Florence with Kids – A Complete Guide from a Local Mom

Visiting Florence with kids – our favorite things to do in Florence with children, where to stay, where to eat, getting to Florence with kids, how to move around Florence with kids, when to visit and how long to stay, plus helpful tips to make your visit smooth and fun for the entire family!

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Is Florence a Good Place to Visit with Kids?

Yes – as long as you choose the right time of year and have proper expectations

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Florence is an art lover’s dream, but art museums and architecture aren’t necessarily a child’s dream.  Even if you love art and that’s the reason for your visit, make sure you create a kid-friendly Florentine experience.  It’s easy to do using our tips and our list of best things to do in Florence with kids. 

The historic center of Florence is very compact, which makes it easy to move around on foot.  Don’t let this stop you from creating a basic itinerary.  Little legs will get tired walking back and forth, so you want to have an idea of what you’ll be doing during your trip. 

There are plenty of pedestrian areas and lively piazzas that are fun for children.  Florence has a few kid-friendly museums and a scattering of playgrounds (decent, but not amazing). 

If you need a break from city life, it’s easy to take day trips from Florence, by train, bus, rental car, or private driver.  You can even head out into the countryside on a guided family bicycle trip. 

Finally, one of my favorite things about Florence for visiting families, is that because the center is so compact, you can see Florentine families going about their daily lives (heading to school, playing at the park, going to the grocery store, etc).  It’s a fun way for kids to imagine life in the Italian city.

You may want to read about specific age groups:
Florence with a Baby or Toddler
Florence with Teens

Map of Best Things To Do in Florence With Kids

Our Favorite Things to Do in Florence with Kids

This list is based on our family’s experience in Florence (we have three young children and live just outside of the city) and my vacation planning experience for visiting families.  It’s not an exhaustive list – just our favorites!

See David at the Accademia

Full body shot of Michelangelo's David statue in the Accademia Gallery of Florence, Italy.

A visit to see Michelangelo’s David statue can be fun for all ages.  Kids with some knowledge of or interest in Michelangelo will be in awe of the giant statue that stands before them.  Even little kids usually appreciate Michelangelo’s towering masterpiece!

The great thing about the Accademia Gallery is it’s tiny, and therefore not overwhelming like many other museums in Florence and Italy. 

You can buy ‘skip the line’ tickets, which give you an entrance time (but you’ll still need to wait in line to pick up your ticket), and the inside is very manageable. 

Besides David, you can show your kids Michelangelo’s Slaves (aka Prisoners) in the hallway that leads to the David statue.  They can see what one of his statues looks like before it’s finished.

Musical children will enjoy seeing the musical instruments section. 

Read all about
How To Skip the Line to See the Statue of David!

Visit the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum

Boys in a stroller in front of the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Florence, Italy.

Leonardo da Vinci is a Florence hometown hero, even if he was born in the little village of Vinci, not far from the city. 

Step inside this small museum and let your kids try out some of the machines and inventions of da Vinci, and you can check out replicas of a few of his sketches.  The small back room has digital reproductions of some of his most famous paintings.

It’s an excellent place to spend an hour (or more, if your kids are really loving it!), and can be combined with a trip to see Michelangelo’s David at the nearby Accademia Gallery.

The recommended age is 7/8 years and up, but you can bring smaller kids in.  Just know that little ones will need close supervision and assistance with the interactive machines. 

Good To Know:  Based on our family’s experience and that of other families (local and visiting) that we know, 7/8 year olds and older will appreciate the museum the most.  Preschoolers will love turning the levers and doing some of the puzzles, but may not understand the explanations.  Toddlers can be tough to deal with because there are places they can pinch fingers and knock things over – I’d leave a toddler outside the museum with another adult if possible.

Good To Know:  There are actually two Leonardo da Vinci Museums in Florence.  We recommend this interactive museum, which focuses on his machines.

Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo

View of the Florence skyline from Piazzale Michelangelo on a sunny day.

Nothing beats the view of Florence from above, especially at sunset.  When you’re in Florence, look towards the Arno River and up, and you’ll see a statue of David in the distance. 

