The 16 Best Florence Tours

Enjoy delicious pasta, historic landmarks and the Tuscan countryside on these immersive experiences.

U.S. News & World Report

The 16 Best Florence Tours

Best Florence Tours

Florence's Duomo is the religious heart of the city. Getty Images

Famed for its food, wine, art, rich history and alluring landscape, Florence, Italy, consistently draws travelers throughout the year. Seeing all its attractions by yourself can be daunting, so having a knowledgeable local show you around will help you make the most of your trip. U.S. News identified the following 16 tours as the best available by analyzing both expert and traveler opinion. Whether you want a broad overview of Firenze or a deep dive into a particular facet of the city (like its food), these tours have you covered.

Artviva – The Original Florence Walk

The historic center of Florence – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – boasts remarkable churches, palaces, marketplaces, plazas and statues. The best way to explore this bustling area is on foot. Artviva's three-hour walking tour includes stops at top attractions like the Duomo (the city's massive cathedral), the exterior of the Baptistry and more. Reviewers describe guides as very passionate and knowledgeable about Florentine art, architecture and history. Tours begin at 9:30 a.m. every day from March through November (excluding select Sundays). Tickets cost approximately 35 euros (about $38) for adults and 29 euros (about $32) for youths ages 6 to 17; children ages 2 to 5 can tag along for free. Groups are limited to 15 people. Note: Some churches may not be accessible on Sundays and religious holidays. Artviva offers several art-oriented walks as well as private tours, among other options.

Caf Tour & Travel – Chianti Authentic Experience

This daylong bus tour combines visits to two Chianti wineries with stops at two villages, Greve and Castellina. Along the way, you'll be treated to views of the Tuscan countryside where vineyards, olive groves, churches and castles pepper the landscape. Patrons laud the guides and drivers for their professionalism and insights. However, others note that the trip seems a bit rushed at times. Tours depart the Piazzale Montelungo daily at 1:15 p.m. and last approximately seven hours. (From November through March, the tour excludes Castellina and, thus, is slightly shorter.) Tickets cost approximately 50 euros (about $55) most of the year with a discount during winter; the fee covers wine and snacks. If buses aren't your thing, the company also offers a Chianti wine tasting experience in a Fiat 500.

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CityWonders – Uffizi Gallery Semi-Private Renaissance Art Tour

No visit to Florence would be complete without a trip to the Uffizi Gallery to see works by masters like Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci. Taking CityWonders' guided tour of the museum allows you to bypass the entrance line and gain insights from experts as they lead you through the collection. Another bonus? You're welcome to stay in the gallery until closing after the tour concludes. Audio headsets are provided so you don't miss a word of the commentary. Tour-takers consistently praise the English-speaking guides for their passion and knowledge. Tours last about 90 minutes and depart at several times every Tuesday to Sunday. Ticket prices vary depending on the season and start at $52.50 per adult; they include admission to the Uffizi Gallery. Groups are limited to 14 participants. CityWonders runs other tours in Florence, including a ghost tour and a skip-the-line tour of the Duomo.

Fat Tire Tours – Florence Day Segway Tour

Highlights of this three-hour Segway tour include Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Strozzi, Mercato Porcellino and Via Tornabuoni. Tour-takers describe this as a fun way to see the sights and say the guides are friendly and informative. It costs about $85 to ride; the price includes use of a Segway and a helmet as well as instruction for using the vehicle. Participants must be at least 16 years old and there is a weight restriction. Tours depart at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily. Fat Tire also offers abbreviated two-hour Segway tours, along with biking and walking tours.

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Sample Florence's delicacies during a trip through the city's markets and shops on a tour with Taste Florence.(Courtesy of Taste Florence Food Tour)

Taste Florence Food Tour

These food-focused walks take participants around the city to sample local specialties like wine, cheese, bread and olive oil. Over the course of four hours, you'll stop at seven different locales, including the Mercato Centrale, for the delectable bites. Food connoisseurs tend to appreciate both the quality of the fare provided and the knowledge and humor of the guides. Tours depart at 9:30 a.m. nearly every day (except Sundays) during peak months. The company offers a limited schedule in the offseason. Tickets cost around $90 for adults and $80 for participants ages 5 to 17; the price includes food and beverage samples. Groups are limited to 14 people. If you're an oenophile, check out the sommelier-led wine tasting offered by Taste Florence.

