How to enjoy Pisa without the crowds?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is such an iconic image of Pisa and Italy as a whole, everybody wants to see it. And I cannot blame the world. I wanted to see it too. But is Pisa a tourist trap? Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it’s unique, it has historical significance and it’s just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa as the start of our Florence trip in springtime and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!

Start early

We had a very early flight. We arrived at Pisa International airport at 8 am. I was dead tired and hungry, but we headed down town by bus immediately and dropped our bags off at our hostel. We headed straight for the Piazza del Duomo and arrived there early at 10 am. The air was crisp, blue skies and the grass was still wet and damp. I wouldn’t say, we had the place to our selves, but it was not busy. The first tour groups had yet to arrive and we were able to meander our way across couples and small families taking pictures of the sites.

Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
The Duomo of Pisa

Book your tickets in advance

Don’t waste your time by waiting in line to buy ticket. Buy them at home, 3 weeks in advance. You can buy them from the website, click here, and select what you want to see. You can visit the cathedral for free, for the other sites you need to pay.

You can download your ticket to your mobile phone and at each site, they will scan your phone. No paper print outs needed. Just walk past the ticket office and hit Pisa without waiting in line!

Visit the other sites

I was amazed as to how quiet all the other sites in Pisa were. As the day progressed, the steps of the Duomo were taken by huge groups of school children. We had to dodge the couples taking pictures with their selfie sticks and decided to get away from the main square.

Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Camposante

Around noon, we decided to enter the Camposante. This is a monumentary cemetery which houses some important graves but most of all some impressive frescos. It was also very interesting to see the images of the Camposante after the bombing of the 2nd World War. For more information about what to see at the Camposante, check the site.

Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
The Camposante

Or just look at these beautiful images of the interior. We met around 5 other people the whole time we were exploring the Camposante and this felt like a true piece of Pisa without the crowds.

Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
View on the Duomo from the Camposante

Baptistery of San Giovanni

After the Camposante, we headed straight for the Baptistry. The steps around the building were used for lunch break for many people, but inside it was serene and tranquil. It was dark and colder. As we ascended the stairs to reach the 2nd floor, people started singing at ground level and the music was building up against the walls of the dome. It felt like we had the place to ourselves: just us and the music.

Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
The Baptistery of San Giovanni

Il Duomo

We decided to continue exploring the other sites of Pisa and headed inside the Cathedral of Pisa. It felt like the people were taking control of the outside of the Duomo, but on the inside, the Duomo took control of the people. There were people inside the Duomo, but I didn’t see them. The building demanded all my attention and I walked around most of the time with my head tilted back and gawking at the ceiling and the pillars. Another great way to see a famous icon of Pisa without the crowds! Do you love cathedrals? Check my post about the Duomo of Florence too!

Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
Interior of the Duomo of Pisa

Take a break from the main attractions

We only had 1 day in Pisa and we didn’t make it past the main square. We walked a bit around the hospital grounds behind the main square of Pisa, but we didn’t explore the rest of the town, as I was just too tired. I also had a big flare up for my Crohn’s disease so we decided to head back to our hostel and take a nap. If you’re fit and healthy, there is no need to do this, but please use your time to explore the rest of Pisa. Head down town, walk along the river Arno and explore the local market. For more inspiration on what you can do, visit Indiana Jo and read her things to do in Pisa in 1 day.

Have you been to Pisa? Did you do anything else in the city? Please let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

Climb the tower in the evening

All energized after my 4 hour power nap, we headed back to the Piazza del Duomo and the famous sites of Pisa at 6-ish. We had tickets for the 7.30 pm ascend of the leaning tower of Pisa, so we headed down there early. We walked around the sites and took many of the obligatory pictures, trying to hold the tower. Lean against it, kiss it etc. It’s harder than you think and none of our 100 images were worth it, but we did have fun. As most people joined their tour group for the next big attraction, the area around the tower was almost empty. There was no line to wait to ascend the tower.

Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
View on the Duomo from the Leaning Tower

As we were very early, and there were no people waiting in line, we asked the ticket lady if we were able to go up already. We were half an hour early, but she let us go up. We spent some time at the base and then slowly ascended the tower. We were able to enjoy the views on top of the tower, without any other people around. We had the whole Leaning Tower of Pisa to ourselves!

Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
View on the hills of Tuscany from the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Return at night

After we got down from the tower, we were very hungry. We decided to have our first pizza in a small Italian restaurant nearby. Budget wise, this might have been a mistake, but we did have a nice meal. After our diner, night fell and we were able to see the buildings of Pisa without the crowds. As it was getting dark, only a hand full of people were exploring the outside of the Duomo and we were able to make some amazing images without other people on them.

Is Pisa overcrowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
Miracles square in Pisa at night

As you can see, from the tips above, it is possible to visit Pisa without the crowds. Ok, I’m not saying there were no other people around, but we had most of the sites to ourselves. I had planned our visit before and pre-booked our entrance tickets.

Because we arrived early in the morning and had the whole day, we were able to choose the best time to visit the sites. We even took a break from the famous attractions of Pisa and came back to see everything in another light in the evening.

Top one tourist attraction in Italy, the leaning tower of Pisa
The sites of Pisa while the sun is going done. I converted this into a poster and put it on the wall at my home. If you’d like to buy it too, you can. It’s available in my online store. *Affiliate link.

If you have the time, I can surely recommend taking the whole day and explore Pisa on your own. You can allocate your own time at the sites around the Leaning Tower and experience Pisa without the crowds.

After Pisa, we travelled to Florence by train. Read more about train travel in Italy and the famous museum of Florence.

Have you been to Pisa? What was it like for you? Did the crowds bother you or were you able to see Pisa without the crowds?

Is Pisa over crowded and invaded by selfie-stick madness? Yes and Yes! Should you avoid Pisa? NO! People visit Pisa in Italy for a good reasons: it's unique, it has historical significance and it's just drop dead gorgeous! I went to Pisa and was able to see it and enjoy it. Do you want to visit Pisa without the crowds? Read along as I share my valuable tips on how to enjoy Pisa without the crowds!
Like it? Share it on Pinterest

13 Comments

  1. Pingback: Visit the San Gimignano Towers of Italy | a Guide on What to Do and See -

  2. Jen

    When did you go exactly? I’ll be in Italy March 15-29, starting in Venice, going to Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Rome, and of course the Amalfi Coast. I hope all the attractions will not be busy during the time I’ll be there!

  3. Very informative and valuable tips! I’m going to Pisa next month and I’m using this information. Our arriving at Pisa is around 8 pm but I’m considering getting up early on the next day and visiting the famous tower before the crouds. Hope we succeed! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

  4. Great advice! We arrived just before sunset and went to the Leaning Tower to watch the sun go down. We only saw 6 other people whilst we were there and got some amazing photos! We then went back the next day to see it with the crowds – and what a difference! It was so much better when we practically had the place to ourselves!

  5. This post is very awesome. I loved the layout first of all; looks so professional. It’s like you’re reading a top magazine article. The photos are top notch and I really enjoyed reading the post. The best part is that it is entertaining AND useful. Nice job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *