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Florence City Guide | Things To Do In Florence | Where to Stay in Florence

Nestled in the heart of Tuscany, Florence is a city steeped in history, culture, and artistic masterpieces. Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence boasts some of the world's most iconic landmarks, including the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and the Uffizi Gallery. But beyond the famous sights lies a city full of hidden gems, charming neighborhoods, and mouth-watering cuisine. Whether you're an art enthusiast, a foodie, or simply looking to soak up the ambiance of a city that has inspired generations of poets, painters, and writers, Florence has something for everyone. In this guide, we'll take you on a journey through Florence's must-see sights, as well as some off-the-beaten-path experiences that will help you discover the true essence of this magical city.


Things To Do in Florence


⭐⭐⭐ 3 Stars: The Most Popular Attractions


Visit the Florence Cathedral (Duomo)

The Florence Cathedral, or the Duomo, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Its stunning Gothic architecture and intricate facade make it a must-visit for any traveler to Florence. Visitors can climb to the top of the dome for breathtaking views of the city, or explore the interior, which houses some of Italy's most prized artworks.


Marvel at Michelangelo's David at the Accademia Gallery

No trip to Florence is complete without a visit to the Accademia Gallery, where Michelangelo's iconic statue of David is housed. The sculpture, which depicts the biblical hero David in all his glory, is a masterpiece of Renaissance art and a symbol of Florence's artistic heritage.


Stroll through the Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the world's most renowned art museums, housing an impressive collection of Renaissance masterpieces. Visitors can admire works by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Raphael, and many other artists, as well as enjoy stunning views of the Arno River from the gallery's rooftop terrace.

 

⭐⭐ 2 Stars: Not-so-popular but Worth a Visit


Explore the Oltrarno Neighborhood

The Oltrarno neighborhood is one of Florence's most charming and authentic areas, with narrow cobblestone streets, local shops, and traditional trattorias. Visitors can explore the neighborhood's artisan workshops, which specialize in everything from leather goods to jewelry, or enjoy a relaxing stroll along the Arno River.


Admire the Views from Piazzale Michelangelo

For panoramic views of Florence, head to Piazzale Michelangelo, a hilltop square that offers stunning vistas of the city skyline. Visitors can climb to the top of the square's tower for even better views, or enjoy a picnic in the nearby gardens.

 

⭐ 1 Star: Optional Attractions


Visit the Boboli Gardens

The Boboli Gardens are a peaceful oasis in the heart of Florence, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can wander through the gardens' winding paths and admire the fountains, statues, and manicured lawns.


Take a Cooking Class

For foodies, taking a cooking class in Florence is a must-do activity. Learn how to make traditional Tuscan dishes from a local chef, and enjoy a delicious meal with fellow travelers.


Where to Stay in Florence

🛏️ Budget Accommodation

Hotel Palazzo Benci

Located in the heart of Florence's historic center, Hotel Palazzo Benci offers affordable accommodation without sacrificing comfort or style. The hotel's rooms are decorated in a traditional Florentine style, with frescoed ceilings, antique furnishings, and modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning in the hotel's cozy dining room, and can easily walk to all of Florence's major attractions.


🛏️ Best Value for Money

Hotel Santa Maria Novella

Located just a stone's throw from the Santa Maria Novella train station, Hotel Santa Maria Novella offers excellent value for money in a convenient location. The hotel's rooms are clean and comfortable, with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet each morning, as well as a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city.


🛏️ Luxury Stays

Hotel Brunelleschi

For the ultimate luxury experience in Florence, look no further than Hotel Brunelleschi. Housed in a restored Byzantine tower and medieval church, the hotel boasts a unique blend of historic charm and modern elegance. The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, with marble bathrooms, plush furnishings, and stunning views of the city. Guests can enjoy a Michelin-starred restaurant, a rooftop bar with panoramic views, and a wellness center with a sauna and Turkish bath. The hotel is located in the heart of Florence, just steps from the Duomo and other major attractions.


Where to Eat in Florence


🍴 Casual Dining

I' Girone De' Ghiotti

This cozy trattoria in the San Frediano neighborhood serves up delicious, home-style Tuscan cuisine at affordable prices. The menu changes daily based on what's fresh and in season, but highlights include the hearty ribollita soup, the succulent roast pork, and the creamy panna cotta for dessert. With a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and attentive service, I' Girone De' Ghiotti is the perfect spot for a casual meal with friends or family.


🍴 Mid-Range

Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco

This elegant osteria in the heart of Florence's historic center is known for its delicious Tuscan cuisine and extensive wine list. Highlights of the menu include the homemade pasta dishes, the tender Florentine steak, and the decadent tiramisu for dessert. With a rustic, yet refined decor and attentive service, Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco is a great choice for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.


🍴 Fine Dining

Enoteca Pinchiorri

For an unforgettable dining experience in Florence, head to Enoteca Pinchiorri, one of Italy's most renowned restaurants. With three Michelin stars and a wine cellar that boasts over 70,000 bottles, Enoteca Pinchiorri is a destination for foodies and wine lovers alike. The menu is a showcase of modern Italian cuisine, with dishes such as the lobster risotto, the duck with foie gras and black truffle, and the signature dessert, the "chocolate forest." With impeccable service and a luxurious, elegant atmosphere, Enoteca Pinchiorri is the ultimate choice for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience.


Don't Forget Before You Leave


Take a Walking Tour of Florence's Hidden Gems

Before you leave Florence, make sure to explore some of the city's hidden gems on a walking tour with a knowledgeable guide. GetYourGuide offers a variety of walking tours that take you off the beaten path and show you the city's hidden corners, secret gardens, and lesser-known landmarks. You'll learn about Florence's rich history and culture, and gain a deeper appreciation for the city's unique charms.


Experience Tuscan Wine Country on a Day Trip from Florence

No trip to Tuscany is complete without a visit to the region's picturesque wine country. Viator offers a range of day trips from Florence that take you to some of Tuscany's most famous wineries and vineyards, where you can sample the region's famous wines and enjoy stunning views of the countryside. Many of these tours also include visits to charming Tuscan towns and villages, giving you a taste of the region's rich cultural heritage.

Have a look at my Tuscany blog post for more info.

Learn to Make Gelato Like a Pro

Gelato is one of Italy's most beloved treats, and no trip to Florence is complete without sampling some of the city's best. But why not take it one step further and learn to make your own gelato from scratch? GetYourGuide offers a fun and interactive gelato-making class that teaches you the secrets to creating the perfect creamy, delicious gelato. You'll get to make your own flavors and enjoy your creations at the end of the class.

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