Looking for the best things to do in Florence at night? We got you covered!
If you are an intrepid traveler, you will know that exploring a new place should not be confined to the limited daylight hours only. This verdict becomes all the more meaningful when you are in a place like Florence where the dynamics of the city change rapidly after sunset and create a certain mystique that is not evident during the day.
So if you are up for some useful insights and city center sightseeing tips, then you are at the right spot.
Now get ready to learn about the top things that will make your nighttime trip to the Cradle of the Renaissance an unforgettable one.
20+ Things to do in Florence at night
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Admire the Duomo under the twinkling lights
Florence Duomo is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city. At night, the beauty of the cathedral is enhanced by the lighting.
The facade of the cathedral glows under the night lights, and sort of twinkles as you view it from the rooftop of your hotel in Florence or a restaurant, and this makes it an impressive sight.
The cathedral is also lit up with all the lights focusing on the landmark, and if you go on a walk around the square you will admire and love its magnificence under the dark night skies!
It is quite a privilege to appreciate the wonders of Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Cathedral, the Baptistery without the hordes that fill the square during the day.
There are usually a lot of people who visit the Duomo piazza at night, and this makes it a lively place as well.
You can also do some shopping around here, and stop for a drink or a meal nearby.
Tip: If you are traveling with family, you can book a private tour of Florence, and choose from a variety of time-slots that work for you for the evening. Take a look here.
Stroll past the Arno River
Florence looks even more fascinating when the light of the moon reflects off the surface of the Arno River which divides the city into two halves.
A walk along this famous body of water at night is a perfect way to extend your day and make the most of the limited time you have in Florence.
You will find that all the museums and shops are closed and the atmosphere is calm and soothing. This is probably the best time to enjoy a walk and appreciate both sides of the city dotted with impressive civic monuments and religious complexes that characterize the stretch of the river up till Ponte Santa Trinita.
Good to know: The Arno passes under many bridges in Florence and this gives a sense of continuity to the city.
Electric Bike Night Tour in small group
Pedal up the Florentine hills without any effort on the battery boosted vehicle and admire the views of the lit-up city from the vantage point at Piazzale Michelangelo.
Savor a gelato at some of the best ice cream outlets in the city and ride back to the Old Town to discover Santa Croce square, Piazza Della Signoria, and the historic cafes at this traditional meeting point of the locals.
The other places to be explored on this tour are the Medici Palace, Republic Square. Hear captivating details about the rich art and history of Florence as you pedal past through the significant areas of the city.
Good to know: This e-bike tour includes the bike, GPS, helmets, and other related items with a guide for the two-hour trip. You can book a 2 hour bike tour here.
Cross the Ponte Vecchio on foot
Ponte Vecchio bridge is one of Florence’s most iconic landmarks, and it’s especially beautiful at night when it’s illuminated by hundreds of twinkling lights.
This most famous bridge in Florence is on top of everyone’s bucket list during the day, but in the evening after the crowds have gone it is even more delightful as the city lights slowly switch on either side of the Arno River.
Often you will find a musician or a band group playing.
Lined with glittering jewelry shops, cafes, and upscale boutiques, you can get a grand view of the Arno River from the middle of the bridge where the bust of Cellini is located and the Uffizi Gallery from the other side.
Good to know: There is barely any breathing space during the day, so best to visit at night. Also, be mindful of your belongings as the bridge is typically packed with tourists and is a prime target for pickpockets.
The shops on the bridge are open – Friday to Wednesday from 10 am to 11 pm (April to October) and until 7:00 pm (October to March).
Segway tour by night
A segway ride is a truly unique way of spending the evening in Florence and exploring the highlights with personalized attention.
This recommended segway tour starts at large Piazza Della Repubblica, past the Basilica of Santa Croce, and onwards to the Piazza Della Signoria and the old and most loved Palazzo Vecchio.
Glide from one spot to the other till you reach Strozzi Palace and the fascinating Duomo, the most iconic building in the city.
The 2.5-hour tour ends at the original departure point. The segway allows you to cover more ground and see the important landmarks in less time. Perfect for those who have limited time on their hands in Florence.
Marvel at the sunset from San Miniato
The scenic church of San Miniato al Monte is situated at one of the highest points in Florence city and provides unparalleled views of the surrounding Tuscany side, especially at dusk when they look breathtaking.
If you reach at the right time, at about 06:30 pm, you can listen to the monks chanting their evening prayers.
From your lofty perch, you can see the lights of the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, and the last standing medieval walls which surrounded Florence at one time. (Do not forget to visit the cemetery at the back if you happen to visit in the daytime).
Tip: You can access the place on foot or by bus numbers 12 and 13. The church closes at 7 pm in winter.
