Florence Transportation – How to get around

Florence transportation is very simple to navigate.

It's not a big city and most of the main highlights are concentrated within walking distance from one another.

people using different transport at duomoWhether by taxi, bicycle, walking or driving - find out all the ways to move around Florence.

Find out all the ways to get around the city!

Transportation options for Florence

While you can easily walk around the Florence city center, there are often times when you need to use one of the many transport options.

Maybe you've had a long day sightseeing, or the weather isn't great, or you're traveling with children, or you just want to get somewhere quickly.

Walking is definitely the best way to enjoy the city, but especially in the hot summer months a bus or a taxi can come in handy.

And if you're planning to explore the countryside around Florence, then a rental car is definitely your best bet.

cycling by the lungarnoWalking and cycling are two of the most pleasant ways to see Florence.

Knowing how to get around Florence will likely come in useful during your visit, so keep reading for an overview of the different options available to get around, including:

Florence Public Transportation

There are two companies to be aware of, the Autolinee Toscane which runs the city buses and GEST which runs the trams.

Autolinee Toscane Bus Lines

Within Florence and in the towns surrounding the city you’ll find buses run by the Autolinee Toscane (the company used to be called ATAF but changed name in late 2021 - you may still see references to the old name).

bus on the street of florenceThe buses in Florence are easy to spot, but you need to go to a dedicated bus stop to board one

Both within the historical city centre and outside of it, the bus service runs more or less frequently and are usually quite reliable.

There are multiple bus routes available, stopping at or near most major sights and important locations, so taking a bus ride or two during your trip is an efficient way to navigate Florence.

You can purchase tickets as a single ticket or with a Florence bus pass.

GEST Tram Lines

Another great option for public transportation, especially if you're looking to get from Florence airport to the city center, is the tram, run by GEST tramvia.

There are two lines in Florence, both of which have their final stop near the Santa Maria Novella train station.

tram at santa maria novellaThe tram goes right past Florence's main train station.

The trams cover the wider Florence area outside of the city center, including the University and across the river, but they do not go inside the main Renaissance city area itself.

If you're planning on driving to Florence from another part of Italy, like Rome or the Tuscan countryside, a great option is leaving your car at the Villa Costanza parking lot and taking the tram into town.

This will help you avoid the limited traffic zone, one way streets and general intensity that is driving in Italian cities!

Tram and Bus Tickets

The trams and buses use the same ticket, which is valid for 90 minutes and cost €1.50.

You can buy these tickets in a number of places, but the important thing to remember is that you must have a ticket BEFORE you get on a tram or bus, and must validate your ticket.

If you are caught without a validated bus ticket, you will be liable for a significant fine.

**It's important to note that if you are caught with an unvalidated ticket, they do not accept any excuses such as "I didn't know." Be prepared to pay a hefty fine on the spot!**

You can buy bus tickets by:

  • purchasing at ticket vending machines at tram stops and inside SMN train station
  • visiting tobacco shops (Tabaccheria) or news stands - go to the counter and ask for a 'biglietto bus'
  • sending an SMS message - if you text FIRENZE to 4880105, you will receive a a reply with a link to a digital ticket. This is still valid for 90 minutes (no additional validation is needed) but costs a little more at €1.80, which is charged by your telephone provider.
  • downloading the TABNET app - in this app you can pay for one or multiple tickets at a time, and then validate the tickets when you are ready to use them.

You cannot buy your own bus tickets from the bus driver, you will need to find a bus ticket booth or ticket machines before you get on the bus.


While you would not use the trains to get around in Florence during your visit, lots of people arrive and depart Florence by train, especially if you're visiting other Italian cities like Rome or Venice.

The main Florence train station is Santa Maria Novella, which is ideally located for visitors.

Train station in florenceThe central train station of Santa Maria Novella is the main hub for visitors to and from Florence

Outside the station there are taxis and bus stops, and it is only a short walk into the most central part of Florence.

Be careful when booking your train tickets and ensure you select the right Florence train station, there are others further out of the city but Santa Maria Novella is the best option.

