If you don’t have a month to spend in Florence, like we did, take a step back into the Renaissance on this Florence vacation with Great Values Vacations. It includes air, transfers, hotel and breakfast.
How to Buy Tickets for Florence’s Museums
Buy tickets ahead of timeTo visit some of Florence’s best museums, you are going to want to buy tickets ahead of time rather than standing in long lines (Accademia Gallery, Uffizi, and Opera dell Duomo). If you go in the off season as we did, you won’t need to do this.
Get family ticketsMany of the museums offer family tickets, which are less expensive than tickets for four non-EU people. If family tickets are not offered, children are usually half price or free. We found that the ticket sellers were very helpful in getting us the least expensive entry.
Firenze CardThe Firenze Card is a great deal if you want to see a lot of museums and churches in a short period of time. You do have to be dedicated to make it worth it. You have 72 hours from the first use of the card (not the purchase time) to see as many of the included 72 museums and churches. Whew! We never went to more than one place in a day, so we did not purchase the Firenze Card. La Specola is not included, but the Natural History Museum in the same building is. Buy a Firenze Card here or at one of the ten points of sale in Florence.
Where to Stay in FlorenceThere are no shortage of hotels and vacation rentals in Florence. The Continentale Firenze is a 4-star luxury hotel near the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio. It’s walking distance from all the big sites in Florence and has an elegant, clean, 50s vibe. Plus, they have family rooms. A Florence View B & B is in a 17th century palazzo overlooking the Baptistery, the Brunelleschi dome and the marble façade of the Duomo. This charming B & B has all the modern amenities, including soundproof rooms, which you will really appreciate in the middle of noisy Florence. They have both rooms and 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. The Home of the Lions Airbnb in Florence would be perfect for two people. You can’t get much better location than that.
Tips for Visiting Florence’s Museums with Kids
- Get excited ahead of time. We looked at websites, watched videos, or talked up what we would see. Understanding the significance of the David, or how amazing the architecture of Brunelleschi’s Dome was for it’s time, makes the visit more enjoyable.
- Eat and drink right before your visit. If your kids are like ours, they get hungry or thirsty 30 seconds into a food-free activity. We tried to stuff them beforehand to avoid this. It sort of worked.
- Take a break. For big museums like the Uffizi, take a break part way through. We sat on the terrace and sipped hot cocoa and ate bruschetta. Not only were we reenergized, but it was a lovely part of the experience.
- Go in the morning. Or after lunch. Find the time of day when you can get the most patience and motivation out of your kids. We seem to do best first thing, plus that’s when the museums are least crowded.
- Take a tour. We only took one tour, but we learned so much more than if we had wandered alone. In retrospect, we probably could have taken more tours, or rented the audio tours. NOTE: Make reservations for tours and audio tours ahead of time. I downloaded several free apps for the museums but did not find them very useful. Eavesdropping on other tours provided a fount of information. I also looked up individual paintings on Wikipedia and read pertinent sections to the kids.
- Don’t worry if they aren’t getting the most out of their experience. As homeschoolers, we tend to want every experience to be a learning experience. But sometimes it’s just boring. Let them lay on the couch and be bored. They are probably getting something out of it anyway.
- Make sure you don’t miss Florence’s street art when you are there!
Must See Museums in Florence
Five Things to do in Florence with Kids post. Tickets: Buy at the museum or use your Firenze Card. No need for advanced tickets here.Get them online or use your Firenze CardFive Things to do in Florence with Kids post. It’s a funky place and a little off the beaten path — exactly why we loved it. I wish we had take the time to visit the Natural History Museum in the same building, but that’s for another visit. Tickets: Buy them at the museum. If you buy the full ticket (not the family pass), you can access the Museo Galileo at a reduced fee. No need for advanced tickets here.worldschooling il Duomo’s Dome. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo far surpassed our expectations. Inside it feels like a cathedral in part, an art gallery, and an archaeological dig. Most notably, we appreciated the original “Doors to Paradise” (replicas are used on the Baptistry). There are also works from Arnolfo, Ghiberti, Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Antonio Pollaiolo, Verrocchio, and Michelangelo. Tickets: Get them online or use your Firenze Card. Tickets to all the Duomo museums are good for 48 hours. The church is free, so we visited that on a separate day from what we called “Two Days of Duomo.” Climbing the bell tower and cupola are also must sees in Florence.Get them online or use your Firenze Card.
Any museums you’d add to a must-see list?
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