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I plan to visit an art exhibition in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and I have the option of purchasing my tickets online ahead of time with a surcharge.

Clearly this makes sense only if the queue for online reservations is significantly shorter than the regular queue; otherwise it is just a waste of time, money, and flexibility. I have seen museums where pre-sale was a great time-saver, and museums where it was useless. What is typically the case with Palazzo Strozzi, in your experience?

If it matters, I plan to go there on a Saturday outside holiday season.

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    Not an answer because it is only a single data point, but I went there, and both queues were completely empty. :) In any case, the online ticket allows one to go directly to the entrance to the exhibition, where all they have to do is scanning a QR code on the ticket. So in crowded days I assume that buying the tickets online is faster (since in the other queue they also have to handle payments). – Federico Poloni May 24 '16 at 18:22
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+50

There isn't really a definitive answer to this question. It all depends on how many people book for said day, what time of day, and then who books in advance.

Personally, I would buy tickets in advance, so that if there was a big queue on the day for the non-advance tickets, I would be fine.

Based on the fact that people have only got to scan QR codes in the advance tickets queue, I would say that you'd be looking at about five seconds per person. With the other queue, it's probably going to take about 30 seconds or more per group as they decide on tickets and then pay for them.

In busy times, you would be much better off going through online booking beforehand. You have said that you would go on a Saturday in non-holiday season, so both queues would be relatively short.

Other users have commented queues were empty, and one in chat said it was similar in holiday times. I would advise you to book online in case, but you are probably fine either way.

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