How to avoid waiting in lines, Florence
Avoid the two-hour peak-season midday wait by making a telephone reservation. It's easy, slick, and costs only €3 (in addition to the €9.50 admission fee). Dial 055-294-883 during office hours (Mon-Fri 8:30-18:30, Sat 8:30-12:30, closed Sun) at least a day before your visit and ideally at least a few days in advance for a better selection. With the help of an English-speaking operator, you'll get an entry slot (15-min window) and a six-digit confirmation number. Off-season, it can be possible to get a same-day reservation. Using the same phone number, you can reserve in advance for the Accademia, Bargello, Medici Chapels, and Pitti Palace; of these, the Accademia has the worst lines.
After you've booked your reservation, go to the Uffizi at your appointed time. Walk briskly past the 200-yard-long line — pondering the IQ of this gang — to the special ticket office (across the courtyard from the entry) for those with reservations (labeled in English "Entrance for Reservations Only"), give your number, pay (cash only), and scoot right in.
Fondest memory: If you haven't called ahead, there are other ways to make an Uffizi reservation — sometimes for the same day, depending on luck and availability:
(1) Buy Uffizi tickets with reservations at the Museum of San Marco, the Museum of Precious Stones, or another Florence sight;
(2) Try booking directly at the Uffizi (ask the clerk at the reserved ticket office if you can reserve in person);
(3) Take a tour of the museum with Walking Tours of Florence (booking required, office open Mon-Sat 8:30-18:00, Sun 8:30-13:30 but off-season closed on Sun and for lunch, Piazza Santo Stefano 2 black, a short block north of Ponte Vecchio; go east on tiny Vicolo San Stefano, in Piazza Santo Stefano at #2, tel. 055-264-5033, mobile 329-613-2730, www.artviva.com.
(4) for a fee, you can reserve online through various agencies such as www.weekendafirenze.it or www.florenceart.it.
Hours: The Uffizi Gallery is open Tuesdays-Sundays 8:15-18:50, 8:15-22:00 on holidays and possibly summer Saturdays (last entry 45 min. before closing), closed Mondays.
Getting There: It's on the Arno River between Palazzo Vecchio and Ponte Vecchio, a 15-minute walk from the train station.
Favorite thing: You can make reservations and get your tickets on the spot by going to the central ticket office in Florence. This is handy if you do not have an Internet connection and printer available. You can make reservations for everything there. It is Euro 3 per reservation and they are nice and tell you if you really don't need a reservation such as for the Medici Chapels. (Nice to save Euro 3 in a place that charges for everything!). Now you have your tickets in hand and you won't need to stand in any lines other than the small one for your exact time slot. The location of the ticket office is shown on the map in the attached photo. There is also a photo of the line for the Uffizi - this is not where you want to spend your time.
If you are planning on seeing the Uffizi or any of the main museums during high season, you could be in for a long wait. There is a way to circumvent these lines, and that is by ordering your tickets online. While you still will have to wait a bit, it is FAR less than being in the normal line.
You only need to do this in the high season!! All other times of the year, there is barely a line visible at any point of the day.
Here is a link to a gallery Uffizi Ticket site:
Florence is full of tourists the whole year round, therefor it's almost inevitable to stand in lines to enter museums and churches. and gelaterias (in summer)
In order to avoid this some places offer online prebooking of tickets. For the uffizi art gallery for instance they will give you a certain date and time to enter and you stand in a seperate line than the others. When I did this I still had to wait about 15 minutes to get in but thats nothing compared to 2-3 hours others have to wait.
You can reserve online through this link:
I've also found out that for most places the best time to enter is late. So I visit the not so popular places, like the Bargello (my favourite museum - strange that it's not so popular) in the daytime and after 6pm go to the Academia for instance. You can just walk in, a few hours earlier the waiting line goes around the whole block.
If you hate queues you'll probably end up having a problem at the Galleria degli Uffizi. The queue to get in is normally quite long.
