Last updated on April 1, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Tuscany

Where to stay in Pisa – 4 BEST AREAS + AWESOME Agriturismo

Let me be honest with you – deciding where to stay in Pisa can make or break your visit. Get it right, and you’ll be steps from incredible sights, dining, and that nice university vibe. Get it wrong, and you won’t even feel like you are in Tuscany.

In this guide I break down the top neighbourhoods, covering pros and cons so you can decide on the perfect area for your accommodation in Pisa, whether you want to be next to the iconic places, the buzzing nightlife, or why not in an idyllic rural Tuscan farm.

For each area, I have also highlighted my suggested hotels and Airbnb for a quiet night’s sleep.

But let’s dive into it with a quick table that compares the best areas based on all the pros and cons (swipe left/right to see all the columns on a mobile.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, is the most famous image of the city of Pisa in Italy
The Leaning Tower is the most famous image of the city of Pisa in Italy

Where to stay in Pisa – Key Points

Area Best forAccommProsConsBudgetAccessibilityAttractionsGood for RestaurantsGood for FamiliesGood for NightlifeCharacter
Near Leaning TowerFirst-time & Families B&B 7 RoomsIconic landmark, scenic, good for familiesBusy, higher accommodation pricesHighGoodHighHighHighMediumHigh
Historic CentreCouples and cultureRich history, variety of shops and restaurantsLimited parking, can be noisyMediumGoodHighHighHighMediumHigh
Sant’Antonio/Train StationOn a budgetValue for money, close to train stationLess charming, far from Leaning TowerLowExcellentLowMediumMediumLowLow
San FrancescoNightlifeDiverse bars and restaurants, young vibeNoisy at night, limited parkingHighGoodMediumHighLowHighMedium
AgriturismoFamilies and natureUnique experience, beautiful landscapesNeed a car, not in PisaMediumPoorLowMediumHighLowHigh
Comparing the best neighbourhoods and places to stay in Pisa

My Tip: As much as I love this city, do not limit yourself to Pisa, there are so many amazing places to stay in Tuscany. This city is also so well connected to Florence and Lucca by train.

You can also think of hiring a car in Tuscany and exploring the world-famous Chianti area or planning a full itinerary of Tuscany.

Map of where to stay in Pisa
Map of where to stay in Pisa

Near Leaning Tower/Torre di Pisa

Best place for first-time visitors

Pros: Perfect for first-time visitors, ideal for families, proximity to iconic landmarks, easily accessible public transportation, scenic surroundings.

Cons: Can be busy with tourists, higher prices for accommodation, limited nightlife.

Attractions: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Baptistery, Camposanto Monumentale.

Suggested restaurants and cafes: Ristorante Il Toscano, Pizzeria Kiste’, L’Ostellino, Café Pasticceria I Miracoli.

Pisa - View of Leaning tower and the Basilica in Piazza dei miracoli
Pisa – View of Leaning Tower and the Basilica in Piazza dei Miracoli

The Torre di Pisa is certainly one of the most iconic attractions of Italy, not only Tuscany. This is the main reason to stay in Pisa after all.

I like this neighbourhood because, besides the Leaning Tower, you can easily walk to many other attractions, like the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Baptistery, and the Camposanto Monumentale (the cemetery).

In a few words, you are close to everything.

This is an area that works particularly well for families with kids because it’s safe, most of the streets are pedestrian-friendly and you will be next to parks and green areas, perfect if you have an active kid as I do!

If you stay for 2-3 nights I would definitely suggest walking to the Historic Centre (15-20 minutes) for a more local dining experience. In saying that this area has some great restaurants that still provide authentic Italian cuisine.

My Tip: check out the Ristorante Il Toscano for a fancy dinner. Pizzeria Kiste’ is an excellent choice for a more casual time. L’Ostellino works great for a quick sandwich and the Café Pasticceria I Miracoli is the place to go for a coffee and pastry with the best view in the city (although expensive).

As you may expect, this area is super popular, in fact, one of the most popular in Italy, particularly between June and August (besides the major Italian festivities) with plenty of travellers around. Probably not the best if you are looking for a traditional and local experience.

No surprise, it’s also the most expensive area to stay in Pisa

You won’t find much nightlife in this neighbourhood (more on this later) and you will be far from the train station, on the other side of the city.

Best hotels in Pisa near Leaning Tower

The B&B 7 Rooms is a beautiful accommodation metres away from the Piazza del Duomo. The rooms are air-conditioned, soundproof, comfy, and they boast a nice city view. Free Wifi.

Here are other 2 great options:

La Torre Garbata($$$): exceptional location, comfortable rooms, and commendable cleanliness.

