How To Get Around Florence
Florence is the most populated city in Tuscany with over 383,000 residents. In the old days, it was the center of Medieval Europe and one of the wealthiest cities in the country. It was originally a Roman city and the city center was the hub of commerce, culture, and politics.
Because of all this, Florence has one of the best public transportation systems out of all the Italian cities. The renaissance city is popular due to il Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Pitti Palace, Uffizi Gallery, and Michelangelo's David. But don't forget to download a map or Google Maps wherever you are headed.
Florence, Italy is one of the most popular European cities where you can get almost anywhere in the city using public transportation. The historical center of the city is totally walkable with many of the main attractions within walking distance to each other.
If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing during your visit to Florence, try to book a hotel in a neighborhood within walking distance of most of the sites you will be visiting. Then, you can rent a bike if the walk is a little too much for you. Walking and riding a bike are the two most popular ways to get around by locals as well.
Getting a car in Florence, Italy is usually not recommended unless you are familiar with the area. In fact, many of the locals do not even own a car and choose public transport, food, or bike to get around Florence. If you do not know the routes, you are liable to get lost on the streets or stuck in traffic all day.
Check with your hotel first to see if they offer free or discounted transport services. Many of the hotels in Italy provide shuttle buses as well as bike-sharing services for free. Then again, it is also free if you just walk.
Traveler tip: Out and about shopping and picking up souvenirs? Don't be weighed down by your terrific finds! Store them with a luggage storage service in Florence and continue to shop and sight-see. Pick up your things at the end of the day.
How to get around Florence by train
The Florence train station is easy to maneuver and allows for connections all over the Italian cities. Officially known as the Florence Santa Maria Novella Station, it has been transporting Florentines to other Italian cities since the 1930s. City residents use the system daily to get around as well.
In the middle of the city of Florence, Italy, this train station moves over 160,000 people per day on its 19 platforms with a total of 45 stations all over Europe. This is the main train station in Florence, Italy, and a key point for public transport. The historic center is where everything comes together.
You can reach any of the Italian cities from the Santa Maria Novella train station including Milano, Pisa, and Bologna. With a few transfers, you can also get to more than 100 other cities including Paris, Switzerland, and Berlin. Print out a map of the train stops and destinations to be prepared when you go.
Although the Santa Maria Novella train station is modernized, it has retained its Rennaisance architecture, making it a popular tourist attraction as well as a transport hub. The main hall includes a few retailers, eateries, and a ticket office as well as a lounge, currency exchange, and a post office.
Out front of the Santa Maria Novella Station, you will see taxi stands, bus lines, and even some rideshare vehicles just waiting for you to hail them. Because the station is in the city center, you can also get around Florence on foot, depending on where you are headed.
The price of train tickets is a bit complicated. However, the good news is that you automatically get the lowest price available without even needing a special code or sale. At Santa Maria Novella train station, you can get your tickets from an Italian ticketing kiosk, machine, desk, or online site.
Prices range from approximately $20 to over $100 depending on where and when you are going, your age, and how you are paying. If you pay in advance, it is always going to be the cheapest way to travel no matter where you are going.
How to get around Florence by bus
If you are thinking of how to get around Florence, Italy by bus, you will find it is easy with approximately 100 different bus lines. The network is called Le City Line de Firenze and the routes run from 6 AM to 10 PM every day of the week. You can expect to see a bus every 15 minutes or so at one of the many bus stops in Florence, Italy.
Do you want to take the kids out for a fun day? For visiting the city center and attractions, look for the public buses with C1, C2, C3, and D routes. The suburban buses run from the city center to the outer areas around Florence. Some of the buses travel along the Arno River, to the Piazzale Michelangelo, and even the Boboli gardens.
The bus station is small and only has major amenities if you get your bus at the airport or train station. Some bus stations are little more than a bench with a shelter over it so make sure you check it out before choosing your routes.
Although if you are taking one of the public buses from one of the railways or airports, you can expect to find amenities nearby including coffee shops, retailers, and ticket vendors. The transit station at Piazza San Marco features these and more.
