Tips for Visiting the Uffizi Museum
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.
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.
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.
If you insist on visiting in the morning and can manage to get a reservation for the 8:15 am 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.
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.
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.
Other Articles on Italy:Top 10 Things to do in Florence, Italy
Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and is famous for its art, architecture, history and cultural heritage. My top 10 list of sights in Venice will take you off the beaten path as well as to all of the must see attractions. Check out my list of the best of the best and enjoy your visit to this beautiful region of Italy.
hawaiianodysseus 2 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!Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas Level 7 Commenter
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.
Greensleeves Hubs 2 years ago from Essex, UK Level 4 Commenter
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. 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.
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