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Florence: By Foot, Bus, or Taxi

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Florence is a center of history, architecture, religion, and food that is a mix of Tuscan and Northern Italy. The city is smaller and slightly less crowded than Rome and flatter. It is easy to get around by foot or public transportation.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

10 Places

7 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Accademia Gallery

Speciality Museums

Oltrarno

Neighbourhoods

Mercato Centrale

Flea & Street Markets, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Church of Santa Maria Novella

Architectural Buildings, Churches & Cathedrals

Basilica di Santa Croce

History Museums

Duomo - Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

Churches & Cathedrals, Historic Sites, Sacred & Religious Sites

Uffizi Galleries

Art Museums

Piazza della Signoria

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas

Ponte Vecchio

Bridges

Piazza della Repubblica

Scenic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Manatee27's City Tips

  • Eating outside costs more than eating inside.
  • Get off the main streets and into the less touristy areas to see the real Florence. Most people are friendly and enjoy if you try to speak Italian.
  • Buses will get you most places. There are taxi stands where you can get a cab to take you where you want to go. I sometimes used these to return to the hotel with less walking.
  • If a restaurant is on one of the piazza, the prices will generally be higher. Go off the main streets a block or two to a family owned trattoria for less expensive food.
  • The C2 bus takes you within an easy walk of everything in central Florence. The C3 bus takes you across the Arno to the Pitti Palace and other places on that side of the river.
  • The bus is the easiest way to get around. If you have a Firenze Pass bus pass, be sure to sign the ticket and only stamp it the first time so you are not fined by the bus police.
  • If you going to be in Florence for at least 3 days, get a Firenze Pass for 3 days entrance to museums and bus pass.The easiest place to get one is Palazzo Vecchio.
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    Accademia Gallery
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    One cannot go to Florence and not see Michelangelo's David. Pictures do not prepare you for the size and magnificence of this work of art. But do not ignore the other artworks. The Colossus statue is in the first room. From there take time to see all of Michelangelo's Slaves that line the hall leading to David. Another room shows how the statues are 'mapped out' on models before the final sculpting. There is a nice gift shop with books and everything David you can think of.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Even with a Firenze Pass expect to wait to get in. Be sure to get in the line designated for Firenze Pass.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A must in Florence 18/07/2018
    • A must visit. 18/07/2018
    • Accademia Gallery
    Address:
    Via Ricasoli 58 - 60
    50122, Florence
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 055 238 8612
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Oltrarno
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    A often missed section of Florence is across the Arno in the artisan area across from the Pitti Palace. Start at the Pitti Palace and wander up and down the streets, looking in windows. You will find bookmakers, marble and wood sculptors, jewelry makers, and other artists. It is uncrowded and easy walking. Most of the studios are open and the artists are happy to show you what they do and explain their history. Most of them speak Italian, but with hand signs and demonstration it is easy to understand them. Some of the younger people are bilingual Italian and English. Most are trying to keep alive the arts that are being lost and replaced by technology. Not all the artists are Italian. Some are ex-pats from the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries. The streets are narrow and dark, but perfectly safe. As you wander down a narrow street it will suddenly open onto a piazza and you might find a local outdoor market with food, clothes, and handmade goods.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Wear good comfortable walking shoes. The area is flat but has the cobbled streets and sidewalks as the rest of Florence.
    • Do not hesitate to speak to any of the artisans. They all seem happy to take the time to show you their work and explain what they are doing.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #60 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Quiet place 09/07/2018
    • Quieter neighborhood 23/06/2018
    • Oltrarno
    Other:
  • Save
    Mercato Centrale
    Flea & Street Markets, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    Even if you have no place to cook, don't miss the Mercato Centrale. It is four blocks from the Duomo, but worth the walk. The lower level is filled with vendors selling meat, fish, cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables, sweets, breads, wines and liquers. Many will give you a free sample of what they are selling. It is very interesting to see whole chickens with heads and legs attached, parts of the beef or pig one doesn't always think of as food. The cheese vendors will vaccum-seal a piece of cheese allowing you to take it on the airplane and it will keep until you return home. You can buy a piece of bread and some salami and cheese to make your own lunch, or you can go upstairs to the area of restaurants what all use fresh ingredients from the vendors downstairs.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Plan to go before 8 am. As you walk down the streets, you will see the 3 wheeled APE delivery vans outside the back doors of restaurants where chefs make their selections.
    • Walking down the streets, you will pass local shops with meats, breads, sweets and pastas. Some will give you samples or let you watch they make pasta from scratch in the window.
    • Watch for the shops that sell kitchen items. It is less expensive to buy utensils like a mezzaluna and bring it home than mail-order it.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The best place to eat casually in Florence 17/07/2018
    • Local market with great food! 17/07/2018
    • Mercato Centrale
    Address:
    Piazza del Mercato Centrale
    Via dell'Ariento
    Florence
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 055 239 9798
    Other:
  • Save
    Church of Santa Maria Novella
