Although Florence has its own airport, a lot of the more budget-friendly airlines service the nearby Pisa Airport instead.
It can be tempting to spend more on a flight that takes you direct to Florence: don’t. Travelling between the two cities is easy, affordable – and even gives you the chance to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa while you’re at it!
Travelling between Pisa Airport and Florence
From Pisa Airport, you have several options:
Car: You can arrange to pick up a hire car at Pisa Airport. From there, it’s only a 10-minute drive to Pisa City Centre and 45-minutes to Florence. Driving directions can be found here. Although I wouldn’t recommend hiring a car if you’re planning to spend most of your stay in Florence, having your own transport can be a great way of exploring the beautiful Tuscan countryside.
Coach: Two coach companies operate regular buses between Pisa Airport and Florence city centre – Terravision and Autostradale. Both take an hour, and both cost around €5 for a one-way journey and €10 for a return ticket. Although you can book tickets online in advance, I’ve always found it easier just to buy mine at the airport information desk upon arrival for whichever company is leaving soonest.
Train: Until a couple of years ago there was a direct train linking Pisa Airport to Florence, via Pisa Central Station. Now things aren’t quite so simple, due to construction work aimed at introducing a new PisaMover service that will shuttle between Pisa Airport and Pisa Central Station every 5-8 minutes. It should be ready by 2016, but in the meantime a rail replacement bus – the PisaMover Bus – is in operation, leaving every 10 minutes and with a journey time of just 8 minutes. From Pisa Central Station, you can then catch a direct train to Florence Santa Maria Novella Station. The journey takes approximately 50-60 minutes, with trains leaving every 30 minutes or so. You can buy your entire journey ticket in advance from the airport information office for around €10.
Seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa
If you want to squeeze in a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa before or after your flight, it’s pretty easy to do.
If you’re heading there straight from Pisa Airport, a taxi ride should cost around €7-10. A taxi ride from Pisa Central Station will cost even less.
Alternatively, if you want to walk, start from Pisa Central Station. From there, it’s less than 2km to the Piazza dei Miracoli where the Leaning Tower presides. It’s an easy stroll that’s well sign-posted, and should take about 20-30 minutes. You can leave your luggage at the Station for around €3– just look for the ‘deposito bagagli’ sign near Platform 1.
One word of warning: don’t expect the sight of the tower to help you in your navigation. It’s surprisingly short and so isn’t actually visible until you’re fairly close anyway.
How do you travel between Pisa Airport and Florence? Is a stop-off at the Leaning Tower of Pisa worth it? Share your thoughts below.