Located in Liguria in northern Italy, Genoa makes a fantastic location for a family trip. This historic city is filled with colorful buildings, winding streets, and a harbor full of boats. There are plenty of things to keep kids entertained in Genoa, from exploring the Aquarium to visiting castles and forts.
From Piazza de Ferrari to the Old Port, Genoa city center is full of beautiful buildings, narrow alleys, and historic tourist attractions. But the fact that Genoa is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, or even that it's one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, may not mean all that much to kids. Luckily, if you look around, you'll find kid-friendly attractions that will please the whole family. Genoa is a wonderful place to travel with the family, and you won't regret visiting Genoa with kids.
Of course, traveling with the family often means traveling with plenty of baggage, too. You can make things easier on yourself by dropping off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Genoa. The lighter you travel, the more fun you'll have when you visit Genoa with your family.
The Galata Maritime Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Genoa and its importance as a seafaring city. The museum is located in the Palazzo San Giorgio, a 13th-century building that was once the headquarters of the Genoese Bank of St. George. The museum has three floors of exhibits, including model ships, paintings, and maritime artifacts. Known in Italian as the Galata Museo del Mare, this important museum is located in the ancient port or Porto Antico area, a center of shipbuilding during the heyday of the Republic of Genoa.
Ordinarily, you might not think museums and kids go together all that well. But there are enough interactive exhibits bringing history to life here the kids will have a blast. It's one of the best museums in Genoa, and one of the best things to do in Genoa with kids. They'll have so much fun they won't even realize they're learning something.
Nazario Sauro Submarine
The Nazario Sauro submarine is moored in the harbor right in front of the Galata Maritime Museum and is open to tours. The submarine was launched in 1953 and served in the Italian Navy until 1990. Kids will love exploring the cramped quarters and seeing what life was like for the crew. Their imaginations are likely to run away with them completely as they get a sense of what life was like underneath the waves. This is a definite must-see in the old Port area and is included with a ticket to the Galata Museum. Children under six can visit free, while children from 7 to 17 get in with a reduced ticket price of €12 rather than the normal €17.
Another great attraction in the Porto Antico area of Genoa's Old Town is the Bigo. This panoramic lift or elevator takes visitors up to a viewing platform for great views over the city and harbor. The Bigo was built in 2002 for the Genoa International Boat Show and gets its name from the crane that was used to load ships in the harbor. The Bigo is located next to the Aquarium of Genoa, making it a great place to stop in Genoa with kids after exploring the underwater world.
The Aquarium is one of the largest in Europe and is home to over 500 species of fish. Located in the old harbor area close to the Galata Museum, the Aquarium has a series of tanks that simulate different marine environments. There are also touch tanks where kids can get up close and personal with stingrays, sharks, and other creatures of the sea.
The Aquarium is a great place to spend an afternoon, especially on a rainy day. It's one of the best things to do in Genoa with kids, and it's sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Located on a hill in the east end of Genoa, Castello D'Albertis is a 19th-century castle that was built by a wealthy Genoese explorer and adventurer. The castle has been turned into a museum, and its grounds offer great views over the city. Kids will love exploring the castle's secret passages and towers.
Castello D'Albertis is one of the best things to do in Genoa with kids. It's a great place to explore, and the views from the castle are incredible. Of course, in a city as old as Genoa, it's far from the only fortress that's worth exploring. Other notable fortifications include the 16th century Fortezza di Santa Tecla, the 17th century Fortezza Spinola, and the 18th century Forte di Maddalena.
Genoa has several parks that are perfect for kids. The Parco della Lanterna is home to the city's iconic lighthouse, while the Parco del Principe offers sweeping views of the harbor. Other parks worth visiting include the Giardino Botanico del Porticciolo, the Parco del Mare, and the Villa Durazzo Pallavicini. Whichever you choose, you'll be giving the little ones a chance to burn off the excess energy and get some exercise while you enjoy the peace and tranquility of Genoa's many beautiful natural areas. Plus, the parks in the city center can give your wallet a break too, they are some of the best free things to do in Genoa.
