Planning a trip to Florence Italy and want to make the most of your visit to the city’s incredible attractions? It’s important to plan ahead, make reservations, and pre-book tickets and tours.
In this Florence guide, I’ll provide you with essential tips on securing advance reservations and tickets to explore the top sites, landmarks, and museums.
Florence is an extremely popular destination. During peak season, long queues are a common issue at many of the city’s top attractions.
This is particularly true for the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia (home to Michelangelo’s David), and Brunelleschi’s dome.
However, even outside of high season, you’ll often encounter lengthy lines. Savvy travelers can save hours of waiting time by taking proactive measures and organizing their visits in advance, thus avoiding disappointment or frustration.
To help you plan your trip effectively, I’ve compiled a guide to the attractions in Florence that require pre-booking. Additionally, I’ll provide information on how to make the necessary reservations and suggest some tours that you might want to consider.
To see some of the city’s major sites, you may want to save money by booking one of the Florence City Cards. You can download the app on your phone.
You can choose between the Florence Pass, the Donatello Bundle, or the Super Combi Pass. The Florence Pass is the most comprehensive. You have skip the line access to the entire Duomo complex (including the dome climb), the Uffizi, and the Accademia.
Tickets & Reservations In Florence
Here are the popular attractions in Florence that you need to book in advance. It’s easiest to book online.
1. Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous museums in the western world. It may be Florence’s #1 attraction, after the Duomo. The Uffizi is overflowing with amazing art works from the International Gothic period and the early, high, and late Renaissance.
But you likely won’t see these masterpieces unless you make a reservation.
The official website for the Uffizi and several other city museums is polomuseale.firenze.it When booking advance tickets online, note that available time slots for full price tickets are marked “Intero/Full.”
Once you’ve selected a slot, you’ll receive an email with a voucher. You take that to the Uffizi ticket desk a few minutes before your visit to swap for an actual ticket. Be sure to get in the right line to avoid wasting precious time.
If there are no available slots on the museum website or you want an easier way to book, you can purchase a ticket via Get Your Guide, Viator, or Tiqets. They charge approximately € 5 more per ticket. But they may have more time slots available, if you want or need flexibility.
Various companies also offer guided museum tours that include a reserved museum admission. These fill up quickly too. For the Uffizi, you have quite a few options, including:
- a 1.5 hour small group guided tour
- a 2 hour small group guided tour
- a 2 hour private tour
- a 2 hour early entry guided tour (8:30 am)
- a combined tour of the Uffizi + Brunelleschi’s dome
- a 5 hour tour of both the Uffizi and the Accademia
2. Accademia Gallery
After the Uffizi, the Accademia Gallery is Florence’s most visited museum. People flock in to see what is probably the world’s most famous sculpture, Michelangelo’s commanding statue of David.
The 17 foot sculpture is considered the embodiment of male beauty, a Calvin Klein-like model of physical perfection. It’s mesmerizing in person.
If you want to see this hunk, you must make a timed entry reservation. By doing so, you gain access to the Accademia through a separate, reserved entrance. Be sure to get in the line that corresponds to the entry time on your ticket.
You can pre-book a skip the line ticket for this popular Florence attraction. You can also opt for a 1.5 hour guided tour with fast track ticket. You can also combine the Academia with a walking tour of Florence.
3. Florence Cathedral and Brunelleschi’s Dome
Florence’s top landmark is its Duomo complex. It includes the Duomo itself, the Baptistery, the Giotto bell tower, Brunelleschi’s dome, and the Duomo Museum. To access the monuments, you can choose from Brunelleschi, Giotto or Ghiberti Pass on the official website.
The Brunelleschi Pass is the most comprehensive. You’ll get access to the Brunelleschi’s dome, Giotto’s bell tower, the baptistery, the duomo museum, and Santa Reparata.
The Giotto Pass gives you access to four of those attractions. And the Ghiberti Pass gives you entry to three.
The only one that lets you climb Brunelleschi’s dome, the most popular thing to do in Florence, is the Brunelleschi pass. You’ll have to reserve a specific time to enter.
Another way to see the monuments (especially if tickets are sold out) is to book a guided tour.
You can book a guided tour of the Duomo itself. You can even book a guided tour of the Duomo that includes access to the dome and secret terraces that you wouldn’t see on a regular visit.
You can also book a combination guided tour that includes the Baptistery, Duomo Museum, and a dome climb. This 3 hour combination guided tour covers the four attractions I’ve just mentioned, plus Giotto’s bell tower.
