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In a historical city like Pisa, you can't fail to find things to see and do. This charming riverside city is full of amazing architecture and museums, as well as a vibrant café and bar scene where you can rub shoulders with the locals.

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Pisa

Iconic landmark

Standing at 60m tall with 207 columns arranged around eight storeys, the world-famous Leaning Tower is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy. Take a tour inside and feel the lean of the structure as you climb your way to the top.

Pisa

Piazza dei Miracoli

This awe-inspiring site is where you’ll find a trio of attractions to discover. As well as the Leaning Tower, it’s also the site of the huge Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery. The Cathedral comes complete with works by Pisano, while the Baptistery is the largest of its kind in Italy.

Pisa

Pisa by night

Pisa has a vibrant bar scene and drinks here are great value too. A great place to start is along the River Arno. The Bazeel Bar and Arno Vivo are fab for a chilled drink by the waterfront. For something a little more chic, head to the cafés on Borgo Stretto or try Piazza Cairoli for some cocktail bars.

Pisa

River walk

Stroll along the river and you’ll see the Santa Maria della Spina, a Gothic church that dates back to 1230. Over in Piazza dei Cavalieri, admire the Renaissance buildings that house the city’s university as students whizz by on their bicycles. Further down the river is the Museo Nazionale dei San Matteo. This former monastery is now home to Donatello’s bust of San Lussorio and is well worth a visit.

Pisa

Local life

One of the best things about Pisa is that it’s far more relaxed than many other cities. While most visitors are hanging round the tower, you’ll have plenty of time to blend in with the locals. Leisurely stroll the cobbled streets, shop for antiques along Via Palestro and stop off for a frothy cappuccino or freshly baked bread from a local deli.

Pisa

Day trip to Florence

A short train ride will allow you to explore another famous Italian city - Florence. With grand cathedrals, manicured gardens and medieval palaces, the birthplace of the Renaissance makes for a great day trip. Take time out from sightseeing and have the famed Florentine steak for lunch with a glass of local Chianti.

Flight Guide

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The Basics

  • LANGUAGE: ITALIAN
  • CURRENCY: EURO
  • TIME DIFFERENCE: +1HR
  • COST OF A BEER: €2
  • 3 DAY PUBLIC TRANSPORT TICKET: €17
  • 3 COURSE MEAL: €22

Food and drink

For the best ice cream, head to Bottega Del Gelato on Piazza Garibaldi. There are over 30 flavours and you can even get your gelato in a brioche bun! Chickpea soup with sciocco bread is a good option for lunch and on a balmy summer’s eve, don’t miss out on the famous Italian ‘aperitivo’. Head to the waterfront bars between 6 and 9pm for some complimentary nibbles with your cocktails and a chat with the locals.

Getting around

As Pisa is so compact, it’s easy to get around on foot or you can do as the locals do and hop on a bike. There are bus and train services too if you want to explore further afield. A direct train service links Pisa with Florence so you can easily explore both cities in one trip.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

leaning tower

The famous bell towers stands at 60m high and is one of four buildings that make up the cathedral complex. The tower is open once again so you can now climb to the top of this unique structure.



Pisa Baptistery

pisa baptistery

The Baptistery is the largest in Italy and stands to the west of the Duomo. This striking structure is very grand and if you get a chance to hear the acoustics then you’re sure to be impressed.



Cathedral of Saint Mary

cathedral of saint mary

Situated in the heart of the Piazza del Duomo, the cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mary of the Assumption and it became the city’s cathedral in the 13th century.



Insider Tips

1. The university’s botanical gardens make a picture-perfect place to stop for a picnic, away from the tourist crowds round the tower.

2. To really blend in with the locals, drink your coffee at the bar rather than sit at a table – it’ll be cheaper too.

3. If you like classical music, catch a show at the Teatro Verdi in September as opera season kicks off.

4. June is a great time to visit as Pisa celebrates the Luminara di San Ranieri. This festival sees the whole city – including the tower and the river – illuminated by the flicker of candlelight.

5. If you hop on the train, don’t forget to validate your ticket or you may get a fine.

6. If you want to explore more than one of the sights at the Piazza dei Miracoli, you’ll get a discount if you buy a combination ticket rather than each individually.

Shopping

For souvenirs, stick to the area around the tower. For some serious shopping head to Corso Italia and Borgo Stretto which are the two main shopping streets in Pisa. The Corso is a good area for cheaper brands and for the high end labels head to Stretto.

Top Hotels in Pisa

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