Backpacking to Florence on a Budget: The Complete Travel Guide

traveller Anjali

Backpacking to Florence is about exploring the beautiful region, capturing the moments and staying within the confines of your budget. Florence as a travel destination is an architectural masterpiece. The entire vibe of the place is filled with ancient art and artefacts of world-famous artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. After all, Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance movement.

Backpacking to Florence on a budget can be a lot easier if you plan in advance and follow a proper itinerary. No matter how tight you are on a budget or on time, you can manage to have a fun-filled trip. All that is needed on your part is planning months prior to your actual date of travelling. 

I will always say Italy as a country is a marvel of human architectural intelligence. Florence, the capital of the Tuscany region in Italy is home to many brilliant and phenomenal monuments narrating human history. It holds the world record for possessing the maximum number of artistic works of the great geniuses of the age of transformation i.e. Renaissance. 

Florence is the land of creators, magical artists and artisans. Guess what? Leonardo Da Vinci was born here and the famous Mona Lisa painting was finished here. The great sculptor Michelangelo flourished here. The very first finished streets in all of Europe were built here. Getting the idea of how intelligently and artistically forward Florence is? It is for this reason that your backpacking to Florence trip should do justice to the place.

There’s always a name associated with the people residing in that particular country or state.  The people of Florence are called Florentines. Just as people like me from Mumbai (India) are known lovingly as MumbaikarsHaven’t we all heard the story of a boy whose nose grows whenever he lies? Hmm. A Florentine boy!

By now, I’m sure it’s clear that Florence equals talent, art and brilliance.  The artists of Florence have set the bar really high for the rest of the world.

In my current blog, I will try to cover some of the essentials for backpacking to Florence including hotels, food, necessary stuff etc. Backpacking to Florence is simple if you know what exactly you are doing. Make your first trip to the region the best one. 

backpacking to florence

Florence is a masterpiece of a place when it comes to architecture

Backpacking to Florence: An Overview

Before heading to questions and clarifying the conceived thoughts about backpacking to Florence, I will provide you with an overview of the region.

Location: In the Tuscany region of Italy
Currency: Lira
Safety Level: High
Minimum duration recommended: You should plan a trip of at least 3 days.
A maximum budget that should be spent in a day: Not more than 80 Euros. This will be possible if you’re aware of the nominal places to eat and have booked budget accommodations in advance.
Seasonal Events to Attend: Scoppio del Carro, Gioco di Calcio Storico, Artisanal Chocolate Fair
Must visit places: Il Duomo, Ponte Vecchio bridge, Piazzale Michelangelo with a statue of David, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Florence cathedral

When you walk in and around the monuments/ cathedrals touch those walls. It truly feels magical.

Best Time to Go Backpacking to Florence

The best months for going backpacking to Florence are May, September and October.

When I went backpacking to Florence, the month was May.  The weather was pleasant at that time of the year. I even experienced rain. Since the weather in May is suited for a lot of people, be prepared for some tourist rush. You can literally find tourists everywhere.  But hey, don’t you skip any destination owing to the rush.

There’s a different kind of happiness and experience altogether to get to see people from all walks of life. It’s definitely an add-on. Take every incoming aspect of life in a good way (the many tourists around) and you will notice a positive shift in your perception and attitude.

Backpacking to Florence would be effective if it’s for 2 to 3 days as they are enough to visit the main attractions and you do not have time restrictions make it 4. That’s more than enough.

Where to Stay during your Backpacking to Florence Trip?

There are various budget places to stay in Florence. Just make sure you book well in advance especially true if you’re travelling during peak season. It’s always advisable to coordinate with the hotel and confirm your bookings. The timings of the hotels vary so the check-in and check-out time needs to be taken into consideration in accordance with your flight time.

Hotels that are a bit away i.e. on the outskirts of the city are best for when you are on a backpacking to Florence trip on a budget. The roads here are well maintained so it won’t take you long to travel from the hotel to the destination attractions. Hotels in the prime area could cost you a lot more.

Lily Room Guest House:

5 km from Peretola Airport. Free Wi-Fi, Breakfast included, AC rooms, non-smoking rooms, family rooms

Rita Room:

1.3 km from Palazzo Vecchio, Free Wi-Fi, Highly suited for backpackers, Recommended for solo travelers, Heating available

Astrid Hotel:

200 m from Firenze Santa Maria Novella Train Station, 4.8 km for Florence Airport, Free Wi-Fi, Highly suited for backpackers, Hospitable staff.

Faenza Apartment:

A 4-minute walk from Santa Maria Novella, a Decent place for backpackers, Free Wi-Fi, Common Dining area

Cheap hostel beds: Available for approximately 20 euros
Approximate cost of most hotels: 30 to 70 euros
backpacking to florence

The various Cathedrals of Florence are not to be missed

How to Go About Backpacking to Florence?

We all get over-excited when it comes down to any trip of ours and start planning and packing way before. Don’t we? We pack the best of our outfits and the rest of our outfits (for the safer side).

However, what is the most needed thing while going backpacking? I’d say a good pair of shoes. So if you want to invest before your trip, invest in shoes. 

Next, let’s discuss the rest of the things.

Note Down Things

I insist that you note everything down beforehand. Write down the list of things you have on your mind to carry and ask yourself “Do you really need it all?” Trust me the answer will be surprising. 

