Every Italian person that I have ever met shares the same opinion: everyone should visit at least 3 cities in Italy and those are Rome, Venice, and Florence.
Venice has never been of interest to me. I love Rome and have been there twice. So when I was planning a new trip to Italy and wondered where to go, of course, I choose to visit Florence.
Florence is the cradle of the Renessainse and one of the best places to visit in Italy for world-class art. In fact, according to UNESCO, 60% of the world’s most important works of art are located in Italy and approximately half of these are in Florence. The city is home to about 70 museums, within which you can find some of Florence highlights, including some of the finest examples of renaissance art in the world. Florence is also home to numerous Renessainse buildings, monuments, and art galleries.
The whole city of Florence is like a living museum, where every street, every alley, and every building is beautiful and full of history. But there’s a lot more to Florence, of course! In this article, I will cover everything that you need to know before visiting Florence, including the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Florence, things to do in and around the city, and more.
In which region of Italy is Florence located?
Florence is located in central-northern Italy and is the capital of the Tuscany region. The city lies on the Arno river and three other minor rivers and is surrounded by hills covered with vineyards, farms, orchards, and villas. Florence is approximately 280km away from the capital city of Italy, Rome.
What is Florence best known for?
Florence is most known for its culture, Renaissance art, architecture, and monuments, the most well-known of which being the Florence Duomo, as well as for the Uffizi Gallery. Around 16 million tourists visit Florence annually just to see the famous art pieces by one of the world’s best-known artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo de Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Giotto, and Giorgio Vasari.
Is Florence a good city break?
Absolutely! The highlights of Florence can be easily explored in just a couple of days. Depending on your interest, you can skip some museums and galleries and enjoy some more off-the-beaten-path things to do in Florence, or explore more of the Tuscany region on a day trip.
Because of its great location and abundance of attractions and activities, as well as the gourmet Tuscany cuisine, Florence is undoubtedly one of the best European city breaks and weekend getaway destinations.
When is the best time to visit Florence?
Florence is a year-round destination. Weather-wise, the best time to visit Florence and the Tuscany region is late spring and the summer months. Unfortunately, tho, the summer also brings tourist swarms and higher hotel rates, so I would avoid visiting Florence in summer or during peak holiday seasons.
I visited Florence in early November and found it to be a great time to explore the city.
How many days do you need in Florence?
Although it is possible to visit Florence in one or two days, I would recommend staying for at least 3 or 4 days. But how many days you need in Florence depends on what you want to see and do in the city. For example, if you’re not that much into museums, and don’t plan to go on day trips, then I’d say that you can easily cover the other highlights of Florence in 2 days.
Is it safe to visit Florence?
Like most cities in Italy, Florence is a perfectly safe destination for travelers. There’s no reason to be concerned about your safety when visiting Florence, the only thing that you should be cautious about is avoiding touristy scams.
Is Florence safe at night?
Yes, Florence it’s safe at night, but of course, you should always be careful.
What should I be careful of in Florence?
As in any other city frequented by tourists, there is a risk of pickpocketing and purse snatching. Other scams to avoid in Italy and in Florence include fake police officers, ”friendship bracelets”, and unscrupulous taxi drivers.
Is Florence touristy?
Florence is VERY touristy. It is visited by approximately 16 million tourists annually, so unfortunately the city is always crowded. You can try to avoid the tourist crowds by getting up early in the morning to explore the city and by staying away from the central area which is the concentration of most attractions.
Is Florence child-friendly?
Sylvie from European Cities with Kids, reports that visiting Florence with kids is very easy and stress-free, and a great way to introduce your kids to some stunning architecture, artistic gems, and delicious Italian cuisine.
Is it expensive in Florence?
In my opinion, yes, Florence is expensive. Accommodation prices are high, museum fees are relatively high as well. Food prices are reasonable. According to Budget Your Trip, you should plan to spend around 120 EUR (135 USD) per day on your vacation in Florence, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.
I spend around 500 EUR for 4 nights in Florence, which for me is a lot. As a comparison, I’ve been spending around 500-600 EUR per month while traveling SE Asia, including accommodation, tours, transportation, and food.
Which is the closest airport to Florence?
The closest major airport to Florence is Florence Airport, Amerigo Vespucci also known as Peretola. This airport is located 13 km from the center of the city. Budget airlines don’t fly to Florence, so it is very likely that you fly to Bologna or Pisa instead.
How to get from Florence airport to the city center?
The easiest way to get from Florence airport to Florence center is by taking the shuttle tram, T2. It leaves you close to the central station, runs every 5 to 10 minutes, and the ticket is 1.50 EUR. You can also take the Volainbus that runs every half hour and leaves you near the Santa Maria Novella station. The ticket is 6 EUR for a single trip and 10 EUR for a return trip.
How to get around Florence?
Florence’s main historic center is relatively small so it’s best to move around on foot. You can easily walk from one end of the city to the other in about 30-40 minutes, passing many recognizable sites along the way.
How to get from Bologna to Florence?
The best way to get from Bologna to Florence is by taking the train. The trains depart from Bologna Centrale and arrive at Firenze Santa Maria Novella station. There are 59 trains running between Bologna and Florence per day, both direct and with a quick change. The journey takes from 40 minutes to about 2 hours if you need to change the train.
P.S. Don’t just pass through but take at least a day to also explore the beautiful Bologna.
Is Florence better than Rome?
That depends on everyone’s taste. Ultimately, Rome is best for ancient history and Roman ruins, while Florence is best for Renaissance history and classic Italian culture. Both cities are worth visiting, but if you have to choose one choose the one that can offer more for your personal interests.
I, personally, prefer Rome.
Florence without the museums – what to do?
Explore the beautiful streets and piazzas (squares), visit the markets, enjoy the food and a drink on a rooftop bar, have a coffee people-watching, spot the cool street art, watch a street performance, admire the beautiful architecture and monuments, climb to the top of Palazzo Vecchio, and hunt for hidden gems.
Are there free things to do in Florence?
Entry to the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is free There is a walkway pass through the Uffizi Gallery that features sculptures as part of the building and is free. Next to the Fountain of Neptune, there is an open-air gallery that can be seen from a distance at no cost as well. Markets and most of the parks and gardens are also free to visit. Another free attraction in Florence is the San Miniato al Monte basilica and its Cemetery.
Every first Sunday of the month it is possible to get a free ticket to visit the most important state monuments of the city, including the Uffizzi Gallery, the Accademia Gallery and Museum of Musical Instruments, Gallery of Modern Art Florence, Boboli Garden, and more.
What are the best day trips from Florence?
There are many beautiful places that you can visit on a day trip from Florence, including Pisa, Bologna, Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano, and Cinque Terre, just to name a few. One of the best day trips to take from Florence is to the gorgeous Medieval town of Siena. Visiting Siena in one day is very easy and since it is a small city and tourist attractions and places of interest are located in one area, you can cover a lot on a single day trip.
Is it worth visiting Florence?
Florence is most definitely worth the visit. It is beautiful, full of history and culture, there are many things to do in and around Florence, so you wouldn’t get bored that’s guaranteed.
I hope that this article gave you a good overview of what you need to know before visiting Florence and how to plan your perfect trip to the beautiful Renaissance city. If you have any additional questions or comments, please let me know in the comment section below, and don’t hesitate to contact me.
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