Ready for an early night? We didn’t think so! From whimsical wine bars to fairy-lit terraces and craft beer pubs to neon nightclubs, Florence is at its most fabulous when the stars come out. Come with us as we dance our way through the city’s buzziest venues.
Santa Maria Novella
Santa Maria Novella is one of Florence’s largest neighbourhoods, boasting riverside cafés and rooftop bars galore. It couldn’t be more central, so it’s a great springboard for exploring other parts of the city too.
La Terrazza Rooftop Bar
Perched on the rooftop of the stylish Hotel Continentale, this bar delivers on views, views and more views! Come at sunset for maximum wow-factor, as the Arno glows gold. The cocktail menu includes the classics, but also signature mixes such as the ‘Basil Instinct’ (Tequila, mezcal, basil syrup and lemon juice). Feeling peckish? Order a side of nuts, olives and crisps to nibble on.
Originally used as a marketplace in the 19th century, today, this day-into-night hangout wears many hats. A bright and airy bar sets the stage for relaxed Tuscan evenings, and there’s even a downstairs space which sometimes hosts live music. After you’ve supped and sipped, there’s a shop you can potter around, which sells gifts, trinkets and flowers.
To the east of the historical centre, you’ll find one of the oldest districts in Florence, Sant’Ambrogio. There’s plenty for night owls to enjoy around these parts and you’ll find drinks prices are slightly lower. That’s a win-win!
Open since 1990, this bar is a staple on the city’s nightlife scene. The atmosphere is completely different depending on what time you turn up. Before 10pm, it’s full of people enjoying a relaxed aperitivo, but come later and you’re in for a DJ-fuelled dance party.
Keep things casual at this dinky vino bar, well-known for its natural wines and craft beers. Tipples from local producers are championed here, plus, there’s a shop where you can purchase your favourites to take home with you. When it comes to lining your stomach, artisanal light bites like Calabrian ‘nduja toasties are just what the doctor ordered.
Head south from Sant’Ambrogio and you’ll reach Santa Croce. Bordering the centre and the River Arno, this neighbourhood houses some of the city’s best bars.
If you’re a fan of a cocktail, make a beeline for this sophisticated spot, housed on the ground floor of the 13th-century Palazzo Concini. It’s got flair to spare, with Renaissance pillars, vertical gardens and moody lighting. Mixologists whip up all manner of creations, from the classics to the more creative. Negroni, anyone?
It might not be the most authentic Italian bar you can visit, but Red Garter sure knows how to put on a party. Karaoke nights, budget-friendly menus and screens showing live sports mean it attracts a younger crowd. Taco Tuesday? Beer pong? Wings night? It just gets better and better…
Cross over the river to the Oltrarno district and you’ll stumble across a healthy helping of trendy venues. Often overlooked by tourists, you’ll find this area has the local’s seal of approval. Spend an evening bar-hopping between the Santo Spirito and San Frediano neighbourhoods.
Mad Souls & Spirits
Mad Souls & Spirits is bursting with character, from its unique cocktail names (we’ll have a ‘cookielicious’, please!) to its cool interior. Ordering a spritz is frowned upon, so push the boat out and try something a little different. The vibe is casual, making it the perfect place for a pre-dinner drink.
There’s not much we can tell you about this speakeasy style bar, as part of its appeal is its cloak-and-dagger mystery. You’ll need to pre-book, then you’ll get a password for admittance. Expect classy surroundings in an intimate setting and an incredibly well-stocked bar.
Posted: 29th Aug 2023. Updated: 29th Aug 2023.