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Florence is undoubtedly one of the best places to go for art, culture and history. Known worldwide for Michelangelo’s famous David, and countless art treasures, you could immerse yourself for days in the culture of the Renaissance city.
In our list of the best museums in Florence, you’ll discover the classic locations to discover the city’s masterpieces as well as up and coming modern museums that draw on its artisan past.
Top Museums in Florence
Thanks to the Renaissance masters, some Florence museums are housed in many of the city’s famous churches that are packed full of art and sculpture. Here’s our guide to which cultural sites to visit on your trip to Florence.
The Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery tops the list of unmissable Florence museums. One of the world’s most prominent art galleries and museums, it houses a priceless collection of sculptures and paintings curated since the 14th century and Florence’s heyday as cradle of the Italian Renaissance.
The museum occupies two floors of a beautiful 16th century building, designed to showcase the collection of the ruling Medici family. Highlights of the gallery include masterpieces by Botticelli, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and of course, Michelangelo whose careers thrived under the patronage of the Florentine elite.
Must-see artworks include Botticelli’s iconic The Birth of Venus and Primavera, Da Vinci’s Annunciation, and Titian’s Venus of Urbino. However there are treasures in every room, including a stunning collection of ancient statues and busts amassed by the Medici. Make sure to look up at the ornate ceilings and peek through windows for unique views of the Arno river and city beyond.
This most important museum in Florence, Italy, it is a place you can return to countless times to uncover more of the treasures within. A guided tour is recommended.
Opening Times: Tues – Sun 08:15 – 18:30; closed on Mondays, 1 January, 25 December
Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122, Firenze
Ticket Price: €16-20. Free of charge on the first Sunday of the month.
Recommended tour of the Uffizi Gallery
- Liv Tour’s Uffizi: Masterpieces of the Renaissance tour – take in the vast and impressive collection of artwork in one of the largest and oldest art museums in the world. Time: 2 hours, Group size: maximum 6 > more info
Famous for being the home of Michelangelo’s original sculpture of David, the Galleria dell’Accademia (Gallery of the Academy of Florence) is one of the smaller museums in Florence. However, there are plenty of great reasons to extend your visit beyond admiring one of the world’s most famous statues.
The museum was founded in 1784 by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and it displays some of the best historic art in Florence. Most of the sculptures and paintings at the Galleria dell’Accademia date back to the period between 1300 – 1600, the trecento or beginning of the Renaissance to the late Renaissance era.
You can admire some of the best classic Florentine art including Botticelli’s Madonna of the Sea, and the Palestrina Pieta at the museum. Musicians will enjoy seeing a collection of priceless instruments made by Stradivarius, Niccolò Amati and Bartolomeo Cristofori.
Opening Times: Tues – Sun 8:15 – 18:50 pm; closed on Mondays, 1 January, 25 December. Late opening until 22:00pm Tues from June to September
Address: 60, Via Ricasoli, 58, 50122 Firenze
Ticket Price: €12
Recommended tours of the Accademia
- Take Walk’s (formerly Walks of Italy) Best of Florence walking tour with David and the Duomo – see David and other masterpieces at the Accademia Gallery followed by a walking tour through the streets of Florence to the magnificent Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral. Time: 3 hours, Group size: maximum 18 > more info
- Take Walk’s (formerly Walks of Italy) VIP David & Duomo Tour (including Dome climb) – this morning tour skips the lines to David allowing you time with the statue before the crowds of the day arrive. Then it’s on to the magnificent Duomo where you will skip the lines for the dome climb and incredible views of Florence and the Tuscan countryside. Time: 3 hours 30 minutes, Group size: maximum 18 > more info
The Palazzo Pitti is the former palatial residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The palace was purchased in 1550 by the Medici family, and it served as a symbol of their power over the region of Tuscany. Today, the Palazzo Pitti is a cultural complex that houses some of the best museums in Florence.
The four museums in the Palazzo Pitti include some of the most well curated and beautiful museums in Italy. On the ground floor, find the Treasury of the Grand Dukes that includes a collection of priceless silver and objects cast with semi precious gemstones.
Ascend to the first floor to see the Palatine Gallery – 28 rooms of portraits and artwork attributed to some of the most celebrated artists the world has ever seen. Here you will also find the restored Imperial and Royal Apartments. Finally, on the second floor, the Modern Art Gallery and the Museum of Costume and Fashion complete the impressive complex.
Visiting the Pitti Palace reveals the history of Florence, and exposes you to some of the city’s greatest artworks and artifacts. Go here to learn all about the Medici rule over Florence, and gain an insight into the opulent lifestyles of the palace’s residents.
You can easily spend a full day here if you combine your visit with a walk through the celebrated Boboli Gardens, part of the palace complex.
