It’s hard to know where to start when building an itinerary for Florence. This beautiful city in Tuscany boasts such a long list of impressive and memorable attractions that it’s hard to know which you should prioritize. Well, in our opinion, one attraction that really deserves to be on your list is Florence’s distinctive town hall, the Palazzo Vecchio.
While visiting the Palazzo Vecchio, you’ll have the chance to see magnificent frescoes and artwork, as well as enjoy some fantastic city views from the Arnolfo Tower. It really is a highlight in a city of highlights. However, the experience of visiting can be frustrating if you haven’t taken the time to plan for it. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to buy tickets to the Palazzo Vecchio. It’s full of information that will help make your visit a smooth one, including an explanation for why skip-the-line tickets for the Palazzo Vecchio are so useful.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to Palazzo Vecchio: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you either book your skip-the-line Palazzo Vecchio tickets in advance here or book a guided tour of Palazzo Vecchio. Out of these two, the guided tour is the better option as you get to learn about the history of this beautiful palace from an expert guide.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to Palazzo Vecchio
If you’re trying to work out where to buy tickets for the Palazzo Vecchio, don’t stress because we’ll show you below. There are several different options for getting Palazzo Vecchio tickets, and we’ll break down the benefits of each. That way you can make an informed decision and choose the option that best suits you.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
While it’s certainly an option for buying tickets to the Palazzo Vecchio, lining up to get tickets at the door isn’t an approach that we’d recommend. By leaving it to the last minute, you’ll waste time standing in the line for the ticket office. You may also find that there aren’t any available tickets for the next time slots, meaning you’ll have to wait even longer to get inside. The only real upside to this approach is that you won’t have to pay a presale booking fee, but it hardly seems worth it.
2. Book Online (Recommended)
Booking tickets to the Palazzo Vecchio online is the best way to ensure you get tickets to the Palazzo Vecchio without any hassle.
By booking in advance, you get to choose the exact time of your visit, which allows you to better plan the rest of your sightseeing in Florence. You’ll also be cutting out any unnecessary standing about, as you’ll be getting skip-the-line Palazzo Vecchio tickets.
Tickets can be booked through the official website for the Palazzo Vecchio, but there are some drawbacks to this approach. One is that the official website isn’t very user-friendly, making the booking process a slow one. The other main concern is that these tickets are nonchangeable and nonrefundable, which can be a problem if your plans change.
Instead, we recommend booking through this link, even though it is more expensive. Booking tickets this way is incredibly easy, and these tickets come with a full refund when you cancel up to 24 hours in advance.
3. Book a Guided Tour
A great way to get more out of your visit is with a guided tour of the Palazzo Vecchio. With so many ornate rooms and halls, it’s easy to miss details when touring the Palazzo Vecchio by yourself. Not only will a tour guide make sure you don’t miss anything important, a guide will be able to explain the town hall’s important Renaissance history and answer any questions you might have along the way.
The Palazzo Vecchio offers guided tours in English, Italian, French, and Spanish; however, their availability is a little hit and miss. Instead, we recommend booking your guided tour with skip-the-line entry through this link, enabling you to choose between a group or private tour delivered in a variety of languages. With this solution, you’ll also benefit from being able to cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Useful Information for Visiting the Palazzo Vecchio
What’s the Best Time to Visit the Palazzo Vecchio?
If avoiding the crowds while you’re at the Palazzo Vecchio is important to you, then you’ll want to give some thought to the timing of your visit. After all, this is one of the biggest attractions in Florence, which really says something about how busy it can get with tourists.
While the timing of your visit to Florence depends on when your trip to Italy is, it’s best to visit the town hall during the months of March to May or around October if you can. In these months, you’ll benefit from pleasant temperatures and the right conditions for great tower views while also avoiding peak tourist season.
The best time of day to visit the tower is generally in the morning on a weekday. Visitor numbers grow as the day goes on, so getting there first thing in the morning is a smart approach. Weekends are always the busiest time of week for sightseeing.
Palazzo Vecchio Hours of Operation
The museum of the Palazzo Vecchio is open every day of the week, while the Arnolfo Tower is only open on weekdays. However, because the building hosts the city council, there will be occasions when it is closed to the public with short notice.
Current opening hours for the Palazzo Vecchio Museum are from 9:00 to 19:00, except on Thursdays when they are from 9:00 to 14:00. The tower is open from 9:00 to 17:00, except on Thursdays when it also closes at 14:00. Last entrance is always one before closing time.
How to Get to the Palazzo Vecchio
Getting to the Palazzo Vecchio shouldn’t be difficult for visitors to Florence due to its central location within the historic center of the city. Where you’re coming from will determine the best way to get there.
If you’re already in the center of Florence, then walking is likely to be your best bet. Piazza della Signoria, the square on which the town hall is found, is less than 10 minutes by foot from other popular sights like the Florence Cathedral and Uffizi Gallery.
