Florence is a walking city. You can stroll between the two top sights, Piazza del Duomo and the Uffizi, in 5 to 7 minutes. The hike from the most northerly major sights, San Marco with its Fra’ Angelico frescoes and the Accademia with Michelangelo’s “David,” to the most southerly, the Pitti Palace across the Arno, should take no more than 30 minutes. From Santa Maria Novella eastward across town to Santa Croce is a flat 20- to 30-minute walk. But beware: Flagstones, some of them uneven, are everywhere—wear sensible shoes with some padding and foot support.
By Bus -- You’ll rarely need to use Florence’s efficient ATAF bus system (www.ataf.net; tel. 800-424-500 in Italy) since the city is so compact. Bus tickets cost 1.50€ (2.50€ on board) and are good and are good for 90 minutes, irrespective of how many changes you make (even if you switch to a tram). Tickets are sold at tabacchi (tobacconists), automatic machines, some bars, and most newsstands. Note: Once on board, validate a paper ticket in the box to avoid a steep fine. Since traffic is restricted in most of the center, buses make runs on principal streets only, except for four tiny electric bus lines (bussini services C1–4) that trundle about the centro storico. The most useful routes to outlying areas are no. 7 (for Fiesole) and nos. 12 and 13 (for Piazzale Michelangelo). Buses run from 7am until 9 or 9:30pm daily, with a limited night service on a few key routes.
By Tram --Tram lines (www.gestramvia.com) run until after midnight. Route T1 connects Santa Maria Novella station with the Opera di Firenze, Cascine Park, and Florence’s southwestern suburbs. Finally opened in 2019, lines T2 and the T1 extension head northward from the station: T2 to the airport and T1 to Careggi via the Fortezza.By Taxi -- Taxis aren’t cheap, and with the city so small and the one-way system forcing drivers on convoluted routes, they aren’t an economical way to get about. They are most useful to get you and your bags between the train station and a hotel. It’s 3.30€ to start the meter (which rises to 5.30€ on Sunday, or to 6.60€ 10pm–6am), plus 1€ per bag or for a fourth passenger in the cab. Taxi stands are outside the train station, on Borgo San Jacopo, and in Piazza Santa Croce; otherwise, call Radio Taxi SOCOTA at tel. 055/4242 or Radio Taxi COTAFI at tel. 055/4390. For the latest tariff information, see www.4242.it.
By Bicycle or Scooter -- Many bike-rental shops are located between San Lorenzo and San Marco. They include Alinari, Via San Zanobi 38R (www.alinarirental.com; tel. 055/280-500), which rents city bikes (2.50€ per hour; 12€ per day) and mountain bikes (3€ per hour; 18€ per day). It also hires out 125cc scooters (15€ per hour; 55€ per day). Another renter with similar prices is Florence by Bike, Via San Zanobi 54R (www.florencebybike.it; tel. 055/488-992). Make sure to use a lock (one will be provided with your rental): Bike theft is common. Global app-powered bike-sharing scheme Mobike (www.mobike.com) also operates in Florence. When you’ve downloaded the app, registered, and paid a 1€ deposit, you’re free to rent in periods of up to 30 minutes (.50€ ). All payments are handled inside the app.
By Car -- Trying to drive in the centro storico is a frustrating, useless exercise, and moreover, unauthorized traffic is not allowed past signs marked ztl. You need a permit to do anything beyond dropping off and picking up bags at your hotel. Park your vehicle in one of the underground lots on the center’s periphery and pound the sidewalk.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.