The replica of Michelangelo’s masterpiece is in Piazzale Michelangelo, and you can reach it on foot, by taxi, or by bus. 

Once you’re at the top, admire the view and check out the David replica.  You can even grab picnic or aperitivo supplies while you’re in the center and eat them against the wall or at the adjacent rose garden).

If you’ve got a baby or semi-calm children, take an aperitivo break on the large panoramic terrace of La Loggia del Piazzale Michelangelo.  Bonus:  Bathrooms.

On foot, with adult legs walking and no stops, it takes about 10-15 minutes (50-60 meters elevation gain, around 600-900 meters, depending on the route you take.  You’ll need to add more time if:

  • You like to stop for photos (you should!)
  • You’re pushing a stroller
  • You’re walking with children

Good To Know:  If you’re pushing a stroller, avoid stairs by taking Viale Giuseppe Poggi (gentle) or Via del Monte alle Croci (shorter but steeper).  Thanks for the tip, Lourdes!

If it’s a hot day or you don’t feel like walking uphill, you can take the bus.

By bus, the best thing to do is look up the closest stop using Google Maps.  You’ll take bus 12 or 13 up to the Piazzale.  Even if you bus up, you may still decide to walk back down.

By taxi, you can either call a Florence taxi or look for a free taxi at a designated taxi stand in the city.  To call a taxi, call 055.4242 or 055.4390.  Remember that taxis don’t have car seats, so if you have small children, you’ll need to hold them in your lap or choose another way to get up to Piazzale Michelangelo.

Good To Know:  If the little legs (and yours) have more energy, you can hike up to an even higher viewpoint at San Miniato al Monte.  We actually prefer the closer views from Piazzale Michelangelo, but since San Miniato requires a little more effort, it may be less crowded.

Get a Gelato

Delicious gelato on display at the historic Gelateria de' Medici in Florence, Italy.

One of the best things you can do anywhere in Italy is get a gelato, and Florence is no exception!  You’ll have your pick of excellent gelaterie in the city! 

We love:

  • Perchè No
  • Gelateria de’ Medici
  • La Sorbettiera

Check out the complete list of Our Favorite Gelato in Florence and learn a little bit more about gelato, like how to find the highest quality gelato:

  • Look for gelato artigianale (or artisanal, hand-crafted, or homemade)
  • Skip a gelateria with high mounds of gelato – it’s got preservatives
  • Look for muted colors – banana gelato should be a grey-ish brown, not a bright yellow; pistachio should be a dull brownish-green, not bright green)
  • Choose your gelato from a shop that focuses on gelato (and isn’t trying to see other food or souvenirs)

Have a kid that’s not a gelato fan?  You can also find sorbetti (sorbets), mousses, and granite.

Spend Time in a Piazza

Little boy playing in the Piazza de' Pitti in Florence, Italy.
An empty Piazza de’ Pitti can be a fun place to let out some energy

Sometimes the best plans are… no plans.  Head to a piazza – the main ones being Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Repubblica.  Mom and Dad can grab a coffee or aperitivo and let the little ones play (even easier in smaller piazzas).  Or, watch street musicians and check out the light up toys.

Piazza della Signoria has excellent hot chocolate at Rivoire and little ones won’t want to miss the famous carousel in Piazza della Repubblica.  Piazza de’ Pitti has a nice flat (and usually uncrowded area for snacks (and chasing pigeons).  And car-free Piazza Santo Spirito is perfect for an outdoor evening dinner – when the kids have finished eating they can get up and play.

Take a Ride on the Carousel

Stop by the gorgeous historic carousel in Piazza della Repubblica and take a ride – in the daytime or evening.  There are horses to sit on, or you can stay closer to the ground in a seat.  There’s rarely a long line, and as an adult you can ride for free if you don’t sit down.

Good To Know:  I wouldn’t leave a stroller or shopping bags unattended if you decide to go on the carousel.  Either have one adult stay with the stroller, or come back another time without the stroller or bags.

Visit a Florentine Playground

View from the Rose Garden (Giardino delle Rose) in Florence, Italy.