This is also where the train link between Pisa airport and downtown Florence stops.

The best way to book your train tickets for traveling in Italy (and Europe in general) is by using Trainline.

They show schedules and fares of both Italo and Trenitalia so you can compare.

Find timetables, live departure information, station details and more online in English, plus you can book online or in their app and access your tickets on your mobile device without needing to print anything!

Hop on/Hop off bus

A very popular way of getting around big tourist cities are the big sightseeing buses.

However, in Florence they’re a little less convenient as the entire historical center is ‘destination traffic’ only and these big buses aren't allowed to enter to do proper sightseeing tours.

The Florence hop on/hop off bus line takes you around the center but not inside, so to explore Florence this is not the best public transport option.

You can use them to get around from A to B in quite a convenient way however.

The price for a hop on/hop off bus ticket starts at €20,70 for 24 hours.

There are two lines, although the B-line is currently suspended (as of March 2023). Line A runs every 35-70 minutes, every day.

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Taxis in Florence are a safe and fast way to get around.

Drivers are usually friendly and helpful and a lot of them speak at least a little bit of English.

As in most of Italy's main cities, you can’t just wave a taxi down on the street in Florence.

Instead, you have to go to one of the specific taxi ranks around the city or call for a taxi to come to your location.

taxis in florence on the streetTaxi ranks are easy to spot in Florence

You’ll find the taxi ranks near the main sights, including in front of the Pitti Palace, in Piazza San Marco, in front of Porta Romana, next to Piazza della Repubblica and of course at the Santa Maria Novella train station.

To call for a taxi, you call one of the two big taxi companies: Taxi 4242 (Tel: +39 055 4242) or Taxi 4390 (Tel: +39 055 4390).

Both companies also have a ‘pink taxi’ service available to women only, usually from 9PM to 4AM, you can order your Pink Taxi by calling +39 055 4378557 or +39 055 4361904.

Taxis are required to turn on their meter so make sure this is on before you start your journey.

If you are taking taxis to and from Florence airport, there’s a fixed taxi fare rate of €25-30 for trips in and out of the historical center.

Tips are not necessary for taxi drivers, unless you really want to or they've been especially helpful.

It just isn't the custom here for taxi drivers to expect tips so do not feel obligated to do so!

Take a look at these pages to find out how to make the most of your time in Florence:


Driving in Florence

It's almost impossible to drive yourself in central Florence because of the ZTL: limited traffic zone.

You can spot these by big screens at the end of roads saying ‘zone open’ or ‘zone closed’, but generally speaking, tourists can’t enter the center with a car.

smart carMany locals drive small cars like this one because Florence has narrow streets and extremely limited parking - and that's when you're even permitted to drive in the center!

If you have booked a hotel that you need to drive to, contact them in advance to ask about any driving restrictions and parking arrangements.

Your hotel can arrange for you to be allowed access to reach their establishment, but this does not give you the right to drive around the one way streets and restricted zones.

Unless you have no other choice, I strongly recommend that you do not hire a car for your trip to Florence!

Deciding where to stay during your trip to Florence will impact what transportation you will likely need to use.

Even if you're based super centrally then you'll probably still need to do airport transfers or get to one of the train stations.

Not sure where you're staying yet?

Search for top quality apartments and rentals for a more local experience compared to staying in a hotel!

Driving in Tuscany

If you're planning on exploring the countryside around Florence however, renting a car is a must.

sunset in tuscanyIf you're planning on visiting the Tuscan countryside, you'll want to rent a car.

Most car rental companies have a desk at the airport and a few of them have an office in the city center as well, make sure you check which office you have to go to to pick up your rental!

driving to florenceDriving on the highway in Italy can be fun or it can be nervewracking.

Driving is a bit of an adventure in Italy, as road rules are not always respected.

Don’t be mistaken though, there are plenty of speed cameras around and the fine will find its way to you, even if you live on the other side of the world.


If you plan to rent a car while in Italy, you will need an International Driver's Permit.

The car rental agency will let you rent a car with your home country's driver's license.

