Nestled in the heart of beautiful Tuscany, Florence is one of Italy’s most beautiful cities. Jam-packed with historical sights, beautiful buildings and enough gelato to fill even the greediest of tummies… 🤣

Florence really is an Italian city that you have to visit (at least) once.

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As with most cities, Florence can get a little pricey, especially if you’re an eager traveller that wants to see as much as humanly possible….

… but fear not! There are quite a few ways to make your trip cheaper without compromising on an amazing time and the copious amounts of pasta you’ll devour! (trust me on the latter, you WILL gorge on all the pasta-ry goodness). 🙂

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Here are 15 of the best sights to see (and things to do) when visiting Florence…

12 Incredible Free Things To See and Do In Florence, Italy

1.) Piazza del Duomo

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One of Florence’s most famous sights is its cathedral which is free to enter. Once inside you will be treated to an array of statues as well as amazing marble work and intricately carved columns.

2.) Piazzale Michelangelo

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This is the place to come if you want to take in some of the best panoramic views of the city. Sitting on a hill, Piazzale Michelangelo lets you see as far as the delightful Arno River and beyond. Make sure to visit around sunset and see the city transform.

See more on how to get to Piazzale Michelangelo, in our post here.

3.) San Miniato al Monte

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Dating from the 11th century, this gorgeous church is known for its colourful frescoes as well as its crypt if you are brave enough to venture into the depths.

4.) Piazza Della Signoria

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The most famous square in all of Florence, Piazza Della Signoria is also something of an outdoor art museum and the sculptures here are not to be missed.

5.) San Lorenzo Market

If you want to see some of the best of the local produce in Florence then make your way to San Lorenzo Market. Here you can stroll around and take in all the sights and smells of the city.

6.) Ponte Vecchio

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Built in the 12th century, Old Bridge offers stunning views over the Arno River. The bridge is also lined with shops so you can do some window shopping at the same time if you don’t want to spend a dime.

7.) Piazza Santa Croce

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Located in the Santa Croce neighbourhood, the Santa Croce Square is a hive of local activity and you can also take in the views of the gorgeous basilica at the same time.

8.) The Fierucolina

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Come here if you want to check out the local organic produce in Florence at this colourful and lively market that operates out of Santo Spirito Square.

9.) Strozzi Palace

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Strozzi Palace offers free entry to its Exhibition of Contemporary Art several nights a week. Check the local listings to see the latest dates.

10.) Garden of Cascine

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If you want to check out some of Florence’s green spaces then head to the Garden of Cascine where entry is free and you can spend an afternoon strolling in the flower gardens.

11.) Mercato Delle Pulci

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This well-loved flea market is free and you can spend a great afternoon browsing the wares here where you will find everything including antiques, furniture, and artwork.

12.) Mercato Nuovo

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This market sells tourist souvenirs and is also known for the statue of the bull that stands there. Rub his snout if you want good luck and the chance to return to Florence one day.

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If you’re planning a trip to Florence, make sure to check out the key places you’ve gotta explore in our post, here.

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  • Beautiful! I’ve started watching Netflix’s new series “Medici: Masters of Florence” and my eagerness to visit has grown exponentially!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, thanks so much! You’ll love it, Emily – Florence is such a beautiful city. Let us know if you decide to visit, always happy to help with tips and advice.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • that’s so great!!!! thanks for the tips. I love to go places that are free and still beautiful and worth! San Francisco has a bunch of nice free places to go too! 🙂

    I will put this in my travel topics, wanna go to Florence soon! 🙂

    Jade –

    • HandLuggageOnly

      No problem, Jade – Florence is an incredible city! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Pragati Siddhanti

    As if these places are always calling! They are inviting us to cherish and appreciate what they have. I would love to be here.
    Thanks for the tips. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Florence is such a beautiful city isn’t it, Pragati. We love it!

      Thanks so much for your kind words 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • One of my favourite cities 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ours too, Angie 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • So, so beautiful! Florence has been on my bucket list for a while now and your post just made my heart grow founder of this city!

    Ester – Drawing Dreaming

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, you’ll love it, Ester. Do let us know if you plan a trip… always happy to offer advice or support 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I’ve done almost all of the things on this list:))

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! Florence is great isn’t it, Tanja.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I loved Florence, such a beautiful city. Thanks for the top tips x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So happy you love the city as much as we do, Rachel. It really is a special place in Italy.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Ferne

    All these places are beautiful. I recommend buying a ticket to climb the Duomo the day before you climb. Get there before it opens and you will be able to get to the top when no one else is coming down which will save you time and your views of the city will be tourist-free.

    Another tip, if you visit the Pitti Palace is to bring a picnic. Tour the palace in the morning and have lunch in the garden. You can easily spend a whole day there. Enjoy.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Such great time Ferne – you’re so right about buying a ticket to climb Duomo… especially in the early morning. It’s so incredible isn’t it.

      Ohhh, picnic in Pitti Palace sounds like an awesome idea, especially in the summer months! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Lovely pictures. I need a do over of Florence.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much! 🙂 Maybe take us with you, eh! 😉

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Florence is somewhere where I would love to stay for a week and explore the entire city, especially these places you’ve recommended!

    Isobel x

    Latest post:
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    • HandLuggageOnly

      So glad you like it as much as we do, Isobel – it’s a charming city isn’t it.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I visited Florence this year for my birthday and absolutely fell in love with it! Amazing city… can’t wait to return!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah… what an amazing Birthday treat, Kirsty! Okay, that’s it, I’ve gotta go for my birthday now. So glad you had a great time, too!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Michelle Sachs

    Thanks so much for sharing. Florence looks beautiful & I’m so excited to visit for the first time in June! Definitely adding these places to my list!


    • HandLuggageOnly

      Florence is so beautiful. It’s one of our favourite Italian cities. Let us know if you need any other tips etc. We are always happy to help.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx