Michelangelo's David - Piazza della Signoria

Florence is one of the undisputed capitals of art and culture. As such it offers a wide range of attractions that you can visit, alone or with your family and friends.

In this article you’ll find a complete guide to the main Florentine highlights. We’re sharing many practical tips such as location and prices. You’ll also get to know if/when it is more convenient to buy a combined ticket and what are the best attractions if you’re travelling with kids.

Florence - Entrance of Boboli Gardens
Florence - Entrance of Boboli Gardens

Piazza Duomo (Duomo Square)

1) Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral

The entrance to Santa Maria del Fiore is free and, after anti-Covid restrictions ended, there’s no need to book in advance. You can enter the Church from 10 am to 4 pm. If you want to take part to religious services, take a look at the dedicated website for an updated information.

It is also possible to visit Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral’s terraces. Keep on reading to find out more.

Florence in 2 days - Piazza Duomo
Florence in 2 days - Piazza Duomo

2) Santa Maria del Fiore’s terraces

For those looking for a unique and rare view of Florence, the visit of Santa Maria del Fiore’s terraces might be the ideal experience. The 32 meters’ height allows you to admire the details of the Cathedral, like the rose window, and of the dome. Also, you’ll get a wonderful view of the city from above.

This experience is very exclusive due to the few people allowed to access the terraces. You should book a private guided tour (for groups of maximum 25 people) and therefore costs is pretty high, about 45/50 €. This ticket however also includes the other highlights of Duomo square.

3) Museum of the Opera + St. John’s Baptistery + Santa Reparata

The Museum of the Opera is a collection of masterpieces originally meant to decorate all the buildings of Piazza Duomo. It is a three-floor museum with several rooms dedicated to major artists such as Michelangelo and Donatello. The museum also has a terrace with an amazing view on the Cathedral and the Dome.

The Baptistery is one of the most ancient Florence’s churches. It has a peculiar octagonal plant and it is covered with white and green marble.

Santa Reparata is the old Florence’s cathedral, on which they built Santa Maria del Fiore. Excavations allowed archeologists to discover this ancient structure which was destroyed and reconstructed several times through the centuries.

You can visit these three monuments with a combined ticket wich includes the Dome and/or Giotto’s campanile. Keep on reading to find out prices!

Duomo Square - Florence
Duomo Square - Florence

4) Giotto’s Campanile in Florece

Giotto’s Campanile is a gotic structure built in 1.344 and it is one of the most beautiful Italian campaniles. It is 85 meters high and there are 414 steps to reach the bell tower. 

The best option to visit it is buying Giotto Pass on the official website. This ticket allows you to visit the campanile, the Museum of the Opera, the Baptistery and Santa Reparata. It costs 20 € for adults and 7 for kids from 7 to 14 y/o.

However, if you’d also like to see Brunelleschi’s Cupola, keep on reading for a more convenient solution.

5) Brunelleschi’s Dome (cupola)

45 meters in diameter, more than 116 meters height, 460 steps. No wonder why Brunelleschi’s cupola, the biggest brick dome of the world, is one of the most famous Florence’s attractions. Visitors come from allover the world to climb these steps and get a wonderful view of Florence from above.

Remember that there is no elevator and the number of tourists is limited so make sure to book your tickets in advance. 

If you want to visit Brunelleschi’s cupola, the most convenient option is to buy the Bruneleschi Pass. It is a combined ticket which includes all the monuments we have previously mentioned: the cupola, Giotto’s campanile, the Museum of the Opera, Santa Reparata and the Baptipstery. You can buy it on the official website of Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore (here’s the link). Ticket costs 30 € for adults and 12€ for kids from 7 to 14 y/o. The Brunelleschi Pass is valid 3 days and the only monument that requires anticipated booking (also meaning the exact time slot) is the dome.

Another solution you might evaluate is FirenzeCard, the city pass which includes all the attractions. Here you can find all the pros and cons about this card.

Uffizi Gallery's Ceiling - Florence
Uffizi Gallery's Ceiling - Florence

Florence ‘s Museums

Needless to say, Florence is the ideal destination for museums’ lovers. There are tons of different museums you can visit alone, with friends or family. Here we are listing you the main museums with all the details concerning costs and locations. If you’d like to visit more than 2 museums, also have a look at this article about FirenzeCard. It might help you to save some money!

Florence - Entrance of Uffizi Gallery
Florence - Entrance of Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Uffizi Gallery is one of the most well-known and appreciated museums in the world. Corridors are full of classical statues and frescoed ceilings will leave you speechless. Among the many works of art you will undoubtedly recognize some masterpieces by Tiziano, Filippo Lippi, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Masaccio and Leonardo da Vinci. A bit obvious, but the room that we enjoyed the most was the one dedicated to Botticelli’s artworks. Seeing “La Primavera” (Spring) and “La Nascita di Venere” (Venere’s birth) is priceless.

