As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it should come as no surprise that Florence museums are the hidden gems that make any trip to Italy truly unforgettable. Sprinkled throughout enchanting Firenze, these renowned cultural havens offer an engaging journey through art and history. Whether you’re an aficionado or simply want to immerse yourself in Italy’s rich culture, we have you covered. Come along as we explore seven of the most exceptional museums in Florence, each a literal treasure trove just waiting to be explored.
Easily one of the best things to do in Florence, the Uffizi Gallery is one of the city’s premier crown jewels. The Uffizi Gallery artworks comprise an unparalleled collection of Renaissance masterpieces, including most notably the “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli. You’ll have the opportunity to admire many other works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and others. Enjoy a guided Uffizi Gallery tour as part of the Medici Walking Tour in Florence, where you’ll also explore the Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, and other hotspots.
Uffizi Gallery hours are typically from 8:15 AM to 6:30 PM, and like many other Florence museums, it closes on Mondays.
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze
Of all Florence museums, Accademia Gallery is perhaps the most famous — and that’s really saying something. It’s home to Michelangelo’s iconic marble David statue, as well as his famous unfinished works known as “Prisoners” or “Slaves.” The Accademia Gallery is small in comparison to other museums in Florence, so it’s easy to explore it, even with just one day in the city.
Unsurprisingly, it can be difficult to secure Accademia Gallery tickets. They often sell out well in advance, and trying to buy them on-site means waiting in line for multiple hours. Fortunately, our Florence City and Gallery Tour lets you avoid that frustration. Tour the Accademia, plus the Duomo, Piazza Signoria, and other top sites. You’ll also visit the Accademia on many of our multi-day Florence tours, including the Best of Tuscany & Cinque Terre 3-Day Tour.
The museum is open from 8:15 AM to 6:50 PM and is closed on Mondays.
Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze
Translating to “old palace” in English, Palazzo Vecchio was once an important government building. Reminiscent of a castle, the fortress was designed by the same architects responsible for the Duomo. While there’s the spectacular Hall of the Five Hundred and numerous frescoes to admire, the architecture and design are the real stars at Palazzo Vecchio. For a spectacular view over Florence, climb the 416 steps to the top of the 311-foot-tall Torre di Arnolfo. See Palazzo Vecchio in a whole new light—literally—on our Florence Night Walking Tour.
Opening hours are 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day except Thursday, and 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM Thursdays.
Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, or OPA, is one of five monuments comprising the storied Duomo complex. It spans a staggering 6,000 square meters, with works from the likes of Michelangelo and Donatello spread across 28 rooms. Although the Duomo is one of the most visited landmarks in the city, OPA is one of the most overlooked museums in Florence Italy. That’s actually good news — you can explore it without much of a crowd on the Florence Duomo Complex Tour or 2-Day Florence Food, Duomo & Medici Tour.
OPA is open from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM seven days a week and closes the first Tuesday of each month.
Piazza del Duomo, 9, 50122 Firenze
Ask around, and many locals will tell you that this is one of the best museums in Florence. The Bargello, which is also called the Palazzo del Bargello, was the first national museum in Italy, opened in 1865. Today, it’s a renowned Renaissance sculpture museum, housing works by Donatello, Michelangelo, and Verrochio, among others. The building also served as a prison and barracks at different times, adding a layer of mystery to the experience. It’s not a common stop on many Florence day tours, but the Bargello is the first stop on the 2.5-hour Florence E-Bike Tour, which also takes you past Piazza Santo Spirito, home to many of the best bars in Florence.
The Bargello is open from 8:15 AM to 2:00 PM daily and is closed every other alternating Sunday and Monday.
Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122 Firenze
Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
This massive palace is one of the largest Florence Italy museums. The architecture is astounding, built originally in 1457 as the Pitti family home and then nearly a century later to become the primary residence of the rival Medici family. At that time, the palace was made significantly larger and today, it’s an impressive multi-wing museum with several galleries featuring everything from silver to Renaissance paintings and costume jewelry. Outside, the Boboli Gardens are a shining example of “green architecture,” essentially an outdoor museum with sculptures, fountains, and elaborate layouts.
Palazzo Pitta opens daily at 8:15 and closes on the first and last Monday of every month. Its closing time varies depending on the season, ranging from 4:30 to 7:30 PM.
Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze
Art isn’t the only appeal at the best Florence museums. Science enthusiasts should include Museo Galileo on their Florence itinerary, home to a remarkable collection of historical scientific instruments. Most notable among them is Galileo Galilei’s telescopes, with which he discovered Jupiter’s four “Galilean moons.” Other exhibits include a huge variety of clocks, scientific models, surgical instruments, and even some of Galileo’s bones. Museo Galileo is open from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM every day except Tuesday when it closes at 1:00 PM.
Piazza dei Giudici, 1, 50122 Firenze
Book a Guided Tour to Experience the Best Florence Museums
Booking a Florence tour is an excellent way to maximize your experience at the city’s dazzling museums. With sites in different parts of Florence and so much to take in, having a local expert’s insider knowledge can be invaluable. And if you have more time, consider booking one of our Florence Package Tours, which allow you to experience beyond the Florence museums and include all logistics such as transportation and hotels. For example, you can visit both Florence and the Tuscan countryside on the Best of Tuscany 3-Day Tour From Florence. Or, add Venice into the mix with the Tuscany From Venice 4-Day Tour Package.