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13 Best Museums in Florence to Visit

13 Best Museums in Florence to Visit

Italy is home to some of the world’s most famous museums, including Florence’s museums, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Galleria dell’Accademia. If you’re planning a visit to Florence, you’ll definitely want to check out these two museums. But there are many other great museums in Florence that you should also consider visiting.

As a haven for the world’s oldest and most famous museums, Italy is a must-visit destination for any art lover. And especially Florence, Italy. Even if you’re not particularly interested in art, visiting one of Florence’s many museums can still be a great experience.

Florence is home to two of the most famous museums in the world and many other great museums that visitors often overlook. The top museums in Florence offer a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture and provide an opportunity to see some of the world’s most famous works of art up close.

If you want a more well-rounded view of Italian culture, the city, and its history, check out some of these great museums in Florence.

Best Museums in Florence, Italy to Visit

1. Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery)

Uffizi Gallery Renaissance art, sculptures, grand architecture in Florence
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Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous museums in the world. It houses an incredible Middle Ages and Renaissance collection created by famous Italian artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

One of my favorites is Botticelli’s Primavera, which hits the same way every time I see it. Check it out from my visit.

Botticelli's Primavera, art of Venus at Uffizi Gallery Florence
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The gallery was founded in 1560 as the Magistrates’ building and, subsequently, a government office building. Over the years, the gallery’s collection grew, and it eventually became one of the most important art museums in the world.

The Uffizi Gallery offers guided tours and is closed on Mondays. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:15 a.m. to 6:50 p.m. Get your skip-the-line entrance ticket now.

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2. Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze (Gallery of the Academy of Florence)

David by Michelangelo
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Address: Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy

One of the most important museums in the world, the Galleria Academy, was founded in 1784 by Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany. This is the second-most visited museum in Florence behind the Uffizi Gallery, mainly because it is the home of Michelangelo’s famous David.

Michelangelo’s David makes this museum worthwhile on its own, making it one of the best Florentine museums, even if copies of the sculpture are seen everywhere in town and elsewhere in the world.

The Accademia is one of the places where viewers of Michelangelo’s sculptures can feel, and are inspired by, his artistic process. Also, in the museum, in Galleria del David, there are four unfinished figures known as Michelangelo’s Slaves that he planned for the tomb of Pope Julius I in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Galleria’s opening hours are from 8:15 a.m. to 6:50 p.m., with the last admission at 6:20 p.m. Purchase an admission ticket in advance and join a museum-guided tour.

Read Also: The Ultimate Travel Guide for Visiting Tuscany

3. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo Exhibit
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Address: Piazza del Duomo, 9, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

It would be best to visit the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo or the Cathedral Museum in Florence. This is because it houses some of the most priceless paintings from the Cathedral of Florenc and the originals of the most fragile works of art.

The Museum was founded in 1891, but in 2015 it was radically renovated. Six thousand square meters of the surface was divided into 28 beautiful rooms over three floors.

Inside, you’ll find preserved, original masterpieces of art that, over seven centuries, have decorated its walls: from Michelangelo to Donatello, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, and countless others.

The majority of the pieces’ themes are religious, but because of the different mediums used and the craftsmanship involved, the collection is quite diverse. You’ll find Michelangelo’s unfinished Pietà, early 15th-century marble galleries by Luca Della Robbia and Donatello, silk and bronze artworks, and more. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

A museum tour is available, and the museum is open every day from 9 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. and closed every first Tuesday of the month.

See Related: Top Reasons to Travel to Italy

4. Casa Buonarroti

Casa Buonarroti Exhibit
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Address: Via Ghibellina, 70, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

Casa Buonarroti, the former home of Michelangelo, is now a museum dedicated to the great artist’s work. Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger, Michelangelo’s great-nephew, converted the 17th-century building into a museum, enlisting the help of some of the most important artists of that period.

The museum offers the pleasure of seeing two famous marble artworks, masterpieces of the young Michelangelo: the Madonna of the Stairs, an intense witness to his passionate study of Donatello, and the Battle of the Centaurs, a marvelous testimony of undying love for classical art.

Visitors to the museum can also see a number of drawings and sketches by Michelangelo, as well as some of his personal belongings.

