Oh Florence… a city that never fails to charm me. The beauty of this Italian city goes far beyond its history and architecture. Its location in the middle of stunning Tuscany and its culinary diversity make it a true gem. In this post, I’d like to share with you my personal recommendations for the most beautiful sights in Florence plus the best day trips outside of the city. Besides Florence travel tips, you’ll also find out restaurant recommendations for every budget!

The best things to do in Florence

The majestic Duomo di Firenze

The Duomo di Firenze is undoubtedly one of the most impressive sights in Florence. Admission is free, though there is a charge to climb the dome. However, the interior of the cathedral is less imposing than the exterior. If you want to visit the cathedral, I recommend getting there early to enjoy Florence’s most famous landmark without large crowds. Admission starts at 10:15, but for beautiful photos from the outside, it’s worth getting there just after sunrise.

a trattoria which is one of the best restaurants in Florence, Italy
standing in front of the duomo in florence, Italy

The charming Ponte Vecchio

A walk across the Ponte Vecchio is an absolute must. This famous bridge, more than 1000 years old, is lined with jewelry stores and small boutiques and offers a beautiful view of the river Arno. The bridge is not only a great photo motif, but also invites you to stroll through the little shops.
Tip: Among the restaurant and bar tips for Florence you will find a great bar with the ideal view of the Ponte Vecchio!

the famous bridge Ponte Vecchio is one of the best things to do in Florence

The magnificent Palazzo Vecchio

Another highlight is the Palazzo Vecchio, an imposing building with a rich history. Here you can walk through the magnificent halls and admire the impressive works of art. A visit is definitely worth it to feel the historical atmosphere.

the Palazzo Vecchio museum in Florence
fresco at the ceiling in the palazzo Vecchio museum in Florence

Art at the Uffizi Gallery

For art lovers, a visit to the Uffizi Gallery is an absolute must. Here you can marvel at masterpieces like Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and be enchanted by the beauty of the artworks. Plan enough time to explore all the highlights of the gallery.

The uffizi gallery is one of the best sights in florence

Buchette del Vino – The Wine Windows

An absolute highlight in Florence are the Buchette del Vino, also known as wine windows. Originally they were created during the time of the plague, but at least since the pandemic they have once again become a popular attraction for tourists. Stroll through Florence’s charming old town and you’ll discover more than 100 of these small, inconspicuous windows. What makes them so special? It’s simple: you can just knock on one of the windows and receive a glass of wine without direct contact with anyone else. It’s a unique experience where you can feel the Tuscan hospitality and experience the traditional flair of the city in a very special way. The Buchette del Vino are the perfect way to take a little break during a city walk and enjoy the authentic Florence. So take this opportunity to immerse yourself in a journey through time, while tasting the delicious wines of the region and letting yourself be enchanted by the history and charm of this wonderful city. Cheers!

a vino window in florence

The Oldest Pharmacy Santa Maria Novella & Basilica

Be sure to visit the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, the oldest pharmacy still in operation in Italy and probably the oldest in the world. Founded as early as 1221, the building includes a basilica where monks lived and grew herbs the garden to make balsams and other medicines. Immerse yourself in the history of medicine and explore the fascinating world of this unique pharmacy. Of course, the basilica itself is also worth a visit!

Bock the best Activities in Florence here:

The magnificent Palazzo Patti and the Boboli Gardens

Palazzo Patti with its impressive Boboli Gardens is another highlight in Florence. It was once the palace of the Medici family and impresses with its magnificent architecture. Today, several galleries and museums are located in the palace, such as the Galleria Palatina with masterpieces by Rubens, Raphael and Co.

The extensive Boboli Gardens, surround the palace like an oasis of tranquility where you can escape the hustle and bustle. Stroll through the beautiful gardens, discover romantic grottos and water features and statues and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the surrounding nature.

The magical sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo – probably the best thing to do Florence.

