Travel Tip: Train to Pisa from Florence

| January 31, 2013 | 62 Comments

Pisa is quite boring. There I said it. It is what you were thinking anyway. But luckily, it is very easy to travel by train to Pisa from Florence in half a day. And we still think it is worth a visit just to see the lopsided leaning tower of Pisa.

Leaning tower of Pisa, HDR, Italy

How to get to Pisa from Florence

You have a couple of different options for your own half-day trip to Pisa from Florence depending on how you like to travel. But if you are like us and enjoy travelling around Italy by public transport, then you will definitely want to train to Pisa from Florence.

Train to Pisa from Florence

Florence and Pisa are less than 100 km apart and the easiest way is to train to Pisa from Florence. The entire trip one-way takes approximately an hour depending on your route with no transfers.

Trains leave from Florence S.M.Novella for Pisa Centrale a few times every hour. The closest train station to the leaning tower of Pisa is Pisa San Rossore, but it’s not worth the extra time or transfer required. Pisa itself is small and it takes less than 30 minutes to walk to the leaning tower from Pisa Centrale.

Plus you get to explore more of the city such as the River Arno lined with beautiful stately homes.

Pisa River, train from pisa to florence

If you want to book online then a one-way ticket by train to Pisa from Florence will cost from €7.80 (US$10.40) in 2nd class. It is important to make sure that when you are searching online via the Italian train booking site, Trenitalia, you search for “Firenze” rather than Florence.

The train schedules are very easy to understand so we recommend booking your ticket from the self-service machines on the train platform. The return journey is just as easy in reverse. Just watch that you don’t miss the last train around 10pm most days and carry cash with you for the ticket.

Finally, validate your ticket before boarding the train. We forgot a couple of times but used the typical “I’m a stupid tourist” line to get out of any fines.

Bus to Pisa from Florence

Don’t even bother trying to catch the bus to Pisa from Florence.

While the two bus companies, Terravision and Autostradale, run regular buses to and from Pisa Airport and Florence Airport into the Florence city centre, they don’t actually go into Pisa itself. The train to Pisa from Florence is so reliable, fast, and cheap, that they don’t even bother trying to compete.

Travel Guide to visiting Pisa from Florence

Driving to Pisa from Florence

If you have hired a car or scooter in Tuscany then you might look at driving to Pisa from Florence. However, even though the distance is less than 100km, the trip will still take approximately 1 hour.

Aside from the fact that the train to Pisa from Florence typically takes less time than driving, you also have to avoid the crazy Italian drivers. Not to mention trying to find a carpark in two of the most popular cities in Italy. Impossible.

Travel to Pisa from Florence by train, Leaning tower of Pisa HDR

Guided Tour to Pisa from Florence

If you have been enjoying the sunset in Florence and all the city has to offer then you might want to take in a guided tour to Pisa from Florence. Not only do you get a great guide to learn all about the history of the area, you also don’t have to worry about getting to Pisa from Florence.

You might want to check out this guided tour around Pisa or get a little bit more adventurous and try out a segway tour in Pisa. Perfect for the family and it will keep the kids entertained between stops.

If you have a whole day, and haven’t managed to fit in a hike around Cinque Terre, then we recommend looking into the Pisa and Cinque Terre day tour. Lasting roughly 12 hours, you will travel from Florence to Cinque Terre, with a 2 hour stop in Pisa to see all the main sights.

We also reckon guides help you get the best photos, as they have seen all the poses.

Adela funny jumping PisaTell us below if you have taken any funny photos in Pisa!

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (62)

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  1. Vera says:

    I can NOT imagine that Pisa is boring!! …Have not been there, yet, but, I mean, judging from your pictures alone, there’s more to Pisa than just the tower – it all looks very pretty:) Maybe you could also do a post on the various poses of tourists in front of the tower, then I’d know what I’m doing when I get there… And yeah, by train sounds more than logical, especially for a short trip – so much less hassle. Less hassle is very important. Thanks for the tip:)!
    Vera recently posted..In photos – from the Facebook Page Edition VIMy Profile

    • Hahaha I do have a draft post already about taking funny photos. Just need to get around to putting it together sometime ;) We saw a lot of original photos that would have turned out awesome! Hope you guys visit soon.

  2. Lisa says:

    Thanks so much for this information; despite living in the Mediterranean I’ve never been to Italy and it’s one of my (many) dreams. I’ve always been 50/50 about Pisa and I’ve heard great things about Florence. You have totally cleared it up for me and I hope I get to go soon…
    Lisa recently posted..ChoCologneMy Profile

    • Pisa is definitely just a half-day or one day trip. I am sure the people that live there wouldn’t think so, but when you have time constraints you really don’t need to spend too long there ;p We spent 3 days in Florence and that was about right for us too. Hope you visit Italy soon. It is probably my favourite country so far!

      • lisa says:

        would it be possible to take a train and take a tour of pisa, florence and a city in cinque terre and back to port of Livorno? unfortunately, we are only there for 12 hours and only wanted to do the quick photo op with the leaning tower, statue of david and then try to head back to the coast and check out cinque terre. i dont want to miss the ship though

  3. haha. I actually liked Pisa especially of the people posing in front of it. I got lots of funny pics.
    larkycanuck recently posted..Be Schmancy!My Profile

  4. I did Pisa as a day trip from Florence as well. Can’t remember it being too overly exciting. :)

  5. Thanks for the great tips, I love the picture of you jumping, ver nice :)

  6. Great detail to keep travelers from wasting time or money yet still get to see that possibly over-hyped leaning tower in Pisa.
    Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey recently posted..Superstars and Scene Stealing Students – 2013 Panama Jazz Festival, Panama City, PanamaMy Profile

  7. I skipped Pisa and spent several days in Cinque Terre. After reading your story, I feel like I did the right thing!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..GLOBAL CUISINE: Sexy Recipes From Around The WorldMy Profile

    • We went from Cinque Terre to Pisa then onto Florence ;) Cinque Terre is definitely the pick out of all 3, but still worthwhile stopping there to get the token photos haha.

      • Paula says:

        We were thinking of stopping in Piza on our way from Cinque terra but what do you do with a suitcase (luggage) while you are walking around Piza? This is our only concern. If we stop on our way from Cinque Terra to Florence that will save us a day trip from Florence to Piza. help!!!!

  8. Love the article, thanks for sharing.

  9. Dana says:

    We are headed to Italy this summer and appreciate your post. And, wow! Those photos look great! I can’t wait!
    Dana recently posted..Visiting the Gardens of VersailleMy Profile

  10. Tina says:

    It’s really beautiful, Nice shot… I we’re planning to visit Italy this year, and we’re excited about it.

  11. Thank you for this! Your list, links and descriptions are invaluable for less-experienced travelers!
    Another Travel Blog recently posted..Enjoy an Exquisite Holiday in North Colombia in the Midst of NatureMy Profile

  12. Odette Portelli Taliana says:

    Italy is awsome! From the south up till the north! So many beautiful places! Still think that pisa is worth a visit!

  13. Karina says:

    Hi,

    Just want to ask if we can buy the train tickets to Florence from the Pisa Airport on the day we arrive even if we are only heading to Florence the next day. Or is it better to just buy the ticket from Pisa Centrale?

    Beautiful pictures! I’ll be there in Sept with my husband.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Karina,
      Thanks for checking out our site! You will love Pisa and Florence :)
      And yes you can buy train tickets from Pisa Airport. It is much easier, and cheaper, to do it all once you arrive.
      Safe travels,
      Cole

  14. Anahita says:

    We want to travel to Italy next week and we decide to visit Rome, Florence, Pizza, Venice and Milan, Thank you for your guidance, I try to fine the best and cheapest way for traveling between these cities

    • Using trains between the major cities is the best option in Italy. You can just book tickets on the day from the stations and either choose air conditioning or 2nd/3rd class cabins. This time of year should be cool enough.

  15. Salman says:

    Hi
    Thanks for information- could u please let me know how far is rome from florence?

  16. Aaron says:

    Hello Cole

    Great blog very informative am doing parts of italy as we speak and am hoping to head to pisa tomorrow as am in florence but had a few questions?? How much is a ticket onto the premises and to go to the top of the tower roughly. As I know the tower is a scheduled ticket and definately only have half a day as have a tuscan wine tour booked at 2pm so need to be back in florence for around 1:30pm but leaving at 7am. is there any other places worth visiting?? Am an extremely quick walker. Am intrigued to read your blog so will follow it on fb. Having decided this year to do italy and am now here for 2 weeks visiting rome, pompeii, florence/tuscany, pisa and venice Am hoping to do more travelling myself over the next few years and see that your from new zealand which is one of the main places I want to visit.

