If you are planning an Italy family vacation, consider stopping in Florence with kids. In addition to the world-class Florence art and cultural attractions, there’s a good variety of fun things to do with kids in Florence.
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Florence with Kids
Planning a Florence Itinerary with Kids
When visiting Florence with children, we recommend planning a 3 or 4-day Florence itinerary. You can add a day or two if you’d like to take day trips to Lucca or Pisa from Florence.
Although we loved our 6 days in Florence with kids, we felt it was a little too long, given we had already visited Pisa and Lucca.
Still working on your Italy Itinerary with kids? Here is our 4 week itinerary for Italy with some suggestions for a 2 week Italy Itinerary and a 10-day Italy Itinerary with kids.
Where to Stay in Florence with Kids
Choosing where to stay in Florence with your family will depend mostly on how you plan to spend your time. Your options will be to stay within the historic city center, outside the center or in the countryside.
If you don’t have a rental car and plan to spend your time visiting the top Florence attractions, then you should stay in historic central Florence. Most of the best things to do in Florence with kids are within easy walking distance of central Florence.
To save a little money on our Florence accommodations, we stayed slightly outside central Florence near Piazzale Michelangelo. We found a great 3-bedroom vacation rental apartment which was only a 15 minute walk from the main things to do with kids in Florence. As a bonus, our apartment rental was very close to an excellent Florence playground.
There are tons of great Florence vacation home rentals to choose from.
If you would prefer a kid-friendly Florence hotel for your family vacation to Italy, we personally use Booking.com as their “Top Picks for Families” search filter makes it easy to find good family-friendly accommodations.
Getting to Florence with Children
Considering Florence is a major tourist destination, it has a pretty small airport.
If you flying to Florence with kids, we recommend taking a private transfer from the airport to your Florence hotel. Your personal driver will meet you at your arrival gate, walk you to your car which contains your pre-booked child seats.
Private transfers typically don’t cost much more than a taxi – they are an affordable luxury for parents traveling with kids.
Flying to Florence makes a lot of sense if it is the first stop on your family holiday to Italy. But if you already in Italy, traveling by train to Florence is a really fun experience. After a week of hiking in Cinque Terre with kids, we made our way by train to Pisa and Lucca, before landing in Florence.
We arrived at the Firenze S.M. Novella train station after a short 1.5 hour train ride from Lucca. We avoided a 30-minute walk to our Florence vacation home rental by taking a local Florence bus from the train station. Most buses will stop at the main Florence train station, making it easy to use the local bus system upon arrival.
Tip: It’s recommended to buy your bus tickets at a ticket stand before getting on and then validate it on the machine on the bus.
Getting Around Florence with Kids
Florence is a perfect city for walking. The historic Florence city center is fairly compact making it easy to walk everywhere. Aside from our day trip to Fiesole, we walked everywhere we went in Florence.
If you are travelling to Florence with a toddler or baby, you can bring a stroller to Florence, although we recommend a travel-friendly lightweight stroller.
We didn’t bring a stroller to Florence as we had backpack carriers for our toddler and preschooler. Backpack carriers are great for older children as they are more comfortable, but if you prefer to carry your baby or toddler in Florence, we recommend a baby or toddler carrier.
Things to do in Florence with Kids
After a morning traveling from Lucca to Florence by train our kids were ready to burn some energy. Piazzale Michelangelo was nice and close to our Florence vacation home rental and the climb up the long staircase to the plaza was a perfect thing for our kids to do.
The elevated views of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo top are worth every step! Of course, the kids were far more interested in chasing pigeons than seeing the replica of Michelangelo’s David!
The kids were too excited to be in Florence to allow us any time to enjoy the amazing view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo, so in no time we were on our way to the nearby Rose Garden.
The Rose Garden is a great thing to do in Florence with kids if you are looking for a beautiful park to enjoy the fine Tuscany weather.
Climbing the Florence Bell Towers
One of our favorite things to do while traveling in Italy with kids is to find a bell tower to climb. We all enjoy the exercise and the city views from the top are always worth it.
Florence has three bell towers to climb, each offering sweeping views of Florence and the Tuscan countryside.
Tower of Palazzo Vecchio
We started at the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio, but quickly learned that even with our kids in the backpack carriers, we would not be permitted to climb the 96-meter high tower. Kids must be 6 years old to climb the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio.
