Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy and is home to many of its most famous attractions. There is so much to see and do there that you could visit again and again and not see everything.
Thankfully, this fantastic city isn’t too difficult to navigate either. It’s compact enough not to get lost too easily but big enough to explore for days. You definitely don’t want to miss these things when visiting Florence!
Travelling to Florence
Many roads lead to Rome; the same can be said about Florence. The city is located in Tuscany in the northern part of the country. This makes it easy to reach by car from most major European cities.
It’s easier, though, to fly to Florence. The city has its own airport close to the sights in the city centre. Public transportation takes you to the city in about 20 minutes from the airport. You can also take a taxi if you prefer a bit more tranquillity.
Another way to get to this city is by cruise ship. Many European cruises stop in Livorno, a city near Pisa and about an hour and a half from Florence. Most cruise lines offer excursions to explore this city.
Things you don’t want to miss!
One of the most famous buildings in Florence is the Duomo. The official name of this cathedral is “Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore”, but it is also called the ‘Duomo’ by the Italians. The cathedral is located in Piazza del Duomo, one of Florence’s busiest squares. At a whopping 114 metres tall, this cathedral is the largest building in the city.
The Duomo consists of multiple parts. The inside of the cathedral is open to everyone. If you are up for a physical challenge, it is possible to enter Brunelleschi’s dome. You need to buy tickets in advance for this. After a climb of 463 steps, you are at the top of the cathedral dome. The breathtaking view is well worth the climb.
The Uffizi Museum
Another Florentine attraction is the Uffizi Museum. This museum displays art from the late Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque periods. With various art disciplines and a collection of thousands of masterpieces, this museum is really a must-see for art lovers. The Uffizi Museum includes works by great artists such as Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Piero della Francesca and Giotto.
The Uffizi Museum can be found in the south of Florence’s city centre. The museum covers an area of over thirteen thousand square metres. So feel free to spend a day here, as there is plenty to see. When you have seen enough art, settle down on the terrace on the second floor. With a drink, you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view.
The Palazzo Pitti is a palace located south of the River Arno near the Boboli Gardens. The palace dates back to 1458 and currently houses four different museums. You will find various Italian works of art in these museums and the rooms of ancient Italian monarchs.
Buying a ticket to Palazzo Pitti gives you access to all the museums in this palace. Behold the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Palatine Gallery and the Costume Museum. Have you seen most of Palazzo Pitti and would like to take a rest? Then visit Palazzo Pitti’s cafeteria for a bite to eat and a drink.
The sculpture David by Michelangelo
Florence is also home to one of the most famous statues, Michelangelo’s David. In the picture above, we have briefly cut off the 18+ parts. But you will probably know the statue.
The actual statue is inside the Galleria dell’Accademia. To view this statue, you need a ticket. Want to see the statue for free? Then you’ll find a replica of the statue in Piazza della Signoria. Even if you don’t go for the replica statue, it is definitely worth taking a look here. After all, there are other beautiful works of art on display.
The gardens of Boboli
The gardens of Boboli are located behind Palazzo Pitti. They date back to the 16th century and were designed by Niccolò Pericoli. One of the main features of the gardens is symmetry.
Trees and plants are arranged symmetrically. This gives the garden an aura of tranquillity and regularity. You can also think of the Boboli Gardens as a large open-air museum. There are beautiful Renaissance statues to behold, as well as fountains and grottos.
To avoid surprises when you want to enter the Boboli gardens, we mention in advance that you need a ticket to enter the beautiful gardens. One of the reasons that admission is charged is that the gardens are maintained daily.
The most famous bridge in Florence is the Ponte Vecchio. This bridge lies over the river Arno and was built in 1345. The Ponte Vecchio is characterised by the little shops that line the bridge. It is primarily jewellers who do business in this beautiful spot. You can find the Ponte Vecchio in the south of the Florentine city centre near Piazzale degli Uffizi.
The Ponte Vecchio is famous for the padlocks used by couples to immortalise their love on the bridge. The lock was hung on the bridge, and the keys were thrown into the river Arno. The locks caused so much damage to the bridge that it was decided to ban them. If you hang a padlock on the bridge, you risk a fine. However, you can still immortalise your love on the quay by the bridge these days.
The last interesting fact about the Ponte Vecchio is a secret passageway that gained fame through Dan Brown’s book Inferno. This secret passage is also called the Corridoio Vasariano. This passageway, more than a kilometre long, connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Pallazo Pitti. Above the shops on the Ponte Vecchio, you will find the secret passageway. To access the Corridoio Vecchio, you will need a ticket.
Tips for visiting Florence
Now that we have highlighted Florence’s biggest attractions, we would like to give you a few more tips for your visit. First, we want to stress that the sights in this city are wildly popular. Want to be sure of getting a ticket? Then arrange your tickets several weeks in advance to make your visit to Florence a carefree and unforgettable experience.
Secondly, it is essential to know that you can buy combined tickets. For example, you can buy tickets that allow you to visit the Uffizi Museum, the gardens of Boboli and the Pitti Palace. Fortunately, you don’t have to do all this on the same day; you have five days to visit these attractions when you buy a combined ticket.