We love visiting playgrounds whenever we travel somewhere new.  It’s fun to see how other kids play during their daily lives, and it’s a nice way to get out some kid energy!

Florence has its share of parks and playgrounds.  They aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re fun and a perfect way to pass an hour or two playing outside and meeting new friends. 

Here’s a list of some of our favorite playgrounds and parks in Florence, and a Google Map with their locations. 

  • Playground in Piazza Massimo d’Azeglio – local families; convenient location on edge of historic center
  • Anconella Park & Playground – large green area and lots of playground toys; full of locals; nice trail along the river full of joggers and cyclists; 4km from the Duomo so best reached by bus or taxi
  • Parco delle Cascine – huge green area on the western border of the Florence city center; green areas for playing or having a picnic; multiple small playgrounds like Giardino Nicholas Green and Parco Giochi del Visarno; reachable on foot along the pedestrian river path
  • Parco della Carraia – another playground full of local families; nice place for a picnic because it has shade; a couple of km from the Duomo with a big uphill when you get to Via dell’Erta Canina
  • Giardino dell’Orticoltura – small playground in the Horticulture Garden; highlight is walking 5-10 minutes more (uphill) to the ‘dragon’ sculpture – kids will love checking it out and parents can enjoy the views of Florence; just under 2km walk from the Duomo, and a little more if you want to walk up to the ‘dragon’ sculpture
  • Giardino delle Rose – no playground, but kids love walking through the garden and seeing the roses, fountains, and creative sculptures; views of Florence are fantastic; perfect for a snack or get an aperitivo at the small outdoor bar; next to Piazzale Michelangelo so you have to walk uphill (or bus or taxi) to get there
  • Giardino dell’Iris – no playground, but this seasonal iris garden is a hit with my kids – they love picking out their favorite flowers and walking on the small paths; next to Piazzale Michelangelo so you have to walk uphill (or bus or taxi) to get there

Other parks in the center:

  • Parco Giochi Lungarno Santa Rosa – has a few play structures for kids but often isn’t well-maintained or cleaned
  • Parco Villa Strozzi – a nice green space with paths and a small play area for kids; nice if you need some quiet and green and you’re nearby but we don’t recommend going out of your way to take your kids to play there

Good To Know:  If you’ve heard of the statue of the Giant of Giambologna… it’s not in Florence, but just outside of the city in Pratolino Park (Parco del Pratolino).  Depending on where you are in Florence, it’s a 20-30 minute drive, taxi ride, or bus ride. 

Admire the Armor at the Stibbert Museum

If you have an armor, weapons, or knight enthusiast in your family, don’t miss a trip to the Stibbert Museum.  It’s a little bit outside of the center, in Villa di Montughi, and it houses Frederick Stibbert’s personal collection. 

You walk through the villa with a guide, so your kids can ask any questions they have.

Well worth the taxi or bus ride (or 2.5km walk from the Duomo) and your kids will probably beg you to return!

Good To Know:  Before or after visiting the museum, kids can play in the large park and playground on the grounds.  It’s shaded too, so perfect on a hot summer day.

Walk Over the Ponte Vecchio

View of the historic Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) over the Arno River in Florence, Italy on a sunny day.

You’ve most likely already seen photos of Florence’s Ponte Vecchio, or ‘old bridge.’  It’s the only Florentine bridge not bombed in WW2. 

Its quietist and emptiest moment is in the morning, but the shops don’t open up until 9:00-10:00am.  So, try to be there late morning, before it’s incredibly crowded.  It’s also pleasant in the evening (but very popular at sunset when everyone comes for a photo and musicians play). 

No matter when you end up visiting, kids will love walking from one side to the other, admiring the shops of gold and jewels.

Fun Fact:  The bridge was originally home to non-jewelry shops.  Butchers and fishmongers were some of the first to take up shop on the Ponte Vecchio.

Good To Know:  The Ponte Vecchio is full for sunset, but an even better view is from the Ponte alle Grazie, one bridge to the east.  You get a perfect view of Ponte Vecchio at sunset.

Go on a Kid-Focused Tour

Passionate and knowledgeable guides can bring art, architecture, and destinations to life.  If they’re able to engage children, they can help the subject of the tour make a lasting impression on the child.

