I’m so excited to be sharing our Florence travel guide!
In case you missed it, I’m doing a little Italy series where I’m sharing multiple travel guides along with some helpful packing and traveling posts. Be sure to check out my 15 Must-Know International Travel Tips post as well as my Rome Travel Guide!
It’s been SO fun reliving these memories from Florence. Out of the 4 cities we stayed in (Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Milan), Florence was absolutely my favorite! It was much smaller than Rome making it less overwhelming, but it still had so much history and beauty. I think there’s just something about the river and those bridges that makes it incredibly charming and beautiful. Jay loved the city too, so I think it’s safe to say we’ll definitely be going back!
Below, I’ve laid out our Florence travel guide with all of the places we ate, where we stayed, and the things we did. I would highly recommend putting Florence on your bucket list, and I hope these tips will come in handy for you one day soon!
|| Florence Travel Guide ||
|| STAY ||
Like I said in our Rome post, we opted to stay in airbnbs the entire trip. This made our trip more affordable and allowed us to do more tours and eat at nicer restaurants without stressing that we were spending more than our budget allowed. Our airbnb was within walking distance of the Duomo, which was the perfect central location for us!
|| EAT ||
I researched a ton of restaurants in preparation for our trip. After we decided on our big activities and tours for each day, I looked at the top restaurants on TripAdvisor around that particular area. Below, I listed the places we ate or that were super high on our list. Further down in the post I’ve also listed a few more restaurants that people recommended to us via social media. While we absolutely loved every restaurant we chose in Florence, I’d recommend doing research of your own based on your location, food preferences, and the reviews. (I added “food preferences” in that previous sentence because we don’t eat seafood, so you won’t see any of those restaurants on our list!)
- Mangia Pizza Firenze – This was definitely in my top 3 most favorite meals of our trip! We sat at the bar top right where they were making the pizzas, so it was basically like eating lunch with a show. There was also a street violinist outside that played “Beauty and the Beast”, so that really added to the enjoyment of our meal!
- Mercato Centrale – This is a fun market with tons of cute little shops downstairs and a neat food court upstairs with tons of food options – perfect for grabbing a quick bit and taking in a little bit of Florence’s culture.
- SandwiChic – We unfortunately didn’t end up making it here because of a change of plans, but I know it would’ve been one delicious Italian sandwich. You don’t get that high up on TripAdvisor for no reason!
- Hostaria del Bricco – We stopped by this place on our way to see the Piazza Michelangelo on our first night in Florence. I remember when we walked in around 7:00, it was nearly empty. So we were super surprised when they told us that they were all booked up for the evening. Thankfully, they made a little table for us near the entrance and I’m so glad they did! We were still pretty new to the Italian lifestyle and didn’t realize how early a 7:00 meal was by their standards (hence the restaurant being basically empty). However, by the time we were finishing up our meal around 8:30, the restaurant was coming alive and had a really fun, authentic Italian vibe!
- Signorvino – An absolutely stunning restaurant right on the river overlooking the Ponte Vecchio. This is a great spot for both lunch and dinner, it just depends if you’d like to see the views at daytime or nighttime.
- La Terrazza Lounge Bar – By far our most favorite lounge bar of the trip! I mean, rooftop bar at sunset overlooking the Ponte Vecchio and all of adorable Florence? It truly doesn’t get much better than that!
- Caffe’ La Terrazza – We’re all about that rooftop bar life. This was another great place to grab cocktails right next to where we were staying. Not to mention, a fabulous view of the Duomo!
- ITIT Il Sandwich Cafe – There wasn’t anything too fabulous or authentic about this place, but it was clean and had good wifi and coffee, so I can see why it’s highly rated.
- Il Cantuccio di San Lorenzo – A perfect little place to pop in and grab some biscotti!
- Venchi – Chocolate wall, anyone? I remember seeing photos from other people featuring this chocolate wall and I told Jay that we must find it. Mission accomplished! Make sure that you set out to find the one with the chocolate wall though because I believe there are a few locations.
- Gelateria Santa Trinita
- Marco Ottaviano Il Gelato Gourmet
|| DO ||
Like I said in my Rome post, we absolutely loved our experience with City Wonders and stuck with them the entire trip! They have several different Florence tours on their website, so I’d recommend browsing through them to see what fits your schedule and preference.
- Accademia Gallery Tour – There are several tours that include the Accademia Gallery and they’re always super popular because they include Michelangelo’s David. However, the only tours available to us were full day tours and I reallyyy wanted to fit in an Italian cooking class, so we chose to forgo this tour so we could do the cooking class instead. We did go see a replica of the David, so that basically counts – ha!
- Uffizi Gallery Renaissance Art Tour – We still wanted to get a little bit of Florentine culture, so we chose to do this half-day tour in the morning so we could make it to our cooking class that night. Another fabulous tour with City Wonders packed with lots of interesting info and history!
- The Grape Escape Wine Tour – For our first full day in Florence, we decided to do a wine tour in Tuscany because, hello, it’s Tuscany! We booked through this website because not only was it affordable, but it had great reviews. We stopped at two different wineries and tasted some pretty amazing olive oils along the way. We loved one of the wines so much that we purchased a bottle to enjoy for our 6 year anniversary in May! We finished off the trip by spending some time in the most adorable medieval Tuscan town called San Gimignano. Not to mention, the people we met were amazing! There were travelers from Canada, New York, China, India, and London… which made for some seriously interesting conversation for the entire day. I absolutely loved having a group of people from all around the world sitting together drinking wine and discussing life – So neat! The entire day was what dreams are made of with Tuscan views and delicious wines. Such a good day!
- Florence Cooking Class – We did this particular cooking class once again because of its affordability and great reviews. It was a super fun experience where we made our own pizzas and gelato with an adorable Italian chef. Cooking pizzas in Italy is definitely an experience I will never forget!
- Shop for leather products – Florence is hugely popular for having amazing leather products! While we personally didn’t purchase anything, if you’re wanting anything that’s genuine leather, this is the place to do it. Not to mention, you’ll have the coolest story about where your leather item came from.
Visit (no official tour needed):
- Ponte Vecchio
- Piazza del Duomo
- Piazzale Michelangelo
- Climb the Duomo – We didn’t get to do this, but I’ve heard it’s amazing and has incredible views of the city! You can get your tickets there, and it’s recommended to go earlier in the day to avoid crazy lines.
- Climb the Bell Tower – We were unable to do this as well (definitely next time!), but it has great views of the Duomo.
|| PHOTO RECAP ||
|| HELPFUL TIPS ||
- For my full list of helpful travel tips, check out my 15 Must-Know International Travel Tips post where I list all of my super important tips for traveling! (Some of which we learned the hard way… Whoops!)
- Since you’re probably going to be out most of the day, don’t forget your external phone charger. We took so many photos and videos of Florence because we wanted to remember every second of it, and I don’t know what we would’ve done if our phones had died!
- For transportation, we walked everywhere since the city is relatively small. So be sure to bring comfy shoes!
Before leaving for our trip, I asked Instagram and Snapchat for any recommendations in Florence. Below are a few that we didn’t make it to, but that were pretty popular amongst my social media friends!
If you found this Florence travel guide helpful or are wanting to save these tips for your future trip, would you pin it to your travel board?
I hope these Florence travel guide tips and recommendations are helpful to you. If you’ve gone anywhere else in Florence that you loved, be sure to share your experiences in the comments!
Stay tuned for my Cinque Terre and Milan travel guides as well as my packing list and vlog coming soon!
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