Genoa, or Genova as the Italians say, was the nearest city to our base on the Ligurian coast so it made sense to have a day trip there. If you’re wondering what to see in Genoa in one day then read on for some ideas!
What to see in Genoa in one day
If you’re on a tight budget then don’t worry, there’s plenty to see and do in Genoa for free.
Piazza Raffaele De Ferrari
This square in centre of Genoa with its fountain is a great place to relax and maybe dip your toes in when hot!
Via Garibaldi is an old street full of unique buildings which is now a UNESCO heritage area. It’s a beautiful street full of old 16th century houses. A fascinating and not too touristy spot.
As with everywhere in Italy there are many churches to see. The Cattedrale di San Lorenzo is a beautiful example of unique architecture and just looks stunning.
We walked lots around the area containing the cathedral and just loved it – lots of small, narrow streets full of little shops and cafes running down to the waterfront.
The old port of Genoa is a great place to stroll and to people watch. Grab a gelato and watch the world go by! Full of boats to look at and also containing many more of Genoa’s attractions such as the aquarium, it’s a great place to while away some time.
Other Genoa Attractions
Aquarium – Acquario di Genova
The Genova Aquarium is the largest is Europe and is situated by the harbour in Genoa. It has penguins, sharks, dolphins and much more. A couple of hours is needed for a visit so perfect for a day in Genoa.
Tickets to the Aquarium are €25 for adults and €15 for 4-12 year olds. Under 4s are free.
Next to the Aquarium is the Biosphere which is a tropical gardens with many species that are threatened and endangered. Includes not only plants but also birds, amphibians and reptiles to see up close.
Tickets are €5/€3.50
Maritime museum – Galata Museo del Mare
Again situated on the waterfront at the harbour is a great museum dedicated to all things maritime. Many of the descriptions are in Italian so it’s advisable to get an audio guide. You can also visit the Nazario Sauro as part of a combo ticket to the museum – an Italian submarine!
The Galata Museum is €11 for adults and €6 for kids aged 4-12 (0-3 are free) or the combo ticket is €16/€11.
If you’re looking to do more than one of these attractions, including also the antarctic museum and the panoramic lift, it may be worth looking at getting the Acquario Village ticket at €49/€29 – it’s valid for a whole year so if you’re planning on a longer trip to Genoa then it might be worth investing in! You can see more info here about what other attractions are included.
We didn’t do this as we didn’t have time, but if we return to Genoa we’ll definitely give it a go. Genoa has a Funicular railway that if you ride to the top will give spectacular views over the city. It’s a cheap thing to do as well at only €1.60 for each ticket (one way). There are a few railways you can ride, The Zecca-Righi funicular is the one you want if you want to get the views from Righi. Start at the Zecca station or check the maps and walk your way to the top and ride back.
Accommodation in Genoa
We stayed in an Airbnb along the coast in the town of Cogoleto. Airbnb is a great option and should be checked out for Genoa apartments if you want to have your own space to cook as well as sleep. If you sign up to Airbnb through this link you’ll get money off your first booking too!
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Genoa but fancy a hotel to stay in then I recommend checking out HotelsCombined as they will search all the big booking sites for you and let you know the cheapest to go through! If you want to search Genoa hotels then click here.
The Cit Hotel Britannia is a good choice for families as it has quadruple rooms at a reasonable cost. It’s quite close to the railway station and not a far walk from the Western end of the harbour. You can find out more information and prices here.
If you want to be a bit closer to the old town then the Best Western Porto Antico is a good option being very reasonably priced and having quadruple rooms suitable for a family. For more information and up to date prices click here.
Have you visited Genoa? What did you think of it?