If you are planning a trip to Genoa, you probably already have a list of things that you want to do and see while you are visiting this part of Italy. You might have made a list of things that is so expansive that you are not sure you will be able to get to all of your plans during your trip! Thankfully, we have created the perfect Genoa itinerary for your trip so that you don't miss out on a thing. If you only have a few days to spend in Genoa, you will still be able to see all the things that you want to enjoy.
When you visit Genoa, most of the city is quite walkable. This means that you can easily wander from Palazzo Bianco to Palazza Ducale, to the Corso Italia. There is no shortage of things to do and see in the city at all times of the day and being able to walk to most of these events is really handy.
The Italian riviera is an amazing place to visit, but only if you have your hands free. You will want to be sure to place your bags in secure storage before you start enjoying your long weekend in Genoa. Once you have your bags properly placed where they will be safe, you can have a lot more fun as you explore this delightful city. The historic center and the various older locations that you might want to see when you are in Genoa are not made for access with large bags in tow.
Once your bags are securely stored, you will be ready to start having lots of fun in this amazing city!
Genoa Itinerary - Day 1
Head to Bar II Chiosco for a delicious cappuccino and a pastry, and then get ready to enjoy the historic center of the city! Your first day in Genoa should be all about the lovely older places and things that you should not miss out on seeing when you are in this part of the world. The city centre is highly walkable, so this day will be all about walking and taking in the sites and sounds. If you love shopping, don't worry. There are many opportunities to enjoy this kind of adventure in the city centre as well.
Start your tour of the city centre by visiting the Christopher Columbus Monument. Genoa was the birthplace of this famous explorer, and this is a beautiful and photo-worthy statue in his honor. You will want to head to Porto Antico next since you will be steps away from the harbor at this location. You cannot visit Genoa without heading down to the harbor, and you can buy local wares and street food here. Make sure to dodge the street hawkers that will try and push wares on you as you enter the harbor area. There are better things to buy and see as you walk along the harbor front.
Get ready for your afternoon adventures by grabbing a gelato from one of the many gelato stores along the waterfront.
In the afternoon of your first day, you will want to head to Piazza Banchi. This area is located right in the heart of the oldest part of the city, and you will love the winding and dark little streets nestled between narrow buildings. There are booksellers and other small shops along these streets, and the Church di San Pietro in Banchi is housed here as well. It is free to enter the church, and you should pop in because this little house of worship is so old and well-loved.
Close out the afternoon by touring the Cathedral di San Lorenzo which is well-known for its striped exterior and its well-maintained and beautiful interior. This is the heart of the Piazza Banchi area, and you will love everything about this magnificent church. You can also drop into the Treasure Museum that is nearby if you wish.
After grabbing lunch along the way, you can wander to the Piazza de Ferrari, which is a new area in the city center. The Piazza de Ferrari has a beautiful fountain, and you can easily catch the bus here to head on to other adventures. The Columbus House is in this area as well, and you are a short distance from Via XX Settembre for Shopping for some excellent shopping. This is one of the shopping centers in the city, and there are also lots of restaurants and bars in the area where you can get a great meal or a snack at. You can also choose to go to the Spianata dell’Acquasola Park with some street food and wander around enjoying the evening.
There are many delightful little bars and places to sit down for a late-night snack in this area near the Piazza de Ferrari as well, so if you are not quite ready to head to bed, this might be the perfect way to close out your first night in Genoa. The Italian Riviera is beautiful and very engaging at night and you will want to make the most of your evenings in this lovely city.
Genoa Itinerary - Day 2
You might choose to sit down for breakfast this morning at Fratelli Klainguti, or you can opt for a quick cup of coffee again. Your first stop on this second day of your time in Genoa should be Via Giuseppe Garibaldi. This area used to be known as the "Golden Street," and there are rows of charming old homes here as well as some Unesco World Heritage Sites. There are heaps of art museums along this route, and if you get the Museum Pass for Genoa, you can use this pass to access nearly all of them. This will save you money if you are an art lover, and you will love being able to wander through these lovely displays unimpeded by concerns over price.