But don't worry - there's a way to jump the queue. At the the museum itself it is possible to buy tickets for a later point in time. We were offered tickets for the next afternoon. You'll then use a special entrance and only have to wait in a short line.
If you instead of buying the ticket at the museum phone Firenze Musei (055 29 48 83) you can also order advance tickets but suddenly the selection is a bit bigger - we were late in the afternoon able to get tickets for next morning. You get a reference number which you have to use when you enter the museum through a special entrance (the same as if you buy the advance ticket at the museum).
For both services you pay a fee of EUR 3 per ticket. Not cheap, but definitely better than waiting in line for hours.
Would you like to see the David without any crowds? Would you want to visit the David and uffzi in 3 hours?
We did it. It was one of the magical and surreal sights. Turning right and viewing the David for the first time. The whole place was empty.(The usual stewards were sitting near the walls and pillars out of sight)
It was an amazing sight and experience.
How we did it...very simple. We went there very early. The streets was still empty and everything was still closed. But the accadamia opens at 8.15. We were there at 8.30. Just after the first crowds left and it seems just before the touristgroups arrival. Of course we could also just be lucky.
Seriously accadamia is only about the David.After about 20 minutes you can headout to uffizi.
Again being so early we avoided the crowds and were able to walk straight in.
We took 2 hours wandering the uffizi.
Within 3 hours we had done the must see sights: Ponte Vecchio, Accadamia, Uffizi and Duomo.
For my next visit still have Bargello and few others left.
As a backup...you MUST make reservations. You can do it online at the official museum website or ask your hotel to make reservations for you!! In our time table we have 8,30 the Accadamia and the Uffizi at 10.30. Thats more than enough time to view the david and leisurely walk towards the uffizi. Matter of fact you could easily squeeze in the duoma as you past it on the way to uffizi.
A decent hotel should have this ability. I was to late to make a reservation via the website and dreaded the queues. So i chanced sending an email to the hotel and they got me the reservations straight away.
Don't underestimate that the shops are still close when you are walking here. If you are with females....the time needed to walk the same distances seems to rise up exponentially after the shops open.
Anyway the last thing you want to do is waste your precious holiday time standing in qeues.(These are huge qeues) Reading this posts shows that you are at least on the right way. So Rise early and dont forget to make your reservations...just in case. And maybe you are as lucky as us,,,,seeing the David in an empty accdamia was simply of the greatest sights ever.
Fondest memory: One of my unforgettable sights....going one on one vs the David. We arrived at the right moment. The first groups of visitors were already leaving. We were just infornt of the touristgroups.
Walked in the accadamia and entered the corridor with micelangelo's prisoners. Faced right...and there i saw the David for the first time. Awesome.
What a visual impact.
The italians truly know how to present one the world's greatest works of art. standing on the pedestal under his own duomo. Very stunning presentation.
If your time is precious and you didn't book the ticket in advance, plan your visit later in the day.
My own experience was I entered the gallery 1.5 hours before the closing time, there were no lines and no waiting times as well as avoiding the crowds inside the gallery.
The treasures of artworks - most famously Michelangelo's Il David, the misnomered Birth of Venus, Spring - like Rome whole tracts of the historic centre are a living breathing museum - Duomo, Campanile, Baptistery down to Piazza della Signore, the Loggia and theufizi gallery
Fondest memory: All of the above and 101 things more besides, although queues can be horrendous - 2 hours for the Galerria d'Uffizi in late August. Remember just about everything is bookable in advance - take a walk by the museum an hour before it closes and book for the next day
(Off to watch Rodley Scott's Hannibal again !)
There is no such thing as waiting in line in italy! There is no such thing as a line! People tend to just bunch up at the front and fend for themselves! Okay, maybe a little exaggerated . ..
Fondest memory: Just walking through the streets, hanging out in piazza santa croce, window shopping, the produce. . . the cappucini, the gelato!
Favorite thing: Ponte Vecchio. Another one from the Uffizzi. It's really not just because of this view that you wait 2 hours in line! Don't forget to make a reservation in advance.