Where to Stay in Pisa (2020 • COOLEST Areas!)

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In this EPIC GUIDE, we cover where to stay in Pisa based on your travel style & budget. Check out the coolest areas in Pisa!

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Sipping locally produced wine under the Tuscan sun: can anyone truly say they’ve never dreamed of it? Pisa, one of the most famous Italian cities, is the perfect place to live out those fantasies.

But since most people know it only for its iconic tower, how are you meant to know where to stay?

That’s the question our crack travel crew are here to answer, with this insider guide on where to stay in Pisa. This way you can maximise your tower time while checking out everything this underrated town has to offer.

Before long you’ll be a Pisa pro, knowing the under-the-radar locations and hotspots in this sunny Italian city. Fantastico!

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Pisa

 

IN A HURRY? HERE’S MY TOP NEIGHBORHOOD FOR FIRST TIMERS:

Santa Maria
Santa Maria is a central area of Pisa, with clear boundaries. It sits on the north bank of the River Arno, between the Citadella and Mezzo bridges.
PLACES TO VISIT:
  • Check out the Baptistry, in the same big open space as the Tower.
  • See the Cathedral. This imposing structure has stunning architecture and was a blueprint for others that followed.
  • Enjoy a tasty dinner in a side street and toast your travels with cheap but fantastic table wine!

 

Where To Stay in Pisa

Not worried about where you’ll be and just looking for somewhere that’s right for you? Check out our best picks for Pisa in general!

 

Best Hostel in Pisa – Safestay Pisa

The biggest, most popular and most comfortable located youth hostel in Pisa, just 5 minutes walking from Pisa Centrale Train Station and only 12 minutes on foot from Pisa Airport. The most iconic sight; the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, is just a 20 minute walk away.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Pisa!

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Best Airbnb in Pisa – Gorgeous Ensuite Room in the Heart of Pisa

This ensuite room built in a historic building of medieval origin is ideal for first-time visitors to Pisa. Situated in a very charming street in Pisa, you’ll be close to many shops, clubs and tourist attractions. Walk just a few minutes around and discover the beautiful sights Pisa offers. The place consists of a bedroom on the third floor, a folding table, a TV, a mini bar fridge, an espresso machine and an electric kettle. There’s a bathroom inside the room equipped with all the essentials.

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Best Hotel in Pisa – B&B Relais Paradise

The bed & breakfast has 3 modern rooms that are equipped with a range of essential facilities to ensure guests have a comfortable stay. B&B Relais Paradise is ideally situated for sightseeing in Pisa with Leaning Tower of Pisa and Piazza dei Miracoli within walking distance. It is also minutes from the Tuscany Wine Region.

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Pisa’s Neighbourhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Pisa

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Santa Maria

  • Santa Maria is a central area of Pisa, with clear boundaries. It sits on the north bank of the River Arno, between the Citadella and Mezzo bridges.
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San Giusto

  • San Giusto is on the other side of the river and tracks from the Tower and Santa Maria, going back as far as the Superstrada motorway.
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San Francesco

  • Neighbouring Santa Maria to the east, on the north side of the river, and downstream as far as the Fortezza bridge, is San Francesco.
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San Martino

  • San Martino lies on the south side of the river, up against the banks, and follows them around as far as Vittoria Bridge. It meets San Antonio on its western edge.
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Sant’ Antonio

  • The other half of this bend in the river, Sant’ Antonio meets San Martino on its eastern edge and continues down around the bend to the Cittadella bridge.
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Pisa is a city of about 90,000 people, in the north of central Italy. It is southeast of Genoa, running directly along the coastline, and about a 50 mile drive west from Florence.

There are loads ofthings to do in Pisa. It’s best known for the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and that’s what most travellers come to Pisa for: to see it and to take a photo pretending to be holding it up (or kicking it over, if you’re like one of our travel team!).

Pisa has a lot more to offer than its most famous icon, and you can spend a good day or two exploring its surrounds, though we wouldn’t recommend a week!

