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Visit Pisa: Your travel guide

As Galileo’s hometown, it seems written in the stars that Pisa would shine brightly. Tuscan cuisine, loads of bicycles and a river primed for regattas – there’s more to Pisa than its adorably crooked tower. But don’t forget to get that essential shot of you “holding” it up!

Things to do in Pisa

Santa Maria della Spina
This tiny church quite literally has a thorny past. It used to house a barb from Christ’s crown, they say. This spiky relic moved to another church in1333, but the metaphorical presence of the artefact helps to maintain the holiness of this Gothic gem. Its ornate marble spires combine to create a tip-top photo from the bridge over the River Arno.
Lungarno Gambacorti, 50 - 56125
Open Tuesday–Sunday 10:00–14:00.
National Museum of San Matteo Museo Nazionale di San Matteo
Pisa’s most extensive collection of artwork is stored in the dim rooms of this museum. Formerly a Benedictine monastery, the chambers now house collections from the 12th-17th centuries. The gilded bronze bust of San Lussurio by Donatello is said to contain the saint’s skull. Into Islamic ceramics? Peruse the world’s widest assortment, right here!
Piazza San Matteo in Soarta, 1 - 56126
Open Monday–Saturday 08:30–19:00, Sunday 08:30–13:30.
Botanical Gardens of Pisa
The lush aromas drifting through Pisa’s botanical gardens move the mind as well as the soul. Owned by the university, this is the oldest botanical garden in the world. Students and professors examine and nurture the cornucopia of plant life that’s been gathered from five continents. Walk through the seashell-covered façade and inhale the freshest, fullest breath in all of Pisa.
Via Luca Ghini, 5 - 56126
Open Monday–Saturday 09:00–18:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Tuttomondo Mural
American art in Italy. Painted by U.S. artist Keith Haring, the “All-world” mural is made of 30 colourful figures. Each one represents a different aspect of mankind. This, Haring’s only permanent display of public art, was inspired by an encounter with a Pisan student in New York. Sit at Keith’s Café, across from the mural, and art-gaze for days over a cappuccino.
Via Zandonai - 56125
Piazza dei Miracoli
The Square of Miracles, as Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio called it, is a stunning sight. Four medieval monuments frame a grassy lawn. When the sun sets, colours dance along the buildings’ white marble walls – a sight that has everyone reaching for their cameras. It’s here that you’ll find the infamous Leaning Tower, so come ready to say “formaggio” (cheese)!
Piazza del Duomo - 56010
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Perched on mantelpieces around the world is the same photo. A figure bends over, arms extended towards a tilting tower, as if holding it up. Welcome to the real thing. Snap your own iconic picture. Then experience the interior yourself. On the way up to the top, you can really feel its “leaning” quality – it adds to the adventure of the climb.
Piazza del Duomo - 56010
Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-21:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Pisa Cathedral
Inside Pisa Cathedral’s majestic marble façade there's a tall tale. Legend has it that one day during mass, Galileo fixated on the low-hanging pulpit lamp as those around him prayed. While the lamp swayed, Galileo was struck with the idea for the law of the pendulum. Fact or fiction? Who knows! Either way, that very same pulpit lamp is now known as the Lamp of Galileo.
Piazza del Duomo - 56010
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-20:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Baptistry
This magnificent dome is homage to St. John the Baptist, whose life story is told through the ornate artistry inside. Hear that? A single word echoes around the interior for almost a minute. But the acoustics of Italy’s largest baptistery aren’t the only thing that hit the right notes with visitors. The extravagant exterior also draws a camera-snapping crowd.
Piazza del Duomo - 56010
Open Monday-Sunday 08:00-20:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Campo Santo
This “holy field” contains some sacred soil from Golgotha, the place of Christ’s crucifixion. A walled cemetery and marble cloisters frame the grassy square and its patches of hallowed earth. Tombs are pressed into the floor of the cloisters and ornate Roman sarcophagi line the walls. Many wealthy Pisans slumber for eternity around you. Bow your head in respect.
Piazza del Duomo - 56010
Open Monday-Sunday 08:00-20:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Piazza dei Cavalieri
This square lives up to its name. Piazza dei Cavalieri – Knights’ Square – is an open, shadeless space with grand buildings clustered on the perimeter like knights around a ceremonial table. At this assembly of great figures sits the Renaissance Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, the corner-shaped Palazzo dell’Orologio and at the head, the stunning Palazzo della Carovana. Arise!
Piazza dei Cavalieri - 56126

