Firenze is an art lover’s dream, and its relatively small size means it’s eminently walkable. Wander the halls of the Pitti Palace, aka Palazzo Pitti, former home of the Medici family. Admire the perfection of Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell'Accademia, gape at the sheer size and grandeur of the Duomo and Santa Croce or, for a less touristy art experience, discover the Bargello Museum or Casa Buanarotti—home of Michelangelo during his Florentine years.
When you travel with Journy, your trip designer will point you in the right direction towards the best museums and art galleries (and restaurants, and cafes, and hotels...) in Tuscany's capital city. But in the meantime, discover our shortlist below:
To witness the world's greatest collection of Italian Renaissance art
The Uffizi Gallery is located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria and is home to the world’s greatest collection of Italian Renaissance art. Florence’s most renowned gallery occupies the massive U-shaped Palazzo degli Uffizi, which was constructed in the 16th century between 1560-1580. The collection has some of Italy’s most well-known art, including Piero della Francesco's portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino, a room filled with works of art by Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, Madonna della Seggiola by Raphael, and masterpieces from the likes of Michelangelo, Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Raffaello, and more.
Protip: Book a two-hour guided tour ahead of time online (or have your Journy trip designer handle it for you) and, if you're up for it, head to the Museo Galileo afterwards—it's not too far away from the Uffizi Gallery.
Open every day except Monday, 8:15AM - 6:50PM
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
To learn the history of Florence
Museo Nazionale del Bargello is an essential stop for art and history buffs looking to skip the long Florence museum lines. The old prison has been converted into a light and airy museum over three floors, with outstanding works of sculpture, pieces of Florentine history (particularly the coin collection), and an impressive display of weapons and armor.
Protip: Since it’s the least popular of the Florence museums, it’s rarely crowded and advance booking is actually more expensive than purchasing tickets at the door.
Open every day, 8:15AM - 1:50PM
Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122 Firenze, Italy
To explore the mind of a genius
Located in the center of Florence, the da Vinci Museum is home to invention models, designs, and art by the Renaissance genius. The space is divided into five interactive sections that give you unique insights into one of the most beautiful minds in history. Wander through the installations on mechanisms (featuring Leonardo’s designs for worm screws, ball bearers, and more), earth (Leonardo’s printing press, odometer, and rolling mill), water (including a hydraulic saw still in use today), air (featuring Leonardo’s parachute and wings), and fire (where you can see da Vinci’s armored tank).
Protip: Don’t miss the fantastic bookshop, where you’ll find fascinating, one-of-a-kind Leonardo souvenirs.
Open every day, 10AM - 6PM
Via dei Servi, 66/68R, 50122 Firenze, Italy
To discover Italy’s most well-known fashion house
Gucci is one of the top names in Italian fashion and in 2011, the fashion house opened a museum in Florence dedicated to preserving the brand’s history, as well as supporting the local arts scene. Located on the Piazza Signoria in the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia, the museum encompasses three floors of exhibitions space, much of which is dedicated to the history of the development of the brand. You can also visit the Icon Store (with exclusive collection items), the Gucci Caffè & Restaurant (great for a bite to eat or a co-working space), Caffè Dehors (an open air café), the bookstore, the gift shop, and the unique Crest of Guilds basement exhibition.
Open every day, 10AM - 11PM
Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze, Italy
To see the David
The Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze is the art museum that’s home to Michelangelo's Renaissance masterpiece: the David sculpture. Although you’ll definitely have to endure a line to see the David in all his glory, the famous statue is absolutely worth the wait. The subtle details are impressive and outstanding, from the veins in his arms to the leg muscles and knowing expression on his face. Michelangelo is also the master behind the unfinished San Matteo and four Prigioni, which are also displayed in the gallery.
Open every day, 8:15AM - 6:50PM
Via Bettino Ricasoli 60
To view early Renaissance works
Located on the Piazza San Marco, the museum of the same name is a great spot to check out before or after visiting the Galleria dell’Accademia, as it is only five minutes away. At this beautiful, quiet museum (formerly a Dominican convent), you’ll find many breathtaking frescoes by famous Renaissance artists like Bernardino Poccetti and Fra Angelico. If you love early Renaissance art, the Museo di San Marco is a goldmine. Plus, it's a nice, calm break from the crowds at the David.
Open Monday - Friday, 8:15AM - 1:20PM; Saturday - Sunday, 8:15AM - 4:50PM
Piazza San Marco, 3, 50121 Firenze, Italy
To experience an iconic brand in a medieval castle setting
The Salvatore Ferragamo Flagship Store & Museum is an all-in-one cultural destination situated in a hard-to-miss medieval castle. Purchased by Ferragamo in the early 1930s, today the castle pays homage to the iconic brand and its rich history. As you explore the castle, you’ll find collections of shoes, bags, ready-to-wear goods, and limited edition pieces juxtaposed with brand photographs and memorabilia. Before you leave, check out the basement exclusively dedicated to Ferragamo's life and work.
Open every day, 10AM - 7:30PM
Palazzo Spini Feroni, Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5/R, 50123 Firenze, Italy
To view an impressive collection of furniture, Etruscan artifacts, porcelain, Tuscan crucifixes, and more
The Stibbert Museum is entirely dedicated to the eclectic tastes of a 19th-century art collector by the name of Frederick Stibbert. Having inherited his fortune, Stibbert eschewed work and instead spent his entire life collecting antiques and artifacts. When he passed away in 1906, his collection was gifted to the city of Florence and opened to the public. Today, the villa museum has 57 rooms (with walls covered in tapestries), as well as a café and bookstore.
Open Monday - Wednesday, 10AM - 2PM; Friday - Sunday, 10AM - 6PM; Closed Thursday
Via Federico Stibbert, 26, 50134 Firenze FI, Italy
To see what the cathedral's original facade looked like
The Opera del Duomo (aka Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore) Museum was founded in 1891 to conserve the monuments from Brunelleschi's dome which, over the course of centuries, had been removed from the Duomo and Baptistery of San Giovanni as a refuge from pollution outside of the cathedral. Today, more than 750 works of art are displayed in 25 rooms across three levels, including the world-famous Penitent Sant Mary Magdalene by Donatello.
Open every day, 9AM - 7:30PM
Piazza del Duomo, 9, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
To admire wax anatomy and some of the best taxidermy in the world
The Museum of Zoology and Natural History is home to the biggest and best-known wax anatomical collection in the world, along with some fascinating taxidermy (including animals that are now extinct). Originally owned by the Medici family, La Specola also happens to be the oldest public museum in Europe, and its famous visitors include everyone from Goethe to Emperor Leopold to the Marquis de Sade (who particularly appreciated the wax Venuses with their rib cages exposed).
Open every day, 9AM - 5PM
Via Romana, 17, 50125 Firenze, Italy
For more on what to do, eat, and see in Florence—from a stroll through the Palazzo Vecchio to a bowl of tagliatelle funghi—look to our ultimate guide.
Also spending a few days in Rome during your trip to Italy? Discover our 2020 list of the best hotels across all price points.