You can also try to buy your tickets in person in Florence. Go to either the main Duomo ticket office (facing the Baptistery) or at a ticket machine in the Duomo Museum lobby.
4. Bargello Museum
The underrated Bargello Museum houses an amazing collection of Renaissance sculptures. The most important works are in the Michelangelo and Donatello rooms.
Those include Michelangelo’s first major sculpture, Bacchus, and his Pitti Tondo, Donatello’s acclaimed Bronze David and St. George, and Bernini’s Bust of Costanza.
You generally don’t have to book in advance for this museum. But in high season, it’s probably the way to go.
Here’s my complete guide to the must see masterpieces of the Bargello Museum. Click here to pre-book a Bargello ticket. Click here to book a ticket + tour.
5. Medici Chapels | New Sacristy
The Medici Chapels are an awe inspiring must see site in Florence. The museum has the largest number of Michelangelo sculptures in Florence.
It’s part of the magnificent Basilica of San Lorenzo Complex. San Lorenzo was the official parish church of the Medici family.
But, as a national museum, the Medici Chapel has a separate entrance and separate ticket.
Michelangelo himself designed the New Sacristy, between 1520-34. Michelangelo carved six tomb statues — the effigies of Giuliano and Lorenzo de Medici and the allegories of Night, Day, Dusk and Dawn.
Night is regarded as one of Michelangelo’s finest works. To me, the effigy of Giuliano is also extraordinarily beautiful.
The Medici Chapel has become very popular in recent years. It’s best to book ahead to make sure you see Michelangelo’s sculptures. Otherwise, you might not finish the Michelangelo trail in Florence.
6. Pitti Palace
The Palazzo Pitti is a must visit destination in Florence for art lovers. It’s located in the Oltrarno district, which is now Florence’s trendiest neighborhood.
The palace houses four museums. The most important museum, by far, is the Palatine Gallery. It occupies the left wing of the first floor.
The Palatine houses an impressive collection of over 500 paintings, displayed amid lavish furnishings. It includes old masters works by Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Caravaggio, and other European and Italian painters.
You might not need reservations at the Pitti Palace, if it’s not high season. But why wait in line, if like me you’re allergic to lines?
You can book a combined tour of the Pitti Palace, Uffizi Gallery and the Academia to see Florence’s best museums. There’s also a combined ticket and guided tour to the palace, the Palatine gallery, and the Boboli Gardens.
The palace gardens are gorgeous, but you have to book a separate ticket for them. Click here to pre-book a skip the line ticket to the Boboli Gardens.
7. Brancacci Chapel
The Brancacci Chapel is a supreme example of early Renaissance painting. It’s completely filled with frescos by early Renaissance artist Masaccio and his workshop.
It’s considered one of the three important chapels of the Renaissance, along with the Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel in Padua and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Rome. Masaccio was the first artist to experiment with single point perspective. He departed from the prevailing flat and static Gothic style painting.
If you want to see these rare Masaccio masterpieces, you should book a ticket in advance. A reservation is basically mandatory from March through October. In the off-season, you might be able to walk right in.
Reservation times begin every 30 minutes, with a maximum of 30 visitors per time slot. You have 25 minutes inside the chapel. If it’s not too busy, you may be allowed to stay longer.
Here’s my complete guide to the Brancacci Chapel.
8. Palazzo Vecchio
Built in the 14th century, the Palazzo Vecchio was Florence’s seat of power, home to the council that governed the Republic of Florence. It sits in the city’s most famous square, the Piazza della Signoria.
The highlight of the Palazzo Vecchio is the Hall of the Five Hundred, with frescos by Giorgio Vasari. You can also the Michelozzo-designed courtyard, the Studiolo of Francesco I de’ Medici, the Medici Apartments, and the Chapel of Eleonora.
Nowadays, you have to make a timed entry reservation to visit the palazzo. So you will need to book ahead of your visit.
Click here to book a skip the line ticket with a time slot reservation.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips for booking tickets and making reservations in Florence. You may enjoy these other Florence travel guides:
- 2 Day Itinerary for Florence
- 3 Day Itinerary for Florence
- Hidden gems in Florence
- Best day trips from Florence
- Guide to the Bargello Museum
- Guide to the Piazza della Signoria
- Guide to the Palazzo Vecchio Museum
- Must See Sites in Florence for Art Lovers
- Best Museums in Florence
- Beautiful Churches in Florence
If you want to be a smart traveler and make reservations for Florence, pin it for later.