Florence: What to Know Before You Go

Here are some things we learned while in Florence. Learn from our experiences to make your trip a smooth experience! Be sure to read more about our trip.

  • Get tickets to the Uffizi in advance on their website and skip the line. If you didn’t get the chance to get tickets in advance, ensure you go as early as possible. That being said, reserving tickets in advance are far more expensive than buying them at the Uffizi. It is 17 euros to reserve tickets and only 8 at the door. I’d recommend reserving in the summer if you’re set on going to the Uffizi. The winter is much less of a wait and you can just buy tickets at the door. There’s a ton of history behind the Uffizi. Read more about Florence’s history HERE.
  • You can also purchase tickets in advance for the cathedral, basilica, and Duomo and skip the line for 15 euros. You can visit all of these attractions for the one charge within 24 hours. You can also purchase tickets at the door for 10 euros.
  • If you’re seriously into site seeing, you can purchase a Firenze Card online. It allows you access to 72 museums for 72 hours from the first visit, and it costs 72 euros. More information can be found here http://www.firenzecard.it/?lang=en
  • Avoid driving to Florence. Its winding streets are confusing, full of one-ways and pedestrian streets. Google maps still hasn’t quite figured it out yet, either; it once took my friend onto a pedestrian street and across famous Ponte Vecchio. Yeah.
  • The main train station is very near the heart of the city. Consider catching train and staying in the city center. If your train takes you to a different station than the Santa Maria Novella, don’t worry – trains run once or twice per hour from each station to the center for about 1.50 euros each.
  • In the off season, hotel prices are incredibly reasonable; paying between 60-80 euro per night is completely realistic.
  • There are plenty of affordable hotels and AirBnBs near the duomo and ponte vecchio – this is where I’d recommend you stay.
  • Florence does have a metro you can use to get around the city; however, the entire city center and major sites are all easily walkable.
  • You will likely find the word “coperto” on your restaurant bills. This is an additional charge at restaurants, like a cover charge. It Italy, it is not customary to tip at restaurants. The coperto is their form of a tip and is quite standard, so don’t be surprised or angered. The coperto typically is higher in major tourist areas than in more local areas. Read more about our favorite local spots and local cuisine.
  • The Mercato Centrale Market ground floor hours: 7-2 Monday-Saturday, closed Sundays and Holidays. The first floor is open from 10 AM until midnight every day. You can find more info here.
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