Florence is on many travel bucket list and I’m happy to have finally crossed it off of my bucket list a few months ago. The famous sites of Florence were high on my things-to-see-in-Italy list and last year, I decided it was time.
I booked some plane tickets for Christmas and the trip was my Christmas present to my boyfriend. Read more on how to give travel as a gift, where I tell you how to make an awesome gift out of your travel plans. Is Florence on your bucket list?
To give you a short impression of what you can expect when you visit Florence, I list the must-see attractions in Florence. And some practical tips to help you spend your time in Florence.
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It was finally time to fly to Tuscany and see the famous sites of Florence. I had been looking forward to it for months and was all giddy and excited when we finally set off.
We first had 1 day in Pisa and climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the next day, we traveled to Florence by train. I like to travel by train and even have a train journey bucket list. After we arrived at Florence central train station, I phoned our host from our Airbnb apartment and after a short walk around town, we arrived at our condo for the next 4 nights. We had a few days to explore the city and below you’ll find my top famous sites of Florence.
# 1 : Famous Sites of Florence at Piazza del Duomo
The Duomo is the famous landmark of Florence. It’s the top attraction of the city and thousands of people flock to it on a daily basis. There are several ways to explore the Duomo of Florence, as you can read in my 5 ways to explore the Duomo of Florence.
When we were walking across town towards our apartment, we already crossed paths with this fascinating piece of architecture. I tried not to look up at it, but it was inevitable. It dominates the square and we had to pass right alongside it.
Our apartment was literally a few steps away from the Duomo and during our stay, we passed it every day multiple times. In case you’re interested in booking a stay there, let me know and I’ll be more than happy to give you a discount code.
Anyways, I’m getting distracted. Back to the square! As soon as we ditched our bags, we ran outside again and explore the city. We traced back our steps and ended back at the front of the Duomo. We tried to photograph the place, but it’s just massive. After some pictures, we checked out our options to enter the Duomo and do all the other things around the Duomo.
During our stay, we climbed Giotto’s Bell Tower next to the Duomo. Together with the cathedral, this is among the famous sites of Florence. If the climb up the tower doesn’t have you panting, the views from the Bell Tower will certainly take your breath away.
We also discovered the Baptistery, which has many rich frescos and the bronze doors of Ghiberti’s attract many visitors from all over the world.
# 2 : Famous Art of Florence
Other famous sites of Florence are the sculptures and paintings stashed in one of the many museums of Florence. Having been to Rome, I grew to appreciate the works of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
My personal favorite is Caravaggio as I find his paintings fascinating and I’ve made it my mission to go see as many as possible.
But back to Florence.
The famous family of Florence, the Medici family, has been pretty dominated throughout the ages. They loved art and were very wealthy. So when you put these two together, you’ll get an enormous collection of true masterpieces.
Galleria del Uffizi
The Uffizi Museum is one of the most famous sites of Florence. Be smart and book your tickets for the Uffizi online. Florence is a very famous tourists attraction and the museum is on the top things to do.
Just go to the website of the museum, select the date you wish to go and the time slot. The time slot is not set in stone, but keep to it the best you can. You can also order tickets for the other famous sites of Florence, like the Galleria dell’Accademia.
I recommend going to the Uffizi first. Mainly because their ticket office is easily accessible and you can pick up the ticket quickly and get inside without waiting too long.
The Uffizi has many great paintings on display and I was able to see 3 new Caravaggios. But the main reason why the Uffizi is one of the top famous sites of Florence, are the works of Botticelli. The Uffizi houses 2 famous paintings, the Birth of Venus and La Primavera. They were amazing to see with my own eyes.
Read more about what you can expect from the Uffizi in my blog on the Uffizi museum in Florence.
There is another museum at the top of the list with famous sites in Florence. That’s the Galleria dell’Accademia. It houses Michelangelo’s famous statue of David. People even come specifically to Florence to see this famous statue of marble.
At the Accademia there are more sculptures and works of Michelangelo. There is also a extensive display on cast models, which is really interesting.
Did you go and see David at the Accademia? Were you impressed just like me?
If you can’t decide which of these famous sites of Florence you have to visit, check out my blog about Uffizi or Accademia, which museum in Florence to choose.
# 3 : Experience Florence
After all these highlights and famous sites of Florence, you’ll need a break from all the art and architecture. It’s time to probe around town and discover all the other fine things Florence has to offer.
Shop till you drop. Designer bags, shoes, artisan crafts, postcards, or Italian herbs. The city has it all. Many major expensive stores are located in the center and you can stop by and shop at Gucci, Prada, or Armani.
As I rather spent my money on travel than on designer clothes, I liked shopping for food. I mean, you got to eat, don’t you?
As we were staying in an apartment, we could make our own breakfast and lunches “at home” and we even ate in one night.
We had to shop for groceries and ended up at Pegna. It’s located at Via Dello Studio, 8 in the center of town. It’s a grocery store located in a historic palazzo and famous for its specialty foods. We bought some flavorsome smoked hams and cheeses. Need more addresses for great food stores? Check out this list.
The streets in the center are also one of the famous sites of Florence. Just wander around and marvel at the historic palazzos and the small alleyways. Veer away from the main streets and see where the road will take you.
In general, all streets lead towards the Arno River, so you can’t really get lost like in Venice. Take a right when all the crowds turn left and discover medieval Florence.
Italy and Food. A match made in heaven. Or in Tuscany. It’s all the same. When in Italy, do as the Italians do. The book is called EAT, pray, love for a reason. I know we all read it for the part about food in Italy. Right? Right!
Have a pizza. Or a delicious plate of pasta. Or get another ice cream. Why not. We found a yummy little ice cream place right next to the Duomo. We passed it every time we left our apartment and the line was huge all the time. That means good ice cream I’d say.
The place is called Edoardo il Gelato Biologico and they made biological ice cream and waffles. If you’re standing in front of the Duomo, walk to the left side and continue walking until there is no Duomo left. It’s right there on the right.
They make the cones by hand while you wait and have original flavors like goji berry and chianti ice cream. Who doesn’t want to try that? A few times a week?
Another great place to get some great food and experience some local vibes is at the food court. The food court is located above the main market square and a great place to wander around and get your taste buds bubbling.
The Mercato Centrale is a great place to get hungry and then go upstairs where you’ll find all kinds of small delicious food shops selling their best stuff. Of course, I went for a delicious burger. Have you been here? What did you eat?
# 4 : Outskirts of Florence
If you’re tired of the crowds in the center of Florence, consider escaping them. You can wander away from the center and discover the outside of Florence.
Join me on my walking route around Florence and you can walk from the Ponte Vecchio up the hills overlooking Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo. This is a great walk around the city walls and you’ll be able to discover a whole different side of the famous sights of Florence.
Especially for you, I made a FREE download so you can read about the walking route around Florence and take it with you on your phone or tablet.
Don’t worry, you do not have to check your Phone for directions on every street corner, it’s quite simple. Just download my amazing walking route around Florence and store it on your device. Fresh air, unspoiled views, and some amazing famous sites of Florence! What more do you want?
Are you planning a trip to Florence? Make sure to be prepared to not miss any of the famous attractions of this amazing city. Make sure to visit the Duomo and its surrounding buildings. Decide if you want to visit any of the famous museums and make sure to indulge in the sweet Italian life of Florence by shopping, walking and eating around town!
Did you go to Florence? Let me know what you liked best about the city? Was it one of the famous sites of Florence or did you discover a hidden gem? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.