Florence on the Cheap

Florence – the capital of the famous Tuscan region in Italy – is one of the most important cultural, artistic, and architectural centers of Europe. The birthplace of the Renaissance is home to more than one-third of the world’s art treasures, thus making it a must-see destination for art lovers. It is a colorful city with various events happening all year round. Although many think it’s an expensive place to visit, with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can visit and stay in Florence without breaking the bank.

View of Florence - Image via Flickr by Artur Staszewski

View of Florence – Image via Flickr by Artur Staszewski

  • Plan Ahead and Secure your Place

Unless you’re planning your visit in the chilly months of winter, you shouldn’t wait for last-minute deals. The city is packed with tourists during the summer months, so it’s better to reserve your flight and accommodations three to four months in advance. One can fly in to Pisa on a low-cost airline and get to the city by train in under an hour. Train tickets are also cheaper if bought online in advance.

  • Stay on the Other Side of the Arno

There is a little trick one needs to consider when searching for inexpensive lodging in Florence: accommodation sites on the south bank of the river Arno are cheaper than hotels on the north bank. Although most tourist attractions are located in the latter – called the Signoria District – one can easily get to them on foot in a matter of minutes from the southern part, the Oltrarno District.

Signorina District - image via Flickr by mr.donb

Signoria District – image via Flickr by mr.donb

  • Share Your Accommodations with a Local

The cheapest accommodation sites in Florence are Airbnb rentals and bed and breakfasts, where one gets to stay at a local’s apartment or room and can use their fully equipped kitchen as well, thus saving money on food. Another advantage is the insider tips and tricks one can get from a local, many of whom happily share their advice on budget-friendly activities in their hometown.

  • Get Around Inexpensively

Since all the major sites are within walking distance, getting around is easiest on foot. There is also a well-developed public transportation system for those who need to get somewhere fast and cheap. Cars are forbidden in the central area of Florence, and taxi fares are considered expensive.

  • See Major Attractions without Breaking the Bank

With 72 museums and 70 churches, Florence has plenty of attractions to offer. However, not many people know that a large number of sites are free of charge. To get into the local atmosphere, visit one of 10 markets. Some of the most beautiful churches of the city, such as Santa Maria Novella, are also free for visitors. Enjoy a pleasant day in one of the many gardens and parks of the city without admission, like the Iris Garden or the Etruscan tomb of Montagnola or take a walk on one of the most beautiful bridges of Europe, the Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio - image via Flickr by Justin Brown

Ponte Vecchio – image via Flickr by Justin Brown

Join a free walking tour, held every day twice starting from the Central Railway station and choose between the Renaissance and the Medici Family Tour. For a more in-depth walkabout, hire a local to guide you on a private trip and visit the even lesser-known but equally beautiful features of Florence.

In need of more tips to visiting this Tuscan gem? Check out the 6 tricks in planning your budget trip to Florence and see how you can visit Florence off the beaten path. You also might want to take a look at the 6 best places to stay in Florence.

Still not sure if the city’s a good destination for you? Here’s why Florence is the perfect destination for every type of traveler!

Article part of the #HipmunkCityLove campaign. If you happened to find the post useful, please Pin it to help spread the word. Thanks! 🙂 (Photo via Flickr by Chris Yunker)

Florence on the Cheap

2 Responses to “Florence on the Cheap

  • I’ve never been to Florence but I do want to go one day. I hear they have delicious pizza, is that true? 😉

    • Well, this is a tricky one. I ate Italian pizza in Cattolica (not too far from Florence). But the thing is, it was waaay to greasy for my Romanian/Hungarian taste-buds. And you can ask for ketchup or tomato sauce, but be prepared to get frowned upon, because it’s considered a profanity.
      I would also love to try real Bolognese in Bologna 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: