Uffizi Gallery useful tips – Waste no time in line
The Uffizi Gallery is always a top choice for those interested in seeing museums when in Florence. Even if you’ve already been, the Uffizi will always be Florence’s defining museum and is always worth a visit.
The important thing is to plan as well as you can to spend as much time as possible admiring its art rather than wasting time in line at the ticket office or wandering randomly around the museum because you don’t know where you want to go.
The Uffizi Gallery is a large museum covering several floors of the former Palazzo dei Medici, which Vasari designed for Florence’s administrative offices. Here we’ll try to give you all the tips you need to visit the Uffizi Gallery and make the most of your time and energy.
Uffizi Gallery useful tips: first of all, book your admission
Booking your Uffizi admission ticket plenty in advance is key to avoiding waiting in line. The procedure is simple. There are many sites online that sell tickets to the Uffizi. My advice is to book ahead of time. If you want to go in the summer, opt for the early morning hours to avoid the heat. You choose the date and time of admission when booking. You will get a voucher by email that you will have to take with you on the day of your visit. The museum now accepts it in digital format. So, you can show your voucher on your cell phone. The important thing is to make sure you have the right voucher with your booking code.
The Uffizi Gallery: how much does the ticket cost?
Variable prices have recently been introduced according to the season. The ticket price changes throughout the year. If you go from March to October, the maximum rate is applied, €24.00 per ticket (€20.00 the ticket plus €4.00 to skip the line). The online booking sites also apply booking fees. Make sure these fees are not too high and that it is no more than €30.00 if the ticket is a basic skip-the-line admission.
There are major reductions for children under 18 and for young people with European passports between 18 and 25 years of age. Children under 6 enter free of charge, with an adult, of course.
The Uffizi Gallery: how to check in?
If you have booked a ticket, you must arrive 15 minutes before the booked time at door number 3 at the Piazzale degli Uffizi, located right on the opposite side of the main entrance (door number 1), on the Via dei Georgofili side.
Here you will exchange your voucher for a ticket with a barcode. Then you enter through door number 1. The entry procedure will take about 5–6 minutes. Once inside, you will need to go through the security check. Then your visit begins.
The Uffizi Gallery: What to do before starting your tour
Now you can choose to rent an audio guide or tour it on your own. The audio guide desk is on the ground floor before the turnstiles. You could also choose to book the audio guide when you book your ticket in advance. This will save you time getting in and make sure it is available right after entering.
The coat check is right after the audio guide desk. Check everything here that is heavy or bulky that could tire you during your tour. Keep in mind that you’ll be standing a lot, walking a lot, and going up and down a lot of stairs. Also keep in mind that you can’t bring large backpacks, suitcases, or umbrellas into the museum. Small strollers are allowed to make it easier for families with children.
And now you’re ready to go through the turnstiles. Don’t throw away your ticket. You will be asked to show it twice more before leaving. Don’t ask me why, I don’t get it!
Right before the turnstile, you’ll see a desk on the right where they give out museum maps. I suggest studying it before you start to plan your route. There are (a very few) agencies that send you a mini-guide with a route and map along with the ticket. Otherwise, you can buy a short guide a few days in advance or by searching online.
The maps inside the museum are free and in various languages. But they’re often unavailable and hard to read while you’re walking through the crowd, distracted by the chaos and beauty of the masterpieces you’re looking at. Make sure that your route is not random. Choose what you want to see first and then start off.
Your museum tour starts now. It will have taken about 15 minutes since you got to Door no. 3 to exchange your voucher for your ticket. Do not buy the catalogue now. It’s heavy to carry around and you’ll find a large, very well-supplied bookshop at the exit.
Stairs or elevators? Here, you’ll find two elevators and a large staircase. If taking the stairs tires you out, keep in mind that there are four very long flights of stairs. After the first floor, you’ve only just begun. So, decide, and if you don’t feel up to it, take the elevator.
Uffizi Gallery useful tips, here the best exhibition route
The exhibition route starts on the second floor. Before entering the large frescoed gallery, you will find yourself in a first through room with pastel green walls. This is an elliptical room with elegant neoclassical lines.
The Uffizi Gallery: Second Floor Gallery
Now we are going into the heart of the museum. As you walk through the large gallery, on your right, you will see large windows overlooking the inner courtyard. If you look out, you’ll see both a gorgeous view of Piazza della Signoria and another gallery in front of you running parallel to this one.
The Uffizi Palace
The Uffizi Palace is a large “U,” with two long sides perpendicular to the Arno river, windows on the second floor, and a narrow side parallel to the river. On the ground floor, the large portico along the building’s wings gives it a sense of great lightness despite its large size. This effect is enhanced by the second-floor windows and the elegant open arches on the ground floor of the building’s shortest side.
Uffizi Gallery — Giotto and the Middle Ages
The artworks are displayed in chronological order. The first room on your left is for Giotto and the Middle Ages.
Uffizi Gallery — Caravaggio Room
Here you can admire magnificent masterpieces, and then go down to the first floor to the rooms of 17th-century art, most notably Caravaggio, and then go continue to the Rembrandt and Rubens room.
The Uffizi Gallery and sweeping views of Florence
One last tip: don’t miss two really remarkable scenic viewpoints. The first one is on the short side of the gallery on the second floor. From here, admire the entire city of Florence, the Arno River, and the beautiful hills. Then go up to the coffee shop for a coffee break. The panoramic terrace affords a truly breathtaking view between Brunelleschi’s dome and Palazzo Vecchio.