It's an easy day trip from Florence to Pisa, only about 52 miles (84 km) west toward the Mediterranean Sea. There are no direct flights between the two cities, but plenty of trains and buses run every day.
Private car services will get you there and back for a set fee, regardless of the number of passengers. Rental cars can be easily booked and picked up in the heart of Florence, but parking in Pisa is problematic and expensive. For the ultimate splurge, there's even a helicopter rental for $2500 one way.
A day trip to Pisa from Florence is included in a number of our guided tours of Tuscany, with transportation included; choose a 5-day, 7-day, 10-day, or 12-day Tuscan adventure option, and you'll find that all feature visits to both Florence and Pisa. Or take two weeks to see Venice, Florence, and Rome, with a stop in Pisa.
If traveling on your own, note that the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is part of the World Heritage site known as Piazza dei Miracoli that features the city's Duomo, Baptistry and Monumental Cemetery, is about a mile from either the train or bus station, so plan accordingly. Either one is a lovely walk through this ancient city.
Duration: 49 minutes to 1.5 hours
Both high-speed and regular trains run from either Florence's Santa Maria Novella or Campo di Marte train station to Pisa's Centrale station. Nearly 50 trains a day make the trip, so finding a round-trip ticket that suits your personal timetable is easy. Note that the last train returns at around 9:30 p.m. High-speed train tickets are a bit more expensive than the slower regular regional train.
By Rental Car
Duration: 1.5 hours
Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Europcar all have rental offices in the heart of Florence, so it is easy to grab a car and go, to make the drive yourself across the Tuscan countryside to Pisa.
Be sure to have GPS available, for trying to navigate Italy (especially the cities) without it is a Herculean feat. Parking near popular sites can be pricey (think $20 a day or more), as is gasoline. All this means that renting a car is much more expensive than taking a train, but the freedom it allows to take side trips and explore Tuscany between Florence and Pisa just might be worth it.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 1.5 hours
Having a personal chauffeur is another option for travel between Florence and Pisa, allowing you a flexible personal travel schedule without having to negotiate the driving yourself. A wide range of vehicles to choose from, be it an economy car, a premium luxury sedan, SUV or even a minibus, if you've got the whole family to transport. Book for the day, or choose an hourly rate. Prices include gasoline and tolls.
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
A number of different bus companies run between Florence and Pisa, many with low cost-seats (especially if you book them well ahead of time). But many of those only run a single bus per day each way, so taking this transportation option often means leaving by 8:30 am and catching the return bus around 4 pm. Buses are subject to traffic as well, which can mean slower travel times depending on the day and time you decide to make the trip.
Note that buses usually restrict the amount of luggage you can bring onboard (unlike trains), so if you're not just doing a day roundtrip, consider that before purchasing a ticket. Pickup and dropoff spots differ for each bus company, so be certain to check exactly where you'll need to be to catch your bus.
By Private Helicopter
Duration: 20 minutes
The fastest (and most expensive) way to do Florence to Pisa is by private helicopter charter, so if your time is short and money is no object, consider booking a helicopter to take you between the two cities in under 30 minutes. Most helicopter companies allow four passengers along for the ride; considering that you'll pay a minimum of around $2,500 for a one-way charter, it's the least they can do.