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A walking tour, either guided or on your own, is what you do when visiting a new city, just to discover what it has to offer. Florence is not like any other city though, and with all the cultural attractions that fill the city center it’s much better to choose a guided Florence walking tour that will give you an introduction to the history of the city and will show you all the main historical buildings. You will see buildings that were built mostly between the 13th and the 16th century, and that for the most part, unexpectedly, don’t belong to the period we call Renaissance: places like the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, the churches of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella. You want someone to drive you through this jungle because any tour you are going to have later will become easier to understand. Florence walking tours are the most popular in Florence, but they’re often sold together with something else. A typical offer is the Florence walking tour with Michelangelo’s David; then you have Florence walking tours coupled with Uffizi tours, full-day Florence tours and other offers that include food or wine. Also make sure you don’t confuse a Florence walking tour with a Florence Duomo tour (a walking tour which is dedicated to the Duomo only). There are more ways to visit the city center than Florence walking tours: Segway tours, bike tours, even jogging tours, but walking is the best way to enjoy Florence: the city center is smaller than you think, and the narrow Medieval streets don’t allow a smooth tour by bike or other transportation methods. Like for any other tour, you can choose a large group tour, a small group tour, or a private walking tour of Florence, depending on your budget and on the level of personalization you prefer. Whatever you choose, any tour where, in the description, the agency states that the tour might be run in two or more languages are to avoid. There are too many Florence walking tours for sale, but I selected the best for you in this article. Read on and make your choice.
Small group Florence walking tour with Accademia (morning tour)
This is the best Florence walking tour you can buy if you want to visit the city in the morning. It’s a three hours tour in a group of max 14 people, which is not expensive at € 55.00/person including skip-the-line tickets for the Accademia Gallery. Meet your guide at Piazza Strozzi at 10 am, start the tour with Piazza Della Repubblica and continue towards Ponte Vecchio. Take your great pictures on the bridge, and prepare to see Piazza Della Signoria, with all his statues, and Palazzo Vecchio, the political heart of Florence. From here you will reach the religious heart of the city, Piazza del Duomo, where the gorgeous Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore was erected between 1296 and 1436, admiring attractions like Giotto’s Bell Tower and Brunelleschi’s Dome. In the same place, you will also see the Baptistery of San Giovanni and his famous doors: the “gates of Paradise” by Lorenzo Ghiberti. After about two hours, you will reach the Accademia Gallery for the grand finale, the original statue of David by Michelangelo. If you want a group tour, opt for a small group like this. This, in my opinion, is the best Florence walking tour you can choose.
Florence walking tour with Italian lesson (afternoon tour)
For those of you who want to have their Florence walking tour in the afternoon, I suggest this one, starting near Piazza Della Repubblica at 3:45 pm. This tour costs € 49.00/person, which looks a bit high for a 2.5 hours tour with no museum entrance, but it is almost a private tour, with group limited to max six people. Read on, because what this tour offers is well worth your money: this tour combines the Florence walking tour (with all the main attractions) with an Italian lesson… not just theory, but practice. The guide will be your Italian teacher, and you will be taught how to order food in a restaurant, how to order a cappuccino, and how to shop in general: you will stop in shops and cafes to practice the new language, and then when you have become more familiar, you will be given a lesson on how to use your hand gesture to help yourself being understood. This is something Italians are famous for and again, you will be asked to put the lesson in practice. This Florence walking tour will be a lot of fun!
Legends of Florence (by night)
If you got to Florence late, the day is not lost, and if you like the night atmosphere, this tour is for you. Yeah, the tour could be conducted in two languages, and this is a big disadvantage, but it happens very rarely. Most probably, it will be in English only, but better you are aware of this possibility. At € 25.00/person, this tour is as cheap as you can get. The meeting point is Piazza di S. Firenze, where the tour starts at 8:30 pm. You will see all the main attractions of the city, like the Uffizi building, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo, but in the meantime you will be told about the tales and legends of Florence, often originating in the Middle Ages. This is a relatively short tour, just 90 minutes, so you won’t get much history, even though the legends will give you an idea about the daily life in Florence in the past.
Private walking tour of Florence
More expensive than any other Florence walking tour (not necessarily… read on and find out why), a private tour is the best choice: the tour guide will meet you at whatever time you prefer, for the duration you prefer, and you can add any attraction, like Michelangelo’s David or the Uffizi Gallery. If you prefer history, that’s what you’ll be served, but if you want legends and tales, the guide will give you that. Prepare to pay € 70/80 for each hour of tour, when hiring a local tour guide, but keep in mind that this is the price for your entire party, and when your family, or group of friends, is as large as five people, some private tour can easily become less expensive than a group tour, especially in a walking tour with no museum tickets to pay. If you want to contact me, I can offer private custom tours for € 70/hour (minimum two hours).
What other suggestions can you find in this section?
- The best Florence tours and activities reviewed by a tour guide
- Walking tours
- Uffizi tours
- Florence in one day
- Duomo tours
- Vasari Corridor tours
- Inferno tours
- Skip-the-line David tours
- What to do on Mondays
- Tours of Florence from Rome or Venice
- Florence outdoor activities
- Florence food tours
- Wine tours in Tuscany
- Cooking classes
- Wine tours in Florence
- Day trips from Florence to Tuscany countryside
- Day trips from Florence to Pisa
- Day trips from Florence to Siena
- Day trips from Florence to Cinque Terre
- Day trips from Florence to Rome
- Day trips from Florence to Venice