Icon of the most beautiful landmarks in Italy in the world, the Tower of Pisa is one of the most popular attractions at any time of the year. If you think that the ancient Maritime Republic is famous only for its Leaning Tower, you are off track: from the monuments in Piazza Duomo, to slow paceful walks along the Lungarno and captivating little restaurants, you can easily plan a day trip to visit the city of Pisa.
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the famous Miracle Square
- Leaning Tower of Pisa: opening hours, tickets and reductions
- Leaning Tower of Pisa hours and special openings
- Is it worth climbing the Tower?
- Tickets to the Tower of Pisa: Tickets online or on site?
- Combined ticket and guided tours
- Which is the best time to visit the Tower of Pisa?
- Hourly visit and luggage storage
- Leaning Tower of Pisa with children: How accessible is it?
- Instagram and celebrities: Some curiosities about the Leaning Tower
- Where to eat in Pisa
- What to see in Pisa besides the Tower
Don't be afraid by the fact that Pisa is often described as an overcrowded tourist destination: you just need to know what to expect so as to plan your visit well! Follow our advice and organize your day-trip to the Leaning Tower in the best possible way.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the famous Miracle Square
The Tower of Pisa is the bell tower of the Duomo (or Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta) and is located in Piazza Duomo. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, the square is also home to other enchanting monuments, called "miracles" by the Italian writer Gabriele D'Annunzio, hence the nickname Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square).
Did you know that the Tower of Pisa was the 8th Italian monument most booked by tourists in 2018? In the classification drawn up by Tripadvisor on the most visited attractions in Italy with booked visit, the Leaning Tower was placed in the TOP 10 behind undisputed icons such as the Colosseum, first in Italy and in the world, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Vatican Museums.
Leaning Tower of Pisa: opening hours, tickets and reductions
Bought on the spot, the ticket to climb the Tower of Pisa costs 18€ (and it also includes the entrance to the Duomo which is still free). The ticket is for hourly entrance, which means that you must choose a date and time slot for when you want to visit the attraction.
The Monumental Cemetery, Baptistery and museums are not free, so you will need to get a separate ticket, which can be purchased on site or online. Reductions and free entrance depend on the attraction you want to visit:
- The visit to the Tower is free only for disabled visitors accompanied with a personal assistant. A certification must be presented and free admission is guaranteed only on site (i.e. without reservation). For safety reasons, the climbing to the Tower is forbidden to children under 8 years (made or to be made during the year).
The visit to the Cathedral of Pisa is free of charge. If you have purchased a ticket for one of the other attractions, the time of the visit to the Duomo is free. If you want to visit the Cathedral only, you need to go to the ticket office on the spot, where you must book the time of the visit. For Baptistery, the Monumental Cemetery and museums the entrance is free for disabled visitors with an accompanying person and for children under 11, accompanied by an adult.
Leaning Tower of Pisa hours and special openings
You can have a tour to the Tower of Pisa up to 30 minutes before closing time. The entrance is generally allowed from 9:00 to 18:00 but times can vary depending on the months of the year and scheduled events.
- In the summertime, for example, there are night openings with tours of the Pisa Tower until 22:00.
Is it worth climbing the Tower?
The first question that every tourist asks himself while planning his visit is: "Should I climb the tower or should I simply look at it and take a selfie?". According to many people, the price of the ticket is a bit high but everyone points out that the view is beautiful and "climbing up to the clouds" is exciting. So YES, it's worth climbing the Tower of Pisa!
Second question: "Which Pisa Tower ticket should I purchase? " Let's see better.
Tickets to the Tower of Pisa: Tickets online or on site?
When you want to buy tickets for the Tower of Pisa you only have to choose among the different options the one that seems most advantageous. Taking them on the spot generally allows you to save a few euros on booking costs, but watch out for the inconvenient:
- Getting tickets on the spot also means wasting time in line at the ticket offices: either you're lucky and the queue is fast, or you can stay in line for an hour or more, especially in high season.
- Under the beating sun or the heavy rain, queuing up for too long is a stressful experience. If you choose this option, bring an emergency umbrella since there are not too many areas in Miracle Square where you can take shelter.
To overcome these problems, many tourists choose to book their tickets in advance online which gives fast track entry privileges and allows to skip the ticket line.