For example, walking through the Uffizi can be overwhelming and possibly boring, for both kids and adults.  If you don’t understand what you’re looking at, you’re eyes will begin to glaze over and as you look out the windows of the Uffizi, you’ll wish you were outside on the street eating a gelato.

Find a child-focused guide, and you may need to drag your little one out of the museum! 

If you don’t have the budget or time for a guided tour, try to make your visits child-friendly by preparing ahead of time (looking at books or watching videos), having a plan (length, snack breaks) and picking out a few things you’d like to look at with your kids (vs trying to see an entire museum).

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Children of all ages usually love a good scavenger hunt.  You can create a simple one on your own with items like Michelangelo’s original David plus two replicas, the Uffizi gallery, a playground, .  For older kids and teens, you can add more challenging items to the list, like a Florentine wine window, or a November 4 1966 flood marker on a building).    

You could also join a guided tour scavenger hunt, buy a Florence scavenger hunt book, or use an app on your phone.

Climb a Building

View of the top of the Duomo in Florence, Italy from Giotto's Bell Tower.  It's a climb you can do with kids when you visit Florence.

Kids love seeing places from above.  In Florence, they can climb up a few towers, including Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Duomo, and Palazzo Vecchio’s Arnolfo tower.

Our kids’ favorite is Giotto’s Bell Tower.  Why?:

  • It’s got excellent views of Florence, the Duomo, and the countryside
  • You can hear the bells if you time it right (kids love them if they’re expecting them… but can get scared if they don’t know they’re about to ring)
  • There are a few intermediate platforms that allow kids (and adults!) to take a break and enjoy the view. 

Read more about Giotto’s bell tower in our post Climbing Giotto’s Bell Tower!

Good To Know:  Kids must be 6 or older to climb Palazzo Vecchio’s tower.

Find the Venchi Chocolate Wall

For some kids, this is a ‘meh’ stop, but chocolate lovers will rejoice in the sight (and smell) of the chocolate wall of the famous chocolate shop Venchi.

Stop in for just a look, or pick up some chocolate to take home or a cone of chocolate gelato to eat while you wander the Florentine streets.

Find the Perfect Book

Città del Sole Toy Store in Florence, Italy has a selection of books as well.

Kids will enjoy looking at the books on offer at Florence’s book (and toy) shops.  They can look for books about Florence or Italy, see what books Italian children can buy, or find a perfect book to take home as a souvenir or present for a friend.

You’ll find books in English and Italian in the city.  Some of our favorite places to find books include:

  • RED, the large Feltrinelli Bookstore in Piazza della Signoria.  Take the elevator or stairs up to the 1st floor and browse the small children’s section.  Books in English and Italian.
  • Paperback Exchange, near the Duomo.  English language new and used books.  There’s a small children’s section with general children’s books and books about Italy.
  • Città del Sole, a toy store across the street from the Paperback Exchange.  It has a section of Italian language books.
  • Todo Modo Dilà, a children’s bookstore on the ‘other’ side of the Arno River.  It’s worth making a special trip to let your kids visit the tiny shop with a magical atmosphere.  Books in Italian and English. 
  • Uffizi Gallery bookshop. You can visit the bookshop in the museum even if you don’t have a ticket. Just ask an employee outside, go through security, and walk through to the bookshop. It has English, Italian (and other) language books for all ages.

You don’t need to purchase a book to appreciate them.  You can stop into a local library – try the Biblioteca dell’Oblate, which has a small section of books for all ages, from tiny babies to teens.  There’s even a diaper changing area and bathroom.  And, you can get a coffee or snack with a view of the Duomo!

Rub Porcellino’s Nose

Porcellino statue in Florence, Italy, in front of the Mercato Nuovo.

Much like throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome, your kids will want to rub the little piglet’s nose.  Although, the ‘little piglet’ is actually a full-size wild boar! 

You can find the bronze statue (a replica) on the edge of the Mercato Nuovo.  Join the line of people waiting to put a coin in it’s mouth for good luck and rub its shiny nose to ensure a return to Florence.

