If you’re thinking about bringing your kids to Pisa to climb the Leaning Tower – do it! It’s one of the best things to do in Pisa.
Yes, it’s fun to pose for silly photos by the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but it’s also a special experience to climb to the top – and feel the lean on the way up!
However, there are some important things to know and keep in mind if you’re planning to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa with kids. Read on for my helpful tips based on climbing the tower with my kids.
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Prepare by Learning about the Leaning Tower of Pisa
As you probably know, travel experiences can be even more special if your kids know what they’re looking at.
If you’re not going to have a guide in Pisa, do a little bit of prep work on your own. You can read about the Leaning Tower, watch YouTube videos, or even look up some quick facts about it.
You could also put together a 3D puzzle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or print off our Leaning Tower of Pisa coloring page.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Books about the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Adventures of Marcello Mousetti: Saving the Tower, by Diana Savastano
DK Eyewitness Florence and Tuscany (guidebook, but photo and illustration-heavy, small section on Pisa and the Leaning Tower)
Videos about the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Check out these Facts about the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Know the Age Limit to Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa
At the time of writing, you must be 8 years old to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa or turn 8 by the end of the year. So, if your child is 7 years old when you visit Pisa, but will be turning 8 on December 31st, he or she can climb the Tower!
Helpful Tip: Bring your child’s ID in case you’re ask to prove his/her age.
If you have kids that aren’t old enough to climb, you can either have one adult hang out with them in the Piazza dei Miracoli (even looking for the other members of your group at the top of the Tower), or you can explore other parts of Pisa with your kids.
See our helpful guide to Pisa with Kids for ideas and tips.
Reserve Your Climb
You can’t just walk up to the Leaning Tower and get in line to climb. You must reserve your Tower climb, and in advance!
Buy your tickets on the official Pisa Piazza del Duomo website.
You’ll be asked to choose a date and time. As I write this, it’s summertime and there are tickets available even for the upcoming week, but for specific times (for example, for the next couple of days, the only tickets available are for after-dinner time slots).
So, book in advance for the best choice of dates and times.
If your dates or times are sold out, you can look at 3rd party options from sites like GetYourGuide or Viator. For example:
- Reserved Entrance to Leaning Tower of Pisa & Cathedral
- Pisa: Leaning Tower and Cathedral Skip-the-Line Tickets
Avoid Climbing in Midday in the Summer
If you’re traveling in Italy in the summer, you’re probably aware that it’s hot here, and Pisa is no exception.
To make the climb with kids fun and safe, schedule your climb for the morning or evening.
In the summer, the Leaning Tower stays open late, so you can even make the climb after dinner.
Take the Silly Photos
Don’t forget to take silly photos posing with the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Even if your tweens or teens are ‘too cool,’ I promise they’ll break a smile trying to recreate poses or watching other people try.
Arrive Early to Check Your Bags and Stroller
Once you’ve reserved your time and date to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa with your kids, build in some extra time to arrive to the Campo dei Miracoli (where the Leaning Tower is located) to drop off any bags or backpacks you have with you.
The luggage storage office staff will give you a token that you’ll need to get your bag(s) back.
While the lines are non-existent in the winter, in the busy tourist season (late-spring through fall), you should plan on arriving at the luggage storage office about 30 minutes before your climb time slot.
That will give you enough time to wait in line to drop your luggage and then walk over to the waiting area at the bottom of the Leaning Tower.
Wear the Right Shoes
Make sure you’ve got proper footwear.
The steps are worn marble, so they can be slippery. You can climb up in sandals, but make sure they have grippy tread and stay on your feet. Flip-flops aren’t ideal on this climb.
I put my kids in sneakers for this climb.
Here you can watch us walking down the Leaning Tower’s steps, from the top to the bottom:
Take Breaks on the Way Up
You don’t have to rush on the way up the tower. The stairways can fit two people side-by-side, so people can move in both directions and you don’t have to worry about blocking climbers behind you. There’s even enough room for you to hold your child’s hand if needed.
Also, there are a few places on the way up with a small space to let people pass (you can even pretend you’re looking out the window at Pisa while you catch your breath).
You’ll notice the marble steps are worn in different areas, depending on which side of the tower you’re on. Careful with your footing – they’re uneven.
Good To Know: The walk up (and down) isn’t extremely challenging, but there are a lot of steps for kids. Also, if it’s been raining, be careful on the wet marble stairs.
Good To Know: You may feel a little off-balance on the way up (due to the tilt of the tower), and if you suffer from vertigo, be cautious on the upper terrace.
Go All the Way to the Top
You’ll climb the steps and arrive at the ‘top.’ But, it’s not actually the top. Look for the next narrow staircase and climb to the very top of the Tower, which has even better views and the 7 bells of the bell tower.
Explore the Rest of the Campo dei Miracoli
I can’t stress this enough – don’t just see the Leaning Tower and leave! The other monuments that make up the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Piazza del Duomo (Duomo, Baptistery, and Camposanto) are all worth a visit. Some highlights for us:
- Baptistery – Listening to the acoustics.
- Duomo – All of the frescos (especially if you know Bible stories), the large mosaic of Christ, Mary, and St. John in the apse
- Camposanto – This was our favorite (besides the Tower) for the marble carvings on the tombs and sarcophagi, the vivid frescoes (especially of Hell – so interesting), and the enormous collection of saints’ relics in the reliquary.
Good To Know: In 2023, the upper section of the Baptistery is closed, so you can’t climb up to look through the window overlooking the Duomo. It will hopefully reopen sometime in 2023.
Fun Fact: Can you find the Lion (symbolizing Florence keeping an eye on the city) overlooking the piazza?
I hope these tips help you have a fun and memorable climb up the Leaning Tower of Pisa with your kids!
If you enjoy tower climbs, check out some of our other favorite climbs in Tuscany:
- Lucca – Guinigi Tower
- Florence – Giotto’s Bell Tower
- Siena – Campo bell tower
- Smaller Towers – Montalcino, Montepulciano, Monteriggioni (walls)
Leaning Tower of Pisa with Kids FAQ
You can’t climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa with babies, so you won’t need your baby carrier.
I prefer morning climbs because the weather is cooler and there are fewer crowds (which also makes it easier to take a silly photo with the Leaning Tower without tons of other people in the frame).
First, kids under 18 must climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa with an adult. If you have two adults in your group, one can stay below with the non-climbers. You can either hang out in the Piazza dei Miracoli (by the tower to see your group up top or at one of the other monuments) or go to a playground or another site in Pisa.
The steps can be slippery. I recommend a good pair of sneakers with decent tread.
It takes a little over 20 minutes to walk from the Pisa Centrale train station to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but with kids, I’d plan on at least 30 minutes (and maybe 40 minutes if you have dawdlers).
No! Definitely check out the other monuments. The Camposanto is a favorite in our house, but the Duomo and Baptistery are also worth checking out.
It’s easy to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa on a day trip. Pisa is well-connected to other Italian cities by train, or you can drive on your own or visit as part of an organized day tour.