The Accademia Gallery, which today houses Michelangelo's David, was born in 1784 as an exhibition space for the studies of Fine Arts students and today is the most visited museum in the city, after the Uffizi Gallery.
Endless queues at the entrance are guaranteed, so it is advisable to book a fast-track ticket in advance or even hire a guided tour to enrich your visit.
Get priority access to the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence without queuing at the ticket office.
Discover the most important details of the works on display at the Galleria dell'Accademia at your own pace and without paying extra.
If you want to visit the original David (when you see it you will realise that its perfection goes far beyond that of its replicas), the best option is to visit the Galleria dell'Accademia on your own and at your own pace, but without having to wait in the long queues of tourists waiting at the entrance, I recommend buying this skip-the-line ticket in advance and online.
Florence is home to three statues of David, which is surprising and may even confuse some tourists. Two of them are replicas of the original work, one in marble from 1910, which you will find in Piazza della Signoria, and another in Piazzale Michelangelo, from 1865 and built in homage to Michelangelo himself.
You will not join a guided tour, but you will have time to walk around the gallery at your own pace and stop to look at the works you want for as long as you need.
Why this option: as it is the most economical and does not include a guided tour, it allows you more flexibility in organising your visit.
Recommended if... you want to visit the Galleria dell'Accademia at the best price and at your own pace.
Guided tours of the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence
The culture and art you will find in Florence is unparalleled, and it would be a shame to leave the Accademia without understanding what you see. For a more complete visit, this guided tour of the Accademia is a great option. A professional guide will help you learn all about the history behind the 'David' and the rest of the sculptures and paintings in this museum, which you can continue to explore on your own after the tour.
This tour includes fast-track entry to the museum so you won't have to wait in line at the entrance.
Why this tour: Guided tours are a must in this city and in the case of the Accademia Gallery, it is especially recommended to do the visit accompanied by an expert.
Recommended if... you want to know the Accademia Gallery with a guided tour in English at the best price.
Combined tickets to the Accademia and Uffizi Galleries
Florence is an open-air museum. If you are thinking of booking a guided tour of a museum, a good way to save money is to add a guided tour of the city. This tour is highly recommended by the thousands of travellers who have taken it. It is very comprehensive and the guide gives a very enjoyable tour of the highlights to see not only in the Accademia and Uffizzi galleries but also in the city itself.
You will start by taking a one-hour walk with the guide through the highlights of the historic centre: this tour will help you put into context the history of the city and why it has hosted the best artists in the world for decades. You will then enter the Accademia Gallery to visit Michelangelo's famous David and the other spectacular works of art housed in this gallery.
You will have a couple of hours for lunch to stroll around at your leisure or simply relax with a good Italian coffee on a terrace. Finally, you will go to the Uffizi Gallery to walk around it with your guide. In short, a very complete visit of the highlights of the city at a very reasonable price.
Why this option: this tour includes the must-see sights of Florence with an expert guide in English at the best price you can find.
Recommended if... you want to save money by buying a pack that includes the tour of the city and the two most important museums together with an expert guide.
Where to buy a ticket to the Accademia Gallery?
There are two options: online in advance or at the ticket office. Booking at the ticket office is cheaper, but it is usually sold out as it is one of the most visited museums in the world. The online ticket in advance is sold on many websites, I leave you the official one here.
How much does it cost to enter the Galleria dell'Accademia?
An adult ticket purchased at the ticket office costs around €16. A ticket for young people between 18 and 25 years old costs €6. Children are free.
Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to buy a ticket at the ticket office and the most common price is the advance ticket price.
Are there any discounted tickets?
Young people aged 18-25 pay less than half the adult ticket price. Under-age and other groups get in free.
Can I visit the Accademia Gallery for free?
