About The City Sightseeing Florence Tour:
From the iconic Palazzo Vecchio to the priceless artworks housed within the Uffizi Gallery, this City Sightseeing open-top bus tour is an ideal way to unlock the sights and sounds of Florence. The Tuscan capital's definitive hop-on hop-off bus tour has 2 routes (A and B) each with around 20 stops each. Disembark at any point and further your exploration by tuning into your City Sightseeing Florence walking tour app (downloadable on-board).
As you travel not only will you get to enjoy perfect views of timeless historical landmarks, but your 8-language audio guide will provide insights into specific events, popular legends, local culture and more. All buses have wheelchair friendly access and free Wi-Fi.
- All Year Round | Except January 1 and December 25.
- Digital Audio: English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and Russian.
Tour Times / Frequency:
- See Timetable Download.
- Various, see Map Download.
- Lines A & B: Approximately 2 Hours.
- Audio Guide (Headphones Included).
- Free On-board Wi-Fi.
- Printed Tour Map & Leaflet.
- Walking Tour App (Available On Bus).
- Wheelchair friendly access.
You won't miss a single aspect of Florence's timeless urban landscape on the City Sightseeing bus tour. Every Renaissance treasure, panoramic overlook, art galley and shopping hotspot is covered by its highly interlinked 2-line tour route. At any time you can hop-off and conduct your own explorations on foot. This is necessary in most city centre areas, where the ancient cobbled streets do not accommodate large modern vehicles.
These "Limited Traffic Zones" are designed to protect Florence's UNESCO listed monuments, ease the congestion that unrestricted access would entail, and most of all, maintain the centre's palpably Medieval/Renaissance atmosphere.
This, however, should pose no problem to tour-goers. All three bus routes form a ring around the historic centre, with numerous stops providing access from various points. By hopping-off at, say, Santa Maria Novella Railway Station you can reach the iconic Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore by taking a short, picturesque stroll down Via dei Panzani and Via dei Cerretani. From the surrounding Piazza del Duomo the full scope of Florence's cultural heart opens up.
By venturing south towards the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio you'll reach three of the city's most famous attractions: Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. Alongside the Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio is an instantly recognisable Florentine landmark. This town hall building was at one time a medieval fortress constructed atop an ancient Roman theatre. In later years it served as the official residence of the Medici family, Florence's ruling political dynasty from the early 15th-18th century. Various parts of the Palazzo Vecchio such as its museum and tower are open to the public throughout the year.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest art museums in Europe, having been established in 1581. The works housed within consist largely of those either collected or commissioned by the House of Medici. Once the dynasty was dissolved 1737 these remained within the city and the Uffizi building completed its transition into a fully fledged display space. By 1765, it was officially opened to the public. A couple of its most famous paintings include: Sandro Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus', Caravaggio's 'Sacrifice of Isaac', and Leonardo da Vinci's 'Adoration of the Magi'. To see the gallery's opening hours take a look here.
In a similar fashion to the Palazzo Vecchio the Bargello was originally conceived as a barracks/prison, though it now acts as an art museum. Its original purpose is still evident in the high stone walls and crenelated ramparts, two qualities which make it stand out amongst the surrounding, narrow streets. Sheltered within you'll find a selection of sculpted masterpieces by Michelangelo, such as David-Apollo, Bacchus and Pitti Tondo. In addition to sculptures the Bargello also houses priceless tapestries, armours, ceramics and much more.
Elsewhere in Florence's historical city centre we'd highly recommend you check out the Basilica di San Lorenzo and the San Marco religious complex. Both structures represent exemplary architectural facets within the Florentine cultural landscape. San Lorenzo church is where you'll find the burial place of every principle member of the Medici family, from founder Cosimo de' Medici to Cosimo III. At San Marco you'll encounter a trove of ecclesiastical artefacts, from paintings by Fra Angelico to beautiful pieces of illuminated literature.
The easiest way to reach San Lorenzo is to walk there from the Piazza del Duomo, and for the San Marco convent you're best hopping off at stop 17 (B-Line).
By taking either of the two bus routes to the south bank of the Arno River you'll arrive at two unmissable sightseeing highlights. The first of these is arguably Pitti Palace, or 'Palazzo Pitti' as it is known in Italian. This sprawling Renaissance complex served as the chief residence of Tuscany's ruling families for hundreds of years before being donated to the Italian people by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1919. Due to the vast cultural wealth it accumulated during this time it has since become Florence's largest museum conglomeration.
As well as the opulent Palatine Gallery (housing over 500 painted works) Pitti Palace is further divided into the Silver Museum, Costume Museum, Carriages Museum and more. Stop off right in front of the palace by hopping-off at stop 13 on the A-Line, or wander towards it via the marvellous Boboli Gardens public park. All three routes have a stop at the lower end of the park.
The next stop you can't afford to pass by is Piazzale Michelangelo. Out of all of Florence's public squares this is perhaps the most scenic, and is, as a result, very popular with locals and tourists alike. It sits atop a hill overlooking the city centre, the panorama of which encapsulates Florence's most iconic landmarks, from the red dome of Santa Maria del Fiore to the bell tower of the Badia Fiorentina. In the far distance you'll be able to make out the crests of the City Sightseeing tour's newest location.
Fiesole is a comune nestled within the green hills north-east of Florence. Take a trip to this fascinating site of Etruscan and Roman civilisation by travelling on the B-Line. Various stops throughout the town will place you within easy reach of attractions including the Remnants of the Etruscan Walls, the Roman Theatre, and the Cathedral of Fiesole.