Because it’s a university city, the social scene in Florence is a young one with students from all over the world coming here to study art and more importantly, to enjoy the vibrant nightlife. As a result, the evening usually doesn’t get going until pretty late because people prefer to drink at home or have leisurely drinks in a bar or café before beginning to party in earnest. Clubs don’t open until 11.00 or 11.30 and are not nearly full until as late as 2.00am so bring comfortable dancing and walking shoes as the evening tends to go on.
The good news is that you can enjoy a relatively cheap night out if you keep your eyes peeled for special offers. For example, most bars have a happy hour where drinks are half price and many offer free snacks too which is always an added bonus. Many nightclubs also distribute fliers or tickets throughout the city which allow reduced or free admission and with many places charging pretty high entrance prices, this is certainly something to look out for.
The best area to have fun after dark in is Santa Croce, and in particular along Via de Benci. Oltrarno, which is south of the river and Piazza della Signoria, which is a little more laid back but fun nevertheless.
Parco delle Cascine, Florence, Italy
Central Park is an enormous club just west of the city centre that attracts about 4,000 revellers on a good night. Many are locals but hundreds are from further afield. Every type of music from hip-hop to house pumps out of the speakers at the 5 main dance areas. It can be expensive but is worth the visit at least once.
Open Tues-Sun 10pm-6am; admission free for students/€15 after 1am.
Via Verdi 57/R, Florence, Italy
One of the hottest spots in Florence at the moment, the atmosphere in Pongo is what makes it so popular. With regular live performances, mainly rock but some jazz, it’s the in place and well worth checking out.
Piazza del Duomo 20/R, Florence, Italy
Located right in the heart of the city centre, Genesi has been decorated with the Wild West in mind and the music coincides with the décor – hard core country, if country can be described as hard core that is. Serves an excellent selection of food too making it the ideal location for an evening out.
Via del Romito 1/R, Florence, Italy
Florence is home to a host of Latin bars and clubs but this is undoubtedly the most popular of the bunch. With live entertainment nightly and an extensive drinks and cocktail menu be prepared to dance and drink the night away.
Viale Degli Olmi 1/R, Piazzale delle Cascine, Florence, Italy
Pricey but packed every night, Meccano offers theme nights almost every night and has four dance floors and six bars on offer for the hordes of revellers. And, if you don’t fancy dancing inside you can always move outside and dance there – you just can’t get away from it.
Piazza Santa Cecilia 3/R, Florence, Italy
Reportedly the first gay disco in the entire country, Tabasco remains the only real gay nightclub in the city. Attracting crowds from all over Italy with its live cabaret and art shows as well as its techno and dance music.
Piazza del Carmine 6/R, Florence, Italy
An open-air bar with its tables on the square this is a really pleasant place to come on a sunny evening and mix with the locals who favour this place for a social beverage. Also has live music on occasion but thanks to the location it’s not essential at all.
Via Gionori 10/R, Florence, Italy
Designed to resemble a typical Mexican drinking establishment get to Caracol for happy hour where all drinks are half price. By the time happy hour is over you won’t really care how much you’re paying for your margaritas and tequila slammers because you’ll be having such a good time.
Lungarno B., Cellini 1R, Florence, Italy
Like all other major world cities Irish pubs have made their impact on Florence’s nightlife and this, of course, is no bad thing. Its location on the Arno makes this drinking hole particularly popular as does its enclosed garden which is idyllic during the warmer seasons.
Via dei Bardi 2/R, Florence, Italy
With its exotic décor, which includes some rather dodgy leopard print seating, and the many rumours which have surrounded it since it opened, Montecarla was destined for popularity. And it has achieved it with vigour. Prepare yourself before you go, however, as it is like nothing you have ever seen before – and that’s a promise.
Via dell' Ariento 41/R, Florence, Italy
Keep a close eye out for this particular establishment as it is quite easy to miss. Its location by the market makes it the perfect place to catch your breath. If you want to leave it until a little later in the evening, however, it really doesn’t start to fill up until 11.00pm when the hippest of the locals roll in so why not join them.