12 Best Things To Do in Florence Italy For FREE

The birthplace of the Renaissance known for its charming cobblestone streets, historic churches, and a plethora of artworks, Florence, Italy is a must-see stop on your Italian adventure. Finding things to do in Florence, Italy for free can be tricky, but here is my list of the best!

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12 Incredible Things to do in Florence, Italy for Free

things to do in florence italy for free

I lived in Florence for 5 months in the fall of 2018 and being as frugal as I am, I was always looking for the best deals to see all the iconic sights of Florence for cheap- or FREE! In this post I am going to tell you about all the free things I did during my time in Florence, and what you should do during your visit.

Things to do in Florence Italy for Free

Piazza Michelangelo

piazza michelangelo - things to do in florence italy for free

Without a doubt, Piazza Michelangelo is the BEST free activity in Florence. I hiked it almost every night I spent in Florence (and that’s saying something!)

Piazza Michelangelo is a popular panoramic overlook in Florence. Additionally, this overlook offers the best views spanning the Duomo, the river Arno, and the Tuscan hillside. 

With its walkable proximity to the city center and easy climb upstairs, it is a popular spot among tourists and locals alike.

I would recommend heading up just before sunset to enjoy a sunset over the city and maybe even stay to see the city lights!

San Miniato Al Monte

Despite being located just a 10-minute walk from the popular Piazza Michelangelo, San Miniato Al Monte is one of Florence’s best-kept secrets. Perched on top of one of the highest points in Florence, few visitors make the trek, so you are left with a beautiful church without the crowds.

Built-in 1018, San Miniato Al Monte is one of the best Romanesque buildings in Tuscany. However, the interior of the church is just as impressive as the facade too! As you step inside the marble facade you are met with a church filled with dark marble and colorful mosaics. Do not skip out on this free thing to do in Florence, Italy.

Take Advantage of Free Museums

museums - things to do in florence italy for free

Did you know that on the first Sunday of every month from October-March Florence offers free admission for their museums? Because they are free, many locals decided to visit the museums these days, making them much more crowded than a normal day. However, despite the crowds, it is still well worth it because these museums can be pricey!

In fact, I took advantage of these free museums twice during my stay in Florence. My biggest tip would be to arrive early at the museums and know which ones you want to visit!

The statue of David in Florence Italy

I would recommend visiting The Accademia Gallery for the Statue of David, the Uffizi for Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, and the Boboli Gardens for its vast views of the city.

Wander the Streets of the Historic Downtown

Florence is filled with cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture! So, take the day to enjoy the outdoors and get lost in the streets of the historic downtown. You can easily walk between all the major historic points in the city including the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchi, Santa Croce Church, and all of the museums.

Additionally, there are even historic markings in the downtown for you to read and learn a bit more about each building as you stumble upon it.

Free Walking Tour

Things to do in Florence Italy for Free

Not up for a solo walking adventure? No problem!

Florence offers many opportunities for free walking tours and you can even choose the tour you are most interested in! Free Tours By Foot offers many different tours on their website. Make sure you book in advance and tip your guide!

Go inside the Duomo, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Things to do in Florence Italy for Free

The duomo - things to do in florence italy for free

Entering the iconic Duomo is completely free (and crowded!). If this is a must-do on your trip I would recommend arriving early as lines can be hours long later in the day.

Also, for an even more immersive experience visit on a Sunday morning for Catholic mass. I did this one, and although it is in Italian, it is a great way to skip the lines and avoid the crowds.

San Lorenzo Market

Things to do in Florence Italy for Free

Florence is home to many markets, but the largest is the San Lorenzo Market.

This market is divided into two markets, Mercado Central (central market) and the outdoor market.

Mercado Central is a two-story building with a plethora of meats, cheeses, fish, flowers, and more. It is a great free rainy day activity or a place to beat the heat and it is open Monday-Saturday!

Additionally, the covered outdoor market is home to many souvenirs, leather bags, pottery, clothing, and more. The outdoor market is open from Tuesday-Saturday. This is a fun way to spend the day with the whole family and have a chance to chat with some locals!

Oblate Library Terrace

Things to do in Florence Italy for Free

Next up is the Oblate Library Terrace. This was one of my first and favorite places to spend an afternoon in Florence. Head up to the second floor of the library and you will find a nice outdoor patio and cafe that offers a beautiful view of the Duomo.

Spend your afternoon sipping espresso among Italian locals above the crowds, this is a perfect free spot for you to have a relaxing afternoon. 

Take a Bike Ride Through Parco Delle Cascine

Things to do in Florence Italy for Free

bike ride in the park, things to do in florence italy for free

Next, this beautiful park is located along the river Arno just outside of the city center. Arrive by public bus, tram, bike, or walk and enjoy the largest green park in Florence. 

Here you will find many locals enjoying nature or playing sports. Also, bike rentals are available inside the park or in the surrounding area.

Find Every Medici Crest in Florence

Things to do in Florence Italy for Free

The Medicis were a powerful family who ruled Florence and Tuscany until 1737. Also, they are famous for helping Florence thrive during the Renaissance era by supporting Galileo, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and many more.

Throughout the historic downtown, you will find the Medici Crest perched on many buildings. This crest is recognized by the six red balls and gold.

Also, look for the most easily recognizable Medici Crest in Palazzo Vecchio.

Explore the famous street art of exit/enter

Florence has loads of popular urban street art. One of my favorite Florentine artists is Exit/Enter. They have interesting pieces located all over the city, but I would recommend heading to the opposite side of the river, just at the trailhead to Piazza Michelangelo. However, there are many streets to wander to find many artists and be sure to look at the street signs!

Church of Orsanmichele

Lastly, only the second church to make the list, the Church of Orsanmichele was first documented in 895. This church is located in the heart of the city just between the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio in the shopping district. 

It has a rather dark interior lined with large statues and low crowds.

The church is open every day from 10 am-5 pm. However, if you visit on a Monday you will also have access to the sculpture garden.

So there you have it! My complete guide to things to do in Florence Italy for free!

Things to do in Florence Italy for Free

Want more Europe inspo? Check out my weekend in Brussels, Belgium itinerary post!

Piazza Michaelangelo - beautiful places in italy

I’m Danika! A travel obsessed, Disney adult, with a knack for budgeting.

In 2020 I was furlough from my “dream” job at Disney and have pursued my first love of travel ever since. I have traveled to 33 states and 28 countries spanning 5 continents.

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