My Best Tips to visit Florence on the budget
I was a bit surprised! I didn’t expect that Italy can be so expensive while I have been living in so expensive France I imagine each other country is cheaper. But here you are…Italy is a touristic place so we need to be prepared for prices for tourists. On top of that you will be charged for everything in Italy: toilets, each museum, many churches even beaches have fee to be paid. On top of that the petrol and motorway fees are pretty expensive, supermarket food is ok (thanks God!) but the restaurants can be really expensive, especially if you want to enjoy the Italian specialities, taking your time and drinking wine or beer. When you keep eating bread (as you are used to in France) here you will be charged for sure. If you keep ordering olives there is the same scenario. So you need to be careful with your spendings in Italy!
I have learned few things on how to make your stay in Italy and Florence on a budget. You can enjoy & do many activities & eat well in Italy and Florence if you follow my Tips. I keep on having my savvy spirit everywhere and it seems to work well so now I want to share with you My Best Tips to visit Florence on the budget. Make the most of out it!
- Come to Florence by car & use Airbnb accommodation Why? Well, this type of accommodation gives you the freedom and flexibility as it comes to eating options, arrival times, storage. It is convenient to have kitchen accessible to yourself. The airbnb accommodation is usually cheaper than hotel deals so from the start you can save money on your stay. Additionally, thanks to car you can get your booth filled with the food Carrefour shopping. You stock yourself with food for breakfast, dinners and drinks. Eat, drink what you want, whenever you want and on a budget.
- Save even more on food. Eat lunch outside with the fix lunch menu (around 10-12 Euro and it usually comes with free drink and coffee!); alternatively get a panini or piece of pizza at midday as a cheaper lunch option. Cook dinner at home. Evening meals tend to be more expensive, therefore it is better idea to eat lunch outside while visiting Florence and come back to the apartment in the evening, cook some simple meal. Eat breakfasts at flat as well and thanks to those savings treat yourself with a good Italian coffee or good Italian beer, typical Tuscan speciality lunch in the fixed price menu and typical & famous & gourmand gelato!
- If you still want to treat yourself and eat out more & on evenings, do the researches before you go out! Have a look online for cheap eats recommendations and so called ‘Slow Cook’ restaurants! Always double check the TripAdviser Reviews and use the help of Italian Blogs. Once you find the names of affordable restaurants, relax and eat Italian specialities!
- Find the 1 Euro shops where you can get some cheesy souvenirs, typical holidays gifts from Italy as well as home essentials if you in a need or drinks and snacks for just 1 euro!
- Enjoy Florence for Free! Just have a walk through the city of Florence and admire its architecture. I would especially recommend visiting main market squares and my favourite here, packed with masterart is the Piazza della Signoria—the city’s historic hub—where a replica of Michelangelo’s marble masterpiece such as “David” and Cellini’s sculpture of Perseus holding the head of Medusa and Bartolomeo Ammannati’s “Fountain of Neptune, “are presented. Another my favourite places to visit in Florence are: Ponte Vecchio (the medieval stone bridge over the Arno River) and Piazzale Michelangelo which gives you an amazing view of the city. All for free to admire! Another place worth exploring in Florence for free is: the city’s rose gardens (Viale Giuseppe Poggi 2), created in the Oltrarno district in 1865, it contains more than 350 varieties of the flowers. Although the garden is in full bloom in late spring, the public park can be enjoyed year-round. Look out for 10 bronze works by Belgian sculptor Jean-Michel Folon.
- Benefit from free to enter sites in Florence. There are just few but still some monuments which you can enter for free in Florence. There are some specific dates when the other museums can be free of charge so keep an eye on the activities and free events happening in Florence. But coming back to the monuments…for example admission for the Duomo—officially, Santa Maria del Fiore (known as the Virgin of the Flower) is free and the Abbey San Miniato al Monte, which is one of the highest points in Florence and located next to the Piazzale Michelangelo; plus Michelozzo’s Cappella del Crocifisso do not require you to pay a fee! Lastly I would also recommend San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale, San Lorenzo Central Market, which is an interesting place to wander around. Make the most out of all Florence monuments and sites to enter!
- Afford Florence Activities and Monuments! Get yourself Firenzecard which is the official museum pass of City of Florence. It costs 72€, it is valid for 72 hours starting from the first entrance and it allows you to enter only once into all the museums of the Circuit and to visit permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. The card comes with other benefits such as free use of the city public transport for 3 days; free access to Firenze WiFi network; and you will get some cheesy customizable merchandises and Florence maps and basic Florence Guide. There are some partnerships with local services which offer discounts and offers for food or activities but it hasn’t been well developed yet. Anyway if you plan to stay in Florence for couple of days and if you plan on visiting some of the most famous monuments in Florence – the card is a MUST to help you save on tickets and waiting time!
- Save on transport. As simple as it sounds walk mainly in Florence as the main monuments are located in the center next to each other so you can access them easily without the need of buses. The only thing to consider is when you want to explore the further part of Florence and cross the river, then the bus is useful. You can buy a single fare in advance for €1.20 and avoid higher price offered by the driver (€2). If you plan to make more than 2 ride trip, get a 4-ride ticket which will cost you €4.70. But ideally you can make the use of the Firenzecard which offers you free transport for 3 days! Try to avoid taxis as they are very expensive – a short trip around downtown can easily cost €12-15.
- And lastly a little but useful tip which I realized just at the end of my trip. When buying stamps for your postcards, try to use the post or tabaccos. Avoid Barcode Tracked Stamps offered with all your postcards and sold in any souvenir place. They are 30p more expensive than the other ones and it’s a hassle to search for the special Mail Box which is used to have them posted?
So I hope you found this useful Do you now think you can afford Italy and Florence with the limited budget now? I am sure you can make it and partly thanks to my Tips to visit Florence and Italy on budget! Maybe you have other tips you can share with me? I would love to expand my savvy spirit! But for now, yes – focus on making calculations and you will see you can afford a trip or real holidays in Florence! Enjoy !