Under the Tower ($$$): 2BR in a prime location with exceptional comfort and cleanliness. Fully-equipped and tastefully decorated. Truly a home away from home.

Historic Centre

Best place for couples and culture

Pros: Best for couples and culture, rich in history and architecture, variety of shops and restaurants, charming atmosphere, easy access to other attractions.

Cons: Limited parking options, some areas can be noisy at night, slightly further from the Leaning Tower.

Attractions: Piazza della Pera, Church of Santa Maria della Spina, Museo della Grafica, Palazzo Blu.

Suggested restaurants and cafes: Osteria dei Cavalieri, Ristorante Galileo, Fuori di Zucca, Filter Coffee Lab.

The Historic Centre of Pisa
The Historic Centre of Pisa

If you are looking for a more charming and characteristic stay then book your accommodation in the Historic Centre. This is in my opinion also the most romantic part of the city, especially after sunset with the warm street lights. Surely the best place to stay in Pisa for couples.

True, you will not be exactly next to the Leaning Tower but walk 20-30 minutes and you will be there. And part of it will be in a maze of antique buildings, an interesting stroll.

Attractions in this area include the Piazza della Pera, one of the city’s nicest squares, still a hidden gem. Then you should check out the unique Church of Santa Maria della Spina, a Gothic church that houses invaluable works of art.

Another must-visit is the Palazzo Blu, a historic palace that now serves as a museum.

Finally, I suggest the Museo della Grafica, in the Lanfranchi Palace, especially if you love art and graphics.

The Historic Centre of Pisa is my favourite area for food and local wine. There is such a great choice of restaurants and eateries around, not to mention the cafes.

My Tip: for true Tuscan dishes book a table at the Osteria Capodimonte, meanwhile for a romantic night head to the Ristorante Tora Tora.

Just two warnings:

  • The closer to the Leaning Tower the more expensive it gets to eat and drink.
  • Coffee and cappuccino are generally inexpensive in Italy (around 1.2-1.5 euros) but only if you drink standing at the bar. If you sit at a table, the owner can charge as much as they think is worth the service and place.

Unfortunately, also this area has its drawbacks. Parking can be challenging due to the city’s strict traffic limitations.

Also, some streets may get a bit noisy, especially on weekends. This is when locals and tourists enjoy the bars and restaurants of the Historic Centre.

Best hotels in Pisa in the Historical Centre

Beautiful Pisa is a 1BR apartment right in the centre of Pisa – you’re only a short 1.5km wander from Piazza dei Miracoli and Pisa Cathedral. The apartment is very cosy with everything you need for a quick break or a long stay.

Here are other 2 great options:

Gambacorti Suite ($$$): 1BR apartment. Exceptional location, comfortable stay. Well-equipped, spacious apartment with strong WiFi. Highly recommended for family stays.

La Corte di Lisa ($$): A great simple stay with self check-in

Sant’Antonio/Train Station

Best place on a budget

Pros: Best for budget travellers, value for money, close to the train station, variety of eateries, easy access to public transportation.

Cons: Lacks the charm of historic areas, not as picturesque as other areas, far from the Leaning Tower.

Attractions: Church of Sant’Antonio Abate, Corso Italia, Tuttomondo (Keith Haring).

Suggested restaurants and cafes: La Fortezza Pasticceria, Ristoro Stazione Leopolda, Ristorante La Bucao, and Pizzeria i Due Capperi.

Pisa - The area of Sant Antonio close to the Train Station
Pisa – The area of Sant Antonio close to the Train Station

I would suggest a stay in Sant Antonio if you are short on budget. This neighbourhood has the cheapest accommodations in the city.

You will be also next to the train station which means you can potentially be based here to explore Lucca (30 minutes) and Florence (1 hour) on day trips.

Moreover, you can literally walk from this neighbourhood to the International Airport (20-25 minutes) or simply take the 10-minute PisaMover (light train). It’s so convenient, especially if you have a late arrival or early departure.

Sant Antonio is certainly not as charming or romantic as the Historical Centre (most 60s-70s buildings). However, Corso Italia, the main shopping street in Pisa, is a stone away and the Church of Sant’Antonio Abate should not be missed.

My Tip: Check out the mural Tuttomondo (Keith Haring), a quick walk away from the Station. This impressive piece of street art would be a major attraction in any other city but Pisa has already so many stunning places to visit that Tuttomondo is often missed out.

The Train Station area has also a few interesting restaurants and cafes, which may not be as charming as the ones in the Historical Centre but certainly deliver great value. Vero Bistro, steps from the train station, is a great example.

