Florence — the Cradle of the Renaissance — is a magnetic and romantic riverside city that evokes wonder and amazement. A cultural and artistic gem, this city buzzes with tourists all year. With so much to offer, a trip here can get expensive. However, these savvy tips will help you stretch your budget to get the most out of your Italian vacation.
1. Stick to Cheap Eats
Tuscan food is downright delicious. In Florence, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy it. During your stay, stick to affordable eateries. Order homemade tagliatelle at Il Vinaino, eat from the buffet at Oibo and get everything from soup to cow stomach at Da Vinattieri. Taking advantage of the complimentary breakfasts at your Florence hotel will also help you save.
2. Save on Lodging
You could spend hundreds of euros on one of the best hotels in Florence, but why do that when you’ll be out sightseeing most of the time? There are plenty of cheap hotels in Florence available, from hostels to chain motels. During any point of the year, you can spend well under $100 per night on a comfortable room in a nice area of town.
3. Get a Firenze Card
If you plan on seeing several museums and other attractions, the Firenze Card is a no-brainer. It’s affordable and allows you admission to most major tourist sites in Florence, including Galleria degli Uffizi, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Museo Galileo, and others. The card also gives you free use of the public transit system, helping you avoid a costly rental car.
4. Haggle When You Shop
When you shop for artwork, leather and other goods in areas like Oltrarno, know that prices are typically negotiable. That painting you just love could be had for 75 percent of the original asking price — if you know how to haggle.
5. Come During Off-Season
Arriving in Florence when it’s not tourist season is a great way to pay less on your flight and accommodations. These are two of your biggest expenses, and you can save hundreds if you come between mid-September and March, excluding Christmas time.
From booking affordable hotels in Florence to bargaining, there are a myriad of ways to stretch your budget. Just remember to not spend extra money when you don’t need and you’ll have more money left in your pocket at the end of your trip.
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