It’s often used as a jumping off spot on the way to La Spezia, the gateway to the incredible Cinque Terre.

Pisa itself, often overlooked, has a number of gems waiting to be found.

Like Porta a Piagge, by the stunning River Arno, where you can stroll or jog your way down the picturesque banks, admiring the beautifully coloured houses. Or there’s Porta a Lucca, a top pick for sports fans, as this is where the stadium is located.

San Lorenzo Alle Corti is the locals’ choice for the best place to live, so is surely worth seeing what the fuss is about. And there’s Barbaricina, with its easy access to the national park that sits just west of the city.

Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Pisa! And you’re in Italy so, y’know… food!

 

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Read our full review!

 

Pisa’s Five Best Neighbourhoods To Stay In…

Depending on your travel style, you may want a specific type of area to stay in. Here are our five picks for the different types of neighbourhood you might need!

 

#1 Santa Maria – Where to Stay in Pisa Your First Time

Santa Maria is a central area of Pisa, with clear boundaries. It sits on the north bank of the River Arno, between the Citadella and Mezzo bridges. It then runs back almost as far as the main road but stopping just short of the Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracles Square) where you’ll find the Tower.

It’s easy to walk all around Pisa from here, so there’s no need to fork out for public transport, and since you’re on the tower’s doorstep, you can use that as your navigational landmark for any adventures further afield.

Many of the streets here are pedestrianised, and paved with those delightfully uneven cobbles, ready to catch an ill-prepared or poorly shod traveller unawares!

There is a great market here in Santa Maria, where you can find fresh food for cheap. Picnics are always a good idea in Italy, where you can find great bread, cheese and meats to take with you on your wanderings.

There are fantastic small bars and restaurants tucked away down side streets. The food is comparable to those on the main drag, but carry a far less hefty price-tag, due to skipping the tourist trail.

Santa Maria, Pisa

 

Things to See and Do in Santa Maria

– Just walk. Take part in the Italian custom of the passeggiata. It’s an evening stroll with friends or family where you see who’s where and what’s what.

– Go on, visit the Tower! It’s a must and it really is a peculiar sight. With an overnight stay here, maybe you can avoid the bus tour crowds by visiting later or earlier in the day.

– Check out the Baptistry, in the same big open space as the Tower. This is where Galileo was baptised – very exciting history geek moment!

– See the Cathedral. This imposing structure has stunning architecture and was a blueprint for others that followed.

– Enjoy a tasty dinner in a side street and toast your travels with cheap but fantastic table wine!

 

Best Hostel in Santa Maria – Helvetia Pisa Tower

They are in the best location you can get in Pisa, in the historic and oldest part of the town, right under the Leaning Tower. everything will be in walking distance; sights, shops, restaurants and nightlife (Piazza Garibaldi is just 5 minutes walk from here).

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Best Airbnb in Santa Maria Gorgeous Ensuite Room in the Heart of Pisa

This ensuite room built in a historic building of medieval origin is ideal for first-time visitors to Pisa. Situated in a very charming street in Pisa, you’ll be close to many shops, clubs and tourist attractions. Walk just a few minutes around and discover the beautiful sights Pisa offers. The place consists of a bedroom on the third floor, a folding table, a TV, a mini bar fridge, an espresso machine and an electric kettle. There’s a bathroom inside the room equipped with all the essentials.

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Best Hotel in Santa Maria – Tower’s Garden

Located within walking distance of Pisa Centrale Railway Station, this charming bed and breakfast is an ideal base for those wanting to discover Pisa. A satisfying breakfast is available each morning, and there are also numerous restaurants and cafés close by.

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Best Hotel in Santa Maria – B&B 4 Rooms Pisa

This comfortable bed & breakfast in Pisa offers free Wi-Fi, as well as luggage storage and a ticket service. It is ideally located for guests wanting to discover the area’s attractions. Those staying at this 3-star bed & breakfast can book excursions with the assistance of the tour desk.

