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BOOKING MUSEUM TICKETS
Florence's two most popular museums are undoubtedly the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery and both require advance bookings in peak season to avoid hours of waiting in line to enter the museums. If you want to climb up to the top of the Duomo's dome, then it is also advisable to book your ticket online, in advance. The rest of Florence's museums do not generally need to be booked in advance.
Booking the Uffizi and Accademia directly costs 4 euro plus the price of the ticket, which is 8.00 euro (or 12.50 euro during times of special exhibitions).
There are two ways to book tickets: online and by telephone.
*If you wish to book online, take care that you use the official website. There are lots of other websites, some with 'official sounding' names, offering tickets but these will all add their own booking fee, which can sometimes be quite substantial.
If booking online via the official site (address below), you have to pay immediately with credit card, you should then receive a confirmation email within the next three days with your booking number, which is essential to pick up your tickets; there are significantly fewer times available online for booking, particularly in the mornings. Therefore, if the date and time you want is showing unavailable, it is definitely worth phoning as they often have more slots.
Booking by phone:
It is quick and easy (there is an English option); you speak to an actual human being; you do not need to pay upfront, you simply reserve your timed entry and you will be given a booking number which you use to collect your tickets on the day.There are many more times and dates offered by phone than online.
The OFFICIAL Florence museum ticket buying website is:
This is run in partnership with Firenze Musei ( http://www.firenzemusei.it/), the official body of Florence's State Museums (which include both the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries)
To book either museum by telephone with Firenze Musei: +39 055 294883 (take into account the time difference when phoning from overseas). The ticket reservation office is open until at least 5:30pm local time during the week, possibly later. The ticket reservation office is closed on Sundays.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE BOOKED TICKETS
If you have booked your tickets, you will have received a booking number - this is essential information and your tickets cannot be picked up without this number.
At the Uffizi Gallery, you collect your reserved tickets at Door #3, under the West Portico of the Uffizi courtyard. You should collect your tickets approximately 15 minutes before your reserved entry time and they now (eventually) accept credit cards (if you did not book online where you would have paid by credit card if it worked successfully). With your tickets, you can then enter the museum directly through Door 1, for reserved ticket holders.
At the Accademia, you collect your reserved tickets at the office opposite the museum (51, via Ricasoli) and then go to the entrance further from the Duomo which is for reserved tickets.
BOOKING TICKETS TO CLIMB THE DOME
Entrance to the Duomo itself is free and ticketless. However, there is a single additional ticket with which you can climb the dome, the Cathedral's bell tower, the baptistery, the crypt and the Cathedral's museum. This ticket costs 15 euros lasts 48 hours from first use and. if you book online in advance, you can select entrance times. This is particularly useful for the climbing the dome which often has a long slow moving line. If you arrive within 15 minutes of your time slot, then you can skip the line and go straight in. The official website to book these tickets is:
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON MUSEUM TICKETS
There are two cards which can offer considerable savings if you wish to visit a number of museums during your stay and both offer some form of skip the line privilage meaning you don't need to make advanced reservations
THE FIRENZE CARD
At the time of writing the card costs 72€ and is valid for 72hrs from first use. The card offers free, priority admission to 72 museums, churches and other attractions, including the Uffizi, Accadamia, the dome climb and most of Florence's most famous sights . When one considers that a visit to the Uffizi and Accademia when both have a special exhibit (which is most of the time) will cost more than 30€, it is easy to see how economical this can be. For full details, visit the website: http://www.firenzecard.it/index.php?l... For an additonal 5 euros you canbuy the Firenze Card Plus which gives you free access to the bus system within the city (including the popular routes up to Fiesole and Piazzale Michelangelo) and access to certain WIFI hotspots. If you are from a country belonging to the European Union and are travelling with children, each adult with a card can take an under 18 with them, free of additional charge.
THE AMICI DEGLI UFFIZI (Friends of the Uffizi) CARD
This costs 60€ for one person (40 for 18-25 year olds) and 100€ for a family card (two adults and two children) and is valid for a calendar year. From their website:
"Following the creation of the new museum cluster named “Gallerie degli Uffizi”, starting from January 1, 2016, holders of the membership cards have free privileged access to the Uffizi Gallery (4 members admitted every 15 minutes, recommended entrance no. 2) as well as free entrance to all the Pitti Palace museums - the Palatine Gallery, the Silver Museum, the Porcelain Museum, the Costume Gallery, the Carriage Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art – as well as the Boboli and the Bardini Gardens.
For details: http://www.amicidegliuffizi.it/en_hom...
Please note that you need to show ID when using the card and a photocopy of a passport is acceptable.
If you wish to visit Santa Croce Church (6€) and the nearby Casa Buonarotti (6.50€) you can buy a combined ticket for 8.50€. Similarly, a combined ticket for Palazzo Vecchio (10€) and the Brancacci Chapel* (6€) is available for 8€.
*You are advised to book for the Brancacci Chapel (055.276.8224or 055.276.8558) although outside the peak periods it is often possible to go straight in
PRICES ARE CORRECT AT TIME OF WRITING, BUT ARE OBVIOUSLY SUBJECT TO CHANGE)