Things to do in Florence

Discover the 10 best museums in Florence and their masterpieces

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When you think of Florence, you immediately think of magnificent marble sculptures and beautiful paintings. The reason for this is simple-the city of Florence is synonymous with art. It's no surprise then, that Florence is often referred to as the cultural capital of Italy.

The city of Florence is a living museum! If you have not been there yet, add it to your bucket list as soon as possible! The Renaissance movement was born in Florence and it changed the very direction of Western Art. Most of the museums in Florence are a treasure trove of art from the Italian Renaissance period. Florence is considered to be the top place for art lovers in Italy, and no visit to this beautiful city is complete without paying a visit to some of its greatest museums such as the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio Museums, and the Galleria dell’Academia.

Where did the Renaissance Begin - Florence

‘Renaissance,’ means rebirth, revival, or a new beginning and the roots of the Italian Renaissance lie in Florence. It was the Florentines who first started thinking of art as a valuable branch of knowledge that could help them visualize and create images of God and his creations. They understood that art could also give them an insight into the position of Man in the Universe. One of the main reasons for the start of the Renaissance in Florence was that the situation in the city had always been (and still continues to be) favorable to the arts. The civic pride that Florentines felt, found expression in the statues of patron saints. The cost of construction and decoration of palaces, churches, and monasteries was underwritten by the wealthy merchant families in Florence-the Medici family being one of these families. The Medici Family, one of the most prominent and affluent Italian families, controlled a large part of Florence and they were probably one of the greatest patrons of art in Florence. It was these reasons that sowed the seeds of the Renaissance in the city of Florence-a movement that eventually spread throughout the world and changed the very direction of Western art.

Why Visit Museums in Florence

Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance and pretty much everything you see in the city comes from this period. The city contains the world’s finest and vastest collection of Italian art from the Renaissance period. The top five museums in Florence are the Uffizi Gallery, The Galleria dell'Accademia, Opera del Duomo Museum, the Pitti Palace, and the Palazzo Vecchio Museum. Visiting these different museums is one of the best things to do in Florence, and they make for a fun and educational family outing any time of the year.

Art in Florence can be found around every corner and street of the city. It includes priceless statues, sculptures, architecture, thirteenth-century castles, and provocative contemporary installations. On your visit to Florence, you can literally see the progress of art from the Italian Renaissance to the modern-day! A visit to Florence is incomplete without exploring its museums-think Florence, think museums.

5 Must-See Works of Renaissance in Florence

Scattered with wonderful museums that host some of the greatest collections of art from the Italian Renaissance, the city of Florence is a must-visit. If you want to experience Renaissance art in all its glory, stroll through the various rooms at some of the best museums in Florence. Here are five must-see works of the Renaissance in Florence that can simply not be missed!

1Botticelli’s ‘Birth Of Venus’

Uffizi Gallery

Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ can be admired at the Uffizi Gallery, which is one of the top 5 museums in Florence. Painted on canvas, the painting depicts Venus-the goddess of love and beauty, arriving on the island of Cyprus after being born from the sea spray. Venus’ modest pose in this magnificent painting was inspired by classical sculptures. The seascape in the painting seems to be illuminated by soft, delicate light, and no other artist but Botticelli could have done full justice to this masterpiece.

Museums in Florence

2Michelangelo’s ‘David’

Galleria dell'Accademia

Painted by a twenty-six-year-old Michelangelo, the sculpture of ‘David’ is the most famous statue in Florence. Housed in the Galleria dell'Accademia, Michelangelo carved this sculpture out of a single, abandoned piece of marble that was around five hundred years old. The seventeen feet high statue depicts the Biblical hero David as a standing male nude. Michelangelo’s ‘David’ is the sole reason for the long queues outside the Galleria dell'Accademia-one of the best museums in the city of Florence.

Museums in Florence

3Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’

Uffizi Gallery

Another masterpiece that can be found at the museums in Florence is Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’. Displayed in the Uffizi Gallery, Boticelli’s ‘Primavera,’ which means ‘spring’, is a celebration of love, peace, and prosperity. The painting showcases nine figures from classical mythology walking over a flowery lawn in a grove of orange and laurel trees. Painted on poplar wood backing, ‘Primavera’ is a testament to the humanist interests in the classical matter. This glorious piece of art in Florence also brings to light the courtly desire for lavish themes and graceful figures during Renaissance Florence.

Museums in Florence

4Ghiberti’s ‘Gates of Paradise’

Opera del Duomo Museum

Ghiberti’s ‘Gates of Paradise,’ can be found at the Opera del Duomo Museum. Though just a pair of doors, Ghiberti's artwork is believed to be one of the greatest early Italian Renaissance artworks. Crafted by Lorenzo Ghiberti in the fifteenth century, the ‘Gates of Paradise’ were created for the eastern entrance to the Baptistry. One of the greatest works of art in Florence, these ‘gates’ are essentially a pair of bronze gilded doors that are 16 meters tall. Each of the ten panels on these doors was cast in bronze by Ghiberti and depicts the story of Adam and Eve.

Museums in Florence

5Michaelangelo's ‘The Deposition’

Opera del Duomo Museum

The Deposition, by Michaelangelo, is another one of his many masterpieces. Carved in marble, it depicts four figures - Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary, Jesus, having been taken down from the cross, and either Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea. Known as Florentine Piéta, this Michaelangelo began to craft this sculpture when 72, with the intent of placing it on his tomb. However, he sold it, but not before damaging some of it for reasons still unknown. It's speculated that it was either out of frustration or with the intent of using a different type of marble to finish the pieces taken out.

Museums in Florence

10 Best Museums in Florence

If you are wondering about what to do in Florence, one of the top things to do in the city is to explore its amazing museums. These are some of the best museums in Florence, and they will surely take you back in time and transport you to the glorious Italian Renaissance.

#1 Uffizi Gallery

Oldest Art Gallery in the World

from €20

Museums in Florence
Italian Renaissance History Art

The Uffizi Gallery is the most famous museum in Florence and the largest museum in Europe. Built in the sixteenth century and designed by the Italian painter Giorgio Vasari, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence has more than one hundred rooms. Often mentioned as one of the top five museums in Florence, the Uffizi Gallery has the largest collection of Italian Renaissance art and the best collection of sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the Modern Period. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence displays artworks by artists such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Leonardo Da Vinci, Correggio, Mantegna, and Raffaello. The museum also has a rooftop café where you can take a break from the world of art and indulge in a relaxing glass of wine.

Best Time to Visit
Early morning or just before closing time
Recommended Duration
3 Hours

The Uffizi Gallery Highlights

  1. Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’
  2. Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’
  3. Piero della Francesca’s ‘Duke and Duchess of Urbino’
  4. Leonardo Da Vinci and Andrea del Verrocchio’s ‘Annunciation’
  5. Fra Angelico’s ‘Coronation of the Virgin’

Recommended The Uffizi Gallery Tickets

Uffizi Gallery Reviews

Would definitely recommend! The detailed instructions for where to meet the tour guide were helpful and much appreciated.

- Alexander, October 2022

Great, such a large selection of renaissance art. Only the museum is so large it can be hard to know which parts you have been in already.

- Oliver, October 2022

#2 Casa Buonarroti

Museum Dedicated to Michelangelo

Museums in Florence
Baroque MichelangeloHouse-museum

The Casa Buonarroti is also known as the Michelangelo House. Michelangelo owned this sixteenth-century house but never stayed there. The Casa was converted into a museum by Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger to document the works and times of the acclaimed artist. This museum in Florence contains Bas relief sculptures and many other sculptures that were made by Michelangelo. Casa Buonarroti also houses more than two hundred Michelangelo drawings and sketches, which are displayed at the museum in Florence on a rotating basis. The Casa Buonarroti is divided into two floors and has sixteen exhibition halls. This museum in Florence contains the most important documentation of the architectural and artistic activity of Michelanagelo, from the very beginning of his journey as an artist till his last major projects in Rome, the capital of Italy.

