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Leaning Tower of Pisa

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa (also known as Torre di Pisa or Torre pendente) is 185.93 feet (56.67m) tall on its higher side and 183.27 feet (55,86m) tall on its lower side and is one of the most famous landmarks in Italy. It was built between 1173 and 1372, after Donna Berta di Bernardo left money to Pisa Cathedral for the building of a belltower (or campanile). Book tickets in advance so you can visit on your trip to Pisa!
Miriam DewamBy Miriam Dewam
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Tickets

Book your ticket to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in advance.
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Reserved Entrance to Leaning Tower of Pisa & Cathedral
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Tours of Pisa

Combine your trip to the Leaning Tower with a tour of the city.
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Pisa: 1.5-Hour Small Group Leaning Tower Tour with Tickets
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Skip-the-line Leaning Tower of Pisa Guided Small-Group Tour
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Private Pisa Discovery Walking Tour with Leaning Tower Access
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Square of Miracles guided tour with Leaning Tower ticket (option)
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More Tickets & Tours

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Pisa: All-Inclusive Guided Tour with Optional Leaning Tower
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Pisa Cathedral Guided Tour & Wine Tasting + Leaning Tower
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Skip-the-Line Private Tour of Leaning Tower & Pisa Top Attractions w Local Guide
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Pisa Leaning Tower and Square of Miracles private tour
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4 Tips for Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Roof of the Leaning Tower | Photo: Flickr, Glen Bowman - CC-BY-SA 2.0
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Enjoy the ViewApart from the interesting architecture of the Leaning Tower, a trip to the top also offers you a wonderful view of the city of Pisa. It’s one of the most beautiful vistas in the whole of Tuscany!
Cathedral of Pisa and Leaning Tower | Photo: Flickr, Roy Luck - CC-BY 2.0
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Stop By Pisa CathedralIf you’d also like to visit the Cathedral then you can use your ticket to the Leaning Tower to enter! Although entry to the cathedral is free, you still need a ticket and this way you don’t need to book both separately.
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Book in AdvanceTickets for the Leaning Tower of Pisa are limited and are only issued in 30-minute time slots, so it’s highly recommended that you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
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See More on a Walking TourCombine your visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa with a guided tour of the city’s highlights, including the cathedral, the Baptistery (which is the largest in Italy), and the Camposanto, the old cemetery of Pisa.
Flickr: Dimitris Kamaras CC BY 2.0

The Leaning Tower of Pisa: How to Book Tickets

At the Ticket Office

Tickets bought on the day of your visit cost € 20. However, the ticket office is usually extremely busy, with long lines. Tickets can even sell out, so to make sure that you definitely get to visit you should book online in advance.

Official Website

If you decide to book your ticket in advance on the official website, then you’ll have to pay € 20 per ticket, this guarantees your visit on your chosen date. Tickets can be booked up to 20 days in advance.

Third-Party Providers

There are several trustworthy third party providers that offer tickets for the Leaning Tower. They might also have last-minute tickets when the official site sells out. Additional booking fees vary according to the provider, but special offers can save you money.

Time Slot

Make sure that you are able to redeem your booked ticket in the fixed time frame. Purchased tickets are non-refundable - that includes late arrivals too.
Flickr: Francisco Antunes CC BY 2.0

A Symbol of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous sights in Italy, if not the world, and is the main reason that tourists visit the city. Millions of visitors make a trip to the Leaning Tower every year.

Seriously Crooked

The tower was built on soft ground composed of clay and fine sand, and originally its foundations were less than 10 feet (3m) deep. The tilt became obvious in the early stages of building as the foundation couldn’t compensate for the soft ground, and for a long time construction was put on hold - partly because of the tilt, but mostly because Pisa was involved in a lot of wars with its neighbors. By the time construction resumed, the building had mostly stabilized, but over the centuries the tower gradually leaned more and more in one direction. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the tower was stabilized. Today the tilt is about 3.97º, but before the stabilizing efforts of the last centuries, it was 5.5º.

Former Record-Holder

In 2007 the Leaning Tower of Pisa had to give up its crown as the most crooked building in the world to the church of Suurhusen in Eastern Friesland, Germany. The Guinness Book of Records lists the church as having a tilt of 5.19º, which is much more dramatic than the Leaning Tower’s current 3.97º. In addition to accidentally wonky buildings, there’s a skyscraper in Abu Dhabi called Capital Gate which was deliberately built to have a tilt of 18º. However, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is definitely the best known and is a much-loved photo opportunity for tourists from around the world!
Flickr: Rossella Giannone CC BY-SA

Seven Bells in the Tower

The Leaning Tower was built to be a campanile, or bell tower, and is home to 7 bells. Its most famous bell, Pasquareccia, was older than the Leaning Tower itself. It used to ring from the Palazzo Pretorio, where it was known as La Giustizia and tolled to announce the executions of traitors and criminals. It was replaced by a replica at the end of the 18th century. The bells ring daily to announce masses at Pisa Cathedral.
Flickr: Manel Zaera CC BY-SA 2.0

The Finest Stonework

The external façade of the Leaning Tower is made of white Carrara marble, which has been mined in Tuscany since the Roman era. The eight floors of the tower are decorated with marble arches, representing some of the finest masonry skills.

