Latest update: 26 April 2021
After only 20 attempts I’ve got it: my ultimate leaning Tower of Pisa photo – well, almost. Let’s get you one too, and then climb the Leaning Tower and see what more there is to do in the city. Check the tips.
Pisa. Het is zo’n stad die je “even” aftikt als je in Toscane bent. Toren van Pisa? Check, en doorrrrrr…. Ik bezoek Pisa ook op die manier. Vroeg in de ochtend arriveer ik in Pisa en voor de lunch ben ik alweer weg. Ik moet nog naar Luca vandaag. Vakantie vieren is hard werken. 😉
Tip 1: Admire Piazza dei Miracoli
Admire the Square of Miracles: Piazza dei Miracoli. The square is also known as the Piazza del Duomo. Here, you find the cathedral, the baptistery, the monumental cemetery, and the Tower of Pisa. Well-maintained, fenced lawns surround the buildings in the Piazza. That fence is very welcome because that way, you can take a decent picture of all those historic buildings without getting frustrated with the crowd.
Going early in the morning really pays off. The square is the most popular part of Pisa and everyone wants to get a glimpse of the Tower of Pisa. That means not only a lot of tourists but also many street vendors and stalls.
Coffee tip! Drink your coffee like the Italians do: leaning on the bar at Bar Tiziano. It’s right around the corner from the Leaning Tower of Pisa – and nice and cheap.
Tip 2: Climbing the Leaning Tower
The Leaning Tower was once intended to be the bell tower of the huge cathedral next to it. It took 200 years to build the tower. Over the years, the tower became increasingly crooked. In the 90s, the Italians stabilized the Tower of Pisa.
In the Piazza dei Miracoli, you have the best view of the Tower of Pisa and you can also photograph it most beautifully. Many people try to do this as creatively as possible by pretending to push it over or capture it like an ice cream. At a stall, I pay a euro for an empty cone and then make several brave attempts.
If you want, you can also climb the Leaning Tower. For this, you have to buy a ticket of € 18 (price in 2020) and choose the time you want to enter the tower. There is only limited space, so this is arranged very strictly. Be careful, you can’t bring your bag inside. You must hand it over (free of charge) next to the box office at the Opera della Primaziale Pisana. Do this well before it is your turn to climb the Leaning Tower – if you’re late, they will deny you entrance.
Once in the tower, I realize how crooked the Tower of Pisa truly is. Due to the intensive use, the marble stairs are hollow and smooth. If you have difficulty walking, climbing the Leaning Tower is not a good idea. Even with a fear of heights, it may not be that smart. I, for one, suffer from it quite a bit during the climb, but even more so when I’m on top of the tower. I cling to the wall and hardly dare to stand. The view of the huge duomo is really fantastic. Perhaps even more impressive than the tower itself, but I find it terrifying to be up here.
How high is the Tower of Pisa?
The Tower of Pisa is 56 meters high.
Where can I buy tickets for the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
Buy your tickets at the official site of Piazza dei Miracoli. You can also buy a ticket on arrival at the office, just behind the Leaning Tower. But if you want to climb the tower, it’s better to book a ticket and time slot in advance.
What is the address of the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
The Tower of Pisa’s address is Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI. This is the Google Maps location.
What are the opening hours of the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
Normally, the Tower of Pisa, like the buildings around it, is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. But there are always exceptions! Please check the opening hours here.
Tip 3: Visit the huge duomo, for free!
The cathedral in Piazza dei Miracoli is the only building that is free to visit. You can enter from 10 am. This duomo is impressive in size and looks – the marble is gorgeous. The inside of the Duomo Santa Maria Assunta has mainly white and black marble. On the outside, it has mostly white marble. For the best view of the duomo of Pisa, the top of the Leaning tower is where you need to be.
Tip 4: Marvel at the baptistry (Battistero)
The baptistery is round on the outside, but inside I discover hexagon shapes. It is the largest baptistery in Italy, and you can go anywhere you like once inside. Through the small windows, you can gaze at the enormous duomo next door.
You pay a fee to visit the Baptistery, Battistero, just like you do for the other monuments. Only the duomo is free. For the first monument you pay € 5, if you visit two it costs € 7 and if you want to see three, you pay € 8. Buy your tickets online.
Tip 5: Stroll through the Camposanto
The Camposanto is the monumental cemetery in the Piazza dei Miracoli. It is a very serene place to stroll around. It is an open-air gallery with long, wide corridors. About 600 grave plates are incorporated in the floor. Paintings and frescoes hang on the walls, and many statues are to be admired. You can also see how the bombings of World War II severely damaged the Camposanto and how it was restored.
You have to pay an entrance fee for the Camposanto. You can do this at the ticket office or online in advance.
If the weather allows you can walk on the city wall of Pisa for € 3. The walk is 3 km long. Buy your ticket.
Tip 6: Surround yourself with palaces in the Piazza dei Cavalieri
Around the corner from the Leaning Tower and Piazza dei Miracoli is the Piazza dei Cavalieri. There is not just one palace on this square – there are several. You are now in the heart of the medieval city. The most striking palace is the Palazzo della Carovana. The palace has a long, slightly curved structure. Nowadays, this is the main building of the University of Pisa.
Tip 7: Church on the water: Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Spina
The Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Spina church (what a mouthful!) has a super beautiful location next to the river Arno. The small church has all kinds of towers, gables, and niches. The church’s name is thanks to the crown of thorns of Jesus that was kept here – a thorn is spina in Italian.
Tip 8: Walk along the Arno river
The Arno flows through Pisa. It is the longest river in Tuscany, it’s about 241 kilometers. Impressive buildings frame this wide river. There are huge villas and palaces to marvel at.
Get even more out of your visit to Pisa
Do you have some more time? Then here are other fun things to do in Pisa:
- Take a bike tour in Pisa with Baja Bikes
- Prefer walking? Then do a walking tourin Pisa.
- Check out Keith Haring’s famous Tuttomondo mural in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II
- Go shopping on the Corsa Italia, the main street of the shopping area
- Visit the botanical garden
- Admire fortress Cittadella Vecchia
- Try one of Get Your Guide’s options
How to get to Pisa?
Pisa is easily accessible by train and car. Pisa’s train station is about a 25-minute walk from the Leaning Tower. On the way, you immediately pass the mural of Keith Haring and then cross the Arno river. Find train and bus tickets at Omio or bus tickets for longer distances on Busbud.com.
Parking isn’t expensive in Pisa. At this parking lot, I paid € 2 per hour. A great price for a parking space so close to all the sights of Pisa. Speaking of parking and cars, are you still looking for a rental car? I recommend SunnyCars: all-inclusive, no hassle.
More travel inspiration for Italy
Do you want even more inspiration for your Italy trip? You might like to purchase a travel guide. I recommend the Lonely Planet because it contains a lot of practical information and is also available in separate PDFs or in an e-book version. You can buy it at Amazon or Book Depository, for example. The latter is usually the cheapest.
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