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Florence, Italy

There’s no better place for Renaissance art and architecture than Florence—from the Galleria dell’Accademia (home to Michelangelo’s David) to the cathedrals and arches that make up the Piazzale Michelangelo. But just beyond the main sights, you’ll find some of the city’s off-the-beaten-path gems, with (bonus) way less crowds. San Miniato al Monte is worth the climb for the frescoes and unbeatable views. Oltrarno, just across the river, offers plenty of vintage shops, boutiques, and cool cafes. When in doubt, do as the locals do: Post up in a piazza with a plate of fresh tagliatelle and a glass of Chianti and watch the city go by.

Travel Advice

Essential Florence

3 great walks in Florence

An insider shares her secret spots in the Tuscan capital
Read on

A wine lover’s guide to Florence

Most people visit Florence to see the Renaissance art, but my main priority was the wine. I wanted to drink it, of course, and also learn about Florence’s long history with wine. The city is an ideal jumping-off point for day trips to countryside vineyards, but I discovered that there are enough great spots in the city itself to keep wine lovers busy for days.
emilypricetravels, Durham, NC
  • Fiaschetteria Fantappie
    We stumbled into Fiaschetteria Fantappie on a food tour and it quickly became our happy hour spot. The bar has affordable local wines by the glass as well as light snacks. My move was pairing a glass of Chianti with the crostone with olive oil, truffle salt, and pecorino. If you go, be sure to also check out the Grocery Pirgher Marzio a few doors down for local meats and cheeses.
  • Le Volpi E L'Uva
    The Ponte Vecchio is a must-see in Florence, but the crowds are intense. Le Volpi e l’Uva is located just far enough away from the bridge to offer some much-needed peace—and wine, both by the glass and bottle to go. The shop buys wine directly from the makers, with a focus on native grapes and organic and biodynamic farming methods, and has an amazing selection.
  • Eataly Firenze
    I enjoyed Eataly in both New York and Chicago, but the Florence location is by far the best. It has a bookstore, multiple restaurants, cooking classes, and, of course, lots of wine. I spent the better part of an afternoon strolling the aisles, but it’s also fun to have dinner here because the wine you order is usually available for purchase.
  • Coquinarius
    If, like me, you’re hungry after seeing the Duomo, head to Coquinarius—a casual spot right behind the cathedral. It carries a more robust food menu than most wine shops (you have to try the carpaccio), plus an excellent list of wines by the glass and bottle. You can also opt for wine pairings with your meal.
  • Casa del Vino
    This is a hidden gem, emphasis on the “hidden” (it took me a while to find it, but it was so worth it). It’s tucked behind the merchant stalls in Florence’s outdoor leather market and is the perfect place for a glass of wine and panini after shopping for handbags. The shop has a beautifully curated wine list—order a glass of prosecco col condo—it’s only served at a handful of wine shops around town.
  • Enoteca Pinchiorri
    If you’re looking for an extravagant night out, Enoteca Pinchiorri is the place. The three-Michelin-starred restaurant specializes in Tuscan cuisine and has an extensive wine list with over 4,000 different labels from both France and Italy, including hard-to-find vintages.
  • Vineria Sonora
    Vineria Sonora was one of the hippest wine bars we visited on our trip. While most of the wine bars in Florence have an older vibe, Vineria Sonora felt very new and cool, with a much younger crowd. The bar has a focus on natural wines from small producers, so it’s a great spot to try some unique, affordable offerings. What we loved most: the live music.

Florence Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Florence


Your best bet for great food and reasonable prices are the smaller, family-run restaurants on the side streets.


If you’re going to be in Florence for at least three days, get a three-day Firenze Pass for entrance to museums. The easiest place to get one is Palazzo Vecchio.


Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to walk everywhere, but if you poop out, don't be shy about hailing a cab.


How do you travel like a native in Florence? You don't rent a car. Instead, you walk, or ride your bike, or, if you are brave, ride your scooter, or you take mass transit. Also, you live with the seasons, you appreciate beauty and history, you eat fresh and seasonal foods, and you appreciate living – especially aperitivo! Florence is a walkable, beautiful city. Go and enjoy.


