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Tours and Transportation in Florence

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Feb 17th, 2016, 09:46 PM
  #1
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Tours and Transportation in Florence

I will be staying 5 days at the Westin of Florence and then another 5 at grand continental Siena in May.

Transportation questions

1. From the airport to the hotel is it better to take any taxi or schedule for a ride from the Westin?
2. From Florence to Siena what is the best mode of transportation and how long does that take?


Westin Tour questions

1. The Westin website has advertised a "food tour". I will be travelling alone so the idea is nice but I am not sure if it worth the money as I don't eat that much at once.

2. One tour offered by Westin is the Chianti tour or Pisa and Lucca or San gimignano and wine tasting or shopping outlet area or walking your of city major attractions. Which ones are worth it? All but the walking tour are 495 euro for 8 hours. The walking tour is 80euro/HR.


Thank you very much
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Feb 18th, 2016, 02:42 PM
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It's all about what you feel comfortable with.
Personally I'm very much do it myself, if only because using the public transport brings me more into contact with the country. And I'm a master of my own time and preferences. Others prefer to have it arranged for them and appreciate a guide showing them the way.
Getting to Lucca and Pisa is very easy. There are frequent so-called Regionale trains going directly from the main station in Florence to Pisa, from Pisa to Lucca and back to Florence.
The easiest way from Florence to Siena is by bus, which leaves from the bus station (autostazione) off the station square. It takes 1h15, and brings you just outside the historical centre of Siena. Alternative is the hourly train, taking a little bit longer (1h30). From both places a taxi can bring you to your hotel.
All these modes of transport are totally safe.
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Feb 18th, 2016, 02:59 PM
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Thank you I am the master of my time too. The only tour I have taken in my life was one around Vatican.
I think since I will be in Siena may 16-21, I'll do the countryside visits from there.
The only tour I am considering is one in Florence around the major attractions. That will help with avoiding lines too
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Feb 18th, 2016, 05:39 PM
  #4
kja
 
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No need to join a tour unless that's your preference.

If you book the Uffizi and Accademia in advance, no need to wait in line. If you don't book in advance, then -- as I understand it -- you should expect a LONG wait in line and be prepared for the possibility of being turned away.

Enjoy!
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Feb 18th, 2016, 08:25 PM
  #5
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Will look into booking those in a few days. Thank you
As for my stay in Siena, I m planning to visit the country sides at that time. One option is to get a private driver who charges 330 euro for 4 hours. Any thoughts?
Thanks again
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Feb 18th, 2016, 08:34 PM
  #6
kja
 
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One of the things I most enjoy when traveling is taking local transportation, as it provides, IME, an irreplaceable opportunity to observe local people interacting with each other. Just one thing to consider....
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Feb 19th, 2016, 04:36 AM
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We took a taxi to hotel from the airport, make sure you ignore the people asking you inside if you need a taxi, go to the taxi stand. Bus is best to Siena or you have to get a taxi to the center from the train station.

I took a great cooking class in Florence. We went to the market first and learned about oil, cheeses and meat and then cooked and drank through the class and ate an amazing meal. Good group of people.
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Feb 19th, 2016, 10:22 AM
  #8
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Nice! Where did you take the class from?
flpab, what do you think the best way would be for a solo traveler from Siena to the country sides?
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Feb 19th, 2016, 11:09 AM
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. One option is to get a private driver who charges 330 euro for 4 hours. Any thoughts?>>

yes, my thought is that it's a rip-off! Have a look on TA for ideas for the many tours you can do - most of them are well under €100, with a few [eg an all day wine tour] being about €160. There are also food tours, cooking classes, art tours - anything you like; you could do tours every day and still not pay more than what you've been quoted for a car and driver for 4 hours.

of course another option is a good guide book and some comfortable shoes - for example from the Westin you can easily nip over one of the bridges across the Arno into Oltrarno and explore the lovely area south of the river walking up to San Miniato via the Piazzale Michelangelo and then walking down again by a different route, which would make a great ½ day.

The best way to get to Siena from Florence is the bus from the bus station next to the SMN station - it drops you off in the centre of Siena and runs every hour or so, whereas the train station in Siena is some way away from the centre and you need to get a bus or taxi [or walk a long way].

[oops - I see that Tonfromleiden already said this - sorry Ton!]
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Feb 19th, 2016, 11:25 AM
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and here's the link:

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attrac...e_Tuscany.html
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Feb 19th, 2016, 02:52 PM
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http://www.florencetown.com/

I did the market and cooking class. They also have tours for out of town. Nice group of people in my class.
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Feb 22nd, 2016, 02:05 PM
  #12
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Hello

Quick questions

For Saturday/Sunday what are the things to do and NOT to do? Places to avoid? Places to enjoy?

Thanks much in advance
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