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How To Plan the Ideal Florence to Pisa Day Trip

Are you planning a Florence to Pisa day trip? Both cities are pretty close, which makes Pisa a fantastic destination to visit. In this article, you’ll find all the info you need to plan the perfect trip. Check it out!

Pisa is one of Italy’s most iconic cities, mainly renowned for its leaning tower but offering so much more. Steeped in history and culture, this city is one of the best places to delight the architecture enthusiast in you, as it features striking monuments and plenty of interesting facts. 

Piazza dei Miracoli, formerly known as Piazza del Duomo, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the highlight of any visit to Pisa, as it’s where the most important landmarks (of which the Tower of Pisa is one, obviously) are located.

Image of the Leaning Tower of Pisa with the Cathedral in the background in Piazza dei Miracoli, inserted in a post about going on a Florence to Pisa Day Trip

Exploring the city doesn’t take that much time, so a Florence to Pisa day trip is the most popular way to visit. Whether you’re interested in taking Insta-worthy photos holding the Tower of Pisa, learning about its rich cultural heritage from an expert guide, or wandering around town on your own, I bring you the best methods to get from Florence to Pisa and plenty of tips to plan an epic day. Read on!

How To Get from Florence To Pisa

A day trip from Florence to Pisa can easily be organized by train. There are almost 50 trains covering the distance between both cities on a daily basis.

You’ll take the train at Santa Maria Novella station in Florence, and arrive at Pisa Centrale station merely one hour later. Tickets cost around 8, although the price varies slightly depending on the schedule you choose, and you can either buy them online beforehand or get your tickets at the station. 

The first train leaves as early as 4.30 AM, and your return to Florence can be as late as 10.30 PM, although you certainly don’t need that much time in Pisa. 

You could also rent a car, but I only recommend this option if you plan to explore more places outside of Pisa. Otherwise, the train is much more convenient

Best Tours To Pisa from Florence

If you don’t want to plan the visit and organize the train ride and itinerary, you can take a day trip with an expert guide. The transfers to Pisa and back will be included, and you’ll get to explore one of the most popular cities in Italy led by a local. 

▶️ A Tuscany Day Trip is a great way of visiting Pisa and some other gorgeous attractions in the Tuscan countryside. You’ll depart from Florence and head to the city of Siena for a guided tour, followed by a visit to the charming San Gimignano and to Pisa, where you’ll have time to roam on your own. Cap off the day with lunch and wine tastings at a vineyard. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ This Pisa Day Tour includes the transfers from Florence and an itinerary covering all the places you can’t miss on your visit to Pisa. Check out the Piazza dei Miracoli as you learn about the history of its buildings, access the beautiful Cathedral, and climb all the way up to the Tower of Pisa. You’ll also have free time to wander around town. BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Join this Pisa and Cinque Terre Full Day Tour for a memorable excursion from Florence. You’ll head to Pisa’s main square and can opt to access the Leaning Tower of Pisa before continuing to Cinque Terre. There you’ll visit the striking towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Vernazza. This tour from Florence includes a guide and all your transfers by train. BOOK IT HERE

▶️ If you want yet more options, I’ve written a full post about the ultimate Florence to Pisa tours.

What To Do in Pisa: One Day in Pisa Itinerary

Take the train from Florence to Pisa in the morning, and head directly to Piazza dei Miracoli, also known as the Pisa Complex. It’s where you’ll spend most of your time, as it’s home to the majority of attractions in the city. 

The walk from the train to the square takes around 20 minutes. It’s 1 mile away: definitely within walking distance, but if you’re feeling lazy you can take a taxi there. 

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The famous tower of Pisa on the right of the image, leaning to the left where the Pisa Cathedral stands. Picture taken on a clear-skied, summer day
Image by Elnur_ via DepositPhotos

The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is the star of the show at Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), and undoubtedly top of the list of things to do in Pisa.

This magnificent architectural marvel is known around the world for its tilt…which was completely unintentional. The tower, which features 8 floors and is 183 feet (56 meters) tall, began to tilt as the second floor was built, close to five years after construction began. 

The tower didn’t fall, though, and construction was completed 200 years later, resulting in the mesmerizing building you’ll see today. Its original purpose also differs from its current one, as it was intended to be Pisa Cathedral’s bell tower, but serving tourist purposes, its bells are now seldom used. 

You can climb the 251 steps to the top of the tower, from where the views of the square and the city are breathtaking. 

