Best Day Trips from Genoa

Published by: Bounce19 October, 2022

Genoa may not be the most popular Italian city, often overlooked in favor of other world-renowned cities like Rome, Venice, and Milan. But the country’s largest port city also deserves attention. It was the world’s maritime capital for hundreds of years, and its old town is one of Europe’s biggest centers with well-preserved ancient buildings.

When it comes to cultural attractions, the palaces, castles, churches, and the best museums in Genoa will give you a glimpse of its colorful past. Check them out if your day trip plans change are or delayed by the weather.

However, this gorgeous city in Italy is not just home to some of the great examples of Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, and medieval architecture. It’s also an ideal base for day trips to discover more of the Ligurian region.

Day trips from Genoa will take you across northern Italy. It allows you to explore the treasure trove of culture, history, art, and natural beauty in the region and beyond. So if you haven’t added this city to your travel list, it’s time to include a tour to the capital of Liguria in your itinerary.

And when it's time for a day trip to nearby regions, don't bring along all of your backpacks, bags and extra gear. Just bring your valuables and leave the rest of your belongings in a luggage locker in Genoa.

How to get out of Genoa

Genoa has extensive public transit, which includes trains, buses, lifts, and funiculars, connecting the city center to the hills of Genoa. You can learn how to get around Genoa in our handy guide. The city has two primary train stations, Stazione Briogne in the modern part of the city and Stazione Principe near the historic old town. It’s more convenient to travel by train if you’re heading to Cinque Terre and La Specia.

In addition, the city has a bus network connecting it to other parts of the region of Liguria, as well as other European and Italian cities. Although it is easier to reach resorts by catching a train, buses also connect numerous small towns in Liguria’s hilly hinterlands.

If you don’t fancy taking public transportation, you can always rent a car. Genoa has many reliable car rental companies from the airport and in the city. Since it’s a well connected capital, you can even drive from Genoa to some parts of France and Italy.

Other transportation alternatives are bus tours. Private tour companies regularly organize private trips and guided tours from Genoa to several famous attractions beyond the city limits.

From Genoa to Santa Margherita Ligure

Santa Margherita Ligure is a beach lover’s paradise. It’s one of Liguria’s most beautiful places to visit, located in the heart of the region, just less than an hour’s drive from the bustling city of Genoa.

This lovely town is a peaceful travel spot where you can relax and forget about your worries and stress. You’ll be delighted to walk along the beach, the paved sidewalks along the scenic waterfront, and the walking trails. Take a refreshing dip into the clear waters of the Ligurian Sea or swing by Salita San Giacomo for spectacular views over the town and the harbor.

You can also pick from a range of trendy cafes and elegant restaurants to sample some Italian delicacies and local wines. Though it’s a favorite stop for day trips, it remains free from huge crowds, so you can appreciate the place’s peace and quiet.

For those who want to bask in the sun, you can choose from private beaches with minimal admission fees and public beaches anyone can use. You can also take advantage of sun loungers while soaking up the sun.

How to get to Santa Margherita Ligure

Santa Margherita Ligure is only a short drive from Genoa, so renting a car is one of the best travel options to consider. Alternatively, you can catch a train from the central city and stop at the Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino station. Travel time usually takes approximately 34 minutes.

From Genoa to La Spezia

Don’t leave out La Spezia, the region’s second-largest city, when planning tours and day trips from Genoa. It’s located on the border between Tuscany and Liguria, close to Florence, Pisa, and Cinque Terre. Due to its location, visitors often stop here before going to other Ligurian cities.

La Spezia boasts an outstanding combination of gorgeous scenery and historical buildings. It is home to the Naval Technical Museum, one of Italy’s most significant naval museums and a fascinating place for children and adults. It features model shops, cannons, diving suits, and a range of artifacts related to the naval industry.

One of its major landmarks is the San Giorgio Castle. It was originally part of La Spezia’s defensive fortification network built in the 13th century. When you go inside, you’ll find an archaeological museum containing numerous finds that date as far back as the Roman settlements and the Copper Age.

How to get to La Spezia

This Ligurian city is well connected with other major cities in the region, including Genoa. So the best way to get there is by taking the intercity train from Genoa to La Spezia Central station.

From Genoa to Cinque Terre

Located just south of Genoa in northwest Italy is the Cinque Terre. People probably think that Cinque Terre is just one place, but it is made up of five separate villages that are also part of the Italian Riviera coastline. The place is also popularly known as the "Five Lands."

Many would say that this place is the most beautiful in Europe. Cinque Terre will never disappoint you because there, you can find various activities to do to spend the day. There are hiking trails and colorful houses atop a cliff, offering the beautiful sight of the Ligurian sea.

Cinque Terre was once a sleepy fishing village, but now it has become one of Italy's most sought-after tourist destinations. It features some phenomenal villages hugging the coastline and stunning landscapes you won’t find anywhere else.