Opening Times: Tues – Sun 08:15 – 18:30 pm; closed on Mondays,1 January, 25 December
Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze
Ticket Price: €17
The Palazzo Vecchio is Florence’s town hall and one of the most iconic buildings in the city. Besides being a necessary place to stop and admire from the outside, stepping inside and exploring the museum is one of our favorite things to do in Florence.
A visit here allows you to step back in time and discover art and history from the most important eras of Florence. You can see ancient Roman ruins at the underground level, admire the building that was once a Medieval fortress, and see stunning Renaissance chambers and artworks.
The ruling Medici lived in the Palazzo Vecchio until they moved to the Pitti Palace and you can visit their opulent former chambers. The Palazzo Vecchio has remained the principle place of business and the city’s main administration hub to this day however. Admire the impressive works of Florence art painted in the imposing Salone dei Cinquecento (‘Hall of the Five Hundred’), depicting the history of the city. You can even visit the tower for sweeping views of Florence.
The famous Vasari Corridor was built to connect this building with the Uffizi and further to the Palazzo Pitti. If you join a combined tour of the town hall and Uffizi you learn all about this secret passage way and even enter a section as you pass through to the gallery. Guided tours are recommended for an in-depth experience.
The Palazzo Vecchio is one of the main Florence museums open on Monday.
Opening Times: Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun – 09:00 – 19:00; Thurs 09:00 – 14:00 pm
Address: Piazza della Signoria
Ticket Price: €12.50
Recommended tour of the Palazzo Vecchio
- Walks of Italy’s Early entry skip the line Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi tour – see the highlights of the Uffizi Gallery as well as the magnificent rooms and collection at the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s town hall. Time: 2 hours 45 minutes, Group size: maximum 14 > more info
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
Most visitors to Florence visit the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, its famous dome constructed by Brunelleschi, Baptistery and bell tower. These are all worthy of being described as museums in their own right but the complex also houses a museum dedicated to the cathedral.
After spending time at the cathedral with its iconic architectural style and massive dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, and the Baptistery of San Giovanni, head to the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo. Here you will find over 700 sculptures and paintings housed away from their original locations in the cathedral complex for preservation purposes. Among them are Michelangelo’s Pieta and the original Gates of Paradise by Ghiberti from the Baptistery.
A trip to the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is essential to any Florence itinerary, but don’t make the mistake of missing this section of the complex. It is one of the best Firenze museums to help you understand the architecture and history of the cathedral and its significance to the city of Florence.
Opening Times: Everyday – 08:30 – 19:30. Closed the first Tuesday of each month.
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 9, 50122 Firenze
Ticket Price: €30 (includes access to the museum, Baptistery of San Giovanni, Bell Tower, the Dome, and the ancient basilica of Santa Reparata)
Recommended tour of the Florence Duomo
- Visit the complex with Florence Dome Climb: Priority Entrance Tour – express skip the line dome tour followed by access to the Duomo museum and Cathedral complex to explore at leisure [museum access valid for 3 days]. Time: 1 hour (dome cliimb) > more info
The Museo Galileo is found in the Palazzo Castellani – dating back to the 11th century. Visit this museum dedicated to the famous scientist and astronomer Galileo Galilei to learn all about the history of science via a series of historic artifacts and modern interactive displays. Among a sea of art and cultural collections, the Museo Galileo is a truly unique and interesting museum in Florence, Italy.
The museum houses one of the world’s greatest collections of scientific instruments. You can see centuries old telescopes and navigation equipment, as well as tools for astronomy and warfare. Great effort has been made to ensure the exhibits can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages and it’s small size means the museum is one of the best Florence museums for kids.
As well as the permanent collection, there are many excellent temporary exhibitions at the Museo Galileo, all of which are dedicated to science and technology. This is a must-visit museum for families and those interested if the history of science.
Opening Times: Mon/Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun – 09:30 – 18:00; Tues – 9:30 – 13:00
Address: Piazza dei Giudici 1 – 50122
Ticket Price: €15
Those interested in Italian design and fashion should make a bee-line for the Gucci Garden.
Gucci first opened its doors in Florence almost 100 years ago and has remained an important fashion icon of the city, known for craftsmanship and luxury goods. This small museum is entirely dedicated to the famous fashion house, with a wide range of clothing, jewellery and handbag exhibits showcasing Gucci designs over many decades.
As you would expect, you can also do some serious shopping at the Gucci Garden museum at their onsite boutique. Food lovers can enjoy a meal at the chic Gucci Osteria run by famous chef Massimo Bottura.
If you are interested in designer fashion, and viewing iconic fashion pieces, then make plans to spend some time at the Gucci Garden.