When to go to Pisa

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25 ℃ 16 ℃
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16 ℃ 9 ℃
12 ℃ 5 ℃
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Traveller's reviews and photos

Sergio
10
Exceptional
Very nice Tuscan city, beyond the Leaning Tower (Tip: Visit the Piazza dei Miracoli by night!) and well worth exploring freely by foot. Great food (e.g. Pisani Doc). Not to be missed, even if one has just landed at the airport (15 minutes with the shuttle train) and is heading elsewhere.
Sergio
Germany
9 January 2018
Lavinia
8
Very good
Nice places to visit are Pisa, San Gimiliano, 5Terre, Spiza and many more . Very good restaurant in Pisa was L'ETICHETTA , is in centre.
Lavinia
Malta
27 December 2017
Iain
8
Very good
Nice and quaint city with many historical sites worth a visit. You must buy a ticket for the Tower. The view is impressive and definitely worth the effort to climb the stairs
Iain
Spain
2 January 2018
10
Exceptional
There is a lot more to Pisa than a wonky tower although it really is a sight to behold. The old town has quaint squares and some beautiful buildings and numerous lively coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
United Kingdom
5 January 2018
Lesley
10
Exceptional
Lots to see and within walking distance from our hotel. Lots of good places to eat at very reasonable prices and everyone so friendly .. Took a train to Florence which was very easy to get to too. Very pleasant stay.
Lesley
United Kingdom
5 January 2018

Accommodation and hotels in Pisa

Grand Hotel Duomo

7.7 Good

Score from 2,787 reviews

£58

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    282 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    202 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    178 related reviews
Grand Hotel Bonanno

7.9 Good

Score from 4,746 reviews

£41

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    158 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    122 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    98 related reviews
Hotel Bologna

8.4 Very good

Score from 3,176 reviews

£33

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    288 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    172 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    143 related reviews
Hotel Roma

8.1 Very good

Score from 2,498 reviews

£38

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    267 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    157 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    65 related reviews
Hotel Di Stefano

8.4 Very good

Score from 1,733 reviews

£54

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    120 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    110 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    51 related reviews
NH Pisa

7.9 Good

Score from 2,627 reviews

£40

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    416 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    202 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    161 related reviews
Hotel Galilei

7.6 Good

Score from 1,380 reviews

£55

Average price per night
  • “good connection to airport”
    86 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    59 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    33 related reviews
Relais Centro Storico Residenza D'Epoca

8.2 Very good

Score from 1,171 reviews

£41

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    130 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    110 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    68 related reviews
Hotel Repubblica Marinara

8 Very good

Score from 1,340 reviews

£46

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    37 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    34 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    30 related reviews
Discover Pisa

Local tips for Pisa

Relax in Piazza Santa Caterina
Loredana by Loredana

Loredana has lived in Pisa for 10 years after moving here to study.

Less famous than other piazzas, Santa Caterina is a beautiful place to sit and admire the Gothic and Romanesque design of Santa Caterina Church. It's surrounded by the warm tones of surrounding façades, overlooked by ancient trees.

  • Piazza Santa Caterina - 56127
Experience free art on the banks of the Arno
Giulia by Giulia

Giulia spent 3 months studying in Pisa and loved the buzz of the city.

The historic Palazzo Blu is recognisable by its pastel-blue façade and hosts free art exhibitions throughout the year, which include Pisan paintings dating back to the 14th century. The café is worth visiting for a little break!

