So it’s decided, you’re going to Florence. You’ve heard endless stories about the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’, the amazing architecture and incredible art. Now, It’s time to experience it with your own eyes; The Duomo, the Accademia Gallery and especially the Uffizi Gallery.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s most famous museums due to the amount of unique masterpieces held within its walls. The Gallery has some of the best works of art to ever exist from artists including Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, to name a few.
Knowing that the Uffizi is one of the most visited museums in Italy, it’s no surprise you feel daunted by the thought of visiting it. To avoid this, we’ve put together a few tips and practical information to make sure your visit to the Uffizi Gallery is a success!
A little history on the Uffizi
The building that today hosts the Uffizi Gallery was designed by Giorgio Vasari between 1560 – 1580. It was commissioned by Cosimo I de Medici to house the administrative and judiciary offices of Florence. Following the completion of the building and over the years, the Medici family added their artwork collection to the building, creating their own private gallery.
With the end of the Medici Dynasty in the 18th century, the last heir of the family, Anna Maria Luisa de Medici, signed a Family Pact with the Lorraine family. This declared that all the Medici collection should remain in Florence and that it should only be used for decoration purposes and for the utility of the public. Ultimately, the Gallery opened it’s doors to the public in 1769.
During the nineteenth and twentieth century the Uffizi Gallery was enriched with new sculptures and paintings. Today, the Uffizi Gallery is continuously expanding itself to include more artwork.
Uffizi opening hours
Tuesday- Sunday: 08:15 – 18:50 (Note that the ticket office closes at 18:05 and the museums starts shutting down at 18:35)
CLOSED for holidays: January 1, May 1, December 25
If you consider that the Uffizi Gallery has millions of visitors a year, you are basically guaranteed a queue at the entrance. Then again, if you visit during low-season you might be lucky enough to just walk in, but this is impossible to predict!
The Uffizi art collection is amazing but with thousands of art pieces, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and lost when walking around the gallery.
So what’s the best way to visit the Uffizi? Here’s our top three options on how to get the best Uffizi experience.
1. Buy your tickets online
If you want to make the most of your time in Florence, I would definitely plan your itinerary and book tickets in advance. You can pick a date and time slot that suits you on the official Uffizi website. There is an additional 4€ fee for booking online.
Although you might still have to queue on the day to collect your tickets, it’s still quicker than joining the general queue. There is the option to rent an audio guide from the Uffizi for an extra 6€.
Ticket prices online: 16,50€ for adults, 10,25€ reduced ticket.
To find out whether you qualify for a reduced or free ticket, visit the Uffizi website.
2. Join a small group tour
Visiting the museum by yourself is great, you can take your time looking at the pieces that interest you. However, an expert guide adds so much more to your Uffizi experience. Each masterpiece has a story to tell but without a guide, well, it’s just a pretty painting.
On the Uffizi Gallery Renaissance Florence Tour you’ll skip the lines and walk straight in! There will be a maximum of 16 people in your group, which means you’ll have enough space and time to ask your guide questions! You’ll learn about the significance of each painting and sculpture, the story behind it and discover hidden symbols by the artists.
This tour is the perfect way to learn about Florence’s renaissance art, history and culture in a comfortable and stress-free way!
3. Have your own private tour
If you want a more intimate experience, a private Uffizi tour is the best way to visit the Uffizi. It will just feel like a knowledgeable friend is showing you around town. You’ll be able to ask endless questions and by the end of the tour, you’ll feel like a Renaissance expert!
Regardless what method you choose, you certainly don’t want to miss out on the Uffizi Gallery when in Florence. After all, it’s the only museum in the world to bring the renaissance period back to life before your eyes!
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will most likely spent 3-4 hours walking around the museum, depending on how much you you want to see!
- Umbrellas, big bags and backpacks must be left in the Cloakroom. This service is free.
- Take a rest and have a drink at the Uffizi terrace caffeteria, the panoramic views are spectacular!
- Photography with flash and selfie-sticks are prohibited! Make sure your camera and phone are charged, you wouldn’t want to run out of battery!
Now that you know the best ways to visit, here are 5 Important Artworks To See at The Uffizi Gallery.
If you’re feeling hungry after your museum visit, check out the 5 best places to eat in Florence.