If you are planning an Italy family vacation, Florence is an ideal place for a multi-generational gathering. The variety of culture is amazing – from monuments and museums to great culinary experiences. Florence is a city where each stone has a story to tell. The streets have names that recount ancient events and intriguing stories. Buildings have shapes that reveal life as it was centuries ago. Even corners have names here!
Plan your best holiday ever with the family!
Traveling to Florence with kids can be a great way to introduce them to art, history, culture and food. Aside from being the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Tuscany’s capital provides a compact, easily walkable destination for families of all ages. Not to mention, there are loads of fun things to do and see in Florence that the entire gang will enjoy. To help you plan your family trip, here our list of the top 10 things to do in Florence with kids.
1. The Duomo
Rise above it all by climbing the orange-tiled dome of the Duomo (or adjacent campanile) for stupendous views and then, back at ground level, marvel at the famous bronze doors of the Baptistery and the colorful Byzantine mosaics that decorate the ceiling above the Cathedral’s font.
Pro tip: While climbing the iconic dome is an experience kids will never forget is a little difficult at times due to the narrow interior passage and steep stairs so make sure kids are comfortable with the conditions.
2. The Galileo Museum
Grapple with science at the Museo Galileo, which not only features two of Galileo’s telescopes, but also has demonstrations of his experiments on motion. Look out, too, for early maps and globes, and a gruesome collection of 19th-century surgical instruments.
3. The Accademia Gallery
Meet Michelangelo’s David, a 5.2-m statue of the biblical hero who slew Goliath. No trip to Florence is complete with a visit to the Galleria della Accademia, which houses the original sculpture.
Pro tip: the Galleria dell’Accademia is incredibly popular so make sure to book timed tickets in advance before you travel. The line can be quite atrocious!
4. Florence Ice Cream
Reward yourself with gelato. No trip to Florence is complete without sampling their world-famous gelato. One of the best gelato parlors in the city is Vivoli on Via Isole delle Stinche, where only a triple scoop will do.
5. The Oldest Bridge in Florence
Indulge in a spot of window-shopping along Ponte Vecchio, the oldest surviving bridge in Florence (built in 1345) and famous for its antiques and jewelry shops.
6. The Boboli Gardens
Escape to Boboli Gardens for a game of hide-and-seek amongst the statues, box hedges and cypress trees – or find a shady spot for a picnic.
Pro tip: tickets to the Boboli Gardens are included in the entrance to the Pitti Palace. This is the palace where nobles’ families such as the Medici Family lived.
7. The Central Market
Browse the colorful stalls at Mercato Centrale for fruit, vegetables and flowers, as well as local Tuscan fare, like wild mushrooms, truffles and porchetta (roast suckling pig).
8. The Legendary Bronze Boar
March over to the Piazza del Mercato Nuovo where the Porcellino – the boar fountain stands. According to tradition, it brings luck. The beloved Porcellino has become a veritable mascot of the city and there is no Florentine child who has not rub his snout at least once!
9. The Bakeries
Don’t only stop at gelato when there are all kinds of other Florentine sweets and pastries to sample, such as ricciarelli (honey and almond cakes dusted with sugar).
10. Explore Tuscany
When visiting Florence with children, we recommend planning a 3 or 4-day Florence itinerary. You can add a day or two if you’d like to explore other Tuscan towns. Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena, and the wine regions of Chianti and Val D’Orcia are all picturesque and very different from the bustle of Florence.
Visiting Florence with Kids
You do not have to be an art historian to appreciate the Renaissance masterpieces of Florence, but having an insider guide show you the city certainly ups the wow factor, especially for kids who are learning about Michelangelo for the first time. We design private tours in Florence led by our enthusiastic local guides who are just as knowledgeable about art history as they are about engaging children.
Where to Stay in Florence with kids
Portrait Firenze – Lungarno Collection *****
Featuring panoramic views of Florence and the Arno River, Portrait Firenze offers luxurious rooms with handcrafted furniture. This hotel is only 30 meters from the famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge. – click here for prices!
Grand Hotel Minerva ****
Grand Hotel Minerva features a rooftop swimming pool and sun terrace with views of historic central Florence. Santa Maria Novella Train Station is just 302 m away. Click here for prices!
FH Hotel Calzaiuoli ****
Offering friendly service and a central location, FH55 Hotel Calzaiuoli is just 2 minutes’ walk from Florence Cathedral. – click here for prices!
Need help planning a family trip to Florence or anywhere else in Italy?
Our Vacation Planning Service can help! Whatever your family’s interests, our travel designers can create the perfect trip with activities and experiences that cater to all age ranges.