These groups are admitted free of charge:
- Children and teenagers under 18 years of age
- EU citizens with a disability and a family member or accompanying person
- Groups of students from EU countries, accompanied by their teachers
- EU tourist guides
- Persons with study or research certificates from Italian and foreign schools or universities, academies and research and cultural institutes
Tips for your visit
Opening hours of the Galleria dell'Accademia
The Galleria dell'Accademia is open from Tuesday to Sunday and closed on Mondays. Normal opening hours are from 8.15am to 6.50pm.
On Saturdays it is compulsory to book your ticket in advance.
Apart from Mondays, it is closed on January 1st and December 25th.
The ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time.
How to get to the Galleria dell'Accademia
The Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence is located at Via Ricasoli, 58-60, in the historic centre of the city and very close to Piazza del Duomo. You can reach it on foot from any point in the centre, on board the tourist bus or on city bus lines 1 and 17.
Is the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence worth a visit?
Yes, the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence contains the most important sculpture in the world: Michelangelo's "David". It is a masterpiece that justifies a trip to Florence.
The 'David' is the quintessential Renaissance work and is arguably the most recognisable sculpture in the history of art. The imposing and courageous attitude of a magnificent young man at the height of his life with absolute faith in God before his confrontation with Goliath, symbolised the power of the Florentine Republic at its height during the 16th century.
Michelangelo spent up to three years carving his 'David' from a huge block of the prized Carrara marble, from 1501 to 1504, at the age of 20, in the workshops of the Opera del Duomo.
This imposing sculpture was intended to be placed, together with other sculptures representing the Old Testament, on an external buttress of the apse of Florence Cathedral, but was eventually moved to another exceptional location at the gates of the Ponte Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria. Since 1873, for reasons of conservation, the 'David' has been kept inside the Galleria dell'Accademia.
Other outstanding works
- Other sculptures by Michelangelo, these unfinished, such as the 'Prigioni' and 'San Matteo'.
- A large display of religious painting with works by other great Renaissance masters such as Fra Filippo Lippi, Botticelli and Andrea Orcagna.
- An exhibition of antique musical instruments.
What will I see in the Uffizi Gallery?
Begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 under the instruction of Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, this palace and museum contains one of the oldest and most important art collections in the world, with two million visitors a year, the most visited in all of Italy.
Its name, Galleria delle Uffizi, is due to the fact that it was designed to replace the Palazzo Vecchio as the seat of the offices of the Florentine magistracies, being used as a residence and custodian of the art pieces collected for decades by the Medici family, the most powerful and influential dynasty of the Renaissance in Florence, which was noted for its work as a patron of its most important scientists and artists.
- Botticelli's 'Spring' and 'The Birth of Venus',
- Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Annunciation' and 'The Adoration of the Magi'.
- The Virgin of the Goldfinch' by Raphael,
- Titian's 'The Venus of Urbino'.
- Paintings by Michelangelo and Giotto, among others.
- Greek and Roman statues, prints and drawings.
Other interesting visits in Florence
Besides the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence has much more artistic heritage. To find out the best ways to discover it, don't miss these other articles on Tours and Daytrips from Florence, Florence Duomo Tickets and Tours: how to buy, prices and schedules o Uffizi Gallery Tickets and Tours in Florence: how to buy, prices and schedules.
Frequently asked questions
Is the Accademia Gallery free on Sundays?
Yes and no. The Accademia Gallery is only free on the first Sunday of every month. And actually, it is the worst time to visit the gallery, especially during the summer, as the horde of visitors make exploring the museum a chaotic and unpleasant experience.
Why is the Accademia Gallery so famous?
The Accademia Gallery is famous for housing many of Michelangelo's sculptures, including the famous statue of David. It is also known for the Hall of the Colossus, and the Hall of the Prisoners, both of which house some of the most dramatic and evocative statues in Italy.
What is the best time of day to visit the Accademia Gallery?
Regardless of the time, you are more than likely to find a queue, however you can avoid the large crowds if you visit early in the morning or from 17:00 onwards, by which time the crowds have thinned out.