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.
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.
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.
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 €20 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 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.
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 about Italy
FLORENCE & TUSCANY: If this is your first visit to Florence, read our guide to the Best Things to Do in Florence and the best rooftop bars in Florence. If you plan to visit Tuscany, learn how to spend one day in Siena, things to do in Montepulciano, and the best things to do in San Gimignano.
AMALFI COAST: Learn how to travel from Rome to the Amalfi Coast and you have the option to visit Pompeii on the way. We also have a guide to the best towns on the Amalfi Coast, how to hike the Path of the Gods, things to do in Positano, and things to do in Ravello. And don’t miss our guide to the best things to do in Capri.
MILAN & LAKE COMO: Learn how to visit Milan on a day trip or while traveling between the Cinque Terre, Florence and Venice. Lake Como and Bellagio are two more beautiful places in Italy that are great day trip destinations.
DOLOMITES: For a list of where to go and what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in the Dolomites and Best Hikes in the Dolomites. Learn how to plan your trip with our Dolomites Itinerary Travel Planner.
We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and Puglia.
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