19 Things to Do in Pisa, Italy

Everyone knows about the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, and it is really fun to see, but here are 18 other awesome things to do in Pisa, Italy!

19 Things to Do in Pisa, Italy

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Italy, Tuscany, Florence, and Pisa… oh my! 

Time for a quick breakdown:

  • Italy is comprised of 20 regions.
  • Tuscany is a region located in west-central Italy.
  • Tuscany is made up of 10 provinces.
  • Pisa and Florence (the capital of Tuscany) are the most popular provinces for tourists to visit.  
Tuscany Italy

You are in Europe AND you are in Italy, AND you are in Tuscany, AND you are in Pisa!

(In the US this would be like… North America, then the United States, then the state, and then the city.) 

I'm so excited, let's skip right to it!

Now that you understand exactly where you are, let’s get to all the fun things to do in Pisa, Italy!

Best Time to Visit Pisa, Italy

BEST: The best time to visit Pisa, Italy is in May, June, September, and October. This is when you will find the best weather for exploring. In the fall it is the best weather and best season for wine tasting.  

WORST: The summer months of July and August are very hot, expensive, and quite busy

How to Get to Pisa, Italy


If you’re flying directly to Pisa then you will fly into (PSA) the Pisa International Airport. It is also known as the Galileo Galilei Airport. The next closest airport is in Florence, Italy. Since it’s a small city, from the Pisa airport, you can take a short cab ride to your hotel or to see the top attractions.


The majority of people visit Pisa from Florence, the capital of Tuscany, or from Rome, the capital of Italy.

The train ride from Florence to Pisa takes approximately 1 hour. From Rome to Pisa the train ride takes a little over 2 hours. The Pisa train station isn’t far from the main attractions. 

Cruise Ship:

I got to Pisa when I took an MSC European Cruise. Once you’re at the cruise port, you can take a bus or taxi to Pisa. It’s about a 30-minute ride

Are you thinking about cruising around Italy too? CLICK HERE to read my MSC Cruise with all the details!

Car Rental:

Are you planning to rent a car when you’re in Italy?

IMPORTANT NOTE: Cars are NOT allowed in city centre. Although Pisa is very walkable you might want to rent a car so you can explore outside of the city center or take a day trip to see all the best views of Tuscany.

PRO TIP: check with your credit card when you rent a car because some of them offer insurance coverage. 

How to Spend 1 Day in Pisa, Italy

Piazza Del Duomo, Pisa:

If you only have 1 day for Pisa then you have to visit the Piazza Del Duomo, Pisa. Piazza Del Duomo means “Cathedral Square” in English.

This area is also known as the Square of Miracles or the Field of Miracles, or Piazza dei Miracoli. You might know it as, “the cool area in Pisa with all the famous landmarks”.  

Any way you look at it, this “Square” holds the most popular attractions in Pisa. You will see incredible white-marbled Medieval architecture displayed within a short walk of 7 monuments. They are located in an amazing green space that is enclosed by city walls. 

One day in Pisa- Piazza del Duomo

This UNESCO world heritage site is a must-see for your trip to Pisa! It is FREE to walk around the square but you need tickets to enter some of the historical buildings. If you’re planning your own trip, check the hours of operation ahead of time. 

PRO TIP: Make sure you adhere to the dress code for entering religious buildings in Italy. Cover your knees and shoulders, and no hats or sunglasses inside.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa has been made popular by this famous monument. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is to Italy what the Eiffel Tower is to France. 

Basically, this popular structure is the freestanding bell tower of the cathedral

You can climb the spiral staircase with 297 steps all the way to the top of the tower.

Leaning Tower of Pisa Stairs

I get it… you might be short on time and all you really wanted to see was the Leaning Tower of Pisa to check it off your bucket list. If this is the only monument you’re interested in, I still suggest you get one of the combination skip-the-line tickets I mention below so you aren’t waiting in the typically long lines.

Why does the Leaning Tower of Pisa lean? 

Of course, the most common question is… Why does the Leaning Tower lean? What is the tower’s lean all about?!

To put it simply… the main reason is because it was built on a poor foundation. The soft soil couldn’t handle the tower’s weight from the marble structure and it started to sink. The 7 bells alone weigh 23,000 pounds

Attempts have been made over the years to compensate for the tilt, but it is currently 15 feet off of its axis. The other beautiful buildings in Miracle Square all have a slight curve as well.

