Tips for Visiting the Uffizi Museum, Florence, Italy

The Uffizi

The Uffizi
The Uffizi | Source

So you’ve decided to visit Florence and you want to see the Uffizi Museum. Certainly understandable given that the Uffizi is considered one of the premier art museums in the world, and one of the top destinations in Florence. The Uffizi ranks right up there with the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Vatican Museum as a worthy member on the list of the world’s top art museums.

Visiting the Uffizi can be a daunting task especially if you are visiting during the peak tourist season. Long lines and waiting for hours to get in is not my idea of how to best spend my valuable vacation time. But, for the savvy traveler there are some tips that you can utilize to make your visit a pleasant experience. Let’s take a look at some strategies to avoid the lines and spend your time actually looking at the amazing artwork in the Uffizi.

The time of year you are visiting the Uffizi will likely have an impact on how you go about your visit. If you are visiting during the winter months there is certainly much less of a chance that you will encounter long lines and crowds. But most of us go to Italy when the weather is pleasant or when the kids are out of school, and during these months you will run into big crowds here. Even during the shoulder months in early spring or during the fall you will encounter large crowds.

Uffizi Gallery
Uffizi Gallery | Source

The first thing to consider when thinking about a visit to the Uffizi is to come up with a rough estimate of how much time you will want to spend in the museum. The Uffizi is very large and contains thousands of unique pieces by some of the greatest Italian Renaissance artists including Raffaello, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Giotto. You could spend all day in the Uffizi if you so desire but be prepared for a long and tiring day if you do. If you plan on an entire day just be sure to get there very early. Most visitors plan on spending somewhere between two to four hours in the museum and this will give you time to see many of the highlights and must see rooms.

A Little History

The building that houses the Uffizi was built in 1560 by Cosimo I de’ Medici. It was initially built to house the judiciary and administrative offices of Florence.

Over the years the Medici family gradually added artwork to the building right up until their dynasty ended in the 18th century. At this time, in 1737, the palace and artwork were left to the city of Florence by the last Medici heir, Anna Maria Luisa. In 1769 the gallery was finally opened to the public.

Another thing to seriously consider when planning a visit to the Uffizi is that you will likely need to purchase or reserve your tickets ahead of time if you want to avoid the long lines. Unless you are visiting in the off season you do not want to risk losing valuable time waiting in a line.

Before attempting to purchase your tickets, which must be done online, you need to know that the Uffizi is closed every Monday, New Years Day, Christmas Day and May 1st. The museum opens at 8:15am and closes promptly at 6:50pm. The ticket office closes at 6:05 pm and they start shutting down the museum at 6:35 pm. Children under the age of 6 and EU citizens under age 18 and over age 65 are free. A reduced price of 3.25 euro is available for EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25. Full price, 6.50 euro, applies for everyone else. If you purchase your tickets on-line ahead of time you will pay a reservation fee of 4 euro or more per ticket.

The best method, and the one that we used when visiting the Uffizi, was to call the Uffizi reservation office directly to reserve a day and time (011-39-055-294-883). We did this a few months prior to our visit. You do not have to prepay using this method and they will not ask you for any credit card information. You will have to pick a day and an entry time slot, which is every 15 minutes between the opening and closing time. If the time slot is available they will give you a six-digit confirmation number, which you will bring with you to the ticket office on the day of your visit. Be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your entry time.

Botticelli's Birth of Venus

Botticelli's Birth of Venus
Botticelli's Birth of Venus | Source

We planned our visit for late in the afternoon as this is the best chance to avoid a crowded museum. Also, if you happen to get lucky and there is no line when you arrive, you can skip your reservation, including the 4 euro reservation fee, and just buy a regularly priced ticket and be on your way. This was not the case when we visited so we proceeded to the reservation office to pickup and pay for our tickets. Everything worked as advertised. We bought our tickets, skipped the line which was long, and walked right in after going through security. Just make sure you bring cash with you when paying for your tickets as this is the only form of payment that they accept.

I guess I just don’t know why anyone would choose to wait for hours in a line to enter? The reservation fee is just 4 euro and it can save you hours. Isn't your time worth just a little more than 4 euro?

