Julie Italy 26 Comments

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, overrated tourist attraction or worthwhile destination? Regardless if you think Pisa is overrated or worthwhile, it still can be a lot of fun doing silly poses in front of this crooked icon of Italy. What’s even better is that a day trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa can be quick and easy to do.

Where is Pisa?

Located just an hour away from Florence and the Cinque Terre by train, it is very easy to see Pisa from either of these locations and even easier when traveling between the two.

How Long Should You Spend in Pisa?

After arriving at the Pisa Centrale train station, it is a half hour walk to the Leaning Tower. Taxis are available to speed up your journey and cost roughly €10 one way.

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (points of interest and the walking route). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest. If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Once at the Leaning Tower, it only takes several minutes to take those goofy photos.

Allow more time to climb the tower or visit the cathedral.

If you plan to climb the tower and visit the other monuments, a visit lasts up to 2 to 3 hours.

Tim Being Goofy

Julie Rivenbark

Climbing the Tower

There are 251 steps to top of the tower. Climbing the tower is not difficult but some people report feeling dizzy or getting vertigo from climbing the tight, spiral staircase at an incline.

If you plan to climb the tower, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the top.

During peak season, purchase your tickets in advance. This allows you to schedule a designated time and avoid waiting in line. If you do not have pre-purchased tickets, you run the risk of not being able to climb the tower on the day of your visit.

Tickets to climb the tower cost 18 € per person. You can purchase tickets 20 days before your visit. For more information, check out the official website, which also includes a link to the online ticket center.

Children under 8 years old are not allowed to climb the tower.

If tickets are sold out for your travel date, you can join one of these skip-the-line tours.


With More Time

There is more to do than just climb the tower or take goofy photos. You can also visit the Baptistery, Cathedral, Camposanto Museum, Opera del Duomo Museum, and the Sinopie Museum. Each of the monuments cost a few additional euros. For the price list and hours of operation, click here.

How to Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa Baptistery

How To Get to Pisa

Taking a train is the easiest way to get to Pisa. Most people visit Pisa as a day trip from Florence, leaving in the morning and returning in the afternoon. It takes about one hour to travel between Florence and Pisa, starting at 8.70 € one way, with trains traveling every 20 minutes.

If you are traveling between the Cinque Terre and Florence, seeing Pisa on the way takes very little time. Make the one hour journey by train from Florence, visit the Leaning Tower, and then take a second train to La Spezia (at the Cinque Terre). It takes 1 hour to travel to La Spezia by train and prices start at 8 €. Trains leave for La Spezia almost every 30 minutes.

While you are visiting the Leaning Tower, you can leave your luggage at the baggage storage area (deposito bagagli) in the Pisa train station.

Don’t have enough time to get off the train? You can see the Leaning Tower of Pisa (briefly) from the train while traveling between Florence and La Spezia.

Day Trip from Florence

Visiting Pisa is a very popular day trip from Florence.

A day trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa from Florence takes half of a day. On your own, take the train from Florence to Pisa, walk or take a taxi to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and return to Florence by train. The best time to go is in the morning, so you get to the Leaning Tower before the crowds arrive (the most crowded time to visit Pisa is from 10 am through mid-afternoon). 

You also have the option to join a tour. You can either take a half day tour from Florence or combine the visit to Pisa with a quick visit to Tuscany.


Interesting Facts About the Leaning Tower of Pisa

It took almost 200 years to build the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The tower began leaning even before construction was finished. The upper levels of the tower were built at an angle to offset the lean. If you look closely at photographs, you can see that the tower has a slight curve to it.

There are 294 steps on the north side and 296 steps on the south side.

The tower and cathedral were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

After the collapse of a tower in Pavia, restoration efforts from 1989 to 2001 were put into place. The tower was closed to tourists during this time.

In 2008 engineers declared that the Leaning Tower of Pisa has stopped moving. The tower should remain stable for the next 300 years.

Kara Rivenbark

If you have any questions about how to plan your day trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, let us know in the comment section below. 