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#2 San Giusto – Where to Stay in Pisa On a Budget

San Giusto is on the other side of the river and tracks from the Tower and Santa Maria, going back as far as the Superstrada motorway.

This location is a winner though, as you’re situated near the central train station for your side trips to Florence and Cinque Terre. Also, you get to wander through the most scenic parts of the city on your way to and from home.

There are literally dozens of accommodation options available to you here, having the highest concentration of lodgings in the city. They’re usually B&Bs, with Italians opening their homes to guests, and providing real hospitality.

There is a supporting number of eateries too, with a handful of pizzerias, caffeterias and gelaterias clustered toward the station.

San Giusto is our choice for the best place to stay in Pisa on a budget, as its short distance from the Miracles Square and old town means its overnight prices are more reasonable, while its proximity to the station makes it super convenient.

Walking over the river is no hardship either, with the views up and down the Arno worth several visits.
And religious history buffs will be a fan, as there are several churches and a convent in the boundaries of this area of town.

San Giusto, Pisa

 

Things to See and Do in San Giusto

– Go for a meal at the historically significant Convento de “I Cappuccini”.

– Sample a slice at the highly-rated Pizzeria Il Quarto Giusto Pisa.

– Cap off that pizza with a scoop or two of the different flavours on offer at the even higher-rated Ammodo Gelateria Artigianale.

– Utilise the station to take a day trip in any direction! There are options galore!

– Catch a passionate local game of football at Campo Sportivo San Giusto.

 

Best Hostel in San Giusto – Aliante B&B

Located a 5-minute walk from Pisa Centrale Station, 900 meters from Pisa Airport and 30 minutes’ walk from Pisa’s Leaning Tower, Aliante B & B offers air-conditioned rooms with city views and free WiFi.

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Best Airbnb in San Giusto – Sophisticated and Clean Apartment in San Giusto

This newly refurbished sophisticated apartment is ideal for those visiting Pisa on a budget. Located just over ten minutes walk from the station and the airport, you’ll be very close to everything. The room has gorgeous marble floors, a typical crystal chandelier to feel the Italian vibes, a large wardrobe and a balcony. It also comes with a smart TV with Amazon Prime. It also comes with a fully equipped kitchen, a private garden and a veranda.

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Best Hotel in San Giusto – Blue Shades ApartHotel

Situated a short drive from Leaning Tower of Pisa, Blue Shades ApartHotel provides modern accommodation in Pisa. This 4-star hotel with 16 contemporary rooms provides a concierge, a safe and luggage storage. In addition, the multilingual staff can offer tips and local knowledge.

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Best Hotel in San Giusto – LuckyHouse B&B 

LuckyHouse B&B offers spacious rooms equipped with heating, plus all the essentials to ensure an enjoyable stay. They all have a shared garden and wireless internet access. It is ideally located in the Tuscany Wine Region, allowing guests to easily try the area’s specialities.

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#3 San Francesco – Best Area to Stay in Pisa for Nightlife

Neighbouring Santa Maria to the east, on the north side of the river, and downstream as far as the Fortezza bridge, is San Francesco.

It’s a quiet neighbourhood with tranquil streets and pretty little squares popping up every now and then. So why have we picked it for the best place to stay in Pisa for nightlife?

Because of the university! While most of San Francesco is as described above, the western border where it runs into Santa Maria is a hotspot of bars, clubs and restaurants.

You could start off in either direction on the north bank, by the Mezze Bridge. Then you’ll want to head in a zig-zag fashion up toward the Statue Pietro Leopoldo l.

It’s in all the little side alleys and lanes that you’ll find wine bars and taprooms and one fun-sounding place called ‘The Happy Drinker’. Worth a look, at least!

There’s stuff to do here during the daytime too, you lucky things. The 10th century San Michele in Borgo church was built over a Roman Temple and is still standing, in all its frescoed glory, today!

If churches are your thing, you’re in luck, because San Francesco has a bunch of ‘em.

