A word about sightseeing passes: It may seem a little odd to label the Firenze Card (www.firenzecard.it) a “discount” ticket, since it costs a substantial 85€. Is it a good buy? If you are planning a busy, museum-packed break here, the Firenze Card is a good value. If you only expect to see a few highlights, skip it.

The details: the card (valid for 72 hr.) allows one-time entrance to 60-plus sites, including some that are free anyway, but also the Uffizi, Accademia, Cappella Brancacci, Palazzo Pitti, Brunelleschi’s dome, San Marco, and many more. In fact, everything we recommend in Florence is included with the card, even sites in Fiesole. It gets you into much shorter lines and takes ticket pre-booking hassles out of the equation—another saving of 3€ to 4€for busy museums, above all the Uffizi and Accademia. If you buy a Digital FirenzeCard (an app) you are entitled to an extra 48 hours’ validity anytime within 12 months. The FirenzeCard+ add-on (7€) includes up to 3 days’ bus travel (which you likely won’t use).

Don’t buy a Firenze Card for anyone ages 17 and under: With a full-priced card you can take immediate family members ages 17 and under for free. Any companions under 18 can join the express queue with you and pay only the “reservation fee” at state-owned museums (it’s 4€ at the Uffizi, for example). Those under 17 gain free admission to civic museums (such as the Palazzo Vecchio) anyway. Private museums and sites have their own payment rules, but it will not add up to 85€ per child.

If you don’t spring for the Firenze card, you’ll need to buy the Grande Museo del Duomo ticket to visit any of the sites on the cathedral square. The joint ticket, which costs 18€ (3€ for ages 6 to 11) and is valid for 72 hours, covers Brunelleschi’s dome (including the now obligatory booking of a time slot), the Baptistery, Campanile di Giotto, the revamped Museo dell’Opera, and crypt excavations of Santa Reparata (inside the cathedral). In Florence, buy it at the ticket office across from the Baptistery, on the north side of Piazza San Giovanni, or inside the Museo dell’Opera. See www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo.it for more details, to buy online ahead of arrival, and to book a time slot for the dome.

Warning: Do not buy “skip the line” or other tickets for Brunelleschi’s dome on the street. These are not valid and you will be turned away.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.