Your children might recognize the porcellino from a couple of scenes in Harry Potter movies, or from replicas of it around the world.

Visit the Uffizi

Mom with baby in carrier at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.  They're in front of Michelangelo's Doni Tondo.

Many adults come to Florence and really want to see the Uffizi Gallery (rightly so).  It houses some of the most incredible art on the planet. 

If you want to bring your kids with you, I don’t recommend bringing them along on a regular guided tour (unless you have older kids who are already interested in art).  If you want to do a tour, look into guided kid-focused Uffizi tours.

Or, visit the gallery on your own.  Do a little prep work (read books about chosen art or artists or watch some YouTube videos) to learn about a few of the pieces of art they’ll see.  Some classic favorites for kids:

  • Primavera (Botticelli)
  • The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)
  • Medusa (Caravaggio)
  • Doni Tondo (Michelangelo)
  • Annunciation (da Vinci)
  • Adoration of the Magi (da Vinci)

Our kids also love the self-portrait room and looking and the portraits of the Medici children

Remember to have a plan and be sure to take a break at the café and enjoy the views from the large windows.  You can also do a postcard scavenger hunt (but you need to buy postcards first at the gift shop at the exit, on the other side of the building). 

Explore Palazzo Vecchio

Boys getting a tour of Palazzo Vecchio in front of a model of the building in Florence, Italy.

Our children enjoy the visit of Palazzo Vecchio for kids.  The guides are excellent with families and children of all ages.  Elementary age kids and preschoolers are easily engaged the entire visit.  Some highlights for us include looking for animals and symbols in paintings, seeing the Salone dei Cinquecento, checking out the childrens’ clothing and games, and imagining living in the building during the Renaissance.

It’s an excellent activity, but I think it’s a bit overhyped online by others.  Still, we enjoy it and happily return.

See an Exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi

While the exhibitions at Palazzo Strozzi aren’t always appealing to kids, the Palazzo tends to have interesting artists  – look up the special exhibit that’s on while you’re in town and stop in if interests you and your kids.  One of our family’s favorites was Jeff Koons (balloon dog) and Olafur Eliasson’s art (light, reflections) will be on display from late 2022 to early 2023.  There are also kids activities throughout the year.

Say Hello to the Horses 

You’ll find them in Piazza del Duomo or around Piazza della Signoria, waiting to give people a ride around Florence.  Say hi as you walk by (but don’t get too close and scare them) or go for a ride with one of the fiaccherai – carriage drivers.

Visit the Italian Soccer Museum

Located in the Coverciano neighborhood, the Italian soccer museum (Museo del Calcio) is best for older kids who are passionate about soccer.  You can see historic jerseys and awards (like Italian World Cup trophies).  Other highlights include Pelè and Maradona jerseys.

If the timing works out, you could even see a Fiorentina soccer game!

Good To Know:  The museum isn’t at the Florence soccer stadium (Stadio Artemio Franchi).

Look for Street Art

Boy looking at street art in Florence, Italy.

Florence is home to some incredible street artists, including Clet and Blub (classic art wearing snorkel masks). You can visit Clet’s studio (via dell’Olmo, 8r) and look for his art sprinkled around the city.

There are also plenty of other artists adding their touches to the city. Kids will enjoy looking for them during your visit.

La Specola – Currently Closed

Children exploring La Specola's taxidermied animal section in Flroence, Italy.

La Specola is an incredible museum for kids in Florence, but it’s been undergoing a 5 million euro renovation since 2019, and there’s no talk of when it will re-open.  Hopefully you’ll have a chance to take your kids to see it when it’s finished.  Our family loves the incredible displays of insects and taxidermied animals, and supposedly, the collection of anatomical wax models will also be displayed in the new museum (they were previously only viewable with booked appointments).

Walk Around Boboli Gardens

I’ve saved Boboli Gardens (aka Boboli Garden) for last because it’s not my favorite place to bring kids (not stroller-friendly, kids want to play on the grass but can’t, gets very hot in the sun, gravel walkways = lots of skinned knees, ultimately my kids would rather head to a playground).   But I know plenty of other parents who do enjoy visiting with their families.  So, I’ll let you decide!

