Updated: Feb 7
Florence is the capitol city of the Italian region, Tuscany. This beautiful city is especially famous for its architecture as well as its numerous museums and art galleries displaying artists like Michelangelo. It's a wonderland of art, architecture, culture and has some of the most delicious food experiences to fuel your exploration! Read on to discover the ultimate bucket list of gorgeous Florence!
The Ultimate Florence Bucket List
How to get around Florence:
The best way to get around Florence is definitely by foot. This city is practically made for walking and you'll be able to see many of the highlights by walking around the city center. Florence and driving in a car is not a great mix. First of all the city center is off limits for tourist drivers, the streets are super narrow, there's a lot of one-way streets and there are numerous pedestrians and scooters roaming the streets making it nearly impossible to get around. Parking is also very expensive, so we would definitely recommend coming to Florence by public transport via Stazione di Firenze Santa Maria Novella.
Remember to wear comfortable footwear as you will be walking a lot in Florence! In case you do get tired from walking there are city buses you can hop onboard and the tickets are fairly cheap - €1.50 for a one-way trip which you can purchase at local convenience stores around Florence. Avoid taxis as they are super expensive and way overpriced.
Tips & tricks:
Our best tips and tricks for your trip to Florence is to arrive early morning, preferably at sunrise as you will be able to roam the streets for a decent amount of time without the crowds. In big cities it's always best to avoid public holidays, weekends and visit in low season otherwise it tends to be packed with both locals and tourists making your visit a lot more hectic. We would recommend spending at least 2 full days, 1 night in Florence to really soak up the city vibes, the renaissance architecture, the world-famous art pieces, the incredible food as well as the beautiful nature areas surrounding this majestic city. If you're planning to see all the highlights as well as the numerous art galleries and museums in a relatively slow pace, we would maybe recommend 3 days, 2 nights especially if you like to capture the golden hours at sunrise and sunset in different locations.
The Ultimate Florence Bucket List - A Go To Guide
Admire the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at sunrise
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is probably one of the landmarks Florence is most famous for and with good reason. This Cathedral exceeds all expectations and is such a majestic piece of art located in the heart of Florence city center. We preferred visiting the cathedral early morning at sunrise as the streets were close to empty and we could admire the cathedral in peace and quiet. The sun will rise behind the cathedral and provide amazing light for a sunrise photo as well.
Stroll around Piazza Duomo
Piazza Duomo is where the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is located and when admiring the cathedral you'll most likely end up strolling around the plaza.
Strolling around Piazza Duomo during the day and afternoon is such a vibe as you really get to experience the vibes of the city. However we would also recommend having a stroll around the cathedral in the early morning, as you admire the cathedral anyway, and return to the plaza in the afternoon to experience both atmospheres.
Visit Piazza della Signoria and the Loggia dei Lanzi
Piazza della Signoria is a beautiful square where you can find the top art museum Uffizi Gallery. In front of the gallery you will find the famous and graceeful Loggia dei Lanzi which functions as an open air gallery. If you're interested in art this is the place to be! If not, it's still worth a visit!
Visit The Palazzo Vecchio Museum and Tower
The Palazzo Vecchio Museum is located at Piazza della Signoria and if you don't already feel like you're on a trip back in history, this museum will definitely make you feel like it. It offers Roman ruins, a medieval fortress and renaissance architecture and art! There are art pieces from some of the most famous artists in history such as Michelangelo. Again, if you're interested in art and history you can't miss The palazzo Vecchio Museum and Tower!
Walk across the famous Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio translate to "Old Bridge" and is known to be an outstanding engineering achievement due to the houses build on the side of the bridge. As you cross the bridge you will see lots of charming shops and beautiful views down the Arno River. Further down the river you'll see another bridge called Ponte Santa Trinita where you can capture amazing photos of the "Old Bridge". It looks beautiful in the morning for sunrise, but in the evening when it get's dark, the light turns on and the bridge is all lit up. The sunset is also incredible here and in our opinion we'd prefer visiting during sunset instead of sunrise as the sun goes down just behind the "Old Bridge".
Stop by Santa Maria Novella
Santa Maria Novella is a beautiful, renaissance church located opposite the main railway station in Florence. It is famous for being the largest Franciscan church in the world. It might not be on the top of your list to visit here but we highly recommend stopping by especially if you're arriving to Florence via the main railway station.
Rub the nose of Fontana del Porcellino
Do you believe in good luck? According to a popular belief the Fontana del Porcellino, a bronze wild boar fountain, associated with good luck. It is said that if you rub the nose of the wild boar before leaving Florence, you will have good luck and one day return to the city. Tradition also has it that you have to put a coin inside the mouth of the wild boar and slide it down hoping it ends up in the grate and as the coin descends, you may make a wish!
The Fontana del Percellino is located close to Ponte Vecchio make sure to pop by and rub the nose of the wild boar!
Fun fact: Fontana del Porcellino is briefly seen in the Harry Potter movie series! Another good reason to visit!
Eat the most delicious vegan food at Universo Vegano
Universo Vegano is a fantastic place to eat vegan lunch and dinner! It is located just 10 minutes away from Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore and super easy to find! The food was absolutely amazing! We could honestly have gone back to try out several things on the menu as everything looked so tasty and delicious! If you are looking to find the best place to eat traditional, good italian and vegan food, this is the place!
Our favorite picks was the ravioli pasta with cauliflower and herbs, rocket, tomatoes and vegan cheese and the vegan kebab burger with smoked soy strips cumin flavored, thai sauce, tomato, onion and fresh green salad.
When we visit Florence again one day, this is where you'll find us munching delicious vegan eats!
Soak up the sunset with a panoramic view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
The best place to watch the sunset in Florence is from Piazzale Michelangelo where you'll get a panoramic view of the heart of the city as the sun colors the sky with glazes of orange, pinks, purples and blues.
If you're in downtown Florence it is possible to walk all the way to Piazzale Michelangelo in just 25-30 minutes. If you don't fancy walking up there it is possible to take a bus and there is also a parking lot making it possible to drive up there by car however you do need to pay for parking here.
This was probably our absolute favourite place in Florence and a must-visit! Florence is actually surrounded by hills so when visiting Piazzale Michelangelo you will see that Florence is right in the middle of the hills. This is not just a perfect photo opportunity but also an experience - a moment of pure wonder and awe.