In this Florence City Pass review, I’ll break down how the pass works, what it costs, and whether it’s the right choice for your travel plans.
Ah, Florence. Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Home to iconic art and architecture, picturesque weather, and fine Italian food and wine. What’s not to love?
Well, maybe the cost. While it’s not the most expensive city in Italy, when you consider airfare, hotels, dining, and sightseeing, it’s not exactly the cheapest place to travel either.
Hopefully, you’re using travel rewards to cover some flight and accommodation costs. (If not, we need to talk!) But as any traveler knows, the expenses don’t stop once you’ve arrived. In a city like Florence, skimping on sightseeing is not an option. Everywhere you look, there’s a world-class museum, a historic monument, or a beautiful church.
Sightseeing passes are my favorite way to cut costs without cutting experiences when I travel. Today, I want to tell you about the Florence City Pass from TurboPass. Can it help you save money? Is it worth a buy? Let’s find out!
What is the Florence City Pass and How Does it Work?
The Florence City Pass from TurboPass is an all-inclusive sightseeing pass designed to save you money and time when you visit Florence. The pass is mostly filled with museums and tours. It’s available for one, two, or three consecutive calendar days.
Unlike most sightseeing passes, when you buy the Florence City Pass online, you have to choose your start date. If you go for the one-day pass, it will activate at 12:01 am that day and expire at midnight. The multi-day passes are valid until midnight on the last day.
The Florence City Pass includes timed entry to the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery, meaning you get to skip the ticket line at two of the most sought-after attractions in Italy. It also means, however, that you need to choose the date and preferred time of your visit when you buy the pass.
For all the other attractions, you can visit them any time during the life of your pass. Some of the tours require reservations, so make sure you have a look at the info that comes with the pass so you know what to expect.
Let’s check out the attractions to see if they pique your interest.
Top Attractions Included on the Florence City Pass
The following attractions are included in the cost of the Florence City Pass (go here for a full list). I’ve included the regular adult admission prices for reference:
- Uffizi Gallery – €24
- Accademia Gallery – €16
- Leonardo da Vinci Museum – €7
- Jewish Museum and Synagogue – €6.50
- Walking Tour: Welcome to Florence – €16
- Casa Buonarroti Museum – €6.50
- Innocenti Museum – €7
- Shuttle Bus to Barberino Designer Outlet – €13
- National Archaeological Museum – €7
- Museum of Musical Instruments – (Inside Accademia Gallery)
- Franco Zeffirelli Museum – €10
- Museum of San Marco – €8
- Opificio delle Pietre Dure – €4
These attractions are discounted with the pass. That means you still have to pay admission out of pocket, but it will be at a reduced rate:
- Chianti Half Day Wine Tour – 20% off
- Pisa Morning Tour – 30% off
- Day Trip: Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa with Lunch – 30% off
- The Best of Cinque Terre & Portovenere – 35% off
- Guided Bike Tour – 20% off
- Palazzo Strozzi – €3 discount
- Salvatore Ferragamo Museum – €2 discount
These attractions are supposed to be included on the pass, but best I can tell, they offer free admission to anyone, anytime:
- Casa Martelli
- Basillica of Santo Spirito
- Santo Spirito Complex – Sacristy
- Marino Marini Museum
*Prices current as of March 30, 2020
Florence City Pass Pricing
OK, so now that you know what’s included in the Florence City Pass, let’s take a look at pricing to see if it’s a good deal.
|Passes||Adult Price (18+)||Teen Price (15-17)||Child Price (6-14)|
|*Current as of March 30, 2020|
To be honest, I couldn’t believe it when I saw these prices. It’s standard for multi-day passes to yield better value than a 1-day pass, but this is unreal! The 2-day pass only costs €10 more than the 1-day pass, and the 3-day pass only costs another €10 above that.
Put another way, with the 1-day pass, you pay €59.90 per day compared to €26.63 per day with the 3-day pass.
What’s the key take away? The 3-day pass is by far the best value. In fact, I wouldn’t bother with the 1-day pass at all (more on that later).
Let’s crunch some numbers to see how to save money with the 3-day pass.
Let’s say you take on the following itinerary:
- Academia Gallery at opening time
- Innocenti Museum
- Welcome to Florence Walking Tour at 1:30
- Leonardo da Vinci Museum after the tour
- Total saved with pass = €46
- Uffizi first thing in the morning
- Half-day Chianti Wine Tour
- Total saved with pass = €37.20
- The Best of Cinque Terre & Portovenere day trip
- Total saved with the pass = €33.25
The total value of this itinerary is €116.45. The 3-day pass costs €79.90, so total savings would be €36.55, which is 31%.
