Yes, another blog post about Florence because I just can’t get enough of this city and there is just so much to tell. Don’t worry though, this blog post is an informative one if you are planning on visiting Florence and want to avoid mistakes or simply make the most out of your trip! Who would have thought that in a small city like Florence, there would be so much to keep in mind? Here are my 7 tips for visiting Florence!
1. Florence Should Be Explored on Foot
I have mentioned in previous blog posts about Florence that I walk everywhere when I am there. This isn’t actually just for Florence, but also most cities that I visit simply because you get to see so much more of the city along with its history. Florence is not that big which makes it easy to get around on foot. There is an incredible amount of history that can be explored when on foot.
If you can’t make it the entire time on foot, you can always take public transportation like the bus. If you decide to take the bus, make sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time (€1.50 for 90-minutes) as it is a cheaper and safer option since the driver may not have any tickets. Also, be sure to validate your tickets on the bus to avoid fines!
2. Avoid Gelateria’s with Gelato Mountains
Many of us have seen them before, the large gelato mountains in the displays of gelaterias. Well, chances are that those mountains are not real or fresh gelato. That’s because the real thing melts due to its lack of preservatives which means that it can’t be stacked that way. One of my absolute favorite places for gelato is Don Nino which is located right next to the Duomo. They don’t just have gelato, but also other sweets, coffee, breakfast, and more!
3. Cross Pointe Vecchio and Explore the Other Side of Florence
One of my most important tips for visiting Florence is to not limit yourself to just one side of the bridge. Many people explore everything on one side of the Arno river – the side of the Duomo. However, once you cross over to the other side, you will see more of Florence, it’s true beauty, and fewer tourists (more locals). You will definitely get to embrace the true Florentine culture once you wind up in a bar or restaurant full of (mainly) locals. You may also find some cheaper prices!
Check out these Florence Attractions.
4. If Traveling by Train – Get Your Ticket Validated
Traveling by train is common for many people in Italy and Europe in general. It is important to validate your train tickets if you purchased them at the train station and will be traveling by a regional train – like those from Florence to Pisa. Validating your train ticket is a way to avoid fines.
5. Pre-Book Museum Tickets
Pre-booking your museum tickets can avoid excessive wait times and get you in and out faster. However, there are tons of things to see outside of the museums as well so don’t make it a priority to just go from one to the other. It can take weeks to seem them all! There is so much art, history, and beauty that you can see just by walking the streets – for free! Also, be aware of Stendhal Syndrome which can make you dizzy, confused, hallucinate, and more after looking at so much history and beauty in the Florence museums.
6. Skip the Restaurant for a Quicker (yet tasty) Meal
You don’t have to sit at a fancy restaurant for a tasty meal. One of my favorite pizzas in Florence is located right next to the Duomo – Pizza al taglio. Their prices are based on the weight of your pizza and they have so many different options! It’s quick, there is indoor and outdoor seating, and most importantly, it is SO GOOD! Also, try out Vinaino Fiorenza for some incredibly delicious and freshly made sandwiches!
7. Don’t Miss Out on the Nightlife in Florence
Another one of my top tips for visiting Florence is to explore the nightlife. Florence is actually a very popular destination for study abroad students despite its small size. This means that the nightlife has to be good (and it is). Even if you aren’t into the club scene, you can always try out a wine bar for more of a relaxed evening. Common bars and clubs in Florence include Flo Lounge Bar, Space Club, and TwentyOne.
I hope these tips for visiting Florence were helpful and that they help you make the most of your trip!
Have you ever traveled to Florence? What are some tips that you have to share?
Let me know!