If you are visiting Pisa only for the Leaning Tower, be aware that it’s quite a walk to get there (~30 minutes). Alternatively, take the direct 1+ Bus (20 minutes)

Here are 2 of the best hotels in Pisa on a budget

Pisacentro Guest House ($): Comfortable, clean, and spacious with an excellent location

Safestay Pisa Centrale ($): Affordable, clean, and conveniently located. Excellent staff and facilities. Perfect for short-term stays in Pisa

San Francesco

Best place for nightlife

Pros: Best for nightlife, close proximity to the Leaning Tower, a diverse range of bars and restaurants, good public transportation links, lively atmosphere, young vibe.

Cons: Can be noisy at night, limited parking options, higher prices for accommodation.

Attractions: Piazza dei Cavalieri, Chiesa di San Francesco, Orto Botanico di Pisa, Palazzo della Carovana

Suggested restaurants and cafes: Osteria di Culegna, Il Ristoro della Pe’, Filter Coffee Lab, Antica Trattoria Il Campano.

Walking in the Historic Centre
Walking in the Historic Centre

San Francesco is a vibrant and lively area, in fact, one of the best places to stay in Pisa for nightlife. This area offers a diverse range of bars and restaurants. You are also within walking distance of the Leaning Tower, which is so handy.

Several attractions in the area will satisfy your cultural and historical curiosity. Piazza dei Cavalieri, a significant historical and political centre during the Middle Ages, is within easy reach.

You can also visit the Chiesa di San Francesco, a church featuring Gothic-style architecture. The Orto Botanico di Pisa is a lovely botanical garden to visit and relax before continuing your city exploration.

And do not miss a visit to Palazzo della Carovana, a beautiful building over 500 years old, hosting today an art exhibition.

But San Francesco is also famous for Borderline, the best live music venue in the city that unfortunately opens only from Thursday to Saturday night.

My Tip: start the night by visiting the Chupiteria Bar where they prepare interesting and cheap shots that are more of a multi-colour piece of art. Then walk to the other side of the river and check out ExWide, a great Jazz Club

The biggest drawback of staying in San Francesco, in my opinion, is the lack of parking which may be an issue if you are renting a car in Tuscany and driving around the region.

Here are 2 of the best hotels in Pisa close to the nightlife (still very quiet)

Residenza D’Epoca ($$-$$$): Highly recommend for a cosy, memorable stay. Short stroll to Pisa’s iconic sites.

Casa Benvenuti ($$): Perfect central location with excellent amenities, a sustainable choice offering delightful Italian breakfast and constant Wi-Fi

Agriturismo

Best place to stay in Pisa for families and nature

Pros: Best for nature lovers and families, peaceful and rural setting, unique accommodation experience, ample parking, an opportunity to experience local cuisine and culture, and beautiful landscapes.

Cons: Limited public transportation options, need a car for easy access, you are not in Pisa.

Attractions: Agriturismo farms, local vineyards, and countryside walking trails.

Suggested restaurants and cafes: Local farm-to-table dining experiences.

The agriturismo is a great place to stay for families and nature lovers
The agriturismo is a great place to stay for families and nature lovers

You may be already aware of the differences between hotels, agriturismo and farmhouses. In short, an agriturismo is a rural accommodation usually set in a winery or a farm offering wine and food only produced locally, as fresh as it can get.

The agriturismo concept is well-developed in Tuscany and the Pisa province is certainly an area where you can find a few of these countryside accommodations.

A stay in nature will allow you to have early walks between wineries before heading to the main attractions of Pisa. It works also so well with families travelling with kids because you will be more relaxed with your children running around.

A few agriturismo offer also cooking classes or wine-tasting experiences, which is another great bonus.

Of course, parking is not going to be an issue and in this respect, a stay in the countryside works so well if you are driving around Tuscany. However, agriturismo is not really an option if you are using public transportation because you will be most likely isolated.

Basically, you can use the agriturismo as a base to visit the Leaning Tower and the rural Tuscan countryside.

My Tip: if you drive to Pisa on a day trip, I suggest leaving your car at this free parking in Via Fazio degli Uberti or at Pisa Tower Parking, much closer to the Leaning Tower, but they charge an hourly fee of around 2 Euros.

Here are 2 great Agriturismo close to Pisa

Al Palazzaccio ($$): tranquil retreat in rustic elegance, with warm hospitality, delicious food and a scenic countryside setting

Fattoria L’Olmetto ($$): comfort, cleanliness, and great food in a beautiful setting, making it a superb stay close to Pisa

Drone view of Pisa
Drone view of Pisa
Pisa - Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina along the Arno River
Pisa – Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina along the Arno River
Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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