However, if for any reason you are stopped while driving, if you do not have an international driver's permit, you risk heavy fines.

Get your International driver's permit at your local AAA or similar agency.

It should take only a few minutes and cost under $20.

When driving in Italy, especially in more rural areas, don’t just trust your navigation.

Some roads may be classified as normal paved roads, but can turn into strade bianche, which are unpaved, but usually quite good to drive on.

Driving in Tuscany is very much a matter of keeping an eye out for possible hazards, such as very narrow streets, road works and unpaved roads which may or may not come with a warning sign.

Generally speaking, roads are quite good and safe, but it’s always a good idea to check your insurance before starting your journey.

Don't want to brave the Italian roads to explore the Tuscan hills?

Allow the experts to take you on an amazing day trip to Siena, Chianti and San Gimignano with a designated driver - drink all the wine you want!

Vespa and scooters

All over Florence you’ll find places where you can rent a Vespa or scooter to explore the city, it’s a great way to see a lot in a relatively short amount of time.

As well as personal rentals, there are also various agencies that offer accompanied Vespa tours which can be a really fun way to see Florence without getting tired with walking.

motorino in city centerYou'll see motorbikes and scooters everywhere in Florence, if you want to hire one for yourself make sure you do so with the proper insurance and a helmet!

When renting a scooter, the company will give you a helmet, which you need to make sure is worn correctly as not wearing a helmet is prohibited in Italy.

Apart from the legal necessity, it’s of course very important for your own safety and for the insurance coverage in case of an accident.

Insurance is usually included in your scooter rent, but make sure you double-check and understand all the terms before signing anything.

As I said previously, Italian and Florentine traffic can get a bit crazy sometimes, so make sure you pay attention to all the rules of the road to make sure you are as safe as possible, both when driving and parking.

No matter when you visit Florence, here are four things never to leave at home:

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Florence is such an easy city to ride a bike in, you will see people on cycles all over the place.

bike rider at mercato nuovoBikes are absolutely everywhere in Florence

And because Florence is such a bike-friendly city, bicycle tours are another great way to both get around Florence and see the sights

bicyle tour in florenceBicycle tours (often with e-bike) are a really fun way to see the city and cover a lot of ground.

Around Florence you’ll find RideMovi bikes everywhere.

You need the RideMovi app to use them, so make sure you have the app (with your payment details) up and working before trying to grab one.

ridemovi bicycleShort-term rentals of electric bikes like Rodemovi are really popular and are fun ways to get around Florence - if you know where you're going!

The rates differ from one moment and subscription to another, but before you take the bike it will show you the cost per kilometer or minute.

Even though Florentine traffic can be a bit crazy, a bike is an excellent way to see a lot of the city in a relatively short amount of time.

They even have a holder for your mobile phone which makes navigating super easy.

Golf cart

If you want to see quite a bit of the city, but for some reason you can’t or don’t want to be on your own two feet all day, golf cart tours are a good option.

golf cart tourA golf cart tour is a fun and easy way to get around Florence and see the sights, especially when you have small kids or anyone with walking issues.

You book and pay for most of those tours either in advance or directly at their ticket office, which generally is the tour departure point unless you're meeting your driver at a predefined location.

The golf tour usually take you on a set route passing most of Florence’s biggest sights, with a tape or guide giving you information about the sights you're seeing.

These tours cost around €50 euro per person for a 1.5-2 hour ride.

Good Apps to get around Florence

Google Maps and Apple Maps are useful for planning your route and to look up public transportation information, as they’re usually quite up to date.

For taxis you can either use App Taxi or It Taxi to order a car.

Uber doesn’t work in Italy, or it does, but it will send you a regular taxi anyway!

There are no private drivers in Italy, since this market is heavily regulated and each taxi-driver needs to have a specific permit.

As mentioned before the RideMovi app is essential if you want to grab a bike, and Tabnet is good for bus tickets.

The local transportation companies have apps too, but I personally don’t find them very useful as it seems often like they describe more of what they ‘wish’ the service they deliver was like, instead of what they actually do deliver!

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