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 to 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.
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.
Climbing the Tower
There are almost 300 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 30 minutes or less 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.
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 8.90 € 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. Take 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 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.
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.
This post was updated May 2018.
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