Florence Tours and Things To Do

10 Best Tours In Florence

1. Ultimate Uffizi: Priority Entrance Small-Group Tour: One of the quickest ways to visit one of the oldest and best European museums

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If you are visiting Florence in a group of a dozen or less members, the Ultimate Uffizi: Priority Entrance Small-Group Tour is one of the best. It will get you into the world-famous gallery of masterpieces faster than most, and, you can even hang out and further explore the museum after the tour is over as well. 

Pieces from da Vinci, Botticelli, Michaelangelo, and many more lie in wait for you on this spectacular art tour for small groups. Benefits of the tour include quicker access to exhibits as well as access to exclusive entrances and history lessons along the way. 

There is also a novelty shop and cafe on the premises where you can relax and get a drink or bite to eat while waiting for the tour, or after you finish. The view of the Piazza from the cafe is said to be pretty grand as well.

2. Florence: Michelangelo’s David Guided Accademia Gallery Tour: A one hour art tour including one of Michelangelo’s very best works

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The Accademia Gallery is one of the finest in Florence, though often overlooked for the more famous Uffizi Gallery. That said, the Florence: Michelangelo’s David Guided Accademia Gallery Tour is a one of a kind experience that you don’t want to pass up if you are an art lover (especially if you enjoy the works of Michelangelo).

On this tour you will enjoy skipping ahead of the lines and getting straight to the main attractions. The guide meets up with you at their office which is conveniently located directly beside the museum. Once you’ve entered the museum you will have a full one-hour guided tour and private access to many of the exhibits.

Up to twenty people are permitted per group and headsets to better hear the guides are provided to party members as well. A Knowledgeable guide will accompany you at all times to explain each piece in detail and answer any questions you may have.

3. Florence Dome Climb: Priority Entrance Tour: Enjoy the freedom of exploring the Duomo at your own leisure

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Perhaps the most visited attraction on all of Florence is easily the Dome, also known as the Duomo. On the Florence Dome Climb: Priority Entrance Tour you can forget all about the long lines, crowds of tourists, and fighting to view the most popular pieces of art. 

This tour enables you to use the private entrance and get straight to viewing what you came to see. Furthermore, you will be guided to the top of the Cathedral’s cupola for one of the most breathtaking views of the city possible from any height or angle.

In addition to a panoramic view of Florence, you will be left to enjoy further exploration of the world-famous dome complex after the actual tour has come to an end. If it’s visiting the Duomo that you’re after in a tour, there are none better than the Florence Dome Climb: Priority Entrance Tour according to those who’ve thus far partaken.

4. Florence: 1-Hour Cupola Entry and Guided Tour: A guided tour to the highest point in Florence (the Cupola) for the best view of the city

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Another highly recommended tour that guides you to the highest points in Florence is the Florence: 1-Hour Cupola Entry and Guided Tour. Not only will you be guided to the top, and to what most claim to be the best views of the city, but you will receive a well-rounded and intriguing history lesson along the way as well.

Explore the cupola, view art by masters, and enjoy a birds-eye-view of much of Florence from the top of the Cupola. The tour allows you one of the most up-close-and-personal experiences of the Duomo possible. Furthermore, any questions you may have about the Duomo, or Florence, in general, will be happily answered by your insightful local guides.

5. Accademia Gallery: Reserved Entrance and Guided Tour: Get on the fast-track to the best of the artistic gems of Florence with this clever tour

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The Accademia Gallery: Reserve Entrance and Guided Tour is a gem among art tours in Florence. It takes you far beyond the main exhibits and private entrances and to the very heart of understanding each piece of art. By the time the tour has come to an end, you will be intimately familiar with the history of the entire collection at the Accademia Gallery.

The tour is guided by an expert who is prepared to answer even the most obscure questions you might have. Some of the most interesting sights you will see are the statue of David as well as plenty of other gorgeous masterpieces. The four unfinished Prisoners are included in the exhibits you’ll see and learn about.

6. Full-Day Brunello Wine Tour with Lunch: Partake in one of the most highly acclaimed wine tours in Florence (with a full lunch included)

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If it’s a wine-tasting tour that you’re in the mood for while visiting Florence, we suggest the Full-Day Brunello Wine Tour with Lunch. On this day-long tour you will explore a premier Brunello wine producer and learn their industry secrets while tasty plenty of wine and enjoying a full lunch as well. 

