WHAT TO DO IN 1 DAY IN PISA – ITINERARY
Are you planning your Tuscany trip, especially your Pisa itinerary, and wondering about the best things to do in Pisa in one day? Then this post will help you. Here you will find out what to do in 1 day in Pisa + travel tips for your trip.
Pisa is mostly known for one of the most famous buildings in the world – the Leaning Tower of Pisa! I did not know much about Pisa’s other attractions, and I guess this is true for most people who have not visited Pisa yet. So, the question about more things to do is legitimate – this 1-day itinerary for Pisa will show you.
For sure it is one of the best day trips from Florence.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR A DAY IN PISA
Before jumping to the Pisa itinerary, here are a few travel tips that will help you plan your day better!
Is Pisa Worth Visiting For One Day
Yes, Pisa is worth visiting. Personally, I would not want to spend more than a day here, but one day in Pisa is great to see the Leaning Tower, explore the historic center, and enjoy some delicious Tuscan cuisine, all in just a few hours.
Also, Pisa is well-connected by train to other destinations in Tuscany, making it a convenient stop on a larger trip to the region.
🚆 How to Get to Pisa
If you come to Pisa for one day only, my tip is to get here via train. There are two main train stations: arrive at one train station and leave from another. So, this way, you do not have to go back and forth.
Get to Pisa S. Rossore station. From there, it is quite close to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which will be the first attraction to visit on this day.
On the way back (if you do not stay overnight), you can depart from Stazione Pisa Centrale.
🚗 If you get to Pisa via car: There is a car park – Pisa Tower Parking – close to the tower. However, spots are limited in the summer, so come early to get a paid parking spot (and don´t leave any valuables in the car, apparently theft is common there).
How to Get Around Pisa For One Day
With this Pisa itinerary, you will not need a taxi/car, nor do you – necessarily – have to use public transportation.
Yes, you will probably walk more than 8-10km, but it is so worth it. If you need to, you can hop on a bus. Don’t forget to buy tickets from a tobacco shop, as sometimes, you cannot buy tickets on the bus – plus they are more expensive. And you need to validate your ticket, whether you bought it from the bus or a tobacco shop/newsagent.
I only walked in Pisa – so my tip is to wear comfy shoes to explore Pisa on foot.
Best Time to Visit
Never visit Italian cities in the summer – at least not if you want to avoid the many tourists and the heat. Like hardly any other country, Italy is stuffed with people in the summer months, and Pisa is no exception. Many people visit the Leaning Tower, so especially in that area, it gets crowded. But even other areas are busy.
The shoulder season is certainly the best time to visit Pisa – especially in April or May (early June would probably be okay, too) or from mid-September to October, or even in the winter months. Those months also mean lower accommodation prices.
Pisa – Where to Stay
In case you want to stay overnight, here are some well-rated accommodations:
🛏️ This luxury hotel is rated one of Pisa’s best ones – find out more about the Pisa Tower Plaza.
🛏️ This B&B is surely no budget-friendly place, but its location is amazing. Check out rates for the B&B 7 Rooms.
🛏️ Hostels in Pisa also come with a price tag. If you are looking for a more affordable place to stay in Pisa, check out Safestay Pisa.
THINGS TO DO IN PISA IN ONE DAY
So, here are the best things to do in Pisa in 1 day. Ideally, you get to Pisa quite early – so, whether you come from Florence or another place in Tuscany, it means waking up early/earlyish.
Piazza dei Miracoli = Piazza del Duomo
9 am – Try to be at Piazza del Duomo early. In summer, this means being here around 8 am.My tip is to visit Piazza del Duomo first because this is the busiest place in all of Pisa – for a good reason. Here is where you will find the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Baptistery, which shares the piazza with the imposing Camposanto (sacred burial ground) and the Cathedral.
AND I advise buying the tickets in advance if you don’t want to stand in line forever or don’t want to come super early so you can be the first one in line.
