With Florence being such a fascinating destination, home to iconic sights, it is overflowing with rich history and culture. With so much to discover, compiling this list of the top 7 things to do in Florence was almost impossible! We, however, managed to put together this list of the ultimate things to do in Florence with the greatest difficulty. They will, we are certain, seduce you into wanting to stay a lot longer than you had initially planned to!
Here’s a look at the top things to do in Florence:
You cannot visit Florence and not visit the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Il Duomo di Firenze, aka the Duomo - the fourth largest in the world! This architectural wonder is the city’s most iconic landmark, known for its gigantic dome, and also known to offer a fantastic view of the stunning city. The Duomo is one of the top places to visit in Florence, and while as a Muslim you may not want to visit a Cathedral, we definitely recommend at least climbing to the top. While climbing up 463 steps may seem daunting, you definitely won’t regret it once on top. To add on to the experience, and if you’re not exhausted from the climb, the adjacent Giotto’s Campanile, or Bell Tower, offers great views of the Duomo and its surroundings, so don’t miss out!
From creamy vanilla and rich chocolate to pistachio and salted caramel to special seasonal flavours, you will be able to find some of the best (if not the best) tasting gelato in Florence. Known to be the birthplace of the cold treat, Florence is today home to countless family-run gelateria that serves up delicious and creamy gelato. Since alcohol is widely used in flavouring the gelato, make sure to double check before ordering!
Florence’s coffee culture is definitely on point. And, if you’re a coffee addict, (and who isn’t?!) the city is home to plenty of historic coffee shops and cafés that are sure to meet and satisfy all of your caffeine-filled expectations. Caffè Gilli, founded in 1733, is one of the oldest cafés in Italy and is renowned for its mouthwatering pastries and top-class coffee. It is a popular coffee-stop amongst locals and tourists alike. While choosing to sit down and enjoy a good cuppa, will cost you pretty penny, we highly recommend this as it is an ideal way to watch the city go by!
Here’s a little something about Italians and their coffee that you may need to know: Milky coffee is the only type of coffee that is served during the day, while in the evening, it is solely black coffee.
Another fun thing to do in Florence, and one of the best ways to see the city in our opinion (and to burn all those gelato calories), is to rent a bicycle and just zip around! The bike paths in the city will take you through and past some of the city’s best and most beautiful sites, and we also highly recommend exploring the historical centre of Florence on a bike, even though the area does not have any designated bike paths. You can rent a bike from near the Central Railway Station or the Piazza Ghiberti for € 10 a day.
There are also several companies that offer specialized, guided bike tours around the city if you’re interested in learning a little more about the attractions you pass.
Located in Florence’s Historic Centre, the Uffizi Gallery is one of the city’s most prominent attractions and is known to house the largest collection of Renaissance art in the world. Also ranking as one of the world’s finest museums, this treasure trove is home to countless iconic artefacts, sculptures and artwork by world-renowned individuals like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Botticelli and Giotto. Be sure to check out the Vasari Corridor, which connects the Uffizi to the Palazzo Pizzi on the other side. If you really want the best experience possible, and a slightly quicker one too, take a guided tour through the museum. Seeing all the highlights of the museum will take at least 3 hours, so don’t forget to wear your comfiest footwear!
During peak season, the queues get extremely long, and the wait goes up to over 4 hours, so book tickets online in advance so you won’t have to waste your time waiting in line!
You will never get enough of the Mercato San Lorenzo - the city’s largest market! Filled with vendors selling all sorts of food items, from freshly baked goods to spices and cheeses, to fresh seafood and olive oil and more, this closed food market is a great way for you to experience all of Florence’s freshest produce under one roof. Sample any of the products that interest you, and haggle a little if you feel that the prices are a little steep.
After exploring the market, head to the first floor where you will find a variety of great restaurants and cafés, ideal for a little bit of relaxing. And if you have the time, also try to add the Sant'Ambrogio Market into your itinerary!
In front of the Palazzo Vecchio is the popular L-shaped Piazza Della Signoria, where you will find numerous statues, from a replica of Michaelangelo's David to the Fountain of Neptune. Also located here is the open-air, 14th-century museum of Loggia de' Lanzi, a must-see for anyone visiting Florence. The square is a popular place amongst Florentines as well, so after walking around the piazza, do relax at one of the many restaurants there, people watch, and get a taste of what Florence truly is all about.