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The Leaning Tower of Pisa or visiting Pisa for that matter was never on my bucket list but when I decided last minute to go to Italy for one week where I wanted to visit Florence, cheapest airport to fly into was Pisa so it seemed a shame to not stay in Pisa for one night, see the Leaning Tower and see what else Pisa has to offer apart from the Leaning Tower, and I’m so glad I did!
Of course the first thing I went to see was indeed the Leaning Tower of Pisa and as everyone says, it really does lean a lot more than it looks in photos! I visited first late in the evening at sunset which seemed the best time to visit the Leaning Tower as the sunset sky in the background was beautiful!
It was also the place I went first the next day, I wanted to see if the Leaning Tower of Pisa would be quieter in the morning, it was but only if you get there before the big day tours!
After visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa there are plenty more things to see in Pisa and things to do in Pisa. Firstly, right next to the Tower is Pisa Cathedral and the Baptistery of St John which are both gorgeous buildings that compared to the Tower probably don’t get the photo justice and appreciation they deserve.
Then there are the beautiful streets of Pisa which are a great way to see the real city of Pisa aside from the Leaning Tower. I was out of my hostel by about 8:45am and it was the ideal time to see the streets while they were a bit quieter and what incredible streets they are, there are so many terracotta coloured buildings with balconies and beautiful shutter windows, small, cobbled streets which just made me ask ‘when can I move in??’.
As you start walking away from the Tower and head South you’ll hit the river which runs right through the middle of the city and it is lined with more beautiful terracotta buildings and the Tuscan mountains in the background. When I was there in the morning the sun was shining right off of the water and it looked so peaceful and beautiful and it was also a nice place to walk along at night too as it was all lit up.
I can imagine that if you only visit Pisa for one day or for a few hours that you wouldn’t venture South of river and instead stick to the North where the Tower is but it’s certainly worth crossing the river giving this area some of your time. If not only to find some places which sell food at much cheaper prices!
Personally I love wandering around areas of a city that are filled with locals over tourists and this is what this area felt like, there were other tourists around of course but not the masses of people following an umbrella with headsets on that you see by the tower!
Another thing I love is finding residential side streets, Pisa is quite a small city compared to some of Italy’s bigger cities like Florence and Milan so finding these side streets was really easy, and as it was still morning they too were very quiet with just the odd moped going past!
Due to time constraints I only had time for an evening and morning in Pisa however I’m glad that I did this over visiting as a day trip from Florence or even heading straight to Florence and not even seeing Pisa.
I also arrived just in time to see the sunset which was gorgeous, admittedly I was by the tower at this time however it was a lot quieter at this time of day than it is during the day so if you can fit a sunset in then I would suggest it!
Useful Information for visiting Pisa!
I arrived in Pisa Airport and got a local bus right into the City, it was just outside the airport exit and it’s the red line going to Lam Rossa (or LR on the bus screen) and paid €2.00, it took about 20 minutes and as my hostel was close to the tower i got off around there. This bus also goes past Pisa Central train station which is very close to the airport.
There is another train station in Pisa called Pisa San Rossore and this is where i got my train to Florence from, the train did then go to Pisa Central but as San Rossore was just a 10 minute walk from my hostel and the Tower so it seemed silly getting a bus to the Central station first.
I got my ticket to Florence at the station and it cost €8.40, it seems that this fare doesn’t change no matter whether you buy it online a few weeks in advance or just 10 minutes before at the station!
Pisa is a fairly small city so wherever you stay you will be centrally located to see all of the city and it won’t take you too long to walk around!
To see more of my Italy posts see:
To SEE my trip to Pisa check out my YouTube video of my week in Italy here!