Leaning Tower of Pisa sunk

It just wasn’t the right location for massive marble structures to be built on soft ground. Here you can see at the base of the tower the structure is below ground level

PRO TIP: Go all the way to the BACK of the tower for fewer people when getting your fun picture!

Andrea Capone Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

It’s interesting that the iconic Leaning Tower wasn’t made famous because of its incredible design, but rather because of the lack thereof. To its defense, it has survived 4 major earthquakes and 2 World Wars so the design isn’t ALL bad! 

Does size matter?

It’s REALLY important that you realize just how small the Leaning Tower of Pisa is because otherwise, you will be VERY disappointed when you see it. 

It’s only 183 feet tall. (Here’s a little perspective… the Eiffel Tower is over 1,000 feet tall.) It’s still a great tower but don’t expect to be overwhelmed by its size

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the “big show” but the Pisa Cathedral is also an amazing piece of Romanesque architecture. The white marble, unending arches, incredible gold gilded ceiling, and giant bronze doors are incredible.

Things to do in Pisa- Cathedral of Santa Maria and Leaning Tower of Pisa
Things to do in Pisa- Cathedral of Santa Maria

It is FREE to visit the inside of the cathedral but you still need to obtain an entry ticket from the ticket office if you didn’t get the combination ticket.

Things to do in Pisa- Cathedral Interior

Combination Ticket: Leaning Tower and Cathedral of Pisa

If you aren’t looking for a guided tour and you just want skip-the-line entry tickets then I recommend getting the Leaning Tower and Cathedral combination ticket to easily visit the best attractions. It’s the best way to visit the most popular monuments in the Square if you’re short on time because you get to skip the typically long lines!

These tickets tend to SELL OUT so make sure you reserve them now.


The Pisa Baptistery of St. John is one of those historical buildings you never knew you needed to see until you’re there. It is the first structure you notice when you enter the square and it’s pretty massive. This is the largest baptistery in Italy. 

The Baptistery, or Battistero di San Giovanni, is a Roman Catholic building that clearly illustrates the change from Romanesque to Gothic Style architecture. Look at the difference from the base to the top of the building. 

One Day in Pisa Baptistery


Combination Ticket: Leaning Tower, Cathedral, and Baptistery

This ALL-INCLUSIVE TICKET is your BEST OPTION  for entry tickets AND a guided tour! I think the best way to make fun memories when you travel is with a guided tour. This option is the best way to visit all the monuments in the Square because you get to skip the line AND you have a guide to tell you all about the historic buildings!

These tickets are LIKELY TO SELL OUT so make sure you reserve them now.

Don’t worry, there’s free cancellation if your plans change. The best part is you don’t pay until 72 hours prior to your trip. I love that I can reserve now and pay later! 

Sinopie Museum

The Sinopie Museum contains various drawings and artwork. The majority of the artwork comes from 14th-century frescoes that were previously located in Camposanto Cemetery. After a fire in WWII, the frescos were detached from the walls and applied to panels to be preserved. 

NOTE: Make sure you read a little bit about the Sinopie Museum before you go so you understand the importance of what you’re viewing.  

PRO TIP: Visit Sinopie Museum BEFORE you visit the Cemetery so you have a proper context of both sites.

Are you ready to get packing for your trip to Pisa, Italy? CLICK HERE to read about How to Pack a Suitcase That Saves You Money! 

Camposanto Cemetery

This graveyard is a monumental cemetery. It was built on soil that was brought back from where Jesus was crucified.

Unlike your typical cemetery, Camposanto is a burial ground for affluent men and it also holds famous artwork and frescos

You can take a one-hour guided tour of the monumental cemetery to learn more about the famous people who are buried there and the artwork in the stunning open-air museum

Opera del Duomo Museum

The Opera del Duomo Museum holds various sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts. 

If you’d like the self-guided audio tour The Museum of the Opera del Duomo has an app that allows you to take a tour. It is available in 5 languages and has 55 listening points for you to explore the 26 rooms of the museum. The cost is $1.99 to download the app. 

Another option is the combination Opera del Duomo Museum and Cathedral audio tour. This one lets you skip-the-line at the Opera del Duomo Museum and also gives you an audio guide of the Baptistery AND the Cathedral.

