- WHERE TO STAY
- CRUISE PORTS
Pisa is located about 83km (51mi) west of Florence, well within the range of a day or even half day visit independently by public transport or a choice of tours available.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous structures in the world and is what every first time visitor to Pisa is looking to see, but it is a part of a complex of separate attractions around the Piazza dei Miracoli where it is located.
For tourists to Pisa everyone makes for the Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square) to the north-west of the city of Pisa, a World Heritage Site.
The Leaning Tower is of course the star, ably supported by the Cathedral (Duomo).
Also part of the area is the Baptistery, the Monumental Cemetery, the Opera del Duomo Museum and the Sinopie Museum for which you can buy integrated tickets.
An in-depth history of the components that make up the square are on the official website.
Constructed as the bell tower to accompany the cathedral, the tower began to shift on its foundations in 1178, before the architect, Bonanno Pisano, had completed the first three tiers.
Fortunately, the lean has now been halted, due to tricks with cables and counter-subsidence. The tower now leans on an angle of 4.1m (13 ft), rather than the previous 5m (16ft).
Trains run to Pisa from Santa Maria Novella Train Station Florence at the western edge of the historic centre 3 to 4 times an hour during the working week and at least hourly trains at the weekend.
There are two types of trains that run the route, the faster trains take an hour or slightly less, the slower trains take 10-15 minutes longer. The fare is the same for either class of train.
The station at Pisa is called Pisa Central Station. In terms of facilities it has a left luggage office.
The main glitch with travelling by train is that Pisa station is south of the river about 1.5km (1 mile) from the Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square) where the Leaning Tower of Pisa is located on the north side of the river.
It's a 20-minute walk through the largely pedestrianised city centre, or there are local buses, even a hop-on hop-off tourist bus.
The TrenItalia website has English language pages and timetables and online advance e-ticketing. On some shorter urban journeys it is not possible to buy tickets online.
Note: When using online ticketing and travel planning systems they use the Italian name of Florence, which is Firenze.
• Cheapest advance purchase fares • Pay by credit card • Instant confirmations • Timetables
The Pisa attractions are open all year round though opening hours are quite complex and seasonal.
For the majority of visitors the sole reason is the famous leaning tower which is located in Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square) just to the north of the city centre.
Piazza dei Miracoli is a pedestrianised area, free to access with the main attractions listed below within the square, plus tourist offices, gift shops and exhibitions as well as ticket offices.
In the summer months (April to October) the Leaning Tower of Pisa is open from 9am to 9pm with the other attractions at similar times. For the full opening times, go to the official website link at the top of the page.
Between Piazza dei Miracoli the city centre and the railway station the route is lined with restaurants, bars and places to eat of all types.
The Cathedral (Duomo) is open to tourists and entrance is free. If you wish to visit only the Cathedral you can collect your coupon for a maximum of two people at the ticket office.
If you want to visit more than one of the above, you can buy combination tickets for all permutations of the attractions. If you bought a combination ticket for all 4 attractions the cost would be under half if you purchased tickets separately. You can buy these tickets from the ticket offices on the day.
You’ll have a strict 30 minutes to climb to the top, take in the views and head back down, so be sure to make every second of your time in the tower count.
The 294-step staircase can be disconcerting; with steps slanting different ways, but you’ll be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views over Pisa from the top.
Especially in the summer months it's worth purchasing tickets in advance to avoid the queues.
Tickets for the Leaning Tower can be purchased online from the official website (a maximum of 20 days and a minimum of 1 day prior to the date of the visit, and subject to availability) but the booking system is very poor.
The link is through the official website at the top of the page.
The alternative is to buy from third parties/agents like that linked below where you are charged a booking fee. The alternative is to risk long queues from the official ticket desks on the day.
• Cathedral admission • Afternoon timed entry ticket
From the Pisa Central Railway Station it's about a 20-minute walk to the Leaning Tower of Pisa right through the city centre. Unfortunately there is little in the way of signage.
Exiting the front entrance of Pisa Central Railway Station you will find the NH Cavaleiri Hotel directly opposite, you go down the road to the left of the hotel. After about 100m you come to a large piazza, cross directly over and enter the pedestrianised road called the Corso Italia which forms the main shopping street through the city centre.
Eventually you come to a broad river flanked by busy roads at a small square, cross the bridge to another small square on the other side. Take the pedestrianised lane on the left hand side of the back of the square/piazza. Any signs to Piazza Dei Cavaleiri are pointing our way.
After about a 100m a lane joins from the left and shortly after is a small square (Piazza Giovan Battista Donati). Immediately after the square/piazza fork left along the Via Ulisse Dini that takes you to the large Piazza Dei Cavaleiri.
Continue directly across Piazza Dei Cavaleiri, there are three exits opposite. Going dead straight is the Via Dalmazi, but our way is the Via Corsica, just before the Via Dalmazi on the left. After just 20m along the Via Corsica go straight over at a crossroads and the Via Corsica has become the Via Dei Mille.
After about another 75m, the second right is the Via Santa Maria, lined with restaurants aimed at the tourist. The Via Santa Maria takes you all the way to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square).
This is a straight forward time efficient solution to seeing and climbing up the Leaning Tower of Pisa from Florence in a half day tour. Touring coach to and from the Piazza of Miracles in Pisa, with a walking tour of Pisa and of course skip the line entry to the Leaning Tower itself.
• Transport by air-conditioned bus • Licensed tour escort and live commentary on board • Cathedral admission • Leaning Tower entrance fee with booking
If you prefer not to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa and are happy just to admire it from ground level and pose for pictures this alternative tour is for you. Your guide will also lead you around Pisa to showcase what Pisa has to offer besides its most famous icon.
• Transport by air-conditioned bus • Walking tour of Cathedral Square with local guide • Photo stop at Leaning Tower
See the best Tuscany has to offer on this full-day guided coach trip from Florence.
In just one day you'll explore Siena, San Gimignano and Pisa and also find time for a wine tasting in the Chianti countryside and lunch!
• 3-course lunch at a wine estate • Wine tasting • Professional guide • Free time to explore the towns at your own pace
|Popular Tours in & around Florence|
24 hr, 48 hr and 72 hr tickets
Includes Accademia Gallery, Uffizi Gallery and Florence Duomo
Full day tour with lunch at local restaurant Duomo + Accademia + Uffizi Galleries
3-hour small group walking tour inc Accademia Gallery admission
Home to the original statue of David by Renaissance genius Michelangelo
Small group guided tour of Florence cathedral including hidden areas
|Florence Fast Track Entrance Tickets|
Home to the original statue of David by Renaissance genius Michelangelo. View ticket option
1,500 pieces of art including Michelangelo. View ticket options
Renaissance masterpieces, including Raphael, Titian and Rubens. View ticket options
|Day Tours to Tuscany & beyond from Florence|
Includes Siena, Chianti vineyards, San Gimignano, Pisa
All entrance fees included
Return coach travel, walking tour, with or without entry to leaning tower
Fully inclusive day of hiking inc lunch
Small group (max 8 people) includes boat ride + several villages