My Ultimate Solo Female Travel Guide to Florence

Hello, fellow traveller. If Italy is your next travel destination, then you must have Florence at the top of your list. But if you are clueless about where to begin, I can totally feel you. Hence, I am opening Pandora’s box and will provide you with my ultimate solo female travel guide to Florence.

By the end of this article, you’ll know everything you should know before or while on a trip to Florence.
Florence is one of the most vibrant yet archaic cities in Italy, and it is one of the most beautiful cities to explore at every turn of the path. I can still feel my feet excitedly walking through those streets, looking for mini windows.

Yes, yes, I’ll come to that in a bit.

Florence, located in central Italy, is the capital city of the Tuscany part of Italy. It was home to many world-known painters, sculptors, and literary geniuses. History, history, and more history… Florence is a storehouse of nothing but history!

Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, do these names sound familiar? It must! No matter which part of the world you grew up in, you must have come across these names—the famous prodigy of painters and sculptors who revolutionised art. They had Florence as their epicentre during the Italian Renaissance (new birth). And to this day, Florence is one of the leading tourist attractions for its richness in art and architecture.
But wait! That is not all. There are other underrated parts of the city that you should check out while you’re there, other than the countless museums, churches, and statues.

1. Know your basics 101

First things first, it is very important to have a rough knowledge of the city, its structure, and where’s what in which part of the city.

Having a map on your phone helps, but doing a little research always helps you navigate better as a solo traveller. Florence is not a big city; you could almost know your way around it if you divide it into parts. It is easy to explore Florence on foot.

The main attractions lie in its central part. It is referred to as a historic centre, which stands tall, withholding its historical and magnificent past of the Italian Renaissance. It is where most century-old churches are located.
If you come out of this circle, it is filled with local markets, residential areas, and other places to explore.

2. How to reach Florence

If you live in a non-European country like me, flying to Florence is the only option. It is either Amerigo Vespucci Airport or Pisa International Airport, one you must be standing in to begin your solo invasion.

Pisa International Airport – 100 km away from Florence

Pisa Airport is an international airport; using a train from there is the easiest way to reach Florence. Once I arrived at the Pisa airport, I boarded a Pisa Mover, a high-speed shuttle that operates between the airport and the Pisa Centrale railway station. It runs every day from 6 am to midnight and frequents every five to eight minutes between these points. Pisa Centrale railway station is just five minutes away from the Pisa airport. From there, one can board a direct train to Florence and reach the destination in less than one and a half hours.

When reaching Florence by train, Firenze Santa Maria Novella is the stop one will be at. It is the main railway station located in the centre of Florence. When I arrived there, I could reach the historic centre with a brief walk. It provides convenient access to all major tourist attractions of the city.

Amerigo Vespucci Airport/ Peretola Airport – 4kms away from Florence city centre

Amerigo Vespucci Airport, or Firenze-Peretola Airport, is 4 km from the centre. It is the only airport that is in Florence, and it is comparatively smaller but one of the busiest airports.
Both by air and train are good options as both are only a few minutes away from the places you might want to visit.

3. Best time to visit Florence

solo travel Florence

If you are a crowd lover, May to October is the right time for you. But visiting Florence from November to March would be ideal if you are the one who shoos away from the crowd. Choose according to your personal preference and based on the weather conditions

High season, summer months – May to October

May to October are the months in which Florence has warm and pleasant weather. It will offer you the kind of Italian lifestyle you dreamt of experiencing. The clear weather during these months calls for open-air dining in restaurants, with local art and music festivities you can enjoy.

But this peak season that brings in many tourists also comes at the cost of making you spend a fortune. Yes, the rates of the stay, food, and other expenses may be considerably higher than low season months.
July and August can get a bit hotter due to summer.

Low to the average season – December to February, Winter/rainy months – March to April

November to March is the best time to avoid the crowd or travel on a budget. It is low to the average season with fewer travellers, affordable prices, and moderately crowded places. December and January can get chilly since it marks the beginning of winter in Florence. It can also be fun, as Christmas ushers in a celebratory mood. I visited Florence from the end of January through the beginning of February, and it was a bit cold and barely showed any signs of rain.

Low season also comes with a few cons. Museums and other attractions remain closed from 25th December to 1st January. March and April are the months you should avoid; it can frequently rain, and you might need to dress in layers to keep you warm. The weather may affect your plan for the day.
Does it not sound like the best time to visit? There are also warmer days and pleasant hours, which you can use to your advantage over nature. You must time it wisely.

