Pisa

Pisa is a small city in Tuscany famous for it’s Leaning Tower.  If you are traveling around in Italy, or nearby in Tuscany, Pisa is easy to get to and worth a quick stop.  The top sights in Pisa can be seen in a matter of hours, and the city is easy to get around in with just a single bus line.  The tower itself is a “must see” in Italy, and there are some other hidden gems in Pisa.

The Basics
Top Things to do in Pisa
How to get Around in Pisa
Insider Tips
Clear Travel Summary

The Basics

  • Recommended Time: 0.5 Days
  • Language: Italian, but English can get you by
  • Currency: Euro
  • Airports: Pisa (PSA)
  • Train Stations: Pisa Centrale, which is a large rail hub in Tuscany.

Top Things to do in the Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

  • The Leaning Tower is a 183 ft bell tower for the neighboring Cathedral.  The tower was started in the 1100’s, and ended up leaning due to an inadequate foundation.  It is one of the iconic sights in Italy, easy to get to, and definitely worth the stop if you are nearby.  There will be many tourists in the square taking their obligatory “holding the tower up” or “pushing it down” photos.  Location on Google Maps
  • How to get there:
    • Bus: Lam Rossa line is the city bus line that runs between the train station and the tower.  It is fast, convenient, and really cheap.  The Tower is the “Torre” stop.
    • City Bus Official Site
  • Ticket Information:
    • 18 EUR to climb to the top of the tower at a set time.
    • Opsapisa – Official site to prebook your tickets
  • Insider Tips:
    • If you want to climb the tower for the views of the surrounding city, you should pre-book your tickets.  Not only will you save valuable hours waiting in line, but you might not get to climb at all that day if you wait to buy tickets when you show up.  Considering you might only be in Pisa for a half day to a full day, pre-booking is highly recommended if you are interested in climbing.
Pisa Cathedral

  • Famous Roman Cathloc Cathedral in central Pisa, right next to the leaning tower.  The cathedral has a stunning marble facade.  Location on Google Maps
  • How to get there:
    • Bus: Lam Rossa line is the city bus line that runs between the train station and the cathedral/ tower (“Torre” stop)  It is fast, convenient, and really cheap.
    • City Bus Official Site
  • Ticket Information:
    • The cathedral is free to enter, but you can pre-book an entry time to avoid waiting in line.
    • Opsapisa – Official site to prebook your tickets

 

Pisa Baptistery

  • Baptistery for the Pisa Cathedral, known for acoustics on the inside. Located in the same Piazza as the Cathedral and Leaning Tower.  Location on Google Maps
  • How to get there:
    • Bus: Lam Rossa line is the city bus line that runs between the train station and the cathedral/ tower (“Torre” stop)  It is fast, convenient, and really cheap.
    • City Bus Official Site
  • Ticket Information:
    • The Baptistery costs 5 EUR to enter.
    • Opsapisa – Official site to prebook your tickets

 

Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knight’s Square)
  • Famous square in central Pisa, and was the political center of Pisa in medieval times.  Location on Google Maps
  • How to get there:
    • Walking: It is a short 5-6 min walk from the Leaning Tower to Knights square.
    • Bus: Lam Rossa line is the city bus line that runs between the train station and the cathedral/ tower area.  To get to the square from the Rossa line, the closest stop is the Bonanno stop.  However, we recommend seeing this site in conjunction with the Leaning Tower, so walking from the Leaning Tower area is our recommendation.
    • City Bus Official Site
  • Ticket Information:
    • None needed, it’s a public square.
Santa Maria della Spina
  • Petite church built in the 1200’s utilizing classic Gothic architecture.  Unique because it shares the exterior design of other large Gothic style cathedrals you will see around Europe, but in a small package. Location on Google Maps
  • How to get there:
    • Bus: Lam Rossa line is the city bus line that runs between the train station and the cathedral/ tower area.  To get to Santa Maria della Spina, the closest stop on the Rossa line is ‘Mazzini’ stop.  It is then a 2 min walk to the cathedral, which is along the river.  You could then get back on the Rossa line to the train station or the tower.
    • City Bus Official Site
  • Ticket Information:
    • Free to visit, but opening hours are limited if you want to go inside (not necessary in our opinion, the view is from the outside)
    • Official site with hours

 

How to Get Around in Pisa

To/From the Airport to Pisa:
  • By Tram:
    • Pisamover goes between the Pisa airport and the Pisa central train station.  From the train station, you can then get on a train or switch to a number of bus lines, including the city line to get to the Leaning Tower area.
    • Cost: 2.70 EUR for one way ticket
    • Pisamover
Around Pisa:
  • By Bus:
    • The LAM Rossa line is the most convenient way to get around in central Pisa, as it runs from the main train station to the Piazza del Duomo (Location of the Leaning Tower, Pisa Cathedral, and Baptistery.)
    • City Bus Official Site
    • Cost: 1.50 EUR for a 70 minute ticket.
  • Walking:
    • Pisa is not that large, and most of the sites can be reached on foot.  However, we do recommend taking the LAM Rossa line between the Tower and train station, in the interest of time.
  • Insider Tip: At the airport, there are plenty of bus tour companies that are eager to take tourists to the Leaning Tower area for ~20 EUR per person.  Taking the Pisamover to the train station, then the LAM Rossa bus line will get you there for around 4 EUR in the same amount of time.

 

Insider Tips for Pisa

  • You can see Pisa in two hours if you need to.  This will be the case whether arriving by plane, train, or bus.  This is the subject of a separate blog post: How to see Pisa in Two Hours.

Clear Travel Summary

The top sights in Pisa can be seen in half of a day.  The Tower is “must see” if you are nearby in Tuscany or passing through Pisa, and you should pre-book your tickets in advance if you want to climb it.  While you’re on the official site, you can also pre-book your Cathedral entrance time.  The LAM Rossa bus line is all that you need to get around in Pisa.  You are likely interested in visiting Pisa because of the iconic Leaning Tower, but there are some other hidden gems in this Tuscan city.

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