Tuscany Bike Tours – One Day Bike Tour through the Hills of Chianti

Before climbing on a bike for a guided tour of Chianti, you'll depart Florence via van and be taken to a medieval castle, which is also a winery and an olive oil production facility. You'll enjoy an olive oil tasting and a glass of wine followed by a roughly 13-mile bike ride along winding roads with views of the area's olive groves and picturesque villas. Cyclists enthuse about both the glorious views as well as the helpful, personable guides. Tours, which last about seven hours, occur every day at 10 a.m. from March through November. The cost per person is about 85 euros (around $93) for adults or 75 euros (roughly $82) for students and includes lunch and a glass of wine, as well as use of a bicycle and helmet. Electronic bikes are available for an additional 35 euros (around $38). Vespa tours of the Tuscany region are also available, as are bike tours of Florence.

Walks of Italy – Florence in a Day with David, Duomo, Uffizi & Walking Tour

If you only have a day to see Florence's top sights, consider this 6 1/2-hour walking tour, which combines visits to Florence's must-see artistic and religious landmarks all in one outing. In between stops at the tour's main highlights, you'll see other top spots in the city like the Ponte Vecchio. You'll also get a break for lunch. Along the way, guides offer insights regarding the art and architecture on view. According to reviewers, the tour leaders are informative and personable. Tours typically take place every day except Mondays during peak season and begin at 8:30 a.m. Tickets cost approximately $130 for adults with discounts available for students and children. Fees include skip-the-line access to the Galleria dell'Accademia (home of Michelangelo's David) and the Uffizi; lunch is not included. Walks of Italy also offers an after-hours tour of the Accademia as well as evening tours of Florence.

Florencetown – Wanna Be Italiano – Florence Cooking Class & Market Tour

Travelers rave about this class, saying the recipes are spectacular and the teachers are capable and attentive. The approximately 5 1/2-hour experience starts with a trip to the Mercato Centrale, Florence's principal food market, to gather provisions for your meal. Once you've bought food, you'll make your way to the kitchen where a chef teaches you to make traditional Italian fare. Menus vary, but you'll likely prepare bruschetta, fresh pasta, sauces and a dessert during the class. Experiences are offered daily, starting at 9 a.m. (Note: Mercato Centrale is closed Sundays, so classes include additional instruction and food tasting instead.) The cost of classes starts at 89 euros (about $98), which covers the food that will be your lunch as well as two glasses of wine per person. Still hungry? Florencetown offers a multiday food and wine tour of Tuscany, as well as other cooking classes.

Ponte Vecchio has been filled with vendors for hundreds of years.Getty Images

La Bussola Free Tours – Morning Tour

While La Bussola's morning walking tour does feature some of Florence's major landmarks, like Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Santo Spirito and Palazzo Pitti, it mainly focuses on less-visited parts of the city. Over the course of the 1 1/2-mile outing, guides share details of local history and tips for making the most of your Florence visit. Guides are regarded as informative, friendly and helpful. Tours depart daily at 10:30 a.m. and last a little more than two hours. Tours are free, though you're welcome to pay what you can at the conclusion. La Bussola also conducts a slightly longer afternoon tour (it's also free) designed to be an extension of the morning tour.

Urban Adventures – Florence Foodies Walk

Urban Adventures' Foodies Walk aims to expose visitors to authentic regional cuisine and includes stops at local, family-run eateries. Bites include traditional fare, such as truffles, chocolate, prosciutto, olive oil, gelato, Chianti wine and pecorino cheese. Tour guides regularly win praise for their insights and friendliness. The 2 1/2-hour walking tour starts at the Piazza della Repubblica at 3 p.m. every day except Sunday. It costs approximately $75 per person, which includes the wine and food tastings. Children younger than 6 can tag along for free. Urban Adventures runs a tour of the Mercato Centrale and an olive oil-themed excursion in Tuscany, among others.

