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10 Florence Museums to Visit

The Florence is a city of art and numerous museums that are sprinkled all over the city. Whether you're an art lover or simply want to immerse yourself in Italy's rich culture, you'll find something for yourself.

Choose from the famous Uffizi Gallery or Accademia Gallery to the less known Bargello Museum or Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. Or opt for a quiet Orsanmichele Museum, for a short sightseeing option. Kids will love exploring the secret passages of Palazzo Vecchio or seeing telescopes and globes at Galileo Museum.

If you don’t want to spend your whole time in the city visiting museums, you may want to just visit a couple of the best museums in Florence, and then maybe choose a couple of the other ones, based on your particular interests.

So these are the top Florence museums that you really shouldn’t miss.

You need to know this...

All year long, and especially in peak season (from April until November), you'll find long lines in front of popular sights and museums in Florence, including the Uffizi and the Accademia.

Smart travellers save hours of waiting in line by planning ahead the visit. That's why we recommend buying skip-the-line tickets for popular sights with online travel companies.

We had an excellent service with both Tiqets and Viator in most cities, including Florence.

SKIP TO:

  1. Uffizi Gallery - one of the largest and the most popular; you'll need 3-4 hours to see all artworks; we recommend taking a guided tour

  2. Accademia Gallery - the smaller one; you'll need from 1-2 hours; crowded most of the time

  3. Palazzo Vecchio Museum - recommend taking one of the tours; great for families with kids

  4. Bargello Museum - the smaller museum; not crowded at all; you could spend 2-3 hours here

  5. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo - one of the most interesting; mostly not crowded

  6. Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti) - one of the largest; contains of impressive galleries and museums that house important collections of paintings, sculpture and pieces of art; you could easily spend the whole day here

  7. Orsanmichele Museum and Church - beautiful church and small museum; ideal for a short visit; amazing views of Florence roofs

  8. Laurentian Library - the part of Basilica di San Lorenzo complex; stunning library you should definitely visit; not crowded

  9. San Marco Museum - houses the world's largest collection of works by Beato Angelico; not so crowded

  10. Galileo Museum - the science museum, ideal for both kids and adults

Donatello's David in Bargello MuseumDonatello's David in Bargello Museum

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Want to save on Florence museums?

If you are planning to see a lot of museums in Florence, then Firenze Card is a good way to save you the money (and time). It's an official museum pass which is valid for 72 hours from the first use. The card allows you priority entrance to 60 Florence museums.

Firenze Card is not worth if you plan to see only the Uffizi and the Accademia. But, if you are going to visit also Palazzo Vecchio or Medici Chapels, then you should get this card. 👉 Get here your Firenze Card

Another great deal is Passpartout 5 Days, covering the Uffizi and several other popular sights (Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, Bardini Gardens, National Archeologic Museum and Museo Opificio delle Pietre Dure). This pass is valid for 5 days so you have enough time to visit all! You need to make the reservation only for the Uffizi! 👉 Get here your Passpartout 5 Days

🏠 For those looking for a cosy place to stay in Florence, consider booking Casa di Chiara, the stylish apartment offering every comfort (plus, hosts are the top!).

1. Uffizi Gallery (the most famous one)

"Primavera" by Sandro Botticelli"Primavera" by Sandro Botticelli

The Uffizi Gallery is an absolute must-see, whether you're an art enthusiast or not! It's super easy to find – just head to Ponte Vecchio, then stroll along the Arno river for a few minutes and you'll be there.

The Uffizi is one of Italy's most famous museums and it's easy to see why! It's home to an incredible collection of Renaissance masterpieces, including works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Botticelli and many more.

Spend a couple of hours here marvelling at the famous paintings and other incredible artworks!

The Uffizi Gallery hours are typically from 8:15am to 6:30pm, and like many other Florence museums, it closes on Mondays. The tickets are usually sold out a few days in-advance, so plan at least 4-5 days before visiting.

