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How to Visit Florence as a First Timer

How to Visit Florence as a First Timer

One of Italy’s most popular destinations, the Renaissance city of Florence has so much must-see art and architecture that it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do and how to do it. Here are our tips to help first-time visitors experience the best of the Tuscan capital.

Get Oriented on a Segway or Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Ideal for the first day of your trip, a hop-on hop-off tour provides an easy introduction to the city so you can get the lay of the land before exploring further on your own. If you prefer a guided experience, opt for a Segway tour for the ease of motorized transport and a local insider to tell you about Florence’s top sights.


Book a Skip-the-Line Ticket

The city’s major attractions, such as the Florence Cathedral (Duomo), the Uffizi Gallery, and the Accademia Gallery, draw large crowds and long lines, especially in the high summer season. Book skip-the-line admission ahead of time to the places you want to visit and spend your time sightseeing instead of queuing.

 

Climb to the Top of the Duomo

A quintessential Florence experience, walking up the 463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi's Dome (Cupola del Brunelleschi) provides a bird’s-eye view of the city from its heart. Not all visitors to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (aka the Duomo) make the long trip up—there is no elevator and it’s not recommended for travelers with certain health issues—but those who do are glad they did.

 

Enjoy the View from Piazzale Michelangelo

On the south side of the Arno River, just outside the city center, the hillside Piazzale Michelangelo offers a panoramic view of the city’s red rooftops, towers, and dome. It’s a popular site for sunset photo ops.

 

Learn How to Make Authentic Italian Cuisine

Eating is a major part of any trip to Italy, and you can learn how to make true Italian pasta, pizza, gelato, or other dishes by taking a cooking class. It’s a great way to experience local culture and discover recipes to take home with you.

 

Visit Wine Country

If you have the time, set aside part of your stay in Florence for a day trip to Chianti, where you can taste wine and other local delights and admire the Tuscan scenery—it’s just as beautiful as you imagine.

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12 Tours and Activities | All Florence Tours

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Taste of Chianti: Tuscan Cheese, Wine and Lunch from Florence

Taste of Chianti: Tuscan Cheese, Wine and Lunch from Florence

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Get a true taste of Italy's famous Chianti region on this full-day wine and food tour departing from Florence. Led by a guide, travel through the Tuscan hills by a 4x4 off-road vehicle, stopping to visit a wine estate and historic villa, and a cellar specializing in bottles of Chianti Classico. Sample the finest specialties at each stop, and save room for a 3-course meal in the Chianti countryside before making the return trip to Florence.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$181.76
From
$181.76
Taking safety measures

Skip-the-Line to Uffizi & Accademia with Michelangelo's David - Small Group Tour

Skip-the-Line to Uffizi & Accademia with Michelangelo's David - Small Group Tour

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Make the most of your time in Florence with this combination tour covering all of the city’s iconic sights in one half day. Skip the line at the Accademia Gallery to marvel at Michelangelo’s 'David'; gaze up in wonder at the great red dome of Florence's Duomo from the outside; and explore the streets of the historic city center with insights from an expert guide. Then, skip another line to end the day with a visit of the immense Uffizi Gallery.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.73
Price varies by group size
From
$95.73
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia and Uffizi Gallery Small Group Tour

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia and Uffizi Gallery Small Group Tour

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Skip the line to see two of Florence’s top museums, the Accademia Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery. Led by an expert guide, first pay homage to Michelangelo’s 'David' at the Accademia, heading straight inside with your priority access ticket. Roam the impressive collection of art and opt for an included lunch, if you wish, before heading to the Uffizi Gallery. There, avoid the crowds again with your skip-the-line ticket and enjoy a guided walking tour, pausing at Botticelli’s 'Birth of Venus' and other Renaissance masterpieces.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$115.11
From
$115.11
Taking safety measures

Skip-the-Line Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi's Dome Climb

Skip-the-Line Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi's Dome Climb

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Travel to the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome, Florence’s most iconic attraction, with this skip-the-line entrance ticket and tour. Follow your guide through the cathedral and up to the terraces for an exclusive close-up view of the dome. Explore passages closed to the public and get a magnificent look at the city skyline.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$90.88
From
$90.88
Taking safety measures

