The Best Things to Do in Florence

the Best Things to Do in Florence - italytripguide

Welcome to your ultimate guide for your upcoming Italy travel, specifically, your dream trip to Florence. A city that’s as close to a living, breathing art museum as it gets. There are so many best things to do in Florence, it can be a challenge deciding where to start!

Introduction to Florence

The Allure of Florence

Known for its unparalleled Renaissance art and architecture, Florence is a treasure trove of impressive palaces, ancient churches, and world-class museums. But is that all? No, it’s much more than just a walk through history. It’s a city where every street has a story, where culinary delights await around every corner, and where romance is as tangible as the cobblestone streets.

Planning Your Florence Trip

The first step to enjoying the many Florence attractions is planning your trip. With so much to do, it can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back. From iconic landmarks to local markets, this comprehensive guide will make sure you don’t miss a thing!

Iconic Florence Attractions

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Florence’s Duomo, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is renowned for its grand dome—the third-largest worldwide, symbolizing Renaissance architectural innovation. This stunning cathedral is adorned with intricate marble panels outside and beautiful frescoes inside. A climb to the dome’s peak provides an exceptional city view, making it a key attraction in Florence.

The Uffizi Gallery, a top-tier art museum in Florence, is a haven for art enthusiasts. It houses an exceptional collection of Italian Renaissance artworks, including masterpieces from revered artists like Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci.

Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation” are among the many notable artworks exhibited. But the Uffizi is more than just a museum—it offers a captivating journey through art history. Each piece tells a story, showcasing the stylistic evolution and thematic diversity of art over the centuries, making a visit to the Uffizi Gallery an enriching experience.

Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio is more than just a bridge—it’s a significant symbol of Florence. This historic structure, with its unique lineup of shops, spans the narrowest point of the Arno River. Jewelers, art dealers, and souvenir shops give it a vibrant, marketplace feel. At sunset, the warm glow creates a stunning, picture-perfect scene. The bridge also houses the secretive Vasari Corridor, a symbol of the Medici family’s power. In essence, Ponte Vecchio offers a glimpse into the city’s rich past and vibrant culture.

Unmissable Experiences in Florence

Taste Authentic Italian Gelato

Experiencing Florence’s true essence involves indulging in authentic Italian gelato. This creamy, flavorful dessert is a cornerstone of Italian culinary culture. Gelato’s unique dense and rich texture sets it apart from ordinary ice cream, providing an intense taste experience.

Throughout Florence, gelaterias like Gelateria La Carraia, Gelateria dei Neri, and Perché no! offer a variety of classic and exotic flavors. Enjoying a scoop of gelato while exploring the city is a quintessential Italian experience, a taste of La Dolce Vita that should not be missed.

Attend a Tuscan Cooking Class

Immersing yourself in Florence’s culinary scene with a Tuscan cooking class is a fantastic way to understand regional cuisine. Led by seasoned chefs, these classes teach you to prepare traditional dishes using fresh, local ingredients.

You’ll learn to make classics like homemade pasta, Florentine steak, and Tuscan ribollita soup. The best part? You get to taste your creations paired with a local wine. This hands-on culinary experience offers skills and memories that you can bring back home, allowing you to recreate the Tuscan flavors in your own kitchen.

Florence For Art Lovers

Discovering Renaissance Art

Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, teems with artistic masterpieces from this era. A prime example is Michelangelo’s ‘David’ at the Galleria dell’Accademia. This monumental sculpture displays Michelangelo’s exceptional skill, epitomizing the humanist spirit of the Renaissance.

Another site steeped in Renaissance art is the Santa Maria Novella church. It’s home to stunning frescoes like Masaccio’s ‘Trinity’, noted for its innovative use of linear perspective. Exploring these remarkable artworks offers a profound journey into the artistic revolution of the Renaissance.

Modern Art Galleries

Florence’s art scene isn’t confined to historical masterpieces; it also embraces contemporary and experimental art. A prime example is the Gucci Garden Galleria, a cultural hub that showcases modern art alongside Gucci’s historical archives.

Curated by renowned Italian fashion critic Maria Luisa Frisa, the gallery presents a unique blend of past and present. It features everything from vintage collections to multimedia installations, offering an immersive glimpse into Gucci’s creative evolution. Thus, a visit to the Gucci Garden Galleria provides a taste of Florence’s dynamic art scene and a different perspective on the city’s cultural offerings.

Unique Activities in Florence

Hike to Piazzale Michelangelo

For the best panoramic views of Florence, a visit to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. Situated on a hill across the Arno River, this square provides an expansive vista of the city’s iconic landmarks, including the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, and the meandering Arno River itself.

The hike to the square takes you through the picturesque neighborhood of Oltrarno, adding to the overall experience. Once you reach the top, you’re greeted with a stunning cityscape framed by the Tuscan hills. The sight is especially mesmerizing at sunset, when the city glows in the warm light, making Piazzale Michelangelo a must-do activity in Florence.

Shop at Local Markets

For an authentic Florentine experience, visiting local markets like Mercato Centrale and Mercato di San Lorenzo is a must. The Mercato Centrale is a food heaven, boasting an array of fresh produce and a gourmet food hall serving regional delicacies. It’s an ideal place to sample the rich flavors of Tuscan cuisine.

The Mercato di San Lorenzo, known for its leather goods, offers everything from handbags to jackets. The market’s bustling atmosphere and the aroma of genuine leather provide a true Florentine shopping experience. Visiting these markets allows you to delve into local life and bring a piece of Florence back home.


Whether you’re an art aficionado, a food lover, or a history buff, there’s something in Florence for everyone. From the moment you step into this charming city, you’ll be enchanted by its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and captivating history. Indeed, the best things to do in Florence span a wide range of interests, ensuring that every moment of your visit is filled with unforgettable experiences.


  • How many days should I spend in Florence?

A 3-day trip is usually sufficient to cover the main Florence attractions. However, if you have more time, you can also explore the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

  • What are some traditional dishes to try in Florence?

Florence is famous for dishes like ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina’ (T-bone steak), ‘Ribollita’ (a hearty bread soup), and ‘Pappa al Pomodoro’ (tomato and bread soup).

  • Is it easy to get around Florence without a car?

Yes, Florence is a compact city that is best explored on foot. Public transportation options are also available.

  • Where can I get the best gelato in Florence?

Some popular places include Gelateria La Carraia, Gelateria dei Neri, and Perché no!.

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