Our wonderful Florentine travel blogging friend FrontierTraveller93 sums up her city beautifully: “Florence is pure beauty; it has a positive and vibrant energy in its streets.”
Florence is packed to the brim with utterly incredible street art, breath-taking architecture, divine cuisine, and jaw-dropping hostels. It’s a classic tourist spot, but the heart and soul of the city offers so much more than most brochures will tell you about. Luckily, we’re bursting at the seams with top local tips…
Most Popular Sights
While we love venturing off the beaten track (we’ll get to that in a moment), I think it’s probably a good idea to include some of the best main sites. I mean, while you’re there…
Top seeds in this category are:
- The picturesque Duomo Florence Cathedral – make sure not to miss the rose garden
- The priceless Uffizi Gallery – home to some of the world’s most inspiring artwork
- The mighty Galleria dell’Accademia – home of Michelangelo’s David statue
This list obviously only scratches the surface, with the Palazzo Pitti, Basilica of Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria also being worth checking out.
Did you know that one of the best off-the-grid music events in the world has taken place in Florence ever year since 2006? It’s called Nextech Festival and this year will take place on the 8-10th September, so if you’re thinking about visiting this amazing city, that weekend should be top of your list! Nextech represents a thrilling vision of the future, mixing 1000 years of traditional art with modern technology and house music. The gigs that make up the festival take place in some of the city’s most iconic locations, with Sala Vanni, Viper Theatre and Fortezza da Basso (which dates all the way back to the 14th century) on this year’s agenda.
Tickets start at:
- Thursday (Sala Vani) – 10€
- Friday (Viper Theatre) – 15€
- Saturday (Fortezza da Basso) – 32€
Or you can grab a 3-day pass for only 40€! 😉
The city also has a whole host of live music venues at your service, from the former prison Le Murate, to the library by day, music bar by night La Cité. If you’re feeling bluesy, the basement bar Be Bop explodes with live music every Tuesday-Sunday night.
We all love the classic museum art vibe. But definitely take a mo to explore the beautiful street art of Florence, in particular the “#Lartesanuotare” works (“art can swim”) by the popular Italian artist Blub. He transforms some of the most iconic Italian poetry, characters and paintings into underwater murals!
Another unmissable masterpiece is the “Exit/Enter” works adorning the streets of the city where Clet Abraham has transformed traffic signs into clever works of art.
Food & Drink
It’s certainly not hard to find mouth-watering food in Florence, but we have a few less well-known recommendations for you!
- Street Food: Il Cernacchino (Via della Condotta) is a great place to start if you are looking for something local, authentic and low-cost
- Panainis & Wine: Antico Vinaio (Via dei Neri)
- Typical Tuscan Cuisine: Trattoria da Giorgio (close to Santa Maria Novella station, Via Palazzuolo). It only has 20/30 seats though so you better book in advance!
- Drinks: Piazza Santo Spirito or Oltrarno on the less touristy side of the city, near Giordini di Boboli and Palazzo Pitti.
- Quick Bite: Kitsch 2 (Via San Gallo), recommended by FrontierTraveller93!
Travel blogger extraordinaire Lola‘s top tip: “Florence is surrounded by some of Italy’s most stunning countryside. I would definitely recommend a daytrip to the nearby Chianti wine region. I mean, who can say no to getting driven around and being fed wine and cheese all day?!”
Let’s start with the jaw-droppingly gorgeous architecture. We suggest you take either the “Renaissance” or the “Medici” walking tours which are both offered in English, and are totally free! If you walk down the hill from the Piazzle you’ll find some great Insta opps at the serene Lungarno river crossing, the Ponte Vecchio and Chiesa del Cestello!
There’s also a calm atmosphere at the enchanting Giardini di Boboli park, where you can lose yourself in the labyrinth of greenery behind Palazzo Pitti.
The Oltrarno is full of old boutiques, a wonderful market (between Via dell’Ariento and Piazza San Lorenzo) with a collection of small shops selling everything from fresh pasta to sculptures.
Of course we wouldn’t be Hostelworld if we didn’t put in a plug for the best hostels in Florence. But seriously, they are fab! PLUS, WoW, Gallo d’Oro, Tasso and Emerald Palace are some of the very best!