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Things to do in Florence

Things to do in  Florence

Welcome to Florence

Art and architecture reign supreme in the Renaissance city of Florence. The cobblestone streets have hardly changed since the 17th century, and walking tours will take you through hidden plazas (piazze), over the Ponte Vecchio, and past the Brunelleschi-designed Duomo. Opt for skip-the-line tickets to see the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze and Uffizi Gallery, home to some of the world’s most famous artwork. And be sure to allow plenty of time for leisurely meals featuring the bounty of the Tuscan hills surrounding the city.

Top 10 attractions in Florence

#1

Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia)

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The Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia) is dominated by one artwork in particular - Michelangelo's staggeringly beautiful statue of David. Carved from a single block of marble by the 26-year-old genius, it’s true you can’t really grasp the statue’s size and detail until you see him up-close. The statue originally stood in the Piazza della Signoria, but was moved to this more protected environment in 1873. A copy now stands in the piazza. Also here are Michelangelo's muscular Prisoner statues and Florentine artworks from the 13th to 16th centuries.More
#2

Uffizi Galleries (Gallerie degli Uffizi)

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The Uffizi Gallery houses the world’s most important collection of Florentine art, so unless you have Skip the Line tickets you’ll need to get ready to queue! The collection traces the rich history of Florentine art, from its 11th-century beginnings to Botticelli and the flowering of Renaissance art. At its heart is the private Medici collection, bequeathed to the city in the 18th century.More
#3

Florence Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria dei Fiori)

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You'll catch glimpses of the red-tiled dome of the Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori, peeping over the rooftops as soon as you arrive in Florence. The 13th-century Sienese architect Arnolfo di Cambio was responsible for building many landmarks in Florence but this is his showstopper. The beautiful ribbed dome was creatively added by Brunelleschi in the 1420s. The building took 170 years to complete, and the facade was remodeled to reflect Cambio’s design in the 19th century. Inside the Duomo, your eyes are inevitably drawn upwards to that soaring painted dome and lovely stained-glass windows by such masters as Donatello. Visit the crypt, where Brunelleschi's tomb lies, or to the top of the enormous dome itself for stupendous views over Florence.More
#4

Ponte Vecchio

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The ancient Ponte Vecchio bridge is as much a symbol of Florence as the red dome of the Duomo. Ponte Vecchio means old bridge, and indeed it dates back to the 14th century. The three-arched bridge is picturesquely lined with several stories of jewelry shops and market stalls. It’s one of the most popular places in Florence for taking a stroll or just hanging out, and the decorative central arches are picture-perfect spots for snapping photos of Florence. Running across the top of the Ponte Vecchio is part of the famous Vasari Corridor, built for the ruling Medicis by the Renaissance painter and designer Vasari. The private enclosed walkway leads from the Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi Museum, across the top of the bridge to the Pitti Palace on the other side of the river.More
#5

Piazza della Signoria

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Florence’s spacious Piazza della Signoria has long been one of the city’s main meeting points. The Palazzo Vecchio, which anchors one side of the square, was once home to the rulers of the Florentine Republic, and today still serves as the city’s town hall. This square, then, was often used by those seeking favor (or protesting) their government. Today, the Palazzo Vecchio houses a museum along with the town hall, and the Piazza della Signoria is lined with other major attractions. In front of the Palazzo Vecchio you’ll find a copy of Michelangelo’s famous “David” statue (in the place where the original once stood). The open-air gallery that is the Loggia dei Lanzi contains a collection of sculptures. And to one side of the Palazzo Vecchio is a fountain with a huge statue of Neptune. The Piazza della Signoria was the site of the 14th century “Burning of the Vanities” led by the monk Savonarola, and it’s also where Savonarola was later hanged.More
#6

Piazzale Michelangelo

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If you want to catch those iconic, sweeping views of Florence you've seen in postcards, head to Piazzale Michelangelo. From an elevated position overlooking the city, the fabulous views take in the city's fortified walls, the River Arno, the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio and, of course, the round red dome of the Duomo. During the day, drink in the views as you stroll along the Renaissance promenade, overlooked by yet another copy of Michelangelo's David. Return in the evening for magical views of Florence floodlit at night.More
#7

Palazzo Vecchio

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Historic Palazzo Vecchio ('old palace') has been at the political heart of Florence for more than 7 centuries. With its late-medieval crenellated roofline and soaring defensive tower, it dominates the lovely buildings and sculptures of Piazza della Signoria in the heart of Florence. The striking building was built in the early 1300s, and was redecorated by the ruling Medici family in the 16th century. Inside you can imagine how life at the top was lived in Renaissance Florence by touring the luxuriously decorated chambers. From the courtyards to the chapel and private rooms, you’ll see elaborately decorated ceilings, frescoes by the celebrated Renaissance painter Vasari, and statues by such luminaries as Donatello and Michelangelo. Climb to the top of the tower for stupendous views of Florence and the Arno valley.More
#8

Piazza della Repubblica

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The Piazza della Repubblica is a public square in the center of Florence that sits on some of the city’s most important historic sites. It was once the city’s Roman Forum — then subsequently its market and old ghetto, after the forum was extensively built over in the early Middle Ages. The present square was established in the 19th century Risanamento during the period in which Florence was briefly the capital of a reunited Italy. The expansion of the square meant the demolition of many significant structures. The square was revitalized after the war, and today is the home to many street performers and artists as well as historic literary cafes and traveling exhibitions. Sitting in the piazza you can see the Colonna dell'Abbondanza (Column of Abundance) and the Arcone, the most prominent remaining structures of the past.More
#9

Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti)

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The Pitti Palace was built by rivals of the powerful Medici family in the mid-1400s. A century later, the Medicis took over the huge Renaissance palace, and it was the home of Florentine rulers until the early 20th century. Today the massive palace houses a number of picture galleries and museums, and is surrounded by gardens and ornate fortifications. To see the entire collection would take days if not weeks, so choose your favorites and plunge in! A tour of the royal apartments reveals the Medicis' taste for over-the-top decor. An impressive collection of Renaissance masterpieces is housed in the Palatina Gallery, with works by Raphael, Titian and Rubens. To see the Medicis family's silverware, head to the Silver Museum, or take a stroll around the Renaissance Boboli Gardens, with its statues and grottoes.More
#10

Arno River

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Visitors to Florence will no doubt walk along and cross over the river that runs through the city center; and while it’s possible to see the city these days without paying much attention to the river, that wasn’t always the case. The Arno River was once an incredibly important river to central Italy, serving as a “highway” that brought shipments from the sea and brought warring soldiers from neighboring cities. Today, the River Arno may not be as critical an avenue for shipping or armies, but it’s no less important to the identity of Tuscany. The Arno River runs through Florence, as well as the cities of Pisa, Empoli, and Arezzo. Florence’s famous Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”) spans the Arno, and hotel rooms with a river view usually command high prices. Also note that the part of central Florence located on the opposite side of the river from the Duomo and train station is known as the “Oltrarno,” or “other Arno,” meaning the other side of the Arno River.More

Trip ideas

Don't-Miss Dishes in Florence

Don't-Miss Dishes in Florence

Top activities in Florence

Recent reviews from experiences in Florence

star-5
Amazing day! Unforgettable.
Genevieve_H, Sep 2020
Cinque Terre Day Trip with Transport from Florence
Gave us also tips on what to visite on Florence.
star-5
Lovely trip through Tuscany to Pisa
Nigel, Sep 2020
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence
It was a great way to see the Tuscan countryside and some of the other places near Florence during our week's stay in the city.
star-5
Tuscan day trip with Sarah
Jawwad, Sep 2020
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence
We managed to see quite a lot in one day, without getting too tired.
star-5
Great tour
David_m, May 2020
Florence Highlights Virtual Guided Tour (Times in EST)
Very nice way to visit Florence if you cannot travel there.
star-5
Excellent guide for kids!
Christopher_L, Feb 2020
Florence Sightseeing Tour for Kids & Families with Gelato Tasting
It's a good tour to start your Florence vacation with, because it gives you an idea of what you'd like to see more of later.
star-5
Great time
Sean, Feb 2020
Full day to San Gimignano, Siena and Chianti with Lunch and Wine Tasting
I was happy I was able to see a few cities during my short visit to Florence.
star-5
So much fun.
ashleymancusi, Jan 2020
Florence Segway Tour
It was a great way to see the city!
star-5
Thanks Rachele!
Missy H, Jan 2020
Florence Sightseeing Tour for Kids & Families with Gelato Tasting
We recommend this tour to anyone with kids because regular walking tours can get boring for them.
star-4
Very informative tour
Flyer552128, Dec 2019
Fascinating Florence: Guided Walking Tour
There was a ton of walking involved but we enjoyed being able to see all of the sights.
star-4
Private guided tour
selynsd, Dec 2019
Combo Tour VIP - Uffizi, Accademia Gallery & Walktour
Great way to see the best of sights in Florence in a limited time.
star-5
Great Afternoon Biking in Countryside
JonathanM6030, Nov 2019
Florence Electric Bike Tour with Farm and Delicious Gelato
We visited a beautiful farm and stopped on the way back to see the city from up high.
star-5
Excellent Informative Tour and Guide
Lovemytravels11, Nov 2019
Early Access: Guided Uffizi Gallery Tour with Skip-the-Line Ticket
We definitely wanted to see this fantastic art museum while in Florence.
star-5
Good way to get an overview of the city
Seaside34867488267, Nov 2019
Florence City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
There is a lot of different areas to see and the bus tour gives you good overview.
star-5
Breathtaking!
weddel5137, Nov 2019
Skip-the-Line Florence Highlights and David Walking Tour
Perfect way to see the beauty of Florence topped off with the breathtaking Statue of David!
star-5
Dan Brown Tour
marychauchau, Oct 2019
Dan Brown's Inferno - Private Florence Walking Tour
The guide spoke great English and was very perraonable.
star-4
A couple of hours there but just right.
HollinBank, Oct 2019
Pisa from Florence afternoon Tour including Skip-the-Line Leaning Tower Ticket
The coach from Florence was about an hour and a half each way leaving us with a couple of hours to visit the church and the tower.
star-4
Must see
cinjohn403, Oct 2019
Pisa and the Leaning Tower Afternoon Tour from Florence
Only negative comment is the guide’s English was very limited.
star-5
Great tour
russportele, Oct 2019
Skip-the-Line Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi's Dome Climb
There is so much to see that it is hard to even comprehend the great art that we were seeing The view from the top of the Duomo is spectacular and well worth the effort.
star-5
Best of Florence Walking Tour / Skip the Line at Michelangelo's David
Explorer67128403810, Oct 2019
Best of Florence Walking Tour with Skip-the-Line at Michelangelo’s ‘David’
The best was walking straight into the gallery to see the beautiful paintings, sculptures and ultimately Michelangelo's David.
star-5
A wealth of knowledge
mycogboys, Oct 2019
Best of Florence Walking Tour with Skip-the-Line at Michelangelo’s ‘David’
A great way to see beautiful Florence.

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