(Note – Most of the pictures in this article expand if clicked on, to get a more detailed view)
Their are an abundant amount of Florence attractions if you are interested in visiting this beautiful city. For me personally, the attractions in florence were some of the best in all of Italy. Actually, all of Europe. The city is large, with tons of things to do, and it is easy to get around. Good food, great places to stay, and the architecture is out of this world amazing! No wonder the Florence tourism is right up there with Rome (See Backpacking Italy- Rome Travel Advice – Where You Should Stay and Go) as the most popular cities in Italy to visit.
When I first arrived in Florence, I automatically got the feeling that this was going to be a great city. I got off the train and walked outside, and saw a McDonalds, 24 hour service. No I’m kidding, it was amazing because it has a totally different vibe than the other cities that I went to. It seemed like there were a lot of younger people in there 20’s in Florence, than other cities. It felt more alive. And let me give you an idea of how packed it was when I got there. I arrived in Florence on the 26th of September on a Saturday night. Probably prime time for a ton of tourism. Before I had even got there, I had only stayed in one other hostel. Well guess what, every hostel in Florence was booked. And every hotel.
For one night while I was there McDonald’s did come in handy. I had nowhere to go, and so this was my hangout during the night until the morning, when I could go to the hostel I rented for the next night. But it gave me a glimpse of the culture in Florence as I met other people who were visiting, and attempted to communicate with locals there as well. And research, to figure out things to do in Florence for the coming days. It didn’t seem like that big of a city that night, but once daylight came the next day, I realized how big and how many attractions in Florence there really are.
What are the main Florence attractions from my experience?
There is a stretch of bars, hotels, restaurants, and shops along this area. Which there are, throughout the whole city. But I remember this area in particular, because this is where I ate a Kabob the first night I was there, and where I went out to eat a few other times. The picture below doesn’t validate my claim that it was extremely packed, but believe me it was. I came in the prime of Florence tourism. This is the main area if you are looking for markets and restaurants.
Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flowery
Pictured above is the main church in Florence. It began being built in 1296 Gothic Style. When I saw this at first I thought to myself, this isn’t just one of the best attractions in Florence, but all over the world. I had never seen anything like it. The Green sticks out and the patterns are unbelievably insane to the eye!
Out of all the Florence attractions, this was my favorite. Giottos Campanile is a bell tower where you can go to the very top. It costs 10 Euros to get in. But once you get in, you walk to the very top on steep stone stairs that curl around. It’s broken up into 3 different floors once you start going up. Not only is the inside amazing, but you can see the whole city from this masterpiece. Where do you think I got the majority of my pictures from? This is DEFINITELY worth 10 Euros.
I really didn’t know much about this part of Florence tourism until I did a little bit of research. But I remember when I got in this area, they were having a parade and I came across pictures like the one above. Uffizi Gallery is one of the biggest attractions in Florence. It is an art museum with art from hundreds of years before. It was said that Leonardo Divinci used to hang out in this area of Florence. I didn’t get the chance to go inside, because this is usually where florence tourism is out of control. But if you are able to go here when the lines are a little bit smaller, you should check it out.
Church of Santa Croce
This is the burial place for Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, and Rossini. It is also the largest Franciscan church in the world. My favorite part of the church though, has to be the Star of David. It was created by Niccolo Matas, who was Jewish, and wanted to be buried among the others inside the walls. But, because he was Jewish he was not allowed to be buried in a tomb next to the others.
I wondered east towards to Belvedere and walked a couple of miles to get the fantastic views like the picture above. It is in the outskirts of Florence, close to many houses and apartments.
Another attraction in Florence is this bridge built over the Arno River. It is built right in the middle of the many shops that you can come across. Most are jewelers, art dealers, and souvenir shops.
The attractions in Florence are vast. And, these pictures don’t do Florence justice, when you are talking about the vibe of this city. The architecture is on another level than most of the other European cities you will visit. It looks like whoever created all of the structures came in with a different plan, that they were going to create something extraordinary, even compared to other European architecture! If you are visiting Europe and you come to Italy, make the Florence attractions a priority.