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Know Before You Go
- Many of the city's top attractions have a limit on the number of daily visitors. To make sure you get in, buy a Firenze Card for EUR 72. You'll get entry to all the main museums for 72 hours and skip the long queues.
- Make sure you keep some cash on you while in Italy. Small business, cafes and restaurants often have a minimum amount for card transactions.
- Florence is the birthplace of gelato, but there are many shops selling an expensive faux product to tourists. To make sure you are getting the real thing, check the prices before you buy. A cone should never cost more than a few euros.
- If you go out for a drink between 6 to 9 p.m., you'll be charged an "aperitivo price". This means your drinks will be more expensive than usual, but you'll be able to have as much bar food as you like.
- Public restrooms in Florence are not free. If you need to use the bathroom, it will cost you EUR 1 or you'll have to make a purchase.
Getting Around Florence
The best way to explore and get around Florence is by foot. You can walk the breadth of the city in about 30 minutes passing many of its famous sites. Make sure you pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes, otherwise cobbled sidewalks will not be kind to your feet.
But if you need to get around faster, the city has a reliable and extensive public transport system.
Once fatigue sets in from walking the streets, you can hop on board one of the city's buses for EUR 1. Tickets are available at local convenience stores, and you'll need to validate your ticket once you get on.
Taxis are expensive in Florence. The meters start at EUR 3 going up in the evenings and on Sundays. It's also illegal to hail a cab on the street, so you'll need to call ahead or go to the taxi rank.
Instead of renting a car, rather use the city's public transport system to avoid the headaches and parking expenses. Most of the city centre is off-limits to tourist drivers, and there are many pedestrian areas and narrow one-way streets. You'll also need a special ZTL permit if you plan to do any driving.
When is The Best Time to Visit Florence?
The best time to visit Florence is during its summer months. From June to September the warm weather means loads of art festivals, sunshine and open air dining options. But it's also high season and not the best time to visit if you are on a tight budget. Expect prices for flights and accommodation to be at their highest and long queues outside the city's famous attractions.
If you want to save money rather visit Florence during its winter months. From November to March, you'll find lower room rates and the city less crowded. But temperatures are freezing with a biting wind, so make sure you pack enough warm layers to keep the chill at bay.
Florence's two shoulder months (April and October) are also good options for budget travellers.
During April, you'll have a high chance of scoring deals on accommodation, but the city is still warming up and has frequent rain showers. October sees Florence emptying out after the summertime rush. You'll have the city's attractions all to yourself and mild weather during the day.
Airports in Florence
Florence is an international airport located 4 km from the city centre. It's the second busiest airport in Tuscany and serves as a focus city for Vueling.
But if you want to save money on flights, you will find cheaper airfare at Pisa Airport. However, it is 85 km away, and you'll have to pay more to get into Florence.
Getting To and From Florence Airport
The cheapest way to get from the airport to the city centre is with the Vola in Bus shuttle. It takes 20 minutes to get to Santa Maria Novella train station, and buses leave every 30 minutes. A single trip costs EUR 6 and can be purchased on board.
If you arrive after 1:00 a.m., your best option will be to take a taxi. The set fare into Florence is EUR 22, and it includes your baggage. You can find the taxi stand outside the arrivals terminal.
Private shuttles are also available at the airport. You can book a transfer to over 100 hotels in Florence, and the service is available 24 hours a day. There is no flat fare, and the price will depend on how many people join your ride.