Florence itinerary

Five Ways to Visit Florence’s Uffizi Gallery (and One to Avoid)

In the many years that I have been creating itineraries for independent travelers to Italy, I’ve never met a traveler who wanted to go to Florence and didn’t want to visit Florence’s Uffizi Gallery. But the Uffizi is a huge and exhausting museum with thousands of paintings and sculptures that can make your brain hurt (or worse). 

You need a plan of attack for this museum, so below are pros and cons of five ways to visit Florence’s Uffizi Gallery. (Since several of those mean buying your own admission tickets, I’ve also described five ways to get Uffizi skip-the-line tickets.)

Let me emphasize that there is no good reason to stand in a three-hour ticket line at the Uffizi! Instead, consider visiting the Uffizi Gallery with one of these options:

Uffizi, Florence, Italy
Here’s the ticket line you’ll be skipping if you take my advice.

“Waiting line in front of the Uffizi gallery” by Alex via Flickr, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Five Ways to Visit the Uffizi

Uffizi Private Guided Tour

Hire a private guide to take you through the museum. I’ll say right off the bat that this is what I recommend if your budget allows. There are lots of excellent private guides such as Freya’s Florence.  

Pros: 

Cons: 

What it costs: 

Uffizi Group Tour

Many companies offer guided group tours at various prices and lengths (usually 90 minutes, 2 hours, or 3 hours) and you’ll see the groups throughout the museum when you visit Florence’s Uffizi Gallery. These tours must be booked in advance, leave at pre-scheduled times, and the groups are of various sizes. As long as the group is small (fewer than about 12 people such as the tours offered by Context Travel or Walks of Italy) a group tour can be great. Larger tours may make you feel like you’re being herded like cattle.  

Pros: 

Cons: 

What it costs: 

Uffizi Audio Tour, Downloaded Ahead of Time

Before you leave home, download an Uffizi audio tour onto your phone or other smart device and then book your own skip-the-line admission tickets using one of the five methods below. Pros: 

Cons: 

What it costs: 

Uffizi Gallery Audio Tour with Headset, Rented Onsite

You can rent the Uffizi’s official audio guide when you arrive at the museum, as long as you have ID. 

Pros: 

Cons: 

What it costs: 

Uffizi Self-Guided Tour, with Pre-Printed Materials

Book your own skip-the-line tickets using one of the methods described below, then visit Florence’s Uffizi Gallery on your own, avoiding large tour groups, and read about works of art at your own pace. 

For pre-printed materials, you could buy a book or find a list of the Uffizi’s most famous works and print out information from the web to bring with you. You can even study up before departure so you’re not overwhelmed by seeing everything for the very first time by spending time online at the Uffizi website.  

Pros: 

Cons: 

What it costs: 

Uffizi Walk-Through, with No Guide and No Written Materials

This is of course an option, but not one I’d recommend.

Pros:

Cons:

visit Florence's Uffizi Gallery

Five Ways to Buy Skip-the-Line Uffizi Tickets

Buy Uffizi tickets online ahead of time

This is the official website for booking Uffizi tickets online. (Doing an online search for Uffizi tickets will bring up lots of websites selling these tickets at a steep markup.)

Buy PassePartout tickets online ahead of time

At the same official website for buying skip-the-line Uffizi tickets, you’ll find the PassePartout option. 

Buy a Friends of the Uffizi Card

The Amici degli Uffizi card can be purchased online and is good for one calendar year

Get Last-Minute Tickets in Florence 

If you arrive in Florence without Uffizi tickets, and there’s a long line at the Uffizi, there are a number of other Firenze Musei ticket offices that often have shorter lines. These ticket offices are open according to the hours of each individual museum.

Don’t rely on this approach, however, since you risk finding that there are no available tickets for the day or time you want to visit or that there aren’t enough for your party. If the alternative is standing in that long line at the Uffizi, then it’s worth checking at one of these alternatives first.

Make Reservations over the Phone at No Charge and Pay Later 

If you think you might go to the Uffizi while you’re in Florence and you want to make a reservation just in case, this is a great option. 

how to buy skip-the-line-tickets Uffizi

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