Last Updated on August 9, 2022
Pisa is an easy day trip from Florence and if you have time to include it in your Italy itinerary, definitely do it! It’s just an hour away, and yet it feels worlds away from Tuscany’s most popular city. Pisa is not just worth for seeing the famous Leaning Tower – we found that there’s more to Pisa than this very touristy landmark, and when you venture further away from the main sights, you’ll discover a pleasant Italian town. It’s also a welcome change from super touristy Florence – if you’re not sure how many hours to spend in Pisa, you can definitely plan in a full day. In this article, I will share all the different options how to get from Florence to Pisa, how long they take and how much each option will cost you. And while not all of them work in reverse, I’ll also share what works best if you’re looking to get from Pisa to Florence.
How to get from Florence to Pisa
There are four different options to get to Pisa from Florence: by train, by bus, by rental car or as part of an organized tour, if you don’t want to deal with the logistics of planning and traveling independently in a foreign country.
Florence to Pisa by train
The easiest way to get to Florence to Pisa is by train. Trains run roughly every 15 minutes, and the ride takes about one hour.
Trains leave from the Florence train station “Firenze Santa Maria Novella“. They arrive at “Pisa Centrale“. The train station in Pisa is about 20 mins walking from the Leaning Tower. Pisa is a small city and very walkable. There’s also a bus that goes past the Leaning Tower, but the bus journey actually takes longer than walking because the route (Linea 21) goes in a big loop around the city. If you have mobility issues, there’s a hop-on hop-off bus during the summer months.
Note: Uber does not operate in Pisa.
I used Trainline.com to look up prices and train times – a couple of things to note about trainline (which I use to book train tickets all over Europe):
- As you can see below, some trains are slower than others. If you want to take the fastest train (45 mins), it costs a little more. The fast train also offers 1st class seats for only a dollar more.
- Book your ticket in advance. Trains do fill up, especially during high season. It is also cheaper to buy your ticket in advance instead of buying it at a ticket machine in the train station.
- Remember to use the Italian spelling when you look up train times from Florence to Pisa – Firenze instead of Florence.
- If you book via Trainline.com, you can pay by credit card or via Paypal.
You can also book your ticket via the official Trenitalia website (Italy’s primary train operator). Tickets can be paid by Paypal, credit card and debit card.
Pisa to Florence by train
Of course, the above train ride also works in return – you can stay until late in the evening and have dinner in Pisa and still make it back to Florence before midnight.
The last train from Pisa to Florence leaves at 10.30pm and arrives in Florence at 11.50pm (duration 1 hour and 20 mins).
The last fast train from Pisa to Florence leaves at 9:32pm and arrives in Florence at 10:32pm.
Florence to Pisa by bus
There’s also a bus from Pisa to Florence, but I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you’re going directly from the airport, because that’s where the bus leaves from in Florence and it goes straight to Pisa airport. If you’re taking a budget flight from Pisa airport, this is a great connection. Alternatively, you can take the PeopleMover bus from Pisa Airport to the train station for 5 Euros and then take the train to Florence from there. The bus ride from the airport to the train station is only 5 minutes.
There’s also Flixbus, which takes you from the Villa Costanza Coach Station in Florence to the Fermata Flix Bus Station (Pietrasantina Park) in Pisa, and vice versa. If you’re lucky, you can score a ticket for US$4.99, but since they charge a $3.99 service fee on top of that and reserving an assigned seat is another $1.49, you’re not really saving any money by taking the bus. I also want to mention that the Coach Station is not in the city center of Florence, so you’ll also have to figure out how to get there.
Generally, the train ride from Florence to Pisa is more comfortable and you don’t risk getting stuck in traffic when taking the train, so I would 100% recommend taking the train over taking the bus. Especially since the price for a ticket is the same!
Florence to Pisa by car
We rented a car in Italy and drove around Tuscany without any problems, so if you already have a rental car, it’s an easy drive to Pisa, about 1 hour 15 mins, if you don’t hit traffic.
Note: You can’t drive inside the city walls, so you’ll have to find parking outside this area, which is known as ZTL (zona traffica limita – limited traffic zone). There are many parking lots in Pisa – some of them free, like on Via Ugo Rindi (near Via Piave) – a 10-min walk from the Leaning Tower. The largest parking lot near the Leaning Tower is the Via del Brennero (Via Paparelli) Parking, which has 750 parking spaces. However, you can’t use this car park on Wednesdays and Saturdays, because there is a market. This parking lot is about 20 mins walking from the Leaning Tower.
If you have to pay for parking, it’s usually less than 1 Euro per hour.
Florence to Pisa by organized tour
If you don’t want to deal with trains, buses or rental cars, and you want to make the trip to Pisa as easy as possible, consider taking an organized tour to Pisa from Florence. There are a number of tours that just offer day trips to Pisa, but you can also book a tour that includes several towns in Tuscany.
The best day trips from Florence:
Pisa, Siena & San Gimignano Day Trip with Lunch – from US$55
Pisa and Cinque Terre Full-Day Tour – from US$123
Pisa & Lucca Day Tour with Buccellato Tasting – from US$49
Tuscany Day Trip with Optional Lunch and Wine – from US$61
The best Pisa tours:
2-Hour Pisa Walking Tour – from US$25