So you’re going to Italy and want to see the sights. Regardless of how you like to travel, you probably want to check off the major sites (Coliseum, Vatican, Pompeii, Pisa, Venice…). While planning your itinerary you will find that there is a ton to do around most of these sites. Then you google “things to see in Pisa”. What you will find is that most of the things to do in Pisa are either on the grounds beside the leaning tower, or not actually in Pisa. In all honesty, when you compare Pisa to cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence there is not that much to do.
If you plan your trip in the right order, you can easily fit Pisa in in a day. When we went we travelled from Rome – Cinque Terre – Florence– Venice and if you are travelling between Rome and Florence, consider travelling through Pisa and fit in the tower. We had about 8 hours in Pisa and could have easily seen the leaning tower and its grounds in in 2 hours. You will however want to budget some extra time if you want to climb the tower. Also, tickets sell out fast so either get there early or buy them ahead of time.
While walking between the train station and the leaning tower, you will pass through a shopping area if you want to give yourself extra time and end up with some time to spare. There are a ton of eateries in the area and you will not have trouble finding a souvenir. There are a ton of vendors who aggressively try to sell you stuff as you make the walk but fortunately there are no vendors allowed on the grounds. There are washrooms for a small fee near the tower which you will probably need at some point if you make this a day trip.
The grounds themselves are beautiful and are a great place to lay and read a book while looking up at the impressive tower. You will have a great time in visiting the leaning tower if you are prepared for a laid back day and in our opinion is definitely worth the time to visit, we would have just cut our time a bit shorter. If you would like to visit, consider going fast however as officials have recently announced that the tower has begun to correct itself and may not be leaning in the future!