You can see from looking at the daily totals that at €59.90, the 1-day wouldn’t be a good deal. You’d have to cram a lot into a day to do €59.90 worth of attractions. I just don’t see it happening. The 2-day pass can save you a bit, but the 3-day pass is the best value.
Top Reasons to Get the Florence City Pass
The Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery
Florence is home to more than 70 museums, but the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery are the most renowned of the lot.
The Uffizi is a huge, grand collection of varying art styles ranging from the 12th to 18th centuries. Considered one of the best Renaissance collections in the world, it features masterpieces from Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Raphael, and more. You could easily spend a full day at the Uffizi and not see everything.
The Accademia Gallery is a much smaller collection with one very important draw: the iconic statue of David by Michelangelo. You can’t visit Florence and skip it.
These two museums are easily the biggest draws of the pass. At €24 and €16, admission is expensive, but the pass covers it in full.
The Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery draw crowds of people from all over the world, especially in the summer. You know what that means – enormous lines.
I love museums, and there’s no way I’d skip the Uffizi or the Accademia Gallery, but I hate the idea of wasting precious vacation time in a ticket lineup.
One of the best features of the Florence City Pass is fast-track entry to those two flagship attractions. Your pass includes a timed entry, so you can skip the line.
Saving time is awesome, but most people buy sightseeing passes to save money. Granted, you’re not going to save a ton with the Florence City Pass, but if you’re smart about it, you can totally shave 30% off your costs.
If you’re in town for a few days, the 3-day pass is your best bet for maxing out value. That means more money to splurge on Italian food and wine (or whatever your priorities happen to be).
Other Benefits of the Florence City Pass
- Welcome to Florence Walking Tour – Most the tours included on the Florence City Pass are discounted, but not free. The exception is the Welcome to Florence Walking Tour, which is the first one I’d recommend, anyway. The guided tour is an hour, showing you the city’s most iconic sites while imparting their rich history. I love a good guided tour!
- Day Trips – If you buy the three-day pass and are looking to branch out beyond Florence for a day, one of the day trips might fit the bill. You’ll get a 30% discount on the Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa tour, which translates into €22.80 in savings. That tour includes wine and lunch at a Tuscan vineyard. You can also save €33.25 on the Cinque Terre and Portovenere Tour. It lasts almost 14 hours and includes visits to three charming villages and two boat rides.
- Free Shuttle to Barberino Designer Outlet – If you were hoping to spend a couple of hours getting your shopping on, the Florence City Pass includes a shuttle ride to the Barberino Designer Outlet. Walking and public transit is the easiest way to get around Florence for most tourist attractions, but short of renting a car, the shuttle bus is probably the fastest way to get to the outlet. It’s also comfortable, with AC and Wifi.
Where the Florence City Pass Falls Short
The Florence City Pass from TurboPass can save you time and money while visiting Florence, and that’s a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, though, there are a couple of serious drawbacks you’ll want to consider.
Lack of Flexibility
The main one is the lack of flexibility. When you buy the pass, you have to specify its start date. That doesn’t seem like a big deal, but what if your trip is delayed? Could you potentially lose a day of sightseeing?
TurboPass says a change of date is treated as a cancellation and subject to a €30 fee. Having to pay that fee would greatly diminish the value of the pass. In the case of the 1-day pass, it would make it impossible to get your money’s worth. So, unless you have travel insurance, you may be out the money. This is a major drawback relative to most other sightseeing passes that let you activate the pass when you get to your first destination.
And that isn’t the only issue with flexibility. Because the pass offers timed entry to Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery, you need to choose your dates and times when you book your pass. This reduces your ability to go with the flow once you’re in Florence. On the other hand, timed entry will save you from wasting valuable time in a ticket queue, so you need to weigh the pros and cons.
Determining the value of the Florence City Pass isn’t a straightforward task. They list all the included attractions, but you have to click on each one to find out their regular admission cost.
When you do, you discover that some of them, like the Casa Martelli, are free to everyone, all the time! I’m not sure how TurboPass justifies listing that as an included attraction.
At other attractions, like the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, the Florence City Pass gets you discounted, not free, admission. For all the tours other than the walking tour, you only get a discount, meaning you’ll still have to pay some costs out of pocket.
This isn’t to say the savings aren’t significant, but if you’re expecting your pass to cover all your costs, you’ll be disappointed.
In general, the Florence City pass doesn’t offer huge savings opportunities. I think most people’s savings would top out around 30%, which is less than most all-inclusive passes.
No Mobile Pass
Lastly, I should mention that the Florence City Pass isn’t available as a mobile pass. You buy it online and receive it via email, but you have to print a hard copy. For those who prefer the simplicity of keeping everything on their smartphone, this is kind of annoying.
Who Should Consider the Florence City Pass?
