A place for all things exciting in Italy, Florence is a city that is the active definition of ‘marvellous’. It is a display of spectacular Italian Renaissance, the humanistic and artistic movement that began in Europe from the chains of the Dark Ages. If you are wondering what to see in Florence, there are several fantastic places to visit in Florence. There are many popular tourist attractions that include well-known museums, churches, landmarks, and palaces.
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How to reach Florence?
- Air – Amerigo Vespucci Airport, 5 kilometres from the center of the city (for domestic and European airlines); Pisa Airport, 82 kilometres (for international airlines)
- Rail – Commute to the Santa Maria Novella Station which connects Florence to major Italian cities through the Rome-Milan line.
- Bus – Transport from the SITA Station connects Florence to Siena, Assisi in Umbria, Montepulciano, Greve in Chianti, Volterra and San Gimignano.
The Best time to visit Florence – April, May, June, September, and October
Best places to visit in Florence
1. Cathedral of Santa Maria Fiori and Piazza Duomo
The bountiful list of tourist attractions in Florence will be incomplete without the Cathedral of Santa Maria Fiori and Piazza Duomo. If you are in Florence, you must see the architectural marvel that this majestic structure is. A beautiful artistic treasure, the baptistery’s museum, cathedral, and bell tower are sure to leave you mesmerized. You are sure to be marvelling at the beautiful white and green marble facade and the magnificent dome of 45-metre diameter. As one of the finest places to visit in Florence, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Fiori and Piazza Duomo will leave a long-lasting imprint of their beauty in your mind.
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Tip – You will not be allowed to enter this structure if you are wearing sleeveless clothing or extremely revealing shorts.
- Address – Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
- Timings – Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Thursdays: 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM; Saturdays: 10:00 AM – 4:45 PM; Sundays and Public holidays: 1:30 PM – 4:45 PM
- Price – Adults: EUR 18; Children between 6 and 11 years of age: EUR 3; Children below 6 years of age: Free
2. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is the place for all the adventure lovers out there. You can try a one-day hike here and let exhilaration take over you. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the best places to visit near Florence. For an experience of the old-world charm of Italy, you must visit Cinque Terre, a collection of five beautiful fishing villages. You can also enjoy witnessing the pristine stretch of Italian Riviera after walking on the trails along the cliffs of this national park. Embrace the serene atmosphere of this place on a boat ride along the Riviera. One of the top tourist attractions in Florence, this beauty calls for a definite visit.
- Address – Province of La Spezia, Italy
- Timings – All day
- Price – Free
3. Basilica of Santa Croce
The aura of fantastic artistic wealth emanates from Santa Croce. The chapels display the life scenes of St. Francis and St. John, the Evangelist. A unique feature, the ‘Annunciation’ made of gilded limestone adorns the south nave wall of this mighty structure. One of the most famed attractions here is the memorial to Giovanni Battista Niccolini, the 19th-century playwright. It is said that this memorial served as inspiration for the Statue of Liberty. The exterior of the church is covered with a polychrome marble facade. It offers a view of Piazza Santa Croce, the site of the annual soccer game played in a medieval costume known as ‘Calcio Storico Fiorentino’.
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- Address – 50122 Florence, Piazza di Santa Croce, 16
- Timings – Between Mondays and Saturdays: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM; Sundays and Public holidays: 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM
- Price – EUR 6 – EUR 8
4. Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
With Italy’s most unique gardens, royal apartments, history, museums, Florentine craftsmanship, a magnificent art gallery, and the Medici Palace, the Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens offer a fantabulous view of the beautiful city of Florence. As one of the most amazing tourist attractions of Florence, the fountains, an amphitheatre in the quarry hole, a maze, formal beds, and a faux grotto etched into the hillside make Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens one of the most splendid places to visit in Florence. This is one of the city’s largest architectural monuments. There is also a Gallery of Modern Art within this majestic structure.
- Address – South side of river Amo, near Ponte Vecchio
- Timings – Between Tuesdays and Sundays: 8:15 AM – 6:50 PM; Closed on Mondays
- Price – EUR 4.25 – EUR 8.50
5. Santa Maria Novella
Santa Maria Novella is a Dominican Church that displays the façade of inlaid marble of Italy. With prominent rows of arches on the lower floor, the artistic depth of this place has been made significant with the works of Lippi, Giotto, Uccello, Domenico, and Masaccio. Also, Andrea di Bonaiuto’s frescoes line the entire chapel of this fantastic structure. This church is one of the most enriching places to visit in Florence. To the answer to your question, ‘What to see in Florence’, Santa Maria Novella is among the most wonderful tourist attractions in Florence.