Chianti afternoon Wine Tour from Florence

Chianti afternoon Wine Tour from Florence

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Experience the true flavor of the Tuscan countryside on this Chianti wine tour from Florence. Led by a professional tour escort, the tour includes visits local wineries set in scenic villages. Sample the most revered Tuscan wines, learn the characteristics of each blend and hear the winemakers’ secrets. Later, stop for a look at the fortress of Castellina before your return to Florence.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$55.74
From
$55.74
Taking safety measures

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia Gallery Tickets

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia Gallery Tickets

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Enjoy direct access to Florence’s Accademia Gallery with this skip-the-line admission ticket. Explore the home of Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece, the ‘David,’ and see the renowned sculpture up close. Get the chance to admire some of Michelangelo’s unfinished works, including ‘Prigioni,’ along with paintings by Sandro Botticelli and more.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.08
From
$29.08
Taking safety measures

Wanna Be Italiano - The original Cooking Class & Market Tour in Florence

Wanna Be Italiano - The original Cooking Class & Market Tour in Florence

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Try your hand at Florentine cuisine on this cooking class. Journey first to the city’s Central Market alongside expert chefs to select local ingredients for your lunch. Then head to the cooking school to learn how to make Tuscan favorites such as bruschetta, homemade pasta, and dessert. Afterward, sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labor, complemented by Chianti wine.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$112.34
From
$112.34
Taking safety measures

Florence Cooking Class: Learn How to Make Gelato and Pizza

Florence Cooking Class: Learn How to Make Gelato and Pizza

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Learn how to make traditional Italian pizza and gelato on this cooking class in Florence. Led by a chef, sample a variety of flavors before getting to work on your own creations. Afterward, bring home your newfound skills in the kitchen to impress your friends. This class is limited to 25 people to ensure you receive personal attention from your instructor.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$87.10
From
$87.10
Taking safety measures

Florence City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Florence City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

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Discover Italian art, history and culture on a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Florence. Select a 1-, 2- or 3-day pass and travel around the city’s top attractions, hopping on and off as you like. See the panoramic views from Piazzale Michelangelo, the burial spot of Galileo and Machiavelli at Santa Croce church and more. Your pass includes unlimited rides for the duration selected and 360-degree views from the open air of the upper deck.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$22.42
From
$22.42

Florence Electric Bike Tour with Farm and Delicious Gelato

Florence Electric Bike Tour with Farm and Delicious Gelato

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Saddle up and see Florence and Fiesole on an electric bike tour. Led by a local guide, head first to the hilltop town of Fiesole to admire panoramic views of Tuscany. Then cycle through Florence to pass top sites like Piazzale Michelangelo, the Ponte Vecchio, and the iconic Duomo, as your guide provides commentary along the way. Take a break at a Florentine wine bar to sample some snacks and local Chianti blend. The electric bike motor will start as soon as you pedal so you can enjoy a leisurely trip.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.46
From
$88.46
Taking safety measures

Semi Private Uffizi Gallery Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line

Semi Private Uffizi Gallery Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line

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Avoid the long lines at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence with this skip-the-line ticket and guided tour. Led by an expert art guide, you’ll head straight inside upon your arrival and discover the masterpieces of this expansive museum. See da Vinci’s ‘Annunciation’, Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus,’ and Michelangelo’s ‘Doni Tondo’ as your guide discusses their history and varying interpretations. Visit the rooftop terrace for a picturesque city view before concluding your tour.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$59.37
From
$59.37
Taking safety measures

Florence Segway Tour

Florence Segway Tour

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Explore the heart of the Renaissance by Segway on this our of Florence. Led by a local guide, pass top attractions such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo and Piazza Santa Croce. Cover more ground than a walking tour as you hear the history behind this famous city from your guide. Headphones are provided so that you can hear the commentary more clearly as you glide through the streets.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$71.49
From
$71.49
Taking safety measures