In the heart of Florence lies Galleria degli Uffizi, also known as Uffizi Gallery , one of the world’s finest and oldest art galleries. It houses masterpieces from Leonardo da Vinci’s times and its curation of paintings and sculptures will have art lovers weak in the knees. To put its merit to perspective, it is safe to say that it ranks right up with the Louvre in Paris and The Metropolitan Museum in New York. It is the second most visited museum in Italy, second to the Vatican Museum in Rome and though majority of the works here are chiefly Italian Renaissance masterpieces, it also houses a commendable collection of classical sculptures.
In 1560, Cosimo I de' Medici, the second Duke of Florence commissioned Giorgio Vasari, his favourite architect to design a building for administrative and judicial purposes , hence lending to the name “Uffizi” – Office. After his death in 1574, the new duke, Francis I, commissioned Bernardo Buontalenti to convert the top floor of the Uffizi into a repository for the art treasures amassed by the Medici family from the 13th century. Every member of the dynasty thus expanded the collection until the dynasty perished in 1743, after which the collection was left to the state of Tuscany. The Uffizi finally opened doors the public after repeated request in 1765 and exactly hundred years later in 1865, it was formally coined a museum.
Clocking in over two million visitors yearly, the Uffizi Gallery is ranked amongst the Top 5 things to do in Florence by Tripadvisor. In its U-shaped frescoed labyrinth, you are transported to the Renaissance era of Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello, admiring their original works in all its splendour and glory. The Uffizi Gallery was built by the famous Renaissance architect Giorgio Vasari and commissioned by Cosimo I de’Medici way back in 1559. The most mind-boggling part of Uffizi Gallery is that, the entire curation is the private collection of just the Medici family , and only a part that too. There are more priceless pieces of art tucked away in other parts of the museum which is not open to public viewing! In short, what began with a collection of artworks by the influential Medici family is now a world-class museum!
The Uffizi Gallery is spread over 3 floors and here’s a basic floor plan of the Uffizi Gallery that will help you navigate around the museum with better ease. It is best to start from the top floor as it holds the important works and consumes maximum time to cover and then find your way down.
The ticket office and bookstore is located on this floor. If you’re interested in glancing through books on art, history, museum guides and picking up souvenirs, you can visit this shop located bang opposite the entrance. You will be passing this bookstore cum souvenir shop on your way to the exit, so you can walk through here on your way out too.
This floor has many interesting halls and temporary exhibits. You will see the Cabinet of Prints and Drawings here, but you will essentially see the rest of the collection on the second floor.
This floor houses the main and most interesting halls in the museum. There are a total of 45 halls on the second floor of the Uffizi Gallery displaying art spanning from the 13th to the 18th century. At the very end of the second floor, you will find a cafe overlooking the alazzo Vecchio and the rest of the historical center of Florence. From here, you can head back to the first floor along a modern staircase to visit the recently modernized sections of the museum and subsequently to the bookstore and exit along the same path.
1. Do I need to book tickets in advance to enter the Uffizi Gallery?
We recommend that you book tickets because of the long lines at the general entrance. Depending on the tour package you choose, priority entrance tickets to the Uffizi Gallery start at €20.
2. What are the advantages of purchasing skip-the-line tickets?
Skip-the-line tickets allow you to bypass the long lines and save time and money on your trip. They also offer exclusive access to certain sections of the gallery which may otherwise be restricted.
3. What are the types of tickets available?
You can choose from a range of tour packages on your visit to the Uffizi Gallery. These tickets offer priority entrance at €20 and guided tours that offer access to the Accademia Gallery as well are also available starting at €40. Click here to choose from more ticket options.
4. Is there a cancellation policy for the Uffizi Gallery tour tickets?
Yes, the Uffizi Gallery tickets have a flexible cancellation policy of 48 hours in advance for a full refund.
5. How long does it take to explore the Uffizi Gallery on a guided tour?
A guided tour of the entire Uffizi Gallery takes around 2 hours. You can also avail 4 to 6-hour long guided tours of the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery.
6. When is admission to the Uffizi Gallery free?
Entrance to the Uffizi Gallery is free on March 24th, June 23rd, October 11th and October 31st.
7. Do any of the tours provide detailed audio guide services?
If you are looking for a self-guided tour with audio guide services, we recommend opting for this tour. This 6-hour tour also offers skip-the-line entry and access to the Accademia Gallery as well.
8. What are the languages that the guided tours are available in?
You can avail guided tours with a professional guide in a host of languages including English, German, Italian, Spanish and French.
9. What are the timings at the Uffizi Gallery?
10. Does the Uffizi Gallery offer any wheelchair and storage facilities?
The Uffizi Gallery offers an access ramp from the Via della Ninna. There are also lifts at the beginning and end of the gallery. It also houses a cloakroom where you can store your luggage.