Soak in the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo is a beautiful square and viewpoint in Florence that offers stunning views of the cityscape. It’s definitely worth a visit for the sunset when the colors of the sky are at their most beautiful.
Plan to head there for sunset, and stay there until the sun is completely down, leading to the lovely moonlight glow.
Piazzale Michelangelo is located on a hill, so be prepared for a bit of a hike up. You can also take a taxi to the top.
Tip: There are lovely cafes there where you can enjoy a drink or something to eat while you take in the view. Or after.
Enjoy the views from Se-Sto
One of the best things to do in Florence at night is enjoying a romantic dinner on a terrace overlooking the river Arno. There are many restaurants in the city that offer this unique experience, and it’s a great way to soak up the city’s beautiful atmosphere.
But Se-Sto is one of the few rooftop restaurants which offer a spectacular 360°of Florence and the elegant churches with their bell-towers. The iconic eatery is located above the sixth floor of the Westin Excelsior Hotel, with the Arno River drifting serenely by its side.
Most guests come to Se-Sto to dine and admire the glow of the setting sun bouncing off the colorful marbles adorning the Duomo.
As you eat in sophistication and elegance you can even see the Tuscan Hills, way back on the horizon.
Good to know: While the joint is lovely, the place is a bit overpriced and the views during the wintertime are not so good as you can hardly see anything outside.
If you’re looking for something a little more lively, Florence has plenty of bars and clubs to choose from.
The city’s nightlife scene is very diverse, with something for everyone. Whether you’re into electronic music or jazz, you’ll be able to find a bar or club that suits your taste.
Visit Palazzo Vecchio
The imposing Old Palace or Palazzo Vecchio is a 14th-century building, overlooking the Piazza Della Signoria.
From April to September it is open till midnight in the evening and is quite a sight to behold after dark.
You will get overawed to see the magnificent interiors and works of fine art made by some of the master artists like Michelangelo and Da Vinci in the Galleria Degli Uffizi.
Apart from learning about the profound history of Florence, you will find how it is linked to the former powerful Medici Family.
Good to know: Please note that entry to the palace is closed every Thursday.
When visiting from October to March, the palace museum is open from 09:00 am to 7:00 pm. Thursday they close at 2:00 pm instead.
The Tower of Arnolfo is open every day except Thursday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm (April to September), and until 5:00 pm in the off-season (October to March).
Join the sunset food tour
For an unforgettable evening of drinking and eating in one of the trendiest neighbourhoods of the city, take part in the Florence Sunset Food Tour. As the sun sets you get to experience the best wine bars and restaurants that are on offer.
See the world go by from the cobbled streets as you enjoy a perfect cocktail followed by an aperitivo o’clock paired with cured local meats and truffle cheese.
Good to know: Try the absolutely phenomenal Dine around Florence Tour which takes place at night. My favorite Florence tourism experience till now.
Attend a cultural event or exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi
The Strozzi family was without doubt one of the richest families in Florence till their exile in 1434. Dating back to the 15th century, Palazzo Strozzi is not only an art gallery and a palace but an excellent example of domestic Renaissance architecture.
Since WWII, the Palazzo has become the biggest place for holding temporary exhibitions and contemporary art shows, except for one permanent exhibition that showcases the history of Palazzo Strozzi.
Impressive exhibitions and cultural events take place here at 8:00 pm on all nights, except on Thursday when it is open till 11:00 pm. Needless to say, the setting looks majestic in the evening.
Get inspired by Italian Opera
Opera has its roots in Italy and is quintessentially Italian. If you want a genuine Italian Opera experience, spend the evening listening to one at the 15th-century church of Santa Monaca, at an intimate location right in the heart of the city.
You will get to hear some of the greatest Italian opera arias from classics like La Traviata, Tosca, The Barber of Seville, Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, and many others performed by professional singers and accompanied by a piano.
Tip: Even if you have never attended a performance before, you must attend one here. It will leave you spellbound as you get to hear all the classics in just an hour.
Tour recommendation: Pizza Dinner and Opera Arias Concert
Enjoy an authentic gelato
Savvy tourists, as well as locals, are generally very knowledgeable about the food scene in Florence, especially the signature offering-the gelato. An authentic gelato will be extra creamy and should lean more heavily on milk rather than cream.
Try one at Il Procopio, a family-owned gelateria, where the decor is traditional but unassuming.
The flavors here are a league above, as they are made of toasted almond, fig, homemade pistachio paste, and orange peel.
There is also a range of fresh fruit sorbets. The shop is quite small but just right for an after-dinner treat.
Pro-tip: Avoid buying gelato’s that are displayed colorfully or piled up high. Both are signs of bad quality.
You might like: Evening food tour + gelato tasting in Florence
Free Florence Tour at sunset
Don’t miss the chance to see the attractions of Florence after sunset through the eyes of a local. A two-hour free tour kicks in from 6:00 to 08:00 pm.