The lunch provided on the tour consists of a traditional Tuscan meal and DOCG Brunello as well as Rosso di Montaicino DOC for beverages. You will also be presented with the option of further exploring the vineyards and making small talk with the legendary winemakers. 

Besides sampling amazing wine and equally satisfying food, you will be able to get a real taste for the local life in the Tuscan countryside. There will also be time to grab a few mementos such as a bottle of wine or high-quality virgin olive oil.

7. Florence Uffizi Gallery Skip the Line Guided Tour: Take this guided tour straight to works by Botticelli, Raphael, and Michelangelo with zero wait

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The next two tours are extremely similar, however, due to such equal recommendations, we simply could not choose one from the other. That said, the Florence Uffizi Gallery Skip the Line Guided Tour is one of the best for sure. You will enjoy a quick entrance with absolutely no wait to get inside.

Further, you will have an expert guide in English, Spanish, German, Russian, or Italian who will fill you in on all the little details and history behind each piece of art and exhibit in the place. And, when you’re done, or before the tour starts, you are free to explore as much of the gallery and neighborhood in general that you wish.

8. Florence: Uffizi Gallery Priority Entrance Tour: Escape the lengthy lines at the Uffizi Gallery by signing up for this private entrance tour

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The second of two tours we just couldn’t choose between, the Florence: Uffizi Gallery Priority Entrance Tour is another prime choice for those who wish to partake in the masterpieces of this world-famous gallery. The paintings of such masters as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinco, Caravaggio, Botticelli, and more are the gold at the end of this tour’s rainbow. 

So, if you want a quick entrance, expert guide, and to make sure you get to see all of the exhibits and learn all there is to know about each one, this tour could be the perfect choice for you.

9. Florence Duomo: Priority Entry and Express Guided Tour : Explore the Duomo when you choose; with no waiting in lines

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The Duomo is, of course, the most visited destination in Florence. That said, all tours to the Duomo are not equal. The Florence Duomo: Priority Entry and Express Guided Tour is one of the more interesting. Not only do you skip past all lines, you basically get private time at all of the main exhibits without other tourists taking up the same space as your group. 

You will also learn all about the original 1,200+ year-old church and the nearly 90,000 square foot cathedral that is now standing on top of it. There is also the option to stay behind after the tour has come to an end and further explore the Duomo on your own or with your small group. Any questions you may have will be answered by your knowledgeable guides.

10. Dante’s Inferno Haunted Exploration Game & Tour: A new and exciting tour-game combination in which you partake in a haunted treasure hunt while exploring Florence’s most haunted areas

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One of the coolest tours available, and also one of the newest, Dante’s Inferno Haunted Exploration Game & Tour is, as the name suggests, a combination tour and game. More or less, it is a tour of Florence’s most haunted neighborhoods and destinations. And, while you go from site to site, you will partake in a treasure hunt of sorts via an app and your phone. 

Your expert guide will take from haunted house to haunted pub to haunted graveyard and more. Along the way, look for clues and do your best to win the game. However, brace yourself, because, Florence is said to be plagued with trapped souls.. And you just might end up being one! (hehe)

10 Best Things To Do In Florence

Florence is known for its massive and impressive collection of fine art. From paintings and architecture to other world-famous masterpieces such as sculptures like Michelangelo’s David, there is a wealth of stuff for art lovers to check out. And, if you enjoy Italian culture, the Tuscan region’s Capital city of Florence’s gardens, shops, and restaurants are sure to impress.

1. Piazza Santo Spirito: Premiere Shops, Markets, and Destinations in Oltrarno

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The Piazza Santo Spirito is perhaps one of the most stunning squares in all of Italy. That said, it does stay bustling with tourists. However, if it is Italian markets, shops, or other public destinations that you’re after during your trip, Piazza Santo Spirito definitely deserves a place on your list. Whether you want to sit back and enjoy a drink, do some shopping, or enjoy a lovely roof-top view, this is the neighborhood to do it in.

2. Piazzale Michelangelo: A Spectacular Neighbourhood For Local History and Culture

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Another amazing neighborhood that you don’t want to miss out on when visiting Florence is the Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the best areas of the city where local history and culture are concerned. Sightseers are prone to enjoy this neighborhood for all its splendor and hustle. Street performers and musicians are known to frequent the area, and it also offers beautiful views of the Duomo and Arnolfo Tower as well. 

