How to Skip the Line to See the Statue of David

If you’re coming to Florence (Firenze), you’ve probably got ‘see Michelangelo’s statue of David’ high on your list of things to do. 

After the Uffizi Galleries, a visit to the Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’Accademia in Italian) to see the statue of David is the second most popular attraction in Florence.  Which means… there are a lot of people in line every day to see it.  You’ve probably heard people talking about how to skip the line to see the statue of David.  Unfortunately, you can’t skip the line – no one can.  But, you can skip the loooooong line of people without reservations by planning ahead.

Don’t sacrifice your precious time and sweat waiting in line with everyone else… read on to learn how to get in to see the David as quickly as possible.

How to Buy Skip the Line Tickets to See the Statue of David

Again, you can’t actually skip the line.  The best you can do is skip the long and slow line of people waiting without reservations.  With a reservation in hand (printed or on your phone), you can join the short (and fast) line to pick up your official printed tickets.  You’ll then join a short line to enter the museum during your designated time slot (15-minute increments).  There are no ways to avoid these two lines, no matter what anyone else tells you.

people waiting in line to enter the accademia in florence
Why don’t these people look happy? Because they didn’t reserve their Accademia tickets ahead of time.

You’ll need to get on the computer and buy the tickets as soon as you know you’ll be coming to Florence.  Why?  Because the museum is popular and the number of visitors allowed inside at one time is limited (250), even more so following the pandemic. 

Museum Opening Hours and Days

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday.  The museum in CLOSED on Monday.

Hours are 9:00 to 18:45.  The last admission time is 18:15.

The museum is closed on December 25th and January 1st

Reservations are required on Saturday and Sunday.

The museum is not currently offering free entrance on the first Sunday of the month. 

Ticket and Reservation Costs

Regular/Full Ticket – 12€

-18 and older, non-EU citizens
-26 and older, EU citizens

Reduced Ticket – 2€

-18-25 EU citizens
-EU public teachers

Free Ticket

-17 and under
-people with a certified disability, with one accompanying person

Reservations

Reservations cost an additional 4€ per person.

Reservations must be booked for all visitors age 6 and older.  For example, if you are family of 5, all US citizens, you will pay the following for your Accademia Gallery tickets with reservations:

65 year old – 12€ + 4€ reservation
40 year old teacher in US – 12€ + 4€ reservation
18 year old – 12€ + 4€ reservation
12 year old – 4€ reservation
1 year old – FREE

Tickets (and reservation fees) are NON-REFUNDABLE and you CANNOT CHANGE THE DATE.  Before purchasing, make sure you have your dates right!

If you purchase from a third-party seller, the prices will be more than the prices above.

Purchasing Your Tickets

There are two ways to skip the long no-reservations line and since they only cost 4€ more per ticket than waiting in the long ‘no reservation’ line – they’re worth it!

Option #1: Buy Tickets from the Official Accademia Ticket Seller – B-Ticket

Open your browser and go to the b-ticket site. If the Galleria Accademia isn’t selected, choose it from the list of museums in the drop-down-box:

screenshot of b-tickets website shows dates available for Galleria Accademia tickets

If your desired date is in the near future, you can scroll down to find it and click on the ‘Tickets’ button to the right of it. If your date is further in the future, filter by date:

screenshot of b-tickets website showing Galleria Accademia dates

Remember that dates in Italy are formatted DAY/MONTH/YEAR, so December 7th, 2022 is written 07.12.2022.

Next, you’ll choose the 15-minute time slot you’d like and the type(s) of ticket(s). There may be some time slots that are already sold out:

screenshot of btickets website showing different ticket price levels

When you’re finished choosing your tickets, scroll to the bottom and click the ‘Into the shopping cart’ button:

screenshot showing how to click to add tickets to your shopping cart

Double-check the details in your shopping cart – date, time, number and types of tickets and click ‘Continue’:

screenshot of btickets shopping cart

You’ll then need to login as a returning customer or register as a new customer:

screenshot of btickets login or register page

If you’re a new customer, complete the registration form:

screenshot of btickets new customer registration page

Choose the payment type:

screenshot of btickets payment page

Enter your payment details:

screenshot of btickets credit card details page

You’ll receive an email with your order details. The most important number is the order number, which you’ll need to collect your paper ticket at the Accademia Gallery ticket office:

email with accademia gallery ticket confirmation from btickets

On the day of your scheduled visit, walk to the entrance at via Ricasoli, 58/60. 