The best time of the day for visiting the Uffizi is early in the morning (just after opening) or before closure (to avoid the largest crowds).

We would recommend getting this priority entrance ticket (easy to book and use). If you plan to visit other major Florence sights, then the Florence Pass would be a good choice (will save you the money and time).

If you think you'll be overwhelmed, opt for a guided tour, and see the highlights of the Uffizi (such as "Primavera" by Botticelli or “Venus of Urbino” by Titian) in a short period of time.

We loved taking this guided tour with friendly guide Marcello (the groups are small and the tour lasts for 1.5 hour). We're sure you'll be happy with this tour!

FINDING THE UFFIZI: The Uffizi Gallery is extremely easy to find as it's located near Piazza della Signoria, which is home to Palazzo Vecchio. The back of the Uffizi (where you can find the entrance to pre-booked tickets) is located on the bank of Arno River.

TICKETS: €12 full price from 1 November to 28 February; €25 full price from 1 March to 31 October, buy the priority ticket HERE!

Recommended tickets/tours for the Uffizi:


2. Accademia Gallery (very popular)

Michelangelo's 17-foot-tall marble statue of David

The Accademia Gallery is another famous Florence Museum. It's home to Michelangelo's iconic marble David statue, as well as his famous unfinished works known as "Prisoners" or "Slaves". It is located in the very centre of Florence, in Via Ricasoli, 58/60.

The Accademia Gallery is small when compared to other museums in the city, so it's easy to explore it, even with just one day in Florence.

The Accademia Gallery is also called the Michelangelo Museum since out, of all the museums in the world, it features the largest number of statues by the famous Italian Renaissance artist. 

The most famous, Michelangelo's 17-foot-tall marble statue of David, carved from a single block of Carrara marble, portrays the biblical hero in a moment of contemplation before facing Goliath is located here.

Other Michelangelo's works are the Prisoners, the St. Matthew and the Palestrina Pietà. The Accademia is worth a visit not only for Michelangelo's masterpieces, but also for Giambologna's The Rape of the Sabine Women, Botticelli's Madonna and Child and Madonna of the Sea, and works by Perugino, Filippino Lippi, Pontormo and Bronzino.

The tickets for this museum often sell out well in advance, so be sure to buy them ahead. If you try to buy them on-site means waiting in line for multiple hours. 

Consider taking a guided tour, to avoid searching for tickets. The Accademia Gallery hours are from 8:15am to 6:50pm. They are closed on Mondays.

FINDING THE ACCADEMIA: This museum is easy to find - once you reach Piazza del Duomo (in the centre of the city), go behind the Cathedral and take Via Ricasoli where the Accademia is situated (8-10 minutes walk).

USEFUL TICKETS: €12 full price and €2 reduced for 18-25 year olds, buy your priority ticket HERE! Or visit the Uffizi and Accademia with one easy ticket! Visit to the Accademia is covered with Florence Pass!

3. Palazzo Vecchio Museum

Salone Dei Cinquecento - Palazzo Vecchio

You'll can't miss the Palazzo Vecchio, as it is situated on the one of the most beautiful squares of Florence - Piazza della Signoria. While there's the spectacular Hall of the Five Hundred and numerous frescoes to admire, the architecture and design are the real stars at Palazzo Vecchio.

Entering the courtyard is free, so don't miss this opportunity to admire the artworks on display, including the bronze statue of David by Verrocchio and the frescoes depicting scenes from Greek mythology.

For seeing more, visit the Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Hundred), the largest and most important room in terms of artistic and historical value inside the palace. This hall has a length of 54 meters, a width of 23 and a heigh of 18 meters. Paneled ceilings and large wall frescoes, golden decorations and imposing sculptures will leave you admiring in marvel.