How to get to Cinque Terre

The easiest and most efficient way to get to Cinque Terre is by train. You just have to take the train that departs from Genoa going to La Spezia, and then get off at your destination. Once you’re at La Spezia, take Cinque Terre Express to Levanto. This local train stops in all five Cinque Terre villages, such as Manarola, Vernazza, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, and the final village, Monterosso. Guided tours are also available, such as walking tours and boat tours with a tour guide that stop at several notable sites.

From Genoa to San Fruttuoso di Camogli

Another unique place that deserves a spot in your Genoa day trips is the San Fruttuoso abbey. It is tucked away in a small cove between the clear blue sea and the lush green of the Portofino National Park. A quiet and secluded well-protected area, the abbey was difficult to reach, making it an ideal setting for a community of monks. It became accessible to the public in 1983 and is now a favorite adventure destination among locals and tourists.

The building features a Ligurian Romanesque style. It’s been carefully restored and maintained, allowing visitors to get a feel of the place’s interesting history. Today, the 16th-century tower and the abbey serve as important venues, hosting classic music concerts in summer, temporary exhibitions, cultural shows, and events.

How to get to San Fruttuoso di Camogli

Only forty kilometers from Genoa, this historic site can only be reached on foot or by ferry from Rapallo and Camogli. The most practical and easiest way to get to San Fruttuoso di Camogli is by sea. Alternatively, you can catch a train from Genoa and stop at Camogli-San Fruttuoso station, then take a boat or ferry to the abbey.

From Genoa to Savona

You can find the humble comune of Savona less than an hour from the city of Genoa.  What lies here are the magnificent gems when it comes to history, art, and culture. Almost all the major historical sites are within walking distance, and you will never get bored with the many activities and places you can visit.

One of its symbols is the Priamar Fortress, a large complex built from 1542 to 1544. You might be surprised to find that the fortress was constructed by the city of Genoa to exhibit its supremacy over this small seaport city. Not far from the majestic fortress is the Walter Tobagi, a seafront promenade where you can stop for a drink, a quick stroll, or find something to eat.

Another structure that symbolizes the city is the Brandale tower. It features a large 14-century bell, which has survived the centuries. It’s one of the most famous attractions in the town worth checking out during your day trips from Genoa.

How to get to Savona

You can get to Savona from Genoa in many ways, but the fastest journey is by taking the train. The 23-mile distance between the two cities would typically take 43 minutes, but it can go as fast as 16 minutes, with the fastest services available at Genoa Piazza Principe station.

From Genoa to Finalborgo

One of Italy's most beautiful villages is Finalborgo, situated in the Province of Savona of Liguria. This village was founded in the 12th century and is known for being walled and having a preserved structure dating back to the 15th century. You can find yourself absorbed in the magnificent medieval atmosphere all over town.

Aside from the beautiful historical monuments, you can also see a castle atop the hill, several ancient churches, fortresses, colorful districts and banners, and houses painted with bright colors that make the town vibrant. Additionally, you can visit the nearby beach attraction as well.

How to get to Finalborgo

It takes an average of one hour to travel the 44-mile distance between Genoa to Finalborgo. You can take a road trip by car, ride the bus, or take the train to get to the location. Taking the train would probably be the fastest as it can get you there in as fast as 48 minutes. The train usually departs from Genova Piazza Principe and arrives at Finale Ligure Marina.

From Genoa to San Remo

A day trip around the Italian Riviera would not be complete without getting a glimpse of San Remo. This exclusive city in northwestern Italy is home to the Festival Della Canzone Italiana or the Italian Song Festival. The city has so much to offer, and it is even dubbed the Monte Carlo of the Italian Riviera. Moreover, it is known as the City of Flowers during the summer.

The city only has a population of 57,000 people and is an ideal location if you are up for a summer trip. Here you can find numerous options for beach resorts, grand villas, and religious monuments. Furthermore, one of the many reasons it’s famous for tourists is its climate. You can enjoy all of the tourist attractions here in very mild and pleasant heat.

How to get to San Remo

There are many ways to travel to San Remo from Genoa. You can either get there by taxi, car, bus, or train. Perhaps the most common and most efficient to get there is by taking the train. Expect the travel to reach as long as 2 hours 16 minutes, but it can go lesser at 1 hour 35 minutes depending on the train service you are using.

Take a day trip beyond the city

You will never run out of incredible places to explore, sights to see, and activities to fill your days in Genoa. Whether you’re an art lover, history buff, or outdoor enthusiast, there is always something in the capital of Liguria to keep you occupied and busy from dusk ‘till dawn. You can spend the night at the rooftop bars, visit the museums and art galleries, discover the palaces and buzzing squares, and more.

But if you’re looking for extra adventures, don’t miss the chance to plan the best day trips from Genoa. Thanks to Italy’s efficient and reliable public transport system, you can travel to other cities, towns, and villages near Genoa without breaking the bank. You can also participate in various tours, so you can go with a group and have a knowledgeable guide to assist with your trip.

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