➤ I highly recommend getting a  Reserved Entrance to the Tower of Pisa in advance, as the lines to get your tickets on-site can be very long. This ticket will allow you to climb the Leaning Tower and visit the beautiful Cathedral, which you’ll get to explore at your own pace. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

This All-Inclusive Guided Tour is ideal if you’re looking to dive deeper into the city’s history and culture. Your guide will take you around Piazza dei Miracoli, telling you all about its magnificent landmarks as you marvel at the Cathedral’s interiors and visit the Baptistery. You can include access to the Leaning Tower as well. ➥  BOOK IT HERE

Pisa Cathedral

Image of the Cathedral of Pisa taken on a sunny day, with the clear blue sky in the background and green grass surrounding the building

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, otherwise known as the Pisa Cathedral, is an architectural masterpiece and a very important religious landmark. The cathedral was built in the 11th century in the Romanesque style, and it showcases a magnificent marble facade with intricate decorations and arches. 

 Step inside to admire its stunning artwork, from exquisite mosaics to elaborate carvings, Renaissance paintings, and bronze statues.  

Join a Guided Tour of the Pisa Cathedral to explore Piazza dei Miracoli with a knowledgeable guide, who will show you around as you learn about the history and architecture of its landmarks. A guided visit to the cathedral and the baptistery is included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Pisa Baptistery

Image of the Pisa Baptistery in Piazza dei Miracoli, with the Cathedral and the Leaning Tower in the back

Pisa BaptisteryBattistero di San Giovanni in Italian – is yet another architectural gem in the city. Its religious significance dates back to the 12th century; since then it has been a vital establishment around which the faith of the community revolved. 

Countless baptisms have taken place in this beautiful baptistery, the most famous being that of Galileo Galilei in the 16th century. While the building’s exterior is striking, make sure to enter the baptistery to admire its marble interior and get up close to the baptismal font.

The baptistery has yet another quality: incredible acoustics, which are demonstrated by an attendant frequently throughout the day. When he sings, his voice reverberates around the marble walls, creating an incredible echo. Musicologists have even gone to the length of suggesting that the baptistery is, besides a religious building, a musical instrument. It’s definitely a must see in Pisa!  

Camposanto Monumentale Cemetery

Image of the Camposanto Monumentale Cemetery in Pisa, Italy

Camposanto Monumentale is a sacred burial ground which, as most attractions in Pisa, is mainly renowned for its architecture. Its inner court is surrounded by a Gothic cloister with ornate arches, and it features a great number of astounding sepulchral monuments, frescoes showcasing scenes of life and death, and ornate sarcophagi. 

Built in the 13th century for burial purposes, today it acts as an open-air museum, where the city’s rich cultural heritage lives. While the artwork and architecture are the main attractions at Camposanto, there’s still a solemn and very peaceful atmosphere that you won’t find in regular art galleries.  

There are two other attractions at the square that you could include in your day trip if you just want to focus on the Piazza dei Miracoli. They’re the Opera del Duomo Museum and the Sinopie Museum, both of which showcase great artworks. 

Piazza dei Cavalieri

Image of Palazzo della Carovana, in Piazza dei Cavalieri (Pisa) seen from the front

Piazza dei Cavalieri, originally known as Piazza degli Anziani, is a fascinating square that can be found in the heart of Pisa. The square underwent several renovations in the 1500s to pay homage to the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen, celebrating its power but also showcasing the historical legacy of Pisa. The square’s name was then changed to Piazza dei Cavalieri, which means Square of the Knights.

The square is dominated by the Knights’ former headquarters, Palazzo della Carovana, which is a perfect example of Renaissance architecture, showcasing beautiful facades and impressive statues that denote the grandeur of the military order. 

Have Lunch

Tagliatelle Carbonara served on a white plate with bread slices on the side, a perfect dish to enjoy on a Florence to Pisa Day Trip

After exploring so many amazing monuments, it’s time to take a break and get some food…you’re probably starving! 

Il Ristoro della Pe’ is a highly-rated and very local restaurant that offers outdoor seating on the side of the street, and serves classic Italian dishes at fair prices. You can get a tasty pasta dish, meat specialties, or light bites, and don’t forget to pair them with a glass of wine or local beer. 

Another fantastic eatery in Pisa is La Focacceria dei Sani, which is vegan and vegetarian-friendly and makes delicious filled focaccia. Pair it with a refreshing Spritz for the ultimate culinary experience, or take it to-go and enjoy it in your favorite spot in town. 

These two eateries I’m suggesting are by the square, not around the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Those places are usually super touristy, overpriced and the food is not great.

