14 free things to do in Florence

Hello my dear glittery adventurers,

Florence is the home of Art, Culture, and Beauty. It is no wonder you have been considering going to Florence for a trip. If you are traveling on a budget, or run out of paid activities to do, you might want to have a look and give a try to some of our favorite free activities to do while in Florence.

14 free things to do in Florence

  1. Rose Garden

The dreamiest, most romantic place. Of course, it is ideal to visit this tiny paradise with a view over Florence when roses bloom, which is spring to fall. I discovered this place wayy later than should have, that is why it´s on the top of the list, so you have no chance to miss it as I did.

You can sit anywhere and just relax, read, buy a drink, or have a walk around… although the tiny paths can get a bit.. confusing, so don´t be surprised if you circle at the bottom of the park for a bit. (Fun fact: I met a girl I went for a drink with at the bottom of the park, and we started a conversation just because we were both confused about the place).

Viale Giuseppe Poggi, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

2. Eduardo Secci Contemporary

If you are in search of contemporary art your next steps in Florence could lead to this free, lovely Gallery, in the city center. The exhibitions vary in theme but they are all worth the visit! 

Piazza Carlo Goldoni, 2, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

3. Biblioteca delle Oblate

If you study in Florence, this is your to-go spot. The library has a wide selection of books as well as some DVDs and CDs. Before the pandemic there used to be tons of spots to sit, but even now restricted, there are still plenty of spots. Therefore, even if you don´t plan to study. this should be your go-to spot for coffee or just sitting and enjoying the view of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore as well.  

Via dell‘ Oriuolo, 24, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

The view from the library terrace

4. Free walking tour

Another amazing free and educational activity to try. As in most European cities, there are many free walking tours available. Just type in Google „Free walking tour in …the city where you are staying…“ and sign in. The tours are (obviously) free, but it is a nice and common thing to give a tip to the guide if you enjoyed the tour. You can learn so much interesting information AND ALSO learn about other free spots in the city.

5. Parko di Pratolino (Greek Kolos)

This lovely park is relatively close to Florence city center, you only have to take one bus for 1.50 € from Piazza di San Marco. Once you arrive in the countryside, you have to walk a bit to the park, it can be very helpful to look at the map because it is a bit further from the bus stop, or ask the locals- they know very well what you are looking for and are very willing to help.

Also when you arrive to the Kolos in the park, don´t forget to go to the back side of it, there is a beautiful sculpture as well! The Park is opened April to October

Via Fiorentina, 276, 50036 Pratolino FI, Italy

Park with the Kolos during summertime

6. Giardino dell’Orticoltura

Another amazing park fit for doing sport, having a picnic, or relaxing. You can see a mesmerizing crystal palace (which is open to the public a few days a year) and a monumental dragon statue with a mosaic on it. The first time my friend asked me to see the dragon I thought it was a code name for drinking, but there really is an actual dragon.

Amazing spot for watching the sunset as well.

Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 4, 50139 Firenze FI, Italy

7. Piazzale Michelangelo (for the most beautiful view, especially at night)

There is not much to say about my favorite place in Florence, except for, you have to see for yourself. If you have seen „Casa de Papel“ you know very well which place I mean. There is a statue of David and you have an amazing view of the whole city. In the evening, it is possible to buy a tiny prosecco close by and watch the sunset or walk to the San Salvatore al Monte.

Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

8. Parco Delle Cascine

Another spacious park in which you can find the biggest and cheapest open-air market in Florence. It is open every Tuesday from 8 am to 2 pm.  At the market, you can buy anything from cheap or vintage clothes, jewelry, embroidery, and sewing equipment to houseware and plants. Literally, anything you might need (except for a mosquito window net), you will find here.

Don´t forget to get lost in the park for a bit. You might find a small pyramid as well.

Piazzale delle Cascine, 50144 Firenze FI, Italy

9. Mercato Centrale

There is a lot to buy here, I especially love the pasta stand, where you can buy the most delicious freshly made pasta of any shape with any sauce for only 6 euros. My favorite to-go options are ravioli filled with ricotta e spinaci, covered in bolognese sauce, or gnocchi with pesto, or (at least for me) an experimental one- fettuccine with nocciola sauce. And Parmigiano OF COURSE. There is a wine stand at every corner, so you might consider that as well. What I also advise you to check out here is that one cantucci stand, which has tens of flavors, all are fresh and sooo delicious. You can only pay with a card 5euros+. My favorite ones are the pink ones (I think it is punch flavor) and the chocolate/rum one. But you literally can not go wrong with any flavor. It is also very common to eat with sweet wine, you can get this combo already packed together in some stands as well. There is also another whole top floor only focused on restaurants, as the ground floor is mostly for fresh fish, fruit, vegetable, wine, oil, and more.

Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell’Ariento, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

10. Galleria degli Uffizi

One of the world´s greatest museums. I went there around the 21st of December and the queue was 1/10th of what it usually is. Which I really appreciated. But what is important in general is to go there first Sunday of the month between October and March if you want to have the ticket for free.

Here you can find a lot of cinquecento masterpieces. What really impressed me was the fact that Sandro Botticelli´s Birth of Venus would have a small 3D version to touch (for blind people in the first place I assume). That is moving culture to the next level. Definitely don´t miss one of the rare Leonardo Da Vinci drawings in massive size as well (as hundreds of other masterpieces).

Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

11. Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’Accademia) (first Sunday of the month between October and March)

This gallery stands right next to the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze and they get more often than not mistaken for each other. In Accademia there are still students studying art every day, especially painting and sculpture, but also Graphics and Illustration, Decoration, Scenography, Fashion Design, and others. In Galleria dell’Accademia there is the one and only David made by Michelangelo. You can find souvenirs with this statue everywhere. Fun fact: when Michelangelo would make the David, it was an enormous challenge, not only for its huge dimensions but also for the fact that the marble was damaged and no other artists at that time had the courage to try to sculpt from it, because they found it unusable.

Other than David, there are also many other statues worth seeing as well in the gallery.

Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy

12. Frittelli Arte Contemporanea

Another free contemporary art gallery on our list is definitely worth mentioning. Opened in 2006, Frittelli Arte Contemporanea brings new ideas and concepts to life. Previously the space used to be a studio of the artist and owner only, but today we can all enjoy this great jewel together. 

Via Val di Marina, 15, 50127 Firenze FI, Italy

13. Villa di Castello

A great trip idea to get a bit further from the city center. This villa used to belong to Cosimo I de‘ Medici, and also used to be the home of such masterpieces as Boticelli´s The Birth of Venus. Villa is surrounded by nature in its lovely gardens, made for relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere. Fountains and also a cute little cave can be found here as well.

Via di Castello, 44/46, 50141 Firenze FI, Italy

14. Medici Chapels and the Pitti Palace (first Sunday of the month between October and March)

A historical showstopper- you should come and see for yourself. Besides the interiors and exposed items, you can also witness contemporary exhibitions taking place in the Pitti Palace.

Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

That’s it for today, my dear glittery adventurers! I hope this article will come in handy to you if you plan a trip to Florence in the soon or more distant future and you will have there a great time!

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