Bus tickets can be bought at any authorized retailers in the city of Florence including eateries, news agents, coffee shops, and convenience stores. If you see ATAF stickers on the window, the shop sells legitimate public transport tickets.
Similar to other large Italian cities, bus tickets are charged per 90-minute time limits. If you buy them in advance, you will pay under $2 but if you wait and buy tickets from the bus driver, you will end up paying about a dollar more. Save more money by buying 10 tickets in advance for under $16.
How to get around Florence by tram
Another option for getting around Florence on public transport is with the trams, although tourists say it is their least favorite because it does not go to the historic center. However, it is better than taking a taxi or bus if you want to stay out of the traffic jams because trams have their own lines.
The Florence Tram has two lines with 37 stations and carries about 100,000 travelers per day. Although the city of Florence is planning to expand, right now there are just the T1 Villa Constanza with 26 stops and the T2 Peretola Airport with 12 stops.
It does not matter whether you have one-way tickets or a whole book of 10 trips, the journey will be counted in blocks of 90 minutes, just like the other Florence public transportation like buses. The cost is the same also at about $2 and up.
How to get around Florence by car
Whether you are renting a car in Florence, Italy to drive on your own, hailing a cab, or considering a ride share service, traffic and poor infrastructure on the roads make driving less than a pleasure. Even those who are familiar with the area often choose to walk or use public transport.
Driving a rental car in Florence is not cheap and without the knowledge of the streets, you may spend your whole day in traffic. If you plan on traveling outside the city during your visit, a car is the best choice though. But parking is a nightmare in Florence as well so be on the lookout for a place to park wherever you go.
How to get around Florence by taxi
You will find taxi stands just about everywhere you find major attractions and other public transportation. With a taxi, you will not have to worry about driving in traffic or finding a place to park. But you will still have to sit in traffic no matter what.
You can use a ride share service or call a taxi, but the cost can be ridiculous, especially if you have to have them wait. Waiting is almost $30 per hour! There are many taxi stops all over the city including the bus station, the train's main station, and near each popular bus stop.
You will not need a paper ticket to hail a taxi but it is best that you call for one if there are no available taxi stands. In some places, it is illegal to hail a cab on the streets of Florence, Italy, or in any public area. For example, you may see a lot of taxis by il Duomo, the Pitti Palace, and Piazzale Michelangelo, but you will have to call them and book your trip. And it can be hard to find a taxi on Saturday nights.
The minimum charge for taxi service in Florence on weekdays from 6 AM to 9 PM is $3.70. On weekends and holidays, it jumps up to around a $6 minimum. This does not include the charge per mile so even the shortest trip on the streets of Florence will cost about $8. Of course, different taxis can charge their own fees and if you need a taxi to wait for you, it is about $27.00 per hour.
How to get around Florence on foot
You can walk from one attraction to the other in many areas of Florence, Italy. For example, walking from the Uffizi to Piazza del Duomo takes about five minutes. The furthest attractions from the city center can be reached within 30 minutes on foot.
You will not have any trouble getting around on foot and walking is good for you. Florence has a pedestrian-only area in the city to make things safer and easier for visitors and locals. And you will not have to worry about parking either.
How to get around Florence on a bike
Bike-sharing is a big thing in Florence since the city is so well-connected from the historic center to the outskirts of town. From the city center to the furthest attraction, it is only a 10 to 15-minute bike ride at a fraction of the cost of a taxi.
Many bike-rental shops are located between San Lorenzo and San Marco. Tuscany Cycle is one of the most popular but they run on the high end for about $45 per day. For a cheaper option, pay $2 an hour or $10 per day at Mille e Una bici, run by the Florence City Council.
See Florence, Italy
Getting around Florence should not be difficult. But getting around in an unfamiliar city can be a struggle if you do not do your homework first. Luckily, we did the homework for you. You can choose from train, bus, tram, or taxi as well as electric bikes, bike-sharing, or rideshare apps.
Some trips around Florence are just better on foot. Not only are they free but you can see things that you would have missed on a bus, train, tram, or car. The streets of Florence are exciting and fun to explore no matter how you choose to get around.