Michelangelo’s David sculpture in the Accademia in Florence 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. Buy skip-the-line tickets online — guided tours are another good option for fast-track entry to see David and other works by Michelangelo, Italian artists, and a collection of historical musical instruments. Buy tickets as early as possible, as timeslots sell out weeks in advance during the busier periods. More expensive guided tours may still be available if all standard tickets are sold out.
→ Top museums, churches, and sights in Florence are open mostly as normal in 2023 — see 2023: Florence New Opening Hours of Top Sights, Museums, and Churches for the latest information and opening hours. The Firenzecard is again sold while the Turbopass Florence City Pass is a good alternative that includes online timeslot reservations for both the Uffizi and Accademia.
See Michaelangelo’s David in 2023
Although time-slot reservation tickets are no longer obligatory to visit the Accademia in Florence, skip-the-line tickets remain absolutely advisable at all times. Visitor numbers are strictly limited making advance tickets or tours as important as ever given the sharp increase in tourists in Florence throughout the year. Tickets again sell out weeks in advance during peak periods.
Renovations that had parts of the museum closed in recent years are now completed but a one-way system is sometimes in force. The musical instruments are again accessible, as is the upper floor which is often very quiet despite the quality of the art on display.
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 (more if special exhibitions are on show) with EU residents 18 to 25 paying €2 and all visitors younger than 18 enter for free (if not in groups). Time-slot reservations are worth the €4 fee (also required for children) while online advance purchases may add a couple of euros 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 to See David in the Accademia in Florence
Fast-track admission tickets to see David and the Accademia Galleria in Florence are best bought online in advance. This is especially important during the high season, particularly May, July, August, and Christmas holidays, but the time saved and assured admission make the surcharge worth the expense throughout the year. Tickets often sell out weeks in advance in busy periods.
Online tickets for the Accademia are available from B-ticket or further authorized resellers such as Tiqets, which seems the only one selling tickets if available for the same day, and GetYourGuide. Cancellation policies of the resellers are generally far more generous than B-ticket, which will not cancel or refund for any reason. Also, resellers may offer different time slots and offer discounts on combination tickets with the Uffizi.
Resellers will still sell tickets if available on the day of the visit while the B-tickets must 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. The Turbopass Florence City Pass is a good alternative that includes online timeslot reservations for both the Uffizi and Accademia.
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. Some resellers offer other pickup points or a person waiting in the queue (but at a charge).
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.
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 by making it easier to schedule for early morning or late afternoon.
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. However, David stands high enough to be seen over the heads of many visitors and most people move on fairly quickly anyway.
Best Times to Visit the Florence Accademia to See David
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 sometimes 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 but timing here is less important than a quiet slot in the Uffizi. Visitors trying to enter without time-slot reservations are likely to have more luck late afternoon than during the middle of the day.
The Galleria closes 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 despite the high quality of the art (especially on the upper floor).
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 and the Accademia or 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 mid-March are the only quiet months. Plan and book time-slot reservation tickets and tours when available in advance — the Accademia and the Uffizi are again sold out weeks in advance. Top sights are quieter directly at opening time or in the late afternoon.
→ → Special opening hours for top sights in 2023 — most sights are open normal hours in summer 2023 but advance time-slot reservations when available are always sensible even for sights where reservations are optional.
- 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 (again available but not including transportation or the Duomo sights, or consider the Turbopass Florence City Pass that includes online timeslot reservations for both the Uffizi and Accademia.
- Travel to Pisa to see the Field of Miracles and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- Visit the magnificent Romanesque-Gothic cathedral in nearby Siena.
- Save on top Italian designer fashion at The Mall Factory Outlet Stores.
- The official Firenze Tourist Office website is a bit cumbersome but 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 it is the second last line on opening hours — the final say is the guard at the door, NOT the ticket window!
- Get Your Guide offers tours of all major sights while Tiqets sells online tickets for many top sights in Florence.
- Book luggage storage online and explore Florence easier on foot.
- Omio is good for online train tickets in Italy and most of Europe.