The city of Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance. All the city’s monuments, churches, and buildings pay homage to an age of romanticism, art, and innovation.
Over 10 million tourists flock to Florence for sightseeing each year. But with a limited amount of time, what are the best things to see in Florence, Italy?
Read on for our pick of the top things to do in Florence.
1. Stroll the Piazza Della Signoria
You could spend hours strolling along the free, open-air museum called the Loggia dei Lanzi.
This spot is located within the Piazza della Signoria and boasts beautiful curve arches and sculptures. There’s even a replica of Michaelangelo’s David.
Grab a bite to eat and sit down at a nearby cafe. Then spend time enjoying the view from the Fountain of Neptune.
There are so many things to see in Florence, Italy and the pizza della signoria is a great place to start.
2. Climb Giotto’s Campanile
Florence sightseeing is full of bell towers. Giotto’s campanile is a great way to get an amazing view of Florence from up high.
This is a less-known tourist attraction which means the crowds will be sparse and you’ll have more time to time to learn about the construction of the bell tower and admire the views.
Save money by eating out for lunch before you climb the bell tower. In Florence, the lunch menus can be less pricey than dinner fare.
3. Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Fiori
What is a trip to Florence without seeing cathedrals? One of your Florence highlights will be checking out this famous Florence cathedral.
Inside you’ll feast your eyes on works by Michelangelo, Giotto, Donatello, and many others.
If you love architecture and art, this cathedral is a must-see destination during your Florence sightseeing adventures.
4. Go to the Bargello Palace National Museum
There are plenty of museums in Florence. So why should you go to this one?
Well, the Bargello Palace National Museum resides in one of Florence’s oldest buildings. It dates back all the way to 1255!
But the architecture is not all that this museum offers. You’ll also find Michaelangelo’s four masterpieces inside. Plus, plenty of other fine pieces by other artists such as Ressman and Carrand.
5. Take in a Sunset at Ponte Vecchio
One of the best things to do in Florence is to enjoy the view of and from the Ponte Vecchio.
This famous arch bridge overlooks the river, Arno. Encrusted with jewels and breathtaking portraits, the Passageway of the Price is absolutely stunning.
Go early and enjoy the architectural beauty. Then grab your favorite hot drink and take in the sunset over the water.
As far as Florence sightseeing goes, there’s nothing quite like this. Not sure where to stay in Florence? This luxury travel blog highlights the best Florence luxury hotels.
6. The Pitti Palace
One of the best things to do in Florence for art lovers is to visit the Pitti Palace.
This 15th-century building was home to the Medici family around 1550. Over the next several hundred years, the Medici turned this building into a private museum of rare collectibles, paintings, and sculptures.
Behind the building, you’ll enjoy the beautiful Boboli gardens that offer grand views of olive groves and countryside around Florence. You’ll also find gorgeous fountains and sculptures in abundance.
You can spend hours walking the endless paths. You never know when you’ll come across a hidden grotto or a grand fountain.
Bring your camera because there are countless Instagram-worthy photo ops here.
7. Shop at the Mercato Centrale
Do you want to spend a day living like a local? Then head over to the Mercato Centrale for an authentic Italian market.
Foodies and cultural enthusiasts alike will love all the sights, smells and tastes of the Mercato Centrale.
Go ahead and buy all your souvenirs here, there’s nowhere better. You can also have a bite to eat. Or, buy supplies so that you can take a picnic in one of Florence’s many picnic spots.
8. Check Out the Pazzi Chapel
Can’t get enough of renaissance architecture during Florence sightseeing?
Then head over to the Pazzi Chapel in the heart of the city. It’s one of the best things to do in Florence that not many tourists know about.
It’s right next to the church of Santa Croce where you can see some neat catacombs full of tombs and frescoes. We suggest visiting both spots while you’re at it.
The Pazzi Chapel was built by Brunelleschi, the same architect who designed Florence’s dome. You’ll see plenty of domes here. Take in the stunning domes from both the exterior and interior of the chapel. Look up to find various lunettes in glazed terracotta by Luca della Robbia and followers.
The Pazzi chapel highlights geometric shapes and spatial harmony – both important principles in Renaissance.
Final Thoughts on Top Things to Do in Florence
There you have it! A list of some of the top things to do in Florence.
We’ve only covered eight things in this post. Yet, Florence is a city of treasures. There are hundreds of other spots to explore in Florence.
We suggest you take some time to wander around without packing your itinerary too full. That’s one of the best ways to truly experience any city you travel to.
Also, ask the locals for their recommendations on the best place to eat or have a drink. You can often find the best non-touristy spots this way.
Before you go on your Florence adventure, check out these 5 tech gadgets that make traveling a breeze.