Florence was hands down my favourite city in the two weeks I spent in Italy. It just had everything I wanted and then some. I only spent three days there with my friend S, but I could have stayed there a week! The city has such a great vibe. I had the best food there as well! Unfortunately, I didn't plan what we wanted to see before hand and all the tickets for the main attractions were sold out for the next three days, which is the amount of time we were spending there. It was a shame going all the way and not being able to go inside the Duomo or see David. We still made the most of our time there regardless and LOVED IT!
Florence Free walking tour
We found this online and since I have tried a number of free walking tours that I enjoyed like the one I went on in Oslo and Sarajevo, I thought this will be a good choice. I mean the amount information and some of the things you will see is interesting, but the tour guide was so monotone. We got so bored and left after an hour. It might be worth it for the education though! Here is their website in case you are interested.
Florence Cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore) and The Famous Duomo
Seeing this in person (from the outside) was magnificent. The level of detail and beauty is unreal! Because we didn't book ages in advance, there weren't any tickets online and the queue was INSANE! There were legit people outside selling the full experience for 50 euros, but I din't want to spend that much, so I only gave it some love from the outside and left! I previously read some of the Brunelleschi's dome book about how that dome was built, which I would highly recommend if you are into reading a story of the place before you go. It was an interesting story.
San Lorenzo Basilica + Treasure Museum (Han Bing gallery)
We only stumbled upon this because we couldn't go inside the Duomo and wanted to keep on exploring. The cool thing about the basilica is that they had an audio guide with a visual guide (something like an ipad or a tablet) that shows you pictures of previous structure and it gives you so much information. It was very interesting and you can spend over two hours listening and looking! I really liked the court yard of the treasure museum, the arches and the temporary exhibition of Han Bing work that they were hosting.
Thankfully, we managed to get some ticket for this famous gallery at least! We got them online for the last entry. It was a clam gallery with lots to see. We got the audio guide, which was a good call otherwise we wouldn't have enjoyed it as much!
The Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
This garden was fantastic. We had a full on photoshoot there! We couldn't help ourselves. The view from the rooftop was stunning as well. I wasn't a huge fan of the ceramics museum they had there, but the garden itself was so peaceful and lovely for an afternoon. We booked the tickets online for the 4pm slot and stayed there till 6ish.
This was my favourite. We went there two hours before the sunset for the view, but we got to walk around it and went into the little rose garden next to it. It was free, but it got SO CROWDED half an hour before sunset. Like there were too many people! I still managed to get a good photo, but be warned. I imagine that it would be much quieter in the sunrise.
Muslims in Florence:
There were plenty of Muslim tourists not to stand out! Everyone treated me really nicely and I didn't face any problems, which is great. I think people there are used to Muslim tourists.
Halal Food in Florence:
Just like Rome, I didn't find special halal Italian food, but I still had a fantastic food experience with being a vegetarian and eating some sea food.
Transportation in Florence:
It's affordable to get the bus and no one really checks tickets. I followed the suggestions made by google maps for the buses. There were few times were the bus route wasn't exact. It's always good to check the destination with the driver. I liked that the buses were air conditioned at least unlike Rome!