San Francesco, Pisa

Source: Poogie (Shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in San Francesco

– Bar-hop in the roughly triangular section between the bridge and the Palazzo del Podestà.

– Check out the fantastically long history on show at the church of San Michele in Borgo.

– Visit the Palazzo Medici on the riverbank, home to that most famous of Italian familial dynasties.

– Wander around the Gipsoteca di Arte Antica dell’ Università di Pisa. It’s a museum, and it’s free!

– Have a look at the statue of Statue Pietro Leopoldo I, Grand duke of Tuscany. There’s a pretty great gelato shop right on the corner nearby!

 

Best Hostel in San Francesco – Wanderlust B&B

Wanderlust B&B is only a 15-20 min walk from the train station and less than 7 min by foot to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Coffee machine where you can choose cappuccino, espresso – perfect after a late night! Late check-in with a special remote system.

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Best Airbnb in San Francesco – Quirky and Charming Apartment in Perfect Location

This quirky apartment was built from a restored ancient Chocolate Factory and is composed of two levels with a large living room, two double bedrooms and a single bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom. Walk down and you will find a lot to do – just a block or so off the main Borgo Stretto which is full of restaurants and shops, and the Pisa tower a ten minute walk away.

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Best Hotel in San Francesco – Borgo Largo 51

This 3-star bed & breakfast provides a tour desk, luggage storage and a terrace. Those staying at the property can unwind with a book in the on-site library. Borgo Largo 51 has 5 en suite rooms with heating and a flat-screen TV.

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Best Hotel in San Francesco – Due Borghi

Strategically located in the middle of the city, this 3-star bed & breakfast makes for an ideal base in Pisa. Due Borghi offers peaceful accommodation, in addition to a tour desk, free Wi-Fi and luggage storage. Other services available include a garden and a safe.

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#4 San Martino – Coolest Place to Stay in Pisa

San Martino lies on the south side of the river, up against the banks, and follows them around as far as Vittoria Bridge. It meets San Antonio on its western edge.

This neighbourhood was initially slated for the coolest neighbourhood to stay in Pisa for its outstanding enormous Keith Haring mural from 1989, just chilling on the wall of one of the churches.

Once we took a closer look, there’s actually a ton of reasons it deserves this title.

It’s in San Martino that you’ll find the nice shaded park space of Scotto Gardens. Remember that picnic we mentioned earlier? Well, here’s your spot. It’s right by the river, and with a killer fortress to check out once you’ve eaten your fill.

There’s also the very cool Museo della Grafica Palazzo Lanfranchi, a contemporary graphics museum inside a landmark castle. The exhibitions change often so even if you’ve been before, go again!

There’s a number of great little cafes dotted along the banks of the river. And if none of these are to your taste, you can always pop over the river to check out what San Franceso’s bank has to offer!

San Martino, Pisa

Source: trabantos (Shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in San Martino

– Get some epic snaps of the famous big mural. Different lighting is good to play with here.

– Chill out at Giardino Scotto, relaxing on the grass with a picnic.

– Try the Leningrad Cafe for some real Italian espresso!

– Explore the Pisa Fortress, built in the 15th century.

– Check out a show at the Graphics museum.

 

Best Hostel in San Martino – Hotel Moderno

This family-run hotel offers you the warmest of welcomes. It is 15 minutes walk from the International Airport ‘G. Galilei’! The Hotel has a total of 21 guest rooms (some with balconies) that come complete with telephone, color TV and hairdryer.

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Best Airbnb in San Martino – Stylish Vintage Apartment near the Historic District

Located in the heart of the city, this vintage apartment is one of the coolest places to stay in Pisa. Its antique furnitures mixed with modern designed ones make it a very uniquely styled place. Located two minutes fromthe the Pisa Tower, you’ll be able to walk around to visit Pisa and the historic district. This also means that it is very convenient to go out and go home safely by walk.