    Anyway hope I didnt ramble on too much thanks for the post and hope to hear from you soon

    Aaron :)

    • Sorry I didn’t get back to you in time Aaron! Hope you enjoyed Florence and Pisa though. Very jealous of your trip. Hope you also make it down to New Zealand some time. Happy to show you around if you make it to Tauranga or Wellington!
      Safe travels,
      Cole

  17. evrim says:

    Thank you so much for the all info about Pisa and of course great photos. I like your blog. We were in Pisa last December.
    evrim recently posted..Dikili’de Huzur../Peace in DikiliMy Profile

  18. Hi Cole,
    I love the pictures….I wouldn’t necessarily say that Pisa is boring, although there is not much to see there outside of the Piazza dei Miracoli (where the Leaning Tower is located). And climbing to the top (if you are able-bodied) gives a nice view and changes your perspective of gravity.

    However, it does make a great stop on the way to the Cinque Terre from Florence or vice versa.

    Larry
    Larry Aiello – Addicted2Italy recently posted..The Italian Verb Graffiare – Funny ExampleMy Profile

  19. Maria says:

    Helooo Cole…

    Thank you so much for your info…

    My family and I will be in Florence on Dec 27-30 and plan to visit Pisa Tower for a few hour ( I agree with you that it might be quite boring to be there for too long…hahaha ).

    Actually we really want to visit Cinque Terre, but we were informed that it won’t be a good idea to go there during winter. What do you think? Do you think it is still worth trying?

    Hope to hear from you soon, thanks.

    Maria

    • Hey Maria,
      Thanks for the message. You will love Cinque Terre but my only concern would be whether or not anything is open. You might want to make sure you have confirmed bookings before you go. The walks are lovely and would be nice when it isn’t in the middle of summer when it is too hot anyway!
      Enjoy it and let me know how you get on.
      Cheers,
      Cole

  20. robert mitchell says:

    hi
    i am trying to take your advice and travel from florence to pisa for the day
    however i cannot find a train timetable between the two on the trenitalia web site for the date i want to travel which is around 16 may 2014
    any suggestions
    regards robert

    • Hey Robert,
      Thanks for the comment. You need to search for “Firenze” rather than Florence :) It’s the Italian way of spelling it. There are trains every 20 mins at least so you will be fine to book once you get there too.
      Hope that helps and enjoy it!
      Cheers,
      Cole

  21. Jacky says:

    Hi Cole,

    Thanks for such awesome article. Do you recommend buying the ticket online first or it’s ok to buy the ticket at Firenze station? If the latter, would I need to buy a return ticket at the same time?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hey Jacky,
      I would buy it once you are there. Very simple with ticket machines at the stations. Just pop in a day before if you want. Lots of English translations there too ;) You can buy one-way or return from the machines. They run every half hour so you will be fine.
      Cheers,
      Cole

  22. Michelle says:

    Hello,
    Thanks for the great post!
    We are travelling to Northern Italy the first week of April this year. We are staying a few nights in Florence. We would like to spend 1/2 day in Pisa on our way to Corniglia in Cinqueterre where we are spending a few nights. It’s clear to me from above that I don’t need to pre-book the Florence -> Pisa train – just buy at the station when we show up. What about the Pisa -> Corniglia train? Is that just as easy to buy at the station or should I pre-book?
    Many thanks! Michelle

    • Hey Michelle! Thanks for your comment. Pretty jealous of your trip. Would love to go back through Italy again.
      We bought all our train tickets at the stations either on the day or a couple of days before. In April everything won’t be too busy either so you should be fine. Just arrive a wee bit early to navigate yourself around the sometimes confusing ticket machines. Oh and make sure you validate every ticket before you board! There are little hole punch machines that do it on that platforms :)
      Cheers
      Cole

      • Ruchera Jayawardena says:

        Hi,

        good blog . thanks a lot. is there a cost /ticket to go near the tower. ?
        thank you
        Ruchera

      • Ruchera Jayawardena says:

        Hi Cole,

        sorry I could not mention before. but do you actually have to walk 30 minutes to get to the pisa tower ?
        that seems like a long walk. how do you think it will be during Mid December ??
        it must be off season. will we see any views ? or the beauty of the city.
        thnanks
        Ruchera

  23. Jennie says:

    We are “thinking” of doing both Florence and Pisa in a day. We are traveling from Rome to Florence via train, in the morning, onto Pisa in the afternoon then back to Rome. Any suggestions, when traveling by train to these two cities.

