Expert Tips


Go Local at the Bars in Santo Spirito

Very few tourists think about going to the other side of the Arno to check out the nightlife in Florence. It's true that there isn't a large selection of clubs available for dancing, but when you are into a more chill atmosphere and you want to hear some fantastic live music, this is the place to go. You'll find delicious, specialized cocktails and artisan brews that can be hard to find in the more tourist-centric city center.

After crossing the Arno River, make sure to visit the Piazza Santo Spirito, where you will find some of the local staples. Volume has some amazing drinks for a good price, and there's no better view of the Piazza than sitting in their outdoor seating or taking your drink out and sitting on the steps of the church.

You should also consider checking out the Liberia Cafe la Cite where you can find some amazing live music and a variety of drinks available. You'll find coffee and tea along with an amazing selection of books that you might want to consider purchasing. Local artists come here to show off their musical skills and to meet with some of the locals here--you'll find music and books lovers crowded here.



Located close to the Piazza Pitti, Cabiria offers some of the best aperitivo on the Altr'Arno side of the River. You'll find some delicious wines for a great price and foods that will leave you full and skipping dinner. An easy walk to and from the city center, you'll be able to enjoy your evening without straying too far from your hotel. Between the local feel and the selection of wonderful wines and other drinks offered, you won't find a more relaxing location to sit down, enjoy your food, and to sip on a glass of chianti while enjoying the view.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: For wonderful aperitivo, you can't beat this location near both Piazza Santo Spirito and the Palazzo Pitti.

Alexa's expert tip: Feel free to try some new cocktails at this spot--they're great.

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You can't get more local than this little bar known only by expats and Italians. You'll find excellent beers, liqueur, and wine selections to help you make it through the football game they sometimes have playing. Decorated with different knick-knacks, this spot feels like it could be your regular bar from home--and you'll find a friendly staff willing to help you out even if your Italian is limited. If you want to feel like you are getting away from the city crowds and you want to sit back and relax while enjoying a great beer, this is the place to do it without feeling stifled.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: When you are looking for a spot to relax, this is one of the best.

Alexa's expert tip: This is a great place to meet some of the locals.

Read more about The Hidden Pub →

A newer establishment located near the Carmine church, it's all about the drinks at Pangoro. You'll find a clean spot catering to those who like to try something new when it comes to their beverages. With a brightly-decorated d├ęcor and plenty of different drink options, Pangoro is a place where you can sit back and enjoy your time in the area. Make sure to ask the bartenders about any drinks they would recommend or being willing to make for you. When you are looking for a place where you can find the perfect local cocktail, Pangoro offers some great options.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: This new spot has recently reopened with a new vision in mind.

Alexa's expert tip: Feel free to ask for some wild flavors.

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If live music is your thing, then you might want to consider heading on over the the NoF Club, where you will find a variety of music suiting your mood and a local feel. It's hidden away so you won't find many tourists here--it's also a hot spot for some of the local, younger crowd looking for a good beat and a place to hide away and enjoy the evening. Not only do you have free entrance, but the drinks are also worth purchasing. When you want to feel like you've stepped back in time and you can enjoy the classic sounds of jazz, rock 'n roll, and surf-friendly tunes, this is your spot.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: Some of the best live music and cocktails on the other side of the Arno is here.

Alexa's expert tip: Arrive late--the music goes all night!

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Tucked away from the main drag, this brewery has some of the best artisan beers in the city and a welcoming, homey atmosphere. In an area where wine is the mainly-consumed alcoholic drink, it's nice to feel like there's a place where you can relax and enjoy yourself. A pool table and TVs are available to watch the game, but it still has a classy feel--you can imagine yourself in Brooklyn sipping artisan beers and enjoying the taste. It's the perfect place for a Saturday when you want to go out and experience some of the nightlife without going too crazy and having it feel packed.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: You'll find wonderful artisan brews and a staff willing to help you find the perfect drink.

Alexa's expert tip: Try a taster so you can find which brew suits you best.

Read more about Archea Brewery →

Located just a few minutes away from the Ponte Vecchio, the Friend's Pub feels like a local hangout attracting all of Florence's characters. You'll often find the soccer (or football) game on in the background, and they play live music on weekends. There are several different kinds of beers to try that you might want to consider, and overall there is a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with plenty of seating. You'll also find voices from all over the world here--it's a gathering place for expats and those visiting the city for a few days who want to enjoy good beer and good company.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: You'll find a homey environment and a great staff waiting for you here.

Alexa's expert tip: Check out some of the happy hour specials!

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This spot hidden away from the rest of the shops and bars creates a hip location where you will find plenty of young people listening to live music and sipping on wine choices. During the day, it's a quiet coffee shop (these can be extremely hard to find in Italy--coffee culture is more hit-and-run), but during the evening hours it becomes a chill, laid-back night club offering local music and new people to meet. The surrounding books available for purchase makes it feel like you are hidden in a secret library while you sip on your drink or hot beverage.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: This spot has a laid-back, relaxing atmosphere and great live music.

Alexa's expert tip: They have a great selection of books that you might want to purchase.

Read more about Liberia Cafe la Cite →

This typical biker bar draws a fun crowd looking to have a good time. You won't find the regular-looking Italian populace here, it's a spot for those looking for a slightly different venue. You'll find delicious types of beers available--it's a good idea to ask the staff what they think would be best for you and what you might like the most. You'll find some classic tunes and some comfortable spots to sit and enjoy a spot a bit out of the ordinary. It's unlike any of the other usual wine bars that you will find in the city. When you are looking for a way to feel at home, this is a great place to stop.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: When you want a bar that's a little bit atypical from local bars, this is the place to go.

Alexa's expert tip: Ask about which brews they would recommend--they have some good ones.

Read more about One Eyed Jack →

With wonderful outdoor seating and an amazing bar staff, you can't go wrong with this little bar located right on the piazza. Serving up local favorites like a Negroni and some wines and beers from around the area, it's a quirky venue that offers some delicious coffees during the day and transforms itself into a popular night spot. You'll meet interesting locals looking to relax and enjoy their drinks away from the city center and the crowds. Feel free to ask the staff about any recommendations they might have or specials--they have some fantastic cocktails worth trying out while you relax and and enjoy.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: This hot spot is a favorite among some of the young locals in the area.

Alexa's expert tip: Order their Negroni! They do a fantastic job.

Read more about Popcafé →

This popular spot located right on Piazza Santo Spirito offers some delicious coffee by day and some great beer and wine by night. It's one of the top locations where the local youth like to go before grabbing a beer and sitting out on the steps of the church. You'll find plenty of brews to try and a staff willing to help you choose your option when you want to try something new. The homey, unique vibe makes it one of the best places to get a feel for the alternative lifestyle available in Florence. Take your time and relax in a comfortable chair or take your drink outside.

Recommended for Santo Spirito's Best Nightlife because: You'll find wonderful, local brews at this coffeeshop turned night spot in the evenings.

Alexa's expert tip: Check out their coffee during the day.

Read more about Volume →


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