Opening Times: Mon – Sun – 10:00 – 19:00
Address: Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122
Ticket Price: €8
Museo Nazionale del Bargello
In a city full to the brim with Renaissance art, the Palazzo del Bargello holds one of the most important collections in Florence. Here you will find some of the greatest Florentine masterpieces, including works by Michelangelo, Donatello, Vincenzo Genito, Gianlorenzo Bernini, and many more.
While the main drawcard here are the incredible sculptures, the museum also houses some amazing collections of ceramics textiles, coins, tapestries, armor, ivory, and silver.
An historic destination, the former palazzo, barracks and prison that houses the museum is worth a visit in itself. Make time to see the beautiful courtyard covered in the coats of arms of dignitaries of the city.
Opening Times: Mon – Sun – 08:15 – 14:00
Address: Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122
Ticket Price: €9
Museo Salvatore Ferragamo
If you love shoes, then this could just be the best museum in Florence you could visit. With over 10,000 models of unique designer shoes on display, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo is a fashionista’s paradise. The museum is dedicated completely to Salvatore Ferragamo – the famous Italian shoe design house that has wowed the fashion world with unique designs for decades.
You can learn about Ferragamo’s life and work, from the start of his company in the 1920s until his death in 1960. You’ll also see shoes designed for and worn by Hollywood greats Audrey Hepburn and Judy Garland. The museum also hosts a number of revolving displays and temporary exhibitions of interest to visitors with a passion for fashion.
Opening Times: Mon – Sun 10:00 – 19:30
Address: Via Dei Tornabuoni 2, 50123
Ticket Price: €8
For a step away from the most popular Florence art gallery museums, why not pay a visit to the Palazzo Strozzi? A beautiful palace, its history can be traced back to 1489, and it holds a fascinating place in the history of Florence.
The stone palace was built by the Strozzi family to rival that of the Medici in an extravagant Renaissance-era attempt to keep up with the Joneses. This resulted in one of the grandest buildings in the city.
Today the palazzo houses a museum and cultural center with a range of exhibitions – from ancient art to Renaissance-era masterpieces, theatrical performances, and more. Among the displays are drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and a sculpture believed to be carved by the genius when he was just 20 years old.
Opening Times: Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun – 10:00 – 20:00; Thur – 10.00 – 23:00
Address: Piazza degli Strozzi, 50123
Ticket Price: €15
The Cappella Brancacci is a stunning chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine that has been described as the Sistine Chapel of the early Renaissance. This is due to its mesmerizing painted walls and detailed artworks, along with its significant role in the city’s history.
While the chapel is fairly small, there is so much to see inside the building. Visitors can admire the amazing frescoes by Masolino da Panicale, which show the story of the life of St. Peter. These paintings are masterpieces and will steal any art lover’s breath away. Michelangelo is said to have drawn inspiration from the frescoes found here.
The Cappella Brancacci’s exterior is fairly bland, but the art found inside makes it an extremely worthwhile stop. The chapel is one of the most interesting attractions for any art history fans in Italy.
Opening Times: Mon/Fri/Sat – 10:00 – 17:00; Tue/Wed/Thur – Closed; Sun – 13:00 – 17:00
Address: Piazza del Carmine, 14, 50124
Ticket Price: €10
Basilica di Santa Croce
The Basilica di Santa Croce is the main Franciscan church in Florence and is a beautiful building to visit. The church displays a classic example of Medieval Florentine architecture – similar to the design of the Duomo.
Santa Croce is a Florentine landmark boasting iconic gothic architecture and rich history. Inside, you will find frescoes by Giotto and Vasari’s The Last Supper. Many famous Florentines and artists are buried here – including Michelangelo and Galileo. Stop to admire the ornate tombs celebrating their life.
Make sure to visit the opera museum where priceless works of art like the Crucifix by Cimabue have been rescued and restored from the church’s collection over the years.
Opening Times: Mon – Sat – 9:30 – 17:30; Sun & 6 January, 15 August, 1 November, 8 December – 12:30 – 17:45; Easter & 13 June, 4 October – 2:00 – 17.30; Closed: 26 December, 1st January
Address: Piazza di Santa Croce, 16, 50122
Ticket Price: €9
If you are visiting Florence, museums will certainly be a highlight of your trip. This historic city has so much to show and teach its visitors, the legacy of its central role during the Italian Renaissance.
Make sure to take note of the opening times as many Florence museums close on Mondays including the Uffizi and Accademia. This is a good time to visit church museums who usually have shorter opening hours on Sundays.
Whether it is the world-famous art, the magnificent architecture, the grand churches, fashion, or other historical treasures, the museums in Florence will be sure to impress. Our 3 day Florence itinerary has more ideas on things to see and do during your visit.