However, if you’re coming from further away, you may want to consider going by bus. To reach the Palazzo Vecchio by bus, either take the C2 bus from Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station to the Canto alla Quarconia bus stop or the C1 bus from Piazza della Libertà to the Galleria degli Uffizi bus stop.
How Do Palazzo Vecchio Tickets Work?
Tickets to the Palazzo Vecchio are relatively easy to understand, which should make the process of buying them quick. There are basically two types of Palazzo Vecchio tickets, one for the museum and one for the tower. Should you wish to experience both parts of the town hall, you will need to buy a ticket for each.
When booking tickets online, you’ll need to choose your entry time from the available time slots. If you are booking both the museum and tower, it’s best to start with the tower as time slots are only every 45 minutes and there are a limited number of places for each time slot. Once your online purchase is complete, you will receive an email with a link to your tickets. The barcode on these tickets, whether printed out or on your smartphone, needs to be scanned to enter.
How Much Do Tickets for the Palazzo Vecchio Cost?
The cost of Palazzo Vecchio tickets, as shown on the official website, depends on what you plan on seeing and whether you’re eligible for reduced-price or free admission. Full price tickets for adults over 25 years old cost €12.50 each for the museum and tower.
Reduced-price tickets for people aged 18 to 25 and university students cost €10 with proof of ID. These tickets come with a €1 presale fee when booked online. People under the age of 18, as well as visitors with a disability and one carer, are entitled to free entry to the Palazzo Vecchio. However, a reservation is still required for free admission.
Guided tours, booked and provided through the Palazzo Vecchio, cost an extra €5 for full price and reduced-price tickets.
Best Hotels for the Palazzo Vecchio
Because the Palazzo Vecchio lies right in the center of Florence’s historical district, it’s a great landmark to use when looking for accommodation in the city. Stay near it and you’ll enjoy easy access to loads of the city’s best attractions and certainly won’t have to look far for places to eat and drink. The list of places to stay in this area is a long one, so allow us to save you some time with a few recommendations.
Treat yourself and elevate your trip with a stay at the Hotel Bernini Palace, a five-star hotel tucked right behind the Palazzo Vecchio. Rooms inside this 15th-century building come with either a classical or Renaissance design and antique furniture, while the hotel’s terrace offers panoramic rooftop views.
Seeking comfort without a hefty price tag? Then take a look at the three-star Hotel Renaissance a block from Piazza della Signoria. There you’ll enjoy rooms with an inviting, elegant décor, attentive assistance from its staff, and even access to a steam room. Another way to go for this kind of accommodation is Airbnb, as you can see with our list of the best Airbnbs in Florence.
Budget accommodation in Florence is usually further afield, which is why one of your closest choices is Hostel Santa Monaca over the river in the Santo Spirito district. Dorms and private rooms in this hostel may be basic, but it offers excellent value for money and a great location to explore from. For other hostel recommendations, be sure to check out our thorough Florence hostel guide.
Security Process at the Palazzo Vecchio
To ensure you don’t encounter any problems when you arrive at the Palazzo Vecchio, it helps to know the rules and security process in place for visitors. Items like umbrellas, backpacks, and luggage are not permitted inside the museum, but there is a free cloakroom on the ground floor where you can store them while you visit.
Children under the age of six are not allowed to climb the Arnolfo Tower, and youths under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Visiting the Palazzo Vecchio With a Disability
There are various accessibility features and restrictions at the Palazzo Vecchio that visitors with disabilities and restricted mobility will want to be aware of.
Visitors with reduced mobility will want to use the side entrance to the building on Via dei Gondi. There is also a lift on the ground floor in the Cortile della Dogana for the exclusive use of visitors with mobility concerns. Unfortunately, due to the historic design of the building, access to the mezzanine floor, the tower, and the battlements is not possible for wheelchair users. Wheelchairs are available to be borrowed if needed.
FAQ – Facts About the Palazzo Vecchio
What Is the Palazzo Vecchio?
The Palazzo Vecchio is the historic town hall and seat of the city council for the city of Florence.
When Was the Palazzo Vecchio Built?
Construction of the Palazzo Vecchio began at the very end of the 13th century and was completed in the early 14th century.
How Old Is the Palazzo Vecchio?
The Palazzo Vecchio is now over 700 years old.
Who Built the Palazzo Vecchio?
Architect Arnolfo di Cambio was responsible for designing the town hall upon request by the local government.
Why Was the Palazzo Vecchio Built?
The Palazzo Vecchio was built as the seat for the Signoria, the governing body for the Republic of Florence.
Where Is the Palazzo Vecchio Located?
Palazzo Vecchio is situated on Piazza della Signoria in the San Giovanni neighborhood in the center of Florence.
With all that covered in detail, you should find it much easier to find and buy the right tickets to the Palazzo Vecchio. All that’s left to do after that is to look forward to your upcoming trip to Florence.