The Best Museums in Florence

Florence is unquestionably one of the world’s most romantic cities and it’s been a centre for art and literature since the Middle Ages. It could even be argued that the modern world as we know it was born in Florence when Dante penned his Commedia and the powerful families of Tuscany decided to use their wealth to act as patrons of the arts. Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, Boccaccio, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Brunelleschi — they all worked out of Florence. 

While this beauty is apparent as you wander through its historic streets, art enthusiasts will find the true essence of Florence by exploring its iconic galleries and museums, where some of the greatest artworks from history are brought together. 

We hope the following blog gives you plenty of inspiration for your travels in the heart of Tuscany. Please be sure to explore our Tours In and From Florence while you are with us.  

The Uffizi Gallery

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The Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is home to an unrivalled collection of Renaissance art. Masterpieces by Botticelli, such as The Birth of Venus and Primavera, are crowd favourites. The gallery’s extensive collection includes works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Bosch, Caravaggio, and Raphael, showcasing the evolution of art from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. 

Situated in a 16th-century building designed by Vasari for Cosimo I, the Uffizi’s history is as rich as its collection. Visitors can also enjoy breathtaking views of Florence from the rooftop café. Book tickets in advance to avoid long lines and make the most of your visit. If you’d like to enjoy a guided visit, book our Uffizi Afternoon Tour

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

The Palazzo Vecchio, once the seat of Florence’s government, now serves as a world-class museum. Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, who also created the Duomo, the building resembles a fortress. The first floor features the Salone dei Cinquecento, a grand hall originally decorated by Michelangelo and Leonardo. The second floor, once the private quarters of the Medici family, houses sumptuous rooms and Donatello’s Judith. The 311-foot Torre di Arnolfo offers stunning views of Florence for those willing to climb its 416 steps.

Bargello Museum

The Bargello Museum, Florence’s first national museum established in 1865, is a haven for Renaissance sculpture enthusiasts. Housed in the historic Palazzo del Bargello, the museum boasts masterpieces by Michelangelo, Donatello, and Verrocchio. Once a prison and barracks, the building adds an intriguing backdrop to its vast collection. Highlights include Donatello’s Michelangelo’s Bacchus. Additionally, the museum showcases exquisite examples of European and Islamic applied arts, including enamel, glass, and ivory.

Galleria dell’Accademia

An absolute must-visit for travellers in Florence, the Galleria dell’Accademia is home to Michelangelo’s iconic David, one of the world’s most famous and recognizable artworks. Visitors can also marvel at his unfinished Slaves, which provides an utterly fascinating window into the artist’s process. While smaller than other Florence museums, the Accademia’s collection includes significant works by Perugino, Filippino Lippi, and Giotto. Its compact size makes it perfect for a quick visit. Trust us, you do not want to miss Michelangelo’s hypnotizing David

Book our Guided Morning Visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia for a really in-depth look at the collection’s masterworks. 

Ospedale degli Innocenti

Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the Ospedale degli Innocenti is both an architectural and historical gem. Originally an orphanage, it now houses a gallery featuring masterpieces by Botticelli and Ghirlandaio. The museum’s main exhibition provides a comprehensive look at the 600-year history of the Istituto degli Innocenti, focusing on the lives of the children once sheltered here.

Museo Archeologico

Florence’s Museo Archeologico is celebrated by art lovers worldwide for its exceptional Etruscan collection. The first floor features impressive funerary figures and notable bronze sculptures, including the Arringatore (Orator) and the Chimera, a fourth-century BC triple-headed monster. This is an intensely interesting look at an often-overlooked ancient civilization. Elsewhere in the museum, young visitors will be particularly impressed by the Egyptian collections, featuring mummies. 

Raphael Portrait of Agnolo Doni

Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Pitti, once the residence of the Medici family, is a vast museum complex featuring numerous galleries and the stunning Boboli Gardens. Built-in 1457 and designed by Brunelleschi, the palace houses over 500 Renaissance paintings, modern art collections, a silver museum, and the opulent Royal Apartments. This will be especially enjoyable for those interested in the turbulent lives of the Medici. 

We hope this short journey through the best museums of Florence has given you plenty to do on your Florence journey. If you are travelling more widely in Italy, please consider our other Italy Day Tours and Multi-Day Trips in Italy

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