Cerium- and lanthanum- substituted bismuth titanate (Bi4-xAxTi3O12; where A=La or Ce, and x=0, 0.5 and 1) ceramics were prepared from nanopowders synthesized by coprecipitation method. The as-synthesized powders were calcined, uniaxially pressed and finally sintered at 1050°C. It was shown that sintering behaviour, phase composition and grain morphology of the obtained ceramics were influenced by the presence of lanthanum and especially cerium ions in the titanate structure. Mechanical properties (hardness and fracture toughness) were measured at room temperature on polished sample surfaces using a Vickers microhardness tester. The hardness values for of bismuth titanate based ceramics were in the range for some other important perovskite titanate, whereas their fracture toughness was somewhat higher.