Genoa - attractions, sightseeing - what to do? Guide!

Genoa is the capital of the Liguria region. It is one of the most interesting destinations chosen by tourists visiting Italy. Genoa was once the center of the Ligurians, then it was conquered by the Romans, the Longobards, and the 19th saw the industrial development of the city. In 2004 it was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture. In 2006, parts of it were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a city with an extremely interesting location, as it is surrounded by mountains on one side and the sea on the other. Genoa has the largest port in Italy. Unfortunately, it is not a popular tourist resort, despite the fact that the city has really a lot to offer. There are many places that are architectural riches, such as numerous palaces, churches and museums. In addition to historical attractions, you will find typically Italian narrow streets and corners where you can stroll and observe the daily life of the locals. Also noteworthy is the unique Boccadasse district. It is one of the most charming corners of the city and is also one of the tourist attractions. Today the area is popular for its unique buildings, local restaurants, bars and also a small beach. Also nearby is the Church of St. Anthony of Boccadasse. Genoa was also the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, and the Casa di Colombo (a museum that is a reconstruction of the house where the sailor grew up) is a popular attraction among tourists visiting the city.


Port of Genoa

This port is the largest port in Italy. It is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Its older part was expanded in 1992, thanks to architect Renzo Piano. After numerous alterations, the port has been renovated and adapted to tourists' visits. Nearby you will find numerous attractions, such as the Palazzo San Giorgio, the Aquarium, the Maritime Museum and the Galeone Neptune. It is worth mentioning that one of the biggest attractions of the port is the cruises. This will be a unique experience for both adults and children. You can then see Genoa from a completely different perspective. Today the port is one of the most visited places in the city. No wonder Genoese people are so proud of the history and grandeur of this place. In the harbor area you will find numerous restaurants and bars. It is worth taking a walk through the streets and reaching the surrounding monuments.

San Lorenzo Cathedral

It is a cathedral built between the 9th and 12th centuries, and is one of the most popular and important monuments in the city. It serves as the seat of the archbishop. The building is a mixture of different architectural styles. There are Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque elements. Inside the cathedral we can find numerous frescoes. They date back to the 14th century. Next to the cathedral is the Museo del Tesoro or Treasury Museum. It houses numerous pieces such as the Relique di San Lorenzo, the Crocifisso d'oro, and the Sacro Catino.

Piazza De Ferrari

This attraction is the main square of the city separating its historic and modern parts. It is dedicated to Raffaele De Ferrari, the Duke of Galliera. He donated 20 million lire in 1875 to expand the local port. The center of the square is decorated with a bronze fountain built in 1936. Around the square are numerous financial institutions, offices and banks. It serves as the main meeting place for locals, as well as the center of important events in the city.

Palazzo Reale

This Royal Palace is one of the most popular attractions in Genoa. It is estimated that more than 66,000 people visited this place in 2015. Its construction was started by Stefano Balbi in 1643 and took 7 years. The architects were Pier Francesco Cantone, Michele Moncino, and Giovanni Angelo Falcone. Today the site is one of the city's most popular attractions. The museum's collection features the possessions of individual owners. There is a large collection of 100 paintings by Luca Giordano and Antoine van Dyck, among others. The museum has numerous richly decorated rooms. Among them you'll find the Throne Room, the Ballroom, and the Mirror Gallery. A single admission ticket costs €9.00, a reduced ticket costs €2 (applies to EU citizens aged 19-25). Persons under the age of 18 enter free of charge.


This is the most popular place in Genoa. In the summer season extremely besieged by tourists. It is a former fishing village, which is now a uniquely atmospheric place where both tourists and locals relax and enjoy the sun's rays. A small beach can be found there, and the area offers delicious local cuisine, coffee or wine. The characteristic buildings here have pastel colors, and the windows are covered with shutters. Nearby are narrow streets, ideal for strolling, as well as monuments such as the Church of St. Anthony of Boccadasse.

boccadese in Genoa
Boccadese (photo: Stefan Münz

Via Giuseppe Garibaldi

This is a popular street in the historic center of the city. It was built between 1558 and 1583 by the aristocracy. It is primarily known for its ancient palaces. It was dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi in the 19th century. In 2006 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What else to see while in Genoa?

Definitely worth a visit is the Aquarium, which is the second largest of its kind in Europe. It is located right next to the port. The aquarium has about 600 species of animals and 200 kinds of plants. This will be a unique attraction, especially if you visit this place with children. Another attraction is the Lighthouse of Genoa With a height of 77 meters. It was built in 1128, but today's appearance of the tower is the result of reconstruction and strengthening of the structure. It currently serves as an observation deck. Also worth mentioning is the Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno, a cemetery that is the burial place of famous people. It contains the graves of the Podestà couple, the Casselli family, Salvatore Queirola, and the Croce family, among others. The cemetery was once visited by famous personalities such as: Friedrich Nietzsche and Elisabeth of Bavaria. Another place worth visiting is the reconstructed Christopher Columbus House (La Casa di Colombo), which is now a museum.

