Florence Travel Guide: Discovering the Best of the Renaissance City in 2023

Do you hope to visit Florence? Here comes the good part! Art, architecture, and history combine to make this city a must-see for tourists. The central Italian region of Tuscany is named for its capital, Florence. There are rolling hills and vineyards all around the city, which is located on the banks of the Arno River.

The Uffizi Museum, the Florence Cathedral, and the Ponte Vecchio are just a few of the famous landmarks that call Florence, Italy, home. Chianti wine, pici pasta, and bistecca alla fiorentina are just a few examples of the excellent Tuscan cuisine for which Florence is famous.

Our Florence travel guide will walk you through every step of organizing a trip to the Renaissance capital.

When to Visit Florence

The months of April through June and September through October are ideal for a trip to Florence. The weather is usually mild and crowds are manageable, making these months a great alternative to the busier summer months.

Avoid the summer months in Florence if you want to avoid the city’s heaviest tourist traffic (July to August). In the summer, the city can get very busy due to the high temperatures and high humidity.

How to Get to Florence

It’s simple to get to the city by plane, train, or car. The Florence Airport (FLR) is the city’s primary airport, and it services both domestic and international flights. From other Italian cities including Rome, Milan, and Venice, you can take a train to Florence.

Florence’s highway system is well-developed, and both the airport and the city itself provide a wide variety of vehicle rental options for those who want to travel independently.

Rental Cars in Florence

A car rental service can provide you with the flexibility to explore the city’s marvels and hidden gems without being confined to public transportation schedules. This article delves into the advantages of renting a car in Florence, where to secure one, and the must-see attractions in the city and its neighboring vicinities.

Opting for a car rental in Florence enables you to travel without constraints and to set your own itinerary. Forget about the inconvenience of public transportation, packed buses, or driving through an unfamiliar city. With a rental car, you have the convenience of driving to some of Florence’s world-renowned landmarks, such as the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio, as well as journeying to the serene Tuscan countryside.

You can check rental cars in Florence here:

Where to Stay in Florence

From five-star hotels to cheap hostels, visitors to the city can find a place to stay that fits their budget.

  • Luxury Accommodation: The Four Seasons Hotel Florence is where we would stay if we were visiting Florence. Beautiful gardens, a spa, and a restaurant with a Michelin star can all be found at this hotel, which is housed in a restored Renaissance palace.
  • Mid-range Accommodation: We suggest the NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa for a comfortable and affordable stay in Florence. Elegant rooms and a rooftop patio with breathtaking city views can be found at this hotel, which occupies a historic structure.
  • Budget Accommodation: The Hostel Archi Rossi is ideal for those on a tighter budget. There are both shared and individual sleeping quarters available at this centrally located hostel.

Here are some of the best hotels in Florence:

Best Hostels In Florence

Florence hostels are more than just a bed for the night. Travelers can have a one-of-a-kind experience at these establishments, which feature common rooms, kitchens, and a wide range of activities where they can meet people from all over the world. The abundance of Florence, Italy hostels means it can be difficult to pick the one that’s perfect for you.

Here are some of the hostels that offer excellent amenities, great location, and a comfortable stay, all while staying on a budget.

  • Plus Florence: Plus Florence, a hostel in the middle of the city, is highly regarded by visitors for its comfortable beds, clean common areas, and helpful staff. The rooftop pool, sauna, gym and bar at this hostel are perfect for unwinding after a day of sight seeing in the city. All of Plus Florence’s rooms, whether they’re private or shared, come with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and comfy beds.
  • Hostel Gallo d’Oro: If you’re looking for a comfortable and reasonably priced hostel in Florence, go no farther than Hostel Gallo d’Oro. The hostel’s proximity to the Duomo and other local landmarks makes it a convenient base from which to discover Milan. Private rooms, female-only dorms, and mixed dorms, all with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi, are available at Hostel Gallo d’Oro. The shared kitchen, common area, and terrace of this hostel make it a great spot to mingle with fellow guests.
  • Academy Hostel Florence: The Accademia Gallery and other main Florence sites are a short walk from the Academy Hostel in the San Lorenzo district. Private rooms, female-only dorms, and mixed dorms are all available at this hostel; guests can also take advantage of the facility’s air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and lockers. The complimentary breakfast buffet, shared kitchen, and comfortable common room at Academy Hostel Florence make it a great spot to meet fellow travelers and trade travel advice.
  • Wow Florence Hostel: Wow Florence Hostel is a hip and contemporary lodging option that’s conveniently placed near Santa Maria Novella Station and other top sights in the city. Private rooms, female-only dorms, and mixed dorms are all available at this hostel, as are air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and soft bedding. The Wow Florence Hostel has all you need for a fun and social stay, including a rooftop terrace, bar and shared kitchen.
  • My Friends Hostel Florence: Guests of My Friends Hostel Florence will find themselves in close proximity to the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Ponte Vecchio. Private rooms, female-only dorms, and mixed dorms are all available at this hostel, as are air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and soft, comfy beds. At My Friends Hostel Florence, guests may take advantage of the property’s shared kitchen, living room, and picturesque courtyard.
  • Archi Rossi Hostel: The Archi Rossi Hostel is a family-run hostel convenient to Santa Maria Novella and other points of interest in Florence. Private rooms, shared bathrooms, and mixed dorms are all available at this hostel, and guests can take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and lockers. The complimentary breakfast buffet, shared kitchen, and comfortable common room of Archi Rossi Hostel make it a great spot to meet fellow travelers.

