Visiting Florence on a budget is possible and not so difficult. Discover our tips on how to visit places, attend events and seize good opportunities.
To start, most of the attractions are within walking distance, being the historic centre of Florence not too big. If you want to reach the view points overlooking the city, or move easily from one side to another, use the public transport (Autolinee Toscane) for € 1,70, single ticket valid 90 minutes. To get to piazzale Michelangelo catch bus nr. 12 or 13, to Fiesole bus nr. 7.
If you love riding, rent a bike with Movi by Mobike, the biggest Bike Sharing platform in the world, offering also a e-bike version, even faster. This innovative system will immediately show you the nearest bike on the map, then click the "unlock" button on the APP and... go! This APP is available on App Store and Google Play Store and the service is extremely cheap. You may also find other urban mobility services such as kick-scooters and electric cars. More information here. Bike rental services are also available in some shops of the city centre.
Our itinerary on a budget will obviously include free museums. First of all, State Museums (e.g. Uffizi, Galleria dell’Accademia, Palazzo Pitti) and Civic Museums (e.g. Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Maria Novella, Cappella Brancacci) are free for people under 18 of any nationality and for disabled people with one caregiver. Young visitors between 18 and 25 coming from European Union pay only 2€ in any State Museums and have a reduction in the Civic Museums. Concerning free museums, during the Settimana della cultura (Culture Week), generally taking place in April/May and/or September/October, and the European Heritage Days (September) State Museums offer free entrance to everybody. Please check the following Website, Ministero della Cultura (in Italian), for a complete schedule of free entrances, including a series of dates which every museum can set based on anniversaries and celebrations. For example, on February 18, Palazzo Vecchio and Medici Chapels offer free admission to celebrate Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, "Elettrice Palatina". Also June 24 is a special date, dedicated to the Patron Saint of Florence, San Giovanni: on that occasion some of the museums are free. Concerning the Duomo, September 8 is a date to remember: we celebrate the lay of the first stone of the Cathedral and usually free entrance is allowed to one of the monument of the complex. Tickets for the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens have particularly reduced rates in low season (January 10-February 20 and November 10-December 20).
Some of the museums are always free to visit. For example admission is free to Medici Villas (Petraia, Castello and more), to Villa Corsini a Castello, to the beautiful Cenacoli, where visitors can admire a fresco depicting the last supper (Sant’Apollonia, Andrea del Sarto, Ghirlandaio), to the Medici Park of Pratolino (open April to October), to the monumental cemeteries and to the following museums: Casa Siviero, Casa Martelli, Chiostro dello Scalzo, Sala del Perugino), Memoriale di Auschwitz, Museo del Ciclismo Gino Bartali, l’Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Among the churches many are free: the Cathedral, Santo Spirito, San Miniato al Monte, Santa Felicita, Santa Trinita, SS.Annunziata, S. Salvatore in Ognissanti, SS. Apostoli.
In some of these churches free guided tours are offered thanks to the volunteers of Ars et Fides association. Please check their website for more information.
If you love greenery, catch the opportunity to enjoy Florence walking through its amazing gardens. Among the most beautiful free gardens are the Horticolture Garden adjacent to Villa Fabbricotti and to the Garden of Stibbert Museum, all of them a few steps from the city centre. At both sides of piazzale Michelangelo there are gardens: the Rose Garden, featuring scenic views on the city and wonderful scultures by Folon - open all year long -, and the Iris Garden open from April 25 until the end of May, when flowers are all in bloom. Florence offers much more green areas to its visitors: find here more information.
Where to eat? In Florence tourists can have high quality light meals on a budget: just try the tasty Lampredotto, seasoned with green sauce, at one of the several stalls in the city. Also the historic markets (San Lorenzo and Sant’Ambrogio) offer traditional good food at cheap prices. Check our Website for more information about street food.
There are also events for all budgets. The city of Florence offers a lot of things to do: you may find the event that interests you for a few euros or completely free! Free concerts are performed in many public squares on New Year's Eve and during the summer season; O Flos colende - festival of sacred music by Opera del Duomo - is held in Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and in Saint John Baptistery, March to September, just book in advance on the Duomo Website not to miss it; Italian and foreing Choirs perform in piazza Signoria, during summer, as well as Filarmonica Rossini whose events are always free. Also noteworthy are the concerts by Cherubini Conservatory, many of them free or very cheap. For those who love Gregorian Chants, we suggest the free concerts by Coro Viri Galilaei always performing in unique locations such as Basilica di San Miniato al Monte and Ognissanti Church. On August 10, San Lorenzo Day, citizens and tourists celebrate all together in piazza San Lorenzo listening to a concert and eating lasagna and watermelon! All for free. Events are online on our Website and can be searched with filters.
What's more, while strolling in Florence you will find free water, fresh, sparkling and still, available for everybody at the fontanelli (drinking water fountains); the central one is in piazza Signoria, by the wall of Palazzo Vecchio, behind Neptune Fountain. See all the fontanelli.
Finally, if you need a map, some brochures or more suggestions to visit Florence, come to one of our info points (main ones are in piazza Stazione 4, via Cavour 1r and Borgo Santa Croce 29/r). All free of charge!