Mention the idea of cheap travel to most people and they’d immediately count many destinations out of the running. Examples of which may include almost any major Italian city, which can be notoriously expensive places to spend time.
Hence, you’d be forgiven for thinking that in order to revel in the very best Florence has to offer, you’d need pretty deep pockets.
In reality, this simply isn’t the case. In fact, Florence has just been named one of the 10 cheapest European destinations to visit, in the latest rankings published by journey planner site Omio.
More than 100 popular travel spots were evaluated on the basis of things like public transport costs, drink prices, availability of free attractions, and so on. Not normally a place you’d associate with budget breaks, Florence squeezed into the rankings at number 10.
All of which seems almost too good to be true, given the air of prestige that surrounds this fabled city. But when you actually begin to explore what’s on offer in and around Florence, you quickly realise you don’t need to spend a great deal to have a good time.
In fact, there are at least five things you can (and should) do during your visit, without spending a single penny:
1. Wander Around Parco Delle Cascine
The largest public park in the area is free to enjoy, and one of the most popular spots among locals. It’s a fantastic place to escape and unwind at all times of year, but is arguably at its most stunning in the autumn.
2. Soak Up the Giardino Delle Rose
Albeit a somewhat more seasonal place, the Rose Garden in Florence has been attracting visitors from all over the world for more than a century. Today, it is home to more than 400 different rose species, and remains 100% free to visit. As an added bonus, it boasts fantastic views of the city, setting the perfect backdrop for a sunset stroll.
3. Shop On the Ponte Vecchio
Or if you don’t want to spend any money, indulge in a spot of window shopping. It may be a little touristy these days, but Florence’s Ponte Vecchio is still one of the most iconic structures on the face of the earth. Wandering the length of this historic bridge several times over is an absolute must, and won’t cost you a penny.
4. Take a Free Florence Walking Tour
Admittedly, taking a walking tour does (or should) mean giving your guide a fair tip for their efforts. Even so, it’s still technically a ‘free’ form of entertainment, which you can join and leave anytime you like. Some of the free walking tours that take place around Florence are actually far better than their paid counterparts, as they have a tendency to be led by knowledgeable locals who are genuinely passionate about what they do.
5. Visit the Abbey of San Miniato Al Monte
Last up, nowhere delivers a more spectacular vista over the City of Florence than the Abbey of San Miniato Al Monte. Even so, it’s a free-to-visit attraction that the vast majority of people who head to Florence completely overlook. Do yourself a favour and make the journey—you won’t regret it!
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