The afternoon should be all about Palazzi dei Rolli. The royal palace locations along the Palazzi dei Rolli are well worth some hours of attention, and you will be amazed at the sites that you can visit here as well as along the nearby Palazzo Ducale. There are over 100 palaces along this street, and many of them are Unesco world heritage sites. If you are visiting Genoa in June, you might be in town for Rolli Days. During this event, you can access all of these locations and see the full area with ease.
Make sure to linger in the Ducal Palace and take pictures from the top of the Palazzi dei Rolli area. This is a scenic and lovely part of the city that will take you most of the afternoon to enjoy.
The Spianata Castello is a great place to get a bird's eye view of the city, and you might choose to start your night here or to finish it here. You can also elect to go dancing at Corso Italia on the weekend. This is a great stop for those who are old enough to go into a club, and the food and drinks in this part of the city are excellent. Even if you do not choose to go dancing, you might want to head over toward the Porto Antico for access to some really enjoyable late-night snacking and dining.
Genoa Itinerary - Day 3
Start your final day in Geno by visiting the Lighthouse of Genoa. The city of Genoa's history is married to the sea, and the lighthouse is a perfect representation of the maritime history of this maritime republic. This monument is known as the "city's symbol," and it is a beautiful spear of white rising 120 meters above the city. If you have come to the city in the summer, you can easily ride a boat from the Genoa Aquarium to see the lighthouse in person.
Since you will be in proximity with the aquarium, this is a great excuse to visit this lovely modern museum in the city. Enjoy access to sea life of all kinds, interactive exhibits, and a more modern museum experience than you can enjoy in the old town. While you might not find exhibits on Christopher Columbus or the city itself here, kids and adults alike will love the aquarium's residents. This can be a nice way to get out of the heat if you have visited this port city when it is the most humid time of the year.
Head to the Piazza Della Vittoria to see the three caravels that are covered in flowers and represent Christopher Columbus and his ships. You will also be able to enjoy a beer festival in this area if you are in town in September. The Piazza della Vittoria is a great place to shop for designer brands like Dolce & Gabbana, but you might also want to simply walk and see the sites in this part of the city.
For a more serious afternoon, you can head to Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and see the tiny dog sculpture in the facade as well as the unexploded bomb that dates back to the Second World War. This is a lovely spot just alongside the Piazza de Ferrari, and you will also be located near Casa di Colombo. There are many things to see and do in the area of Cattedrale di San Lorenzo besides just the gothic church.
If you have had your fill of historical center sights and sounds, you can also use this day to wander down to the Cinque Terre to see the five little fishing villages that are clustered together under this name. These beautiful and quaint little hamlets along the coastal cliffs offer you the chance to see the charm of old Italy and to walk along footpaths and tiny streets that have not changed in centuries. The entire city of Genoa is historical, but there is something breathtakingly Mediterranean about Cinque Terre.
For your last night in the city, head to the Vicoli. This is the young, hip, and fun part of town, and you can enjoy drinks, dancing, and dinner here. You should consider sitting down anywhere near the Piazza delle Erbe for a meal, and you might also enjoy the area of Via di San Bernardo. This is a very crowded and fun area of the city, and you will not want to finish visiting Genoa without at least spending one night out on the town here. Public transport will get you into and out of this area, and you will love that the locals have so much fun mingling and having fun in this part of the city.
The nightlife near the old port and in the old town is always really excellent, and you will love enjoying these important attractions during your last day in the city.
Genoa is An Amazing Place to Visit
No matter what activities and adventures are on your list of things to do while you are in Genoa, you will have a great time even in three days of travel. You can see everything from an important church to fishing boats and museums in most of the parts of the city that you visit each day. There is always something exciting and fun to do and see in Genoa, no matter where you have wandered in the city area. Locals love welcoming people to their city and you will wander by beautiful pastel-colored houses as well as gorgeous buildings that date back to generations before the Second World War.
Make sure that you put your luggage into secure storage from the moment you arrive in Genoa. You will have lots more fun during your stay if you are not worried about keeping your bags and belongings with you as you wander the old port or the city center. Having your hands free during your travels in Genoa will also make it much easier to enjoy traditional dishes, delightful wines, and the many museums and historical buildings that Genoa has to offer.