September 29, 2014, 01:06 PM
When in December? The Medici Chapels generally don't have super long lines, so personally I wouldn't buy tickets ahead of time. If you visit around the festivities (Dec.22- Jan.7), you might find a bit of a wait but I'd also just say to go ahead and head directly to the museum without booking ahead of advance.
September 30, 2014, 11:54 AM
Booking in advance
Originally Posted by Lourdes
Thank you for all the advice about booking tickets for Florence museums. We've just come back from a very enjoyable holiday in Pisa and Florence. I wanted to add my few comments on the booking question. I agree with a number of other comments that the whole business is over-complicated when booking online and when you get to the museum. I feel we had to pay way over the odds for advance booking for the Uffizi and the Accademia, and when we got to the museums we had to ask people which queues to join. It all worked but it's a poor system. I guess it does limit the number of people in the museums. We are accustomed to galleries in London where there are often far more people. We waited about 15 minutes to get into the Uffizi, with our pre-booked tickets and nearly an hour to get into the Accademia. I asked someone in the regular queue for the Accademia and he said he'd queued for 90 minutes to get in, on a Tuesday in September at about 10:45 - he'd queued from about 9:15. We didn't buy the 3-day 72 euro card because we had planned to go elsewhere for the day on Monday, right in the middle of our time there, but, if we had reckoned on three whole days in Florence, it seems to me that the card is worthwhile. Another point: I also noted at the Orsanmichele church, where you can buy the card without queuing, it seemed, that advance tickets for the Bargello were on sale at a 3 euro premium. You could walk round the corner and get straight in for the standard price. Finally, we enjoyed very much the Palazzo Vecchio and the Bargello, which were full of interest and not busy.
Thanks again for all the information. David
October 6, 2014, 12:15 PM
Ciao David, thanks for the wonderful feedback on your time in Florence!
I agree, the process is over-complicated but I highly recommend advance booking for the Uffizi and Accademia in the high season. I've seen the long lines that form. A 15 min is standard wait time, as entrance times are set every 15 minutes. I just cant' believe you had advance tickets for the Accademia and still waited almost an hour to get in!
September is also an in between month - I've seen long lines at certain times and then at others hardly any... it is really hard to know ahead of time whether to get the advance tickets or not. I also don't usually recommend advance booking to the other museums - the lines are generally much more acceptable in terms of wait time... the Bargello is one where I've never seen a line to get in, aside from once when I was following a group in.
The Firenze Card is definitely a good deal if you're planning on visiting lots of museums during HIGH season because it also lets you have priority access. If you're visiting in fall or winter, and not visiting lots of museums, you could just come straight and pay standard ticket price at most without waiting too long in line. This is the reason experiences vary so much - and around Christmas and Easter it is very similar, as so many people travel during those times as well.