Florence, a city that has won over the heart of many tourists and has ranked no 1. as “Best City in the World”, “Most Romantic City in Europe” and “Best Citytrip” on numerous occasions. With its rich history, culture, and the incredible Italian cuisine; Florence really does seem to have it all. Eager to find out why? Make sure to visit these highlights on your next trip to Florence:
The Boboli Gardens, situated behind the Pitti Palace, belong to Florence’ most frequently visited places. The garden, which was originally designed for the Medici Family, stretches over 45,000 m2, making it a pleasant walk on even the busiest of days. For almost four centuries, it was the garden of the great dukes of Tuscany and for a short period, even that of the kings of Italy. Nowadays, the garden is part of the World Heritage Site (UNESCO).
The garden is open every day of the week, except the first and last Monday of each month. Price for a ticket to enter the Boboli gardens is €10 ($11.3) from March to October (high season) and €6 ($6.8) in the remainder of the months.
2. Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
The 10th largest cathedral in the world; the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or better known as the Cathedral of Florence. The cathedral, built in the 13th century, is famed for its theatrical details carved in pink, white and green marble. A stunning sight amidst the busy streets of Florence’s historical center. Whilst the exterior might be spectacular, expect the inside to be somewhat plain.
Entrance to the Cathedral is free of charge.
3. Climbing the Duomo
The inside of the Cathedral of Florence might not be as impressive as the exterior does expect, the view from the Duomo, however, does not disappoint. Located on top of the Florence Cathedral, the dome can be accessed via a steep and narrow staircase aside the cathedral. It can be quite the climb, 463 steps up to be precise, but the view is worth the endeavor. Climbing the Duomo is very popular, hence reservations are required and, as it sells out regularly, it is wise to do so a few days in advance. Visitors are appointed a time sloth in which they can enter.
The price for climbing the Duomo is €18 ($20) and is part of an OPA pass, which also grants access for 72 hours to the Baptistery of San Giovanni, Santa Reparata, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Brunelleschi’s Dome and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
4. Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio, which literal translation means old bridge, was built in 1844 and was originally intended for the Medici family. On the second floor, there is a hallway the length of one kilometer, which sole purpose was allowing members of the Medici family to get from one palace to another, without making an appearance amongst the people. Nowadays, the bridge is largely known for hosting some of the most expensive jewelry stores in the world.
5. Piazza Michelangelo
What’s better than wandering through the iconic streets of Florence? Staring at them from above. Piazza Michelangelo is a plaza, located roughly a 25- minute walk from the Duomo, that offers spectacular views of the city. To get to the viewing point it does take a small hike up, however, the path is completely paved. Along the way, there is a small park, which serves perfectly as a rest stop or for a picnic with a view.
Entrance to Piazza Michelangelo is free
All prices as of June 2018, converted on xe.com in US dollar and EURO.
Looking for a restaurant to eat tapas shouldn’t be all too difficult in Spain. These yummy bites, coming from the traditional Spanish cuisine, are to be found on every corner, street, and sidewalk. But, with such a big city like Barcelona, it can be hard to find the best. Here are 6 all-time favorite Barcelona tapas bars, where it’s guaranteed that the next bite is even better than the last.
Simple but brilliant. With an interior unlike most tapas bars in Barcelona -stylish and modern- Vinitus is a hit with locals and tourists alike. Don’t be surprised by the long queues outside, the restaurant doesn’t take reservations but works with a waiting list. Way to avoid the wait; arrive early before the locals do, which is usually around 20:30.
Tip: Going for white wine instead of Sangria? Their Verdejo (€12.8 p/bottle) is incredible!
2. Casa Lolea
We said it before, and we’ll say it again. A visit to Casa Lolea is a must; only if it’s just for their unparalleled truffle risotto. Casa Lolea is furthermore renowned for its dotted bottled sangria, which is sold around the world. That and the cozy atmosphere are more than enough reasons to visit the restaurant hidden in the streets of Eixample. Make sure to call ahead to ensure yourself of a seat.
Any ham lovers out there? Perikete is the place you’ll want to go. The fairly new restaurant features a nostalgic interior, with ham covering the entire ceiling, barrels of vermouth that are placed above the bar and a selection of over 250 wine bottles placed throughout the bar. The owners specifically aimed to recreate tapas bars as they used to be. The result? An incredible authentic Spanish tapas bar, with great service and an atmosphere alike. Another bonus: the restaurant is very price friendly,
Dine where the locals dine, at La Flauta. For over 25-years la Flauta has proudly served the Catalonian locals with qualitative tapas, building a name for itself one step at a time. Now, the tapas bar is more popular than ever and ques running along the street aren’t uncommon. Just walk up to the bar and place yourself on the waiting list, same things as our no 1 on this list. The service at La Flauta is pretty fast so the wait probably won’t be that long. Overall, the price and quality of the food are excellent.
Expect to pay around € 25 per person for an evening filled with tapas and wine.
5. Bar Lobo
Just an alley away from La Rambla, in a rustique square, lies Bar Lobo. The light and modern bar, that features an open kitchen, is in particularly loved for its sun faced outdoor terrace in the afternoon. Their menu goes beyond your traditional tapas classics, so even for those who think they’ve had just about enough tapas, Bar Lobo has got you covered. For an extensive dinner, with a jug of cava sangria expect to pay €30 per person.
Okay, so maybe this doesn’t qualify as just a tapas bar, but it deserves a prominent spot on this list. El Nacional is a massive compound, that’s elegant nevertheless, right in the heart of Barcelona. Within the compound, there are 4 distinct- bars and restaurants. All specialized in a specific matter such as beer, wine, cava cocktails for the bars. Meat, fish, rice, and -of course- tapas, for the restaurants. In the tapas area, the way things work is slightly different than what you might be accustomed to. Obers stop by with a diverse range of tapas- whatever is fresh and ready to go out of the kitchen- and will show/sell you what they have. See something you like, grab it on to the table and the bill will be compiled later.
Not in the mood for tapas? Visit one of our other favorites!
Brunch & Cake
Brunch & Cake; where every item on the menu is a feast for your eyes. Due to its success, more and more Brunch & Cake restaurants are popping up throughout Barcelona. No matter where you’re located, one is ought to be nearby.
Flex & Kale
Flex & Kale, serving good-food-that-is-good-for-you. Their menu consists that for 80% out of plant-based items, the remaining 20% percent includes oily fish. Make sure to order the watermelon & feta starter while your there, yumm!