See Related: A Florence and Bologna Itinerary to Copy

5. Museo Galileo

Museo Galileo Building

Address: Piazza dei Giudici, 1, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

The Museo Galileo, or Galileo Museum, is dedicated to the history of science, focusing on the Medici family and their contributions to the Renaissance. You’ll find many interesting instruments used by Galileo and other scientists of his time, as well as artwork from the period.

The museum is located in Florence, and if you’re interested in the history of science, it’s certainly valuable to visit. You can see globes, telescopes, sundials, and much more. The highlight for many visitors is the collection of Galilei’s instruments.

Museo Galileo is a fascinating museum that offers a guided tour and will give you a new appreciation for the achievements of the Medici family and the Renaissance scientists. The museum is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on Tuesdays when it closes at 1 p.m.

See Related: Things to Do in Italy & Places to Visit

6. Galleria Palatina

Galleria Palatina Exhibit
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Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

The Galleria Palatina, or Palatine Gallery, houses one of the most remarkable art collections in the world. Housed in the Pitti Palace in Florence, the Galleria Palatina features an incredible array of paintings by Italian masters, including Giorgio Armando, Giulio Tintoretto, and Botticelli.

In addition to these well-known names, the Galleria Palatina also features works by Rubens and Raphael, two of the most important artists of the Renaissance.

The Galleria Palatina is just one of three art galleries in the Pitti Palace; the other two are the Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Gallery of Modern Art) and the Museum of Costume and Fashion.

There is also the Treasury, which is filled with gold and silver jewelry, as well as other Medici treasures. Visitors to the Galleria Palatina will be amazed not only by the quality of the paintings on display but also by the lavish decoration in the gallery itself.

Exhibits to see on a tour of the museum. As a result, visitors to the Galleria Palatina can get a true sense of what it would have been like to live in a Renaissance palace. The Galleria is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 8:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and closed on Mondays.

See Related: Is Florence Safe to Visit?

7. Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents)

Ospedale degli Innocenti Building

Address: Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, 12, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy

Ospedale degli Innocenti, or the Hospital of the Innocents, is a Renaissance building in Florence, Italy. It was designed by architect Filippo Brunelleschi and built-in 1419.

The Ospedale was initially established as a hospital for foundlings. Until 1875, a ruota, or revolving wooden wheel, was in the Ospedale’s portico so that mothers who wanted to leave their babies anonymously could do so without being seen.

The Ospedale is also known for its loggia, a column arcade with frescoes underneath the arches and in the lunettes above the doors. However, its most famous feature is the ten glazed mosaics in terracotta that adorn its façade. If you’re ever in Florence, be sure to check out this fascinating piece of history!

The Ospedale is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm and in the winter season from 11 am to 6 pm. You can book a guided tour of the museum.

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8. Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

Museo Salvatore Ferragamo Entrance

Address: Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Named in honor of Salvatore Ferragamo, who had an incredibly important role in footwear design history, the museum is in the 13th-century Palazzo Spini Ferroni.

Museo Salvatore Ferragamo was inaugurated in May 1995 thanks to the desire of the Ferragamo family not only to celebrate but to pay tribute to the creativity of the company’s founder, Salvatore Ferragamo.

It also showcases Ferragamo’s artistic qualities, limitless imagination, and inventions that changed the role of footwear worldwide. The museum contains 10,000 models of shoes created and owned by Ferragamo from the 1920s until he died in 1960.

Besides the permanent collection telling the brand’s story, the Museum offers exhibitions and temporary events. The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

9. Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Gallery of Modern Art)

Galleria d’Arte Moderna Exhibit
Seauton, 23 April 2019, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

Palazzo Pitti used to be the largest palace in Europe when it was bought by the Medici family in 1549. It reflects the wealth and power of its owners over the centuries, the Medici family, among Italy’s most influential families.

Today, the Palazzo Pitti is a complex of museums with a rich collection of artworks spanning centuries. If you’re interested in Italian art, a tour of the Palazzo Pitti is a must-see.

The Gallery of Modern Art is housed in the former stables of the Palazzo Pitti and contains works by Antonio Canova, Francesco Hayez, Giacomo Balla, and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The gallery also has a collection of fashion drawings from the 18th century to the 1920s.

See Related: Best Car Museums in Italy

10. Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace)

Front of Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy
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Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

In addition to the Modern Art Gallery, several other museums are housed in the Palazzo Pitti complex, including the Silver Museum, Porcelain Museum, and Costume Gallery.

