In a city with as much culture, art and history as Florence, there are a variety of activities to keep you busy. Based off of my visit to Florence, I have detailed my favourites which I think are must see’s and do’s when exploring this amazing city! These activities really capture the essence of Florence and what it is known for, and most require no entrance fee and are also perfect view worthy locations!
Visit Scuola del Cuoio:
Located in the heart of Florence, the leather school was easy to get to and within walking distance of the main attractions. Seeing the leather school added a hint of culture to our trip, not to mention there were tons of beautiful hand made leather pieces to choose from. The majority of the items were purses and wallets, with a huge selection of different styles. We had the opportunity to browse through the shop and check out how the items are crafted. If you are looking for souvenirs in Florence, this is truly an authentic Italian souvenir heaven.
Go to the Piazzale Michelangelo:
While strolling through the city, we came across this square which had a gorgeous view of Florence, and a replica of the Statue of David. There is also a ledge overlooking the beautiful countryside which was definitely a sight to see. It is a beautiful area with an abundance of restaurants and shopping nearby, and best of all it’s free to visit!
Walk through the Boboli gardens:
This pretty garden features a collection of sculptures and fountains which you could easily spend a few hours walking through. Although it does cost money to enter the park (between 5-10 euros), it is worth it. You will have the opportunity to see an amphitheater, palace, Neptune’s fountain, and a beautiful tree tunnel. This is a great option for those who appreciate architecture, landscaping, and are looking for a relaxing way to spend the day.
Stroll along the bridges and riverfront:
There are a few bridges in Florence which will provide a pretty view overlooking the water. The Ponte Santa Trinita and Ponte alla Carraia are the bridges that we came across while walking along the riverfront. Taking a walk on or near the bridges at sunset is a perfect way to end your day of sight seeing and also makes for excellent photo opportunities!
Go to the Piazza del Duomo and admire the Florence Cathedral:
This main plaza is perfect for admiring the work of art that is the Cathedral, while enjoying gelato or sipping cocktails in the square. The plaza is busy with tourists and locals, but the atmosphere is welcoming and energetic. I loved this plaza simply because of the detailed and coloured architecture. It was the perfect place to sit down and really appreciate my surroundings.
Climb Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower):
Part of the Cathedral, Giotto’s Campanile is one of the highest points in Florence, making it perfect for a birds eye view of the city. If you do decide to make the climb up the bell tower, be prepared for a bit of a workout, some winding staircases, and tight spaces. It does take some time to get to the top and I don’t recommend doing it in a dress like I did, but the stunning panoramic view of the city makes the climb worthwhile.
Piazza Del Repubblica:
This classic Florentine square featuring a merry go round and a giant arch was another location that I definitely wouldn’t miss when exploring Florence. It was such an aesthetically pleasing area with an artistic, upbeat vibe. There were many local artists and performers in this square as well, adding to the entertainment. It’s also a perfect area if you are travelling with children since there is a merry-go-round and plenty of ice cream shops!
Check out the street performers:
Simply wandering through the city is entertainment in itself. There are tons of street performers and artists, which you can enjoy while you sip espresso at an outdoor cafe, or shop your way through the streets of Florence. I was amazed at all the talented artists that we saw, creating beautiful pictures and designs in the streets.