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Genoa

Experience authentic Italy as you explore the grand palaces and medieval streets of this ancient port town.

Part of Italy’s Riviera, on the country’s northwest coast, Genoa offers visitors a glimpse of authentic Italian life. The city’s narrow streets are crammed with family-run restaurants in which you can sample fresh seafood and the region’s famous speciality: pesto. Follow the story of Genoa’s history as a rich and important trade center, and the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, as you wander through old buildings and world heritage-listed districts.

The region of Liguria has almost no flat terrain and that includes Genoa, its capital. The easiest way to explore the city is from the top down. The main shopping areas and public squares are found higher up on the hills. Make your way down through the city’s medieval old town, with its narrow, pedestrian-only alleys known as caruggi. You’ll reach one of the main thoroughfares, Via Garibaldi, which has three of Genoa’s important art museums housed in magnificent palaces: Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Rosso and Palazzo Tursi.

Visit the Porto Antico (Old Harbor), the city’s former important shipping quarter. This area has been renovated and is now home to cafés, cinemas and museums. Stop by the Galata Sea Museum, where you can learn about the voyages of Christopher Columbus and other famed explorers. The Aquarium of Genoa, one of the largest aquariums in Europe, is also located at the Old Harbor. The newer dockside area is crowded with fishing boats alongside ferries and luxury yachts that often cruise in from nearby Portofino.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a mountaineer to enjoy the sights of this hilly city. Use the two cable car services to travel uphill as you enjoy sweeping views of the city and port. The public elevator from the Piazza del Portello will take you up to the charming Castelletto area, where the terminal is a beautiful art nouveau tower. Driving is not recommended in Genoa as parking is difficult to find. Public buses are also a good alternative if you need a break from exploring on foot.

Top hotels in Genoa

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Grand Hotel Savoia
Grand Hotel Savoia
5 out of 5
Via Arsenale Di Terra, 5, Genoa, GE
RM520
per night
19 Apr-20 Apr

This family-friendly Genoa hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Piazza Principe, Aquarium of Genoa and Old Port. Genoa Port Center and ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,665 reviews)

"The staff was friendly and service was excellent. Breakfast was excellent— many choices and food was hot."…"

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2020

Grand Hotel Savoia
Tower Genova Airport Hotel & Conference Center
Tower Genova Airport Hotel & Conference Center
4 out of 5
Via Pionieri ed Aviatori d'Italia 44, Genoa, GE
RM311
per night
5 Apr-6 Apr

Located in Sestri Ponente, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Via Sestri, 105 Stadium and Fiumara Shopping & Fun. Villa Brignole Sale Duchessa di Galliera ...

3.8/5Good! (568 reviews)

"The hotel was outstanding. Walking distance from the airport (if you wanted to). Clean and friendly. The front desk was so helpful finding us a restaurant Open in the middle of the afternoon. They went above and beyond. We thank them,,,,,"…"

Reviewed on 28 Nov 2019

Tower Genova Airport Hotel & Conference Center
Bristol Palace Hotel
Bristol Palace Hotel
4 out of 5
Via XX Settembre 35, Genoa, GE
RM683
per night
4 Apr-5 Apr

Located in Genoa Historical Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Piazza de Ferrari, Aquarium of Genoa and Old Port. Genoa Port Center and Port of ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,602 reviews)

"Beautiful hotel. Very clean. Right in the middle of EVERYTHING. Friendly staff. Best part of our European vacation."…"

Reviewed on 25 Mar 2020

Bristol Palace Hotel

Popular things to do in Genoa

Aquarium of Genoa
Image for Aquarium of Genoa

Aquarium of Genoa

4.5/5(25 reviews)

Discover the weird and wonderful creatures of the deep at one of Europe’s largest aquariums, where sharks, manatees, penguins and a myriad of tropical fish await.

Old Port
Image for Old Port

Old Port

4.5/5(84 reviews)

Venture into this thriving and culturally rich area of Genoa to discover splendid museums, a bustling harbor and a leisurely atmosphere. 

Piazza de Ferrari
Image for Piazza de Ferrari

Piazza de Ferrari

4/5(71 reviews)

Stroll past the quaint shops and cafés that line the narrow alleys leading to Genoa’s main square then visit the historic buildings surrounding it.

Palazzo Ducale
Image for Palazzo Ducale

Palazzo Ducale

4.5/5(43 reviews)

Inspect the fabulous frescoes and chandeliers and climb the tower to see the former secret jail that detained renowned inmates.

Palazzo Rosso
Image for Palazzo Rosso

Palazzo Rosso

4/5(41 reviews)

Check out the stunning frescoes decorating the majestic rooms of this palace as well as the works of art in the gallery. 

The Bigo Lift
Image for The Bigo Lift

The Bigo Lift

4/5(23 reviews)

When you take a ride in this lift you’ll see spectacular aerial views of Genoa and experience the expertise of an internationally famous Italian architect and engineer. 

Top activities in Genoa

City Sightseeing Genoa Hop-on Hop-off
Image for City Sightseeing Genoa Hop-on Hop-off

City Sightseeing Genoa Hop-on Hop-off

RM92
Per adult
Genoa Street Food Tour
Image for Genoa Street Food Tour

Genoa Street Food Tour

100% of travellers recommend
RM279
Per adult
Genoa Walking Tour & Cruise to Portofino from Genoa
Image for Genoa Walking Tour & Cruise to Portofino from Genoa

Genoa Walking Tour & Cruise to Portofino from Genoa

RM428
Per adult
Genoa & Portofino Day Trip
Image for Genoa & Portofino Day Trip

Genoa & Portofino Day Trip

86% of travellers recommend
RM575
Per adult
Genoa Traditional cooking class with tasting
Image for Genoa Traditional cooking class with tasting

Genoa Traditional cooking class with tasting

100% of travellers recommend
RM457
Per adult
Genoa: 3-Hour Walking Tour in the Footsteps of Columbus
Image for Genoa: 3-Hour Walking Tour in the Footsteps of Columbus

Genoa: 3-Hour Walking Tour in the Footsteps of Columbus

RM1,221
Per adult

Reviews of Genoa

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
62
5 - Excellent 44.285714285714285%
4 - Good
61
4 - Good 43.57142857142857%
3 - Okay
15
3 - Okay 10.714285714285714%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 1.4285714285714286%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Karen

18 Feb 2020

Genoa is a beautiful old city with friendly locals and a modern feel to it . It is a small city and as such easy to get around by walking , bus or metro. It has a great selection of restaurants, cafes , museums, shopping and much more . I love it.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

3 Feb 2020

A lot of streetwalkers in the Old Town, so some alleyways I would avoid.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

1 Jan 2020

This was a last-minute booking & an overnight stay only so I can only really comment on the hotel, parking & staff which I have done. It would unfair to attempt to judge the area or the city overall as we arrived in the dark & left at dawn.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

30 Dec 2019

small city compared to other Italian cities, lovely historical buildings and very walkable city but could be hilly in some areas. I will visit again.

5/5 - Excellent

Sara

27 Dec 2019

Small historical city, charming architectural buildings, walkable and feel safe. Port city for cruise ship ans very lay back atmosphere. lovely city and glai finally visted

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

24 Dec 2019

lovely port city, walkable and seems a bery relax city

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