Each month has its local festivals that you might not want to miss.




January, 6


Palazzo Pitti – Ponte Vecchio – Piazza del Duomo



Piazza Ognissanti –
Piazza della Signoria

March, 25

Florentine New Year

Piazza SS Annunziata

April (Easter Sunday)

Scoppio del Carro 

Piazza del Duomo

Late April - June

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 

Venues across the city

June, 24

Patron Saint Feast Day and Calcio Storico

Piazza Santa Maria
Novella – Piazza Santa Croce

June - July

Florence Dance Festival

Teatro Romano in

Mid – late June

Sesto d’Estate 

Villa Solaria in Sesto Fiorentino

August, 10

Festa di San Lorenzo

Piazza San Lorenzo

September, 7

Festival of the Paper Lanterns

Piazza SS. Annunziata

September, 8

Nativity of Virgin Mary 

Piazza del Duomo

October, 8

Festa di Santa Reparata

Piazza del Duomo

4. Where to stay

The next step after you reach Florence would be to find a place to stay and replenish yourself. It can become a hassle if you don’t plan. First, choose the area that you want to stay in.
Staying right at the centre would be apt if you are not going much to the city’s outer parts. It is at the centre most of the century-old architecture and art museums are concentrated. You can immerse yourself in Renaissance Italy by staying near the Duomo.

Staying within this part of the city is pricier, and exploring it on foot is the only option as vehicles are not allowed inside the historic centre of Florence. Conveniently, the tourist attractions are not very far from each other but only at a walkable distance. Sounds good, right?

There are various staying options available around the centre too. I stayed at a hotel in the Santo Spirito area to get easy access to the centre and the other parts. It had the best ambience, good food choices, and was less expensive, even if it was closer to the central part.

On the other hand, staying outside the centre will save you a lot of money. Choose a place not too far but just outside the centre, near the Santa Maria Novella station. By staying there, you can travel by bus or train to the outer parts to experience the life of locals, which is a highly residential area.

5. Must visit places in Florence

Now that you are all geared up. It is time to visit the most appreciated art museums of Florence. Prepare to be amazed if you are a history geek and an architecture enthusiast.

  • Piazza Del Duomo
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore
  • Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
    Pitti Palace

  • Palazzo Vecchio
  • Uffizi Palace and Gallery

Piazza Del Duomo and Cathedral of Santa Marie Del Fiore – paid entry; timings: 8.15 am to 7.45 pm

It is the most iconic and eye-catching square of Florence. You can even call it the representing symbol of Florence. You can never meet a traveller who travelled to Florence but failed to visit there. There is no entry fee to visit the square, except for the cathedral.

Exploring the insides of the cathedral will welcome you in with its intriguing and unique architecture. Climbing up the Duomo is the most thrilling part. My legs are still wobbly from the workout of climbing 463 steps! But the view I saw at the top made me forget all the pain. Plus, I saw Giorgio Vasari’s fresco of Last Judgement up close. To climb up, you need to reserve, and they decide the time and date for you.

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella – paid entry, timing: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm

Yes, it shares its name with the main railway station of Florence, and it is located just across from it too. It stands tall as an unchanged representation of Gothic architecture in these ever-changing modern times.
It is filled with beautiful frescos, a detailed tapestry, and an array of artworks.

Pitti Palace – paid entry, timing: 8.15 am to 6.30 pm

True to its name, the palace amazed me with the number of treasures it holds within. The artefacts, paintings, poetry, and royal apartments delight the eyes. The core area of the palace is the Palatine Gallery which had more than 500 paintings and 28 unique rooms with furniture used during Medici’s time.

Would you believe me if I told you there is a separate place within the palace where a humongous collection of 16th-century theatrical costumes is well preserved?? It is called the museum of costume and fashion.
Pitti Palace remains closed on Monday. You would not want to be disappointed by going there on Monday like me, but I had to come the next day to see inside this wonderful palace. Believe me! It was worth the visit.

Palazzo Vecchio – free entry, open 24 hours

It has been serving as Florence’s town hall for centuries and was originally built in the 13th century. It is famous for its sculptures, and the one that stands out is the statue of David by Michael Angelo at the entrance. Its impressive tall towers offer splendid views of the city. It has secret passages to stroll through and gardens to relax in.
Shops around Palazzo Vecchio are the right place to buy handcrafted souvenirs. It is also surrounded by food stalls that sell local Italian food items. The Fountain of Neptune is right in front of Palazzo Vecchio.

