WHAT TO DO IN PISA IN 1 DAY
- 1 WHAT TO DO IN PISA IN 1 DAY
- 2 TRAVEL TIPS FOR ONE DAY IN PISA
- 3 How to Get to Pisa
- 4 How to Get Around Pisa For One Day
- 5 1 Day in Pisa – Best Time to Visit
- 6 Pisa For 1 Day – Where to Stay
- 7 THINGS TO DO IN ONE DAY IN PISA
- 8 Piazza dei Miracoli = Piazza del Duomo
- 9 Knight Square – Piazza Dei Cavalieri
- 10 Stroll Arno River
- 11 Santa Maria Della Spina
- 12 Palazzo Blu
- 13 Corso Italia
- 14 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II
- 15 CONCLUSION: WHAT TO DO IN PISA IN ONE DAY
Are you planning your Tuscany trip and especially your Pisa itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in Pisa in one day? Then this post will help you plan your trip and find out about what to do and see the Pisa main attractions and more Pisa travel tips.
Pisa is mostly known for one of the most famous buildings in the world – the Leaning Tower of Pisa! The bell tower is one of Pisa’s main attractions.
However, the question about more things to do in Pisa is legitimate. I did not know much about Pisa’s other attractions, and it seems that there is not much to do in Pisa in one day. For sure it is one of the best day trips from Florence – but what is there to do and see?
Of course, there is much more to do and see in Pisa, and there are some more stunning buildings as well, and this 1-day Pisa itinerary will help out find out about the best things to see in Pisa.
While the leaning tower will surely dominate your day, here are a few more places to visit in Pisa and some travel tips for your first trip to the city.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR ONE DAY IN PISA
Before jumping to the itinerary, here are a few travel tips for Pisa that will help you plan your day better!
How to Get to Pisa
- If you come to Pisa for one day only, my tip is to via train (yes, ditch your car and get here by train, which is super easy and comfortable). There are two main train stations, and my tip is to arrive at one train station and leave from another. So, this way, you do not have to go back and forth.
- Try to 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. The approach is lovely already.
- 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, as 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.
1 Day in Pisa – Best Time to Visit
Never visit Italian cities in the summer- at least not if you want to avoid tourists’ heat and crowds. 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 Florence if you can visit Florence in April or May (early June would probably be okay, too, though not perfect) or from mid-September to October, or even in the winter months. Those months also mean lower accommodation prices.
Pisa For 1 Day – 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 Allegroitalia 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 – but if you are looking for a more affordable place to stay in Pisa, check out the rates at Pisa Hostel.
THINGS TO DO IN ONE DAY IN PISA
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 try to be 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, and it is a must-see in 1 day in Pisa. Because here is where you will find the Leaning Tower of Pisa, as well as 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 – except for the cathedral, you have to pay for the entry. You can either buy
- single tickets for 7€ for each attraction 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.
Some tours take care of it, and you book the tour you are interested in.
So, here are the main attractions on Piazza del Duomo:
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.
You will need a ticket to visit the Cathedral – 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 (well signed) (for other Pisa attractions, you have to pay). If you buy any ticket for one of the other attractions on the square, you get a free pass to visit the Cathedral, not subjected to a fixed time. Then it is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance.
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.
- TIP: Please dress appropriately and be silent inside.
The Baptistery (the Circular Building)
The completion of the Baptistery took more than 200 years, but 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 these days. You can also visit the inside (this is where Galileo Galilei was baptized).
OPENING HOURS: It is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. You need a ticket to visit it. You can either buy a ticket for this attraction only (around 7€) or a ticket that includes entry to several attractions (20-27€).
Camposanto (a Monumental Cemetery)
The Camposanto is one of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tuscany.
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.
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.
Here lies the preserved, original sketches of the Camposanto, but you can also see preparatory drawings by numerous artists from the 14th and 15th centuries.
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.
Museo dell ’Opera del Duomo / Opera del Duomo Museum
Here you’ll find displays of collected treasures from the cathedral and baptistery, plus etchings of the original Camposanto frescos.
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.
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 taking 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-do activity in Pisa.
But 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).
Tickets at the ticket center are around 20€ (for the Leaning Tower only, you can also buy tickets that include all attractions for 27€).
- Tip: During the busy season (April end of September), I recommend buying tickets in advance. I visited in early April, and the lines were quite long at 9 am (and the lines did not get shorter)! I think “skip-the-lines-tickets” make sense in a country like Italy which bursts of tourists. Click here for skip-the-lines tickets and guided tours.
OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: Single tickets for the tower are 20€, but you can also buy tickets for all attractions. It is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
There are also walls you can walk. It is just a very short path, but it gives you an elevated view over the piazza.
Entry is about 3€ – this is not included in the “ticket for all attractions”. This was, by the way, the only attraction I was allowed to visit with my dog, and so I did.
If you have visited all attractions on the square, it probably is already lunchtime, and it took you several hours – 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 del Cavalieri. It is about 600 meters (less than 0.5 miles) from the Leaning Tower.
Knight Square – Piazza Dei Cavalieri
The Piazza del Cavalieri is the symbol of the Medici rule over Pisa, and during the Middle Ages, the piazza was the civil and political center of Pisa.The piazza is home to the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa Normal School), the Torre della Muda (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 and
Stroll Arno River
Walk along the beautiful Arno River.
On a sunny day, it is charming and less busy than the Piazzale del Duomo. It is also one of the most beautiful places in Pisa.
I walked all the way until the next bridge, which is Pont 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.
Santa Maria Della Spina
Santa Maria Della Spina church is a very distinctive church. You can visit the inside, and though it is not as spectacular, it is great for taking a quick peek (and it is free to visit). Its locations and size are very unique, to say the least.
Just keep walking a few more minutes to reach Palazzo Blu, a venue that is a center for temporary exhibitions and cultural activities.You can book guided tours and educational initiatives – but you can also visit independently (find out more about current exhibitions, prices, and opening hours here).
Walk until the Ponte di Mezzo and then slowly head to Corsa Italia.
The two historical quarters of this side of the city, Mezzogiorno, are divided by this street. Corsa Italia is the main shopping street with loads of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II
At the end of the street is the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.
Recently restored, it soon became one of the preferred meeting places in Pisa, and it is a lovely square that I spent some time in before heading to the main train station (Stazione Pisa Centrale), which is around the corner.
CONCLUSION: WHAT TO DO IN PISA IN ONE DAY
Okay, these are my tips on how to spend one day in Pisa. I tried really hard and still had an hour or two to spend – however, to be really honest, there was not much I was interested in seeing.
- 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!
- Half-day trip from Florence – find out more here.
- This tour from Florence has admission fees to the main Pisa attractions already included.
- This tour from Florence offers some more stops – what about a combined trip from Florence to see Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa in one day (including wine tasting).
- Florence on a budget 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.
I liked my time one day in Pisa and think that 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.
I hope this post has helped you create your Pisa itinerary for 1 day, and you will have fun one day in Pisa.