Grape Tours – Wine Time

Grape Tours' Wine Time excursion departs at 9:30 a.m. from Florence and proceeds to Chianti for visits to a trio of family-owned wineries. You'll learn about the history of the region and the process of making Tuscan wine. At each establishment you'll taste three different wines; at the third winery you'll also enjoy lunch. Tour-takers report learning a great deal about the wine-making process from entertaining guides. They also say lunch is delicious. Tickets start at around 125 euros (about $137), which includes lunch as well as wine and olive oil samples. Participants must be at least 16 years old to join. Tours take place year-round daily. If you like to pair cheese with your wine, try Grape Tours' Chianti and Cheese tour.

Tuscany Cycle – Tuscany Vespa Tour

Explore the Tuscan countryside in quintessentially Italian fashion with this Vespa tour, which earns enthusiastic reviews from travelers. Tuscany Cycle's tour departs Florence (via van) at 10 a.m. daily for a five- to six-hour excursion through the Chianti region. After reaching Chianti, you'll be taught how to ride a Vespa and follow your guide through the region before stopping at a winery for lunch and wine. You'll also have plenty of photo opportunities along the way. Taking this ride costs about 130 euros (or approximately $143) for drivers and 100 euros (about $110) for passengers; the fee includes lunch, wine, use of a Vespa and round-trip transportation from Florence. You must have a valid driver's license, but no prior experience operating a Vespa is necessary. Tourgoers applaud the driving lessons from the guides and the overall safety of the experience. Tuscany Cycle offers a variety of Vespa tours in Tuscany, as well as bicycle tours.

Siena is a medieval Tuscan city and is a great daytrip from Florence.Getty Images

Walkabout – The Best of Tuscany Tour

After getting your fill of Florence attractions, take some time to explore the surrounding region of Tuscany. This daylong outing combines a bus trip with walks through places like the medieval city of Siena and its art-filled Duomo, the hilltop town of San Gimignano and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Guides, generally considered equally insightful and entertaining, provide information regarding the architectural, artistic and historical points of interest seen along the way. Tickets for adults start at around 90 euros (around $99), which includes lunch and wine at a Chianti vineyard. The 12-hour tours depart Florence at 8:30 a.m. every day from March through November. From December through February, tours take place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and are an hour shorter. Walkabout offers a variety of other tours in and around Tuscany, including cooking classes.

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Tuscany Tour Time by Angela – Chianti and Super Tuscan Wine Tour From Florence, 3 Wineries

While Tuscany is world-renowned for its vino, this tour focuses on a very specific type: organic wine. The daylong van ride departs Florence daily at 9:30 a.m. and stops at a trio of wineries in the nearby Chianti region for wine and olive oil tastings. It also features visits to wine cellars and a walk in a medieval vineyard or town. Tourgoers extol the guides for their enthusiasm and insights about wine and food. Tickets start at 150 euros (roughly $164) per person fee and include the approximately eight-hour tour as well as lunch. Tours usually have no more than eight participants each (or up to 16 if two minivans are used). The company also offers an expanded version of this tour, which visits four wineries.

Italy on a Budget Tours – Pisa & Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence

Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa and three of the five villages comprising Cinque Terre on this daylong tour. After a 90-minute stop in Pisa, the tour proceeds to Riomaggiore (where travelers may opt to buy lunch). The next stops are the seaside villages of Manarola and Vernazza, where, weather permitting, participants can swim or lounge on the beach. Tour-takers find this guided experience a great way to pack a lot of sightseeing in to a single day. Travel between the various destinations is typically by train (but may be by coach for larger groups). Tours depart Florence at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (and on Saturday from June through September) and return around 8:30 p.m. Tickets for adults start at around 89 euros (around $98). Know that Italy on a Budget gears its tours to participants ages 18 to 39. The company also runs various tours in Florence.

Curious Appetite – Progressive Tuscan and Florentine Dinner Crawl

Handmade pasta, Tuscan wines, gelato and the city's take on porterhouse steak, bistecca alla Fiorentina, are the focus of this leisurely culinary walk, which visits four eateries. Throughout the evening, experts offer commentary on regional cuisine, which participants describe as insightful and helpful. Some past patrons acknowledge that they wouldn't have found the visited restaurants on their own. Tours depart every day at 5:30 p.m. and last around four hours. Tickets cost around $135 per person, but prices are slightly higher on Friday and Saturday. Group size is limited to eight diners. In addition to its dinner crawl, Curious Appetite operates several other wine- and food-related tours in Florence.

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