Palazzo Vecchio

Explore many layers of Italian history since Roman times in one of Florence's premier museums.

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Palazzo Vecchio: Our most recommended tours and activities

Florence: Palazzo Vecchio Entrance Ticket & Videoguide

1. Florence: Palazzo Vecchio Entrance Ticket & Videoguide

Palazzo Vecchio is the heart of Florence. Built in 1299 to house the leaders of the medieval city it is the symbol of the city’s history. The golden age of Palazzo Vecchio began when the Medici family decided to turn it into a real palace, making it the family residence. During your visit, you’ll be able to admire the architecture of the palazzo, and its sculptures and paintings, and learn about its rich and complex history over the centuries. Your visit to the Palazzo Vecchio will be enhanced with a multimedia guide in the form of a 7-inch tablet that provides fascinating audio-video narration with images in high definition and spectacular 3D re-creations. Upgrade your experience to include Arnolfo's Tower, and enjoy the fantastic views from the tower's summit. Visit the tower first, then head to the museum 1 hour later.

Florence: Palazzo Vecchio Secret Passages Tour

2. Florence: Palazzo Vecchio Secret Passages Tour

Explore the secret passages of the Palazzo Vecchio. Experience the exciting discovery of the places and paths of Palazzo Vecchio that are not accessible to the general public and that have only recently been made available for very small groups of people. You will ascend the narrow passages of the Duke Gualtieri and you will discover an unexpected path beyond a door hidden by a painting. You will also admire the imposing coffered ceiling of the Salone del Cinquecento. Complete your tour of the Palazzo Vecchio with a typical Tuscan lunch in a historic restaurant or a gelato tasting in one of the most famous ice cream shops of Florence.

Florence: Palazzo Vecchio Audioguide Tour

3. Florence: Palazzo Vecchio Audioguide Tour

Standing majestically over the Florence skyline, the Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most recognized symbols of the city. Built during the Middle Ages, it still preserves the austere architecture of the 14th century, and provides the highest viewpoint in the city from Brunelleschi’s Dome. Enter the elegant courtyard by Michelozzo, and admire the beautiful “Hall of the 500.” See an intimate study of Francesco I de’ Medici, as well as the private apartments of Eleonora of Toledo and Cosimo I de’ Medici. Explore the extravagant boardrooms with their stunning frescoes, paintings, and statues of the greatest Renaissance artists, such as Michelangelo, Donatello, Verrocchio, Vasari, Ghirlandaio, and Bronzino.

Mysteries of Medici: Walking Tour

4. Mysteries of Medici: Walking Tour

Experience the history of Florence through learning about the contributions of the infamous Medici family while seeing their influence on the city first-hand. Visit the Medici Chapel and see the gorgeous mosaic work. Listen as your expert guide takes you on a tour of the past, and hear how money and power drove an intense rivalry between the Strozzi, Pazzi, and Medici families. Discover the secrets and mysteries of the Medici family as your English-speaking guide takes you through the old streets and squares. Stroll through the traces left by the most extraordinary members of the Medici dynasty. Enter the Medici Chapel where most of the remaining remnants of the family found their last shelter. See the sparkling semi-precious stones in the Florentine mosaic Commesso Fiorentino.

Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

5. Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

Over the course of five days, visit the most enchanting locations of Italy, soaking up art, culture, cuisine and the famous Italian romance. Led by a friendly guide, depart from Rome and visit Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Padova, Venice and Montepulciano. See masterpieces from the likes of Michelangelo, Giotto, and Cimabue. Roam ancient cobbled streets, marvel at magnificent cathedrals, and taste delightful wines. This tour aims to inform and entertain you at the same time. Staying in comfy accommodation and traveling by deluxe bus, touring Italy couldn’t be easier. With 4 meals provided for you, plus an excellent itinerary and knowledgeable guides, sit back, relax and "get Italian". Day 1 Depart from Rome at 7:15 AM heading towards Assisi. Explore this tiny town dating back to the Middle Ages. Visit the Basilica of St. Francis and see works by Giotto and Cimabue. Afterwards drive towards Siena, whose highlight is Piazza del Campo. Continue to Florence where you will check in at your hotel before enjoying dinner (included) and a well-deserved night of rest. Day 2: Florence After breakfast, spend the day exploring Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. Visit the Duomo, the Campanile Tower, Palazzo Vecchio and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Lunch (for free) in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Piazza Santa Croce. In the afternoon, wander the cobbled streets or take a short, optional trip to Pisa where you could enjoy a tour of the Square of Miracles, the Leaning Tower and the Duomo. Dinner is at your leisure. Back in Florence rest in your hotel and recharge your batteries for the next day. Day 3 Depart for Bologna after breakfast in Florence. Wander through the city’s 38 kilometers' worth of elegant arcades, for which it is famous. From Piazza Malpighi, walk to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the city. In the afternoon, continue towards Padova, with its original Sant’Antonio Basilica. Later, you will arrive in Venice, famous for its quaint gondola boats and intricate architecture. Check in at your hotel and enjoy your first Venetian dinner (included) and overnight stay. Day 4: Venice Hit the water and board a private waterbus to enjoy a cruise through the canals of Venice. Stop off at Murano to learn about the ancient art of glass blowing. Continue on to St. Mark’s Square for an exterior visit of the splendid cathedral. See the Doge Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Enjoy a spritz or Prosecco with your guide to cap off a day of discovery. Spend the afternoon roaming along Venice’s canals at your leisure and then return to the hotel and overnight. Day 5 After breakfast, departure from Piazzale Roma heading to Tuscany, world-known for its landscapes, its churches, castles and its delicious wines. Proceed to Val di Chiana with a stop in Montepulciano, a medieval town rich in history and art. Known for its “Noble” wine, on purchase in local wine houses, Montepulciano also hosts an annual jazz and wine festival every July. Lunch in a typical restaurant included! Spend the afternoon discovering Montepulciano at your own pace, enjoying free wine tastings in many wine shops and free time for shopping. In the evening, you will arrive in Rome, where the tour ends.

Florence: City Highlights Guided Walking Tour

6. Florence: City Highlights Guided Walking Tour

Explore the most popular attractions in Florence on this guided walking tour. Learn about the rich history and culture behind famous works like the Florence Cathedral and its famous dome and take in the city's charm as you stroll the picturesque streets. Begin at Florence's most notable bridge, Ponte Vecchio. Hear the story behind this ancient bridge from your expert guide and find out why it's truly one-of-a-kind. Discover the architectural details behind Brunelleschi’s Dome of Florence Cathedral, and see for yourself why this original edifice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue on to other key monuments such as the Church of Orsanmichele, Santa Croce, and Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza Della Signoria, as your guide explains to you the history behind each landmark.

Florence: Walking Tour for Kids and Families with Local

7. Florence: Walking Tour for Kids and Families with Local

Meet your professional kid-friendly guide in Piazza Santa Croce (below the statue of Dante) and start a marvelous 2.5-hour experience through the streets and squares of Florence. Your guide will tell you secrets and interesting stories of the Renaissance. You will be visiting the city center from Piazza Santa Croce to Ponte Vecchio bridge without missing the beautiful Loggia in Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo from outside, the area of the Uffizi Gallery and then Palazzo Vecchio the center of the Government of Florence. The tour will then end with Piazza della Repubblica, St. Lorenzo Market and the Porcellino. Your guide will play games, activities, scavenger hunts and will entertain and engage the whole family!