WHERE: Uffizi Square, 6

PRICE: Full ticket is 12€ and reduced (18-25 years old EU citizens) 2€. Free entry for minors, disabled people and students (more details on Uffizi website). Notice that there’s an additional cost of 4€ for advance booking. Personally, we bought tickets directly at the museum because in low season there was almost zero queue.

Uffizi museum is included in FirenzeCard, so have a look at this article to see if this is the most convenient option for you. If you don’t have much time, don’t miss our 2 days itinerary of Florence. We included Uffizi Gallery in our tour and it was amazing!

Florence - "La Primavera" by Botticelli
Florence - "La Primavera" by Botticelli

Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Pitti is a collection of 6 museums: the Palatine Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Treasure of the Grand-Dukes, the Museum of Fashion and Costume and the Imperial and Royal Apartments. This place overlooks the wonderful Boboli Gardens, a place we highly recommend visiting if you are travelling with kids. To get some more ideas of activities you must do with kids, have a look at this article.

WHERE: Piazza De’ Pitti, 1

PRICE: Full ticket costs 10€ and reduced ticket (for 18-25 years old EU citizens) costs 2€. There is also a ticket which includes Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens at 14 €. Minors, disabled people and students have a free entry. Again, if you book in advance you myst add 3€.

Florence - Entrance of Boboli Gardens
Florence - Entrance of Boboli Gardens

Bargello Museum

The National Bargello Museum houses some of the most famous artworks by Donatello, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi and Cellini. The museum is on three floors and it is located inside the Palazzo (palace) of Podestà, the very first seat of public office built in XIII century.

WHERE: Via del Proconsolo, 4

PRICE: Full ticket 8€, reduced (for 18-25 year old people) 2€. Underage people can enter for free.

Fountain at Boboli Gardens
Fountain at Boboli Gardens

Galleria dell’Accademia

Galleria dell’Accademia is one of the most visited museums in the world since it hosts the majority of Michelangelo’s artworks. Among the many masterpieces a special mention goes to the famous David, known as the celebration of strenght, beauty and perfection. In addition to the art gallery, you will find the Museum of Musical Instruments.

WHERE: Via Ricasoli, 58

PRICE: Full ticket is 12€, reduced (for 18-25 years old EU citizens) is 2€. Underage people and students don’t have to pay.

Florence - Michelangelo's David in Piazza della Signoria
Florence - Michelangelo's David in Piazza della Signoria

Palazzo Vecchio of Florence

Palazzo Vecchio is the symbol of Florence’s political power. The Palace was built as the seat of Florence Republic Council. You can still visit the Salone del Cinquecento, a wonderful hall made in 1494 in which the Council, made up of 500 members, met. Palazzo Vecchio changed with the rise of de’ Medici and turned into a court to host the Signoria. Tower of Arnolfo identifies this Palance and it has become a symbol of Florence.

WHERE: Piazza della Signoria

PRICE: It is possible to visit both the Palace and the Tower of Arnolfo.
Entry to Palazzo Vecchio: full ticket 10€, reduced ticket 8€
Climb to the Arnolfo Tower: full ticket 10€, reduced ticket 8 €. Keep in mind that the ascent to the Tower includes 406 steps (no lifts available). Children under the age of 6 are not allowed to access and minors must be accompanied.
Entrance to both Tower and Palace: full ticket 14€, reduced 12€.

Palazzo Vecchio - Piazza della Signoria
Palazzo Vecchio - Piazza della Signoria

Florence ‘s churches

There are several churches in Florence. We’re listing below the ones that we liked the most and that we recommend to visit (a part from the Cathedral we already mentioned).

San Lorenzo and Cappella de’ MediciThe burial monument of the Medici family consists of crypt, Cappella dei Principi and Nuova Sacrestia. Entrance costs 8€ (full ticket) and 2€ (reduced ticket). Remember that the Nuova Sacrestia was made by Michelangelo, who worked on the statues of Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici’s tombs.

Basilica di Santo Spirito. Free entry. Remember that the Church is located beyond the Arno river (Piazza di Santo Spirito, 30).

Santa Croce. A beautiful Churh in a beautiful square. Entry to the crypt and chapels costs a 8€, reduced ticket costs 6€. Don’t forget to have a look at Dante Alighieri’s statues outside the Church.

Santa Maria Novella. Tickets to the Church, museum and cloister costs 5€ (full price) and 3.50 € (reduced).

Basilica di Santa Maria Novella
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

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If you are looking for an itinerary for this city, don’t miss our 2 days tour and our must see for those who travel with kids.

And if you are getting ready for a tour of European cities, have a look at our posts about London.

See you soon! 🙂

Sara & Loris, @TravellingMeerkats

Florence in 2 days - view from Piazzale Michelangelo
Florence in 2 days - view from Piazzale Michelangelo