Borgo Stretto

The picturesque Borgo Stretto in Pisa, with its yellow buildings and archways illuminated by the sunlight. To the right of the image there's a covered portico and a grey motorbike parked in front
Image by Dudlajzov via DepositPhotos

Borgo Stretto is Pisa’s main street, a very charming and lively one that holds great historical significance, as it dates back to Medieval times. The street is lined by colorful buildings, cute cafés, and boutiques, so it’s a great place to go for a relaxing stroll after lunch. 

Retaining much of its original charm, Borgo Stretto features cobblestone paths and elegant archways, and to this day remains a place for gathering and shopping. There are also several gelaterias along the way, so you might as well get dessert, right? 

The best gelato in Pisa: La Bottega del Gelato

La Bottega del Gelato is undoubtedly the best place to get delicious, artisanal gelato. Established in 1979, this family-run business crafts the creamiest gelatos, following Italian traditions and using only the best natural ingredients.   

They are made fresh every morning, and there’s a great variety of flavors for you to choose from, starring classics such as chocolate and fruits and some bolder options like Nutella, Tiramisu, Pistachio di Sicilia, and Mediterranean yogurt. 

Palazzo Blu

Blue Palace of Pisa seen from the side, with a road and other buildings to the right of the image
Image by stefano.zaccaria1704 via DepositPhotos

As you lick your gelato, make your way to Palazzo Blu. This cultural institution, housed in a blue Renaissance building, hosts temporary exhibitions and other events related to culture and art. The museum is also home to an auditorium and an exhibition area reserved for Medieval history and archeology. 

It’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts, showcasing elegant interiors with very carefully curated artworks and sculptures, which depending on the current exhibition display contemporary or classical pieces. 

Tours, educational programs, workshops, and school visits are also offered by Palazzo Blu. 

Walk on the City Walls of Pisa

Picture of the ancient city walls of Pisa, with vividly green grass on the lower part of the image and blue skies on the upper part

Go back to Pisa Centrale in a very unique way: walking along the city walls of Pisa. Stretching over 1.2 miles (2 km), the ancient walls are a testament to the city’s Medieval past and are very well-preserved. Admiring the Piazza dei Miracoli and the Leaning Tower from a new perspective as you walk on the 36-foot (11-meter) fortifications, you’ll pass by bastions, towers, and gates

The city walls were erected between the 12th and 14th centuries as a defense mechanism, and as you trace the steps of centuries of history you’ll appreciate their strategic location.

You can do it on the way back to the Pisa train station before returning to Florence by train.   

Tips for Visiting Pisa on a Day Trip

▶️ Get an early start. While getting from Florence to Pisa by train is very fast and the city is relatively small, visiting the monuments without rushing, taking a leisurely lunch, or getting lost in the charming streets is key for an enjoyable experience. If you want to see everything in Piazza dei Miracoli, you’ll need a few hours. 

▶️ Buy your tickets online in advance. The lines for tickets at some of the landmarks, especially at the Tower of Pisa, can be very long and take forever. I recommend securing at least the ticket to Pisa ahead of time. Better yet if you can buy tickets for all the attractions before visiting!

▶️ Take comfortable shoes. I recommend walking around the city to truly experience it and check out its best attributes, so your feet need to be comfy.  

▶️ If you have very little time for your visit, you can go on a half day trip to Pisa from Florence and just focus on Piazza dei Miracoli, the most important attraction there.  

Florence to Pisa Day Trip FAQs

Is a day trip to Pisa worth it? 

I would say absolutely yes! Pisa is a beautiful city, and its Piazza dei Miracoli alone is worth the trip. Besides, it’s only one hour from Florence, so it’s very easy to reach. 

What is the easiest way to get from Florence to Pisa?

Taking the train is the best way to get to Pisa. Depending on the train, the journey takes around one hour, and the train tickets cost as little as 8€. Booking a tour is another great way of visiting Pisa!

Is it easy traveling from Florence to Pisa? 

Traveling from Firenze to Pisa by train is very easy and fast, as the journey takes merely an hour. 

How far is Pisa from Florence?

The city of Pisa is 61 miles (98 km) from Florence, and the journey between the two cities – if you take a train – takes anywhere from 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Can you visit Pisa on a half-day trip?

If you’re in a rush, you can take a quick half-day trip to Pisa, focusing on Piazza dei Miracoli and its monuments. Traveling by train between Florence and Pisa takes just one hour, so it’s entirely possible to make the trip and back in a few hours. If you want to access any of the attractions or climb the Tower of Pisa when you’re there, buy your ticket in advance to save time.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.