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Pisa

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About Pisa

Predominately known for its architectural project gone wrong, and Galileo’s pebbles, there’s a lot more to Pisa than one wonky tower, though it does draw the crowds.  And the crowds are the reason Pisa has such a great range of accommodation options! it’s a challenge for our Gurus to pick out the best places to stay in Pisa from amongst the grand palazzos, converted villas, traditional and contemporary hotels, pensiones and B&Bs, plus hillside spa resorts dating from the 17th century.  The last, especially, were the best places to stay in Pisa in the 17th century, when this first became a fashionable destination, complete with thermal waters and around 20 notably historic churches.  

Pisa straddles the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea, and its wealth was built on maritime power, before the Roman period - in fact Virgil called it an old city, and current archaeological thinking puts its founding during the fifth century BC, when it was apparently right on the sea.  So there’s A LOT more to Pisa than the tower, which only went up in the 12th century - and is actually leaning on less of an angle now that it was in the 1990s.  This was a round about way of our Gurus saying they recommend Pisa to those with an interest in history, architecture and archaeology.  Pisa has a fantastic list of museums and galleries, and because Pisa is so culturally and historically rich it’s blessed with a really varied festival calendar, so it’s a great destination for travellers looking to spice up their Italian trip with something a bit special?  

Although no longer a maritime power, Pisa is still an educational one, with several elite universities. The big student community keeps Pisa vibrant and there's a healthy bar and cafe culture, which is more reasonably priced than you'd expect from a city so appealing to visitors.  Pisa is also an excellent size for navigating on foot, with lots of discover along the streets - many of them pedestrianised - between the station and the Campo dei Miracole, which is the historic, touristy bit.  And some of the accommodation on our Gurus’ list of the best places to stay in Pisa is surprisingly affordable as well.  

The Best Places to Stay in Pisa

For Historic Charms

  • The Relais dell'Orologio is a wonderfully authentic 14th century townhouse in central Pisa, just s stone’s through from the leaning tower, with 21 rooms and a wonderful atmosphere. Our Gurus appreciate the unique blend of fabrics and furnishings, and the murals and frescoes against simple decor. Plus the air conditioning. There’s a generally proportioned sitting room where afternoon snacks and pastries are served daily, and they offer breakfast too.

For Romance

  • Residenza D'Epoca B&B Santa Caterina has a rather grand name for a four bedroom B&B, but it’s thoroughly deserving! The expansively proportioned rooms are opulently decorated, with frescoes, intricate cornices, huge sash windows, antique furnishings and chandeliers. The most romantic rooms have four-poster beds, but they’re all very romantic. Breakfast is served in a grand salon, and you’ll certainly wake up feeling rather grand. Surprisingly affordable too.

For a Spa Break

  • The Bagni Di Pisa Hotel & Spa is a beautifully converted 18th century nobleman’s house idyllically positioned between Lucca and Pisa. Now a spa hotel, the villa’s original grand features have been largely retained, so there are spectacular pillars and frescoes in the huge lounge, and vaulted, painted ceilings in some of the 40 rooms and suites. The largest rooms feature living space and huge bathrooms. The spa is part of the name, which is always a statement of intent, and the Bagni’s spa has its own thermal waters, mud therapies a traditional hammam, a chic pool and more. And there’s a great restaurant.

Best B&Bs

  • 7 Rooms is a wonderfully located B&B, in the heart of Pisa. Its range of rooms includes doubles, twins, triples, and quadruple rooms, some with private terraces. The decor is simple, with striking artworks and boldly coloured fabrics, and the breakfast room, and some of the guest rooms, have views of the leaning tower. Convenient and well priced, perfect for families too.

For a Private apartment or villa

  • If you think a self-catering option would best suit your needs then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Pisa has its own airport, Pisa Airport, and a major railway station. Ryanair fly direct from Stansted and Edinburgh, whilst Easyjet go from Gatwick and British Airways from Heathrow. The journey time's just over 2 hours. Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci airport may also be a useful option because it has a broader range of connections. It’s about an hour away from Pisa by car, or about two hours by train.
  • If you plan to hire a car, which we would advise if you want to get out and explore further afield, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • The weather's at its nicest in the summer months, with the average daily temperature climbing to 23°C in July and August. However, this is peak tourist season and so if you want to avoid the crowds (and pay less for accommodation) then maybe September's a better bet? The weather's still around 20°C, perfect for sightseeing.

Still not sure where to stay?

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Best Hotels in Pisa

  • 7 Rooms Pisa 6 rooms from £61

    Local exploring  -  Situated right in the heart of Pisa with many sites within walking distance.
    Value chic  -  A simple, well positioned, hotel with rooms at very reasonable rates.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll around the Botanical Gardens located right next to the hotel.
    Sights nearby  -  A short walk from Pisa Cathedral and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
    Air conditioningPet friendlyParking

    A small B&B in the heart of Pisa. Four simple yet contemporary white washed rooms are light and airy and some feature small balconies. Triple and quadruple rooms make this a great stay for families or groups. Walking distance from Pisa's main sites. A convenient and well priced choice. See More

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  • Residenza D'Epoca B&B Santa Caterina Pisa, Italy 4 rooms from £86

    Value chic  -  At only 99 euros for a double room including breakfast, this B&B is excellent on value
    Local exploring  -  Well positioned for exploring the historic city by foot
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the leaning Tower of Pisa, within walking distance
    Great walks  -  Take long walks through the beautiful San Rossore Park

    Steeped in 18th-century Italian grandeur, this is an elegant B&B located steps from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Opulent rooms (the best of which have four posters) feature intricate cornices, large sash windows and antiques. Breakfast is served in equally grand surroundings. Fabulous! See More

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  • Relais dell'Orologio Pisa 21 rooms from £104

    Sights nearby  -  A stone's throw from the leaning tower
    Local markets  -  Lots of exciting markets nearby
    Full of character
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Air conditioningGardenPet friendlyDisabled access
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    14th century townhouse hotel which offers an authentic old fashioned atmosphere teamed with modern comforts. Breakfast is on offer and afternoon treats and pastries are served daily in the communal sitting room. Rooms are air conditioned with period features. A stylish choice for exploring Pisa. See More

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  • Bagni di Pisa Hotel & Spa Pisa (San Giuliano Terme,) 40 rooms from £180

    Sit-out Terrace
    Spa breaks
    Views  -  Great views of Pisa and the leaning tower
    Sights nearby  -  Just 10km from the centre of Pisa
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViews
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Historic 18th century nobleman's house turned stylish boutique spa hotel just outside Pisa. Traditionally decorated rooms featuring all the mod cons. The real draw is the spa featuring thermal waters, mud therapies, a traditional hammam and much more. Low calorie gourmet cuisine and great views too! See More

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