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Best Hotel in San Martino – Hotel Alessandro Della Spina 

Hotel Alessandro della Spina serves a daily breakfast and has a bar where guests can unwind. A wide variety of eating options can also be found nearby. Situated a short walk from the Central Station, the hotel offers friendly staff to provide useful tips on what to see and do in Pisa.

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Best Hotel in San Martino – Five Roses Bed & Breakfast

Five Roses Bed & Breakfast has 5 elegant rooms that are equipped with all the necessities to ensure a comfortable stay. There are also a number of rooms designed for families. On-site dining options include a restaurant, which is an ideal place to have a meal.

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#5 Sant’ Antonio – Best Neighborhood in Pisa for Families

The other half of this bend in the river, Sant’ Antonio meets San Martino on its eastern edge and continues down around the bend to the Cittadella bridge.

Sant’ Antonio gets our pick for the best place to stay in Pisa with kids because it’s really close to the central station, so it’s no hassle to make your way to and fro with little ones in tow.

It’s also right by the river for waterside wanderings. There’s the big green space on the other side of Giuseppe Mazzini street. And you’re in close proximity to the national park, which is an ideal spot for day trips!

Add all this to the fact that Pisa is small, so you can all be over by the Tower and its accompanying attractions in less than ten minutes, and you’ve got yourself a winning neighbourhood.

Like the rest of town, there are several churches worth a look here, though the more impressive ones are found elsewhere.

A top pick would be the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, where there is a big open-air market. Perfect for those healthy and not so healthy snacks!

Sant Antonio, Pisa

Source: saiko3p (Shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in Sant’ Antonio

– Head to the big market in Vittorio Emanuele Square.

– Check out the Blue Palace on the riverbank.

– Visit the historic landmark of Il Sostegno.

– Wander at nighttime by the river, seeing the lights of the city and bridges reflected in the water.

– Treat the kids, and yourself, at the Gelateria Orso Bianco. Creamiest flavours around!

 

Best Hostel in Sant’ Antonio – Pisa Train Station Hostel

Pisa Train Station Hostel, a brand new hostel it is located 100 meters from the central train station. All rooms are Wi-Fi connected with free and fast internet, lockers with locks, hairdryers and universal battery chargers for your smartphone, tablet and much more!

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Best Airbnb in Sant’ Antonio – Spacious and Modern House in the Heart of Pisa

Accommodating up to twelve guests, this spacious and modern apartment is an excellent pick for large families visiting Pisa. Recently renovated, it’s located only three hundreds meters from the central railway station and a km away from the airport. Ideal to explore everything Tuscany offers, you’ll be happy to come home to a house composed of four bedrooms with a TV, three bathrooms and be ableto relax after a long day of exploring.

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Best Hotel in Sant’ Antonio – B&B Dei Cavalieri

Offering views of Pisa, B&B Dei Cavalieri is centrally located and provides a swimming pool. It is set amongst a variety of dining options and is minutes on foot from Pisa Centrale Railway Station.

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Best Hotel in Sant’ Antonio – Hotel Bologna Pisa

Hotel Bologna Pisa features an around the clock reception, as well as a rooftop terrace. Every relaxed room at Hotel Bologna Pisa includes a minibar and slippers, and the bathrooms feature hair dryers and showers.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Pisa, Italy

Pisa is an undiscovered treat of a city, despite it being a destination for many travellers to Italy.

Get to know it for more than one tilting tower, and you’ll come out the richer.

Thanks to our guide, you’ll be able to do that without a hitch, and you may even discover a new delight to share with us that we haven’t included.

Our best overall hotel B&B Relais Paradise will see you well-rested and well-fed, and ready for each day’s exploration.

That’s it from us for now, and those are our travel crew’s ideas and inspiration on where to stay in Pisa. Ten points for the most original tower pose!

“I’ve been to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s a tower, and it’s leaning.” – Danny deVito

While Italy can be very safe, it’s super important to make sure you get travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

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In this EPIC GUIDE, we cover where to stay in Pisa based on your travel style & budget. Check out the coolest areas in Pisa!

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