie Grassin November 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Wow. I had been told Florence is beautiful but seeing your picture over the city roofs – the views, the bridge, how beautifully decorated the bell tower is… I’m in love…

  • Reply Debbie November 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Great tips for a first time visitor, Florence is such a beautiful place. I would love to visit one day.

    • Reply Prerna Harsh December 3, 2017 at 11:34 am

      YOu must, Debbie. It’s beautiful 🙂

  • Reply Umesh! http://www.ukb190.com/ November 21, 2017 at 6:02 am

    I just wat to visit Florence! after reading your article,thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Prerna Harsh December 3, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Hope you make it there soon Umesh 🙂

  • Reply Danik November 21, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I remember visiting all these sights on my first city to Florence. It is truly an amazing city, one to which I brought many memories back. I love the ice cream there as well. 🙂

  • Reply Followingtherivera November 21, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I’m in Italy frequently and love Florence! You’ve definitely covered the best spots and things to see. Though for meat eaters, I’d also encourage trying Bistecca alla Fiorentina, it’s incredible.

  • Reply Rosie November 27, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Your pictures are so stunning it’s made me want to jump on a plane right now! Saving Italy for my honeymoon and Florence will 100% be on the list – thanks for all the tips and recommendations, it looks like a great city.

  • Reply Sophia Grace November 28, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Nice post for Florence Travel Guide 🙂

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