Florence, a city that stole my heart many years ago.
Returning to Florence ( after studying there in college ) felt comfortable, and homey, and just…. right.
I fell in love with Florence for its quaint city vibe and its youthful energy.
It’s the perfect place to study abroad for students & a great city to base out of when traveling through Europe. You can walk everywhere, the streets are immaculately clean, the food is incredible, & people are, for the most part, nice & accommodating.
My favorite thing about Florence is walking around late-night, when most people have gone to sleep, after a pasta dinner and a bottle of wine. You feel like you’re in a different world, winding through the quiet, narrow, peaceful streets at that hour.
Anyways, besides general exploring, here’s what you should do in Florence. Let’s talk in detail.
Also, to see this guide in action, you can find my Florence Vlog here.
where to stay
Similar to our Paris trip, we felt an Airbnb in a convenient part of town would be the best housing option for a week in Florence. Luckily, we found the C U T E S T Airbnb in a perfect location, with views of the Duomo no less. The link to our place can be found here. We had PLENTY of room & the apartment had both AC & a washing machine, which is rather rare for Europe.
where to eat
Osteria Santo Spirito
for outstanding truffle gnocchi! everyone & their mother recommended I try this place, so it was a must. & SO GOOD!
for a little bit of everything. you can walk around the ground floor markets or have a lunch upstairs.
for some high quality ITALIAN pizza. My favorite type of pizza is the extra thin crust kind ( because, obviously ) that seems to be all the rage in Italy, luckily for me.
for authentic italian food in the CUTEST, most quaint setting. We didn’t make it to La Giostra this go-around, but I did get to experience this place when I was studying in Florence in college. Magical. Make sure to end the meal with some Limoncello!
for healthy, filling food! I got a green juice, an iced almond milk latte & the turkey wrap at Shake everyday we were in Florence! highly recommend.
The secret bakery
… SADLY, we didn’t get to actually GO to the secret bakery, but I’ve heard ALL about how incredible this hidden gem is. I know the bakery is close to the bar Red Garter, but I’d google it for more specific location info. this late-night bakery is apparently life-changing. I’m still salty I didn’t get to try it out for myself.
for great gelato! This one also came highly-recommended. The rice pudding gelato was the best ( sounds weird, but just try it! )
where to drink
for a college-bar vibe. This is a good place to start a night out, because the drinks are CHEAP & it has that college-pregame energy. Also, come here to watch sports, if that’s your thing.
for an American bar! Red Garter has a few different areas inside with different vibes, but lots of Americans, if you’re searching for something familiar. I frequented Red Garter when I studied in Florence in college.
was actually closed the night we tried to go out, but we heard great things about this club!
is another club we didn’t actually make it to, but everyone & their mother told us to go. If you’re looking for more of a club vibe, definitely try YAB or Flo ( & tell me how it goes! ).
things to do
for a peaceful afternoon walking through some seriously expansive gardens. There is a rose garden in the Boboli Gardens that is absolutely STUNNING. This park was kind of my DREAM location for photos.
for all you high-fashion hoes. The Gucci Gardens did NOT disappoint. You can walk through the evolution of Gucci as a brand while being reminded of a few special moments in the brand’s history. Also, the gift shop is pretty…. freakin’ bomb.
Sunset on Ponte Vecchio
for a STUNNING river view to end the day ( & start the night! ).
is honestly the most insane structure ever, and we took time every night & day to walk past it. The Duomo is GORGEOUS. Because we are scrubs, we didn’t take the time to actually go into the Duomo ( the line is wild ), but we did enjoy it from the outside.
Statue of David
is pretty important & famous, so definitely check that off your list. Do Michelangelo a solid and admire his work.
for… well… making pasta. We used Airbnb experiences to find the pasta class we attended, and it’s definitely something I’d check out if you want and activity to make you feel very italian. In typical fashion, we hit a couple bottles of wine before heading over to class to makes things very… interesting ( especially because there were full on families in our class LOL ).
where to shop
are scattered all throughout the city and have some of the best prices for leather that I’ve ever seen. We were told to go to the leather school in Florence for unique leather pieces ( which is something we never got around to doing ), too.
for specialty Gucci items made for the museum!
is a department store in Florence that has a ton of fashion in beauty brands. I stocked up on clothing & hair products here!
for the BEST beauty products ever! European drugstore brands are beyond!! Most of the brands are considered more high-end here in the states ( the Caudalie, Vichy, Nuxe, Phyto, Avene, etc ), but are actually much cheaper/more affordable in Europe. I kind of wish I didn’t even bring skincare/hair products, because I ended up buying so many there.
day/weekend trips from florence
to see the leaning tower of Pisa ( duh )! There isn’t much to do there besides see the tower and get the classic Pisa-tower photo, but its an easy day trip via train!
is another place we didn’t have time to go this trip, which is S A D. I spent a weekend in Cinque Terre a few years ago, & it’s one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been. Stay in Vernazza, have fresh fish for dinner at a restaurant in the town square, visit the local bar that’s literally carved into the mountain, hike to one of the other villages. This place is magical!
hope y’all loved this guide to Florence!! talk soon, xx