  • Lungarno Gambacorti 9, - 56125
  • www.palazzoblu.org
  • Open Tuesday–Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday–Sunday 10:00–20:00.
Explore Pisa's riverside
Alice by Alice

Alice enjoys exploring historic Italy with a glass of wine in one hand and a camera in the other.

For a more unusual evening stroll, head to the Lungarno Mediceo, which flanks the Arno River and harbours an impressive range of historic buildings. It’s great after dusk, as there are lots of bars and restaurants. Don't miss the Mediceo gastropub’s delicious burgers and craft beers.

  • Lungarno Medicieo, Pisa
Snack on some cecina
Romina by Romina

Half-Italian, half-Australian Romina loves her beer and rock festivals.

Head to Pizzeria Il Montino to try some cecina — a delicious, thin focaccia bread made from chickpea flour and great for a mid-morning snack.

Pisa's other leaning tower, San Michele degli Scalzi
Róisín by Róisín

Róisin loves to discover Italy’s hidden treasures and finds Pisa a great place to uncover by foot.

Pisa’s second leaning tower, this 12th-century Romanesque church sits next to the River Arno. It’s well worth a visit and its interiors are beautiful – a 13th-century crucifix is complemented by traces of frescoes depicting the life of Isaac.

  • Via S. Michele degli Scalzi, 167 - 56124
Read our FAQ on this destination >

Recommendations for Pisa

the sights are worth viewing, but it was very busy with coach loads of tourists who had been brought from their cruise ships. Usual hassle with vendors in these tourist honey pots, but you have to see the tower!

The cathedral was beautiful. I went to mass early Sunday morning - they had a program so I could follow along with the responses in Italian and it was a very pleasant experience.

What made history come alive was the monuments, churches, cathedral and the famous leaning tower. To be able to climb such a monument was very memorable.

Went to the leaning tower at night time and it was really quiet. Beautiful at night also when it is all lit up.

We walked around the city and this gave us the option of seeing more and getting a better feel for it.

Booking.com asked travellers...

Why would you recommend Pisa for food?

The food we had was very reasonably priced but was very tasty too.

Lots of souvenirs but quite expensive. You can haggle.

Booking.com asked travellers...

Why are the monuments in Pisa noteworthy?

Beauty of piazza dei miracoli!

Leaning tower etc.

Transport

Pisa transport

Air - Pisa International Airport

Galileo Galilei International Airport is located around 3 km from the city centre. The easiest way to get to the airport is by the PisaMover bus service which takes less than 10 minutes to reach Pisa Centrale Railway Station, running every 10 minutes and costing EUR 1.30 each way. The service runs from 06.00 until 00.00 every day. A taxi will cost between EUR 6 and 10, and a EUR 2.55 supplement applies on public holidays and between 22.00 and 06.00.

Train

Pisa Centrale Station is the city’s main railway hub and many buses and taxis leave from outside its entrance. Run by Trenitalia, it offers connections to other Tuscan towns, such as Florence and Lucca but trains are not used to travel within the city itself. You can buy tickets online or at the station. Be aware that the service is often subject to delays and that there is often no air conditioning on the trains, especially on regional services.

Bus

Several bus lines depart from Centrale Station and tickets cost EUR 1.20 for 70 minutes, EUR 1.60 for 2 hours and EUR 1.90 for 4 hours, when bought at machines or online. Tickets purchased on board cost EUR 2 and remember that tickets need to be validated once you’re on the bus. A day ticket costs EUR 3.70 and you need to write your name on it.

Taxi

Taxi ranks be found at the airport, the train station and at Piazza Duomo. Official taxis are white and all apply a minimum fare of EUR 6. Journeys after 22.00, on Sundays and on public holidays are subject to additional supplements. Taxis aren’t generally used to travel around, as the centre is so small and best explored by foot or bike.

Car

Driving isn’t recommended in the city centre and there are several restricted areas. Pay parking spaces can be found along blue lines and fares vary depending on time and location. You can buy a pre-paid card at a tabaccheria shop, or pay at the meter, where charges range from EUR 0.60 to EUR 2. Three free, large car parks can be found around the north of the city: Via del Brennero, Via di Pratale and Via Pietrasantina with some offering shuttle buses to the centre.