Just outside Palazzo Vecchio is a replica of Michelangelo’s David. It’s the second David replica we’ve seen in our first two days. This one is better than the one in Piazzale Michelangelo.
We are not easily defeated, so we took our kids to Giotto’s Bell Tower (Giotto’s Campanile), one of the four monuments on the Piazza del Duomo. One benefit of traveling to Florence with toddlers who wake up early is that we arrived shortly after Giotto’s Bell Tower opened, allowing us to walk right in without any line up.
There are 414 steps to climb to the top of Giotto’s Bell Tower (85 meters). As is typical, the stairways in Giotto’s Campanile were tight with our backpack carriers on. They got progressively tighter the higher we got, though not nearly as narrow as the stairway up the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
One nice thing about climbing Giotto’s bell tower with kids are the three intermediate decks you can stop at along the way to rest. There was sufficient space to take off our backpack carriers at the top, allowing us to comfortably walk around the top of Giotto’s Campanile with our kids.
And the views of Florence from the top of Giotto’s bell tower did not disappoint! This must be one of the best views of the Cupola of Brunelleschi anywhere in Florence! Wow!
An hour after opening, the lineup for Giotto’s Bell Tower had grown very long. We recommend visiting Giotto’s Bell Tower with kids as early as possible, especially if you will be carrying your baby or toddler up.
The Duomo at Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
If you have your heart set on climbing the famous Florence’s Duomo with kids, you must reserve online in advance. The Duomo was sold out by the time we arrived in Florence with children, so we sadly missed this iconic thing to do in Florence with kids.
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
After our climb up Giotto’s bell tower with kids, we proceeded to get in a very long lineup for the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. There were several hundred people already in line by the time we got there at 9:40am for the 10am opening, but thankfully the line went quickly once the doors were opened.
Florence’s Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is the fourth largest church in the world, after the Duomo in Milan, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Given the complex and colorful exterior design of the Florence Cathedral, we were surprised to find the cathedral to be quite ordinary inside.
In addition to exploring the above-ground areas of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore with kids, there are also excavations under the cathedral that visitors can see while walking along narrow pathways. We do not recommend bringing a stroller into the excavations.
The Ponte Vecchio, or “Old Bridge”, is one of the most famous things to do in Florence. Ponte Vecchio has been standing for centuries and was even rebuilt when the Arno River flooded.
At one time Ponte Vecchio was filled with all different types of shops, but it transitioned to goldsmiths & jewelers in the 15th century. Today you’ll find fun tourist shopping on Ponte Vecchio, with jewelers, art dealers and souvenir shops.
We first crossed Ponte Vecchio with kids at 8:00am. It was very quiet, and the shops were all still closed, making it a nice, peaceful time to walk across. We enjoyed this visit much more than the very crowded Old Bridge we experienced later in the morning.
Giardino di Boboli
If you are like us and need a dose of nature to recharge after several busy days of seeing the top attractions in Florence, a great outdoor thing to do in Florence with kids is a visit to Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens).
Arriving at Giardino di Boboli with kids at opening time allowed us to enjoy the feeling of solitude in nature. Visiting parks in Florence with children is a great opportunity to let them play and burn off some energy.
Giardino di Boboli is more than a beautiful Florence park; it’s an open-air museum, with many fountains and sculptures. If you need a cool thing to do in Florence with children on a hot day, the shade and covered pathways at Giardino di Boboli are perfect.
Kids will enjoy the duck ponds at Giardino di Boboli as well as exploring its many pathways. We had to watch our kids to keep them off the grass and from climbing all the sculptures – but this is a common concern when traveling to Italy with kids.
Our ticket to Giardino di Boboli also gave free admission to the nearby Giardino Bardini. We were lucky to visit in the spring when the roses and irises were in bloom.
Though this park is much smaller than Giardino Bardini, the views of Florence are spectacular! As you would expect, to get views of Florence like this, the park is built up a steep hill.
To make it easier, the pathways are long and winding, making it a longer, but less steep walk to the top. Reward your kids for climbing to the top of Giardino Bardini with a treat at the café at the top.
Day Trip to Fiesole with Kids
A wonderful nature-filled day trip from Florence with kids is a trip out to Fiesole, a picturesque town high above the outskirts of Florence.