Botticelli's La Primavera

Botticelli's La Primavera
Botticelli's La Primavera | Source

One of the key strategies to take away from our experience is to try to plan your visit for the late afternoon to early evening. It seems as though everyone wants to get to the Uffizi early and thus the long lines form quickly and the museum gets very crowded. By late in the day you have a much better chance of encountering smaller crowds.

If you insist on visiting in the morning and can manage to get a reservation for the 8:15am slot this may also work as it usually takes a good 30 minutes for the masses to file in. If you can get yourself into the museum right when they open with your reservation you may have 30 to 60 minutes where the museum has not filled up yet. I have not personally tried this one yet, but it does take those folks waiting in line some time to go through security and get themselves into the museum so it just might work.

The Uffizi from across the Arno River
The Uffizi from across the Arno River | Source

Additional Tips:

  • Another tip is to utilize your hotel if you are staying in one, as they can often arrange a reservation to the Uffizi for you.
  • After going through security use the restrooms, which are located downstairs on the lower level. Restrooms are few and far between in the museum so best to take care of business before you get going.
  • If you can, decide ahead of time what your viewing priorities are so that you don’t miss your must see pieces. It’s impossible to see everything in 2 or 3 hours so make a list of your priorities.

Please be advised when visiting the Uffizi that photographs are not allowed in the museum. You also cannot take any liquids into the museum with you, which is a precautionary security measure. There is a café in the museum and you can purchase food, water and drinks there if you like.

Because the Uffizi houses so many pieces of artwork it's probably a good idea to rent an audio guide, about 6 euro, or hire a tour guide to take you through the museum. A guided tour can run you about 40 to 60 euro, which includes the entry fee so this may be an option for you depending on your budget. Another option is to download the Rick Steves Uffizi guide onto your ipod.

Having a tour guide take you through the museum can certainly save you time in identifying pieces of artwork and finding your way around the maze of rooms in the museum. If you are schooled in art and know your stuff perhaps you can guide yourself through the museum otherwise consider one of these options.


There are many web-sites that are selling Uffizi tickets. Your best bet is here, which is the official site for museum tickets. Many of these other sites charge pretty hefty booking and pre-sale fees. The official full price ticket to the Uffizi is 6.50 euro and the reservation fee is 4 euro so you should not have to pay any more than 10.50 euro total to get into the museum. Many of these other sites are charging 20 to 25 euro for the same ticket.

Enjoy your visit to the Uffizi. No stay in Florence would be complete without touring this world class museum. Even if you are not a true art lover I think you will be impressed with the collection of masterpieces housed here. Enjoy your visit.

Ciao for now.

Rick Steves visits the Uffizi

The Uffizi is located close to the famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge

show route and directions
A markerUffizi, Florence, Italy -
Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe degli Uffizi, Via della Ninna, 5, 50122 Florence, Italy
[get directions]

B markerPonte Vecchio Bridge, Florence -
Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Florence, Italy
[get directions]

© 2013 Bill De Giulio

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Comments 42 comments

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thank You FA. We are finding more and more that utilizing a tour guide really improves the experience. I'm looking forward to visiting the Louvre someday. Thanks so much for the vote, etc.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

What a beautiful place to visit - it certainly rivals the Louvre in every respect. You provide all the inside tips to avoid the hoards of other tourists who all want the same thing, an up-close look at the masterpieces. I like the idea of hiring a tour guide to provide some background on what you're seeing and help you navigate. Voted up and more!

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Mike. Thank you, glad you enjoyed the Hub. We really enjoyed Florence and the Uffizi. Have a great Memorial Day.

Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

Uffizi is, indeed, one of the most important and worth visiting museums in the world. And this is a great hub with lots of information and tips for any traveler/visitor.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Glimmer Twin. Thank you. You'll get there I'm sure. And when you do you will love it. There is so much to love about Florence. And when you visit the Uffizi you will have visited one of the top three premier art museums in the world, it's just magnificent.

Thanks so much for the visit, share, etc. Have a great day.

Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

Your photos and hubs always amaze me. Florence is on my bucket list and how I would love to visit the Uffizi. Shared around.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Jasmine. How exciting that you are going to Florence this summer. We stayed for 4 days in Florence and then spent some time in Montepulciano in southern Tuscany. You will love Florence. It's a very walkable city and the Uffizi is amazing. Be sure to visit the Academia also. Many people seem to be down on the Accademia but we really enjoyed it. Also, make the climb to the top of the Duomo, the view is unbelievable.

Have a great trip, how exciting.

vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 3 years ago

Great article and very useful tips! We've been planning to visit Florence this summer in August and, no matter the long waiting lines, we must see the Uffizi museum. I'm especially excited to see Dante Alighieri's home, though. How long did you stay in Florence?

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Alun. Thanks for stopping by. You are right on with your comment, it's all about making the best use of your time. Many thanks for the vote, have a great weekend.

Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 3 years ago from Essex, UK

Useful info for anyone visiting the Uffizi. One of the problems facing anyone who visits a country with which they are unfamiliar - particularly one which speaks a different language - is how to make the best use of one's time. If a visitor only has a few hours to see a never-to-be-revisited site, then he/she must make the most of their time, and that involves either a guided tour, or planning and research using a page such as this. Voted up.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Elias. Thank you, and welcome to HubPages. Hopefully you can visit someday soon. I am looking forward to visiting Greece in the near future. have a great day.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi there truthfornow. Love the name. It is an amazing place, and very big. Hopefully you get there someday soon, you will love it. Thanks for the visit.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi rajan. It is a very big museum and you could spend all day there if you wanted too. A very impressive place. I haven't been to the Louvre in Paris but the Uffizi certainly ranks up there with the best art museums in the world. Thank you for the vote, share, etc. have a great day.

Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

Thank you for the Hub Bill. Well structured and really helpful tips. One day it might come in handy.

truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

Wow looks really beautiful and amazing. I had no idea it was so huge. Thanks for the tips. Hope to visit someday and put your tips to good use.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Bill, the Uffizi museum looks massive and beautiful. Your tips to make it easier to see a lot more in a shorter time span are useful since a tourist is always short on time.

Voted up, useful and shared.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thanks Ann. I appreciate the comments, glad you enjoyed the hub. Hopefully you can utilize some of the tips someday. And thank you for the vote, etc. Grazie :)

anndango 3 years ago

This is so informative and great tips to get the best out of visiting the Uffizi so I can hopefully avoid the big crowds. It's on my list of must-sees! Voted up, useful and interesting. Bello hubbo! (my way of saying beautiful hub in Italian!)

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi prasetio. I hope you get there soon, you will love it. Florence really is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Thanks for the visit, vote, etc., have a great day.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Alicia. Florence really is a wonderful city. It's very walkable and has great museums including or course the Uffiz. It also makes a great base for exploring Tuscany. Hopefully you get there soon so you can cross it off of your bucket list. Many thanks.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Mary. Thank You. It's amazing to me also the age of all of these buildings and the architecture. And the sheer number of pieces of artwork is staggering. Between the Uffizi in Florence and the Vatican Museum there are thousands of masterpieces, it's just amazing.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative hub. Visiting museum is one of the best activity while traveling. Florence is a beautiful city in Italy. Nice review, brother. I'll visit Uffizi Museum if I have a chance to go to Florence. Up, useful, beautiful and interesting votes.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I love exploring Italy by reading your hubs, Bill. This is another beautiful look at what the country has to offer. Florence and the Uffizi Museum are definitely on my bucket list! I'm sharing this hub.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Another great hub Bill. Not only do you take us on your travels but you pack your hubs with so much information. What a magnificent place to visit! I am always amazed at the age and beauty of buildings in Europe add the tremendous art in this museum and it just has it all. Thanks for the guided tour.

Voted up, useful, and interesting as always.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Peggy. You hit the nail on the head. It's great to visit these wonderful places but if you don't know what you are looking at you are missing out on an important part of the experience. When we get to Spain the Prado is certainly on our list of must visits.

