Although there's a lot of walking to do in order to see everything in Florence, you still should just walk. The attractions and the Duomo are within walking distance from the train station. If you take the bus, you will miss some nice architecture, stores, etc. along the way -- unless you're in a hurry to get to a particular location.
You may want to walk from the train station to your hotel. The wait for a taxi at the stand looked to be about 45 minutes.
We elected to walk to the Grand Hotel Cavour. It ended up being a 20 minute walk and wasn't bad with luggage on wheels.
Don't try to cross the main intersection outside of the train station. Look for the stairs that will take you to a tunnel below the intersection.
Almost the whole time we were in Florence we walked to places we wanted to see. It's the best way to come across unexpected sights. :)
We used the buses a couple of times too and they were easy to use.
Walking! It is the best way because everything in Florence is always in walking distance.
If you prefer not to walk, then the next best thing would be to go on public buses (real cheap prices) or taxi's (which are more expensive, but still affordable, but sometimes the taxis take too long. I'd recommend taxi's on sundays or late at night when there are less buses on duty.
Warning: if you don't have a ticket to a bus or train they, you will be taking a chance of getting fined big time. So it's better off buying the tickets before you ride on the train or bus.
Best choice: Walking.
Why? Because you get to see things you wouldn't see in buses or taxis, and it is more convenient. Especially during the summertime or where the weather is very nice.
Yup, the best way to explore the city is by foot as all the main sights are within walking distance(Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Galleria Degli Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Giardini Boboli). Walk the cobblestoned streets and soak in the atmosphere!
The best way to get around is on foot. Renting a car is silly. We tried to find a place to rent vespas (motorbikes) but were unsuccessful. If anyone knows where the one place in all of Florence to rent vespas is, please let me know!
We arrived by Train simply because we purchased a Eurorail pass and traveled to multiple destinations. We arrived late in the evening and took a cab because we did not feel comfortable making our way through the streets with luggage. It ended up costing around 6 Euro's.
Once morning came we headed out the door. We walked everywhere from the Doumo to the Academy of Fine Arts. It is an easy city to navigate so don't feel shy about putting on a pair of comfortable shoes and hitting the pavment.
Florence is definately a walking city! The main attractions are pretty much in a compact area. There is beauty and history around every corner! Wear comfortable shoes ( or buy some there!) I would definately NOT wear sneakers! Florence is such an elegant city and sneakers would not fit in and scream out 'tourist'!
I came to Florence by train, all the way from Prague. It was a nice ride, but be prepared for the speed of the trains to slow markedly as soon as you cross the border into Italy! The schedules are more like suggestions than fixed times.
Florence is easy to walk around. We used the Streetwise Florence map and were amazed to find that the streets were packed together, the map seemed to be printed 'actual size'! What we thought would be a five-minute walk was more like five steps!
We flew into Florence with a connection in Paris. The airport is small and therefore not too busy. It was pretty simple. Paris was another story...
We also took the train to and from Florence constantly. Florence was like homebase for the trip and we travelled other places and then came back. I think the train station was small enough too so that there were no problems. Rome is another story....
Once you are there all you really want to do it walk. Well that's all there really is to do unless you take a taxi, but why? I think we took a taxi from the airport and that's about it. Wear good shoes because of the cobblestone but you can easily walk everywhere!
I got here by train. The station Firenze SMN is located in the very centre of the city. It's very close to all the sites one must visit when in Florence (about 10 minutes walk to The Dome).
Florence is one of that cities that must be seen on foot. You can walk everywhere and admire the beautiful views without getting tired.
Everything is with in walking distance and also walking distance from the train station. There is no better way to get to see the ins and outs of Florence then on foot. You can cover it all in a day.
Florence is a very manageable city, and provided you have good walking shoes there is not much need for other transport.
Walking is the best way... you may get run over by a car, but WALK it is the best way. When we crossed over the bridge, we decided to take claim on it and refer to it as 'our' bridge.
We parked our car in the hotel parking area and WALKED and WALKED and WALKED. We were lucky because our hotel was not far from the old centre.