Planning a trip to Florence Italy?
If you want to see the city’s spectacular must visit attractions in Florence, you have to plan ahead. This Florence guide gives you must know tips for making reservation and visiting the top sites, landmarks, and museums.
In peak season, notoriously long queues plague many of Florence’s top attractions. This is especially true at the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia (with Michelangelo’s David), and Brunelleschi’s dome. In fact, you’ll find long lines all year long, not just in high season.
Smart travelers save hours of lining up by planning ahead. For Florence, you have to be organized to avoid disappointment or angst.
Here’s my guide to the attractions that you need to pre-book in advance for Florence I also tell you how to make the necessary reservations.
Where Do You Need a Reservation In Florence?
Here are the popular attractions in Florence that you need to book in advance. It’s easiest to book online. I tell you everything you need to know about reservations in Florence below.
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, you can try to buy from ticket vendors such as Florence.net or Tickitaly.com. 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. If you’re booking a private guide well in advance, they will likely be happy to obtain tickets and reservations for your tour with them.
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 need to make a reservation. By doing so, you gain access to the Accademia through a separate, reserved entrance. Click here to book in advance and reserve a spot.
3. Florence Cathedral and Brunelleschi’s Dome
The ticket gives you a single entry to the Duomo, Baptistery, Campanile, Duomo Museum, and the Santa Reparata crypt (inside the cathedral). For more information, here’s my guide to these (and other) must visit attractions in Florence.
The Duomo Museum is possibly the most important of these sights. But it never has long lines. It’s recently undergone a 50 million euro renovation to draw in art lovers. The Campanile and Baptistery offer no reserved tickets. Their lines are usually modest in length as well.
But the biggest hit — the climb to Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome — is only possible with an advance reservation. You can book a time when you purchase your combination ticket. Dome climb time slots can fill up days in advance, so reserve well ahead. Here’s my guide to Florence Cathedral and Brunelleschi’s dome.
You can also buy your combo ticket in person in Florence and try to reserve a dome climb entry time. 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 the Bargello gives you the option. So, if you’re a planner, book online here.
Here’s my complete guide to the must see masterpieces of the Bargello Museum.
5. Medici Chapel | New Sacristy
The Medici Chapel is 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. But, as a national museum, the Medici Chapel has a separate entrance and separate ticket. San Lorenzo was the official parish church of the Medici family.
Michelangelo himself designed the Medici Chapel, also known as 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 more popular in recent years. It’s best to book a skip the line timed entry reservation to make sure you see Michelangelo’s sculptures. Otherwise, you might not finish the Michelangelo trail in Florence. Click here to reserve a spot.
6. Pitti Palace
The Palazzo Pitti is a must visit destination in Florence for art lovers. It’slocated 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 have the option to make a reservation for the Pitti Palace here.
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 reserve an entry time at the Brancacci Chapel. You can book spots up until the day before your visit. 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.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips for making reservations in Florence. You may enjoy these other Florence travel guides:
If you want to be a smart traveler and make reservation for Florence, pin it for later.