Florence is one of Italy’s most historic and elegant cities. The capital of the stunning Tuscany region, Florence is a city of masterful architecture and artistic gems that are, quite simply, calling out to be admired.
The skyline is composed of grandiose medieval buildings that demonstrate the importance the city held during the medieval period and onwards, so much so that Florence is considered the epicentre of the Renaissance period.
There are some excellent tours to be had in Florence, which will allow you to explore the fascinating history, the cultural icons and the charming Tuscan spirit that’s found here. Explore marvellous palaces and art galleries, climb to the top of centuries-old cathedrals, or head into the Tuscan countryside for a true taste of rural life.
Here are the best Florence tours to help you to make the most of your Tuscan getaway.
1. Florence Dome Climb: 1 Hour Priority Entrance Tour
Start your trip to Florence with a tour of the city’s most iconic building, the Florence Duomo. This historic cathedral dates back to the 13th century, and it has long held pride of place right in the heart of the city.
It’s the most popular attraction in Florence and therefore can get incredibly busy, but this tour allows you to skip the lines with priority entrance to the inside. Accompanied by a knowledgable guide, you’ll learn about the importance of the Duomo and how’s it changed over the centuries, before beginning the long climb up over 400 steps to the top of the dome where you’ll be greeted by the best view over Florence.
2. Florence Hop on Hop off Bus Tour: 24, 48 or 72 Hour Ticket
Florence has an incredible number of attractions to discover, and finding all the best sights and then planning how to see them all can be a challenge if it’s your first time in the city.
This hop-on-hop-off bus tour allows you to explore Florence with ease. Your transportation is covered, and you can jump off at the designated spots to take in all the sights you’d like to see. You can purchase three different types of tickets, valid for either 24, 48 or 72 hours, depending on your length of stay in the city.
3. Florence: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local Guide
Florence is an incredibly touristy place, and at times it can be an overwhelming destination to travel to.
This private tour with a local guide, however, will allow you to explore the city comfortably, in the safe hands of a Florentine resident who knows exactly where to go to beat the crowds and to uncover the plethora of hidden gems that are just waiting to be discovered.
4. Florence Walking Tour of Historic Centre
There’s so much history in Florence that it would be a shame to simply wander around aimlessly with no knowledge of the incredible events and stories behind the buildings and the streets that you see.
This walking tour of the historic centre will immerse you in tales of the past, as for 90 minutes you’re guided through the most iconic sights, while your guide imparts the best of their Florentine knowledge upon the group.
5. Florence Medici’s Mile: Medici Residences and Vasari Corridor
Florence’s most famous characters are perhaps the Medici Family. This wealthy dynasty used their power and money to transform Florence during the Rennaisance period and are responsible for much of the architecture you see today.
Their lives were intriguing, and you will hear about their scandals and battles as you are guided through the Medici Residences and along the Vasari Corridor, to see first-hand the opulence and wealth that the family acquired.
This is one of the best tours to do in Florence if you are a history lover, or if you want to understand more about the enthralling past of the city and the people that made it into the place it is now.
6. Skip the Line: Michelangelo’s David Guided Tour
Michelangelo’s David is one of the most renowned sculptures in the world, and it’s found in the Accademia Gallery in the centre of Florence.
The marble statue of a naked David, a Biblical character, was crafted over several years during the Rennaisance period by the artist Michelangelo.
Like many other attractions in the city, the queue to get inside the art gallery where the statue is located can be daunting, but this tour allows you to beat the crowds and to get priority access inside, to marvel at David before anyone else.
While you’re in the Accademia Gallery, you can also take the time to explore the rest of the exceptional Rennaisance art held here too.
7. Palazzo Vecchio Entrance Ticket and Audioguide
When Michelangelo first completed his sculpture of David in the early 1500s, it was originally meant to be placed in the cathedral. Its size made this impossible and instead it was placed outside the Palazzo Vecchio, before being moved to the Accademia Gallery in later centuries.
Today, you can find an impressive replica of David standing outside the Palazzo Vecchio, and this audio tour will explain in more detail the events surrounding the sculpture, as well as giving you entrance into the former Medici family residence.
8. Ultimate Uffizi: 2 Hour Priority Entrance Tour
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the city’s best art museums, and it’s a wonderful place to learn more about the extravagant array of Rennaisance artwork that’s held by the city.
The gallery dates back to the 16th century, and much of the work here was commissioned by the Medici Family. You can find many classics by the likes of Michelangelo and Botticelli hanging on the walls.
9. Da Vinci Museum Ticket Entrance and Guided Tour
Leonardo Da Vinci is one of Florence’s most well-known historical characters. He was a man of exceptional talent and intelligence and was far ahead of the rest of the world when it came to scientific inventions. He was a painter, a sculptor, an artist, an engineer, a mathematician; the list is endless.
This guided tour of the Da Vinci Museum will allow you to learn more about his great works and to discover a few more unusual facts about his eccentric life that might otherwise be missed.
10. Pizza and Gelato Preparation Class in Florence
Take a break from the crowded museums and galleries of Florence and indulge in a little culinary culture when you’re visiting the city. Italy is famous for its food, and Florence is no exception.
Led by a local chef, this cooking class will show you how to create the perfect Italian-style pizza, before learning about gelato and the history behind local cooking techniques.
11. Palatina Gallery and Pitti Palace Guided Tour
The Pitti Palace is one of the grandest buildings in the city. It was built by the Medicis and is a testament to their power and wealth.
This tour will take you behind the scenes of the palace’s unique history, before guiding you through the Palatina Gallery which is found within the vast building.
12. Chianti Colours and Flavours Day Trip
Head out of the city and into the beautiful Chianti region for a wonderful taste of local life in the idyllic countryside.
You’ll visit the charming medieval town of Greve, after calling in at wineries set amongst the pleasant Tuscan hills for a few tastings.
13. Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano Full Day Wine Tour
This day-long tour takes you to the three exceptionally well preserved medieval villages of Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano which are all found in the glorious countryside that surrounds Florence.
You’ll learn about the history of the region and of the villages, but the real focus is on the wine and the cheese. You’ll call in at local wine cellars and wineries, and you can expect plenty of tastings of the delicious local fare.
14. Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano with Lunch and Wine in Chianti
This excellent tour gets you out of Florence and gives you the opportunity to explore not only the local countryside, with lunch and wine in Chianti, but also the nearby destinations of Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano.
At Pisa, you’ll be enthralled by the sight of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, while at Siena, you can explore one of the most remarkably well preserved and aesthetic Rennaisance cities in Italy. San Gimignano is famous for its medieval look, while Chianti is home to excellent wine.
15. Seaside Beauty: Day Trip to Cinque Terre
Leave Florence for the day to visit one of Italy’s most colourful and iconic towns, Cinque Terre. Found on the rugged Italian coastline, this collection of five villages are a dramatic sight to see as they are perched precariously on daunting cliff tops.
You can enjoy the medieval villages, explore beaches and coastal scenery and learn more about local life.