Best Things to Do in Florence

Visit These Spectacular Historical and Artistic Sites in Florence

Choosing which sights to see in Florence can seem like an impossible task. There are so many different spots to enjoy, and all have to do with the incredible history of the city. The good thing is that they are all located close together, so you can spend however much time needed at each locale before stopping at the next one.

You will definitely want to visit Michelangelo's David. One of the defining works of the Renaissance, it remains a must-see and worth an entire afternoon if you have it. Florence is full of famous works, but perhaps none so famous as this brilliant work of art. Make sure to buy your tickets online a few days in advance!

Another spot you cannot miss is the Duomo. One ticket will give you access to multiple different attractions, so it's worth paying a little bit more in order to see a bird's eye view from either the campenile or the dome itself. The museum is also worth taking some time and enjoying, and the Baptistry is one of the oldest and best tributes to the beginnings of Florence.

Whatever you decide to do, Florence remains one of the greatest cities in the world--and is well-worth your time enjoying.


Florence's most famous sculpture is the epitome of perfecting in multiple different ways. You'll want to buy your tickets online to see this attraction--it's one of the busiest in the city, and you'll find a long line of tourists waiting to see it during the high season. It's one of Michelangelo's greatest achievements, and a truly stunning work that you will never forget. Originally created from a black of marble deemed unusable by other artists, Michelangelo transformed it into one of the most recognizable and beautiful monuments to the city of Florence--it would be a shame to miss this piece.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Michelangelo's masterpiece is unlike any other work of art you will see.

Alexa's expert tip: Skip the rest of the Accademia if you are short on time.

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Boboli Gardens
Photo courtesy of Alex Schnee

Open for most of the year, the Boboli Gardens are an incredible tribute to the wealth and power of the Medici Family. Located just behind the Pitti Palace, you can buy a ticket that allows you not only to see the incredible splendor of the gardens, but also the massive collection of silver and costumes that have belonged to the Medici for hundreds of years. The grounds have plenty of places to relax and enjoy a sunny and peaceful afternoon, and the amount of care and thought put into the design by Elenora of Toledo, the wife of Cosimo de Medici, is unlike any other set of gardens in Italy. Make sure to take a picture of the famous pink roses.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: When you need a break from cobblestone, the Boboli gardens are the perfect place to stop.

Alexa's expert tip: The gardens are still a lovely place to visit even with the rain--just remember to bring your umbrella.

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A tribute to one of the greatest Italian minds, the Galileo Museum is a must-stop for those looking to enjoy a bit a scientific experience rather than solely an artistic one. Visitors are able to view the great scientist's own tools and maps used to make some of the greatest discoveries known during the Renaissance. This is also a great spot for children looking for more of a hands-on exhibit after multiple art galleries where they are not allowed to touch anything. You can spend hours here enjoying the collection, and it's a wonderful way to learn about history and science combined.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Museo Galileo celebrates one of the greatest scientists in the world in a fabulous museum.

Alexa's expert tip: Look into student rates here--they have some fair prices.

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When you want an extensive look at the history of Florence through art and artifacts, this is the location for you. Boasting a collection unlike any other, it's a reminder of the power and influence Florence had during its glory days. You can find all manner of sculpture and art here, and most importantly, the famous doors of Ghiberti that were meant to decorate the front of the Baptistry for the Duomo. It's the perfect activity for a rainy day or when you are tired of walking the bustling streets of Florence and you need a chance to relax and enjoy.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Some of Florence's best sculptures are located here, and it's a wonderful area for good food and entertainment.

Alexa's expert tip: Check out some of the local restaurants nearby!

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Piazzale Michelangelo
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bettoni

Overlooking the city, Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the best places to get a bird's eye view of the city. You'll have to climb a number of stairs, and keep in mind that it will be busy with tourists eager to get the perfect shot of the outstretched Arno, but it's more than worth the extra work in order to reach it. Think about taking a bottle of wine with you, and you have to make sure that you bring someone you love when you are planning a romantic evening together. Live music is played here throughout the night, so take your time and enjoy the spot with some friends and family--you might never want to leave.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Offering the best overall view of Florence. this spot is a must-see.