The gardens have beautiful plants, sculptures, fountains, the Kaffeehaus, the Buontalenti Grotto (which once housed Michelangelo’s original Slaves or Prisoners), historic ice houses, walkways, and views of Florence. 

Where to Stay in Florence with Kids

When visiting Florence with children, it’s best to be within walking distance of the city center.  There are so many neighborhoods in or around the city center, that you don’t need to bother with transport like buses or taxis. 

We recommend the following neighborhoods:

  • Duomo – right in the center; easy access to everything but can be loud and overwhelming for some
  • Santo Spirito – quiet, just a quick walk across the bridge to the historic center; kids can play in Santo Spirito at dinner time
  • San Frediano – quiet, just a quick walk across the bridge to the historic center; close to Cascine Park

See our Guide on Where to Stay in Florence for more details and advantages/disadvantages of Florence neighborhoods. 

Where to Eat in Florence with Kids

Mercato Centrale – Perfect ‘food court’ style location with delicious Italian food in part of the San Lorenzo market.  You can create your own meal (get some mozzarella, fresh bread, salads, etc) or let each person choose a dish that they want.  Plenty of seating, but it can get crowded.

Picnic – Grab picnic supplies from a grocery store or market (we love the Sant’Ambrogio market) and have a picnic in a park.  Bonus points if there’s a nice view or a playground!

Mama’s Bakery – American style bakery with salads and cupcakes; nice if you need a break from Italian food (yes, it sometimes happens)

Gusta Pizza – Delicious, quick pizza.  Eat in or takeaway.

Beppe Fioraia – Nice to get a platter and eat family-style outdoors in the garden.

Tamerò – On Piazza Santo Spirito, so it’s easy to eat here and let the kids play while you finish up or have a glass of wine.

Hard Rock Café – Yes, I know it’s a chain, but if your kids are like mine, they’ll love it.  It’s spacious, so easy to enter with a stroller, and the bathrooms are large and clean.  Kids will enjoy looking at the guitars and rock memorabilia and of course the music videos that play during dinner.  Kids meals are available and it’s in a great central location.

Trattoria 4 Leoni – Delicious Tuscan food in a picture-perfect piazza (feels like you’re in a film).  Grab gelato at Gelateria dell Passera, a stone’s throw away.

While you wait for your food, let your kids color Italy Coloring Pages or look at the Map of Italy for Kids!

Helpful Tips for Eating in Florence with Kids:

Kids usually enjoy eating pizza, pici (a type of thick spaghetti), and ragu al cinghiale (wild boar sauce).

You can find gluten-free pizza at Mister Pizza locations.

Make aperitivo your meal.  Aperitivo spreads with a lot of food are even called apericene (cena is dinner).  You don’t need to order alcohol to enjoy aperitivo

Remember you can always order a mezza porzione (half-portion). 

You can get Italian style breakfast (cornetto) at a bar or café in a piazza. 

Getting Around Florence with Kids

Boys with a stroller in Florence, Italy.

On Foot – This is the easiest way to get around Florence for anyone – even little kids!  You can bring a stroller to make things easier, especially if your baby, toddler, or child will nap in a stroller.  Florence is very compact, and mostly flat (unless you head up to Piazzale Michelangelo).

Bicycle – I don’t recommend cycling in Florence if you’re just visiting.  Yes, you’ll see plenty of locals cycling the streets, but they know their routes and their streets and how to ride in pedestrian and motor traffic.  If you want to ride a bike here, look into bike tours that take you outside of the city to cycle in the countryside.  It’s hilly but gorgeous, and the roads are much quieter.  If you do decide to cycle, please wear a helmet!

Good To Know:  Our family loves cycling, and I’m often asked if I let my kids ride on the Tuscan roads.  Nope.  My oldest is 8 and while he’s a confident cyclist, I just don’t feel comfortable with him riding on the narrow roads here.  We ride on bike trails, strade bianche, and roads that are closed to traffic.  We also take advantage of the amazing bike trails in the Dolomites!