Uffizi gallery – paid entry, closed on Monday, timing: 8.15 am to 6.30 pm

Next up on the list is the Uffizi Gallery. This museum is one of a kind, the largest, and adorned with works of famous Renaissance painters. If you are an art lover, beware before entering this place, for you will not have the heart to leave!

It has within it the most precious art collections of the world, paintings, and sculptures of Botticelli, da Vinci, and Michelangelo.
I simply could not get enough of its stunning sculptures, especially the cutest Sleeping Eros. To this day, it attracts an overwhelming number of visitors every year.

Hey! Wait, don’t leave just yet. I can sense you are bored only hearing about the art, sculptures, history, and whatnot.
There are unique and off-beat activities that you should check out. If you are more of a nature lover or a foodie than a history lover, you will regret not knowing about them.

6. Unique places to see in Florence

Sometimes the amount of art and history in Florence can get overwhelming, but that is not all that Florence has to offer.

Piazzale Michelangelo – entry free, timing: 9.30 am to 1.00 pm; 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm

Located at the top of the hill, overlooking the entirety of Florence. Situated south of the Arno River, it offers a breathtaking view of Florence. The skyline during sunset is something that I cannot put into words. Resting over there and immersing myself in the view was a delight.

The night view of the city from there is still a picture clear inside my mind. The best hour to visit there is when the sunset and when the city is lit at night.

Giardino Bardini

This garden is home to several rare varieties of plants and flowers. It is an amazing place to stroll around and click some stunning pictures of yourself and the manicured plants in the garden. Here you can go window shopping and buy memorable souvenirs like books and postcards.

Boboli Gardens

While you are at the Pitti palace, you can take a detour towards its south, and you will be at Boboli Gardens, spreading over large hectares of land. It is adorned with many statues, fountains, and flowering plants that offer a scenic view.

7. Off-beat activities and foods to try

Visit the wine windows of Florence

The wine windows are one of a kind peculiar to Tuscany and Florence. They first came into existence to reduce human contact during the Bubonic plague that hit Florence centuries before.
Now they have gained popularity due to covid. Wine windows are typically arch shaped. But sadly, not all of them operate nowadays. Piazza Santo Spirito is filled with wine windows.

Babae is one of the most popular wine windows in Florence. Guess what? It is still open, awaiting your arrival. The taste of their orange wine still lingers in my mouth as I write this article, and I desire to taste it again…
They are not only used to serve wine but also to serve other food items. The thrill of receiving food through a small window from a mysterious hand is something you should not miss!

Check out the local markets

Local markets are lively with people and have a friendlier environment. It is best to go on a shopping spree, see the local produce, meet some local people and get to know their life. Temporary stalls are often put up during festivities. Go easy on your suitcase! It can only fit as much as it can.

Taste the traditional gelato

Tasting the traditional Florentine gelatos is a must. Gelato means ice cream in Italian. Gelato is made using whole milk, less cream, and without egg yolks, which is the opposite of ice creams. Vivoli, My Sugar, and Perché No! are some yummy gelato places.

Get a bite of pasta from Florence

Italy is famous for pizzas and pasta varieties, and Italians are very peculiar about their pasta. Restaurants in Florence offer traditional pasta dishes.
Pappardelle al Cinghiale, which means ‘Ribbon Pasta with Wild Boar,’ is a famous dish of the Florentine locale. I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially if the sauce uses wild boar and wine. Le Cappelle Medicee serves the best range of pasta, and their Wild Boar pasta is lit!

8. Is it safe to go on a solo trip to Florence?

Of course, every country and place has petty crimes happening here and there. But you can be safe on your own accord by staying away from shady paths and dark places and obeying your mom’s advice on not talking to strangers. You can also ensure your safety by staying with more residents.

9. Pro tips to follow on your trip to Florence

solo travel Florence
  • Always carry important identification documents with you and keep them safe.
  • Make your itinerary and stick to it.
  • Learn some basic Italian words and check out my article on 25 Italian travel-friendly words.
  • Be alert and know of the transportation access in and around the city. Check out my guide to renting a Vespa in Italy.

Book a ticket to Florence, grab your backpack, and cross another destination off your bucket list. You can also check out my blog post on amazing day trips from Florence.


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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