- Address – Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 50123 Firenze FI
- Timings – Between Mondays and Thursdays, Saturdays: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM; Fridays: 11:00 PM – 5:30 PM; Sundays and Public holidays: 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM
- Price – EUR 5 – EUR 7.50
6. San Miniato al Monte
Another majestic structure with a white and green marble façade, San Miniato al Monte is one of the most famed places to visit in Florence after a short climb from the popular viewpoint, Piazza Michelangelo. The first of its kind in the city, a dramatic effect was displayed through this structure. A beautiful mosaic from the 12th century adorns the facade over a central window. With Romanesque interiors, this church has three naves, a crypt, and an elevated presbytery. The most distinct feature of San Miniato al Monte is the marble pavement in the central aisle that dates back to the 13th century. If you are in Florence, you must see San Miniato al Monte.
- Address – Via Delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
- Timings – Between Mondays and Saturdays: 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM, 3:00PM – 7:00 PM (Until 8:00 PM in summer); Sundays: 8:15 AM – 7:00 PM
- Price – Free
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7. Bargello Palace National Museum
For all history and art buffs, Bargello Palace National Museum is the place for you. The four masterpieces of Michelangelo are what will leave you in awe of the museum. This museum must definitely be on your list of places to visit in Florence. It is situated in Palazza di Bargello, a fortress with very strong battlements that line the facade. The essence of the palace still remains as seen in the gorgeous courtyard, the balcony and the expansive hall on the first floor. One of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Florence, the museum now houses several intricate features of wax, bronze, majolica, enamel, ivory, tapestry, and many others.
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- Address – Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
- Timings – 8:15 AM – 5:00 PM; Closed on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month
- Price – EUR 4 – EUR 8
8. Mercato Nuovo
One of the unique marketplaces in Florence, Mercato Nuovo, is a shopper and history buff’s paradise. A building made of the Renaissance style of architecture, it is known as ‘Loggia del Porcellino’. Extremely popular for its souvenirs, it is also famed for its history. This was the place where debtors were punished earlier. At the centre, there is a prominent ‘stone of shame’ which is a significant spot here. Built in the 16th century, the market sold luxury items such as silk. Today, you can even purchase leather items from Mercato Nuovo. It is one of the most vibrant places to visit in Florence.
- Address – Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, Florence, Italy
- Timings – 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
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9. Piazza Della Repubblica
Piazza Della Repubblica is one of the main squares in the city, making it one of the best places to visit in Florence. Since Roman times, this square has been the center of the city. Even with the passing of several centuries and major changes in its structure, Piazza Della Repubblica has managed to retain its medieval charm. The square has now become an impromptu stage for street artists and shows, especially after sunset. It has the historically significant Caffé Gilli, Caffé Paskowski and Caffé Delle Giubbe Rosse which used to be the meeting spots for Florence’s writers and artists in the past.
- Address – 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
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10. Uffizi Gallery
If art is what perks your interest, Uffizi Gallery is one of the finest places to visit in Florence. As one of the most interesting tourist attractions in the art-rich city of Florence, it is home to paintings that date back to the times of the Renaissance. Several masterpieces of famous artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and others beautify this gallery. Situated in the Piazza Della Signoria, it can be visited along with the spectacular L-shaped square.
- Address – Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
- Timings – Between Tuesdays and Sundays: 8:15 AM – 6:50 PM; Closed on Mondays
11. Basilica di San Lorenzo
One of the must-visit places in Florence is Basilica di San Lorenzo. Situated in the heart of the city’s main market, this church is a prime attraction here. As one of the oldest churches in Florence, it was built in the 15th century. You can witness the spectacle of the Renaissance architecture in this magnificent church, and this sight is something that you definitely do not want to miss. Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the interiors are a great display of neo-classical art.
- Address – Piazza di San Lorenzo, 9, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
12. Mercato Centrale
Florence is not just about open museums and astounding architecture. One of this city’s highlight is watching the Florentines go about their usual routine. The food markets in Florence are some of the most vibrant and exciting places to visit for some lip-smacking delicacies. You can treat your tummy to the delectables and carry some souvenirs back home with you.
- Address – Piazza del Mercato, Florence, Italy
13. Piazza Della Signoria
A fantastic landmark in the city of Florence is the fabulous square of Piazza Della Signoria. This is an amazing square with several aesthetic structures. Famous sculptures like Michelangelo’s Statue of David, the Fountain of Neptune, Hercules, and many more decorate the plaza in all their grandeur.
- Address – 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
A city that is historically rich, artistically magnificent, and culturally exuberant is that of Florence in Italy.
With so many beautiful places to visit in Florence, you are sure to have some very memorable days here.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
1. What is Florence famous for?
Florence is renowned for its art and for nurturing the Renaissance.
2. What can you do in Florence for free?
Some of the free things to do in Florence for free are – to visit Piazza del Duomo, Piazza Della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, and San Lorenzo Market.
3. Are museums in Florence free?
All state museums offer free entrance to everyone only on the first Sunday of every month between October and March.