One day in Pisa Miracle Square Ticket area
Ticket Purchase Point

If for some reason you didn’t buy any tickets ahead of time then you can get tickets at the Square of Miracles. It isn’t an obvious entrance when the area is crowded, but it is located on the right side after you enter the Square. Just be prepared that you will likely have to wait in a long queue

Explore a Little Beyond the Square

If you still have more time after visiting the monuments then check out the area a little bit. There will be some street vendors selling souvenirs and some options for food and snacks. Since it’s a popular tourist area the food and snacks are a little more expensive than if you travel outside of the Square.  

One Day in Pisa, Italy

Don’t forget to check out the green spaces and side streets for more cute photo opportunities!  

One Day in Pisa, Italy
One Day in Pisa, Italy

How to Spend 2-3 Days in Pisa, Italy

If you only have 1 day then make the Square of Miracles your priority. If you have more time to do some exploring, then check out some of these other fun things to do in Pisa.  

Shopping at Borgo Stretto Street

The best place to do some shopping in Pisa is Borgo Stretto Street. It was awarded the Travelers’ Choice Award and ranks #16 out of 218 things to do in Pisa. It’s a great place to shop, and check out views from the banks of the Arno River. While you shop and admire the picturesque architecture, make sure you grab something to eat at one of the quaint cafes or delicious restaurants

Things to do in Pisa- Shopping at Borgo Stretto Street

PRO TIP: You can pass through Borgo Stretto Street if you are walking from the train station to the Square of Miracles.

Check out a Mural and Get Cool Pictures

Location: P.za V. Emanuele II, 18, 56125 Pisa PI, Italy

If you’ve been around for a minute you know that I love to visit murals. I mentioned that when I was in Nashville, we did a mural tour on New Year’s Day when everything was closed.

This popular mural is located on the exterior of the Sant’Antonio Abate’s church in Pisa. I’d suggest that if you want to do a self-guided tour of the “Tuttomondo” mural by the famous American artist, Keith Haring, then plan it on a day when other Pisa attractions are closed. I know it’s only one mural, but it won the Travelers’s Choice award and it ranks #8 of 218 things to do in Pisa because it’s pretty cool!

If you want to do a guided walking tour to learn more about the artwork and the area in Pisa then check out this fun 1 hour guided tour

Visit the Church of Santa Maria della Spina

Location: Lungarno Gambacorti, 56125 Pisa PI, Italy

This little Gothic-style church is located along the beautiful Arno River. It’s worth visiting to see the incredible architecture on the outside and religious relics on the inside, such as a spike from the crown of thorns that Jesus wore.

It should only take you about 20 minutes to tour the Church of Santa Maria della Spina but be aware of the very limited hours. They are typically open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am – 1:30 pm

Things to do in Pisa- Church of Santa Maria della Spina

Visit the Palazzo dei Cavalieri

Location: P.za dei Cavalieri, 7, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy

Check out Palazzo dei Cavalieri, also known as Knight’s Square. This is a little more off the beaten path but it’s a great location to visit if you want to see a quieter, less touristy, area in Pisa. There isn’t a place to sit and relax. This is more about enjoying the amazing architecture if you have extra time to explore more of Pisa. 

Hey! Maybe you’re thinking, “Dang Andrea, you know ALL THE GOOD TRAVEL TIPS!” GREAT NEWS… you can  SUBSCRIBE with your email to get notified of new posts so you never miss a thing!

Food Tours in Pisa, Italy

I’ve admitted that I’m all about guided tours, ESPECIALLY when I’m in another country. It’s the best way to learn about how locals live, it’s a safe way to get around when you have no idea where you’re going, and the language barrier is no longer an issue.

If you are spending more than 1 day in Pisa then here are some really fun food tours

This 3.5-hour Pisa Food Tour is a perfect way to see Pisa and have a delicious experience. You will eat at the top 5 food spots in Pisa. This is a great way to taste a variety of local Italian cuisine and avoid tourist traps!

The meeting spot for this walking tour is at Piazza Garibaldi.

Eat at a Local's Home

Can you think of a better way to eat the local food than in a local’s home? These are some really cool tours for dining experiences inside the home of an Italian in Pisa

Shop and Eat:

Take an awesome Market Tour and have a meal! This 4-hour guided tour takes you to the local market to learn how to shop for local foods.