    • Hey Jennie,
      Personally I don’t think you will have enough time to do Florence and Pisa in a day. I would schedule at least one night in Florence and stop in at Pisa on your way there from Rome. Florence has so much to see and do and you really need a minimum of a full day there. We had 3!
      Cheers,
      Cole

  24. DIEK says:

    HI,

    Really much appreciated ur info, it helps much! If I travel use high speed train from rome to florence via pisa, and we do have big luggages with us and 2 old folks. MAy i know is it possible bring along our luggage via pisa(stop at pisa and signtseeing)then heading to florence. Any ideas with our luggage?

    • Hey Diek,
      Most European train stations have luggage storage for a couple of hours all the way to a couple of days. We didn’t need it as we only carried 35L backpacks for 2 months. Try to cut down on the luggage. Seriously, it’s the biggest mistake all travellers make.
      Enjoy your travels!
      Cheers,
      Cole

  25. Ash says:

    We are a couple and plan to spend two nights in Cinque Terre. We are visiting Italy and France for 4 weeks which means we are going to have good amount of lugguage. At the moment we have two choices. Could I request you to suggest the best way of doing this taking into consideration in either choice we want to stop by Pisa for few hours before heading into Cinque Terre.

    Choice 1: Florence to Cinque Terre via Pisa– Spend the previous night in Florence, and travel to Pisa in the morning. Spend 3 hours in Pisa and travel to Cinque Terre. After 2 nights the plan is to go to Venice directly.

    Choice 2: Siena to Cinque Terre via Pisa– Spend the previous night in Siena. Travel to PIsa in the morning. Spend 3 hours in PIsa and travel to Cinque Terre. After 2 nights, plan to go to Florence and then to Venice.

    I am trying to work out the logistics, and I read mixed reviews about travelling via car or train to Cinque Terre. Could you please suggest the best choice and the mode of transport between cities. The most important thing is do you know if there is any place in Pisa where we could store the lugguage for a couple of hours whilst we are going around in the town?

    Thanks very much for your help.

    • Hey Ash,
      Thanks for your questions and it sounds like you have an awesome (rough) plan!
      I can really only comment on choice 1 as that’s basically what we did, but in reverse. Firstly, cut your luggage in half, then half again. Seriously. We travelled with 35L backpacks for 2 months in Italy and Spain and it was the best thing we could do. You will not even use half the stuff you carry. Trust me on this.
      Secondly, now that you have cut down your luggage, I would just travel by train or bus everywhere in Europe. It removes the hassle and stress of navigating and it’s by far the cheapest way to get around. Train is very easy to get to Cinque Terre and they depart every half hour from the station in La Spezia.
      Let me know how you get on anyway!
      Cheers,
      Cole

      • Ash says:

        Thanks Cole for your advice. Will try and stick to as less lugguage as possible. Will go by choice 1 which appears to be much more easier to travel using public transport.
        Do you know if we can store our lugguage anywhere in Pisa for few hours whilst we are in the town?

  26. Laurel says:

    I see you recommend taking the train from Florence to Pisa. Can you also take a train from Pisa to Lucca and then Lucca back to Florence?

  27. Mary says:

    Hi Cole,
    I am arriving in Pisa around 7pm and hope to do tower that evening and then catch a train to Florence in the morning. Would you recommend that I purchase my ticket on line or is that more expensive? I will be traveling with my 3 young adult children. We are spending one night in Florence – could you suggest the best things to do/see in our short time there – I was thinking of visiting Uffizi the following morning – should I book tickets for that on-line?? We are renting a car from Florence and driving up to Dolomites for a few days hiking – can you suggest any car hire companies?? Also, have you been to Padua and if so, any must-sees?? Many thanks for taking the time to read this, so far your replies to other travelers have been very useful.
    Grazie, Mary in Ireland (have you been here yet?? If not, why not? If you are planning a visit, let me know and I can help you with your itinerary…

  28. Mary says:

    How do I get to the Leaning Tower from Pisa central? Is there any public transportation (Lam Rossa?) and how do we get back to Pisa Central? We are going to be there in Sept. I am planning to buy the ticket online since we need to schedule the leaning tower with date and time. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks

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