Uncover one of Italy’s most magical cities and discover the best things to do in Florence for the perfect, dreamy getaway.
Known for its majestic churches, various museums, and artistic environment, Florence is a place of pure magic. Plan to spend at least 2 days in Florence to see and experience all this city has to offer.
Below are 23 of the best things to do in Florence for an amazing holiday!
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23 Best Things to Do in Florence
Visit Florence Cathedral
The Florence Cathedral – or Duomo in Florence – is easily one of the most famous and iconic cathedrals in the world. Its impressive size, ornate details, and stunning interior make it one of the top attractions of the city, and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Florence.
Construction started in 1296 and it is built in the Gothic architectural style which makes it all the more enticing. Simply walking around the perimeter and viewing it from all the different angles will awe you!
You can also go inside and walk around and admire the interior work which is equally impressive. Visiting the Duomo in Florence is more than just sightseeing, it’s a full experience! To get a fully guided tour and inside view be sure to get your tickets in advance and avoid lines or having no tickets left.
Go to the top of Giotto’s Campanile
Giotto’s Campanile is the tall bell tower located beside the Florence Cathedral. It is part of the Florence Cathedral complex but is its own building entirely! This masterpiece of Gothic architecture offers a unique opportunity to see the city from an extraordinary vantage point.
The bell tower stands at an impressive 84.7 meters and is open to those daring enough to climb the 414 steps to the top to view Florence from above. The climb is a workout but the views are 100% worth it.
Each level of the tower reveals intricate marble designs and historical details. The journey to the top is pretty demanding but rewards visitors with unforgettable views and a deeper appreciation of Renaissance art and architecture.
Walk Across Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio is a famous stone arch bridge that crosses the Arno River. Walking across this medieval bridge is one of the top things to do in Florence because it is not just a bridge but it is also home to many local shops.
In the past, the shops were occupied by butchers, tanners, and farmers but now it is the perfect place to find souvenirs like jewelry and clothes.
Admire the Basilica of Santa Croce
The Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence is a masterpiece of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, renowned as the final resting place of illustrious Italians like Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.
Its striking façade of marble panels and the grandeur of its interior, complete with frescoes by Giotto, are awe-inspiring. The basilica also houses a wealth of art, including Cimabue’s famous crucifix.
This historical and artistic treasure, often dubbed the “Temple of the Italian Glories,” is a testament to Florence’s rich cultural heritage.
Be sure to get tickets to see the inside too!
Spend an Afternoon at Bardini Gardens
The Bardini Gardens are a stunning set of Italian Renaissance gardens located in Florence. Spending an afternoon at the Bardini Gardens is one of the top things to do in Florence that offer a welcome escape from the busy city.
Located on the hillside, these lesser-known gardens have stunning views of Florence and the Arno River. As you walk around the beautifully landscaped gardens, you’ll see a variety of flowers, antique statues, and fountains, all set against the backdrop of the historic cityscape.
This hidden gem combines natural beauty with stunning panoramic views, embodying the essence of Florence’s charm.
Join a City Tour
Joining a tour is one of the best things to do in Florence to see and learn as much as possible about Florence in a short amount of time. You can enjoy walking tours, bus tours, or even biking tours to get a full picture of the charm and magic of Florence.
Go for a Drink with a View
Rooftop drinks are ALWAYS a good idea, especially when in Florence. The stunning views over the city with the giant Duomo in the distance make for an unbelievable backdrop while enjoying a refreshing drink.
Enjoy the View from Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo is a 19th-century piazza located atop a hill with the best panoramic views of Florence. It’s a popular spot to see the breathtaking scenery of Florence’s historic skyline, including the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Arno River.
Head on a morning walk to the Piazza to enjoy views of the entire city and the dauntingly large Duomo in the distance. What’s more, you will find the square is decorated with copies of Michelangelo’s sculptures!
This is my favourite view point in Florencet that is even more beautiful during sunrise and sunset.
Walk Through The Giardino Delle Rose
Walking through the Giardino delle Rose (Rose Garden) is one of the top things to do in Florence to escape the business of Florence. Located below Piazzale Michelangelo, this manicured garden is home to over 400 varieties of roses, with lemon trees and artistic sculptures.
