Top things to do with kids in Florence
The Duomo: Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The crown jewel of Florence is without a doubt the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore that dominates the city center. Better known as "the Duomo", this beautiful cathedral actually comprises three distinct sections, the cathedral itself, Giotto's Bell Tower, and the iconic Brunelleschi's Dome. For adventurous kids, the climb up Giotto's Bell Tower or the Cathedral dome are amazing adventures!
Climbing Brunelleschi's Dome requires you to reserve your tickets in advance. You will be given an allocated time to climb with your ticket. In busy periods, tickets will sell out, so it's best to book in advance or join a guided tour with fast-pass entry.
For Giotto's Bell Tower, it's best to arrive at opening time. Otherwise, the line is extremely long in the busy season, with no shade while you wait. There are 414 steps to climb to the top, but there are 3 intermediate decks where you can stop along the way to rest. The kids love to see how high up they are, and the 360-degree view of the city from the top is the best in all of Florence.
For both of these climbs, adventurous 5 or 6-year-olds can make the climb with some help from their adults. For younger kids, there is enough space to carry them up in a carrier.
Ponte Vecchio at Sunset
As the sun sets, the atmosphere of the city changes. People are pouring into the streets, and it feels like the "real life" of the city is about to start. A great sunset stroll is from Ponte Vecchio to Ponte Alle Grazi, the next bridge along the Arno River. The route is easy to navigate for the young ones, or even with a stroller, and the view of Ponte Vecchio across the river reflected in the light of the sunset is just spectacular. The kids especially enjoy just playing on the bridge, listening to the music of the street performers.
Gelato Making Class
Let's face it: one of the key reasons your kids will love Florence is gelato! But even better than eating gelato is learning how to make it yourself. Visit the authentic family-run Gelato Academy and learn all the ins and outs of gelato-making from a pro. Discover the differences between gelato and ice cream. Learn about how gelato is made, the ingredients used, and the special process that makes it so creamy and delicious. Then, make your very own flavor from scratch and enjoy your creation! Learn more about the Gelato making tour.
Florence Food Market Tour
One of the best ways to understand a new culture is through its food. Pay a visit to the most famous market in Florence, San Lorenzo Market. At San Lorenzo (also known as Central Market), you will discover how the extraordinary Medici family contributed to food innovations and invented recipes still famous all over the world. As a part of the tour, taste some Italian specialties like extra virgin olive oil, Tuscan prosciutto, Chianti wine (for the grown-ups), and balsamic vinegar. Kids love to try the different flavors and help you pick the provisions for a picnic lunch!
The remodeled top floor is a gourmet food court. The area is divided into sections, each dedicated to a different Italian specialty. You will find sections dedicated to cheese, truffles, Chianti wine, baked goods, and much more. The choices are endless, and will certainly keep the whole family happy. Learn more about the Florence Food Market Tour.
Visit the Boboli Gardens
The kids probably need some space to run and just play after busy days of seeing the top attractions in Florence. Boboli Gardens is the perfect place in Florence for them to run around and burn off some of that energy. There is quite a lot to see in the gardens as well, as the park includes amazing sculptures, ponds, and a star-shaped fort. When the kids are tired, the park has nice shady sections where you can have a picnic lunch on a hot day.
The entrance ticket to the park also gives you access to the nearby Gardino Bardini. The views across Florence from this park are amazing after a steep climb to the top.
Ride the Carousel in Piazza della Repubblica
The Piazza della Repubblica is Florence's main square, and includes a vintage carousel that is still operating. The carousel dates back to the early 1900s, and kids love to climb onto its retro horses and gold carriages. At only 1 Euro per ride, it is a great way to break up the day for the kids.
How many days to spend in Florence?
With its relatively compact size and very walkable historical center, you can see some of Florence's most prominent landmarks like the Duomo and the beautiful Ponte Vecchio in a single day. However, when traveling with kids, it's probably hard to pack all of Florence's main sites into a single day. It's best to spend 2 -3 days in the city and be able to mix a bit of sightseeing with some downtime for the kids in the gardens and playgrounds, where kids can be kids, perhaps with a bit of Italian flair! Here is more on how many days to spend in Florence.
Here are some popular trips for families including Florence:
Extending your Florence trip to include the Tuscan countryside is also a great way to explore the region with kids. See our tips and suggestions on traveling to Tuscany with kids.
When you are ready to plan your family vacation to Italy, please contact one of our amazing Italian local specialists to help you plan an unforgettable trip for the whole family.