3. Medici Chapels: Two Stunning Chapels in San Lorenzo’s Historic Basilica

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A couple of the most stunning chapels in all of San Lorenzo’s  historic basilica, the Medici Chapels are not a destination to miss if historic buildings and architecture intrigue you. Many tourists claim to feel as if they have traveled back in time while visiting the chapels due to their atmosphere. Tickets do cost around ten dollars to get in, they can be purchased in person or booked online. When it comes to chapels, the Medici Chapels of Florence are a couple of Italian gems to behold.

4. Uffizi Gallery: A Must-See Renaissance Art Gallery

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One of the most sought after destinations in Florence, especially for students, artists, and art lovers in general, is the Uffizi Gallery and all of its impressive Renaissance art. This is one of the top must-see destinations in Florence, without question, however, regardless of your history with art.

You will not regret taking the time to view these masterpieces. Furthermore, there are numerous tours available that allow you to get a better view and understanding of all that the gallery has to offer. Masterpieces from Michelangelo and da Vinci are just the icing on the cake when it comes to all the treasures the Uffizi Gallery has to offer.

5. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo: A  Beautiful Museum in Honor of the Dome and Basilica

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Another glorious museum that undoubtedly deserves a place on your list of places to go while visiting Florence is the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. This one dedicated in the honor of the Dome and Basilica of Florence. That said, the museum is home to a massive collection of paintings and sculptures from the Medieval and Renaissance eras. Ghiberti, Michelangelo, and Brunelleschi are a few of the most famous artists who have their works included in the museum’s gallery. Also, there is an amazing little gift shop where you can pick up a number of intriguing one-of-a-kind artsy-type items to remember the trip to Flornence by.

6. Bargello Museum: The Largest Collection of Renaissance and Gothic Sculptures in Italy

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The largest collection of Renaissance and Gothic sculptures in all of Italy occupy yet another highly-rated museum in Florence, the Bargello Museum. Besides age-old masterpieces and dynamic pieces of art, the actual location housing the museum alone is well worth the visit.

Housed in a gorgeous Gothic Manner with courtyards, arches, and even a bell tower, a trip to this museum is a once in a lifetime experience. And, despite receiving such high amounts of traffic from tourists, the place remains as if in a time capsule. So, if you ever wondered what the Renaissance or Gothic eras were like, this is the destination for you.

7. Giardino Bardini: A Wonderful Place to Stop and Smell the Flowers

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Number seven on our list of the best things to do in Florence is taking a stop to smell the flowers amidst the crowds, by stepping into the Giardino Bardini. This intimately designed garden is a hidden treasure in Florence.

Aside from gorgeous landscaping, and a being a perfect place for catching a breather between visiting other touristy spots, there is also a covered path straight up to the panoramic Belvedere terrace. So, if you need a place to rest for a moment while traipsing around the city, keep this beautiful little spot in mind.  

8. Stadio Artemio Franchi : Florence’s Soccer Hub

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For those who have a strong love for soccer coursing in their veins, there is no other location in Florence as exciting as the city’s soccer hub, the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Home to ACF Fiorentina, the Series A soccer team for the city of Florence.

If you visit during the season, you will be sure to catch a great game if you so wish to. In addition, it is a great place to mingle with other soccer fans and even to pick up some sports memorabilia. Regardless, even for free, it is a treat to even merely behold the stadium for any real soccer fan.

9. Galleria dell’Accademia: Home to the Most Famous Work of Michelangelo

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One of the most impressive galleries in the city, the Galleria dell’Accademia is home to not only the most famous works of Michelangelo, but in reality, it houses more art than most cities with all of their museums combined.

That said, no matter what sort of art you enjoy, painting, sculpture, or simply architecture, you will surely be taken aback at the beauty to behold at this popular art destination. The downside is that there is of course some pretty horrendous lines to wait in for the better exhibits depending on the season you decide to visit during.

10. Palazzo Strozzi: An Artsy and Laid Back Renaissance Palazzo

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A lesser known treasure within Florence is the Palazzo Strozzi. However, as with most destination and things to do on our list, it is also centered around fine art. It isn’t home to the famous masterpieces of the museums of the city, rather, it is a laid back Renaissance Palazzo dedicated to artsy types and activities. Art shows, exhibits, and performances are regular in the area. If you love art, or are studying it, you will not want to miss out on checking out this neighborhood.

Free Things To Do In Florence

Florence is a city full of awesomely free things to do and see. No matter which parts of the city you plan to visit, or end up wandering thought during your trip, you’ll never have to break the bank to do and see cool things in Florence.

Below are brief descriptions of the most interesting free things to do in the main areas in Florence:

Free Stuff To Do And See In Piazza del Duomo

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Piazza del Duomo is the heart of the city. It’s home to splendid architecture. The list includes the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Bell Tower, and several other architectures inside the square. 

The square is the perfect start for your trip. It introduces you to the art and history in Florence.

Built in 1296 by Arnulfo de Cambio, the cathedral is an impressive Gothic masterpiece. It houses several works of art by renowned artists. And it is the third largest church in Italy.

Tourists love to visit because of its jaw-dropping interior. Its walls and ceiling are filled with mosaics and frescoes. 

But the main attraction of the cathedral is its beautiful dome.

Did you know it was built in 1436 by Filippo Brunelleschi? It’s at 152 meters high and tourists will enjoy the panoramic view of the city from the cathedral!

Opposite the cathedral lies the Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista. It’s one of the oldest worship places in Florence. 

The baptistery is a fine Romanesque architecture. There you’ll find splendid sculptures and awe-inspiring mosaics. The baptistery used to be a pagan temple consecrated to Mars. And it was eventually turned into a church. 

Mosaics adorn the interior and the ceiling of the baptistery. And this includes the astonishing mosaic of Christ and the Last Judgment made between the 13th and 14th centuries. 

The mosaics are pleasing to the eyes of artists and non-artists alike. Aside from the mosaics, the paneled bronze door of the baptistery highlights the artistry of Ghiberti. 

The fascinating sculpture on the bronze doors? It speaks of Guiberti’s impressive bronze sculpting skills. In the narrative sculpted on the bronze doors, Guiberti’s outstanding take of symmetry and composition is evident. 

There, you’ll also find the bell tower that Giotto constructed in 1334. It  highlights the creative genius of Florentine masters of the 14th and 15th centuries shown in the sculpture décor. 

For aspiring artists, you’ll love the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo. After all,  it’s a haven that houses artworks of the best artists. And this includes Michelangelo’s allegedly most moving work, the reassembled Pieta.

Do you want a closer look? If so, you have to purchase a combined ticket that would grant you access to view all six sites in the piazza within 24 hours!

Free Stuff To Do And See In San Miniato Al Monte

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This is one of the finest Romanesque architecture in Tuscany. This multicolored marble structure nestled among the lush green hills of Florence is indeed a remarkable sight. The magnificent exterior of San Miniato Al Monte features geometric patterns that adorn the walls. And it’s enough to make your jaw drop!

History Lesson:

San Miniato Al Monte was built between the 11th and 13th centuries. And it’s dedicated to St. Minias, who was an Early Christian martyr in Florence. The relics of Saint Minias are preserved in the church’s crypt. 

A Latin phrase is scribbled on a marble scroll by the entrance that translates “This is the Gate of Heaven”. Indeed, the moment you step foot inside, you’ll notice streaks of sunlight from the window. It illuminates the captivating mosaics and stunning sculpture you’d probably think that a chorus of angels would appear.

Marble designs adorned the nave leading to a fine Romanesque crypt. Faith and religion play an important role in creating art centuries ago. Proof? The interior décor is inspired by saints and Christianity! And this includes a striking image of Christ, St. Minias presenting him the crown and the Virgin Mary. 

Trudge across the monumental cemetery at the front and back of the church. There, you’ll find the burial grounds of Florentine legends. This includes the author of famous children’s book, Pinocchio, Carlo Lorenzini (Collodi). 

Then, you’ll see a church if you walk around. The church is a 5-minute walk uphill from Piazzale Michelangelo, which offers an overlooking view of the duomo and Palazzo Vecchio.

Free Stuff To Do And See In Piazza Della Signoria

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Considered as the most famous square in Florence, Piazza Della Signoria is the heart of the history of the Florentine Republic. It’s home to important structures in Florentine history. And  Piazza della Signoria is a picturesque setting that reflects a reckoning history under tyranny.

