While tickets for many of Italy’s museums and sites can be bought when you get there, some should definitely be booked in advance to avoid standing in long ticket lines or not being able to get a ticket at all. If you’re visiting Italy’s top 5 cities in high season, it’s highly recommended to buy museum tickets in advance whenever possible.
These 5 popular museums and sites should always be booked before you go, as they can be crowded even in low season or they require advance reservations:
Colosseum in Rome
The Colosseum is Rome’s most popular tourist attraction and ticket lines can be very long. There’s also a security line that you have to go through before entering so if you don’t buy a skip-the-line pass in advance or book a guided tour, you’ll have two lines to endure, taking up much of your valuable time. The Colosseum & Roman Forum Pass gives you entrance to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill and is good for 48 hours.
- VIP Colosseum Underground Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
- Skip the Line: Premium Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill.
More tours and tips: Colosseum Security and Tours
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
The Vatican Museums complex draws huge crowds, bringing in several million visitors a year. To avoid the ticket lines, buy advance tickets or book a guided tour. Get in ahead of most of the crowd by booking your entrance tickets for the earliest time slot possible. The Sistine Chapel is included in the Vatican Museums ticket. Saint Peter’s Basilica can be visited for free.
- Early Entry Sistine Chapel & St Peter’s Basilica Express Tour
- Pristine Sistine Early Entrance Small Group Vatican Tour
- Vatican Highlights Tour: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
- Complete Vatican Tour
More tours and tips: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
The Last Supper in Milan
Da Vinci’s beautiful painting of The Last Supper in Milan’s Santa Maria della Grazie Church is one of Italy’s most popular art works. Because the number of people inside at one time is limited, tickets sell out quickly. Tickets go on sale 2 to 3 months in advance and it’s very rare that you can just go to the church and get tickets for the same day. Buy them as soon as you know your date.
Uffizi Gallery in Florence
Housed within the Uffizi Gallery are many Renaissance art treasures, making it one of the top museums to visit in Italy and top things to see in Florence. Ticket lines can be very long but you can skip the line by buying your tickets in advance for the time you want. There are 45 rooms filled with paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints by top Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael, and Giotto.
If you want to see the famous statue of David you’ll have to go to the Accademia Gallery, another of Florence’s top museums.
- Visit both museums with Express Florence Highlights with Uffizi & Accademia Tickets.
Borghese Gallery in Rome
Reservations are mandatory to visit the Borghese Gallery in Rome and visitors are allowed to stay inside only for a 2 hour period, making it much less crowded than some of the other top museums. Housed in the Borghese Gallery are many Baroque masterpieces including stunning marble sculptures by Bernini. For an in-depth look at the art from an expert, take the entertaining and educational Borghese Story-Tellers private tour.
- Rome Museum and Site Tickets to Buy in Advance
- Florence Museum Tickets to Buy Before You Go
- Venice Museum Passes
See more things to do before you go in our Italy Trip Planning Guide
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