Beaches in Genoa

In the Genoa area you will find many beautiful beaches. One of the most popular is located in Boccadasse, a former fishing village, which today is one of Genoa's most beautiful neighborhoods. The beach is rocky. There are numerous bars and restaurants nearby. Another beach that is famous for its picturesque views is San Fruttuoso. It can be reached on foot or by sea. There is a monastery by the beach, as well as numerous bars and restaurants. It will be an ideal place for those who like peace and quiet and relax among picturesque views. The descent into the sea is abrupt, so it will not be a beach suitable for families with small children. Nearby you will find a sculpture, submerged in the water at a depth of 17m, which depicts Christ. It is located on the spot where the popular diver Dario Gonzatti died. The sculpture commemorates this event and is dedicated to all those who practice this sport. Another beach is Paraggi. It is one of Liguria's most popular beaches. It has a turquoise-green hue and during the summer season is crowded with sun-hungry tourists. It is a popular place, among families with children, as the descent to the sea is gentle. You can also rent sun loungers and umbrellas.

Getting to Genoa

To get to Genoa from Poland, you can choose to fly by plane or travel by car. Unfortunately, you will not find direct flights to this city. However, you can choose a flight to Bergamo, located about 200 km from Genoa. Ryanair airline offers such connections from Gdansk, Katowice, Krakow, Poznan, Warsaw, as well as Wroclaw. Tickets can be found at extremely attractive prices, starting at 39 PLN. Upon arrival, you can rent a car or use a cab to reach your destination. Another means of transportation you can use is to travel by your own car. The route from Poland to Genoa is about 1500 kilometers. Traveling by your own car allows you to visit other European cities, and it's a big convenience, wanting to visit not only the city center, but also nearby towns. When making such a trip, it is important to remember about the fees for highways, vignettes and parking lots. On the way you can stop in Brno, Vienna, Venice or Verona.

Public transportation

Public transportation is managed by the AMT company. Most information can be found at In Genoa you will find one subway line. It runs from Bringole Station, through the Old Port and part of the old town. There are also buses in the city, and rail trains. A single ticket valid for 100 minutes costs €1.50. You can also use the cable streetcar. There are two types: Funicolare Sant'anna (from Piazza del Portello to Corso Magenta), and Finocolare Zecca-Righi (Largo della Zecca - via Mura delle Chiappe). It is worth mentioning that you can also use the elevators. There are as many as 12 of them, with a ticket price of €0.90.


Italian cuisine has already become famous around the world. Original, regional products and simplicity of ingredients make some people who go to this country, do so to taste this culinary artistry. Due to the fact that each region of Italy is famous for different dishes and ingredients, we will give you a hint of what to eat while in Genoa. The first dish that is one of the most popular in this city is Trenette al Pesto Genovese. This is a local pasta native to Genoa with pesto, which is a mixture of pine nuts, basil, olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Another already iconic dish is focaccia, which is a yeast dough, with various toppings. Panera ice cream is also worth trying. For lovers of stronger drinks, Sciroppo di Rose, or rose petal syrup, is particularly recommended.


The warmest months in Genoa are from June to September. The average daytime temperature then is about 20-21°C. Then also the number of hours of sunshine is from 8 to 11. The coldest months are December, January and February. The average daytime temperature then is below 5°C. The most precipitation is forecast for October and November.

Accommodation in Genoa

When looking for accommodation in Genoa, you will notice that prices are quite high. They largely depend on location and guest amenities. One of the cheaper options is the Le stanze della Lanterna property. It is located near Porta Soprana. The price for an overnight stay for two people including breakfast is €53. Another accommodation worth noting is the B&B Hotel Genova. It is located near the train station. In the rooms you will find numerous amenities for guests, such as a shower and a TV. The price for an overnight stay for two people is €70. Also worth considering is the B&B Albaro, located right on the beach. The room amenities include a private bathroom, an espresso machine and a minibar. The price for an overnight stay for two people including breakfast is 138€.

I visit Italy every year, sometimes even several times. I even happened to live in this beautiful country for almost a year. I regularly publish articles about Italy on my blog.

1 Comment

  1. Genoa is a picturesque Italian city that charms with its rich history, charming streets, beautiful harbor and extraordinary attractions, creating a unique atmosphere to explore

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