Florence, known to the locals as ‘Firenze’, is one of the most popular Italian destinations for tourists, students and Expats. The city is best known for its incredible Renaissance heritage, the superb architecture, museums and educational opportunities, but Florence also has a lot to offer its residents and visitors after the sun has set!
The Florentine locals know how to have a great time and the nightlife reflects the chic, elegant and occasionally indulgent side of the city. So if you’re been wondering what to do after the galleries have closed and you’ve finished your dinner then you’ll be spoilt for choice after dark in Florence. With stylish cocktail bars, rooftop terraces, music clubs and beer clubs, there’s something for everyone at night in the Tuscan capital.
A Brief Guide To The Main City Districts For Nightlife In Florence.
Every district in Florence has its own unique feel and each offers a different type of experience at night. Discovering the hidden gems and tucked away bars is part of the fun of Florentine nightlife but it’s also worth visiting some of the more legendary establishments in the city.
From wild nights on the tiles to a relaxing, Sauvé evening of relaxing in a classy bar sipping cocktails, we’ll detail the local districts to help orient you before you get dressed up for the night and head out on the town.
Santa Croce District, Florence.
Generally considered to be the beating heart of Florentine nightlife, the iconic Santa Croce district is centered around the Via de’ Benci, which connects the Santa Croce piazza to the River Arno.
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The main street in the district, Via de’ Benci, is flanked by numerous smaller side streets that are packed full of lovely local restaurants, bars and pubs. In this area you’ll find a wide range of revelers including foreign students, locals, tourists and Expats all rubbing shoulders on the cobbled streets late into the night.
If you’re looking for some upmarket wine bars you can check out the nearby Via de’ Neri and the Via Fiesolana where there’s a great choice of establishments serving some of the finest wines in Tuscany. There’s also several great clubs in the district where you can dance the night away to European club music as well as local DJs performing live sets.
Santo Spirito District, Florence.
Located in the center of Florence you can get a taste for authentic Italian nightlife in Santo Spirito. In this beautiful district you can find typical regional drinks, such as the famous Negroni, while meeting locals in small back street bars.
The Santo Spirito district, at the heart of Oltrarno, also has a bohemian feel that is a bit more laid back and relaxing than Santa Croce; and you’ll frequently see locals and tourists dressed up in their finest attires to visit a local wine bar after dinner.
You can often find outdoor music performances, improvised by highly talented musicians, as you wander from bar to bar which only adds to the authentic bohemian feel of the district!
San Frediano District, Florence.
Situated between Santo Spirito and Santa Croce, the San Frediano district is regularly described as the ‘coolest’ area in Florence by travel guides with some super chic bars and nightlife on offer. There’s lovely cocktail bars, top end hotel terraces and late night restaurants for you to choose from.
The recently gentrified district of San Frediano is a lot of fun with a great selection of tiny bars and restaurants nestled in the quieter back streets and since it’s all so close to each you can explore this district on foot at your leisure.
Santa Maria Novella.
The district stretches from the city’s center right down to the river and has a busy nightlife scene. There’s rooftop bars with amazing views across the city as well as late night cafes and bars with live local music amongst the cobbled side streets.
As one of the largest districts in Florence, Santa Maria Novella has plenty of diversity in it’s nightlife so if you’re not sure what to do you can just follow your feet and see what you find!
The Best Bars And Lounges In Florence.
The following are some of my favorite bars and lounges in Florence.
On the roof of the stylish Hotel Continentale, this stunning cocktail bar and lounge has an exclusive hidden garden feel. The small, intimate, venue has a charming character and the atmosphere is well worth getting dressed up for! In the lounge you can relax on large cushions that surround the terrace making it the ideal night time spot for couples on a romantic getaway.
You can watch the sunset over the city’s monuments and can even see the Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo from the terrace! Situated directly above the Ponte Vecchio you couldn’t choose a more iconic stop off for cocktails and Mediterranean snacks on a night out in Florence.
Located in a secret location in Santo Spirito, this speak-easy style bar is very unique! You need to book before you arrive and you’ll be sent a text message with the bar’s address and password. Once you arrive, you need to ring the doorbell and tell the staff your password before you’re allowed to enter the exclusive cocktail bar.
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Serving all the classic cocktails, as well as some of their own inventions, the interior of the bar is dimly lit and decorated in decadent 1920s speak-easy décor. Hanging candelabras, thick velvet curtains and stone vaulted ceilings, the Rasputin is a one of a kind in the historic center of Florence.
