Florence is jam-packed with sites, restaurants, and activities, which can quickly do some damage to your bank account. As a college student studying abroad, I am constantly looking for ways to enhance my experience by finding new adventures, but for cheap. There are plenty of ways to try new things without paying an arm and a leg - you just need to be creative. Here are my favorite things to do in Florence for under 20 Euro.
Hotel 25 Movie Theater
The gorgeous Hotel 25 hosts a movie night for FREE in their quirky theater on Sundays at 6PM. My friends and I went to watch Rocketman, and had an amazing evening enjoying a movie and drinks inside of a beautiful venue. The hotel also has an impressive restaurant and bar, making it the perfect spot to stop for dinner after the movie!
I initially first used the Bird in Florence to get somewhere in a rush, but surprisingly ended up having a blast riding around the city on my electric scooter. When my sister came to visit, we rented Birds and drove them all around Florence, which was the perfect way to explore the city. I also rode an electric bike, and had a perfect day exploring the hills of Tuscany via bike ride. Download the Bird or Ridemovi app, and you can ride these scooters and bikes almost anywhere. These apps charge per mile, and they offer an affordable price based on how many miles you ride.
Sunset Rooftop Yoga
Although slightly over 15 euros, this experience is completely worth the extra charge. Upon arrival, you are escorted to a rooftop patio overlooking the Duomo, and served bruschetta, tea, and assorted cheeses. The instructor turns on calming music, provides yoga mats, and begins the class while the sun is setting. Watching the sunset over Florence while in a meditative state is truly a once in a lifetime experience. After the yoga class is finished, the instructors serve everyone wine and a home cooked, classic Tuscan meal. I have never considered myself a yoga fan, but I left this night wishing it had never ended. I can not recommend this experience enough. The link to the Airbnb experience is attached below.
Museums Free on the First Sunday of Every Month
On the first Sunday of every month, all of the state museums in Italy can be entered for free. There are over fifteen museums around the city which participate, so the possibilities are endless. The turnout on these days is higher than usual, however, so I would suggest going earlier rather than later. Even if you can not make the first Sunday of the month, many museums will give a significant discount with proof of your student visa.
Photoshoot at the Gucci Gardens
The Gucci Gardens is a modern museum that recreates Gucci’s most iconic campaigns, and is a perfect stop for the trendy Florentine crowd. The tickets are only 5 euros, and the photo opportunities are endless. In the museum you can find funky sculptures, optical illusions, and a Gucci gift shop. As a bonus, the museum is located in Piazza della Signoria, which is one of the most popular piazzas in Florence.
A Walk Along the Arno River
While walking one morning, I atypically turned off the cobblestone street onto a dirt pathway and found myself right alongside the Arno river. People were fishing, walking their dogs, and even meditating. It was so peaceful to step away from the busy Florentine streets, and watch the water up close. The trail along the river goes for miles and miles, so you can enjoy endless activities alongside the Arno.
Wander and Pick (Tulip Picking)
Just a few miles away from the city center lies a gorgeous park where you are able to wander around and pick tulips! There are over 100 types of tulips to pick from. The area looks like it came from a magazine with its tiny white flowers covering the grass and the historic buildings dotting the park. It is the perfect spot for a picnic or a few hours long peaceful getaway. Check out their instagram for daay to day details @wanderandpick.
The Flying Tiger store sells paints, brushes, canvases, and an assortment of other craft items for less than 5 euros. I am not much of a painter, but my friends and I painted canvases at Cascine park one day while watching the sunset, and it was the perfect way to spend an evening. Buy some paint, grab some friends, and find your favorite spot in Florence to spend an afternoon painting.
Sunset at Piazza Michelangelo
Everyone Florentine under the sun knows about watching the sunset at Piazza Michelangelo, but the experience never gets old. I love to bring a bottle of wine, crackers, and a couple of friends to spend my evening here. I have witnessed dance performances, two engagements, and live music while watching the sunset overlooking the city. Every night at Piazza Michelangelo tells a different story.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a fizzy spritz at the end of a busy day. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of places around Florence that have fantastic aperitivo deals around 5-8 PM. Typically, during aperitivo hour, you can get a spritz and bruschetta for only 5 euros. My favorite place to enjoy aperitivo is in any outdoor restaurant in a busy Piazza, or the restaurant Bulli & Balene.
As the biggest public park in Florence, Cascine Park is perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors, and it is free to everyone. With tiny paths, winding walkways, and lots of open space, the possibilities at Cascine Park are endless. Apart from exercising here, my favorite activity at Cascine is to have a picnic or read my book in the sunshine.
image from Google images
Right below Piazza Michelangelo, the Rose Garden is a hidden gem which is the perfect place to spend an afternoon and is free to everyone. This garden is not as known to the tourists, so it is much less crowded than it's popular neighbor, Piazza Michelangelo. The Boboli Garden is 10 euros, but is one of the most famous places in Florence, because of how beautiful it is. Exploring one of these gardens is the perfect way to spend a sunny Florence day.
Day Trip to Fiesole
The town of Fiesole is famed for its Roman ruins and medieval charm. A short bus ride to Fiesole is 1.50 euro, and well worth the trip. In Fiesole, grab some cookies from Pasticceria Caffe, explore the town, and watch the sunset before heading back to town. This is also a great place for hiking and bike riding.
Take a Pasta/Pizza Making Class
Visiting Florence without learning how to make pasta and/or pizza is almost criminal. There are countless places in town that offer cooking courses, and these can be found on TripAdvisor and Airbnb. I took my pizza making course at Restaurant Academia and my pasta course at Florence Food Studio. Not only do you learn how to make a classic Tuscan meal, but you get to finish your creation at the end, so it is well worth the money!
Known for their gelato, Florence is the perfect place to go on a gelato tour and hunt down your favorite flavor. All of the gelaterias in Florence have their own variation of flavors that are often only sold at the particular gelateria. At only 2 euros for a cup/cone, grabbing gelato is a budget friendly way of enjoying the best of Florence. My favorite gelato in Florence is the ricotta/pistacchio at Gelateria dei Neri, the lavender gelato from La Strega Nocciola, and anything from La Carraia in Santa Croce.