What tourists shouldn’t do in Florence

florence tourists

What to avoid in Florence

When visiting a city that isn’t your own, it’s very possible that there are some rules you had no idea were in place! And sometimes, knowing what you shouldn’t do is just as important as knowing what you should do. Even though anything feels like a good idea in the birthplace of the Renaissance, here are 5 things you shouldn’t do in Florence.

Drive in the historic center

As much as hopping on your car and driving through the historic center of Florence may sound like a good idea, it is not. Unless you’re from Florence, we highly recommend you don’t drive in the historic center as it can get overwhelming: the streets are narrow and crowded with people, parking is almost impossible to find (and expensive). We recommend you stick to walking and public transportation to move around Florence and rent a car when you’re planning a day trip to the seaside or countryside. 

Waste time queuing

If you’re already on a tight schedule, the last thing you want to do is waste your time in lines to book tickets. Florence is a huge tourist destination, with millions of visitors each year. Everyone comes to see the Uffizi, the Accademia Gallery and the Boboli Gardens, so make sure you book your tickets online in advance to avoid waiting hours in lines!

Eat food on the streets

As much as you’d like to enjoy your Florentine street food in the historic center, bear in mind that in some streets and squares it’s not allowed. Back in 2018 Mayor Dario Nardella introduced an ordinance that bans people from eating on sidewalks, doorsteps, shops and houses of Via de’ Neri, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna. The objective of the ban is to reduce littering. 

Dine in tourist traps

Here comes Captain Obvious – but we have to underline this point as tourist traps are always packed with tourists! The restaurants you should try to avoid are the ones in major tourist attractions and those that display food on menus. If you want to grab lunch near a famous sigh, try to find a trattoria on the side streets instead. To make sure you’re dining in an authentic eatery, check out our guide to the best restaurants in Florence.

Forget to validate your ticket on transportation

In Florence public transportation works in the following way: you purchase your ticket and once you’re on the bus you validate your ticket. The ticket will then be valid for 90 minutes from the time you validated it, unless you purchase a multiple-ride ticket, in that case it will be valid for four 90-minute rides from the moment of validation. It’s important you validate your ticket as bus controllers might check your ticket and if you have one but you haven’t validated it, you’ll get fined.

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