First-timer questions re. museums/crowds

SusanneK

New member
Hi,
We will be in Florence for 7 nights in the last week of April/first week of May. We are (obviously) very excited to see the city for the first time but still a bit concerned about huge crowds at the main sights. Is tourism back to normal again this spring, or is it still quieter than in pre-Corona times?

As you suggested, we decided on the museums we absolutely want to see and checked out the online information about tickets and combi cards. But I find it a bit difficult to understand and would appreciate your advice.

We definitely want to see the Uffici and the Academia as well as the Duomo (with cupola) and wish to avoid queueing for these. Is it best to book all three separately, or get a combination ticket? The primary aspect for us is avoiding hassle and queueing, not necessarily getting the cheapest price.

As for the other museums, we would prefer to be flexible and decide spontaneously if and when to go. Is this a good idea, or would it be easier to book time slots ahead wherever possible?

From your experience, what is the best time of day to see the Uffizi? From what I can see, there is no time limit to you stay once you're inside - it that true?

Thank you very much for your help!

Best regards, Susanne
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Susanne,

No, crowds are still not back to pre-Covid times. It is getting busier over the last couple of weeks since the "official" end of the pandemic was declared at the end of March and green pass is no longer needed for entrance into museums and restaurants.

It will likely be busy when you come soon, but know it used to be busier before and we're not back there yet.
So in order to avoid long lines, definitely book Uffizi and Accademia separately. There is no combined ticket for both, the Firenze Card which was the "city pass" was not active while most museums were closed and it has not yet been reactivated. At least, nothing has been communicated and I've been checking their site and Facebook pages. Maybe all museums listed on the pass have to reopen or they are waiting for more people to be back before it is offered again. If you want to climb the Duomo, you need the Brunelleschi Pass as that is the only way to visit the cupola. It requires booking a time ahead for the climb.

Those are the most visited so the ones that merit the booking ahead. It is okay to wait and remain flexible for any others. The Pitti and gardens might have some line but I've always had it move quick. The same at the Bargello and Medici Chapels. If you want to visit the Brancacci chapel, visits have to be booked ahead and they are only offering slots a month at a time, with dates opening up on the 18th. So wait for that and book, if you want to go see it. It is under restoration with scaffolding, they let you up into the scaffolding to see the frescoes up close. It is a special occasion to see them in a way no one will be able to do once they finish the restoration. Everything else can be bought on the spot, I assure you.

As for the best time for the Uffizi.... you are right you can go in and stay as long as you want. Personally I think the best time is right after lunch. It is still a bit quieter as people languish over longer lunches or to rest after a morning out and about. I wouldn't go first thing in the morning because lots of people want to start there and the museum is always busy. I would recommend Accademia in mid or late morning or actually later in the day, like around 5pm.
 

SusanneK

New member
Dear Lourdes,
Just a short feedback: We had a wonderful holiday even though it was certainly crowded in the heart of the city (our apt. in Oltrarno was an excellent choice). We bought museum tickets as you suggested and it was great. And we cannot thank you enough for the info about the Brancacci chapel. We managed to get two tickets, and being able to see these incredible frescos from close up was really one of the highlights of our stay.
We would have loved to stay another month or so...:love:
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Wonderful!! Thank you so much for the feedback, I really appreciate hearing back. Am very glad you got to see the frescoes up close, which reminds me I need to go see them too while I still can :D

I know, when one can the time, Florence has a lot to offer, you could easily spend weeks here in town exploring!
As for the crowds, ever since Easter they have grown every weekend and it seems to me we are heading back to big numbers for this summer, it feels strange after having Florence deserted for 2 years. We only had people in the summer months and not the numbers from before, so now we have to get used to crowds again 😅
 
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