More Information for Your Trip to Italy:

Planning a trip to Italy? Read all of our articles in our Italy Travel Guide.

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Leaning Tower of Pisa Italy


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Comments 26

    1. Post

      That’s a good question. If you are traveling during peak season (June through early September) and know your exact dates of travel, I recommend booking your train tickets in advance. You probably don’t have to but when we travel, we like to have all of that set up ahead of time. During our visit in the summer, the trains were pretty full. I’ve read that they don’t necessarily sell out but I’m personally not willing to take that chance. Cheers, Julie

        1. Post

          You can use Italiarail.com (easy to use but there is a 5 euro booking fee) or Trenitalia (the official Italian website, use Italian names for the cities, no booking fee).

  1. Are there other locations than Leaning tower in Pisa? Because I am planning a 7 day trip to Italy and one of our days is covering Pisa. So, I wanted to know about other places in Pisa?

    1. Post

      Hello Apoorv. In Pisa, I am only familiar with the Leaning Tower. There might also be a museum that you can visit on the same property (check the official website for details). Cheers, Julie

  2. We are family of 4 will have the first trip to Europe in August. We are planning 6 days in Italia any advice is helpful. Thank you.

    1. Post

      With 6 days, you can visit two big cities or regions. For example: Rome & Florence/Tuscany; Venice and Florence/Tuscany; Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast; Florence, Cinque Terre, and Milan…just to give you some ideas. Take a look at our 10 days in Italy article…you won’t be able to do the full itineraries but you can do part of one. Cheers, Julie

  3. Where can you see the tower from the train. We will be coming from La Spezia to Rome and aren’t planning to stop in Pisa, but if I can get a peek from the train, that would be great.

    1. Post

      Between Pisa and Le Spezia, you can see the tower from a distance. It’s not far north of the Pisa station. Just keep an eye out as you approach the town of Pisa. If you have a map app (like Google) and cellular service, you can track your progress on the train and know when you are getting close. Cheers, Julie

  4. Hi Julie,

    My family of 4 are planning a Italy/France trip in August. We are staying in Rome for 6 days and want to be able to take 2-3 day trips before heading to Salerno. I would ideally like to do Florence (Accademia, Brunelleschi’s Duomo, Uffizi) and Pisa (Piazza dei Miracoli ), and San Gimingiano in one day — is that way too ambitious? I would like to use the other day to go to Umbria…? Not sure about day 3. Any advice is helpful.



    1. Post

      Hello Vicki. Yes, that is very ambitious. From Rome, I would pick one of these to do with one day. If you have 3 days, you could take the train to Florence, stay in Florence, and use this as a home base. From Florence, it is much easier to day trip to San Gimignano and Pisa. So if you have 3 full days, plan one day for each place (while sleeping in Florence). The morning of day 4 travel to Salerno. I don’t know if this will work with the rest of your itinerary but I’m trying to give you an idea of how to make this work. Cheers, Julie

  5. Hi Team,

    I am lookong for one day trip to Leaning tower of Pizza.Right now i am in Milan.pleade guide me.

    1. Post

      You can use the info in this article to visit Pisa on a day trip independently or you can look for a tour through Get Your Guide or Viator. From Milan, you can take a train to Pisa and then walk to the Leaning Tower. Return to Milan by train. Cheers, Julie

  6. Hi Julie,

    How to go to Pisa from Rome via train? We want to see the leaning tower of Pisa. And from the leaning tower of Pisa, how do we go to Uffizi gallery and the Academia.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.


    1. Post

      The Uffizi Gallery and Accademia is in Florence. Take a train from Rome to Florence and spend at least one day in Florence to visit these art galleries (plus there’s a lot more to do in Florence). Then, you can visit Pisa on a day trip from Florence (by train) like we have outlined in this article. Cheers, Julie

  7. I notice you are in shorts for a lot of your photos, is this acceptable in Italy? We will be traveling to Italy in early June (so hopefully it won’t be too hot) but i was under the impression that shorts are not really acceptable, especially for men in Europe. I’d love to know what you think.

