Tips & Tricks
Here you find links to the official websites to book tickets for the main sights, info on getting around in the city and some other links and info that may be useful while planning you trip. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Scroll down to the FAQ’s. If you can’t find it there, send me a message.
Be smart and skip the lines. Book your tickets in advance:
The best way to get around in Florence is by foot. The centre is relatively small and all the main sights are within walking distance from each other. Do you however want to go to another city, need a taxi or want to use a bus, then these details come in handy:
- ATAF is de company responsible for all the busses in the city
- Florence also has two tramlines, operated by GEST
- There’s two main taxi company’s in Florence: Taxi 4390 and Taxi 4242 For ladies there’s a special taxi service (Taxi Rosa) between 10PM and 4AM. You get a discount and it’s for women only.
- If you want to visit other cities, trains are usually the best option. Check the Trenitalia and Italo websites for details.
- First of all: be nice! – This seems pretty straightforward, but somehow it doesn’t always work that way. You’re in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, chances are the weather is awesome, there’s good food everywhere. There’s absolutely no bloody reason to fight over a guidebook or be rude to a shop assistant or a waiter.
- Try the language – A simple ‘grazie’ (thank you), ‘per favore’ (please), ‘ciao’ (hi or bye), ‘buongiorno’ (good morning – it means good day, but after the morning most Florentines will immediately skip to ‘buona sera’ (good evening)) or ‘buona giornata’ (have a good day) will get you a long way. These days are plenty of apps that can help you with the pronunciation and Italians are proud people. They love to help you out with the language!
- Get Lost– Don’t just tick things of your to do-list, but give yourself the time to explore the small streets, visit artisan workshops, get some not so standard souvenirs and explore real Tuscan cuisine away from the crowds.
- Keep it Clean– Florence gets millions of visitors each year, which puts a huge pressure on the city’s livability. Clean up after yourself, try to not sit at random steps with your food (what’s your bench for lunch may be someone else’s doorstep), don’t throw your stuff on the ground.
- Have cash on hand– Many smaller bars and shops don’t accept cards yet or will charge you a fee for using them. It’s better and a lot easier to just have a bit of cash. There’s ATM’s everywhere.
- Accept you’re in a different country– Which means some things may not go the way you’re used to. Unless people are exceptionally rude to you (which I think isn’t acceptable in any culture), try to keep that in mind. Service is usually a bit slower, you’ll have to ask for the bill yourself (here it’s considered rude to just drop the bill on the table once you’re done with dinner) and not everyone speaks English. Try to go with the flow. It’s Italy, in the end there’s a solution for (almost) everything, but getting angry usually won’t get you there.
- Hop on Hop off– It may seem like a great way to see the main sights, in Florence it doesn’t really work that way. The main sights are located in a pedestrian area, where the bus can’t go. So you’ll basically be spending a lot of money on a bus tour not seeing anything exciting at all. Walk or grab a bike!
- Tipping– Tipping is very much appreciated, but not necessary. It’s not a common thing to tip in Italy. However, obviously it’s not forbidden to reward good service! If you do want to tip, 5-10% should do.
- Stand in line for museums– Florence can get crazy busy in high season. The last thing you want is to spend half of your day standing in some kind of line (unless it’s for gelato. Gelato is always a great reason to stand in line ;-)). For the main sights you can nowadays book tickets in advance. See the ‘museums and sights’ tab for the main links. For the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo and the Accademia I definitely advice you to book in advance. Slots often sell out. Need help? Let me know!