Florence, Italy

24 hours in Florence

Located in the heart of Tuscany, this beautiful renaissance city where history emerges at every corner, attracts visitors from all over the world. Its magnificent architecture, divine gardens and incredible views will leave you breathless. Take a stroll down the old town and remember, in Florence everything revolves around art.

09:00 Start your day with a typical Italian espresso and brioche at one of the local bars, before you begin exploring the city. You will see the locals gathering for their morning coffee, standing at the bar and sipping their espresso in minutes. You can do the same, but if you prefer to sit down and take your time at breakfast, you are welcome to do so, just keep in mind that an extra charge will be added to the bill.

10:00 For the best view of the city, come up to Piazzale Michelangelo. Most panorama photos are taken exactly from this viewpoint, so this is the perfect spot to immortalize your trip. Trust me, your instagram photos will need no filter 😉

Take your time and enjoy the view from the terrace of Vip’s bar just under the stairs from the Piazzale.

The view from Piazzale Michelangelo

11:00 The church of San Miniato al Monte, located just above Piazzale Michelangelo, offers another set of great views, but it is worth visiting for its interesting interior (including original renaissance frescos and zodiac details, which make San Miniato one of the rare churches that combine pagan and Christian motifs).

On your way down to the city, pass through the beautiful Rose Garden. You will see both locals and tourists lying around on a picnic. Join them, sit and relax in the sun, surrounded by different types of roses, some of them even brought from Japan.

12:00 Good thing about Florence is that everything is at walking distance. Once you reach the old town, all the historical monuments, galleries and museums are next to each other. Walk past the colorful houses on Ponte Vecchio bridge to get to the other side of the Arno river. Soon you will reach Florence main square, Piazza della Signoria, with Palazzo Vecchio and in front of it the sculpture of Michelangelo’s David (a replica). Next to Palazzo Vecchio, you will see La Loggia dei Lanzi, a unique gallery of sculptures.

Firenze - Ponte Vecchio

12:30 Piazza della Repubblica, another square worth seeing, recognizable by a carousel located in the middle. At the square you will see a lot of souvenir stands, and a fancy shopping mall, La Rinascente. Inside, you will find a rooftop bar, Caffe’ La Terazza, where you can have a coffee or a snack with a great view of the Dome.

The carousel on Piazza della Repubblica

13:30 At Piazza del Duomo you can admire the octagonal baptistery and the cathedral, together with Giotto’s Campanile, all in polychrome marble. There is a possibility to climb the bell tower, but you will spend a lot of time waiting in the queue. Next to the Duomo, there is a Magnum store where you can create your own magnum ice-cream 🙂  

14:00 It’s nearly time for lunch. Around the corner from Piazza del Duomo you will find Il mercato di San Lorenzo (open-air market) with leather products like bags, jackets, etc. made from Florentine leather. And since it is a market, you can find a good bargain. Next to San Lorenzo market, there is an indoor food market called Il Mercato Centrale. Here you can eat some typical italian food, like pasta, or try a local delicacy – lampredotto (beef tripes), but you can also find vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free food. Another local delicacy is bistecca fiorentina (T-bone steak) that goes so well with Chianti wine from the region. If you prefer to grab some good street food, you can try Bottega Medicea just around the corner from San Lorenzo market. They offer different kinds of panini (sandwiches). Of course, dining area is the sidewalk. Bon appetite!   

bistecca-fiorentina

16:00 It would be a shame to come to Florence and not see the famous art collection at Galleria degli Uffizi museum. Plan your visit and book tickets in advance, since a long queue is always in front of the Gallery. Note that the Uffizi is closed on Monday, and from Tuesday to Sunday the opening hours are from 08:15 (8:15 AM) to 18:50 (6:50 PM). It is good to know that every first Sunday of the month the museum has free entrance for everyone!  

19:00 After a long day, you deserve some relaxing time at Piazza di Santa Croce with the basilica of the same name. Very often there are street musicians playing at the square. Sit at a bar and order Aperol spritz, popular italian drink known for its orange color and a unique, slightly bitter taste. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the evening.

Aperol Spritz

20:00 To round up the day, choose one of the nearby restaurants for dinner. If you haven’t tried all the local delicacies during lunch time, now is your chance!

22:00 Now it’s time to explore Florence by night. Take a walk around the old town, and down to those trendy neighbourhoods on the other side of Arno, like Santo Spirito, for the best nightlife experience. There you will find a lot of bars and clubs where you can blend in with the locals and chill with a glass of wine or some fancy cocktails while listening to live music.

If you would like to visit Florence, you can check getbybus.com to find the best route from your city. In case you will be arriving by plane, check our post about reaching Florence city center from the airport.

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