Alexa's expert tip: Don't forget to tote a bottle of wine up here!

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Florence's most famous church is worth spending an entire afternoon at, and when you purchase a ticket, it's easy to do. The Duomo offers a museum where you can learn about the process involved in making Brunelleschi's incredible feat of architecture. After informing yourself on the specifics on how the dome was built, you can either climb up to the top of the dome itself or the accompanying campenile--the choice is up to you. A ticket to the baptistry is also included, and you'll want to take a look at the famous doors that remain such an important part of Florence's history today. It's one stop that will keep you occupied a whole day.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Florence's most famous church is a sight to be seen--it's gorgeous.

Alexa's expert tip: Make sure you buy a ticket so you can climb up to the top.

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Historical Center

Situated in Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio is a reminder of the power and influence that the Medici family had during their reign over Florence. Including an incredible view from the top of the building, frescoes by Michelangelo and da Vinci, it's impossible not to be impressed by the amount of time, wealth, and though put into the construction of the building. Just outside stands some of Florence's most beautiful and famous sculptural works, and after an afternoon admiring the Medici wealth, you can enjoy a gelato out in the square and view the medieval architecture of the palace--it's one of the places that represents Florence the most as a city.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Containing the Medici family's history, this palace is a tribute to their power.

Alexa's expert tip: Get a picture of the "fake David" right in front--you're not allowed to take a picture of the real one.

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Galleria degli Uffizi
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bettoni

As one of the leading art galleries in the world, the Uffizi remains one of the best places in Florence to get an idea of how important art was to the residents and the powerful Medici family. Inside, you will find works by some of the greats: Michelangelo, da Vinci, Titian, and others. It can take a full afternoon, so you'll want to give yourself enough time to enjoy the many different paintings that it houses. Think about enjoying lunch beforehand so you can spend the entirety of the day relaxing and enjoying your time there--with so many tourists visiting, you'll want to take your time and try not to rush through some of the most famous works of art in Europe.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: This gallery is one of the most famous in Europe and has some of the best works of art in Italy.

Alexa's expert tip: Eat before so you don't get hungry midway through the museum!

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Piazza Santa Croce
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bettoni

No trip to Florence would be complete without stopping by one of its most famous and beautiful churches--the church of Santa Croce. Located in the party center of the city, you can find notable residents buried here like Michelangelo and Galileo. It's also one of the best places to get an idea of Renaissance architecture and Florence's examples. The line can stretch out quite a ways, so be prepared to wait. However, it's worth it because you get to see not only the beautiful interior, but the gorgeous Pazzi chapel that has recently been renovated for visitors through a successful kickstarter campaign.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The gorgeous Santa Croce church is a favorite among history lovers in Florence.

Lorenzo's expert tip: Visit the piazza at night--it's a busy spot!

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Ponte Vecchio
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bettoni

Florence's most famous bridge is a direct reflection of the city itself, and you'll find that it's worth taking the time to slowly look over some of the beautiful jewelry they have available. You are also afforded some of the best views of the Arno River, and you can enjoy a delicious sunset and some gelato while you look over the side of the bridge. Make sure you watch your wallet here, though. If you are going to find yourself pick-pocketed anywhere in the city, this will be the place. It's a wonderful tribute to the city and the history involved.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Ponte Vecchio is the very symbol of Florence--you can't miss it.

Lorenzo's expert tip: Pick up a trinket or two here for someone you love.

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Meet Alexa Schnee

Currently residing in Florence, Alex is a travel writer and author. She is addicted to coffee, reading, and seeing new places. She has been to near fifteen different countries in Europe, all...  More About Alexa