Some that we really enjoyed...Uffizi, Accademia, The Basilica di Santa Croce and The view from Piazzale Michelangelo is truly amazing. We are going back next summer and plan to add the duomo and the pitti palace to our list of places.
Piazza della Signoria - with the Loggia dei Lanzi and Palazzo Vecchio
Uffizi Gallery, right next to Palazzo Vecchio
Accademia Gallery, where Michelangelo's original marble statues of David is located
Piazza del Duomo - which includes the cathedral, baptistery and bell tower
Church of Santa Croce
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Piazzale Michelangelo, as JMFell noted - to get an extraordinary view of Florence
Boboli Gardens - offers more views of Florence
Then of course there are many other museums, monuments and squares to see and visit but off the top of my head these are the most popular and definitely must-sees!
The Uffizi is tremendously popular and rightly so. As one of the most impressive collections of fine Renaissance art in the world, the Uffizi is one of the busiest attractions in Florence, Italy. In the Uffizi Gallery, visitors can see first-hand the mastery of Botticelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and many other Italian masters.
2.) The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore:
The Duomo's (church's) dome was designed by Brunelleschi and is one of the most visited pieces of Italian architecture. Brunelleschi was awarded the job of designing the dome after a competition held in 1419 by the Arte della Lana. With the help of Donatello, Brunellschi was awarded the task. It also features the stunning Giotto's Tower.
3.) The National Museum of the Bargello:
The Bargello is located near the Piazza della Signoria and houses some of the most incredible sculptures from the leading artists of the Renaissance era. Such noted works from Michelangelo, Donatello, Ammannati, Bandinelli and others grace the interior of this great museum.
4.) The Accademia:
Home to Michelangelo's David, the Accademia is a popular tourist spot and can get quite busy. Leave your camera at the hotel, because no pictures are allowed inside. Call ahead for a reservation and save yourself an hour wait in line for one of the most amazing Italy tours.
5.) Pitti Palace:
On the southern bank of the Arno, Pitti Palace houses the art collection of the former Medici family. Also, the included Boboli Gardens make an idealistic and beautiful walk behind the palazzo.
6.) Ponte Vecchio:
The only bridge to survive World War II and the oldest bridge in Florence, the Ponte Vecchio is a sightseer’s and shopper's delight as there is a number of fine jewelry stores located nearby the "old bridge."
7.) Santa Croce:
Come and pay homage at the monumental tombs of some of the most noted and respected artists of Italy including Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Dante.
8.) San Lorenzo:
No less than nine Michelangelo sculptures can be seen in the sacristy of this agrarian church. With a facade that was never fully completed, the church has a deceiving quality if viewed from the outside. But once inside, enjoy the Renaissance in all its glory.
9.) Santa Maria del Carmine:
The Santa Maria del Carmine is most famous for its collection of inspired frescoes by such artists as Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale. It's also home to the Brancacci Chapel and the Corsini Chapel.
10.) Ponte Santa Trinita:
This bridge, near the church Santa Trinita, is the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world and was designed and constructed by famed Florentine, Bartolomeo Ammanati. The original bridge was destroyed by German troops in August of 1944, but was later rebuilt in 1958 with most of the stones coming from the original construction.
As an American who went over last fall for the first time, I would HIGHLY recommend that if you are going to do the Uffizi or Accedemia that you buy your tickets in advance. I bought mine in advance and walked by lines that were hundreds long that were waiting to buy tickets and be let in. Don't waste your precious vacation time standing in lines.
As JMFell recommends, there are periods when you definitely have to buy museum tickets ahead of time - you can buy Uffizi tickets online as well as for the Accademia Gallery (with our partner Florence Tickets).
There are many attractive places ion Florence such as:
Most most famous square "Piazza della Signoria" - The heart of the historic center and a free open-air sculpture exhibit.
The Loggia della Signoria - Holds some important statues including a copy of Michelangelo's David.
Il Duomo - Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore -Has several elaborate doors and interesting statues.