Non-electric Lighting

This historic building is solely illuminated by natural light. Daylight can pass through the narrow slits on the landing. A glass ceiling on the 8th floor graces the tower, allowing light to flood in from above as well.

296 Steps

The spiral staircase of the tower stretches over 8 floors with 296 steps. It is so narrow that the observation deck can only be reached single file. To ensure the safety of visitors, tickets are tied to 30-minute time slots for up to 30 people per slot.
Tourists Pose with the Leaning Tower | Flickr: John Fowler

Myths, Facts, and the Bizarre

The extreme lean of the Leaning Tower isn’t its only interesting feature: its whole history is peppered with interesting stories.

A Puzzle Solved

For centuries, the identity of the Leaning Tower’s architect was a mystery. However, at the end of 2019 the paleographer (handwriting expert) Giulia Ammannati finally discovered proof that Bonanno Pisano designed the building. The architect also designed Pisa Cathedral’s gates. The tower was built over 199 years and was completed at the end of the 14th century, with several architects adding their own touches along the way.

Galileo and the Leaning Tower

Galileo’s student Vincenzo Viviani wrote in his biography that Galileo dropped balls of identical material but different masses off the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This experiment demonstrated that objects fall at the same pace, regardless of their mass, directly contradicting Aristotle’s teaching. While it’s a nice story and lets students picture the scientific principles visually, there’s no evidence that it really happened. Most historians believe it was a thought experiment. A similar experiment was carried out by Flemish scientists Simon Stevin and Jan Cornets de Groot in the church tower in Delft.

The Must-Have Photo of Your Trip

We’ve all seen them: the pictures of visitors to Pisa posing as though they’re holding up the Leaning Tower. While there are endless variations to be tried, if you decide you’re too cool for the shot then you can always enjoy watching other people struggling to make it work.

The Surfing Tower

Although it seems as if the Leaning Tower could tip over at any time, according to current research, it will withstand any earthquake. The answer for it lies underneath the leaning tower itself: the foundation. Ironically, it is the same base which is responsible for its leaning position. Due to the dynamic effect between ground and tower, the structure can surf on the waves triggered by earthquakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are visitor numbers restricted?

The Leaning Tower’s staircase is narrow and can only accommodate a limited number of visitors at one time. As a result, the number of people who can enter the building, and therefore the number of tickets sold each day, is limited. Read more.

Is there an elevator?

There is no elevator to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, therefore the tower is not accessible to visitors with mobility problems. Read more.

My child is under 8 years old, can I still visit the attraction?

Childcare is offered but must be booked in advance, it is provided by trained staff at Piazza del Duomo. Read more.

Is it allowed to carry bags and backpacks during the tour?

All luggage must be deposited in the checkroom of the Opera della Primaziale Pisana. The deposit is free of charge and should be checked in 15 minutes before the booked time slot. Read more.

Can I bring my dog to the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

No, animals aren’t allowed into the Leaning Tower. An exception is made for certified service dogs as long as you bring their documentation along. Read more.

Is it allowed to take pictures and videos of the Leaning Tower?

Videos and photos may be taken for personal purposes only, permission are required for commercial use and must be obtained from OPA . Read more.

General Information

Opening Hours

Opening hours vary throughout the year according to the season, so please check before visiting. In general, the opening times are as follows:
In November and February, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is open from 9.45 am to 5.15 pm, in December and January from 10 am to 5 pm (except between December 21 and January 1, when it’s open from 10 am to 7 pm). In March the tower is open from 8.30 or 9 am, and closes at 6, 7, or 8 pm, depending on the date. Between April and September, the opening hours are 9 am to 8 pm, except from June 17 to August 31, when it will be open from 8.30 am to 10 pm. In October the site is open from 9 am to 7 pm.

COVID-19 measures

No country-specific Covid restrictions apply - no proof of vaccination or testing is required at this sight.

Address

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Piazza del Duomo
56126 Pisa PI
Italy

Tickets

Tickets on the door cost € 20 for all visitors over the age of 8. There’s no reduced ticket for children or young people, all those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in order to climb the tower. For safety reasons, children under the age of 8 are not allowed to climb the tower.

Discounts

By showing the handicapped ID, its holder and his companion get free admission. The discount is applicable only between 9:00 am and 10:00 am as well as 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm. A claim for the discount should be announced at least three days in advance per mail. Other discounts are not available for this attraction.

How to get there

The Leaning Tower of Pisa and Pisa Cathedral are a 20-minute walk from the main train station of Pisa. You can also reach the tower by taking bus numbers 110, 120, 140, 190, 21, 70, 71, 80, 81, 840, 875 or LR to the bus stop called Torre 1.
Miriam Dewam
Written byMiriam DewamMiriam is keen on traveling and has a passion for photography, which she can enhance through her cross-media studies. She uses her knowledge as well as first hand experience from diverse travels to help other travellers as a content creator at TicketLens.
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