    1. Post

      During the summer months, many, many tourists, and even locals, will wear shorts. But yes, typically, Italian men wear long pants. We all wore shorts while in Italy and never felt out of place. The only time we wore long pants was during our visit to the Vatican. Cheers, Julie

  8. Nunca deixe suas malas ounpertences no carto. Fomos roubados, levaram tudo! Vinhamos de Florença para Milao. Paramos por duas horas. Ao abrirmos o porta-malas do carro, haviam levafo malas e deixaram o a nao era de valor. Isto a menis de 200 mettos da torre em area cheia de tomadores de conta de carro, numa rua movimentada. A policia nao atende d nao ajuda em nada. Fomos ajudados por um passante q nis mostrou onde fazer um B.O. a policua nao fala ingles (numa cidade super turistica!). Eles devem estar cansados de saber sobre estes furtos, mas nada fazem! Italua tem ladrao em todo lugar: praça do Vaticano, ruas de Roma, Veneza (em especial rodivuarias). Eles ficam andanfo para la e ca, aguardando o momento para esbarrar ou puxar a bolsa e levar malas. Enfim, um desabor e problemao para quem visita a Italia. E nao adianta culpar imigrantes! Visito a Italia fazem 25 anis e sempre foi assim. Mafia contra turistas. Grana fácil! Finte de renda e vista grossa das autoridades locais!

    1. Post

      Translated: Never leave your bags or belongings on the cart. We were robbed, they took everything! We came from Florence to Milan. We stopped for two hours. When we opened the trunk of the car, they had brought suitcases and left the a was not of value. This is the 200-meter tower men in an area full of car account takers on a busy street. The police do not answer, they do not help at all. We were helped by a passerby who showed us where to do a B.O. the policua does not speak English (in a super tourist city!). They must be tired of knowing about these thefts, but they do nothing! Italua has thief everywhere: Vatican square, streets of Rome, Venice (in particular, roller-wheels). They stay up and down to and fro, waiting for the moment to bump or pull the bag and carry suitcases. Anyway, a bother and problem for anyone visiting Italy. And it’s no use blaming immigrants! Visiting Italy they make 25 anis and it has always been like that. Mafia against tourists. Grana easy! Finte of income and thick sight of the local authorities!

  9. Hi Julie,
    I am fascinated reading all these stories. This is very useful information. We are planning our first European vacation for next year or the year after. Trying to figure out best way to organize an itinerary if we will be continuing onto Paris and then Portugal after our trip to Italy . Right now what is throwing it off is our visit to Tricarico for the day to see where my family is from. I am trying to fit what I can in 10 days. I am trying to squeeze in Rome, Venice, Florence, Tricario. want to also add one or two of these but not sure what would make more sense distance and traveling wise. Almafi coast, Sorrento, Cinque Terre, or Positano. I hear they are all great to see but know I can’t fit them all in.
    Right now this is what I have:
    Rome 2 days, Venice1-2 days, Florence/Tuscany1-2, tricario 1,

    1. Post

      If you only have 10 days in Italy and want to visit Tricario, trying to also get to Rome, Venice, and Florence/Tuscany is going to be very rushed. You have to factor in travel time between destinations, plus packing and unpacking, and they can eat up a lot of your time. Plus, I do not know how easy it is to get to Tricario. You can visit Rome, Tricario, Venice, and Tuscany in 10 days, but it will be a very fast experience. To visit the Amalfi Coast/Sorrento/Positano you would need a minimum of 3 full days. The Cinque Terre needs 2 full days. I think you are better off saving your coastal destinations for a different trip to Italy, or substitute Venice for one of these spots. Cheers, Julie

  10. Thank you for sharing about the blue grotto between the tour and the chair lift to Solaro and back how much time should a couple budget for .. we booked 15 day tour in Italy and part of our time takes us to Capri and Anacapri from Sorrento and we have free time to see the blue grotto however I would love to take the chair lift as well before regrouping to the Marina and thanks for the tip about Dramamine

    1. Post

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