The garden, with its peaceful ambiance and stunning views of the historic city, provides a perfect backdrop for relaxation and walks, especially during the blooming season in late spring. This hidden gem is a testament to Florence’s natural beauty.
Go Wine Tasting
Florence is located very close to the very famous chianti wine region making it the perfect day trip from the city. Head out on a tour to one of the many, many wineries located in this region and taste some of the world’s best wines.
Hunt for Homemade Dishes at Mercato Centrale
Mercato Centrale is one of Florence’s most important places to visit for foodies. This giant food market was created by artisans with a passion and dedication for food. Heading here is one of the best things to do in Florence to eat, smell, and see some of the best foods in Florence.
In addition to the food market on the ground floor, above it, you will find a bunch of food stands where you can get a tray of freshly prepared food to enjoy in the bustling enjoinment.
Here you can find homemade pasta, fresh desserts, wooden oven pizza and much more. It is one of the best, yet unexpected places to sit for a meal that will wow you from start to finish.
Read More: Most Beautiful Places in Tuscany
Tour The Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of many famous museums and galleries in Florence worth a visit. If you love art and culture and want to see some beautiful pieces from the Middle Ages to the Modern period then this is for you. The gallery is famous around the world due to its stunning sculptures and paintings.
Venture to Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence and an interesting building to see while touring the city. It is a symbol of power in Florence and although it is not as famous as other buildings and galleries each room inside has a unique touch that gives it s special charm.
Admire Michelangelo’s Original David
David is one of the most famous and iconic Renaissance sculptures in the world. This masterpiece was created by Italian artist Michelangelo in the years 1501 and 1504.
Viewing this stunning and renowned marble sculpture is one of the most amazing things to do in Florence It will show you the talents and stories of the past. Find it at the Accademia Gallery of Florence.
Explore The Boboli Gardens
The Boboli Gardens are a public garden that opened in 1766. It is one of the most important representations of an Italian garden and has been used as inspiration for many courts within Europe. Visiting these gardens is one of the top things to do in Florence for a relaxing and historical day.
Go to the Baptistery of St. John
The Baptistery of St. John – also known as The Florence Baptistery – is a historic and religious building in Florence. It dates back to 313 A.D when it was a sacred building for the Edict of Constantine. Visiting this important building is a must.
Sit and Enjoy Piazza Della Signoria
Piazza Della Signoria has been the political center of Florence since the middle ages. It is a beautiful Piazza that is wonderful to walk around and imagine you are back in time. Be sure to get here early to avoid the crowds.
Be Awed at Medici Chapels
Located at Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence you will find the stunning Medici Chapels. These two structures date back to the 16th and 17th centuries and were built as extensions to Brunelleschi’s church. The interior of Medici Chapels is incredibly lavish with ornate detailing and a strong feeling of wealth and power.
Take a Local Cooking Class
There is no better place to take a cooking class than in Italy. Learn how to make local dishes like fresh pasta and pizza from experts and go home with a new exciting skill.
➡️ Book one of the tours below!
Explore the City Center
If you are looking for one of the best free things to do in Florence then this is it. Simply walking around the city center and discovering all the hidden gems around Florence will have you busy for hours! Admire the architecture, find all the statues and sculptures scattered around and more!
Stroll the Markets of Florence
The markets in Florence are some of the best places to find cheap local goods. If you are looking for souvenirs for yourself or others head to a market and get shopping. This is also the best place to find leather goods! Head to this Mercato and shop till you drop.
Read More: 3 Days in Tuscany
Eat Delicious Local Foods
One of the best things to do in Florence that you cannot miss is eating delicious local foods. Italy is home to some of the best foods in the world and Florence is one of the top cities in Italy to enjoy the freshest and most innovative dishes. Discover new restaurants and amazing food on a food tour of Italy.
Go on a Day Trip
Florence is located in the magical Tuscany region which means it is in close proximity to many other beautiful cities and towns just waiting to be explored. Rent a car or join a tour and head on a day trip to other stunning places in Tuscany.
Where to Stay in FlorenceBooking.com
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With so many amazing things to do in Florence an adventure awaits.
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