Best Time to Visit
Late afternoon
Recommended Duration
1 Hours

Casa Buonarroti Highlights

  1. ‘Madonna della Scala’
  2. ‘Battle of the Centaurs and Lapiths’
  3. Wooden model for the façade of San Lorenzo
  4. Portraits of Michelangelo

#3 Accademia Gallery

Most Visited Museum in Florence

from €20

Museums in Florence
Michelangelo's David Paintings

The Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence is one of the top five museums in the city. The Accademia Gallery is the most visited museum in Florence after the Uffizi Gallery. Founded in 1784 as a school for artists, the Gallery now showcases one of the best collections of Michelangelo’s work. It is also home to the world’s most famous nude-’David.’ At the Accademia Gallery, you can follow Michelangelo’s creative process as a sculptor as you move from room to room. In addition to some of Michelangelo’s greatest works from the Italian Renaissance, the Accademia gallery also displays collections featuring botany, music, art symbols, and painting techniques. Believed to be one of the best museums in Florence, the Accademia Gallery also displays important works of Florentine artists from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries. The ‘Sale Bizantine’ in the Gallery also houses some of the oldest works from the collections that go all the way back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Best Time to Visit
Early morning and late evening
Recommended Duration
60-90 minutes

Accademia Gallery Highlights

  1. Michelangelo’s ‘David’
  2. Michelangelo’s unfinished ‘Slaves’
  3. Adimari Chest
  4. Pacino di Bonaguida’s ‘Tree of Life’

Recommended Accademia Gallery Tickets

Accademia Gallery Reviews

We loved touring this gallery! It was amazing to see the David statue and the Italian art in the gallery. The tickets that we bought were so easy to use, and we were able to skip the longer lines without any hassle because we pre-booked.

- Jordan, November 2022

David was certainly the highlight of the gallery! The reserved tickets helped us save time if one has time constraints to wait in the queue for €12 ticket.

- Revadi, November 2022

Headout Tip: Here's a hack that will save your time and money. Academia Gallery and Uffizi are separated by a walkable distance. Book a combo skip the line ticket to the two galleries and delve into the rich history of Florence. Find your tickets here

#4 Museo Galileo

History of Science in Florence
Museums in Florence
Science Galileo

During the Italian Renaissance in Florence, people started thinking of science as an art. The Museo Galileo takes this thought process forward and houses the most accurate and the best collection of scientific instruments in the city of Florence. Rather than art, the focus of the collections at Museo Galileo are early scientific instruments, globes, telescopes, meridians, sundials, and navigational instruments. Made up of eleven rooms, the Museo Galileo displays the Medici collection of astrolabes, compasses, armillary spheres, and other instruments-all of which are the handwork of some of the Renaissance’s finest metal smiths and wood carvers. In this museum in Florence, you can get a detailed insight into how the field of science has progressed from ancient times. In fact, everything in Museo Galileo stems from the interest of the Medici and Lorraine families in natural, physical, and mathematical sciences.

Best Time to Visit
Autumn or Winter
Recommended Duration
1-2 hours

Museo Galileo Highlights

  1. Original instruments used by Galileo
  2. Thermometers belonging to the Accademia del Cimento

#5 Opera del Duomo Museum

Must-see Museum in Florence

Museums in Florence
Duomo Cathedral Renaissance

If you want to learn about the history and architecture of the Duomo Cathedral, visit the Opera del Duomo Museum in Florence. This museum in Florence is considered to be the best museum to learn about the history of the Duomo Cathedral. Founded by the Republic of Florence in 1296, the museum was created as a means to oversee the construction of the new cathedral and Bell Tower in Florence. The main aim of the museum in Florence was to conserve these monuments. The Opera del Duomo Museum in Florence recently underwent an impressive renovation. It now contains three floors, twenty-eight rooms, a bookshop, and a small café. The museum showcases some of the most incredible art in Florence. Be it gorgeous masterpieces by Michelangelo and Donatello or a collection of priceless, sacred, and liturgical treasures that showcases Florentine craftsmanship in all its glory-the Opera del Duomo Museum has it all!

Best Time to Visit
All-year round
Recommended Duration
1 to 2 hours

Opera del Duomo Museum Highlights

  1. Ghiberti’s ‘Gates of Paradise’
  2. Life-sized reconstruction of Duomo’s original façade
  3. La Pietà
  4. Donatello’s ‘Penitent Saint Mary Magdalene’

#6 Bardini Museum

Museum by Art Dealer Stefano Bardini

Museums in Florence
Ambrosian Library History Art

Widely regarded as one of the most unusual museums in Florence, the Bardini Museum is located in the sloping gardens of the San Niccolò neighborhood-a beautiful neighborhood that is home to many Florentine artists. The Bardini museum in Florence hosts the private collection of artist and antiquarian Stefano Bardini. The collection includes priceless art and antiquities from the various eras of art in Florence. With more than 3,600 objects displayed in its halls, the Bardini Museum contains some wonderful masterpieces made by Donatello, the Della Robbia brothers, Tintoretto and Tiepolo. The museum also contains a collection of Venetian and Tuscan woodwork from the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, the Bardini Museum is most well-known for displaying the best collection of ceramics and musical instruments in Florence.