Remember that you will be backpacking to Florence. Thus you have got to cut down on things. The intention should be to explore the maximum by carrying the minimum. If one can cut down on all the unnecessary things they carry, maybe, they can put it to use somewhere else on the trip itself.

backpacking to florence

Plan your backpacking trip to Florence well in advance for the best results

Europe can get Expensive. So Watch Out Before Hand

Mind it, Europe could get expensive if not planned effectively. Personally, when I backpacked for the first time I brought back clothes “untouched”. The safer side did nothing but add some extra “kilograms” to my luggage. It is how you manage your finances that defines a good trip.

Do Not Over Pack Clothes

Carry the number of clothes you practically think you need. Also, carry jackets as you never know when it gets cold. There is no need to overstuff anything.

Carry All the Legitimate Documents

Have all your documents checked and proper. It’s advisable to do the visa arrangement well in time.

Always remember to keep your passports safe!

I would suggest making cash transactions unless there’s a need to use a card as every transaction done in a foreign country would cost you a certain fee in your home country.

It cost me (500 Indian rupees/ per transaction) from my debit card.

backpacking to florence

Try travelling light to Florence. Else, you’ll be cautious of your stuff all the time and miss out on important locations

Budget for Various Facets of your Florence Backpacking Trip

Shopping: Go for Souvenirs, ceramics, bags, shoes, belts and wallets which Cost around 5 euros.
Food: Lunch including drinks around 12 to 14 euros, Coffee around 2 euros, Breakfast around 4 to 7 euros, Dinner 15 to 18 euros.
Taxi (airport to city centre): Approximately 20 euros, There are fixed rates at the airport when you book a taxi.
Baggage (in a taxi): Approx. 1 euro for each
Shuttle: Approximately 1.20 euros
Miscellaneous expense: 3 to 5 euros per person per day

Entry Fees for some of the Monuments

Uffizi Gallery: 8 to 12 euros
Il Duomo: free
Accademia Gallery: Approximately 14 euros

The prices may vary as per season or any upgradations*

Distance and Transportation

Florence airport(FLR) to the city centre: 4 km
Bus and taxi: 15 to 20 mins
Departures from the airport (every 30 mins): 5:30 am to 8:30 pm
Departures from city centre: 5 am to 8 pm

This could change due to traffic. From the cathedral, you could take a walk for around 8 to 10 mins and reach Uffizi Gallery. Even the Ponte Vecchio bridge is walkable from the cathedral. Piazzale Michelangelo is 26 mins walking from the cathedral again. Florence airport to the Florence cathedral is 12.3 km approx. Might take you 31 to 40 mins.

See where I am going? Why not walk around the city to visit these amazing places and discover the local life as well. It’s worth it!

Where to Feed Yourself in Florence?

Italian cuisine is mouth-watering especially if you are a non-vegetarian. Some of the must-try items are –

Gelato, Pasta, Pizza, Italian croissant, Taglierre

The local food had many varieties. The pizza you taste in your home country will be quite different from Florentine Pizza. 

Approximate Budget Spent on Eating in Florence

Beer: 2.63 Euros
Wine: 5.26 Euros
Breakfast: 4.38 Euros
Lunch: 5.30 Euros
Dinner: 6.13 Euros
backpacking to Florence

No traveller should leave Florence without savouring the super delicious Croissant

The Most Important Documents to take with you while Backpacking to Florence

The paperwork is one of the most crucial things when you travel abroad. So, keep a check on all the documents. Don’t leave anything for the last minute. Every country has its own visa rules and it’s important to go through the guidelines. Fill in the needed documents in advance to avoid the fumble later.

Keep your documents together and arranged. Fill in the immigration form clearly if you are on a connecting flight as well as when you are not a resident of that country.

Connecting Flights

Connecting flights are a bit cheaper than non-stop flights. It will save you a lot while backpacking to Florence.

For a successful budget trip, it is always advisable to book your flight tickets way in advance. Paying a higher price for the same flight just because the bookings got delayed makes no sense. Book the flights 6 to 7 months in advance.

Web check-in is 24 hours prior to departure and maybe you will have to pay a bit extra for a window seat.

backpacking to florence

There is no dearth of flights to Florence. Make sure to book in advance

Cost of Flights from India to Florence (Since I Traveled from India)

One way: 190-250 Euros
Round trip: 633 to 650 Euros

The prices vary according to airline and the time you are booking. If you book just a month before you plan to leave on a backpacking to Florence trip then you will probably end up paying more.

Panicky Situations

Let me tell you it’s OK to get a tad bit nervous on your first trip. Do not panic if you come across any situation where the tension bar rises. Look around there’s always a way out. First trips are the most precious ones. Make them count. Be confident right when you get your immigration stamp on your passport and forget the rest behind you. Move ahead to explore the world ahead of you. There’s always something new out there to look for a first-time traveller.

There’s always something to learn from a place or the people you come across. Backpacking to Florence is all about knowing what you need knowing some basics and exploring and discovering the remaining. 

Get set, go out and explore. Every land tells a tale of its own.

Happy wayfaring 🙂


Anjali Murari

Anjali Murari discovered her love for travelling while exploring various places in Europe. Until then she never thought it could be her thing and well now she has her to-do-travel list. Anjali also has some super “ultra craze” for driving and riding bikes. Being a black belt in karate, fitness always excites her. However, she balances it with her love of food because she’s a big foodie!