Last Updated on June 9, 2023 by Nicole Ishii
While you’re studying abroad, weekend trips can be pretty common. After traveling to Paris, Italy’s Amalfi Coast, and Croatia during my first month in Florence, I checked my bank account and realized I needed to start saving my money. If I actually planned ahead, I probably would have been able to fly to more places for a pretty good price, but sadly that was not the case.
I also realized that I should start spending my money on countries that are actually on my bucket list instead of just tagging along with my friends to random countries that are cheap on Bus2alps or RyanAir. Anyways, to save some money, I spent plenty of weekends staying in Florence and enjoyed them all. There’s tons to do, but exploring the many markets is one of my favorite activities.
Here is a list of three fantastic markets that you can check out during a weekend in Florence.
1. Mercato Centrale Firenze (Central Market)
Central Market is located right next to the train station in the San Lorenzo area of town. It is open every day from 8 am until midnight, but the best time to go is Monday through Friday from 7 am to 2 pm and Saturday from 7 am to 5 pm for the farmers market downstairs! There are a bunch of free samples and less expensive food stands than the floor above.
2. Sant’Ambrogio Market
Sant’Ambrogio Market is another fun farmer’s market past Santa Croce. It is open every day, except Sundays from 7 am to 2 pm. You can shop for your fresh fruit and veggies and find a nice jean jacket if you’re lucky. I highly recommend Trattoria da Rocco for a super cheap, delicious, and fun experience. Literally one of the best restaurants in Florence! I was actually able to meet Rocco, the owner of the restaurant, and he is the most delightful little human being. This is where the locals go, so you have to check it out!
3. Santo Spirito Market
The square of Santo Spirito always has a little market every day, but the best days to go are Sundays, and more specifically, the second Sundays of the month. During the second Sundays, there is a huge vintage market that takes up the entire square. I was able to score a cute jean jacket for €10! I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re into vintage clothes.
These are just a few of the markets in Florence that I regularly check out during the weekend. I recommend looking on the internet for different markets that only pop up monthly or randomly. Even if I don’t end up buying anything at these markets, it is still fun to walk around and explore. You definitely need to check these out before you leave Florence!