Fiesole is a wonderful little village to wander around. There are three kid-friendly hikes that leave from the central Fiesole piazza (see the Fiesole hiking map on “Fiesole for You”). We walked two of these easy hikes near Florence during our visit, the “Breathtaking Views” and “The Stonemasons and Leonardo”.
The “Breathtaking Views” walking trail went up to a viewpoint, past a convent (Chiesa e Convento di San Francesco) then through a beautiful treed path which eventually brought us down past a cemetery and back to a paved pathway.
From there the path circumnavigated the Roman amphitheater, but you couldn’t really see much of the ruins from the trail. You must go into the site for that, which we opted not to.
Though short at 1.3km / 0.8 miles, this easy Fiesole walk was along nice, quiet streets and some dedicated walking paths. You’ll enjoy good views of Florence and the beautiful Tuscan countryside along the way.
We really enjoyed the 2.5km / 1.6 mile Stonemasons and Leonardo Trail. It begins along the quiet side streets of Fiesole, treating you to some great views of Florence. Before long, this kid-friendly hike leaves Fiesole and enters Parco di Montececeri.
There are several hiking trails among the dense trees of Parco di Montececeri, many of which afforded some great views. We opted to stick to the Stonemasons and Leonardo Trail from our downloaded map, but had we been in Fiesole longer we would have enjoyed visiting this park with our kids again.
There were even a couple of playgrounds in Parco di Montececeri, which are perfect places to stop for a snack with your kids.
Looking for a good backpack carrier for your baby or toddler? Read about the BEST hiking backpack carriers on our Baby Can Travel site.
We spent our last day in Florence with kids at Palazzo Vecchio. We hadn’t visited The Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery yet, but they were busy with long lines and didn’t feel worth our time with two small kids.
Palazzo Vecchio is a fun cultural thing to do with kids in Florence. They offer a “Family Pack” with a princess crown, binoculars, and games for each of the rooms, making it a fun outing for the whole family.
To be perfectly honest, the museum itself was average, but we did have fun with the kid’s activities and finding the pictures in each of the rooms. The free stroller rental was a novelty for our toddler, so he had fun with that.
Finding Florence Street Art
One of our favorite things to do with kids in Florence was to wander the streets and look for the super fun Florence street art. There were two Florence street artists in particular that we enjoyed:
Have your kids look for clever street signs created by the talented artist Clet Abraham. The wide variety of Clet Abraham street signs all over Florence are amazing and your kids will go nuts when they find a new one.
Your kids will also love looking for the works of art by “Blub” – famous paintings recreated with the subjects wearing diving masks. Our kids thought they were hilarious! Our toddler was so motivated to find Blub’s, that he was often finding them before us!
Giardino alla Carraia Playground
Getting local knowledge from our host is one of the many reasons we enjoy staying at vacation home rentals. Our host recommended a great Florence playground near our apartment. What a great, hidden surprise!
This large Florence playground is found at the end of Via dell’Erta Canina. It’s a great chance for your kids to play with local Firenze kids – kid’s desire to play always overcomes the language barrier.
Lungarno Santa Rosa Playground
We were excited to find another Florence playground on Lungarno Santa Rosa just west of Ponte A. Vespucci along the Arno River. If you can look past the graffiti, it was a really nice playground in Florence for all ages, including babies & toddlers, and nicely shaded on a hot day.
Carousel at Piazza della Repubblica
The carousel, in Piazza della Repubblica near the Duomo, is a perfect things to do in Florence with kids. At only 1€ per kid per ride, it’s worth it to see their smiling faces!
Where to Eat in Florence with Children
We’re not food bloggers by any stretch, but we wanted to share our favorite place to eat in Florence with kids. Don’t miss the sandwiches at All’Antico Vinaio. Not only are they delicious but they are great value at 5 euros each. Our favorites sandwiches at All’Antico Vinaio were the Dante, the Inferno & the Favolosa.
We hope you got a few good ideas for your family trip to Florence with kids! If your Italy family vacation goes beyond Florence, check out our other Italy with kids posts below.
Visiting Italy with Kids
- Rome with Kids
- Rome Playgrounds
- Transportation from the Rome Airport to your Hotel
- Cinque Terre with Kids
- Kid-Friendly Cinque Terre Bike Ride
- Taking the Train in Italy with Kids
- Island of Elba with Kids
- Rome with a Baby or Toddler
- Cinque Terre with a Baby or Toddler
- Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast with a Toddler
- Venice Italy with a Baby or Toddler
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