This super classy venue is legendary and has a good deal of prestige in the city. Founded in the early 1950s, Harry’s has been a magnet for tourists and Expats for decades and is famous for its Bellini’s. The old school vibe with white tablecloths, low lighting and the waiters in beige jackets all give the bar a snazzy atmosphere that’s fun to relax in while catching up with friends.
One of Florence’s most popular venues, La Murata is a cafe, restaurant and bar that regularly features live music sets. With spacious outdoor seating this bohemian establishment is a cultural hub of the city. Originally a monastery, and then a prison, La Murata is trendy and cool and is renowned for its homemade pizzas which are actually named after famous prisons!
The acoustics of the large central square give the venue an incredible ambience and is the perfect place to listen to some live music. The venue also hosts a wide range of events in the evenings including film screenings, art exhibitions and live debates; so you’ll never be quite sure what to expect when you drop by La Murata.
This magical rooftop terrace has 360 views of the city and is perched above the River Arno. The lights of the city sparkle on the river’s waters while you enjoy a glass of fine wine, dinner and snacks and you can even see the rural Tuscan hills in the distance. The ideal place to get your night in Florence started, the Se-Sto restaurant and bar exudes elegance, sophistication and luxury.
The Best Nightclubs And Live Music Venues In Florence.
The following are the best nightclubs and music venues:
If you’re looking for a serious night of dancing and hardcore tunes then Tenax, on the outskirts of Florence, is often regarded as the city’s number 1 clubbing venue. The legendary club puts on extremely high energy late night parties as well as contemporary live music events throughout the week and on weekends. Originally opening its doors in the 1980s the venue has hosted some of the biggest names in music including Radiohead, Daft Punk and Ben Harper.
It’s the ideal place to meet new people or have a big night out with friends; just expect a stylish crowd! The bar serves cocktails, beers and wines and if you want table service and a bit more privacy you can head to the upstairs VIP lounge.
Located in the historic center of Florence, Rex Cafe is a bar and lounge that keeps its doors open as a cozy late night dance club. Originally named after a famous 1930s ocean liner, the interiors are decorated with a nautical theme, including sail shaped lights and mosaics with blue wave patterns.
In the early evening you can relax in vintage chairs and sip cocktails. However, after dark, the venue has a varied line up throughout the week including jazz nights and live DJ sets when you can really let your hair down and boogie!
Just across the square from the Duomo, the Space Club has been one of the top nightclubs in Florence since the 1960s. The club has a space themed décor and started its life as a hippy commune although it’s since evolved to become one of the trendiest hangouts for modern day Florentines.
The nightclub hosts some of the hottest international and local DJs and has live sets on most nights of the week. The club has a stylish VIP lounge, cocktail bar and two huge dance floors where they keep the music playing till 4am.
The Jazz Club.
If you want a late night of sipping cocktails while listening to classic and contemporary jazz riffs then the Jazz Club on Via Nuova de Caccini is top of the bill in Florence. The small, cozy club is always hosting incredible acts and although it’s closed on Mondays it’s open every other night from 11pm until 4am. The Jazz Club is the ideal spot to drop by after dinner to enjoy the full bar that serves beer, quality wines and cocktails while relaxing to the sounds of Florence’s best jazz ensembles.
This late night music bar has a chilled atmosphere that hosts a huge range of bands in every genre you can imagine so you’ll never quite know what’ll be in for as you walk through the door! The venue is fairly small so it’s worth getting there early but given that happy hour ends at 10.30pm you’ve certainly got a good reason to be there before that ends! The venue stays open, playing live music, until 2 or 3am every night of the week except on Sundays when it’s closed.
Nightlife In Florence Is Second To None.
Although the city is better known for its cathedrals, galleries, Renaissance heritage and artwork the nightlife is also world class! There’s a perfect mix of chic, elegant bars and rooftop lounges, bohemian arts and music venues and high energy nightclubs hosting live DJs and live acts.
So no matter what you’re looking for when the sun goes down, you’re bound to find something that will exceed your expectations in the streets of Florence! Alternatively, if you’re not sure where to start your night you can just head out into the night and explore the center on foot until you find something that catches your eye among the beautiful cobblestoned streets and quiet moonlit piazzas.