Florence isn't just for world travelers. Grab your camera and get over there! It's an art lover's paradise!


Florence the centerpiece of Tuscany. There’s so much to see. I recommend you add an extra few days and take in surrounding areas like Pisa and Chianti. My hidden gem is the Della Fortezza Fountain and park; quiet tranquil, nice fountain and near the main train station with the fort walls, but hardly any goes there.

What is the best way to get there?


Florence Airport (FLR) is served by many airline carriers and connects to other major European airports. Pisa Airport is another option and offers a shuttle to Pisa Centrale, where you can get a train to Florence. The trip is around an hour.


The city’s main train station is Firenze Santa Maria Novella (aka Firenze SMN), while the Firenze Campo di Marte station is its secondary.


Several international bus companies offer service to Florence, but Eurolines has the largest network to and from cities across Europe.

For more info on getting to Florence, visit here.

Do I need a visa?

Since Italy is one of the 26 Schengen Area countries, tourists from those countries do not need a visa for visits less than 90 days, but passports must be valid for at least six months after departure dates. The same goes for Americans.

When is the best time to visit?

Summer: The best time to visit Florence is April-June and September, which is also the busiest and most expensive time as well. The average daily temperatures then are warm, but not too hot, as they can be in July and August when average daily highs can hit 88 Fahrenheit (31 Celsius). To that end, many businesses may close in August for locals to escape the heat.

Get around


While you are able to rent cars, they are not recommended when visiting Florence due to traffic restrictions in its city center. Luckily, the city is small enough to navigate on foot. For more info, visit here.


Taxis are readily available in Florence, however, you cannot hail one from the street. You can request one by phone or at one of the several taxi stands throughout the city. For more info and a map of main taxi stations, visit here.


ATAF and LI-NEA buses are one of the main ways to get around Florence, and tickets must be purchased in advance. For routes, fares, and tickets, visit here.


There are currently two Tramvia tram lines making several stops across Florence. They accept the same tickets as buses. For more info, visit here.


Uber and Lyft do not operate in Florence.


Bicycles are a great way to get around Florence, and the city has two locations for its own rental service, “Mille e Una Bici.” For more info, visit here.

Another option is rideshare company Mobike, which is reserved and paid for via its free app. For rates, visit here.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

Central European Summer Time

What are the voltage/plug types?

Plugs and sockets are type F and L with standard voltage 230V and frequency 50 Hz.

What is the currency?

The Euro

Are ATMs readily accessible?


Are credit cards widely accepted?


How much do I tip?


Tipping in Florence restaurants is not as common as it is in the U.S., though some eateries do add a service charge to your tab. In that case, you won’t need to give more, but obviously, if you were well-cared for, an extra few euros are certainly in order.


Italians generally tip their bartenders by rounding up their tabs to the nearest euro. (If you ate at the bar, though, throw down a few extra euros.)


Tipping drivers is not common in Florence. But, if they were super helpful, one to three euros would suffice.


Tip five to 10 euros if you sought their expertise to explore Florence or land a restaurant reservation (do give more if they got you into a hot spot or went above and beyond). Bellhop: It’s standard to give one euro per bag.


It’s common to tip at least one euro per each day of your stay. Some hotels leave envelopes for such tips, but if they don’t, a quick note saying “Thank you” will suffice.

Tour guides

Tipping a tour guide is one of the only tipping customs in Italy, and how much depends on the size and length of your tour. Per person, five euros is standard for a half-day excursion or 10 euros for full-day. It’s customary to give at least 10 percent of the total cost of a private tour.

Are there local customs I should know?


The legal drinking age in Florence is 18.


Cannabis is legal for medical use in Italy.


Say “buongiorno” (good day) and “buona sera” (good evening). A two-cheek kiss is also a customary greeting.


Florence is not NYC, so leave your brisk (and aggressive) pace behind and enjoy the sights.

Frequently Asked Questions about Florence

We recommend staying at one of the most popular hotels in Florence, which include:

Some of the most popular restaurants in Florence include:

If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Florence between September and November, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between March and May.