When I began researching and asking around of things to do in Florence, it became very apparent that Florence CANNOT be done in one day. Well, at least not to get a genuine experience. We spent a full week there, and with jet lag and getting acquainted with the area, I couldn’t imagine doing it in less than three days.
You will find more details about our trip in my Florence post here (and more pictures!). Below I share my Top 10 Things that you must do in Firenze!
Top 10 Things to do in Florence:
- Buy a Firenze Card. I don’t think it matters which season you visit, it will make your time there (short or long) very worthwhile and a little less painful (if you don’t like lines).We debated on getting the Firenze Card, especially because we were going in off-season, however, we ended up getting it and were happy with our decision. Not only do you get to bypass the line(s) for tickets, but financially it made a difference in the end as well. Here is a breakdown:
- Try the bistecca fiorentina. I grew up in Oklahoma, so I am very acquainted with meat, and meat that is extremely rare. However, in a foreign country, even I was hesitant. Don’t be! I am drooling just thinking about it!
- Eat the food. Don’t be afraid to try anything and everything. We asked restaurant owners and servers what they would suggest or would just let them choose if there was a language barrier. We were never disappointed!
- Hike to the Piazzale Michelangelo. You could always take a taxi, but you would miss out on sooo much scenery in between. Do the hike, thank me later!
- Explore on and around the Ponte Vecchio. The bridge is beautiful to look at, but the streets around it and on it are full of unique shops.
- Visit ALL of the churches. This will not disappoint! The majority of them are free and you will be surprised by how much history each of them contain!
- Purchase items from the little shops. I love cheese and prosciutto. Actually, love is an understatement. Florence has so many meat and cheese shops for you to try a little of everything! Note that you will need to know how to ask for a certain amount in their metric system. They also offer fresh bread in the majority of them. Did I mention that I love cheese? And prosciutto?!
- Visit the Mercato Centrale. We stumbled upon this place on one of our last days in Florence, and it was a great find! The top floor has a ton of foodie places, whether you are looking for a full lunch or some tapas, you will find what you need. The lower floor is an actual food market, with an eclectic mix of food and goods!
- Admire the statues in Piazza della Signoria. Before or after leaving the Uffizi, this square is only a few feet away – and again, you will be in awe at the magnitude of this art that towers over you.
- Watch street performers. Around the duomo, squares, and markets, you will find musicians, painters, and street chalk designers. Grab some gelato and enjoy!
- BONUS: Depending on how much time you have, take a day trip to one of the many tuscany villages that surround Florence. By train or car, you won’t be too far to have another adventure!