A city filled with plenty of ristorantes, trattorias, osterias, and pizzerias alike, Florence is the ultimate destination for foodies. I came to Florence with the hopes to experience the city like a local, spending minimal time in museums, and simply enjoying the heartbeat of the city. There was an energy in the city that I had never experienced before — unlike Paris, London, or Barcelona. It was fast-paced yet slow, historic yet modern, and incredibly charming with friendly people. Florence is truly a city that has it all, and one to add to the list when visiting Italy.
With a bit of sight-seeing, and plenty of food, checkout my weekend guide to Florence.
Good to Know Before
- My biggest advice is to pre-purchase ALL tickets to the museums and churches. The early access is worth it.
- The city is completely walkable. Pick up a pair or checkout this list for 10 comfortable and stylish shoes to travel in.
Where to Stay in Florence
- The Hotel Bernini Palace: A true highlight of Florence, you are within footsteps of just about everything. The luxurious stay inside of a 15th-century palace provides a historic and elegant stay. Read my full review on Hotel Bernini Palace here.
Where to Eat in Florence
- La Menagere: Whether you go for coffee, or stop by the bistro for lunch, or try their tasting menu at dinner, all is a sure bet as the food is phenomenal and the space by far the best in Florence.
- Fishing Lab: An incredible take on street food centered around seafood, and well priced. So good I ate here twice.
- Ditta Artigianale: This coffee shop was our favorite to stop by daily for espresso.
- Cucina Artigianale: If you read my story on my first bites in Italy, you’ll know I am speaking about this place. Both a pizzeria and a ristorante, this place is incredible.
- Rooftop bar at the Hotel Continentale for drinks and a view
- Caffe Cibreo: A charming spot to grab a coffee.
- Trattoria Sostanza and Trattoria Giovanni: Both great options for classic Tuscan cuisine.
- Bar Soul Kitchen: A great spot for a glass of wine and small dishes.
- Toscania: Both a ristorante and pizzeria, this is a great choice for pasta or pizza.
- Il Coccolo: I stumbled upon this gem on a side street and it serves a favorite dish called coccolo which is fried bread with burrata and speck.
- Mercato Centrale: Your one stop shop for produce, small food stalls, and a sampling of food from all over Italy.
- Grom: My favorite gelato, ever.
What to do in Florence
- Checkout the city, just walk around and enjoy. The earlier in the morning the best.
- My favorite tour was the terraces tour of the Duomo. You got to skip the lines to see inside, and explore the terraces along the rooftop. Absolutely worth it — get your tickets here.
- See the Basilican di Santa Maria Novella.
- Shop from one of the oldest pharmacies and perfumeries at the gorgeous Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica.
- See the Biblioteca di Scienze.
- Shop Italian products at the lovely Pegna Drogheria.
- Catch the sunset from Ponte Vecchio, Michelangelo Piazalle, or the Rose Garden.
- See Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery (pre-purchase tickets!).
PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
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I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: