Are you heading to Pisa with your kids to see the Leaning Tower?
Perhaps you’re trying to figure out if you should make a quick trip to see it and then leave town?
I’ve done both – but if you have the time, Pisa is actually quite an enjoyable place to spend an afternoon or even a full day with children.
The key is to be selective with what you see and to find kid-friendly things to point out around the city.
Let’s take a look!
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Why Visit Pisa with Kids?
- It’s fun to take silly photos with the Leaning Tower! Even if it’s not ‘your thing,’ give in and let your kids get creative. My boys love trying out new poses and trying to mimic photos they’ve seen online.
- There are more things to see besides the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Once you leave the crowds around the Campo dei Miracoli, you’ve got great things to see. I’ll list some of our favorites below.
- The Pisa city center is compact and stroller-friendly. While Pisa as a whole is large, if you stick to our suggestions, it’s manageable with a stroller and little kids.
- Pisa is easy to reach by public transport. You can hop on a train with your kids and reach the city from places like Florence and Lucca. Just get off the train and start exploring Pisa – no need to worry about driving and parking.
- There are plenty of other kid-friendly destinations nearby.
When to Visit Pisa with Kids
You can visit Pisa anytime. Just know that the Campo dei Miracoli (which includes the Leaning Tower of Pisa) is busy most of the year, but especially from spring through fall (April through October).
Whenever possible, avoid visiting Pisa with kids in the summer in the middle of the day. If you’re traveling in June, July, or August, be sure to get up early to see the city or arrive in the late afternoon and spend the evening in town.
Important: If your kids are set on climbing the tower, know that children must be 8 by the end of the calendar year in order to climb!
Best Things to Do in Pisa with Kids
These are our top picks for things to do with little ones in Pisa:
See the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Campo dei Miracoli
Although your smallest kids can’t actually climb the Leaning Tower, all kids love taking silly photos with it! Make it your first stop and snap plenty of pics.
If you are climbing the Leaning Tower, make sure you arrive at the luggage storage room before your scheduled climb time. It’s next to the tower, but lines can be long in the summer months – allow 30 minutes just to be safe.
On the way up, the steps are worn, and they can be slippery when wet. You can definitely feel the lean! Stop and look out the small windows on the way up.
If you have young kids that aren’t climbing, you can wait with them near the tower and see the she-wolf and the fallen angel in the lawn out front. You can also look for your family members at the top of the tower!
Then, explore the rest of the Campo dei Miracoli (aka Piazza dei Miracoli, Piazza del Duomo, Square of Miracles)!
- Look for the lion guarding the square
- Walk inside the Baptistery of St. John (Battistero di San Giovanni) and listen to the acoustics (a staff member will sing a few notes every 30 minutes). See the animals on top of the columns and the lion on the bottom of the altar. Look out the window on the upper floor and peer out at the Duomo (note, the upper floor was closed when we visited in spring 2023). When you walk back outside, find the gargoyles on the building.
- Check out the frescoes in the Pisa Cathedral (Duomo di Pisa). Can you spot the Medici balls on churches and buildings around Pisa? The Florentine family once ruled the city and they left their mark in many places.
- Wander around the Camposanto. Yes, the Inferno frescoes are quite intense, but you can walk past them and let your kids look at the huge room of relics, find Fibonacci’s tomb, and look at the intricate carvings on some of the tombs. Best for older kids (my 9 year old is really interested in this part of the Campo dei Miracoli).
Helpful Tip: There’s a public toilet behind the Duomo.
Italian Army Paratrooper Museum (Museo Aviotruppe Esercito Italiano)
This is one of the best things to do with elementary age kids and older in Pisa. It’s a bit of a hidden gem. You do need to go on a little walk to get there but it’s well-worth it!
Outside you’ll find vehicles and a helicopter, and your kids can sit inside. There’s also a mini playground for little kids.
The inside is well set up, with so many artifacts! They’ve set up realistic scenes and there are mannequins and equipment set up to give you an idea of how things work. My elementary-age kids loved it on our recent visit. We spent about 1.5 hours and I had to drag them out because we had to get back home.
Fun Fact: This is the Italian Army Paratrooper Training Center.
Spend Time at a Playground
There are a few playgrounds in Pisa. Depending on where you find yourself in the city, you may want to check out:
- Playground on Via del Marmigliaio – small, but fenced and conveniently located on the walk from the big parking lot to the Leaning Tower
- Parco dello Squalo – excellent playground with fun climbing structures, swings and toys for little and big kids
- Giardino Scotto – playground, plus lots of shade and green areas to explore; perfect on a hot summer day
- Parco di Mau – fun, colorful playground, especially for the little kids; padded ground and lots of grassy space; 40 minute walk from the center
- Playground on Via Giuseppe Cesare Abba – small, but fenced and just a 10 minute walk from the Leaning Tower
Good To Know: Although it’s on the outskirts, the Parco dei Salti looks like so much fun! If you have a car, it could be a great stop. Trampolines, padded ground, climbing structures, slide, unique toys.
Pisa Botanical Garden
Yes, I know a botanical garden sounds boring, but Pisa’s Botanical Garden is a nice green oasis in the city – especially in the summer. It’s also small enough that you can walk around with kids and see quite a bit, and there are different greenhouses and areas that are fun for kids to explore. There is a museum on the grounds (included with your ticket), but I’ve found the kids would rather be outside looking at the plants, trees, ponds, etc. However, the museum does have a beautiful façade worth checking out with your kids.
It’s an inexpensive stop for an hour or so, and there are clean toilets (but no changing tables – use a free bench).
More Things to See in Pisa with Kids
Depending on your child’s interests, you could also look into visiting:
- Museum of Veterinary Anatomy (Museo di Anatomia Umana Filippo Civinini)
- Keith Haring’s Tuttomondo Mural
- Museum of Ancient Ships (Museo delle Navi Antiche di Pisa)
- See a Soccer Game – Pisa S.C. is currently in Serie B (the second-highest league in Italy)
Tips for Visiting Pisa with Kids
Strollers – You can bring your stroller to Pisa and move around easily. If you’re climbing the tower, you can leave it outside or in the luggage storage area.
Diaper Changes – Besides inside restaurants and cafés, you can also whip out your portable changing mat and change baby on a bench.
Water – There are water fountains scattered around town, but be sure to arrive with water. Pisa gets really hot in the summer!
Toilets – There’s a public bathroom located behind the Duomo and another one near the big parking lot (mentioned below).
Snacks – There are a lot of nice casual food options in Pisa (panini, cecina, etc), and you can also pick up fruit at fruit stands or in grocery stores, along with other snacks.
Pharmacies –. There are many pharmacies in Pisa (and an amazing hospital!). You can ask someone, ‘Dov’è la farmacia più vicina?’ – Where is the closest pharmacy?
Trinkets – Be careful, small souvenirs and trinkets are all over Pisa! If you have kids who love them, have a quick talk before your visit or give your child a few euro to spend as he/she chooses.
Where to Eat with Kids in Pisa
If you’re looking for a casual meal, check out one of these kid-friendly places to eat:
- I Porci Comodi for panini
- We Love Pasta for super casual, fresh pasta
- La Focacceria dei Sani for focaccia panini
Helpful Tip: Cecina is a local treat. It’s a chickpea flour flatbread and it makes for a delicious snack. Avoid getting hangry and pick up some cecina. You can get it takeaway or in a sit-down restaurant.
Traveling to Pisa with Kids
You can visit Pisa easily with your children by train, car, or organized tour. Yes, there are other options (like the bus), but I’ll focus on these three.
Pisa by Train
If you’re in Florence (or anywhere else connected to the train network), the simplest way to visit Pisa with kids is by train. Hop on at the Florence Santa Maria Novella train station, and take it directly to the Pisa Centrale train station. Easy – no station changes and the fastest trains only take about 50 minutes.
The Pisa Centrale station is about a 20-25 minute walk from the Leaning Tower. If that seems daunting with your kids, you can take a bus or taxi (no car seats) from the train station to the edge of the Campo dei Miracoli.
There are multiple trains per hour. Return the same way (if you think you’ll stay late, check to see when the last train runs).
Read more about Italy Train Travel
Pisa by Car
Traveling to Pisa by car may be a better option if you want flexibility with your schedule. For example, if you want to visit the Leaning Tower and then head to the beach, it’s best if you have your own car.
We usually drive for this reason – we end up stopping somewhere else on the way there or on our way back home.
We usually drive to Pisa. From the direction of Florence, you can take the A11 Autostrada or the FI-PI-LI (Firenze-Pisa-Livorno) superstrada – check the traffic situation before departing.
If you’re coming from north or south along the coast, you can take the A12 Autostrada.
We usually park in the large lot northeast of the Campo dei Miracoli. It’s about a 10-minute walk to the Leaning Tower, but note that it’s not attended, so don’t leave any luggage in your car – break-ins happen. You can also find attended lots and garages scattered throughout the city.
There is a small playground on the walk to the Leaning Tower.
Pisa by Tour
If you don’t want to worry about driving, catching a train, or any transport logistics, you can take a tour. For example, if you’re staying in Florence, here’s a half-day trip from Florence to Pisa – but it’s for kids ages 8+.
Or, arrange for a private driver (NCC – noleggio con conducente) to take you to Pisa.
Read more about Exploring Tuscany without a Car
What to See & Do with Kids Near Pisa
- Lucca – cycle on the historic walls! Read more about Lucca with Kids.
- Forte dei Marmi – family-friendly beach town with a fun market for mamma
- Beaches – play on a Tuscan beach and swim in the sea
- Dinosaur Park (Parco Preistorico di Peccioli) – see life-size dinosauri in a small countryside park
- Ghizzano – stroll through the colorful village
- Natural History Museum – Certosa dei Calci – includes an extraordinary collection of taxidermied animals
- Carrara – take a jeep ride into the quarries to see where Michelangelo sourced his marble
- Pinocchio Park – play in the small Pinocchio theme park in Collodi
- Pistoia Zoo – say hello to the animals
- Cavallino Matto – stop in at this excellent amusement park near the sea
- Florence – get gelato, see David, and explore the Renaissance gem. Read more about Florence with Kids.
Pisa with Kids FAQ
I think Pisa makes a great ½ or full day trip from neighboring towns and cities. If you want to have a home base city in the area, I’d choose Lucca. It’s a wonderful place to stay with kids and you can easily visit Pisa from Lucca.
No, you can’t go on the lawn in Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli. When we last visited it was fenced off with signs prohibiting walking on the grass.
You can fly in to the Pisa Galileo Galilei International Airport. It’s just a few kilometers from Pisa and it’s easy to reach the city by public transport, rental car, or private driver.