We’re sure you’ve seen the photos of this mesmerizing monument in Europe. Yet, going to Italy to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person is a whole different story! Here’s everything you need to know about planning your trip to Pisa and how to climb to the top of this iconic building.
10 Tips For the Leaning Tower of Pisa Italy
1. How to Get to Pisa Italy
The first step of all of this is actually get to Pisa! For many, the easiest way to travel to this Unesco World Heritage Site is by flying directly into Pisa International Airport. From there it’s just a quick taxi or bus ride into the city of Pisa.
If you’re already in Italy you can also rent a car or take public transportation. You should know that Pisa is only 83 km (51 miles) west of Florence. This makes it simple to include in your Italy road trip or even make a day trip here. It’s about a 4 hour drive from Rome, but know that the trains are also a fast and reliable option in Italy.
When looking into rental cars be sure to check out the website Discover Cars. This is what we always use to compare prices of different companies and find the best deals.
2. Pre-Book Your Tower of Pisa Tickets
The most essential thing to do beforehand is to book your Tower of Pisa tickets. This is even more important if you are visiting on a day trip or have a short amount of time in the city.
When you purchase your ticket you will be given a time slot. This is the ONLY time you will be allowed to go inside the tower of Pisa and climb the spiral staircase.
Obviously, this is done to protect the structure so there are never too many people visiting it at once. Since the number of slots for each time is limited, the popular ones go first. By booking prior to your arrival, you will have the choice of which time works best with your schedule.
Not to worry though! If you didn’t book in advance you can head to the official ticket office across the square from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Just know that sometimes the wait can be hours long this way. Also, don’t be surprised if there isn’t anything available until much later in the day.
3. More Historic Buildings in Pisa
With the general Leaning Tower of Pisa ticket, you’ll be given entry to the beautiful Cathedral as well. Keep in mind there is a dress code to go inside the Duomo di Pisa. Like many churches in Italy, shoulders are required to be covered in this part of the religious complex.
To visit the other historic buildings around the Tower of Pisa you’ll need a different ticket. Luckily, you won’t need to reserve a time in advance for these attractions and they’re located close together.
They are also a great way to use your time while you wait to experience one Italy’s most famous landmarks. Below are more of the best historical sites to see in Pisa.
- Opera del Duomo Museum
- Battistero di San Giovanni
- Cathedral of Pisa
- Square of Miracles
- Sinopie Art Museum
4. Tower of Pisa Italy Guided Tour
A great way to see the historical area of Pisa is with a local guide. You will see numerous groups huddled together learning about the Leaning Tower of Pisa on your visit.
Also, remember that Pisa is one of the most popular day trips in the country. There are tours running from Rome, Florence, and other places all around Italy.
The construction of the Tower of Pisa started in 1173 and took 200 years to complete. The architect Bonanno Pisano had an active role in its original design, but it wasn’t intended to lean! That’s right. One of the world’s most famous leaning towers was actually due to poor planning.
Definitely look into tour guides for more little-known facts and background information of la Torre di Pisa. You’ll find out all about Italy’s leaning tower and the incredible history surrounding it.
5. Check Your Bag Before Entering the Pisa Tower
So you have your ticket and you’re ready to head up the legendary Tower of Pisa in Italy! If you have a bag with you it’s time to check it before you make the climb to the upper floors.
Not even a small purse or camera bag is allowed inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa. That means you’ll have to leave your bags inside one of the nearby lockers. Fortunately, these are included with your ticket and are located right across from the Pisa Tower.
15 minutes before your selected time slot you should go over to leave your bag. You’re given a key card that you return after your visit to get your belongings back. Make sure to take out anything important that you need (like your camera) before heading to the Tower of Pisa.
6. Line Up for the Tower of Pisa Italy Early
If you’re going to the Leaning Tower of Pisa you might as well do it right! Plan to drop your bag if you have one and immediately start your line entry for the Pisa Tower. You can start to get in the queue 15 minutes before your designated entry time.
How it works is that each group is allowed in at their time slot. This means that they can start to line up early and will be let in once most of the prior group has left.
So what’s the benefit of being one of the first in line? Well, the steps are narrow as they wind their way up the tall Tower of Pisa.
If you are last in line you’ll be behind everyone else. While there are some points where you can pass, this can be a little frustrating.
7. Understanding the Pisa Tower Climb
There are over 250 steps made of white marble that wind their way around the tower to the viewpoint on top. It’s important to know that there is no elevator in the Leaning Tower of Pisa Italy.
Not sure that you’re able to physically do it, or are you uncomfortable in small spaces? Then it might be best to take in the beauty of its architecture from the outside.
8. Top of the Tower of Pisa Italy
Take your time to explore the top but know that it will get crowded fast. From the highest point of the Leaning Tower of Pisa you’ll have an unbelievable 360 degree view of the city.
Here you can see everything from the Pisa Cathedral to the Piazza dei Miracoli below, and a massive mountain range in the distance. From up here, you’re sure to get some amazing photos of Pisa Italy.
If you can time it so you’re there for sunset it is truly magical! Yet, any part of the day is sure to be a special sight from the top of the freestanding bell tower.
9. Don’t Head Down the Pisa Tower Too Quickly
Once you take in the views and walk around the circle you might be ready to head down… But wait just a minute! If you head towards the opposite side there will be a gate with an employee standing on the other side.
After a little while, enough people will come down where you can head further up. This higher level not only holds more spectacular views, but you’ll be able to see the Tower of Pisa bells clearly.
The very top is where you can truly feel the tower lean. It was a tad terrifying at first, but you get used to it.
10. Strike a Pose With the Leaning Tower of Pisa Italy
Did you even visit Pisa if you leave without a silly photo?? Before or after you climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa, take one of these classic photographs.
It might feel a little strange at first. Yet, literally hundreds of others are capturing the famous tilt at the same time. Have fun posing in wild and funny angles and capture the perfect Pisa photos to remember your trip with.
5 Fun Tower of Pisa Poses
- Holding up the tower
- Leaning against the Tower of Pisa
- Eating the tower
- Holding it in an empty ice cream cone
Is the Leaning Tower of Pisa Worth Visiting?
Yes! The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most remarkable architectural structures in the world. From the tower’s foundation to it’s unique lean, this is a piece of history from medieval Europe everyone should experience. The best time to visit is during off-season outside of the peak summer months.
You should also know that the small city of Pisa is worth seeing in itself. We recommend spending a couple of nights to fully take it in after you’ve seen the famous Tower of Pisa.
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own tips for visiting the Pisa Tower? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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Italy Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic Italian road trip!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.