18 Must-Do Things in Florence, ItalySaturday, February 11, 2017
If you are lucky enough to be going to Florence soon here are 18 things that you absolutely must do when you're there. Most of these are budget-friendly or are free so they're perfect if you're a student or would like to travel relatively cheaply.
1) Sit on the Ponte Santa Trinità and appreciate the Ponte Vecchio
After walking over it, admiring all of the jewellery in the little shop windows (men watch out, your girlfriends are bound to fall in love with something), walk over to the next bridge, the Ponte Santa Trinità to have a good look at the famous landmark. It was the only bridge that wasn't destroyed by the Germans in WW2!
2) And then turn around and enjoy other side, especially at sunset
3) Climb up the Piazzale Michelangelo
It is a little bit of a walk, up many stairs, but it is definitely doable and the view is incredible. If you go in summer make sure to bring water with you as it gets very hot. The best part: it's free!
4) Eat at All'Antico Vinaio
One of Florence's famous, and incredibly delicious, sandwich shops. At an average of 5 euros it is very budget friendly and they're honestly massive, you will not be hungry for a while! For more information & tips click here.
5) Try their gelato
It is incredible but make sure to stay clear of the tourist traps - avoid anything with tubs that are overflowing with gelato and avoid places which have weird flavours such as puffo (smurf...?!)
6) Try the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina
... if you eat meat and have the cash to blow. It's a massive, thick fillet steak which is normally shared between two people and served almost rare - al sangue (bloody)!
7) Go to a football match
So this is probably not a must-do thing, but my friend Tamara went to watch the ACF Fiorentini play and said that the atmosphere was absolutely amazing. If you're a football fan definitely go!
8) Climb up the Cupola for another view of the whole of Florence & try to spot its monuments
Tickets are €15 but include entrance to many different attractions including the Cathedral, the Dome (the Cupola), the Baptistery, the Bell Tower, the Crypt and the Museum and are valid for 48 hours so you don't have to do everything in the same day. You can see more pictures of the view from the Cupola and get some tips here.
9) Visit the Uffizi Gallery and admire some of the world's most famous artwork
Including Botticelli's "La Primavera" and "The Birth of Venus" as well as Michelangelo's only painting "Doni Tondo".
10) Go out for aperitivo
This is a great (and cheap!) way to have a drink and an unlimited buffet for dinner. Two of my favourites are Tamerò pasta bar for €8 and Caffè Letterario for €8,50 which is in an old prison. For more information you can read about Tamerò and an explanation of what aperitivo is here and Caffè Letterario here.
11) In fact, explore all of the food options that Florence has to offer
I've written a blog post on all the best places to eat in Florence that you can read here!
12) Visit David at the Galleria dell'Accademia
And admire how beautiful he is! The museum is one of Florence's most visited and the queue is quite long so you can book your tickets online before at a slight cost here. The Accademia offers much more than just the famous David but if that's all you're interested in and you don't want to pay you can find a replica in the Piazza della Signoria and ontop of the Piazzale Michelangelo (pictured in #3).
13) Stroll the halls of the Palazzo Pitti
The Renaissance palace that was home to the powerful Medici family and then used as a power base by Napoleon. You need to pay but tickets are free on the first Sunday of each month so I would suggest going then. The halls are absolutely stunning - I went twice!
14) And then visit the Boboli Gardens
If you've seen Inferno some of the filming was done here and it's the garden that Robert and Sienna escape through. Once again, you have to pay but on the first Sunday of every month you don't.
15) Try real Italian coffee
A big faux-pas in Italy is drinking a cappuccino with your lunch or after it. Any time after breakfast basically. Order a traditional espresso and drink it standing up rather than sitting down to avoid being charged a lot of money (unless you go to Ditta Artigianale). Go to Gilli for the most beautiful interior and Ditta for beautiful coffee - you can read more about it here.
16) Go to the San Lorenzo market
Try to get some unique finds... they have everything: souvenirs to take home which mostly come in the leather variety as well as so much food. Indulge & enjoy.
17) Go to the Piazza Santo Spirito at night and enjoy the ambience
It's one of Florence's more lively squares which can attract some interesting characters but it's honestly one of my favourites. It's always so full of people and there is usually someone playing something on a guitar - I honestly love it! Get a pizza from Gusta Pizza to go as well as some drinks and sit in the square with friends. You can read more about Gusta Pizza here.
18) Look out for l'Arte sa Nuotare
All around Florence there is an artist who has taken famous paintings and people and given them goggles and a snorkel - I always loved spotting a new one when I was walking around the city and I'm sure that if you follow me on instagram you've seen me post a couple of them! Check out his instagram here.
Florence is so full of street art so when you're walking around the city don't be texting on your phone, really LOOK!
Obviously there are so many more things that I could suggest for you to do but here are my top 18 (in no particular order). If you're going to Florence I am very, very jealous. You will have the best time and it is honestly one of the most beautiful, diverse cities I have ever been to. Enjoy!