    Architectural Buildings, Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    Across the street from the main train station, this church is home to frescos, statues and crucifixes by famous Renaissance artists such as Giotto, Masaccio, Lippi and Botticelli. Another distinction is the only nude crucifix of Christ.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The Firenze Pass entrance is difficult to find. it is located off the Piazza and not well marked.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing sanctuary 17/07/2018
    • Less crowded - great option..... 13/07/2018
    • Church of Santa Maria Novella
    Address:
    Piazza Santa Maria Novella
    50123, Florence
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 055 219257
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Mon - Thu
    9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Fri
    11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Basilica di Santa Croce
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    A statue of Dante watches the Piazza from the left of the church. His tomb is inside. Unfortunately, he isn't in it. Santa Croce holds the ornate tombs of Michelangelo, DaVinci, Machievelli, Galileo, and more. The floor is covered in buried tombs. It is a lovely, quiet place to sit and enjoy the architecture, art, stained glass and feeling of peace.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Wander around the piazza in front of the church. There are vendors and usually a single person or a group of people playing music for the crowd.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful basilica, but be sure to visit the cloisters and the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce 17/07/2018
    • Famous church dominating the square with the same name 14/07/2018
    • Basilica di Santa Croce
    Address:
    Piazza Santa Croce 16
    Florence
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 055 246 6105
    Other:
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    Duomo - Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
    Churches & Cathedrals, Historic Sites, Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    I can't tell you about the inside of the duomo because I couldn't get inside it. The architecture is fantastic. There are benches around the entire outside of the building. You can sit and look at all the colors and details that you don't see in photographs. I wish I had been able to get inside or go up into Giotto's Tower for the view. The Baptistery was closed for renovation and covered in scaffolding when I was there, but the bits of architecture you could see and the huge bronze doors were beautiful.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The line to get inside is usually 2-3 hours long, rain or shine. Plan on spending an entire morning here. It is free so do it on a day you are not using the Firenze Pass.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wow! Amazing! 18/07/2018
    • Stunning evening walk with great sunset background 18/07/2018
    • Duomo - Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
    Address:
    Via della Canonica, 1
    Piazza del Duomo
    50122, Florence
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 055 230 2885
    Other:
  • Save
    Uffizi Galleries
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    The Uffizi is a marvelous place filled with the art of the great Renaissance artists, gold leafed triptychs and other marvelous artworks. It is three floors without an elevator, but the walk is worth it. They are now allowing photographs inside the Gallery. They were not when I was there.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • There is still a wait to get in with the Firenze Pass.
    • On the third floor is a window overlooking the Ponte Vecchio. It is one of the best views of the Ponte. You can't miss it because there is a crowd there.
    • They say you can only stay 2 hours, but it takes longer than that to see it.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wonderful history 18/07/2018
    • Some exquisite artworks 18/07/2018
    • Uffizi Galleries
    Address:
    Piazzale degli Uffizi 6
    50122, Florence
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 055 294883
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    8:15 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Piazza della Signoria
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    If you couldn't get a picture of David or the other glorious statues in the gallerias, then Piazza della Signoria is a must. There are copies of the statues on display around the piazza. If it isn't too crowded you can get up close to the statues and there is no time constraint. Sometimes there is a mime entertaining the crowd or one of the people painted to look like a statue.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Go in the early morning or on a rainy day to avoid the crowds. In the afternoon it is almost impossible to get on the covered area with the statues. It is nice even in rain.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great place central to it all 17/07/2018
    • History and art 17/07/2018
    • Piazza della Signoria
    Phone:
    01087284615
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 a.m. - 11:59 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Ponte Vecchio
    Bridges
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    Ponte Vecchio is the only bridge not destroyed during WWII. It changed from a bridge lined with meat shops to being lined with gold and silver jewelry shops. It is a nice walk connecting both sides of the Arno River. In the middle is an area where you can overlook the river and see the buildings that line the shores. There is a 'secret' passage that you can tour for a price.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Nice crossover place from central Florence to the less touristy other side of the river with the Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, and the Oltrarno artisan area.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not so impressive 17/07/2018
    • Saw this site via guided tour 17/07/2018
    • Ponte Vecchio
    Address:
    Via Por Santa Maria
    Via Guicciardini
    50125, Florence
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 055 294290
    Other:
  • Save
    Piazza della Repubblica
    Scenic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Manatee27 Says:

    This is the piazza with the carousel. It is a large square with vendors and food stands. Famous name shops line the sides of the piazza. it is a nice place to take a rest and watch the children on the carousel.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • This is a stop for the C2 bus. It also has a taxi stand.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #78 of 671 things to do in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Big square, big arch 04/07/2018
    • exhilirating 02/07/2018
    • Piazza della Repubblica
    Other:
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