Among the masterpieces of the building stand out Donatello's Judith, Bronzino's paintings in the Eleonora Chapel and Michelangelo's Genius of Victory

The beautiful courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence

We find the Palazzo Vecchio one of the most interesting museums in Florence. We love its secret routes, perfectly suitable for visits by families with kids and those who are curious. You'll find many guided tours for families that are perfect for introducing history and Florence in a fun way!

For a spectacular view over the Florence, climb the 416 steps of the Palazzo Vecchio tower to the top of the Torre di Arnolfo. You can see Palazzo Vecchio in a whole new light on this walking tour.

Palazzo Vecchio hours are 9:00am to 7:00pm every day except Thursday, and 9am to 2pm on Thursdays. 

It is recommended to book Palazzo Vecchio tickets in advance to avoid long lines and ensure availability (priority entrance tickets would be a good idea!).

Taking a guided tour of Palazzo Vecchio could be an excellent idea. From many available options we can recommend these ones (quality and very popular):

TICKETS: €12.50 full price for the museum, €12.50 for the Arnolfo Tower. Buy your priority entrance tickets HERE (you'll get also a video guide)

4. Bargello Museum (one of the best)

Michelangelo room in Bargello Museum

In our opinion, the Bargello Museum is one of the most beautiful one in Florence. Situated in the stunning historic palace, not far from Piazza della Signoria, this is one of the less-crowded museums. In fact, it offers very relaxing experience for the art lovers (stay at Casa di Chiara, only 20 minute walk away from here).

What makes the Bargello truly special is that it houses one of the largest collections of Italian Renaissance sculptures, done by great masters such as Michelangelo, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Bernini and more. You can easily skip the Uffizi and spend 2-3 hours exploring this interesting museum.

You can enjoy Michelangelo’s Bacchus, a marble sculpture of the Roman god of wine, brought into existence by Michelangelo’s masterful hands. Donatello’s David, a bronze work, graces the museum as well, displaying the artist’s meticulous attention to detail.

In its halls, you’ll discover many more items to view, from collections of armour and ceramics, tapestries, ivories, majolicas and other works of art.

The building itself is also a treat to explore, with an open courtyard which is a great place to relax while seeing statues under its portico. You'll be amazed with the details on the bronze statue Il Pescatore, by Vincenzo Gemito (displayed in the portico).

The Bargello Museum in Florence

Finding the Bargello Museum: Once you are on Piazza della Signoria, go behind the Neptun Fountain to Via dei Gondi, then turn left to Piazza di S. Firenze then continue into Via del Proconsolo where the Bargello Museum can be found.

The Bargello is open from 8:15am to 1:50pm (some days until 6:50pm) and closed on Tuesdays.

Get your Bargello tickets easily online or buy them on the spot. Or save the time and money by purchasing one of combo tickets!

5. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)

Behing the Duomo, you'll find the Museuo dell'Opera del Duomo, one of the five monuments comprising the storied Duomo complex. It spans over 6000 square meters, with works from the Michelangelo and Donatello that spread across 28 rooms.

This museum is one of the overlooked museums in Florence. That's a good news for you, as you can explore it without much of a crowd. 

Some of the city's greatest masterpieces are here: Michelangelo's last Pietà, early-15th-century marble galleries by Luca della Robbia and Donatello, his St. John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene, silk and gold needlework, and the silver altar of the baptistery. Although the themes here are almost entirely religious, the different media and craftsmanship give the collection tremendous variety.

The Museuo dell'Opera del Duomo is open from 8:30am to 7:00pm seven days a week and closes the first Tuesday of each month.

This guided experience covers the whole Duomo complex, including the Cathedral museum (you'll skip the long lines).

6. Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti)

With several museum under its roofs, you could spend all day in the Palazzo Pitti. It's a complex containing eight museums - the most important are the Palatina Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Gallery of Costume and Fashion, and the Imperial and Royal Apartments.

It's a huge place and a full visit is not really doable in one day, but definitely worth a visit if you have a particular interest in one of above collections.