When you get there, look across the street to the left at via Ricasoli, 105r and enter (or join the short line) at the ticket office.  The attendant will ask for your reservation number (on your phone, printed out, or given vocally) and print your tickets for you. 

google map of distance between accademia gallery and its ticket shop

With your tickets, you can walk across the street and join the line at the priority entrance for your entrance slot (a 15-minute period printed on your ticket).  You’ll enter the museum with a small group of visitors who have reserved that time slot.

Option #2: Buy Tickets in Combination With a Guided Tour

This option is fine if you would like a guide to take you through the Gallery, but I don’t think having a guide here is essential, like it is at the Uffizi. 

If you do decide to visit on a guided tour, make sure you confirm that the guide or company will also be purchasing your tickets and reservation.  Many times they will, but I know some guides who have their clients purchase the tickets on their own. 

Be cautious about purchasing tickets from non-official websites (b-ticket.com is the official ticket seller) or on the streets from resellers.  Because it can be difficult to tell which ones are legit, use resellers that your hotel works with or that a guide recommends.   I highly recommend using the official b-ticket website, but know others who use Florence Tickets, Tiqets, and Tickitaly when there are no tickets available on the official site.

Enjoy visiting the Accademia Gallery and feasting your eyes on Michelangelo’s masterpiece, his statue of David!

Michelangelo's David statue in the Accademia Gallery with the ceiling above

FAQ

Q: Do you have a recommended guide? 
A: Yes!  I highly recommend Sashia Scalvini (onsiteflorence[at]yahoo[dot]com) if you’d like a guide at the Accademia. She can also take you on a customized Florence walking tour that includes other museums and attractions in the city. She’s also a sommelier and excellent guide for other areas of Tuscany.

Q: What about the Firenze Card? 
A: The Firenze Card is not active yet, because of the pandemic.  Check the official website for updates.  Even when it’s active, you still need to make a reservation for an entrance time.

Q: Wait – I only get to visit the museum for 15 minutes? 
A: No, you can stay as long as you’d like!  The 15-minute time slot is the time you must show your ticket at the entrance to enter the museum.  Be sure to show up for that slot or you may be turned away.  Remember that you’ll need to collect your physical tickets from the ticket office, so make sure you arrive in advance – I recommend showing up to the ticket office 30 minutes before your time slot. 

Q: What’s the best time of the day to visit?
A: If you buy a ticket with a reservation, you don’t need to worry about crowds, because you won’t need to wait in the long line of folks with no reservation. And, because the museum limits the number of visitors inside at one time, it won’t matter when you book. If you decide to brave the line without a reservation, it’s best to arrive before the museum opens in the morning or during lunch.

Q: What if the tickets on the official site (b-ticket.com) are sold out? 
A: If they’re sold out, I would ask my hotel if they have a connection to tickets.  You may also check outFlorence Tickets, Tiqets, or Tickitaly.  Note that these are all third-party sellers so the tickets are more expensive.  You’ll also want to review the cancellation policies.

Q: Can you recommend a guidebook? 
A: The museum gift shop sells a guide to the museum.  The art is well-labeled throughout the museum.  Rick Steves also has a 25-minute audio tour.  

Q: Are there any good books about David and Michelangelo? 
A: There are quite a few.  I recommend checking out one of the following before you visit the David statue:

  • From Marble to Flesh, by A. Victor Coonin
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo, by Irving Stone
  • Stone Giant: Michelangelo’s David and How He Came to Be, by Jane Sutcliffe (for kids)
  • The Giant: A Novel of Michelangelo’s David, by Laura Morelli
Stone Giant book on a beige carpet

Q: I don’t have a credit card.  How can I purchase tickets to see the David Statue? 
A: If you don’t have a credit card, the best option is to stand in line and purchase your tickets at the museum.  Unfortunately, you will need to wait in the long line. 

Q: Is there any other way to see the David besides paying to enter the Accademia? 
A: If you’re ok seeing a replica, you can visit one or both of Florence’s David replicas.  One is in Piazza della Signoria in front of the Palazzo Vecchio.  The other is towering above Florence in Piazzale Michelangelo.

Q: Do I need to reserve the skip the line tickets even in the low-season, like in the winter?  
A: If you know when you’d like to visit and you want to avoid waiting in line, it’s always a good idea to reserve your time slot.  While the winter tends to be less crowded in Florence, you could end up at the museum with others who thought the same.  It’s worth spending the 4€ to not have to worry about waiting in the long line.