Combined ticket and guided tours
One convenient solution is to buy the combined ticket online which, together with the Leaning Tower, includes an entry to the other monuments in Piazza del Duomo.
Beside the advantage of purchasing a unique ticket, the combined ticket has almost the same cost of single entries for each attraction in Pisa, but with the advantage to "skip the queue" at the Tower.
If you don't want to climb the Tower and maybe you prefer a full cultural immersion to a visit on your own, you are spoilt for choice among the guided tours that explain history and anecdotes about the city of Pisa (a glass of Chianti? Some tours also include wine tasting of excellent local wines!).
Which is the best time to visit the Tower of Pisa?
October and November are the best months if you want to avoid long queues. Low season and acceptable weather, especially on a sunny day. If you travel during this period, you can also avoid taking your ticket online and can plan your visit in the middle of the day, when there are more people. In Summer or during the long weekends, you'd better organize your visit early in the morning and buy the priority entrance tickets to avoid any long queues.
Hourly visit and luggage storage
Even if you are in one of the most visited attractions in the world, most tourists judge positively the organization of the structure.
The tickets booking system allows to plan the time of the visit. Keep in mind that the visit to the Tower of Pisa lasts about 20 minutes and the groups to climb to the top leave just after the previous tour. Remember to reach the entrance of the Tower at least 15 minutes before the time you've booked. Leave everything in a free guarded wardrobe (bags, backpacks or suitcases cannot be carried during the climb), then get in line and after a few minutes you can finally climb to the top.
Leaning Tower of Pisa with children: How accessible is it?
The 273 steps of the spiral staircase make the climb to the Tower of Pisa practically impossible for those traveling with small children or for those with reduced motor skills. The visit is strongly unsuitable even for tourists with heart disease or who, in general, do not enjoy good health conditions. As said, for safety reasons, the climb is forbidden to children under 8 years of age (even if made) while those under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult.
- Always carry with you a personal document (ID, passport) or, in case of disability, a suitable certification to be presented to the cachier.
The other attractions of Piazza del Duomo are easy to access even if you travel with a stroller or pram.
Instagram and celebrities: Some curiosities about the Leaning Tower
The Tower of Pisa is present in many Italian and international movies: we find it in "Amici Miei - Act II", "Totò al Giro d'Italia" but also in "Superman III", when the superhero manages to "straighten" the Leaning Tower.
Do you know why the Tower of Pisa is leaning? It is not a virtuosity of the builder, but its tilt is caused by a failure of the ground below, composed of sandy silt. The inclination is 3.9° with respect to the vertical axis.
The Tower of Pisa is now a celebrity also on Instagram: on the social network you can geolocalize at the tower or use the #torredipisa. Try searching on your smartphone and you will see a string of shots of tourists in the strangest pose possible.
Where to eat in Pisa
In the surroundings of the Tower of Pisa you will see people having an unplanned pic-nic or eating packed lunch in every corner of grass; the area of Piazza del Duomo is dotted with stalls where you can enjoy a quick snack.
Even the small restaurants in the area have a little bit lost the local peculiarities to give space to food (and prices) for mass tourism. If you want to eat something typical, you don't need to move too much. A 10/15-minutes-walk is enough to reach the taverns of via Cavalca or via San Frediano. Order pappa al pomodoro, pappardelle with hare sauce and stockfish pisana style.
- If you have the opportunity to have a out-of-town trip, join the Marina di Pisa and go to taste seafood risotto and spaghetti with clams "da Gino" or gnocchi with scampi to "Teste e Lische" restaurant.
What to see in Pisa besides the Tower
You'll definitely need a whole day for the Piazza dei Miracoli sightseeing. Besides the Leaning Tower, you can also plan a visit to Cathedral, at Baptistery of St. John and the Monumental Cemetery and the museums, all within walking distance.
If you are not tired, in the evening take advantage of a relaxing stroll along the Lungarnos of Pisa, small streets that run along the Arno river inside the historic city centre. The Ponte di Mezzo is the most suggestive one, near Borgo Stretto. Stop for an ice cream by "gelato di Toto" or "Gelateria de Coltelli", according to many the best ice cream joints in Pisa. Then continue your walk to the Church of Santa Maria della Spina and enjoy the beautiful panorama.
If you stay in the area a few more days, you can rent a car and leave for a trip to discover the bucolic Tuscan countryside and taste delicious meats and fine local wines.