A short train ride northwest from Genoa train station is the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site made up of five villages perched on the Mediterranean coast. The villages are connected by a network of hiking trails, making it easy to explore the area. Be sure to stop in at one of the many vineyards for a taste of the local wine.
Of course, wine tasting isn't for kids. But they will enjoy the pebbled beaches and quiet coves of this remarkable location. There's a reason why this National Park shows up so often on bucket list destinations of places in the world you must see. In fact, the picturesque villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, and the rest may seem eerily familiar to you when you finally get to see them. That's because these are, understandably, some of the most heavily photographed locations in the world.
The Botanical Garden is located in the center of Genoa and is home to a collection of Mediterranean plants. The garden is beautifully landscaped and has a number of fountains, sculptures, and greenhouses. Kids will love exploring the different gardens and seeing all the different types of plants. It's also a great place to let them burn off some energy while you enjoy the peace and quiet.
The Botanical Garden is one of the best things to do in Genoa with kids. It's a great place to explore, and the gardens are beautiful. Plus, it's a great way to get some exercise while you're in the city.
There are a number of places to rent bikes in Genoa, and it's a great way to see the city. Whether you're looking to explore the Old Town or the harborfront, biking is an excellent way to get around. It's another useful way to get more exercise.
If you're looking to explore the Old Town, bike rental is a great option. You can see a lot of the historic sights and landmarks without having to worry about traffic or parking. If your kids are old enough to ride competently on the city streets, consider renting a few bikes and turning your trip to Genoa into a family biking holiday.
If you're in town at the right time of year, you could see Genoa transform into a kind of fairytale city. Every February, Genoa celebrates Carnevale with a two-week festival filled with costumes, parades, and parties. The highlight of the festival is the Grande Parade, which winds its way through the streets of Genoa within the city walls on Shrove Tuesday. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the beautiful floats and costumed revelers! Youngsters, older kids, and adults alike are likely to love Genoa Carnavale, and it makes for an unforgettable experience to have in this ancient city.
La Citta dei Bambini
La Citta dei Bambini is a hands-on museum designed for kids. Located in the old harbor area, which is already such an excellent destination for families, the museum has interactive exhibits on science, technology, and the arts. Kids can dress up in costumes, make art, and even drive a mini car. There's also a playground on-site, making it the perfect place to spend a day with the kids in Genoa.
Luna Park is an amusement park located in the Genoa neighborhood of Voltri. The park has a Ferris wheel, carousel, bumper cars, and a roller coaster. Kids will also enjoy the arcade games and puppet shows. There is an admission fee, but it's well worth it for a day of fun with the family. It's also a good option if the kids are threatening to mutiny at the thought of another day exploring historic monuments and museums. Locals head to this park to give the kids a day of fun while the grown-ups relax, and there's no reason you can't do the same on your trip to Italy.
What are the best family activities in Genoa?
Discovering the best things to do in Genoa with kids will depend a lot on the ages and personalities of your children. But whatever they and you like to do, chances are good you'll find something worthwhile to explore.
The Porto Antico neighborhood is a great place to start. With the fascinating Maritime Museum and a real submarine to explore, plus the panoramic and stroller friendly elevator of Il Bigo, Genoa Aquarium, and a replica pirate ship created for the 1986 movie Pirates, it wouldn't be hard at all to spend the whole day in this single neighborhood enjoying everything it has to offer.
When traveling with younger children, the many parks of Genoa offer a great - and free! - way to have some fun. But older kids may get more out of a trip to the gorgeous villages of Cinque Terre, and adults definitely will.
There is much to do in Genoa with kids, from visiting parks and playgrounds to exploring ancient sites and enjoying the city's lively festivals. Bike rental is a great way to get around, and Carnevale is an unforgettable experience. The hands-on museum La Citta dei Bambini is perfect for a day with the kids, and Luna Park is a great option for some amusement park fun. No matter what your family enjoys, you're sure to find something to do in Genoa that everyone will love.
Whatever you choose to do in the city Christopher Colombus once called home, you'll have a much better time if you can manage to travel light. Drop off your bags with Bounce, and you'll be able to fully enjoy everything Genoa has to offer. Before you know it, the kids will be asking when you can next visit this beautiful city - and you'll be agreeing with them.