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Florence Nightlife: The Ultimate Guide for 2022

Florence Nightlife: The Ultimate Guide for 2022

Florence is one of the best cities in Italy for nightlife. All year round you’ll find a bustling cosmopolitan crowd spilling out into the streets of the city centre. Florentines tend to venture away from the centre when they go clubbing into the early hours, but the city’s sizable international community keeps the centre bustling until late. We’ve written this Tipsy guide to help you find the best place for you depending on where you’re staying and what kind of Florence nightlife you’re looking for!

How is the nightlife in Florence?

Florence’s nightlife is more centred around bars than clubs. Apart from the main strip along Via dei Benci, the city’s narrow renaissance layout doesn’t really accommodate the kind of strips you find in major cities. In fact, spill out of the centre’s clubs singing and shouting in the early hours and you can expect a dousing of water from the windows above. Which in the scorching summer months isn’t necessarily a deterrent. 

There are several basement clubs in Florence, like Full Up Club, Babylon, and YAB, which are open until 2 or 3 in the morning. They might be worth it in the winter, but visiting a basement club in the summer feels like descending into one of Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell.

Just don’t do it. 

If you want a really big night, the best club in Florence is Tenax which is open until 4:30am. Or if you’d rather party the night away in the open air, your best bet is Flo.

One thing to note is that the Italian word for a nightclub is discoteca. After reading this guide, you shouldn’t need to ask a local for advice on Florence’s clubs. But if you ask them about clubs, there’s a good chance they could point you to a strip club or ‘gentlemen's’ club which is the Italian meaning of the word.

Best Bars in Florence

Rex Cafè

Via Fiesolana, 25r

9pm - 2am

Hidden away on a small street in the Sant’Ambrogio district, Rex is the city centre’s most bustling late-night bar. If you’re looking for a more traditional Florentine experience, Rex is the place for you. Expect DJs playing decent dance tunes, reasonably priced drinks, and to find yourself surrounded by Florence's young and beautiful. Just bear in mind that it can get pretty crowded, and at times shuffling around its central island bar can feel like being processed through a perfumed intestine. 

MAD Souls & Spirits Bar

Borgo San Frediano 38r

6pm - 2am 

Situated across the river in, in the world’s coolest neighbourhood of Oltrarno, MAD Souls & Spirits Bar has become cult in recent years. Its alchemists in chief, Julian Biondi and Neri Fantechi, have created an uber trendy, utterly unique bar that serves up innovative, reasonably priced drinks and cocktails in a Spartan bottle green and brick red setting.

Forget your usual fare of aperol spritz or draught beer on tap. The MAD men chalk up their weird and wacky inventions on their “Daily Madness” board. That is if cocktails made from carrot jam, egg whites and bourbon sound up your street. Otherwise just stick to spritz.

The Lion’s Fountain

Borgo degli Albizi, 34r

12pm - 1:30am

The Lion’s Fountain is Florence’s longest-running Irish pub, a haven of Guinness and international groups, and a home-away-from-home for Florence’s foreign punters. This is where Erasmus students meet for pre-drinks before marching on nearby clubs like Bamboo, Babylon. 

Drink prices are pretty standard for Florence’s city centre (€5/6 for a draft beer, €2/3 for a shot). The music is almost exclusively Anglo-American with a rousing rendition of Mr Brightside pretty much nailed on every night just before closing. 

Piccolo

Borgo Santa Croce, 23

8pm - 2am (Closed Sunday - Monday)

Hidden away on a small side street connecting the main strip on Via dei Benci to the Basilica of Santa Croce, Piccolo is one of Florence’s most popular gay bars. Open until 2, it serves up cheap, strong drinks, a friendly environment and decent music with a dance floor. Just a few doors down is another trendy bar, Quelo, which serves up quite possibly the strongest Long Island Iced Tea you can imagine. Not to consume around a naked flame. 

Where is the best nightlife in Florence?

Florence’s main strip is on the Via dei Benci between the River Arno and the Sant’Ambrogio district. Late-night revellers tend to end up at Red Garter, an American-themed dance and karaoke bar forever etched in memory as the place I lost my pride. 

If drinking and flirting the night away beneath the stars in a piazza is more your thing, head across the river to Piazza Santo Spirito. Locals, students, and aspiring singer-songwriters congregate here until the early hours in a bohemian rhapsody of cigarette smoke wine in plastic cups.

Best Clubs in Florence

Space Club

Borgo San Frediano 38r

11pm - 4:30am (Friday - Saturday); 11:45pm - 4:45am (Tuesday - Wednesday)

Space isn’t so much a nightclub as an experiential void in the space-time continuum. It’s the kind of club you stumble into at midnight and stumble out of half an hour later at 5am. Only 100 poorer, and with a list of numbers you’ll never call and Instagram profiles you can't seem to place. 

Space Club spans two floors and a small indoor smoking area, none of which you’d recognise in the cold light of day. The fumes from the smoking area merge with the haze from the smoke machines to create a kind of Star Wars spaceship vibe but with a much better soundtrack. 

Expect to pay a cover charge at the door which at least includes a drink ticket. Girls sometimes get in for free, depending on the night. And remember - Space is mad. Space is messy. Space is really, really fun. 

Tenax

Via Pratese, 46

10:30pm - 4:30am. Friday - Saturday

Situated a 15 minute drive outside the city centre, Tenax is the only proper club in Florence. 

Tenax was named after this Italian pop hit from the early 80s. And let’s face it, it’s not all that. But the club itself has surpassed the song after which it was named both in terms of fame and fortune. 

Tenax is the only club in Florence able to attract big names in international dance music. Recent acts include the precise German techno of Ben Klock, Apparat, Chemical Brothers and Bob Sinclair. 

Combo Social Club

Via Mannelli, 2

Combo is the best club in Florence for indie music. It’s situated just outside the centre, right next to the station of Firenze Campo di Marte, and offers a bit of a grungier night out than most clubs in Florence. Although it spans several sizable rooms it always feels intimate, crowded, and close to the action. We’ve never had a bad night out at Combo and we’re sure you won’t either.

Flo

Viale Michelangiolo, 84

10:30pm - 3am. Daily except Monday

Flo is by far the trendiest outdoor club in Florence and the place to be if you want to make your friends jealous on Instagram. Only open in the spring and summer, the nightclub is perched on a hill overlooking the renaissance city, just a couple of minutes’ walk from Piazza Michelangelo

What to wear to clubs in Florence?

What should guys wear for Florence nightlife

If you want to blend in with the locals, chinos and a white shirt is a sure fire bet in the summer. T-shirts are fine, but don’t even think about wearing short sleeved shirts. Also be sure to avoid wearing football shirts, as this guarantees you won’t get in. 

What should girls wear for Florence nightlife

Florentine girls adopt this kind of hippie student, rock’n’roll style that almost always involves leather boots or Doc Martens - even in the summer. To survive a scorching summer night, go for lightweight spring and summer dresses or crop tops. Just make sure not to wear sneakers as this might prevent you from getting into some places. 

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