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The ultimate guide to climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa | Tips & suggestions

Leaning Tower of PisaClimb the Leaning Tower

Jutting out like a gawky, tall teenager in a family photograph, the Leaning Tower is uncontestably the most famous building in the Square of Miracles in Pisa. With its pronounced, nearly 4° tilt, it is a wonder the monument still stands despite the loose soil it is built upon. 

Nevertheless, the Leaning Tower draws hordes of tourists year after year, with visitors as eager to climb it as take photographs with it. If you’re planning to climb the tower, here’s what you need to know before, during and after your ascent.

Leaning Tower of Pisa: Specifications

Height: 58.36 meters
No: of stories: 8
No: of steps: 273
Tilt: 3.99°
No: of bells: 7
Construction material: White marble and limestone

Preparing for the climb

Before

  • Ensure you book your tickets in advance as you have to choose a date and time slot. Remember that at any given time, only few people are allowed to climb the tower. 
  • This relatively easy climb only requires some basic physical fitness. However, it is inaccessible to visitors in wheelchairs and unsuitable for those with mobility issues, vertigo, etc. 
  • If you’re carrying luggage or bulky items, drop them off at the cloakroom, about 50m from the tower, before your ascent.
  • Wear shoes with a good grip as the stairs are slippery and worn out in some areas.
  • Children below the age of 8 are prohibited from climbing for safety reasons, so please make arrangements accordingly.

During

  • The total number of steps is about 273, but the first viewing deck is reached after 251 steps.
  • It takes about 30-40 minutes to climb up.
  • The stairs are wide enough for two people to climb side by side, so make way for people who are on their descent.
  • Take breaks every now and then to catch your breath if you need to.
  • On your way up, you may feel a little off balance. This is attributed to the tilt and is no cause for worry.

After

  • The view above the initial landing/viewing deck is even better, so climb a few more steps to get to the apex.
  • Here, you can see the seven bells that are each tuned to one musical note. You can only see the cordoned section of a skylight that lets you see all the way down below.
  • The view of the Square of Miracles is unique from atop the tower, so click lots of pictures.
  • Once you’re ready to descend, take the same stairs back down.
  • Try to visit the other monuments in the Square of Miracles, especially the Pisa Cathedral, since the Leaning Tower is actually its bell tower. Don’t miss the Baptistery and the Camposanto too.

What if climbing the tower is not for me?

If climbing the tower is not available to you, you can still strike a pose and take a picture with it from the outside. You can also visit the nearby buildings in the Square of Miracles. If you’re curious to know more about the tower, check out this TED video on YouTube. If you have a child below the age of 8, you can engage them with books like The Adventures of Marcello Mousetti: Saving the Tower by Diana Savastano.




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Frequently asked questions about climbing Leaning Tower of Pisa

Can anyone climb the Leaning Tower?

The Leaning Tower is inaccessible to visitors in wheelchairs and those with mobility issues. People with vertigo and pregnant women are also advised to exercise caution and consult a doctor before climbing.

Can you feel the tilt as you climb the Leaning Tower?

Yes, if you’re feeling a little off balance closer to the top, it’s probably because of the tilt. 

When is the best time to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

The best time to visit would be in the winter months, between November and February, when crowds are thinner and the weather is cooler. Try to visit first thing in the morning or late afternoon for a smooth visit.

How do I prepare myself for the climb up top?

You can read up on the architecture and history of the tower before climbing it. We also strongly recommend booking tickets in advance so you can choose your date and preferred time slot.

Are there guided tours of the Leaning Tower?

Yes, you can enhance your visit and climb by booking guided tours of the Leaning Tower with or .

Are there any tickets for independent explorers who want to climb the Leaning Tower?

If you prefer going solo, you can enrich your visit and climb by booking an audio guide with . You can upgrade your ticket to gain access to the other monuments in the Square of Miracles.

Is it safe to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Yes, scientists and archeologists believe that the Leaning Tower will remain steady for at least another 300 years, so there’s no cause for concern.