TICKETS: There are several options. You have to pay an entrance fee for the attractions (except for the cathedral which is free). You can either buy
- single tickets for each attraction for 7€ (EXCEPT the Leaning Tower)
- a single ticket for the Leaning Tower for 20€
- a ticket that includes all attractions for 27€
- a ticket that includes all attractions except the Leaning Tower for 10€
These prices are for adults. There might be discounts available for younger people, so please check before buying a ticket for the full price.
If you book tours, double-check if the ticket is actually included.
So, here are the main attractions on Piazza del Duomo:
1 – The Cathedral (Duomo) – Cattedrale di Pisa
Visit the Cathedral – it is free! Okay, you probably want to know a bit more, so here is the info.
It is a medieval, Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary’s Assumption and a great example of Romanesque architecture. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Pisa and one of the main attractions in Pisa.
It is free to visit, but you will still need a ticket with a dedicated time on it. You can get the Cathedral ticket at the ticket shop (it is well-signed).
If you buy any ticket for one of the other attractions on the square, you get a free pass to visit the Cathedral, not subject to a fixed time. Then it is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance.
ℹ️ OPENING HOURS: The cathedral is open to visitors from 10:00 am to 6 pm and from 01:00 pm on Sundays and religious holidays.
ℹ️ TIP: Please dress appropriately and be silent inside.
2 – The Baptistery (the Circular Building)
The completion of the Baptistery took more than 200 years. Once finished in the 14th century, it was the second building on the piazza and is an example of the transition from the Romanesque style to the Gothic style.It is the biggest baptistery in Italy – Galileo Galilei was baptized here.
You can also visit the inside.
ℹ️ OPENING HOURS: It is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. You need a ticket to visit – either buy a ticket for this attraction only or a ticket that includes entry to several attractions.
3 – Camposanto (Monumental Cemetery)
The Camposanto is one of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tuscany. It is a massive cemetery.
A legend claims that bodies buried in this ground will rot in just 24 hours. You can also visit the inside and see medieval and early Renaissance art adorning the walls of the monumental buildings in the Camposanto.
ℹ️ OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: Single tickets for Camposanto are 7€, but you can also buy tickets for all attractions. The entrance is free on the 1 and 2 November on the occasion of All Souls and Saints day. Open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
4 – Sinopie Museum
Here lie the preserved, original sketches of the Camposanto, but you can also see preparatory drawings by numerous artists from the 14th and 15th centuries.
ℹ️ OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: Single tickets for the museum are 7€, but you can also buy tickets for all attractions. Open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
5 – Museo dell ’Opera del Duomo/Opera del Duomo Museum
Here you’ll find displays of treasures collected from the cathedral and baptistery, plus etchings of the original Camposanto frescos.
ℹ️ OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: Single tickets for this museum are 7€, but you can also buy tickets for all attractions. It is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
6 – Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, also known as the Tower of Pisa, is the cathedral’s campanile (bell tower).
As a result of an unstable foundation, it is tilted. But I am sure, it is safe to go up. Pretty sure. Yes, I guess it is safe. No, I am certain that it is safe and if dogs had been allowed on the tower, I would have climbed all the stairs to the top myself.
It is probably the most famous landmark in Pisa and maybe one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions.
A picture of you holding the tower up is a must – well, maybe. I did not take one, but in my defense: I was ashamed to ask a stranger to take a picture of me doing it, but if I had known someone there, I totally would have done so myself…because, as said, it is a must.
you can also visit the tower itself. Only a limited number of people are allowed inside the tower, and there are many stairs – 300 to be exact. You have to leave your bag, including small handbags, downstairs (no extra cost).
ℹ️ Tip: During the busy season (April to the end of September), I recommend buying tickets in advance. I visited in early April, and the lines were quite long at 9 am (and they did not get shorter)! I think “skip-the-lines-tickets” make sense in a country like Italy which bursts with tourists. Click here for skip-the-line tickets and guided tours.
OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: Single tickets for the tower are 20€, but you can also buy a ticket for all attractions for 27€. It is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
7 – Walls
There are also walls you can walk. It is just a very short path, but it gives you an elevated view of the piazza.
This was, by the way, the only attraction I was allowed to visit with my dog, and so I did.
ℹ️ Entry is about 3€ – this is not included in the “ticket for all attractions”.
If you have visited all attractions on the square, it took you probably several hours and it is already lunchtime. I did not do much here and was “done” after 2 hours or so.
From the Piazza del Duomo, head to the next pretty square – the Piazza dei Cavalieri. It is about 600 meters (less than 0.5 miles) from the Leaning Tower.
8 – Knights´ Square – Piazza Di Cavalieri
The Piazza dei Cavalieri is the symbol of the Medici rule over Pisa. During the Middle Ages, the piazza was the civil and political center of the city.The piazza is home to the Scuola Normale Superiore (the famous university, Pisa Normal School, that only accepts geniuses), the Torre dei Gualandi, also known as the Muda Tower, (made famous by Conte Ugolino’s tale in Dante’s Inferno), and the church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri.
From the piazza, head further south to the Arno River.
9 – Stroll Arno River
Walk along the beautiful Arno River, which is a river in the Tuscany region with a length of 241 kilometers. On a sunny day, it is charming and less busy than the Piazza del Duomo.
I walked all the way until the next bridge, which is Ponte di Mezzo. This way, I had the best view of one of the most unique churches I have come across in Italy – the Santa Maria Della Spina – and the Palazzo Blu and many other colorful buildings nearby.
10 – Santa Maria Della Spina
Santa Maria Della Spina is a very distinctive church. Its locations and size are very unique, to say the least. It was erected in the 13th century in the Pisan Gothic style and enlarged in the 14th century. In the 19th century, it was dismantled and rebuilt higher up the river (it was raised about a meter due to security reasons).
You can visit the inside and see the Madonna of the Rose by Andrea and Nino Pisano, and temporary exhibitions that occasionally take place inside the building.
ℹ️ It is great for taking a quick peek (and it is free to visit).
ℹ️ It is not open daily
11 – Palazzo Blu
Just keep walking a few more minutes to reach Palazzo Blu, a venue for temporary exhibitions and cultural activities.You can book guided tours and educational initiatives. But you can also visit independently.
ℹ️ Find out more about current exhibitions, prices, and opening hours here.
12 – Corso Italia
Walk until the Ponte di Mezzo and then slowly head to Corso Italia.
The two historical quarters of this side of the city, Mezzogiorno, are divided by this street. Corso Italia is the main shopping street with loads of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
13 – Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II
At the end of the street is the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. He was the first king of the reunited Italy and you will find a statue of him throughout the country.
Recently restored, it soon became one of the preferred meeting places in Pisa. I spent some time at this lovely square before heading to the main train station (Stazione Pisa Centrale), which is around the corner.
CONCLUSION: 1-DAY PISA ITINERARY
I liked my one day in Pisa and I think, there is more to it than just the “tilted tower”. But I think that half a day (if you don’t visit the inside of any attractions in Pisa) could be enough to see the main points of interest. You might have some time to drink a coffee and enjoy the Italian Dolce Vita.
I hope this post has helped you create your Pisa itinerary, and you will enjoy your one day in Pisa.
Do you prefer guided tours from Florence? Then check out these tours – sit back and relax and let the others do the work and organizing while you enjoy!
ℹ️ This tour from Florence has admission fees to the main Pisa attractions already included.
ℹ️ This tour from Florence offers some more stops – consider a combined trip from Florence to see Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa in one day (including wine tasting).
- Florence on a budget: Here is how to have an amazing time in Florence without spending a lot!
- Check out this 2-day Florence itinerary.
- Here are more amazing places to visit in Tuscany – the prettiest towns, villages, and cities in Tuscany.
- Visiting Italy for the first time? Then check out my travel tips for Italy.