Bicycle

Cycling is the best way to get around this small university town. The CicloPi system offers bike rental at 15 stations across the city and hire costs EUR 5 per day, or EUR 10 for a week. Its stations have silver, black and red-coloured bikes, and you can arrange bike hire at its main office on Via Carlo Alberto. Alternatively, there are lots of bike rental companies around Piazza dei Miracoli, which normally request ID and a damage deposit.

Food in Pisa

Top restaurants in Pisa

Good value
Italian
Antica Trattoria Il Campano
  • Via Domenica Cavalca, 19 - 56126
  • Open Monday–Tuesday 12:30–15:00 and 19:30–22:45, Thursday 19:30–22:45, Friday–Sunday 12:30–15:00 and 19:30–22:45.
  • www.ilcampano.com
  • 0039 050 580585
Cheap 'n' tasty
Italian
Gelateria De' Coltelli
Good value
Italian
Il Bistrot
  • Piazza Chiara Gambacorti, 17 - 56125
  • Open Monday 13:00–15:00 and 19:30–23:00, Wednesday–Friday 13:00–15:00 and 19:30–23:00, Saturday 13:00–15:00, Sunday 13:00–15:00 and 19:30–23:00.
  • www.ilovebistrot.it
  • 0039 050 26360
Cheap 'n' tasty
Italian
La Taverna di Pulcinella
Good value
Italian
L'Antico Vicoletto
Good value
Italian
La Grotta
Cheap 'n' tasty
Italian
Pizzeria Il Montino
Good value
Italian
Lo Sfizio
High-end dining
Gourmet
Osteria Bernardo
  • Piazza S.Paolo all'Orto, 1 - 56127
  • Open Tuesday–Saturday 20:00–23:00, Sunday 12:30–14:30 and 20:00–23:00.
  • 0039 050 575216
High-end dining
Italian
La Pergoletta
Good value
Indian
Namaste India
  • Via S.Bernardo, 34 - 56100
  • Open Monday–Sunday 11:30–15.00 and 19:00–00:00.
  • 0039 050 40604
High-end dining
Gourmet
Hostaria Le Repubbliche Marinare
Good value
Italian
L'Artilafo
Cheap 'n' tasty
Middle Eastern
Al Madina
High-end dining
Italian
Osteria dei Cavalieri
  • Via San Frediano, 16 - 161092
  • Open Monday–Friday 12:30–14.00 and 19:45–22:00, Saturday 19:45–22:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
  • 0039 050 580858
Good value
Italian
Pizzeria Tavola Calda La Tana
  • Via San Frediano, 6 - 56126
  • Open Monday–Saturday 12:00–14:30 and 19:00–22:30.
  • 0039 050 580540
High-end dining
Gourmet
Peperosa
  • Via Renato Fucini, 10 - 56126
  • Open Monday–Saturday 19:45–01:00, Sunday 12:30–16:00.
  • 0039 050 314 4170
High-end dining
Gourmet
Ristorante La Clessidra
  • Via del Castelletto, 26/30 - 56100
  • Open Monday–Saturday 19:30–22:30.
  • 0039 050 540160
Good value
Italian
Pizzeria del Galileo
Good value
Italian
San Domenico Italian Bistrot
Cheap 'n' tasty
Italian
Gusto al 129
  • Via Santa Bibbiana, 10 - 56127
  • Open Monday–Friday 12:00–14:30 and 18:30–23:00, Saturday 18:30–23:00.
  • 0039 050 6203117
High-end dining
Italian
Ristorante Galileo
Cheap 'n' tasty
Italian
Gusto Giusto
  • Via San Giuseppe Cottolengo, 25 - 56125
  • Open Monday–Saturday 20:00–00:00. Changes seasonally.
  • 0039 340 7380544
High-end dining
Seafood
Osteria San Paolo
Good value
Italian
Osteria del Violino
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