Florence on the cheap?

(16 Posts)
MushroomTree Mon 25-May-15 13:44:25

DP has just gotten back from Sienna for a family wedding. Whilst out there he had been hoping to take a day trip to Florence but apparently it wasn't on the itinerary...

So now I'd like to surprise him with a few days in Florence so he can do the things he wanted to do.

The problem is I haven't got a very big budget. A few hundred £ at most.

Am I being too ambitious? Any tips for Florence on the cheap?

Failing that, would Barcelona be any cheaper? It's another destination I know he's had in mind for a while.

thelittlebooktroll Wed 27-May-15 19:46:53

We did 5 days in Florence for a family of 5 for around £1200. Bought very cheap flights -Ryanair flew into Pisa and got the airport bus into Florence. Very easy. Rented a relatively cheap self catering apartment in the middle of town and mostly did self catering and ate out a few times only. Florence is expensive but can be done on a budget. We had an amazing time!!!

MrsTrelis Wed 27-May-15 19:57:04

Get a Firenze card. It covers travel on public transport and entrance into nearly all the key things to see & do.

It's so so easy to get the train from Pisa airport to the centre of Florence, and you can mostly walk anywhere easily.

We absolutely loved Florence, it's amazing!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 28-May-15 11:34:46

A few hundred including flights?

Firstly - fly to Pisa Ryanair or Easyjet. It's a quick hop and cheap on the train to Florence.
www.holidaylettings.co.uk/central-florence/holidays/hom_sleeps_max.2/?m=20454&supci=31537993&supag=13857049334&supsc=s&supai=50383920374&supap=1t2&supdv=c&supnt=g&suppm=&supap1=3471&supap2=%C2%A343
Then self cater - watch out for minimum stays !

LIZS Thu 28-May-15 11:37:37

We found it cheaper to fly to Bologna on Easyjet last summer than any of the Pisa options. Transfer is similar.

MushroomTree Fri 29-May-15 15:28:13

Brilliant, thanks for the advice. Glad there is an option that doesn't involve a car.

DP doesn't drive and I definitely couldn't afford it if I had to factor in the cost of hiring a car.

Any other tips for a good holiday in Florence?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Fri 29-May-15 15:48:13

You do NOT want to drive in Florence if you can avoid it. Besides it is tiny - very easy to walk around.

We stayed in self catering for two weeks, converted shed in the grounds of a large villa with pool and gardens. Bliss. We spent the mornings doing cultural stuff, lazed about in the afternoons after a lunch in the sun. Then out for dinner. Donkey's years ago though so haven't a clue on restaurants. Steer clear of the obviously touristy restaurants in the main squares and you'll get better food and value. It was handy to be there for a longer stay as we could do things like the Uffizi mid week at 9am when it was much quieter. For a short visit, I'd simply avoid it unless you are a total culture hound. It is huge and has a lot of religious art which frankly bored the pants off me after a while. I'd much rather see it in a beautiful church of which there are many.
The food market is good fun and good value - no-one will speak a word of English though so you'll have to give it a go with your own Italian.

I checked and the same accommodation isn't on the site any more. Sorry !

abigamarone Fri 05-Jun-15 23:28:00

If you're married I'd recommend monasterystays.com very very cheap basic clean accommodation. Dotted all round Italy, Usually in some magnificent old building. Downside is you'd probably have a curfew and they're a bit fussy about unmarrieds sharing a room. I stayed in a place in venice that was near San Marco square last year with my kids and we all loved it.

MushroomTree Mon 22-Jun-15 17:20:03

Staying in a monastery sounds great, but unfortunately not married and I'm not sure how DP would feel about a curfew.

I'd love it though!

lavendersun Mon 22-Jun-15 17:30:45

Have a look at British Airways, selecting flight and hotel option OP.

We are going to Florence, Bologna and Rimini at October half term. Two nights in your average 4* European Hotel.

Booked through BA with our choice of hotels, I just need to buy the train tickets.

I can't find the e-mail (worrying!) but it was less than £950 for three of us for 6 nights.

lavendersun Mon 22-Jun-15 17:31:46

That should have said - two nights in your average European Hotel in each place.

lavendersun Mon 22-Jun-15 17:37:45

Phew, I had to log into my account to check it was there as I can't find the e-mail at all.

£906 including return flights so £302 each for 6 nights in the school holidays.

I bet you can easily do it on your budget for 2 nights outside holidays.

lavendersun Mon 22-Jun-15 17:39:16

And yes, train from Bologna is very easy. I used to live near Stansted and flew to Bologna for about £40 several times because it was easy and cheap, taking a train to wherever I wanted to go.

IreneR Wed 24-Jun-15 00:59:09

How lovely are you to do this for your DP?!?!

If you do want to see the Uffizi or the Bargello, you can book ahead from home and avoid the long wait....

MushroomTree Thu 25-Jun-15 14:17:42

Thanks lavendersun - your holiday sounds amazing!

IreneR - we've had a really tough 6 months/year (illness, family issues etec.) so I thought it would be nice to do something for him.

Hopefully I can pull this off!

lavendersun Thu 25-Jun-15 17:55:00

Mushroom, have just looked up our Easter trip - two nights in Rome, early BA flight on day one and late BA flight on day 3 so two full days.

£485 for three of us incl flights - BA again, school hols, we came home on 2/4.

Also three nights in Venice for three of us for £603 at Feb half term.

I always book a decent 4* european hotel.

Am really really sure you can do it. grin.

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