5 free places to visit in Florence
Florence is a city packed with historical sights, stunning views and impressive exhibitions. What makes the million of tourists fall in love with the birthplace of the Renaissance is that you can experience so much of its great beauty without spending a penny. It’s a true open-air museum and you’d be surprised at the amount of free things to do in Florence!
The outdoor markets
Florence is filled with outdoor markets where you can purchase anything from cheese and wine to beautiful antiques and leather. You’ll find daily markets, weekly markets and also monthly markets in different areas of the city. Most of these markets are historic, and spending a day treasure troving will make you experience part of local life. You don’t have to purchase anything, but these outdoor markets are great to purchase souvenirs in Florence! If you’re on the hunt for some leather goods, the Mercato Nuovo and San Lorenzo Outdoor Market are the perfect places to go. If you’d like to take home some Tuscan food specialties, Mercato Centrale will do the trick. But these are just a few of the many outdoor markets in Florence.
Visit artworks in the many churches and piazzas
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, saying Florence is filled with artworks, monuments and churches is an understatement. And sometimes, the amount of artworks found outside the museums is even more precious than what’s inside! From the Fountain of Neptune to the copy of Michelangelo’s David at Piazza della Signoria; from stepping inside the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore to admiring the mosaic flooring and cemetery of San Miniato al Monte; from visiting the tombs of Galileo Galilei, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Gioacchino Rossini, Macchiavelli and even Michelangelo at the Basilica di Santa Croce to strolling through Ponte Vecchio – the amount of free things to do in Florence is endless.
Guide to Piazza della Signoria
Get a bird’s eye view of the city
From giant domes to beautiful cathedrals, from lush gardens to stylish palazzos, from bridges to monuments, it’s no doubt the city of Florence is filled with beautiful monuments to admire. And what better place to marvel at the artistic and architectural treasures of the Tuscan capital than by viewing them from atop? From the famed Piazzale Michelangelo to the less crowded Rose Garden, from Brunelleschi’s dome to the church of San Miniato al Monte, there are various places to get the best views of Florence for free.
Free museum visits on the first Sunday of the month
Did you know that on the first Sunday of the month from October to March you can visit museums for free in Florence? That’s right, it’s a splendid opportunity to visit the artistic treasures inside the famed state-owned museums, gardens, galleries and archeological sites. That means you can visit the Uffizi Gallery, the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens, the Bardini gardens, the Bargello Museums and many many more for free. You can imagine the amount of people that look forward to this every month so our advice is to head to the museums early to avoid large crowds. Keep in mind that you cannot reserve online on these first Sundays and that admission to museums is based on a first come, first serve policy.
The best museums in Florence
Visit the Ville Medicee
Among the free things to do in and around Florence, you can also visit three of the 12 prestigious Medici Villas, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. More precisely, you can visit Villa Medicea di Castello, the gardens and villa of the Villa Medicea di Petraia and the gardens and villa of the Villa Medicea di Cerreto Guidi. These villas and gardens are some of the most ancient suburban residences of the Medici family, used as countryside homes or hunting lodges, boasting extraordinary botanical varieties. They are architectural jewels of the Renaissance. And you can visit them for free on Mondays and Saturdays from 8.30am to 1pm, and from 3pm to 6.30pm. Check out the website for more information on opening hours and covid-19 related restrictions.