When visiting Florence this year, don’t just follow the crowds. Discover a more authentic side of the city, with this list of the best things to do in Florence in 2023. Explore the hip San Frediano neighbourhood, take a Walking Tour to discover Florence’s history, explore the fascinating Medici palaces, discover an unusual museum. Here we show you a side of Florence that will make your trip that much more rewarding.

All the best things to do in Florence in 2023

Aperitivo time in the coolest quartiere

What are the coolest neighbourhood in Florence, perfect for an aperitivo? San Frediano in the Oltrarno, with its narrow alleyways that are far from the madding crowds of the Duomo. There are loads of spots to choose from, but your best bet for an aperitivo is Gesto with its vintage-feel. There’s cool sounds and great cocktails at Mad Soul & Spirits, and Santarosa Bistrot near the Arno has an atmospheric urban garden. 

Discover how the locals do happy hour in Florence on a 2-hour Aperitivo Tour. Join a local guide to explore neighbourhoods often missed by tourists, and stopping at historic ‘wine windows’ along the way. Mingle with locals and immerse yourself in the authentic Florentine lifestyle.

Climb the Duomo and discover the Hidden Terraces

Climbing to the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome is a rite of passage in Florence. Firstly because it gets you up close to one of the architectural wonders of the world. Secondly because the view over Florence from the top is breathtaking. And lastly because it’s the ultimate spot to take a holiday selfie… Get climbing!

On the Cathedral Hidden Terraces Tour you’ll be getting close up to the Dome and see the city from the terraces that are not usually open to the public.

free attractions florence

Learn about the Medici on a fun Walking Tour

This Florence Medici’s Footsteps Walking Tour is a perfect introduction to the city of the Renaissance, and takes in the main squares and churches, including the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, and the bustling Piazza della Signoria. Thanks to the local expert guide, the city comes alive with its stories and intriguing historical characters. Great value for money too!

Discover all the great things you can do in Florence for free.

By the way, if you’re a Medici fan, you might be interested in exploring the Medici Palaces.

Learn a new skill in Florence

Following a spate of post-pandemic revenge spending, we can now expect travellers to be more selective, placing higher value on fulfilling experiences that fuel their thirst for knowledge and personal growth in 2023”, writes Conde Nast Traveller exploring this year’s tourist trendsEducational itineraries make the top list in 2023.

And what better place than Florence to go back to school? You can enrol in a course in Italian language (which, by the way, is among the most popular languages to learn in the world!) to make your stay in Italy more impactful and authentic. You could choose to learn about Renaissance art, try your hand at a traditional local artisan craft like pottery or learn to work leather at the Scuola del Cuoio where you’ll be taught by Master Leather Craftsman. Florence once was the European centre of culture, and still has much to offer to the culture-thirsty visitor.

Explore a Florentine Market

Markets are an institution in Italy, and Florence has some of the best around. Apart from the world-famous San Lorenzo – where you’ll find a chic indoor food market with various eateries on the first floor, just outside the leather and souvenir market.

Go in search of the more authentic side of Florence in the Sant’Ambrogio Food Market, and the Mercatino delle Pulci (antiques, bric-a-brac and flea market) in Piazza Annigoni where you can hunt for colourful keepsakes and little pieces of Florentine history. Alternatively, visit the daily market in Santo Spirito, a favourite with locals and students. Every Tuesday morning there’s a big market at the Cascine park, for clothing and homeware.

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The moving stories of the Museo degli Innocenti

This city is famous for its celebrated museums, but its well worth trying some of the less well known ones too. The Museo degli Innocenti has been beautifully restructured to become a ‘memorial’ for all the orphaned children who once found a home here. Here you can also admire various important works of art, including some by Botticelli and Ghirlandaio.

Are you an art lover? We can give you insider tips on the best museums to visit in Florence.

innocenti museum florence

Palazzo Strozzi. Contemporary art in a Renaissance setting

Florence is not all about ancient art. Palazzo Strozzi is one of the best venues in town for contemporary art, and it’s always worth checking out their program => Top Art Exhibits in Florence in 2023.

Get off the beaten track

Check out our list of 12 Unusual Things to do and see in Florence, to discover hidden gems, less travelled spots, intriguing churches (including the one where Botticelli is buried!) and experiences that will make you closer to Florence’s heart.

things to do in florence in 2023

Walk to Piazzale Michelangelo. Definitely one of the best things to do in Florence in 2023

Many people get the bus to reach this gorgeous panoramic terrace, but walking up there can be a treat in itself, even if it is a little steep. Take it slowly, and you’ll appreciate how the view of Florence slowly reveals itself to the wanderer. You can have a rest at the beautiful and scenic Rose Garden before ending up at the Piazzale Michelangelo and the best view of the city.

= > Romance is always in the air in Florence, so would you like to discover the top romantic things to do in Florence?

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