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Day Trip to Pisa, Italy

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Looking across the rooftops of old stone buildings in Pisa with orange terracotta roofs. Three large white stone buildings are in the distance including the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Pisa, Italy

Mamma MIA, the Leaning Tower of PISA! If Pisa isn’t on your Italy bucket list, I just don’t even know… it took me 4 trips to Italy to finally make it here, but alas, it finally happened.

I explored Pisa solo while staying in Lucca- it was a quick day trip to Pisa for me, but I loved it. It’s a very easy day trip to Pisa from Florence, Rome, and Tuscany by train via Pisa Centrale (Pisa train station) or by guided day tour. It’s also a great stop on your way to/from Cinque Terre.

So here’s everything you need to know for spending a day in Pisa.

Things to do on a one day in Pisa itinerary

Visit The Leaning Tower of Pisa

As one of the most iconic and stereotypical symbols of Italy, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a MUST. Just going to see the tower, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is free and accessible to everyone, If you want to climb to the top of the tower, you definitely need to buy tickets for your day trip to Pisa (ideally in advance).

Tickets are €20 and are based on entry times (they sell out). The area surrounding the tower is referred to as the Piazza dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) where you can also see a large cathedral/Duomo, museums, and more! You automatically get entry to the cathedral with the tower ticket. 

Super fun fact: Galileo proved the theory of gravity by dropping weights from the tower.

The whole area is absolutely beyond touristy, but that is to be expected… I say embrace it! Since I was traveling solo, I actually didn’t mind the crowds… more people to ask to take a picture of me!

A few hot tips:

  • Buy a ticket to the Leaning Tower in advance
  • Your knees and shoulders need to be covered to enter the Duomo
  • There are 294 steps to get to the top, but just know the steps are uneven, narrow, and marble
  • They won’t let you take bags up the tower (I had a little purse and they allowed it, but the lady in front of me had to take her purse to coat check which is in another building- she was livid) 

You can book various tours for the Field of Miracles, and even walk the Pisa City Wall.

Pisa City Center

After I did my touristy exploring, photo snapping, and climbed to the top of the tower, I wanted to check out the actual city center of Pisa. I had no idea what to expect because you NEVER hear about it, but it is super cute and a fun place to explore on your Pisa day trip. 

A large reflective river with many colorful old building lining its banks. In the distance a stone bridge connects both sides of the river
Exploring Pisa, Italy

Where to eat in Pisa

For lunch, I ate at a very NON-touristy restaurant filled with locals down a quiet side street called Osteria di Culegna Pisa. I had red wine and ravioli with ragu (Bolognese), followed by two gelatos (yes, two… I’m in ITALY) from random places as I walked around and looked at some shops.

Corso Italia is the main street with all kinds of shops and cafés. You’ll also stumble across beautiful architecture. It’s absolutely worth exploring the town and not only visiting the Field of Miracles.

If you happen to fly in or out of the Pisa airport, I also HIGHLY recommend Vanilla Café for Italian pastries/coffee (close to the airport). My driver (a local) took me before I flew out. I had cream puffs and a croissant with pistachio filling.

This croissant was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted and it GAVE ME LIFE. Disclaimer: a croissant a day does not keep the rolls away.

Overall, it was a quick day trip to Pisa, but super memorable! You could spend 1 day in Pisa or even half a day in Pisa if you were pressed for time. Just know that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is only a tiny sliver of cool things to see in Pisa in one day – so spend some time exploring the surrounding areas and the town.

A pinnable image with four images of Pisa with text that says, "Day trip to Pisa, Italy."

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