Florence – the city of art! Located in Tuscany, is the city of the Renaissance, known for its stunning architecture, artwork, Vespa, and wine. If you’re planning to visit for just a few days, this guide to the ten best places to see in Florence is perfect for you.

A great thing about Florence is that it has so much to offer. You can easily spend days museum hopping, visiting historical landmarks, drinking wine, and enjoying the creamiest, mouth-watering pasta. Walking down paved streets, the same ones used to walk Michelangelo and Botticelli, you will see the most beautiful chapels, frescoes, squares with countless statues, and medieval cathedrals.

There are so many things to do in Florence that it can be a real challenge to choose what to do first. For this reason, I have come up with a list of must-see places in Florence that are easily explorable in one day.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Florence Cathedral, is a true masterpiece that should not be missed during your visit to Florence. This remarkable landmark has both historical and artistic significance and is considered one of the city’s most important cultural treasures. There is no shortage of things to explore with its six distinct parts, including the Cathedral, the Dome, the Baptistry, the Bell Tower, the Crypt, and the Museum. Though the lines can be long, purchasing tickets online in advance is a great way to avoid the wait and make the most of your visit. And once you climb to the top of Giotto’s Bell Tower and witness the stunning views of the city, you’ll know that it was all worth it.

Piazza del Duomo

Not only the Duomo but also the surrounding square gets all the attention. Piazza del Duomo, the most important square in the city, is always alive with activity. Here, you will find restaurants and small cafes, street performers and vendors, and travelers capturing memories. Take a moment to sit at one of the cafes and indulge in an espresso and a delicious croissant with pistachio cream. Embrace the vibrant atmosphere, and feel the energy of the place – it’s truly a remarkable experience!

Uffizi Gallery (Gallerie Degli Uffizi)

The Uffizi is a magnificent art gallery in Florence, showcasing a collection of Italian Renaissance art by renowned masters such as Botticelli, Titian, Michelangelo, and da Vinci. It is one of the extraordinary places to see in Florence even on a short trip! The gallery houses hundreds of art pieces and sculptures, including some very famous ones.

The Birth of Venus is, without a doubt, the most celebrated masterpiece of the gallery. However, note that the gallery is enormous and it can be overwhelming to try to see everything. Therefore, booking tickets in advance or hiring a professional tour guide who can help you navigate the vast collection is advisable. Don’t try to see all displayed! Decide which parts of the gallery you want to explore and skip the rest.

Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’Accademia)

If you have ever dreamed of seeing Michelangelo’s David, then the Accademia Gallery is an absolute must-see place in Florence. Located in a spacious hall, the colossal statue attracts the largest crowd. But that’s not surprising because the sheer size and intricacy of the carving are simply breathtaking! Of course, the sculpture itself is a must-see, but I suggest not to overlook the other museum exhibits. The collection of artwork, mostly religious and spanning the past 800 years, is worth taking the time to appreciate.

The Piazza della Signoria

It’s the second most popular square in town and home to some incredible sights, like the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery. The whole area is full of sculptures and statues, many of which are replicas, but don’t let that fool you! They’re still amazing pieces of art. You’ve got to check out the Neptune Fountain from 1575 and the replica of Michelangelo’s David from the 19th century – they’re probably the most famous ones. But there are plenty of other cool statues to see, like Judith and Holofernes, Hercules and Cacus, the Equestrian Statue of Cosimo I, and Perseus with the Head of Medusa. And if you’re in a rush and don’t have time to see the original works, the replicas are a great alternative. Please you will save some coins!

Palazzo Vecchio Tower

If you’re looking for other amazing places to see in Florence after admiring the beautiful statues, then you definitely can’t miss out on the famous Palazzo Vecchio! This 14th-century palace has a rich history, having served as the main governmental building in Florence for many years. Nowadays, it’s been transformed into a fascinating museum where you can learn all about the Medici Family and the different individuals who lived in the palace. Although it might seem like an ordinary medieval town hall from the outside, there’s so much more to discover inside! You’ll be amazed by the incredible paintings, sculptures, gold ceilings, and even Roman ruins that showcase the incredible wealth of the Renaissance era.

Ponte Vecchio Bridge

After the Palazzo, you ought to check out the amazing Ponte Vecchio bridge just a few hundred meters away on the river Arno. This bridge was built during the Roman times and is the oldest and most impressive bridge in Florence. The bridge has a unique structure, with buildings and houses built right onto it. Nowadays, these buildings are home to a variety of jewelry shops. But did you know that in the Medieval period, the bridge was occupied by butcheries, fishmongers, and grocery stands instead of jewelry shops? So, if you’re on a budget, avoid the pricey shops and take a leisurely walk along the river. You’ll come across some great restaurants and plenty of places to take stunning photos. Have fun exploring!

The Old Town (Centro Storico)

The city center, or Centro Storico, is the heart and soul of Florence. The architecture of the streets reminded me a lot of the Old Town in Nice.

You’ll love strolling down the narrow, colorful streets, with flower-decorated windows and parked Vespas everywhere. Every corner holds a hidden gem, be it an art piece or a museum. You’ll enjoy the lively atmosphere of galleries, restaurants, and piazzas. Don’t leave Florence without exploring the city center – it’s a friendly and welcoming place! Just keep an eye on your belongings as pickpocketing is unfortunately common here.

New Market (Loggia del Merkato Nuovo)

On your way to Ponte Vecchio, you shouldn’t miss the Loggia of the Mercato Nuovo (New Market) in Florence. As the name suggests, it is a market located under arches that date back to the 16th century. Like everything else in Florence, you will find a blend of normal life and art here. You can see statues of city founders above vendors selling leather goods, embroidered linens, souvenirs, and Florentine straw hats.

Next to the market, the famous Fontana del Porcellino can be found, which is a small fountain featuring a 17th-century statue of a wild boar. Legend has it that whoever puts a coin in the wild boar’s mouth and rubs its snout will return to Florence one day. Let’s see if the legend is true!

Piazzale Michelangelo Viewpoint

If you want to end your trip to Florence on a high note, make sure to visit Piazzale Michelangelo last. This charming neoclassical square sits above the city and offers an epic view of the entire city that’s worth the steep climb up the hill. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a Vespa and ride up there for an extra dose of fun! The best time to go is at sunset when everyone is out having a good time. Just keep in mind that it’s a popular spot, so expect to share the view with other tourists.

I hope you liked this guide on the best places to see in Florence.

Traveling to Germany soon?

Then check out my text on the 25 things to do when traveling to Berlin!

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