Thanks so much for the visit, vote, etc. Have a great weekend.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Margaret. You will love Italy. There is so much to see and do it's just hard not to fall in love with Italy once you get there. I really hope you get there someday soon. Thank you for the vote, share, etc. Have a great day.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Carol. So glad that you enjoy these visits to Italy. I had a sense that you were an art lover and I think you would really enjoy the Uffizi. Maybe someday you'll get to visit? I always appreciate your comments and nice words and of course a thank you for the vote, share, pin, etc.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Marcy. Thanks for visiting the Uffizi with me. When you get to Florence be sure to put some time aside to visit this this world class museum. You will love it.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Bill,

This is wonderful information to know ahead of time. Thanks for all the great tips on how best to manage time when wishing to visit the Uffizi Museum in Florence. Perhaps someday I will actually be able to take advantage of this information and enjoy this fabulous sounding art museum. When my husband and I visited the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain we did have a tour guide. It saved us time and we were much better informed about what we were viewing. These large museums can be a bit overwhelming at times. Up, useful and interesting votes.

mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

My next European vacation will definitely be Italy, so I love your helpful articles. I'll be bookmarking this so that I can refer to it if we are lucky enough to go some day. Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing.

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

I love my travels through Italy with you. Being a lover of art I always appreciate your pictures and of course wonderful words. Great job as always Bill....I enjoy being an armchair traveler with your hubs. Voting up and sharing. and pinning.

Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 3 years ago from Planet Earth

Italy is on my bucket list! I'm so glad to get tips from someone familiar with its beautiful attractions. Many thanks!

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Suzie. I think you would really love the Uffizi and I'm sure your day will come soon enough. It really is a treasure trove of masterpieces. We really liked Florence, it is a very walkable city and between the Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery there is more than enough art to satisfy everyone. Many thanks as always for the votes, shares, etc... Have a wonderful weekend.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi there My Cook Book. Welcome to Hubpages and thank you for stopping by to read up on the Uffizi. Have a great weekend.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi srsddn. Yes, the temptation to take pictures inside the Uffizi is always there but not worth the chance of being asked to leave. There are many wonderful public domain photos of the artwork so that would have to do. Thanks for the visit , the vote and share. Have a great weekend.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Bill. The Uffizzi is amazing. Even the building itself is really an incredible piece of work. Glad you enjoyed the tour and a great weekend to you also.

Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Bill,

The Uffizi is one reason I have always wanted to visit Florence. The art and history are amazing and I find it incredibly interesting. Botticelli's works are mesmerizing and you added superb photos of these. Great tips as always my friend with an excellent script makes your work a joy and pleasure to read. Great job, all the votes, shares and pins possible!

My Cook Book profile image

My Cook Book 3 years ago from India

The pics are great and the hub was very well written. Thanks for the info on Uffizi.

srsddn profile image

srsddn 3 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

bdegiulio, Uffizi looks like a great destination. The building stands grand and so are the galleries. Botticelli's paintings are treat to the eyes. I am sure it requires a better part of the day to do justice to the visit. The visitors must be missing an opportunity to click photograph which normally everyone wants during such visits. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful museum. Thumbed up and shared.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

The architecture alone is breathtaking. Throw in the art and it is out of the realm of my comprehension. Thank you for a great tour, Bill, and have a wonderful weekend.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thanks Joe. I had this hub pretty much completed but was sitting on it for days while the marathon story unfolded. Finally figured that I might as well publish it. As luck would have it they captured the second suspect this evening. Thankfully the ordeal is over.

hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Still reeling from your Boston Marathon hub, Bill...

Wow, the Uffizi is a majestic tribute to the cultural and historical aspects of Florence. I've long known about and admired Botticelli's magnificent Birth of Venus, but with your informative hub, Bill, I now know where it's officially housed. I learn so much from reading your wonderful articles.

Thanks for sharing, my friend, and may you and yours have a terrific weekend! Aloha!


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    Bill De Giulio (bdegiulio)961 Followers
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    Traveling has always been one of my passions and I look forward to visiting every corner of this amazing world.

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