Booking tickets for Florence museums
Florence is an open-air museum and attracts millions of visitors from all over the world every year. Renown as the cradle of the Renaissance for its palaces, churches and museums, Florence is certainly unique.
During high season it is often difficult to walk around Piazza Duomo and almost impossible to visit the major museums.
The Uffizi Gallery is the most visited museum in Italy and counts over 2200 works of art in its collection and about 1,5 million visitors per year. Even though Uffizi tickets can be reserved easily online or by phone, it frequently happens to see endless lines in front of the Gallery. Furthermore it can sometimes happen that after waiting a couple of hours in line you still don't enter the Uffizi.
The Uffizi Gallery has limited admissions at any one time and sometimes allows entrance to visitors with reservations, mostly in the high season. In this period, it can take a few days to get book Uffizi Museum tickets.
If you want to avoid being in Florence and miss visiting the Uffizi Gallery, I highly recommend you book your tickets in advance at least one week ahead (or 2 weeks during high season). The easiest way to reserve your tickets is to book Uffizi tickets online using your credit card and printing out your voucher.
Among the other museums in Florence which merit booking tickets ahead of time is the Academy Gallery. Here you'll find the original marble statue David by Michelangelo and other masterpieces by Perugino, Filippino Lippi and Botticelli. Just like the Uffizi, the Accademia is invaded by over 1,2 million visitors every year.
The long lines at the entrance in via Ricasoli 58-60 often wind around the nearby streets. To avoid queuing under the sun or rain - there is no portico as at the Uffizi - it is necessary to reserve tickets.
Bargello, Pitti Palace and Other Museums
Even though other Florence museums such as the Bargello National Museum with its great sculpture collection, the Pitti Palace with its several precious museums and the Boboli Gardens, and the Medici Chapels, with masterpieces by Michelangelo, are not as busy as the Uffizi and the Academy, it's still useful to reserve tickets for these museums - especially during the high season. For these, you can reserve tickets online two or three days in advance.
Generally speaking, it is good practice to book Florence museum tickets in advance, in particular from April to October when Florence is abloom with tourists. I personally think that the extra cost of a reservation can easily be justified by the time you save not queuing in front of the museums and thus have more time to discover Florence better. On the other hand, if you want to leave your visit to Florence flexible, prepare for the lines and maybe bring a good book with you to make the time pass faster!
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