Best Time to Visit
Recommended Duration
1 hour

Bardini Museum Highlights

  1. Rug laid at Hitler’s feet when he visited Florence in 1938
  2. Paintings of Pietro Annigoni
  3. ‘Porcellino’
  4. Bardini Gardens or the ‘Giardino Bardini’

#7 Palazzo Vecchio Museum

Must-see Museum in Florence

from €45

Museums in Florence
The Last Supper High Renaissance

The Palazzo Vecchio Museum is the most famous building in Piazza Signoria in Florence. The Palazzo Vecchio has played many roles throughout history-it functioned as the city hall of Florence was the residence to the affluent Medici family in Florence, and was the seat of the government in Florence. Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, who also built the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio now functions as a museum for Renaissance art and architecture in Florence. Filled with secret passages and secret routes, the Palazzo Vecchio is one of the top five museums in Florence, and visiting this museum is often mentioned as one of the top things to do in Florence. Everything in the Palazzo Vecchio, including the building, is a piece of art and a visit to this museum in Florence is more of an experience about the building’s design and history rather than art. The Courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio is made up of a series of fascinating stuccos and frescoes that are worth seeing and the café here is a local favorite of the Florentines.

Best Time to Visit
Between 3 PM and 6 PM
Recommended Duration
3 Hours

Palazzo Vecchio Museum Highlights

  1. Dante’s Death Mask
  2. Donatello’s ‘Judith’
  3. Arnolfo Tower
  4. Salone dei Cinquecento (The Hall of the Five Hundred)
  5. The Room of Maps

Recommended Accademia Gallery Tickets

Palazzo Vecchio Museum Reviews

We had a wonderful tour guide named Anna. She was very knowledgeable and we loved her voice. She was very pleasant and took extra time with a group.

- Margaret, September 2022

Beautiful details and full of information. Nice service. Will recommend to anyone.

- Chira, October 2022

#8 Museo del Bargello

Museum for Decorative Arts in Florence

from €18.50

Museums in Florence
Gothic Art Sculptures Culture

The Museo del Bargello is the oldest public building in Florence. Before being converted into one of the best museums in Florence, the building functioned as police headquarters for more than one hundred years! Located just behind the Piazza Signoria, the Muso del Bargello was the first national museum in Italy that opened its doors in 1865. Made up of three floors, the Museo del Bargello has the best collection of Renaissance sculptures in Florence. Most of the artifacts in the museum come from the collections of the Medici family, convents, or private collectors. You can see exquisite bronzes, ceramics, waxes, enamels, medals, ivory tapestries, seals, and textiles here. The museum has a room dedicated to ivory carvings, collections of majolica, and a room that showcases the enamel and gold work that Florence was famous for during the Renaissance. Unlike other museums in Florence, the Museo del Bargello primarily focuses on decorative arts and three-dimensional art.

Best Time to Visit
All-year round
Recommended Duration
60-90 minutes

Museo del Bargello Highlights

  1. Donatello’s ‘David’
  2. Michelangelo’s ‘Drunken Bacchus’
  3. Rooms of glazed terracotta by Andrea and Giovanni della Robbia
  4. Donatello’s ‘Brutus’

Recommended Museo del Bargello Tickets

Museo del Bargello Reviews

The museum was great. Buying the tickets from the museum was great and definetly a time and stress saver on the best price possible. Easy to get through. Thank you

- Mihaela, Headout, October 2022

Loved the Bargello much more than I thought I would. The treasures inside were amazing and more diverse than I expected. The whole experience was superb. I would highly recommend a visit to this museum. I wish I had done visited when I was in Florence before. Glad I did it now.

