Michelangelo’s David sculpture is best seen on timed reservation tickets with fast-track priority admissions for a specific time slot.
Michelangelo’s David, one of the most famous sculptures in the world, is the star attraction of the Galleria dell’ Accademia di Firenze (Academy Gallery in Florence). David is one of the top sights to see in Florence leading to long queues to enter the relatively small art museum. Skip-the-line tickets are sold online while guided tours are another good option for fast-track entry to see David and other works by Michelangelo, other Italian artists, and a collection of historical musical instruments.
→ Some top museums in Florence re-opened on 21 January 2021 for a few weeks but have closed again by late February 2021. Most churches remain closed. See 2021 Florence New Opening Hours of Top Sights, Museums, and Churches for the latest information and reduced opening hours.
See Michaelangelo’s David in 2021
The Accademia is ready to reopen in line with other sights in Florence but with advanced time slot reservations only. Visitor numbers are restricted making advance tickets or tours even more important than ever but the museum itself should be pleasantly quiet (although expect some socially distanced crowding around David).
Different parts of the museum (but not David) will be closed during 2021 for renovations or to enforce a one-way system. The musical instruments are again accessible but the upper floor and a few further rooms are most likely to remain closed.
Cheapest Tickets to See Michelangelo’s David in Florence
The cheapest tickets to see Michelangelo’s original marble David sculpture in the Galleria dell’ Accademia di Firenze (Academy Gallery in Florence) are sold directly at the art museum. However, queues to buy tickets and then again to enter the gallery are often horrendously long making it more than worth buying skip-the-line tickets online for specific time slots.
Full-price admission for the Accademia is €12 with EU residents 18 to 25 paying €2 and all visitors younger than 18 entering for free (if not in groups). Time-slot reservations are generally worth the €4 fee (also required for children) while online advance purchases may add a couple of euro too.
Admission to the Accademia is free a few times per year — usually on a Sunday as well as during Museum Week (early March) and early November. On free days, reservations are not possible — either queue up before opening time or try late in the afternoon.
Buy Online Skip-the-Line Tickets for the Accademia
Fast-track admission tickets to see David and the Accademia Galleria are best bought online in advance. This is especially important during the high season, particularly May, July and August, but the time saved and assured admission make the surcharge worth the expense throughout the year.
Online tickets for the Accademia is available from B-ticket or further authorized resellers such as Tiqets and GetYourGuide. Cancellation policies of the resellers are generally far more generous than B-ticket, which will not cancel or refund for any reason.
Resellers will still sell tickets if available on the day of the visit while the B-tickets musth be purchased at least a day in advance. The Firenzecard is also an option that guarantees a time slot within the 72 hour validity period.
Irrespective of where the online tickets were bought, the ticket voucher must still be exchanged for an actual ticket. A dedicated ticket desk is set up in the My Accademia shop across the road from the gallery.
Book Guided Tours for the Accademia in Florence
Guided tours are a good option for skip-the-line admission to the Accademia. Bookings for guided tours are often available on the day of the visit itself making a tour a sensible option when timed tickets are no longer sold.
Guided tours of the Accademia are generally around an hour to reflect that this art gallery is smaller than the Uffizi with far fewer top artworks on display.
Basic tours of just the Accademia are the cheapest but better value may often be had by combining the Accademia with further activities or sights. Popular options include a guided walk of the old town center or an early start with a sunrise walk and entry into the Accademia at opening time.
Endless options are available for combining the Accademia with the Uffizi — aim for early morning or late afternoon, or tours that end in the Uffizi that allow more time to explore this larger gallery. Combinations with climbing the dome of the Duomo are also popular with an early morning tour often the more pleasant option.
Small groups are generally more pleasant than larger ones. Private tours are often a good option for small groups and may add flexibility especially making it easier to schedule for early morning or late afternoon. Family tours are also available.
As with other top sights, booking a tour at opening time or in the late afternoon is the more pleasant option. The art gallery is at its busiest from around 10:00 to 15:00 making it sensible to book a tour for either earlier or later.
The Best Times to Visit the Accademia
Like the Uffizi and other top sights in Florence, the Accademia gets very crowded during peak season, which generally lasts from Easter to end October, as well as the period around Christmas and New Year. During these periods, reservations for a specific time slot are almost essential to see David and the rest of the gallery.
During the summer season, a very good time to see the Galleria is in the evening — usually Tuesday and Thursday when the Accademia is open until 22:00. Especially tour groups are unlikely to visit the art museum at night.
Late afternoon and early morning, directly at opening time, are the quieter times of the day. Visitors trying to enter without time-slot reservations are likely to have more luck late afternoon that during the middle of the day.
The Galleria is closing progressively from 18:40 onwards. Visitors generally spend an hour or less in the Accademia — for many seeing David is enough. (Tripadvisor has plenty of reviews considering David the only work in the museum worth seeing while others thought seeing the copy in front of the Palazzo Vecchio is enough to save the admission fee.) Even during the high season, galleries not directly on the route to and from David are often pleasantly quiet.
The huge increases in tourists in recent years make advanced online reservations almost essential to see many of the top sights in Europe and Italy. In Florence, skip-the-line tickets are the only sensible way to see the Uffizi, Accademia, and to climb the dome of the Duomo.
More Articles on Florence Sights
The high season in Florence is increasingly long: Easter, May, July, August and the Christmas holidays are especially busy. November and January to March are the only quiet months. Plan and book time-slot reservation tickets and tours when available in advance. Top sights are quieter directly at opening time or in the late afternoon.
- Tips on Buying Tickets for the Uffizi Museum
- Tips on Buying Skip-the-Line Tickets for the Accademia (Michelangelo’s David)
- See Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’ Accademia
- Visit the Duomo sights: Cathedral (Duomo), Baptistery (Battistero), Bell Tower (Campanile), Dome (Cupola), Museum (Museo), and Tickets + Opening Hours
- Visit the Bargello Museum of Sculpture (Donatello’s Davids)
- Visit San Marco Museum to see the frescoes and altarpieces painted by Fra Angelico.
- Visit Santa Maria Novella Church and Museum to see medieval and Renaissance Art.
- Visit Santa Croce for Giotto Frescoes and Michelangelo’s Grave
- San Lorenzo complex: Visit the Basilica for Renaissance Art, See the Laurentian Medici Library by Michelangelo, and Visit the Medici Chapels (Michelangelo Statues)
- Save on Sightseeing in Florence with the Firenze Card
- See the Field of Miracles in Pisa
- The official Firenze Tourist Office website received a makeover and although still a bit cumbersome it has very useful information. Especially the pdf (alternative link) with the opening hours of all major sights. Unfortunately, it is only available for the current month but is the second last line on opening hours — the final say is the guard at the door, NOT the ticket window!
- Airbnb not only has many good deals on accommodation but also offers a variety of interesting experiences that goes beyond standard guided tours.
- Get Your Guide offers tours of all major sights while Tiqets sells online tickets for many top sights in Florence.
- Omio is good for online train tickets in Italy and most of Europe.