After the market tour, you will return to the home of a local for a private cooking demonstration. That’s where you will enjoy a 4-course meal prepared just for you!  

This private tour is available as a lunch or dinner option, so the market tours typically start at either 11:00 AM or 6:00 PM.

Shop, Cook, and Eat:

A really cool tour option is the Market Tour, Private Home Cooking Class, and Dinner. It is similar to the previous tour, except that with this option YOU are the one who is doing the cooking. It’s a hands-on experience in the home of a local Italian. 

The 5-hour tour includes tasting 3 local recipes

Cook and Eat:

This Hands-On Cooking Class at a Local’s Home is ALL about cooking! You will prepare and eat 3 local recipes with a certified cook in their home. 

With this amazing experience you will create delicious food (and core memories) while eating authentic dishes in Pisa, Italy. 

Cook and Eat:

This Private Pasta-Making Class at a Local’s Home is obviously ALL about the pasta. You know you came to Italy to eat some great pasta, but now you get to learn how to make it! During your cooking class, you will learn how to make 3 local pasta dishes

This fun class usually begins at 10:00 AM or 5:00 PM.


Maybe you are ready to skip the shopping and cooking and cut straight to the eating part! (I don’t blame you.) The Dining Experience at a Local’s Home is perfect for an intimate and relaxing feast

You will get to watch your live “cooking show” as the local chef prepares you a 4-course lunch or dinner meal

The personal dining experience typically begins at 12:00 PM or 7:00 PM.

GREAT NEWS: All of the above cooking experiences include red and white wine with your meal!

Day Trips From Pisa, Italy

The best Pisa day trip you can take is to enjoy wine tasting along the Tuscan countryside

Check out this Half-Day Tuscany Chianti Wine Tasting Tour! You will spend 4-hours touring the Chianti wine region with incredible sights of Tuscany’s rolling hills. 

You get to learn about winemaking as well as extra-virgin olive oils. Of course, you will also get to taste some delicious red and white wines while you’re there! 

For this tour, you will meet your guide at Piazza Sant’Antonio for transportation to/from the winery

Another great option is this 5-hour Winery Tour in the Tuscan Countryside. This tour takes you to TWO amazing wineries. You will get to sample wines and olive oils with bread

For this tour, there is hotel pick-up and drop-off (at select hotels) or you can meet the guide at the Pisa Central Train Station.  

I can’t think of a better way to spend the day in Tuscany!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Pisa worth a day trip?

Yes, it is definitely worth a day trip to see Pisa, Italy! Even if you are only able to spend the afternoon at the Square of Miracles, you should make the trip. 

Is it better to stay in Pisa or Florence?

If you are between the two locations then I’d suggest you stay in Pisa because it is much cheaper than Florence.

It’s actually a great centralized base location where you can take ALL your day trips to visit the other regions and provinces on your list. 

Here are all your hotel options for Pisa, Italy.

Are there public bathrooms in Pisa?

There are a few public bathrooms (known as the water closet) but they charge to use them. It was 1 Euro per person. If you eat at a cafe or restaurant then of course you can use their restroom for free. 

Public Restroom in Pisa Italy

Is Pisa walkable?

Yes, you can walk from the train station to the Square of Miracles in approximately 25 minutes. Stay in the Santa Maria district to walk to all of the major tourist attractions. 

Since Pisa is small, there’s no metro system. Although it is completely walkable you always have the option to take the bus to do more exploring.  

Are you heading outside of Pisa to other parts of Italy? CLICK HERE to read the Ultimate Guide on How to Use the Metro in Europe! 

Things to Do in Pisa Ticket Links

I like to purchase my tickets in advance online so I have them all in an app on my phone. Viator and Get Your Guide allows you to book in advance and cancel within 24 hours with NO FEES. I recommend experiences from these sites because they are the ones that I use and trusts!

If you want to try one of the activities I’ve suggested in 19 Best Things to do in Pisa, Italy then please purchase your tickets in advance because many of them have limited space and are likely to sell out!

If you liked 19 Things to Do in Pisa, Italy, then you might also want to read Tips for Your First Time in Rome, Italy

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LET’S CONNECT: Which one of the tours from “19 Things to Do in Pisa, Italy” do you think you’d definitely want to try? Comment below!

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