Pisa: 4 Reasons Why It’s Overrated?!
What comes to mind when you hear Pisa? Surely, it’s the Leaning Tower, right? The good thing about Pisa and the reason we actually spent a night there, was 100% its proximity to Florence. At the start of our trip in Italy, we flew to Pisa and thought, why not spend the night? It was a late night flight so we thought we might as well stay over and have a nice walk around the next day. This was us thinking there would MORE to Pisa than Piazza dei Miracoli. This is the square that houses the 4 famous religious buildings that you see on all postcards (and my photo above 😀 ). Sadly however I was quite a bit disappointed with Pisa and kinda wished we hadn’t spent the night there. Why?
There actually isn’t that much to see
We landed quite late in the evening so really only had the next day to explore Pisa and I actually thought that one day won’t be enough to see everything. Until I realised that actually there wasn’t that much to see. The first thing we did of course was go to Piazza dei Miracoli which I must admit I liked a lot. It’s fascinating to see the Leaning Tower and the The Baptistery which were definitely my highlights. A walk round the streets leading to the square is also lovely but quite short. We stayed at an Airbnb near the central bus station and the walk from there to Piazza del Miracoli, including all the sightseeing and picture taking, took about 3 hours.
It’s so overpriced
This comes as no surprise but goodness me this place is overpriced. If you start from the accommodation all the way to the actual attractions, you gotta dig deeper into your pockets. I was literally stunned by the fact that Pisa was actually way more expensive than Florence when it comes to accommodation. And it’s not just the price that was shocking but the quality as well. If you go in season, you really have to spend a bit (over €50 per room, per night) if you want to stay in a decent place. And it’s just so not worth it when for almost half the money, you can stay in Florence.
Watch out for the cover charge
If you decide to treat yourself to a meal out in a tratoria (everyday dining place, not as posh as restaurants), watch out for the cover charge!!! This is essentially a charge of around €2-3 per person which they don’t usually tell you about. So before you sit down, ask if the tip and cover charge are already included in the prices. Otherwise you might end up leaving grumpy having paid both a cover charge and a tip on top of the price of your pizza.
It’s so overcrowded
I was literally blown away when I saw how crazy overpacked Pisa was. Honestly, the square was so overcrowded, we had to wait for quite a bit to take a picture with the tower. I’m sure you can imagine how long some people were taking before they got that perfect shot with the tower!!! Don’t let that annoy you, just wake up early and be at the square before all tourists have woken up. That way you’ll take the perfect picture and will avoid the queues.
So to sum up, go to Florence (absolutely stunning) and only do a day trip to Pisa. You’ll only need 4-5 hours max to see everything and have a pizza in one of the tratorias on the main street. And definitely don’t sleep there. You’ll struggle to find a decent place for a good price! Plus the train journey from Florence is short, well priced and super comfy so no excuse 😀 . For a whole guide on things to do and see in Florence, check out this post. Enjoy!