If you’re interested in Italian fashion, you can shop in the Costume Gallery or the Galeria del Costume in the Palazzo Pitti complex. You can also tour the royal apartments, where you’ll get a first-hand look at what it was like to live as a royal during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Finally, don’t forget to explore the Boboli Gardens, one of Italy’s largest and most beautiful gardens. The Boboli Gardens are located behind the Palazzo Pitti and were initially created in the 16th century.

Today, the garden is home to a number of sculptures, fountains, and grottoes, as well as an amphitheater where concerts and other events are held in the summer months. The Palazzo Pitti is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and closed on Mondays.

11. Museo di Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio at Night
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Address: Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

Palazzo Vecchio, the city hall of Florence, is one of the most famous buildings in Florence, bearing over the top of Piazza Signoria. It was even used as a residence for the Medici family.

It’s a beautiful example of Italian Renaissance architecture and one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. You can book a guided tour of Palazzo Vecchio.

Inside Historic Museo di Palazzo Vecchio
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Palazzo was originally built to house the city’s government officials but then transformed into a house for the Medici family, and today is one of Florence’s most iconic buildings. It is a towering symbol of the city’s rich and powerful past that stands as proud today as it did all those centuries ago.

The Palazzo Vecchio is just a short walk from the Uffizi Gallery in the center of Florence and is open every day, except Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closes at 2 p.m. on Thursday). The Palazzo itself remains open for browsing till 10 p.m.

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12. Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze (Archeological Museum)

Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze Entrance
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Address: Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, 9b, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy

The Medici family’s Museo Archeologico in Florence is based on the vast Etruscan artifacts collected during their period. The collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities is also impressive. Not too far from the Accademia Museum, the Archaeological Museum is located in the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata inside a beautiful building.

The most incredible objects in this museum are the Etruscan treasures. If you love uncovering hidden gems and lesser-known works, make sure you also check out the vast collection of some of the smaller objects on display throughout the museum. These include Roman mosaics, Greek vases, and a collection of amulets from the ancient world.

Make sure to visit the corridor upstairs, where you can admire a wide variety of ancient gems from the Medici collections, and out back, the garden housing Etruscan tombs. When you visit Florence, be sure to check out this amazing museum for yourself.

See Related: Day Trips from Florence

13. Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello National Museum)

Statues of David in the Bargello Museum
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Address: Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

The Bargello Museum is one of the oldest buildings in Florence and one of the most important. This museum is home to a number of important Renaissance statues by famous artists like Michelangelo, Donatello, and Verocchio.

It was my favorite art museum in Florence because it generally wasn’t overcrowded with tourists but contained amazing art, exhibition rooms, and marble sculptures, including a different form of Michelangelo’s David in bronze form (and much, much smaller than the main David).

If you’re interested in Italian Renaissance art, this is definitely the place to go and a museum to book a tour. The Bargello Museum is located near the Palazzo della Signoria and is also home to the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery. The museum is open Monday to Sunday, from 8:15 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Florence is a city rich in history and culture. Its museums are a testament to that, featuring some world-renowned museums, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze.

Tours in Florence

1. Skip-the-Line Florence Highlights and David Walking Tour Top Recommendation

Skip the line and enjoy a comprehensive walking tour of Florence's most iconic landmarks. Cross the Ponte Vecchio bridge, stroll around Piazza della Republica and Piazza della Signoria, and admire the Pitti Palace and Duomo. Then, enjoy skip-the-line entrance to the Accademia museum to see Michelangelo's world-famous David sculpture. This is the perfect way to experience all that Florence has to offer!

2. Florence: Bike Tour, Cooking Class and Lunch

Looking for an authentic Italian cooking experience? On this unique tour, you'll learn from a professional chef how to cook delicious Italian food. Then, you'll take a scenic bike ride through Tuscany followed by a three-course lunch paired with fine wines. This is a great way to explore Florence and the Tuscan hills while enjoying some of the best food and wine the region has to offer!

3. Florence: Private Tour w/ Locals – Highlights & Hidden Gems

If you want to get the most out of your Florence experience, this is the tour for you! Highlights and hidden gems are both covered in this three-hour private guided tour, ensuring that you see the best of what the city has to offer. You'll get to spot classics like Piazza del Duomo and Ponte Vecchio while also learning about some lesser-known treasures. And to top it all off, you'll enjoy a special treat at a local eatery – all included in the price. With a local expert leading the way, this is the perfect way to make the most of your time in Florence.

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