Electric Scooter – These are all the rage in Florence and Italy.  Unless your older child knows how to ride an electric scooter in traffic, I’d skip the scooter in Florence for the same reasons as cycling above.  If you do decide to ride a scooter, please wear a helmet!

Taxi – Taxis are easy to get in Florence (just call 055.4242 or 055.4390) or find one at a designated taxi stand.  You can’t flag a taxi down in the street.

Bus – Buses are also easy to use in Florence.  They’re run by Autolinee Toscane and you need to buy tickets before you get on the bus.  You can get them at designated ticket offices and machines, and at designated shops.  Or, you can use the Tabnet app on your phone.  Tickets are good for 90 minutes (on multiple buses or the tram) and must be validated in the little machine on the bus.  Use Google Maps to plan your bus journey.

Tram – Most visitors to Florence who use the tram will end up on the T2 line between the Florence Airport and City Center.  It’s the cheapest and most convenient way to get from the Florence airport to centro.

How to Get to Florence with Kids

Inside the airport in Florence, Italy
Florence (FLR) airport

Plane – The easiest and most convenient airport is Florence Peretola (aka Amerigo Vespucci) airport.  The airport code is FLR.  Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from the US because of the short runway.  Alternative airports are Pisa (PSA) and Bologna (BLQ).  Even Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Milan Malpensa (MXP) can have great prices, but make sure you factor in the cost of getting from there to Florence (train, car rental, etc). 

Once you land at the Florence airport, remember you can take the tram directly from the airport to the center.  Or, hire a private driver (with car seats if you need them).  Remember that taxis don’t have car seats (they aren’t required). 

Read more about Car Seats in Italy!

Car – Florence is on the A1 and A11 Autostrade, so easily reached by car. 

If you have a rental car, the easiest thing to do is return it for your time in Florence.  Parking can be expensive, so it’s usually less costly and complicated to just take the car back. 

The easiest places to return your car are to the airport or the city center south of the train station (Borgo Ognissanti area). 

If you’re visiting on a day trip, park in an official lot.  We usually park in the Porta Romana or Sant’Ambrogio garage and walk into the city center. 

Good To Know:  Be careful of limited traffic zones (ZTLs) and the hefty fines that will find you if you enter them in your car. 

Private Driver or Taxi – You can arrive by private driver or taxi.  Both are convenient (they can take you right to your hotel) and you can request car seats with a private driver if you need them. 

Train – Florence is on main train lines and can be reached with fast trains from around the country.  Once you arrive at the Santa Maria Novella train station with your family, the easiest thing to do is take a taxi from the station to your accommodation.  It’s not fun to walk streets of Florence with kids and luggage.  If you don’t have car seats with you and don’t feel comfortable without them in a taxi, have one adult take the bags to your accommodation and the other can walk with kids.

Bus – You can arrive by bus from other Tuscan towns, or using long-distance buses like FlixBus.  Most will arrive at the main bus station next to the train station. 

When to Visit Florence with Kids

The best times to visit are April/May/early June and September/October.  March and November can also work, especially with older kids who don’t need playground time.  Weather isn’t at it’s best (rain). 

Winter is ok but can be very cold.  But there’s a nice Christmas atmosphere with lights in main piazzas (especially Piazza della Repubblica) and light shows on sides of buildings and monuments (like Ponte Vecchio). 

Best to avoid the hot summer months of July and August, especially if you’re traveling with a heat sensitive baby or child.  I realize that’s when many families can visit, so if you do, check out my tips for beating the heat in Florence or make your family base an agriturismo in the Tuscan countryside and take a day trip or two into Florence. 

How Long to Spend in Florence with Kids

During the hot summer months, I would spend 1-2 days, and add more if you’d like to do a day trip or two.

In other time periods, I’d recommend spending a little more time.  With 3-5 days, you’ll enjoy greeting the same workers at the corner café, you’ll have time to stroll and soak up the little moments in the city without worrying about which museum you need to get to next.  And you’ll be able to sample many of Florence’s gelaterie!

Strollers in Florence with Kids

This is a common question from families visiting Italy. 

