Florence public transport

Arriving to Florence

By train

Situated in the northern half of Italy, Florence is quite well-connected to several neighboring cities and countries. You’re likely to arrive in Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station, the main station in Florence and one of the busiest in Italy. From here you can get a short taxi (probably €10 or so) to just about anywhere in the centre.

By plane

If you travel to Florence by plane, you actually have two options. There is Florence Airport, but sometimes there are cheaper flights into Pisa (just an hour down the road) and so it’s not uncommon to make the trip from the West instead. The bus journey from Florence Airport (aka Amerigo Vespucci Airport) only takes 25 minutes and costs €6 - pretty effortless compared to the faff experienced in many cities.

From Pisa Airport, you can either get the train to Pisa central station (€2.70) and then to Florence (total journey time around an hour) or by bus with Autostradale or Sky Bus Lines Caronna. Whichever company you choose, it costs €7.50 and takes about 70 minutes. It’s a bit less comfortable than the train, but it does have the added bonus of being direct.

Getting around Florence

Florence doesn’t offer the same multi-faceted and clockwork public transport system as the likes of the German cities, but given its smaller size and astonishingly beauty, that’s not such a big deal. The best ways to get around Florence are on foot and by bus.

On foot and by bike

The entire city of Firenze is like a fine art museum, and walking its clean, Renaissance-inspired streets never gets old or tiresome. In addition, the centre really isn’t that big, so you really can walk from end to end quite comfortably.

The only risk with cycling comes from the hefty number of dips and gaps in the paving. I’d advise wearing a helmet and using a bike with a sturdy frame and a little bit of suspension, as road bikes can really struggle. Also you’ll want to learn which streets are one-way or limited access, to avoid getting an earful from bristling officials when you go the wrong way.

By bus

Hop-on hop-off buses are always zooming around the city and its surrounding areas, so you don’t have to walk if you’re not in the mood. You’d do well to familiarize yourself with the timetables and bus routes, just so you have an idea where you’re going! Bus tickets only cost €1.20 each and last 90 minutes, so you can get pretty far on spare change - just remember not to buy your ticket on the bus itself. They cost €2 and sometimes the driver won’t have any left.

You validate your ticket yourself - the bus driver won’t ever ask to see your ticket, so it’s best to buy a stock of them and keep a few in your wallet in case you need to hop on and aren’t near a ticket machine!


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