Pisa is a beautiful Tuscan town of about 90,000 inhabitants that is home to one of our country’s symbolic monuments: the Tower of Pisa. The city presents itself as a perfect destination for all those who love art and architecture as it is home to historical monuments, splendid buildings and beautiful squares. Whether for a weekend or as a stop on a longer trip, Pisa is definitely worth a visit, perhaps as a stopover before travelling to Florence. There are numerous sites of interest in the city, but also a lively nightlife.
Choosing where to stay in Pisa depends on your needs, budget and the type of trip you are planning. If you are in town for a short period, it may be convenient to stay near Piazza dei Miracoli, although accommodation here is among the most expensive in the city. If, on the other hand, you want to stay in an equally central but less chaotic area, we recommend the historical centre or the Sant’Antonio district. As Pisa is a city that welcomes many tourists all year round, the advice is to book your accommodation in advance so that you can find the most suitable accommodation for you at a good price-quality ratio.
Piazza del Duomo, also known as Piazza dei Miracoli, is the place that holds Pisa’s most famous monuments such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the bell tower of Santa Maria (better known as The Tower of Pisa) and the Baptistery. Due to its remarkable beauty, the square has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As this is the busiest area of the city, a large number of accommodations, such as hotels and boutique hotels, can be found here, often at higher prices than in other areas of Pisa. In fact, this district, known as Santa Maria, is one of the best areas to stay in if you want to have the main sites of interest as well as numerous bars and restaurants within easy reach.
Unlike other locations and what one might commonly think, sleeping in the historical centre of Pisa is a suitable solution if you want to avoid the more chaotic area of the city. Located along the Arno River, the historical centre is about a fifteen-minute walk from the famous Leaning Tower. This area of Pisa has medieval origins and is characterised by narrow cobbled streets and alleys, ancient churches and historic buildings. Walking through the centre, a stop at the mural ‘Tuttomondo’, created by Keith Haring on the rear façade of the ‘Servi di Maria’ friars’ convent, and a walk under the arcades of the ‘borgo stretto‘, where there are old shops, cafés and historic buildings, are a must. The historic centre is an area that offers cosy B&Bs, flats and hotels that are often cheaper than the establishments in the area of Piazza dei Miracoli.
The River Arno bisects the city of Pisa and in the south-western part we find the Sant’Antonio district, which is home to the beautiful Church of San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno, also known as the ‘Duomo Vecchio’ because its Pisan Romanesque style recalls that of the Duomo. This is the district that also hosts the Pisa Centrale railway station and is, therefore, a suitable area for those arriving by train perhaps with large suitcases. Keep in mind, moreover, that only 2 km from the station is also Pisa Airport, which connects the city to various destinations in Italy and Europe.
The Sant’Antonio area is an ideal area for all those who want to stay close to the centre of Pisa at a lower price. From here, in fact, it is possible to reach Piazza Campo dei Miracoli with a walk of about 2025 minutes. The area offers several hotels, B&Bs and room rentals, which are mainly located near the railway station.
To the east of the district of Sant’Antonio, still remaining south of the Arno, is the district of San Martino, which was once known as Kinzica. In this district is the Church of San Martino, which seems to date back to the 14th century, and many other historical buildings such as Palazzo Lanfranchi, which now houses the Museo della Grafica.
Finding accommodation in this district means having the main points of interest close at hand but being able to find accommodation at a cheaper price than in other, more touristy areas. Mostly small hotels, B&Bs and flats can be found in this area.
In the area north-east of the Arno river lies the district of San Francesco. This is also a district recommended for those who want to be close to the main attractions. In this area you will not only find the Church of Santa Marta, the Ponte della Fortezza, Palazzo Medici and the Museo Nazionale, but also several bars and restaurants concentrated mainly in the Lungarno area.
Also in this area, the choice of accommodation is very wide with a certain prevalence of B&Bs and room rentals. Prices are slightly lower than in the area of the Duomo and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but still not among the cheapest.
Not a few travellers choose accommodation around Pisa, perhaps immersed in the quiet countryside or near the Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli Regional Park. Sleeping in these locations makes it not only easy to reach the centre of Pisa but also to explore other Tuscan localities.
Outside the centre, there are often cosy B&Bs, agriturismi and farmhouses that offer more privacy and also more space than a hotel room. Many of these accommodations also boast extra facilities such as a swimming pool, solarium or a large garden. Some of the most recommended locations in the area are: Collesalvetti, Calci and San Giuliano Terme.