Top 5 Free things to do in Florence

Top 5 Free things to do in Florence

Updated August 9, 2023

If you are spending a few days in the apartments in Florence pay attention to these free things you can do during your stay:

The Duomo

It’s impossible to visit Florence and not visit the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo. The huge Gothic cathedral has an exterior made of green, pink, and white marble with elaborate doors and interesting statues. You can go into the church itself for free although you’ll need to pay if you want to climb into the dome or to the top of the adjacent bell tower.

Also in Piazza del Duomo, the square in front of the cathedral, you’ll have an impressive view of the bell tower.

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio (pictured on right) was built in 1345 and was Florence’s first bridge across the Arno River. It’s the only surviving bridge from Florence’s medieval days, as others were destroyed in World War II. Since Renaissance it’s a top place for gold and silver shopping with many shops all over the bridge. This is also a good place to end your day in Florence perched in the centre of the bridge overlooking the river as the sun goes down.

Florence’s most famous square, Piazza della Signoria, is the heart of the historic centre and a free open-air sculpture exhibit. The Loggia della Signoria holds important statues including a copy of Michelangelo’s David (the original is located in the Galleria dell’ Accademia). The piazza has been Florence’s political centre since the middle ages and Florence’s town hall, the medieval Palazzo Vecchio, sits on the piazza.

There are actually a few spots in Florence that are excellent for people-watching and one of the best is Piazza della Signoria. Although the restaurants lining the square are mostly overpriced you can feel free to bring your gelato from one of the many gelatterias around and enjoy the view while you eat it.

Santa Maria Novella Old Pharmacy

While entering Santa Maria Novella church will cost something, you can visit the ancient pharmacy in a chapel next door where Dominican monks made herbal remedies since the 13th century. They also made perfumes, soaps, and scented lotions. Today the shops still sells elixirs, perfumes, and more contemporary skin care products. Buying anything will obviously set you back a bit, but you can wander the old shop for free and enjoy the incredible frescoes throughout. You can ask someone at the desk for a history pamphlet for a self-guided tour.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo is a large square atop a hill with the most stunning panoramic views of Florence. In the Piazzale, a large panoramic terrace designed in 1869 by Giuseppe Poggi, you’ll find a replica of Michelangelo’s David, a cafe, parking lot, and vendors selling drinks and tourist items. You can get to the Piazzale by walking and you’ll get the chance to wander through the Oltrarno, a typical neighbourhood with no many tourists. You can also take the bus up the hill, but that would obviously cost you a bit. Then you can walk back down on your own foot.

This are just some of the many things you can do while you stay in Florence apartments. There are a lot more, so feel free to discover them!