Of course, when you visit the city of Pisa in Italy, you’re naturally drawn to the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. When in Pisa, it’s almost impossible not to take the most cliché photo ever: pretending to hold up or push over the leaning tower. Everyone does the same thing. It’s quite hilarious to sit on a bench, enjoying an ice cream, and watch people trying their best to capture the perfect photo. Curious about what else there is to do in Pisa? Below, you can read about the most interesting attractions and some extra tips for your visit to Pisa!
Attractions in Pisa, Italy
Pisa doesn’t have many attractions, so you can easily see all of them in half a day (about 4 hours).
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Of course, we cannot start without mentioning Italy’s most famous building: the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The construction of the tower began in 1173, and by the time the third floor was added in 1178, the tower started to lean. This happened because the ground was too soft, and the foundation was not deeply rooted. The construction was halted for several decades due to wars involving the people of Pisa. Afterward, the construction resumed, and efforts were made to straighten the tower. The final floor was completed in 1372, but the tower remained tilted. Over the centuries, it leaned even more.
Extensive research in 1990 revealed that the inclination was a staggering 5.5%. The tower was immediately closed due to the risk of collapse. A restoration project was initiated to reduce the tilt by 1.5%. However, the tower was intentionally not completely straightened, as it was feared that tourists would lose interest. In 2001, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was reopened to the public.
Tip: How to skip the line to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Chances are, you will visit Pisa only once in your life, so it’s definitely worth climbing the bell tower. However, only 30 people are allowed inside the tower at a time, resulting in limited tickets and a half-hour time limit. Especially during peak season, there can be long queues and significant waiting times. Therefore, it’s advisable to purchase your ticket in advance. With this skip-the-line ticket, you can bypass the long queue. The only downside is that you will be assigned a specific time slot, but waiting in line is much more inconvenient. Pre-booking is often unnecessary if you are not visiting during peak season.
The Cathedral of Pisa
Surrounding the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you will find more historical buildings, including the beautiful Duomo Santa Maria Assunta cathedral. Construction of the cathedral began in 1063, and it took a remarkable 200 years to complete. You can visit the interior of the cathedral free of charge.
The Battistero San Giovanni, or Baptistery of St. John, is another fascinating architectural masterpiece. With a circumference of 107 meters (352 feet), it is the largest baptistery in the world. It was built between the 12th and 14th centuries, with a construction period spanning 200 years. The interior is somewhat simple, but you can enjoy a beautiful view of the cathedral and the Leaning Tower of Pisa from the balcony.
Santa Maria della Spina
As you walk from the train station to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you will pass by the unique church of Santa Maria della Spina. This small church stands out with its location right by the Arno River.
Good Restaurants in Pisa
A visit to Pisa will surely make you hungry! Fortunately, there are several excellent restaurants in the city. At Vegan Come Koala, you can enjoy delicious vegan sandwiches. For a quick bite and mouthwatering pasta, head to We Love Pasta. Craving something other than Italian cuisine? Try India Ristorante for delicious Indian curry.
How to Get to Pisa
Flying to Pisa: We recommend staying overnight in Pisa if you’re flying there. This way, you can explore Pisa at your leisure and recover from the flight. It’s a much more relaxed way to start your journey through Italy. A good hotel for an overnight stay in Pisa is La Lu Cozy Rooms. This B&B offers stylish rooms at a great price. Your day starts with a delicious breakfast, and it’s only a 5-minute walk from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
By train: If you’re traveling to Pisa by train, get off at Pisa Centrale. You can purchase train tickets at any station from the ticket machines.
Tip: Are you on a layover and carrying luggage or a backpack? You can store them for a few hours in the lockers at ‘Stow Your Bags’. It’s conveniently located a 2-minute walk from the train station and is perfect for temporarily storing your belongings. They offer two different locker sizes. Payment is hourly and must be made via credit card. You’ll receive the locker code via both SMS and email, and for about 4 hours, you’ll spend around $12 if you have two suitcases.
By (rental) car: There are plenty of parking lots in Pisa where you can easily and affordably park your car. One parking lot right in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is Parking Lot PIZA. Here, you’ll pay a few dollars per hour.