We use our stroller on every trip to Florence.  I prefer a stroller to a carrier because I like having a place for baby to sit or nap, and I like to have the under-stroller storage area to put bags, water, etc.    

A few Florence stroller tips based on my experience and that of other parents:

  • If you have pre-schoolers, a bench seat can come in really handy.  Even though Florence is compact, you’ll do a lot of walking, and little legs can get worn out quickly.  If you have a place for your preschooler to sit, you can still walk around and enjoy the city.
  • Avoid side-by-side double strollers.  They’re too wide for Florentine sidewalks, museums, and restaurants.  I always forget they exist until we travel to the US and I see how much space there is!  We have a single-file double stroller in Italy and we use it along with an umbrella stroller for quick trips to the city.  I usually bring the double because I can put a baby/toddler in the stroller, my preschooler can sit when he gets tired, and I like having the under-stroller storage. 
  • Make sure your stroller has a sunshade.  It’s hot in Florence in the summer and the shade also helps if it starts sprinkling while you’re out.
  • Remember to ask if there’s an elevator where you book your hotel.  If not, is there a secure place you can leave your stroller? 
  • Don’t leave valuables in the bottom part of the stroller.  Even moms get things stolen from them here in Florence!
  • There are a ton of cobblestones, so bigger wheels are helpful.  Air-filled tires are the best but you should bring spare tubes.  You’ll be able to pump them at local bike shops, but it’s not always easy to find the tubes you need.
  • It can be really pleasant to head out for an early morning or late evening walk with a baby or toddler in Florence.  The streets are usually empty in the morning and it’s nice to see the city ‘beginning its day.’  Evenings are also less crowded than the busy daytime hours. 
  • Carriers can be nice.  I would bring one as a supplement to a stroller.  They’re not great in the hot summer – you and your baby will feel the heat when you’re pressed against each other.  But, do what works best for you.  I know plenty of parents who have used a carrier in Florence and have been happy with it.

Tips for Florence with Kids

  • Even though there are many pedestrian areas, you’ll still find taxis and some cars driving through the streets. 
  • Make sure your kids have comfortable shoes.  You’ll do a lot of walking.  We recommend sneakers or a close-toed sandal.  Feet will get very dirty walking on Florence streets. 
  • Changing a diaper in Florence isn’t easy.  Restaurants don’t always have changing tables.  I haven’t included a list because they change often.  Sometimes I’ll see one in a restaurant (often a pad on top of a table) and the next time it’s gone.
  • Passes (like the Firenze Card) – I don’t typically recommend them because you don’t save that much and with kids, plans often change.  If you want, you can add up where you think you’ll go and make an informed decision.

Preparing for a trip to Florence with Kids

Stone Giant book about Michelangelo.

Your visit will be much more meaningful if you’ve prepared a bit and your kids know what they’re looking at.  Older kids and teens may have studied Italian art, history, culture, or architecture in school, and little kids may have seen relevant movies or cartoons or read books.

We’ve enjoyed the following books that you may want to check out.  You can find them at a library or bookstore in your home country.  Some can also be found in Florence.

Books to Read

Pippo the Fool, by Tracey E. Fern

Michelangelo for Kids, by Simonetta Carr

Stone Giant: Michelangelo’s David and How He Came to Be, by Jane Sutcliffe and John Shelley

Who Was Michelangelo?, by Kirsten Anderson

Who Was Leonardo da Vinci?, by Roberta Edwards

Who Was Galileo?, by Patricia Brennan Demuth

Read our post on our Favorite Books About Michelangelo – For Kids and Adults!

Good To Know:  Michelangelo fans may also want to visit his burial place in the Basilica of Santa Croce.

Easy Day Trips from Florence with Kids

Things to Skip in Florence with Kids

  • Going inside the Duomo.  It’s gorgeous outside but can be disappointing inside, especially if you’ve already visited other impressive Italian churches (St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, etc). 
  • Natural History Museum.  Only has explanations in Italian.
  • Too many church and museum visits.

FAQ

Where is the best toy store in Florence?

We have a few favorites! You can read all about Our Family’s Top 5 Toy Stores in Florence.