Florence has a lot to offer for everyone, with a lot of sights, great nightlife and fantastic restaurants. The best way to explore all this it to walk around by foot. You'll be able to walk through the whole central parts of the city within 40-60 minutes, and it's not hard at all to find the right places.
Start from the station Santa Maria Novella. From there you have 600 meters to go to Il Duomo. After having visited that you can take left, and you'll after just a few hundred meters be at the huge market place, Mercato Centrale, where you can buy about anything, but most of all clothes and souvenirs. Also around the market there are some very nice shops.
When you're done with the shopping, and maybe also a quick lunch at ZaZa, you head back to Il Duomo. From there you can either walk straight forward, and you'll soon be at Santa Croce. Or to the right, where you'll find yourself in front of Ponte Vecchio after about 10 minutes walk. But only after passing by Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza Signoria before that.
A walk on the side of the river Arno is always nice, even if the pavement is a bit too small for all the people who's passing by. During the evening you'll be able to see the sun go down over the river/houses, depending what time of the year you're there.
Then just follow the river back, and after about 20 minutes you'll be back at the Santa Maria Novella. Maybe 40 minutes if you stop by somewhere for a beer.
A great day in Florence, and also very cheap! Plus your condition will for sure get better! :)
The roads around the train station are busy, busy, busy - not very safe to run across with all the cars, buses, and taxis. There are underground walkways that get you from one side of the street to the other – must easier and safer than waiting and dashing between the cars which are not very patient with you as you pull your luggage behind you!
I found these walkways rather easily (although I was surprised that several of my classmates completely missed them!). One of the entrances is right in front of the train station – you really can’t miss it. From there, you head down the stairs and follow the signs to where you want to go. Simple and safe!
From the train station, it took me about 10 minutes to reach my home for the week, the Hotel Giada, conveniently located next to the San Lorenzo Market.
Pay attention to the addresses you find in your guidebooks. In Italy, residential addresses will have black numbers, commercial addresses will have red ones (and, in guidebooks, will be written with an "r" after the number. You'll notice this in your guidebooks). This is good to know as you could find the exact same number for two different addresses on the same street - one black (residential) and one red (commercial). 15 (black) and 15 (red) are not the same address - but you can be sure the one with the red number will be a restaurant, shop, bar, etc.
Florence is not a big city so you can go everywhere walking, only Piazzale Michelangelo is a bit far so if you don´t want to walk, go to Santa Maria Novella train station and take bus number 12 o 13, this is the only time that we used the bus to moved in Florence. Bus system is very good, in their stops you have all the information about timetables and more. To buy the ticket you have to do in kiosk, tobacco shops or in train station, inside bus they don´t sell tickets, so if you´re crafty and inspector doen´t catch you, you can going by bus without pay.
Florencia no es una ciudad muy grande así que puedes ir andando a todas partes, lo mas lejos que hay es la plaza de michelangelo, sino quieres andar mucho puedes coger el autobus num 12 o 13 desde la estación de tren de Santa Maria Novella. El sistema de autobus urbano que tiene es muy bueno, en las paradas tienes toda la información sobre horarios. A la hora de comprar el billete lo tienes que hacer en los quioscos o estancos ya que en el autobus no te lo vende, si eres algo picara y no te pilla el revisor puedes subir en el sin tener que pagar.
Florence is by far one of the most walkable cities I have ever been in. I had no problem getting everywhere I wanted to go by foot. But it is a lot of walking. I did most of the churches in one day. I walked to and through the the Uffizi and the Galleria dell'Accademia for hours. I walked to the the Boboli Gardens where you can endlessly walk and explore. I walked through the market, to dinner, from the train station, and from bar to bar each night.
You can absolutely walk everywhere. My friend took a cab home one night from the bar only to be charged 10 euro to be driven 2 streets away. Don't get tricked. And I felt very safe walking with my friends at night.
Though there are ample buses, the best way to get around Florence is by foot. Most of the major attractions are within walking distance of one another. And the compact size of the city actually makes walking quite enjoyable by the sites and numerous shops.
Florence is the perfect city to explore on foot!! The main sites are quite close enough that walking is quite comfortable. The farthest walk that I took was probably the one to the Piazza Michaelangelo, but it probably wouldn't have felt that long if I hadn't attempted at the end of the day!!
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.
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 move around Florence is walking. The town is so small and its streets are so nice that you don't need the public transportation system (buses) to move around. Taxis are expensive (so I was told) and they're not necessary unless you are in a rush, are staying in a hotel very far away from downtown (unlikely, though) or have to carry a ton of luggage. So it's not worth it and all my touring around Florence was done by foot. Everything is very close there and you don't really need to ride a bus or a cab to get around the town.
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