Pisa is a beautiful place and we thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent there on our recent Italy trip and ideally you'd have at least a few days in Pisa as there is so much to see but you can still fit in a lot even if you only have 24 hours just as we did. Pisa was one of our many stops in Italy but check out our Italy posts for all the other destinations we visited.
Things to do in Pisa
Leaning tower and Campo dei Miracoli
The leaning tower and Campo dei Miracoli can be found on the same site and in one of many things to do in Pisa. It is free to visit the tower and its grounds but entry to the tower costs 18 euros and the view from the top is amazing but like most Italian towers there are a lot of steps and it is also usually crowded with tourists. Instead, take a picnic to the gardens surrounding the tower, whilst admiring this iconic building.
Piazza dei Cavalieri
Piazza dei Cavalieri is the focal point of any visit to Pisa and used to be the political home of Pisa and was later transformed into the home of the defenders of the Tuscan coast from the Turks.
The first thing you'll notice is the grand statue depicting the Grand Duke of Tuscany, which has been standing there since 1596 and nearby is Palazzo della Carovana, home to Scuola Normale Superiore, which was originally ordered to be built by Napoleon Bonaparte.
This building is an arts and events area and you'll find fantastic views out to sea from the top of the tower which you can climb for a couple of euros.
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II
In the city centre track down Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. This has been lovingly restored and is a fantastic place for a spot of relaxation and there are a multitude of bars spanning this square. Stop for a drink and people watch to your heart's content. In the colder months the centre of the square is transformed into an ice rink.
Ponte di Mezzo
Italians love a good bridge and Pisa's doesn't disappoint. Some of the best views are from their bridge's. From this bridge you can gaze at Arno River and Pisa's Lungarni!
Embrace the nightlife
You'll find in Italy a lot of streets or piazza's named Garibaldi. Hint: they're not named after the biscuit. Giuseppe Maria Garibaldi was an Italian general and nationalist. A republican, he contributed to the Italian unification and the creation of the Kingdom of Italy. Head to Piazza Garibaldi, which is the central point of Pisan nightlife. Go here for drinks and dinner.
National Museum of San Matteo
This museum is well worth a visit. Check out the ceramics, paintings and sculptures for a true taste of Pisan art.
If there's something on during your stay and you have time check out a show at the Verdi theatre, a 19th century 900-seat theatre. The building is beautiful and the inside is decadent and luxurious.
Where to stay
Hotel La Pace
It doesn't look much from the outside, you enter this hotel through a shopping arcade. This hotel is relaxed, friendly and very budget friendly. They have rooms for all trip sizes from single to quad rooms and they are beautifully furnished in wood and marble. They even serve breakfast from 4am.
• Doubles from €50 room only. hotellapace.it
Where to eat
For authentic Italian fare, hit this city-centre restaurant, you can't beat the atmosphere outside in their lit up courtyard. It is run by a mother-and-daughter duo and offers perfectly prepared versions of regional dishes.
What things to do in Pisa would you recommend?