Firenze Card, promoted by the Municipality of Florence, gives you access to all the attractions of Florence for a period of 72 hours from when you first use it. You can buy the card online (but you have to collect it in Florence), or you can buy it in several info points around the city. The card doesn’t come for cheap: the price is € 72.00. Doesn’t look convenient? Probably you’re wrong, read on to understand if you should (or should not) buy the card, or scroll down to see a simplified decision tree.
Isn’t price too high?
Well, depends on your plan on what to do in Florence. Price for Firenze Card is quite high, but so is the price of the tickets you are going to buy. You might browse the official website of the Uffizi Gallery and find out that the ticket price is € 8.00… without knowing that when there is an exhibition (that’s to say, eleven months a year), the price grows to 12.50… and without considering that during high season (that’s to say, ten months a year) you have to book your entrance, paying a fee of € 4.00. So actually you will pay € 16.50 for the Uffizi; and another € 16.50 for the Accademia (you don’t want to leave Florence without having seen Michelangelo’s David, do you?). That’s a total of € 33.00, and you visited just the two main museums. Impossible to skip the Duomo (€ 10.00) to complete the top three attractions. But there is more art and history in Florence, and as soon as you add Palazzo Vecchio (€ 10.00), you get to € 53.00. Won’t you be curious to see what’s inside all the beautiful churches? You will have to pay tickets to enter, so as you can see it’s quite easy to spend more than € 72.00, even in less than three days. But wait, even if you aren’t going to spend € 72.00 or more in tickets, here comes the best feature of Firenze Card.
Skip the line (for real)
The “skip the line” feature of Firenze Card is unrivaled, and this alone could justify the purchase. During high season, booking your entrance at the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery is not an option, but a must, unless you want to stay in line for 2-3 hours or more. Well, with Firenze Card you won’t have this problem. Firenze Card is an open skip-the-line ticket, you don’t need to collect tickets in one place and then go to the entrance, you can immediately join the privileged line. Let’s clarify: you will join the line of all the other people who reserved their tickets in advance, but with a big advantage: they must go at the time they have chosen (and museums are very strict on this), and they have to stay in line twice, once to collect the tickets, and once more to enter (more info on Florence tickets). With Firenze Card, you go at the time you prefer and enter immediately, or after just some minutes (if the metal detector is overcrowded).
You decide when
When you book your entrance you must be there 15 minutes before the scheduled entrance. Not only this: if you want to go to the Uffizi Gallery or to the Accademia Gallery during high season, you’ll probably find that they’re sold out for the next several days, or tickets are available only at a certain time which doesn’t fit your needs. So, first of all you need to buy tickets even before your plane takes off; a good rule of thumb is 10 days in advance. What if you can’t go exactly that day at that time? With Firenze Card, you can go at any time you decide, without having to reserve anything. Let me digress for a second: don’t forget to hire local tour guides, see how Florence tour prices work.
Free public transportation
You probably don’t think you need any bus to enjoy the small city center of Florence, and you’re perfectly right, but what if you want to go to Piazzale Michelangelo, or Fiesole, to enjoy a beautiful view of the city? What if you want to go outside of the city center for food and wine tasting, or for shopping in some less expensive shop, or just to attend a football match? You can certainly call a taxi and spend between € 15.00 and € 20.00. Or you can buy the bus ticket yourself. With Firenze Card you avoid any hassle, just take the bus and go.
How many days are you going to stay?
Given the duration of the card, one thing you want to evaluate is how many days you are going to stay in Florence. If you plan to stay up to 5-6 days, then consider buying it, but if you want to stay for one week or more, I suggest you don’t, as you want to dilute your visits, instead of concentrating them in 72 hours. At the same time, if it is less than two full days, move on: you will never take full advantage of the card (unless if you are planning to spend all your time in churches and museums, then it can still be worth it).
Are you an EU citizen?
EU citizens (including UK) under 18 are allowed free entrance in many museums. If you have Firenze Card, all the under 18 members of your family can enjoy the same privileges as you without buying the card themselves. Firenze Card is particularly advantageous for EU families.
If you plan to come to Florence Italy, think to what you want to do while here. If you plan to walk around the city, enjoy the food, maybe visit a museum or two, Firenze Card is not for you. Take care of booking your Museum tickets in advance though. If you want to see as many things as you can and enjoy your visit with no hassle, then buy Firenze Card and forget about any problem. I made a simple decision tree to help you decide: