Genoa's rooftops

13 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN GENOA, ITALY

Hi! Welcome to my latest post. I’ve been living in Genoa (Genova in Italian) for about 2 months now, and here are all my recommendations of things to see and do…

Getting to Genoa

Air: Genoa has it’s own airport (Cristoforo Colombo) which is pretty close to the city centre. It costs €21 and takes 15 minutes. There is also a bus service which costs €5 and takes 30 minutes to the city centre. Another option is the bus which takes you to a nearby train station (€1.5, 30 minutes). You can also fly into one of Milan’s airports and take the train, which often works out cheaper.

Train: Genoa has 2 central train stations, Brignole (South & East) and Principe (North & West). You can reach Genoa directly from all of Italy, and the South of France.

Bus: Flixbus* allows you to reach Genoa from most of mainland Europe, in an affordable and eco-friendly way. I’ve taken a few Flixbuses and I love them! A one-way ticket booked a few weeks in advance can cost anywhere between €6-12. The bus stop is right next to Principe Station.

Top Tips

Inner-City Bus Travel: Bus tickets cost €1.50 and are valid for 100 minutes. You can buy them from tobacconists (make sure to pre-buy, as they generally don’t have them on the bus). It’s also important to validate them in the orange boxes to avoid paying a fine!

Useful Phrase: Un biglietto dell’autobus per favore (one bus ticket please).

Foods to try: Pesto and Foccacia are native to Genoa, you won’t find any better! I particularly like Trofie (Truffle pasta) with pesto, and onion focaccia. Other Genosese dishes to try are Farinata (Crispt Chickpea Pancake), Ravioli and Pansotti (In a walnut sauce), Vegetable Minestrone alla Genoese and Vegetable Pies (my favourite are the courgette and the onion).

Art, History and Culture

The Palazzos: Genova has 4 main palaces. My favourite is the Royal Palace, and the other 3 are all on Via Garibaldi ( The Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco, and Palazzo Tursi). It’s €2 to visit the Royal Palace if you’re an EU citizen under 26 (€6 full price) and then the ticket to visit the other palaces is joint and costs €9.

San Lorenzo Cathedral: The Cathedral was built in the 12th century and entrance is free. If the weathers nice, make sure to visit the tower and take in some views of the city – it costs €5 extra.

National Gallery di Palazzo Spinola: It’s less of a gallery and definitely is set up as a former family home with amazing furnishings. There is plenty of artwork to see on the walls too, though.

Oriental Museum: The museum costs €5 and boasts an impressive collection of Japanese art. A perfect place to visit on a rainy day!

San Lorenzo Cathedral, Genoa
San Lorenzo

Shopping

XX Septembre: Is the main shopping street in Genova, where you can find everything you need. There are also lots of cafes for when you need a break!

Mercato Orientale: A super affordable way to grab some lunch. They have a great food court as well as stalls where you can buy spices and genoese specialities.

Activities

Aquarium, Biosphere and the Aquarium Village: A pretty pricey place to visit, but if worth it as somewhere to spend a whole day. The whole package is €44, but you can visit just the aquarium for €18.

Whale Watching: During the warmer months, you can take a 5 hour trip from Porto Antico and costs €40. There are drinks and snack on board too – click here to book.

City Walking Tour: The tour is run by the tourist board, and includes a visit to the 3 Palaces on via Garibaldi. You are taken through the narrow alleyways and see some of the main attractions. It’s €14 (the €9 ticket to the palaces is included). You can book here.

Building next to Piazza Ferrari
Genoa’s Architecture

Cooking Class: There are a few cooking classes available, especially on Air BnB experiences. You can view the options here – I’d recommend a pesto or focaccia making class! (Sign up to air BnB here for £ off).

Nearby Places To Visit

Boccadasse: If you’d like to take some time out of the city, then visit this tiny fishing village and grab a coffee or gelato on the beach. You can take the 42 or 31 from the centre of Genoa. Make sure to take in the village from the square behind the church – it’s beautiful!

Nervi: It’s easy to reach Nervi by train or bus. They have an expansive park which is nice to visit if the weather is good. I’d also recommend walking along the coastal path – there are some fab views.

The Harbour of Nervi
Nervi

Cinque Terre: A little further afield, but a perfect place to visit for a day trip from Genoa. You can read my post about Porto Venere here – one of the 5 towns.

Porto Venere, the Cinque Terre

I hope you found this post was useful, and you enjoyed reading about the things to see and do in Genoa.

Let me know if you’ve ever visited Genoa, and what your favourite things to see and do in Genoa were.

Bye for now x

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27 thoughts on “13 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN GENOA, ITALY

  1. Pesto and foccacia?! Take me to Genoa! lol I’ve never been to Italy, first time will be in January! They always sounds like they have such fantastic food regardless of which location you choose. I can’t wait!

      1. I think you’ve made a lot of converts to Genoa in the readers of this blog post. I’ve not visited since I was about 14 so I’m well overdue for a return trip. And your Flixbus link is offering me a return ticket for a great price. I’ve never considered getting a bus across Europe before. I think I feel a spring trip coming on – onion focaccia… mmmmmm….

      2. I hope so – it’s a great city thats should be just as popular as some of the others in Italy! You should totally visit Italy, and bus travel is way better for the environment, and your wallet! The flix buses are really comfy too. The food is worth is alone!

  2. I’ve never been to Genoa but you’ve made me want to hop on a plane ASAP. I think I started drooling a little bit when you were talking about the food, it all sounds divine. The attractions all sound very reasonably priced too, which is amazing, especially The Palazzos. It sounds like a great place to live! x

    Sophie

  3. Italy is high on my bucket list but I hadn’t really considered Genoa. This post has certainly made me rethink; it looks very pretty and I love the sound of the aquarium and whale watching.

  4. Italy is my favourite country, for sure! I’ve never visited Genoa though, but from the looks of your photos and recommendations, it’ll have to go straight to the top of my list! It sounds like such a beautiful, historic place with so much to do! I need to visit 🙂 x
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  5. I’ve never actually thought about visiting Genoa before but heard about it through travel blogs and vlogs so many times and hearing more of the details of the city and the pretty spots nearby through your post, is definitely encouraging me to think about it! Thanks for sharing x

  6. I feel really guilty for saying this but I haven’t heard of Genoa before! I have heard of Cinque Terre, though, which doesn’t make me feel so bad haha. I am loving the architecture in Genoa and it reminds me of that cathedral in Florence!

Let me know what you think!