First-time Visitors – Anyone visiting Florence for the first time will want to check out the major museums and maybe a couple of tours. If you plan carefully, the Florence City Pass can save you time and money.
Power Sightseers – To be honest, it isn’t all that easy to get great value from the Florence City Pass. The people who will are the ones excited about cramming a ton into a day.
Travelers Staying for at Least Three Days – As I mentioned before, the three-day pass is by far the best deal. People who will be in Florence for at least three days will benefit most from the pass.
Who Should Skip the Florence City Pass?
Anyone Who Doesn’t Want to Pay Anything Extra – The Florence City Pass offers a discount on five tours and two museums. If you want to do either, you’ll have to pay the balance out of pocket. If you were hoping to pay one set fee for the pass and then put your wallet away, you’re out of luck.
Travelers Not Interested in Museums – The bulk of the attractions on the Florence City Pass are museums, so if you’re not interested in visiting at least a couple, this is probably not the pass for you.
Travelers Who Like to Take it Slow – The Florence City Pass isn’t a good fit for someone who likes to sightsee at a relaxed pace or take breaks in between. If you want to get your money’s worth, you better be ready to hit the ground running.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of the Florence City Pass
- Be Aware of Closures – It’s important to familiarize yourself with the attractions’ hours so you can plan your days accordingly. Most of the museums are closed on Mondays, so if you’ll be using your pass on a Monday, that’s a good time to do a day trip or two half-day tours. Additionally, the walking and bike tours only run once a day, so if either is on your agenda, you need to plan around that.
- Skip the 1-Day Pass – I’ve done the math, and here’s my conclusion: Very few people will get their money’s worth from the 1-day Florence City Pass. The two biggest draws, the Accademia Gallery and Uffizi, only cost €40 on their own. You can get through the Accademia Gallery pretty fast, but the Uffizi is huge. To really appreciate it, you’re looking at a half-day. You wouldn’t have time to do a half-day tour, so the most you could reasonably do would be another museum (maximum cost = €10) or maybe the walking tour (€15). Either way, regular admission would be less than €59, and you’d lose money with the pass.
- Choose the Expensive Attractions – If you take a look at what’s included on the Florence City Pass, many have low admission prices. You’re not going to save a ton of money by visiting a bunch of €7 museums. To get value, you need to make sure the regular prices add up to more than you paid for the pass. And to do that, you’ll have to go with some pricier options. The Accademia Gallery and Uffizi are givens, totaling €40. If you buy a 3-day pass, a day trip, a half-day tour, and a few more museums will easily save you €30-€40 per person.
- Visit Three Attractions Per Day – If you want to save money with the Florence City Pass, you need to visit multiple attractions each day (except if you’re doing a day trip). Three is a good number to shoot for, although it’ll depend on your choices.
How to Buy the Florence City Pass
There’s only one way to get the Florence City Pass, and you can buy it online here. You can pay with Visa or Mastercard, of course, but PayPal, wire transfer, and Sofort banking are options, as well.
Unlike most sightseeing passes, you have to select a start date when you buy the Florence City Pass. If you’ll be visiting the Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery, you also have to select the date and preferred time, since it’s a timed entry ticket.
Once payment is received, you’ll receive your pass and all relevant info via email within 48 hours. There’s no digital pass option; you need to print a copy to take with you.
Bottom Line: Is the Florence City Pass a Good Buy?
I’ll be frank: I don’t recommend the one-day Florence City Pass. Most people won’t get their money’s worth, because there aren’t many high-value attractions to choose from.
With the two and three-day passes (especially the three-day), it’s easier to get some decent value. If you’re comfortable choosing your dates in advance, these versions of the Florence City Pass can save you some money. They can also save you time at two very busy attractions.
The savings you get with the Florence City Pass aren’t as impressive as what some passes for other cities offer, but if you ask me, a little extra money in your pocket is better than none.
What is your favorite thing to do in Florence?
Florence City Pass Review
- Pass Options and Lengths
- Fast Track Entry
- Overall Value
Florence City Pass Review
The Florence City Pass can save you money at some of the city’s most iconic attractions. However, when compared to other all-inclusive passes around the globe, this pass lacks the type of savings you may be looking for. In fact, you should likely avoid the one-day pass altogether.
The pass does include fast track entry to two of the most popular sites in Florence – the Uffizi and Academia galleries. This can save you hours of valuable time by avoiding the ticket lines. When used appropriately, you can even save up to 30% off regular admission prices throughout the city.
The lack of flexibility, modest savings, and the fact that you have to choose your dates in advance may make this pass a “no go” for some visitors. On the other hand, it’s one of the few passes available in Florence. In our opinion, a little savings is always better than none.