Florence is such gorgeous city, and definitely worth a visit. Although there is lots to do and see, it is not massive and would definitely be a great option if you want to pick a city to visit for the day. here I will be talking about my favourite spots in Florence, to ensure you can get the most out of this cute city with the time being.
Getting to Florence
Florence is a great option for a day trip due to how accessible it is from other main cities in Italy. It is located in the upper middle region of Italy, in the heart of Tuscany. Because of this, I would recommend it as the perfect day trip from Milan or Rome; a train from either of these cities takes approximately 1h 45, and costs around 10€. The train station in Florence is only 1km from the city centre, making it extremely easy to hop off the train and walk into the heart of the city within 15 minutes.
Car rental: Trust me on this one, you don’t want to rent a car! The city is super congested and extremely narrow; on top of that the streets are like a maze. I can’t even imagine driving here, it would take forever and be extremely stressful. Even if you are the most skilled person when it comes to navigation and handling other drivers, it would still likely take longer than walking due to the constant congestion of pedestrians, horses (yes, tons!), mopeds, and other vehicles.
Walking: I would recommend you walk; the whole city is highly walkable and you can cross either side within 30 minutes easily. Walking is also a great way to slow down and take in the city views!
Public Transport: Florence actually has an excellent public transport system, as most Italian cities do. Its is super easy to navigate, and I would recommend figuring it out by using your phone’s map app; it will show you where to catch the bus and the times it will arrive. I would also recommend you buy bus tickets in advance at any station, as it is not guaranteed that you will be able to pay on the bus.
Taxi: If you want to take a taxi, I would recommend taking one to get to your accommodation. Other than that, I would say they are best to avoid as like driving, they are not the fastest and are for sure more expensive than public transit.
Florence is famous for its many shops that line the streets of the city. You could spend days here if you wanted to visit all of them, but since we only have a day its best to stick to window shopping for now.
I found Florence to be so unique to other Italian cities because of the castle aesthetic throughout; the roads were all cobblestone and many buildings had a top that looked exactly like castle walls; the whole city felt like a massive castle.
If you want to have the best views in Florence, you have got to check out the Piazzale Michelangelo. It is extremely easy to get to as it is just across one of there main bridges, and then up a set of stairs (beware… lots of stairs!) But the climb is 100% worth it. You get the most stunning view of the city; it also makes for a great picture opportunity!
If it’s a hot day, I would definitely recommend getting gelato as well; gelato shops can be found on any street, and it is a perfect way to immerse yourself in the Italian culture all while cooling down.
For your evening in Florence, I would highly recommend taking a stroll along the Arno River; it is essentially in the city centre, and has numerous bridges that connect the city to the other side of the river. You can catch the most beautiful sunsets here, and they look absolutely stunning over the water and bridges.
If you find yourself in Florence for more than a day, I would highly recommend you take a day trip to the Leaning tower of Pisa. It is a short 45 minute trip ride away, and is very cheap to take. There is not loads to do other than see the tower, but I would definitely consider it a bucket list thing to do, and since you’re so close…may as well go see it and take the famous picture!