Florence the home of many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture that holds some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. Florence is one of the most visited places in Italy and for the right reasons.
In this article we’ll lay out a list of the top 12 free things to do in Florence if you are visiting this wonderful city for the first time.
You might be surprised to learn there is no shortage of free things to do in Florence. Read on to find out the top 12 attractions that won’t cost you a cent while you explore this incredible city.
Where to Stay in Florence
Visit the Famous Piazza del Duomo
This is Florence’s most famous sight, and it’s completely free! The Piazza del Duomo is surrounded by magnificent architecture like the Baptistery and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, which is free to enter and explore.
This spot is also a good starting point if you’re interested in historic architecture; it’s right next to the Piazza San Giovanni, which houses other incredible architectural feats.
Catch a View at Piazzale Michelangelo
This spot can get outshined by the Piazza del Duomo (it’s right next door), but it’s one of the best places to see the entire city. When you get to the Piazzale Michelangelo, be prepared to have your breath taken away by the stunning panoramic views of Florence.
It’s gorgeous at sunset, where the spectacular colors of the sky highlight the entire city.
Discover San Miniato al Monte
One of the most enjoyable things to do in Florence is to stroll through the winding streets, taking in all the history. As you explore the city, be sure to stop by the San Miniato al Monte. This grand medieval church was built between the 11th and 13th centuries and has stunning marble facades.
As a bonus, you’ll get to appreciate equally striking views of the Florence skyline, which never gets old.
Admire Sculptures at the Piazza Della Signoria
Florence has no shortage of spectacular plazas that are buzzing with culture, and the Piazza Della Signoria is one of the best. It has a rich political history embodied in the many statues that sit in the plaza, like the Loggia Dei Lanzi.
Not only is this plaza somewhat of an outdoor art gallery, but it’s also right next to Italy’s most famous art museum, the Uffizi.
Shop at the San Lorenzo Market
San Lorenzo is bustling with life and excitement as crowds shop and haggles with artisans. It’s become known for the variety of high-quality leather goods it offers, but even if you’re not in the market for a leather bag, you’re guaranteed a good time.
Try delicious Tuscan food, find unique souvenirs, and chat with locals.
Explore the Mercato Delle Pulci
The Mercato Delle Pulci is a free flea market that locals and tourists both flock to. You can easily spend an afternoon tasting food, shopping handcrafted goods, or just meeting locals. It’s also right next to the city’s fish market, which is free to explore.
If you’re lucky enough to be around on the last Sunday of the month, the Mercato spills out into the surrounding streets, creating an even more exciting outdoor shopping experience.
Experience Art at the Strozzi Palace
These days the Palazzo Strozzi is a popular dining destination that showcases contemporary art. But in the 15th century, the wealthy Strozzi family lived in this custom-built palace in the heart of Florence.
Now, on weekdays, anyone can stop in and see the art for free (though the dining experience has a price tag). The Palazzo Strozzi also holds more extensive exhibitions three times a year, along with lectures, events, and educational programs.
Catch a Glimpse of the Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge across the Arno until 1218 and was built by Taddeo Gaddi. This renowned pedestrian zone is always open and sits above the Arno river. But it’s more than just a bridge; it also has many shops and incredible views over Florence.
Whether you’re strolling along the bridge, admiring it from a nearby riverbank, or getting a different perspective from a boat, this is a must-see.
Pay a Visit to the Piazza Santa Croce
Another square you don’t want to miss is the Piazza Santa Croce. There, you’ll find historical buildings like the Santa Croce Basilica, from which it gets its name. The piazza is the burial spot of influential people like Galilei, Michelangelo, and Machiavelli. It’s also where you can find the tomb of famed writer Dante Alighieri.
If you’re a history buff of any type, Piazza Santa Croce is a sight you won’t want to miss.
Enjoy the Flavors at La Fierucola
La Fierucola is another market you will want to visit! This open-air food market emphasizes natural foods and production methods. You’ll get lost exploring the different flavors and learning about the techniques used by other artisans.
If you’re looking for an indulgent and delicious time in Florence, you’ll love the La Fierucola market.
Stroll Through Bardini Garden
When planning a trip to Florence, it’s easy to get caught up in all the historical and artistic landmarks. But it has just as much natural beauty to offer too. Bardini Garden is an excellent way to break away from the hustle and bustle.
Come here to unwind, stroll the beautifully manicured gardens, and take in unparalleled views of the city.
Stop at the Mercato Delle Pulci
The Mercato Delle Pulci is a smaller, free flea market that locals and visitors love. This one is a little smaller than others, but it has no shortage of fascinating and unique goods. You’ll find everything from antiques and jewelry to art and home decor.
Bring some money if you want, in case you find something you love, but it’s not necessary. This market is just as delightful if you’re only window shopping.
Start Planning Your Trip to Florence
Florence is a fantastic place that everyone should experience at least once. It has a reputation for being an expensive place to visit, but as you can see there are so many things to do in Florence for free.
Now that you know all the free things you can do in Florence, there’s no reason not to visit. We hope that this article will help you to plan your visit to Florence. For more free tips and advice on what to do in Florence check our article here