Constructed in 1302 by Arnolfo di Cambio, Piazza della Signoria is the home of two churches and several tower houses in the medieval times. It was built in 1299. And it served as the town hall of the city. Today, the piazza is the home of Palazzo Vecchio or the Old Palace and Loggia dei Lanzi (Lodge for public gatherings). 

Outside the palace, you’ll find Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David. It serves as a reminder of the Republic’s effort to convey their defiance against the tyrannical Medici family.

The boasting Neptune Fountain is surely eye-catching. An impressive white sculpture of the Roman god Neptune is perched at the center of the fountain. Built in 1560-1575 by Bartolomeo Ammannati, the public wasn’t impressed by it, calling the sculpture “Biancone” or the white giant. The sculpture came alive from Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing.

As you walked around the vicinity, it’s hard not to notice a marble slab. The Savonarola Memorial plaque lies in the vicinity. It commemorates the place where Savonarola, an important figure in Florentine history, was executed in 1498. Every 23rd of May, the citizens scatter flower petals in the exact place of Savonarola’s execution. 

Within the premises of the piazza lies the famous Uffizi Gallery. Masterpieces of the Florentine artists are there. This includes Michelangelo, Boticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and more.

Marvel at the remarkable works of the masters. It’s a perfect place to refill your creative juices or just to energize yourself. You’ll never know, just by immersing yourself you’ll ignite the awakening of your creative genius. Also in the vicinity, Tribunale della Mercanzia used to hold court hearings of merchants but today it is the home of the Gucci museum.

Free Stuff To Do And See In Ponte Vecchio

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Although it is known as the breeding ground of mosaics, frescoes, and architecture, Florence is more unique. After all, it also highlights a different form of art from the stalls that sell jewelry along Ponte Vecchio, the 1st bridge built in Florence. 

Ponte Vecchio connects the city center to the district of Oltrarno. According to historians, the bridge was constructed around the 12th century.

The bridge was rebuilt several times. The major reconstruction of the bridge happened after the flood in 1333. And it almost destroyed the entirety of the bridge. It left only 2 pillars standing. Fortunately, the bridge was reconstructed with a 3-stone arch design and a larger pavement area. 

The bridge was also redesigned to withstand floods. The bridge’s central arch is the largest, spanning 30 meters and standing 4.4 meters tall. The bridge is supported by two arches on either side of the bridge spanning 27 meters and standing at 3.5 meters tall.

And here’s a fun fact: Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge that remained untouched during World War II. And it’s believed that Hitler intended to keep the bridge intact.

 Giorgio Vasari built the Vasari corridor passing over the shops for the Medici family who didn’t want to pass by the foul-smelling bridge. 

Butchers and tanners used to dominate the shops along the bridge, which caused the stench. With the efforts of making the bridge a respectable place to visit, the government ordered the relocation of butchers and tanners. The goldsmiths took over the stalls. 

At the center of the bridge perched the bust of Benvenuto Cellini, the most famous Florentine goldsmith.

Free Stuff To Do And See In San Lorenzo Market

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After a tour around famous infrastructures, visit the San Lorenzo Market. After all, it’s a breath of fresh air from the creative wells of the city. 

The culinary scene and crafts are the highlights in the market. San Lorenzo market is divided into two sections – the Mercato Centrale and the outdoor market. The outdoor market is the hub for souvenirs and crafts such as leather bags, belts, and scarves. 

Test your bargaining skills in the stalls outside the market and get the best deals from the vendors. The outdoor market is open every Tuesday until Saturday. Inside the San Lorenzo market is the two-level food market. Meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, and spices are found on the ground floor. 

The market opens at 7 AM to 2 PM from Monday to Friday and 7 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays. The market is closed on Sundays and holidays. After a tiring tour around the city, it’s best to immerse yourself in the local scene by taking meals in Mercato Centrale. 

The thriving culinary scene is found at the second level that accommodates 12 stalls, each boasts a certain specialty from the other. The cooking process of Italian delicacy can be seen from clear glass windows of each stall. 

A trip to Italy isn’t complete without eating pizza cooked in the traditional Neapolitan way, right? And of course, the infamous gelato that could make you forget that commercial ice cream exists. There’s also a coffee bar, a bookstore, and a Chianti wine booth at the second level. The gourmet food center opens at 10 AM until midnight. 

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