The Palatina galleries are the absolute highlight, with wonderful paintings by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and many others. Meanwhile, Galleria d'Arte Moderna features a chronological survey of primarily Tuscan art from the mid-eighteenth century to 1945.

Next, the are decorated rooms of the Royal Apartments, where the Medici and the ruling families once lived. It's wise to book your tickets to Pitti Palace in advance.

This skip-the-line tickets are great if you are visiting only Pitti Palace and Palatine Gallery. For those who want to visit Boboli and Bardini Gardens along the Pitti Palace, we recommend this skip-the-line ticket.

In our opinion, the best option would be Passepartout 5 days pass, which includes all mentioned before plus the Uffizi Gallery (you'll save both the time and money),

7. Orsanmichele Museum and Church

Orsanmichele Museum in Florence

On your way from the Duomo to Piazza della Signoria, you'll stumble upon the Orsanmichele Church, recognizable by the sculptures of saints decorating the facade.

The church and museum is ideal spot for spending an hour away from city's crowds (plus, you'll be rewarded by amazing views of the Florence from above).

Buy your tickets (which costs €8) from the ticket office at Via dei Calzaiouli, then go around the church to Via dell'Arte della Lana, where the entrance is. You could also save with this combo ticket (covers 6 Florence museums!).

The Orsanmichele Church is stunning, with frescoes on the ceiling and marble tabernacle by Andrea Orcagna, made in the mid-14th century to house Bernardo Daddi's painting "Virgin and Child with Angels". Snap a few photos here!

After exploring the church, go across the street to the museum, which houses the originals of 13 statues (that once adorned the four sides of the building). These bronze and marble statues made by Florentine artists, Donatello, Verrocchio, Ghiberti, Giambologna are true masterpieces.

Finally, take a spiral staircase to reach the top floor, where you can admire a panorama of Florence (you'll see the Duomo as well as Palazzo Vecchio).

You can take a seat on wooden benches you'll find here, and enjoy a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere (away from street crowds).

The exterior of the Orsanmichele Church is decorated with niches containing statues of saintsThe exterior of the Orsanmichele Church is decorated with niches containing statues of saints

When taking this walking tour of Florence, you'll explore the Orsanmichele Church and Museum along the Duomo and the Accademia.

The church and museum are open from 8:30am to 6:30pm (Mon to Sat) and 8.30am to 1.50pm (Sun). Entry is €8 per person.

8. Laurentian Library (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana)

Laurentian Library in Florence

Laurentian Library is a true gem, when it comes to places to visit in Florence. This historical library is a part of Basilica di San Lorenzo complex (situated very close to the Duomo).

The library contains the manuscripts and books belonging to Medici's private library. The library was designed by Michelangelo (from 1525 to 1534).

A flight of stone stairs brings you into the very long library/reading room. Rows of unique book storage shelves line the room. Original signs hang beside each row indicating the books in that particular section. The beautiful carved ceiling is a true masterpiece.

Continue past the long corridor and you’ll enter an area which is home to an incredible collection of ancient maps depicting major ports that were used during the golden age of trade/shipping.

The vestibule has a simple and elegant architectural style with a staircase leading up to the reading room. The rather large reading room has rows of seats and lecterns separated by a center aisle. Lighting is provided by stained glass windows (decorated with grotesques and emblems) along the walls. The superb carved linden ceiling is from 1550.

Note that Laurentian Library is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:15am to 1:45pm and on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:15am to 5:15pm. Buy a combination ticket with Basilica di San Lorenzo to save a few euros.

9. San Marco Museum

museo san marco 10

Museo di San Marco houses the world's largest collection of works by Beato Angelico, including the Annuciation. The museum also includes other works of great historical and artistic value, first and foremost Ghirlandaio's Last Supper, then Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio's Madonna with a Girdle, Paolo Uccello's Madonna and Child, and minor works such as the famous portrait depicting Girolamo Savonarola and Della Robbia's tin-glazed terracottas. The museum's beautiful library is also worth a visit.