For the best view of the city at sunset, you should definitely visit Piazzale Michelangelo. You’ll have to climb a few steps first, but the gorgeous view and romantic atmosphere will make up for the effort. Take a bottle of wine or beer with you to celebrate the moment and watch the city turn into the most beautiful orang and pink colors.

sunset seen from the Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the best things to do in Florence, Italy and a beautiful sight in in the city
sunset view seen from the Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the best things to do in florence

Book your stay in Florence here:

The best Restaurants & bars in Florence for every budget:

Chic Nonna

  • Chic Nonna €€€€ – very upscale cuisine, but probably one of the best dinners in the whole city! The restaurant is located in the Hotel Palazzo Portinari Salviati in a historic setting.
  • Bar of Hotel Lugano €€€ – the ideal spot for a cocktail or aperitif on the hotel’s terrace overlooking the medieval bridge Ponte Vecchio (especially impressive at night).
  • Osteria del Proconsolo €€ – incredibly delicious pasta dishes.
  • Gustarium Firenze € – ideal for lunch or as a snack. This place has unique pizza, which is sold in individual pieces and can’t be compared to anything I’ve tried before.
  • Trattoria l’Ortone €€ – Michelin Guide recommended restaurant with homemade pasta and very good steaks!

Tip: → Download the Michelin Guide app here to find the best restaurants and book exceptional hotels for your next trip. Not only in Florence, but worldwide!

Trattoria l’Ortone

Day trips from Florence: discover the beauty of Tuscany

Pisa – More than just the leaning tower

A day trip to Pisa is an absolute must if you find yourself in Florence, as the drive takes only a little over an hour. Of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the city’s most famous landmark, and you should definitely climb the 241 steps to enjoy the breathtaking view from the top. Climbing the tower, due to the incline, feels like you’re drunk!
But Pisa has much more to offer!Stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, discover charming squares and visit the impressive Duomo and Baptistery.

standing in front of the leaning tower in Pisa during sunset
sunset behind the Pisa cathedral seen from the top of the leaning tower

Siena – Medieval charm and the impressive Duomo

Another wonderful city to explore from Florence is Siena. This medieval city will enchant you with its picturesque old town center and rich history. Particularly impressive is the Duomo of Siena, completed at the end of the 12th century. Especially the interior is much more impressive than in the more famous big sister in Florence! Its fascinating architecture and ornate decorations make it a real gem. Lose yourself in the narrow streets, visit the famous Piazza del Campo and enjoy the authentic atmosphere of this charming city.

a view over the old town of Siena
the facade of the Duomo in Siena with beautiful details

Tuscany wine region – a pleasure for the senses

Tuscany is famous for its picturesque landscape, delicious wine and exquisite cuisine. A day trip to the Tuscany wine region is a real treat for the senses. It’s best to plan two to three days to experience this gorgeous region to the fullest. Explore idyllic wineries, taste fine wines and let yourself be enchanted by the beauty of the Tuscan landscape. My personal recommendations for an unforgettable experience are Hotel La Fontanelle with its gorgeous views and Castello Di Verona Resort with an incredible spa area.

The hot springs of Saturnia – A unique wellness experience

If you are looking for relaxation and recreation, the hot springs of Saturnia are a perfect destination for a day trip. These natural thermal springs are known for their healing powers and breathtaking beauty. Although they are very popular, you can still find some peace and tranquility by staying overnight nearby and visiting the springs in the early morning. Immerse yourself in the warm, mineral-rich water and feel all the tension release. A dreamlike wellness experience that you should not miss!

the Saturnia thermal springs, near Florence

I hope my recommendations for the best things to do in Florence have inspired you to plan a trip to this wonderful city yourself. Don’t forget to explore the culinary delights and enjoy the unique flair of Tuscany. Buon viaggio!

sunset view seen from the Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the best things to do in florence

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these are the best things to do in Florence, Italy
die schönsten Sehenswürdigkeiten in Florenz, Italien

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