- Malcolm, Headout, September 2022

#9 Pitti Palace-Palatine Gallery

Masterpieces of 16th Century

from €16

Museums in Florence
Late Renaissance Modern Art Paintings

The Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens were the residence of the Medici family in Florence. Built in 1457, the building was designed by Brunelleschi and now functions as a museum with the best collection of Italian paintings from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Home to more than five hundred Renaissance paintings, the Pitti Palace is one of the most popular museums in Florence, so be prepared for dense crowds and long waiting times. The Pitti Palace is made up of a series of galleries and rooms. The Palatine Gallery has a wonderful collection of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Italian paintings, the Royal Apartments are strewn with well-maintained nineteenth-century furniture, a Gallery for Modern Art, museums devoted to silver and porcelain, and the famed Boboli Gardens. Spread over 111 acres, the Boboli Gardens feature an outstanding collection of Roman antiquities and sculptures from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. In addition to this, the museum houses some great works by Macchiaioli, Boldini, Dupré, Morandi, De Pisis, and De Chirico. The Pitti Palace also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit
Early morning
Recommended Duration
2-3 hours

Pitti Palace-Palatine Gallery Highlights

  1. Antonio Canova’s ‘Italian Venus’
  2. Titian’s ‘Maria Magdalene’
  3. Raphael’s ‘La Velata’
  4. Raphael’s ‘Madonna dell Impannata
  5. Rubens’ ‘The Consequences of War’

Recommended Pitti Palace-Palatine Gallery Tickets

Pitti Palace-Palatine Gallery Reviews

It worked well to reserve tickets in advance. Good price, easy to make a reservation and choose a timeslot, possibility to switch the order of combo tickets by choosing different time slots, no waiting in line, and peace of mind that you can plan your visit without tickets being sold out on the time you want to visit. Definitely recommended.

- L, Headout, May 2022


Miniature Railway Museum

from €15.50

Museums in Florence
Sculptures Medieval Art

The HZERO is a miniature railway company and its museum is completely dedicated to the railway model that was developed by Giuseppe di San Giuliano. Located in the former Ariston Cinema, next to the Santa Maria Novella Train Station, HZERO is one of the newest museums in Florence. Only six months old, the HZERO was inaugurated on 29th May 2022. Dedicated to the imagery of the train, the museum will be equipped with a modeling workshop and even a workshop where visitors can bring their own train models for repair. The pièce de resistance at the HZERO museum is a narrative device developed around the 280 square meters railways model housed here. The device combines craftsmanship and high technology in an immersive environment and is considered to be the largest such device in Europe.

Best Time to Visit
September and October
Recommended Duration
1 hour

HZERO Highlights

  1. Huge model railway
Recommended HZERO Tickets

Tips to Explore Museums in Florence

    Here are some tips to keep in mind when visiting the museums in Florence.
  • Since you will be walking a lot, we recommend that you wear comfortable footwear when visiting the museums in Florence.
  • If you have the time, read up on the Italian Renaissance and the Medici family to get some background before visiting the museums.
  • Book all your tickets online and in advance. Try to book skip-the-line and guided tour tickets for the museums in Florence. Not only will this give you priority access to the museums, but it will also save you time.
  • Pick and choose the museums you want to visit and plan your trip to Florence accordingly.
  • To avoid crowds and long waiting queues, try to choose a time slot during the off-peak hours of the museums in Florence.
  • During the summer months, keep yourselves well-hydrated when visiting the museums in Florence.


What are the best museums in Florence?

Some of the best museums in Florence include the Uffizi Gallery, Casa Buonarroti, Accademia Gallery and Opera Del Duomo Museum.

Are Museums free in Florence?

Most museums in Florence charge an entrance fee, but they may offer discounted rates and free entry on certain days or occasions. We recommend that you check this while booking your tickets to visit the museums in Florence. 


Which is the newest museum in Florence?

The newest museum in Florence is the HZERO. This Museum is just six months old. 

Are there any restrictions I should know before hand for entering museums in Florence?

The restriction can vary from museum to museum. We recommend that you wear comfortable footwear and dress modestly since most of the museums in Florence are connected to the Church. Try to avoid clicking photographs and making videos while visiting the museums in Florence. For more information about restrictions, check the official websites of the museums in Florence. 


Do I need tickets to see the statue of David?

The statue of ‘David’ is located in the Accademia Gallery in Florence. A separate ticket is not required to see the statue of ‘David’, since it is already included in the price of your entry ticket to the Accademia Gallery.


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