Get there as soon as the door opens at 8:15am to get some peace enjoying the museum before the crowds. The Library also has some very interesting Illuminated Manuscripts. 

Another amazing place to visit when in Florence. So worth it. Such a gorgeous galleria and atrio with tons of history withheld in it, from portraits to ancient journals, to sculptures and Christian arts made with gold. Well maintained. The staff was very helpful in answering any questions or curiosities you might have.

Allow approximately 2 hours to visit. You can buy the tickets online or when you visit. The museum is opened from Monday to Saturday 8:15am to 13:50 pm. 👉 Book your tickets online

10. Galileo Museum (the science museum)

There aren't just art museums in Florence. The Galileo Museum is for science enthusiasts. It's home to a remarkable collection of historical scientific instruments.

Most notable among them is Galileo Galilei's telescopes, with which he discovered Jupiter's four "Galilean moons". Other exhibits include a huge variety of clocks, scientific models, surgical instruments and even some of Galileo's bones.

The easiest way to get to the museum is to go down Via del Proconsolo, that becomes Via Leoni and then Castellani. It's at the end of the street at Piazza Guidici. 

We are sure you'll love this museum, and if you are bringing kids this is a great place for them too. Also it is a quiet cool place and not crowded at all (covered by the Florence Card).

Museo Galileo is open from 9:30am to 6pm every day except Tuesday when it closes at 1pm.

Experience Florence Museums on a guided tour

Visit Florence museums on a guided tour

Visiting Florence museums on a guided tour could be an excellent choice. You'll make the most of your precious time in Florence as your local guide will take your around the museum to show you the most important artworks.

Plus, your guide will reveal you history facts about the museums and explain everything behind the paintings and sculptures you are viewing. 

Moreover, with Florence museum tickets in such high demand, taking a tour is a great way to skip all the hassle of getting the tickets on specific day and time.

Private tours are another great option as they usually include all logistics such as transportation to and from your hotel or apartment.

A great sources of guided tours are Viator and GetYourGuide, both offering a range of guided tours by local companies. On both websites you can compare all tours available on specific date and choose the one that best suits you.

Choose from these great Florence museums tours:

  1. City Wonders tour of the Uffizi Gallery - Great small-group tour with many daily departures showing you the highlights of the Uffizi. In only 1.5 hour your guide will show you the best artworks and tell you stories behind them. Stay after the tour to explore more, if you wish. We took this tour and absolutely loved it! 👉 Book easily here!

  2. DAVID and Accademia Private Tour in Florence  - You'll enjoy exploring one of Florence’s top museums with your private guide with skipping the line. The tour will take you to the times when the great masterpiece were created. Choose from several departure times! You can even stay longer in the museum (after the tour)! 👉 Reserve your place

  3. Palazzo Vecchio Guided Experience - You'll hear the history facts behind the frescoes and art of the Salone dei Cinquecento and Palazzo Vecchio. Some of the artworks you'll see are: Michelangelo's striking sculpture "The Genius of Victory", Dante's death mask and Donatello's bronze of "Judith & Holofernes" in the Hall of the Lilies! You'll love this 1.5-hour tour! 👉 Book easily online

  4. Uffizi Gallery Private Skip-the-Line Tour - This tour takes you on a journey through the Uffizi with your private guide (skipping the line). The tour is personalized and you choose what to see! Tour is available in multiple languages! 👉 Book here before it's gone

  5. Pitti Palace, Boboli Garden & Palatina Gallery Guided Tour - Immerse yourself in Tuscan art, architecture, and landscaping during this small-group tour. You will learn so much on this 3-hour tour. Visit other museums in the palace on your own after the tour! The groups are not too large and headsets are provided during the tour! 👉 Book this amazing tour


You'll love these Florence tours:



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