It starts from Piazza Santa Maria Novella and crosses the Renaissance bridge of Ponte Santa Trinita to the other side of Florence, to the Oltrarno District.
The area of Piazza della Passera is full of craft and jewelry shops, while the narrow streets of Toscanella are full of beautiful murals and rich history. You finally arrive at the impressive Piazza Pitti to observe the magnificent Pitti Palace.
The last part of the tour takes you via Guicciardini to the legendary Ponte Vecchio bridge where the trip ends.
Unlike other regular tours, there is no set price for taking the tour. Regardless of the experience, you can show appreciation by tipping your guide as you deem fit after the tour.
Attend a cooking class
There are plenty of cooking classes to take part in near the city centre and none of them require prior reservation. You get to learn Italian cooking in a real kitchen and it is a nice way to spend the evening learning the art and making new friends.
Recipes taught include Ravioli, Arista alla Fiorentina (roasted pork loin in Florentine style), and many Italian desserts. You can find classes suited to the level of cooking you desire.
Here is a recommended Handmade Pasta and Dessert Cooking Class with Dinner.
This cooking class teaches you to make 3 different types of pasta and sauces and also shows you how to pair the dishes with proper types of wine.
The class is led by excellent multi-lingual chefs. Classes are conducted in English, German and Italian and they start at 5:00 pm till dinner time.
Dance the night away
Florence has an abundance of chic bars and hangouts for those who are looking to party hard and where animated DJs spin-out hits from the 60’s to rock and hip-hop.
The Santa Croce area has some excellent lounges for a classic night-out option and themed events.
The popular places get filled up fast, so get there early and grab an aperitivo and settle in a soft vintage chair for the rest of the evening.
Good to know: The Blob Club and the Flo Lounge Bar offer entertainment seven nights a week from live jazz to vinyl-only DJ sets on certain days. These are also the most exclusive clubs in Florence with a strict dress code.
You might like: Hard Rock Cafe evening pass
Unwind at the Piazza della Signoria
After a hectic day of walking and sightseeing, you will find Piazza Signoria to be a perfect place to rest your weary legs in Florence at night.
Home to the famous Palazzo Vecchio, Loggia del Lanzi, and the fascinating Uffizi Gallery, the piazza gets filled up as soon as the sun goes down.
As the evening progresses, the square fills up with locals displaying their impressive works of art or listening to the many buskers who come and go.
The atmosphere is delightful and you can spend long hours here enjoying, maybe, a cup of hot chocolate at the historic Caffe Rivoire which has been operating here for over 150 years.
Pro-tip: You must consider walking rather than driving as there are many restrictions on traffic in this historic part of Florence.
Go shopping at night in Florence
There are a number of shopping areas near the Duomo in Florence. Some of the high-end brands like Prada, Jimmy Choo can be found near the piazza, and they are all open in the evening for you to shop!
One of the most popular areas for shopping is the Mercato Nuovo, which is located just a few blocks from the Duomo. It’s home to a number of vendors who sell everything from souvenirs to leather goods.
If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, head to the Piazza Della Repubblica, which is home to a number of high-end stores.
Or head to the San Lorenzo Market, where you can find everything affordable.
Enjoy a walk in Florence at night
If you’re looking for something to do after dinner, there are a number of options available to you. One popular option is to take a walk around the city. Florence is home to a number of beautiful churches and museums, so there’s plenty to see.
Tip: Florence, overall, is a safe city. We recommend sticking to the main sightseeing areas that you would normally navigate during the day (for attractions).
You might like: Walking tour of the historic center of Florence at night
Sunset tour in Chianti: Away from Florence
Here is a bonus evening activity and that is a day trip option from Florence.
During this sunset in Siena & dinner in Chianti tour, you will be driven to Siena, located about an hour from Florence.
You will get to explore this medieval city of Siena, and also enjoy the scenic Chianti countryside of delightful hills and vineyards en route.
Siena’s Gothic cathedral and the impressive Torre del Mangia are stunning in the evening. And don’t forget to hang out at the world-famous Piazza del Campo – which was our favorite.
Before leaving Siena, you will have a chance to experience the sunset from a panoramic viewpoint.
One part of this epic tour is a delicious dinner that includes typical Tuscan products such as salami, bruschetta, and other unique delicacies in the Chianti region.
Florence beautifully glows under the dark skies. As you can see there are many things to do in Florence at night, from enjoying a romantic dinner on a terrace overlooking the river Arno to exploring the city’s lively bars and clubs.
There are plenty of options, whether you’re looking for something cultural or something more fun and casual.
Whatever your interests, there is sure to be something for you in this beautiful Italian city after dark.
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