Uffizi tours are among the most popular tours in Florence, and that’s because the Uffizi Gallery is the top museum in Italy. When it comes to Renaissance painting, you won’t find a similar collection anywhere else: more than 1500 paintings on display, starting with Cimabue and Giotto, and continuing with Piero Della Francesca, Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio… and I just mentioned some of the highlights of this incredible gallery. Definitely, you want to book guided Uffizi tours, or you will get lost and miss some of these important artists. Uffizi Gallery guided tours are offered in many combinations, that often include different attractions, like Michelangelo’s David, the Duomo, the Vasari corridor, or as part of longer walking tours and tours of Florence in a day, but today I want to review the Uffizi tours for people who want to see just that: the Uffizi Gallery. Maybe because you already planned your other tours, or maybe because you just have a short time in our beautiful city. Finally, this might be your only way to visit this important museum if you didn’t reserve your tickets and it’s impossible to find them last-minute. If you prefer tours that combine the Uffizi Gallery with other attractions, then you have to go back to Florence tours page and refer to my other articles.
Afternoon Uffizi tours
What’s the issue with the Uffizi Gallery? Well, first of all, it’s closed on Mondays (something inexplicable, given how requested it is), but the main issue is that it’s a crowded museum, basically sold out every day from April to October. Not only this: it’s often oversold because people with Firenze Card has access anyway, and agencies have some reserved tickets. The metal detector slows down the entrance, and the “so-called” skip-the-line access just means you’re skipping the line of the people with no reservation, but you will still stay in a different line with people who, like you, has skip-the-line access. In other words, skip-the-line means that you will stay in line some minutes instead of some hours. It’s impossible to avoid this, but it’s possible to minimize and sometimes totally avoid staying in line. How? Choosing a tour in the afternoon: a large part of travelers to Florence is people having a shore excursion from their Cruise ship, or people sleeping anywhere in Tuscany, coming to Florence with their private bus for a few hours. They will crowd the Uffizi as soon as they get here, and only a few of them will visit the gallery in the afternoon. The first tip in this article is book afternoon Uffizi tours.
Small group Uffizi tour at 1:30 pm
I would rank this tour as number three. It is not a really small group Uffizi tour because it’s up to twenty people, but better than nothing, and I like the schedule: it starts at 1:30 pm. The tour, at € 39.00/person, is not expensive, considering that the skip-the-line ticket alone is going to cost you € 16.50 and is included in the price. It’s a rather short tour, just 90 minutes. It’s not a sufficient time to correctly enjoy all the highlights of the gallery, but you have a chance to stay more in the Uffizi after the tour is over, and go back to see what you missed. Anyway, the tour includes the main works by Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. The duration is a disadvantage of this tour, but it can be good for people who don’t have much time in Florence and want to reserve part of the afternoon for shopping or other things to do. This particular schedule is also perfect for who planned other tours during the morning, combining them to have a “Florence in a day” tour. For example, you could buy a Best of Florence walking tour, including Duomo and David, which starts at 9:00 am and ends at 12:00 pm, have time for lunch, and then join this short Uffizi Gallery tour. By 3:00 pm you would be free with all the afternoon available to stroll around the city center on your own.
Uffizi Gallery tour at 4:30 pm
My number two is very similar to the previous tour. The price is similar (€ 38.00, including skip-the-line tickets), the duration is the same (90 minutes), and the group is a bit larger (up to 25), but what makes this tour better, in my opinion, is the fact it starts later, at 4:30 pm. That’s when you won’t stay in line, which is something you want to avoid, given the short duration of the tour. The rooms will be less crowded, allowing your tour guide to give you more information in the same amount of time because you won’t have issues reaching the various rooms of the gallery. As for the previous tour, this one can be good coupled with a walking tour in the morning, and also good as the first tour to book in case you’re getting to Florence late in that same day and don’t want to waste the entire day. With this tour, you will see paintings like Botticelli Birth of Venus and La Primavera, Da Vinci’s Annunciation and Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo. After the tour is over, you won’t have much time to visit the gallery on your own, because it closes at 6:40 pm. Beware: when you book this tour, you can choose to start at 4:30 pm but also at 9:00 am. If you start at 9:00 am, you will stay in line for a while, despite having skip-the-line tickets.
Private Uffizi tours
Private Uffizi tours are very simple to organize and you don’t need an agency for this. Directly hire a local professional tour guide and have your entrance booked at the right time. One of the advantages is that if you want to have your tour in the morning and still avoid the crowd, the tour can start at 8:15 am, when the museum opens: I know, it’s very early for people on holiday, but it’s a great way to enter into an empty museum. By the way, the great advantage in booking an Uffizi Gallery private tour is that you have the guide at your disposal, and you will have a chance to see much more than just the highlights: what about the Medici portraits, for example? They are a big part of the collection, which is overlooked by the masses but fits so well in the history of Renaissance painting. The correct duration of an Uffizi Gallery tour is 2 to 3 hours, which is what you will get with private Uffizi tours. Private tours are the best Uffizi Gallery tours, but they have a disadvantage, and that is the price: if your budget allows, go for it. And don’t forget that if yours is a party of five or more people, the price can even be less expensive than for group tours. Generally, a private tour of the Uffizi Gallery will cost over € 450 (tickets included) if bought from an agency, and € 200 to 300 (tickets not included) when directly hiring a tour guide. The less expensive you can find is here. We (me and my group of fellow colleagues) offer a private Uffizi Gallery tour for just € 180 (plus € 16.50/person for tickets). It’s a comprehensive 3 hours skip-the-line tour including all the highlights, the Medici family portraits, and a historical insight.
What other suggestions can you find in this section?
- The best Florence tours and activities reviewed by a tour guide
- Walking tours
- Uffizi tours
- Florence in one day
- Duomo tours
- Vasari Corridor tours
- Inferno tours
- Skip-the-line David tours
- What to do on Mondays
- Tours of Florence from Rome or Venice
- Florence outdoor activities
- Florence food tours
- Wine tours in Tuscany
- Cooking classes
- Wine tours in Florence
- Day trips from Florence to Tuscany countryside
- Day trips from Florence to Pisa
- Day trips from Florence to Siena
- Day trips from Florence to Cinque Terre
- Day trips from Florence to Rome
- Day trips from Florence to Venice