Famous Sights to See in Florence

There are several must-see museums, cathedrals, and other historic buildings in the city. Some of Florence’s best landmarks include:

The Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery Florence

The Uffizi Gallery is a world-renowned art museum that features works by Renaissance masters like Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. The museum has a rooftop patio with beautiful views of the city, and the building itself is historically significant.

The Florence Cathedral

Florence Cathedral

The Florence Cathedral, or Duomo, is a stunning Gothic structure in the city’s historic center. The cathedral’s famed dome, created by Brunelleschi, is just one example of the building’s outstanding architecture and artwork.

The Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio bridge

The historic Ponte Vecchio bridge across the Arno River is a popular tourist destination due to its picturesque architecture and plenty of souvenir and jewellery stores. Sunsets on the bridge attract many sightseers and photographers.

The Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens

The Boboli Gardens are a gorgeous park right in the middle of Florence, filled with Renaissance-era statues and plants. The gardens provide a tranquil retreat in the heart of the city, and the terrace at their peak offers breathtaking panoramas of the city below.

The Pitti Palace

Pitti Palace

Along the south bank of the Arno, you’ll find the Renaissance-era Pitti Palace. The palace is home to a number of museums, including the Costume Gallery and the Palatine Gallery, both of which showcase collections of Renaissance art and clothes and accessories.

Buy Tickets To Famous Attractions In Florence, Italy

Where to Eat in Florence

There is a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars to select from in the city, all serving authentic Tuscan cuisine. Some of Florence’s finest eateries include:

Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco

Near the Duomo in the city lies the charming Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco, where you can enjoy some of the best Tuscan food and wine in the city. Pappardelle with wild boar ragu and bistecca alla fiorentina are just two of the items you’ll find on the menu.

Mercato Centrale

The San Lorenzo neighborhood is home to Mercato Centrale, a lively food market with vendors selling a variety of foods, including fresh fruit, meat, cheese, and wine. Inside the market, you’ll find a number of restaurants and cafes dishing up authentic Tuscan cuisine.

All’Antico Vinaio

Near the Pitti Palace is the famed sandwich store All’Antico Vinaio, known for its tasty panini. Fresh bread, meats, cheeses, and veggies are all available, and the sandwiches are prepared to order.

Florence’s Best-Kept Secrets

There are many little-known treasures in Florence that visitors should not miss. Some of the best-kept secrets in Florence are as follows.

Santa Maria Novella

The gorgeous Santa Maria Novella Church can be found in Florence’s historic district, close to the train station. A pharmacy selling perfumes, soaps, and other cosmetics has been operating out of the chapel since the 13th century.

San Miniato al Monte

Stunning views of Florence may be seen from the hilltop church of San Miniato al Monte. The chapel is a tranquil haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, and it is famous for its stunning mosaic artwork.

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

Beside the Santa Maria Novella church is a pharmacy that has been in operation since the 17th century; it is known as the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Perfumes, soaps, and other cosmetics formulated with all-natural ingredients are available for purchase at this pharmacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best time to visit Florence?

Spring (April to June) and autumn (September and October) are ideal times to visit Florence because of the pleasant weather and smaller crowds.

Do I need a visa to travel to Florence?

Visas are not required for stays of up to 90 days in Florence for citizens of the European Union (EU), United States of America (USA), Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. If you are not a resident of Italy, you may wish to contact the Italian embassy or consulate in your area.

What’s the currency used in Florence?

The currency used in Florence is the Euro.

How do I get around in Florence?

Walking or using one of Florence’s many buses or trams is the most convenient method to move around the city. Taxis are another option, though they can be pricey.

What are some must-see attractions in Florence?

The Duomo, the Uffizi Museum, the Accademia Gallery (where you may see Michelangelo’s David), the Ponte Vecchio, and the Boboli Gardens are just some of the highlights of a visit to Florence.

What’s the local language in Florence?

While Italian is the de facto language of the city, many Florentines also speak English.

Is it safe to travel to Florence?

Although Florence is a relatively risk-free location, visitors should exercise the same level of vigilance they would in any large city to avoid being a victim of pickpocketing or other forms of theft.

What’s the tipping etiquette in Florence?

Although tips are not expected, it is customary to do so for exceptional service in restaurants in Florence. Tipping taxi drivers and tour guides is also customary.

What’s the food like in Florence?

Traditional Florentine dishes are often prepared quickly and with few ingredients. Steak Florentine, ribollita (a bread and vegetable soup), and pappa al pomodoro are all very well-liked foods (a tomato and bread soup).

Can I use my credit card in Florence?

While credit cards are generally accepted in Florence, it’s still wise to bring extra cash just in case. Cash is often the only accepted form of payment in more local businesses.

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