Florence: The Medici Family Guided Walking Tour

8. Florence: The Medici Family Guided Walking Tour

Known for influencing and promoting the arts, the Medici were one of the most powerful families in Florence. On this guided walking tour, you’ll learn about the family’s historical power as you admire the cultural and architectural stamp they left on Florence. Your first stop is the Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Commissioned by Cosimo the Elder in 1444, the impressive building was built to be the familial home. Continue to Basilica di San Lorenzo, the oldest documented religious building in Florence. Your tour continues to other landmarks commissioned or influenced by the Medici family, such as the Cappelle Medicee, Piazza di Madonna Degli Aldobrandini, and Piazza Della Santissima Annunziata. Admire the Piazza della Signoria and learn about the building’s diverse history. Finish your tour at Palazzo Pitti. Purchased in 1550 to be the new Grand Ducal residence, the building symbolizes the Medici’s power over Tuscany.

Florence: Dante's Inferno Haunted Exploration Game

9. Florence: Dante's Inferno Haunted Exploration Game

You are invited to discover the captive souls, the spirits and the mysterious skeletons of Florence with an interactive city exploration game. You will be guided step-by-step to the cursed buildings where they carry out their eternal punishments while you learn all of their stories. Brace yourself and come explore Haunted Florence, all with the help of your smartphone. Each clue will lead you from one place to another, giving you exact directions, so you won’t need a map, a GPS or a guide. When you solve it and guess the answer, the secret story of that place is unlocked. Along the way, you’ll find stories of people sentenced to death who returned to haunt their executioner, discover the open hole that leads to Hell, see the building of trapped souls, and find out many other stories of the people who lived and died in those places. For larger groups, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group. All group members will be able to play the city game on their smartphone. Alternatively, each person can purchase their own ticket. You can play as a group and solve the clues together as you walk, or you can split into smaller groups/teams and compete against the others. Each person can also play on their own, separate from the group, and meet the group at the end.

Florence: Palazzo Vecchio Museum

10. Florence: Palazzo Vecchio Museum

Explore the town hall of Florence on a 2-hour tour of the Palazzo Vecchio Museum. Visit the private apartments of the Medici family and enjoy the atmosphere.  Admire the impressive murals that decorate the walls of the Salone dei Cinquecento — the Hall of the Five Hundred — and discover classic art from medieval masters to those of the Renaissance.

Planning Your Visit

  • Rain check

    If rain is in the forecast, access to the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio will be suspended for safety reasons.

  • Opening times

    Winter opening times for the tower are limited compared to summer (or high season), so if you're visiting between October and March, make sure to get there early in the day.

  • Don't overdo it

    The way to the top of the tower is 418 steps, so don't attempt to climb if it may put your health at risk - there is no elevator.

  • Stay sun-safe

    On sunny days - and even when the sun's behind a cloud! - it's important to cover up with sunscreen. And even more so because you're nearly 100 meters closer to the sun!

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open October - March, 9:00AM to 7:00PM. April - September, 9:00AM to 11:00PM. Special opening hours on Thursdays from 9:00AM to 2:00PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    Museum admission: 10euros. Tower and Battlements: 10euros. Discount available for students.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Free to explore on your own or find a guided tour and receive insight into the many layers of history present.
  • How to get there
    Located in the center of Florence at the Piazza della Signoria.
  • Additional information

    • As a top sight for Florence, be prepared for a bit of a wait to get in. If you get the Firenze card, you can skip the lines and get to the front.

    • The steps outside the museum serve for a perfect spot to rest before or after your visit and take in prime Florence people watching and occassional street performances in the Piazza.

Other Sightseeing Options in Palazzo Vecchio

Want to discover all there is to do in Palazzo Vecchio? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Palazzo Vecchio

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,294 reviews

One of the must do when you are in Florence. I also highly recommend Fabrizio for he was patient in answering our questions and explained everything crisp but clear. He was punctual and friendly.

The city tour is definitely recommended, as our tour guide drew our attention to several small details that we would not have seen. These were also not noted in any tour guide. Top!

Sylvia was prompt, very friendly, and very knowledgeable of the history and significance of the sights. Would definitely recommend!

Wonderful place to be visited - full of glorious history of the facsinating Florence!

Good guided tour. However, we book a 2-hr tour but it only lasted 1 hour.