Top attractions in Florence
Florence is the soul of Tuscany, and it brims with the influences of the Renaissance. You'll discover a myriad of architectural wonders and a profusion of exquisite artwork, all of which culminate into one cultural masterpiece of a city.
The Uffizi Gallery is the city's top museum, and the place to see Botticelli's stunning "Birth of Venus." It's also wise to book your entrance ticket in advance to avoid waiting in a long line.
Michaelangelo's "David" stands in the center of the Tribune and rightfully so. Classical music lovers will also enjoy the exhibit at the Accademia Gallery's Museum of Musical Instruments.
It's Florence's, if not the world's, most famous statue, and people have been admiring "David's" chiseled physique since its unveiling in 1504.
A replica of "David" at the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio indicates his original position here until 1873. The renowned Hall of Five Hundred is a part of the building's museum section.
Piazza della Signoria has plenty of statuary, with the gallery of the Loggia dei Lanzi, the equestrian statue of Cosimo I and the Fountain of Neptune, who slightly resembles Cosimo.
Known as il Duomo, the view from the Gothic cathedral's iconic, red-brick dome offers a sweeping panorama over waves of the city's terracotta rooftops amid rolling, Tuscan hills.
Dedicated to the city's patron saint, John the Baptist, Florence Baptistry in white and green Prato marble boasts an inner dome with lavish, golden mosaics.
It may appear ordinary from the outside, but it's the grandeur within that makes the Church of Santa Maria Novella well worth the visit. Its cloister also provides some moments of serenity.
Pastel-colored apartments upon shops selling art, jewelry, and souvenirs line the city's oldest and most unique bridge Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River. It's picture-perfect day and night.
Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio to the former Medici family residence. The Pitti Palace houses five museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the opulent Palatine Gallery.
A minimum of four nights will allow you to see the top sites without rushing from one to another. Give yourself a week or more for a full Renaissance immersion.
The heart of Florence is compact, and you can easily explore all that the city has to offer by foot. The historical center is a UNESCO Heritage Site, and traffic is restricted from entering. If you're planning to rent a car for a trip around Tuscany, you'll have to park outside the "Limited Traffic Zone." Consider 15 euros extra per day for a parking garage space, since free parking is a rarity.
Keep in mind the entrance fees for the all the top sights, including the majority of churches. Although it's free to enter the Florence Cathedral, you'll have to buy a ticket to go up the dome for the breathtaking views. Restaurants in Italy also add a service fee called "pane e coperto" (literally "bread and cover"). It's an extra few euros charged per person seated at the table, but it's not a tip for your server.
- CurrencyEuro (€)
- Time ZoneUTC (+01:00)
- Country Code+39
- Best time to visitBy October, the weather is still warm, but the tourist rush is winding down.
Things to Do in Florence
Top Attractions in Florence
Cities in Italy
Other Sightseeing Options in Florence
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What people are saying about Florence
You are not allowed to take any bottles of water into the Uffizi. You go through an airport-like security hall where you must place all bags, etc. into a tray and then walk through the metal detector. If your rucksack is big, it must be left in a secure place in the hall. You must keep your ticket as you need to show it immediately after going though security, again when you reach the 1st floor and when you leave, so don’t lose it. If you are part of a guided tour party, you are given small audio devices to wear with an ear piece so you can hear your guide as they are not allowed to speak loudly. Our tour guide, Irina, (from Visit Europa Today Florence organised through GetYourGuide) was brilliant. She speaks excellent English and was extremely knowledgeable and brought to life the paintings we viewed with added anecdotes and interesting facts along the way. I left with a vastly improved education in Renaissance art and highly recommend Irina and a visit to the Uffizi gallery.
The class is a good opportunity to learn a local style of cooking. I am ready to try making pasta at home.
Massimo provided a wonderful tour of Florence and Pisa. They met our cruise ship, were on time and got us to Pisa before all the cruise ship busses showed up. Next they took us to Florence were we saw all the major locations followed by a pickup and quick return to our cruise ship. I would use them again as well as possibly use them for a land tour in the future.
Francesca was extremely knowledgeable and made our tour so enjoyable. I was captivated by her descriptions and came away with a much better understanding and respect for the artists, particularly of course Michelangelo.
I needed a break from indoor spaces in Florence and wanted to explore the outdoors. This was perfect! The views on the way were splendid, the wine was great! The tourguide was strict regarding his pay-full-attention-no-talking policy, which I didn't mind as a solo traveller, but those traveling in groups were visibly annoyed. He also explained things in English and then Spanish, over the bus loudspeaker which was annoying for the 15 minutes, then I just got used to it and tried to brush up on my rusty Spanish. These 2 things could be major issues for some, and minor issues for some. There was a huge group (around 50 people), even in early November, so if you're not good with big groups, you might wanna rethink. Worked for me because I made 5 new friends! I think there is a nice exposure to each city and the timing in each is perfect! Sienna after sunset is gorgeous. Advice : head for the tourist offices in each city, ask for the panoramic viewpoints on their city map and enjoy!