Besides money, time is the most precious commodity we have when we travel – which is why it’s so frustrating to waste time standing in lines. If there are long lines for the big museums – you know, the ones you came to Florence to see – then you have no choice but to wait, right? Wrong. Travelers who plan ahead and know where they’ll be on a given day of their trip can book visits to the big museums and attractions in advance, effectively “skipping the line.”
Not every museum and attraction in Florence allows for advanced bookings, but the main ones – the ones that garner the longest lines – do. You have two options for doing this that will let you bypass the line. The first is to book tickets yourself using the museum’s official ticket website or phone number. You’ll pay a booking fee on top of the ticket price, and you’ll get a specified entry time and instructions on when to arrive and where to go.
The second is to book a guided tour of the museum that includes a timed entry, thereby skipping the line and getting a tour guide in one go.
Viator offers several “Skip the Line” tours in Florence, so you can pick the ones that cover the attractions you want to see.
- Skip the Line: Accademia and Uffizi Gallery – This 2.5-hour tour gets you past the lines at Florence’s most popular museums, and you’ll get a guided tour of both.
- Skip the Line: Accademia – This 1.25-hour tour covers just the Accademia, home to one of Michelangelo’s greatest works – and a symbol of Florence – the David statue.
- Skip the Line: Uffizi Gallery – This 2-hour tour covers just the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world’s great museums, which houses masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance as well as other countries and eras.
- Skip the Line: Duomo – This 2.5-hour tour includes a visit to the beautiful Florence Duomo, and gives you a chance to climb into the dome for great city views.
- Skip the Line: Uffizi Gallery and Vasari Corridor – This 3-hour tour includes the Uffizi as well as the raised walkway (not open to the public) that the ruling Medici family used to cross the river.
- Skip the Line: Boboli Gardens and Vasari Corridor – This 3-hour tour walks you through the raised walkway (not open to the public) that the Medici family used to walk over the river from their offices (in the Uffizi) to their home (the Pitti Palace), and includes a tour of the Boboli Gardens behind the Pitti Palace.
- Skip the Line: Best of Florence with Accademia and Duomo – This 3-hour tour covers the Accademia to see the famous David statue, and includes a visit to the Duomo.
- Skip the Line: Renaissance Florence with Accademia – This 3-hour walking tour gives you some context for the city during the Renaissance, and includes a visit to the Accademia.
If you arrive in Florence and you haven’t made any arrangements for tours or museum tickets beforehand, you can always ask your hotel concierge for suggestions – sometimes there are last-minute cancellations at the museums which you can buy. These won’t always coincide with your schedule, however, so unless you’ve got several days to play with it’s not a good idea to rely on this as the way to get into these attractions without waiting in line.
If you’re visiting by cruise, check out Viator’s shore excursions in Florence.