TOP 10 attractions of Genoa | Elena Kazantseva's blog


This article is about the sights of Genoa. I will tell you what you can see in this city, even if you have only one day.

We arrived in Genoa for a couple of days, but one of them was dedicated to a trip to Portofino . Therefore, there was very little time for sightseeing. Nevertheless, we managed not only to inspect the center, but also to walk around the “upper city”, climbing there by funicular, which in itself was also entertainment for us.

Genoa map with landmarks

I put the most popular places in Genoa on the maps and connected them into one route, which can be easily completed in just one day (they are marked with “droplets”). I marked the sights with the asterisks along the route – you can devote more or less time to them (depending on your interests). She also indicated with a question mark those places that can be visited if you have more than one day in Genoa. All of them are definitely worth a visit.

Now on the map you see only marked places to connect them with a route, click the icon in the upper left corner and check the corresponding boxes in the settings.

Genoa one day trip

So, I turn to the description of attractions. But, as usual, there will be more photos than text, as well as some useful information.

Genoa route
The streets of Genoa

My route starts from our Chopin hotel , located literally opposite the Piazza Principe train station, and if you arrive in Genoa by train or bus, then this point is the best place to go to explore the city.

First, we decided to go to the sea to look at the promenade and port.

There is also the Aquarium, many maritime-themed museums (including the Galata Museum), amusement parks for children, as well as a copy of the 17th-century Spanish ship, Galleon Neptune. It was built in 85 for the film “Pirates” R. Polanski. After 20 years of being in the port of Cannes, in 2002 the ship became a tourist attraction in Genoa. In addition to the external similarity of the ship with real ships of the 17th century, it is worth noting that it is also fully functioning, and indeed, it turns out that it is listed in the real register of ships and is under the flag of Tunisia!

galleon neptune genoa
Galleon Neptune – since 2002 a tourist attraction of Genoa

The aquarium of Genoa is considered the largest in Italy, and among European aquariums it occupies an honorable second place. The official site of the aquarium A ticket to an aquarium for an adult costs 17 euros, there are also complex tickets for visiting other museums – the Galata Museum, the Biosphere and the Panoramic Elevator.


You can buy a ticket to the Aquarium and other museums with express entry (without a queue) on the website >>>


aquarium genoa prices


Also in the port area, namely in Piazza Caricamento, is the palace of San Giorgio. This palace was built in the 13th century, and for the entire time of its existence it was either a customs office, a bank, a port authority, and for some time it was even used as a prison. The most famous prisoner was the famous traveler Marco Polo. Today, the Port Administration is located in the palace.


san giorgio palace
Marco Polo was the most famous prisoner of the prison that used to be in this building.


Having admired the building, we set off for the area of ​​the old city. You can also have a bite along the way of a traditional Genoese focaccia, or pizza based on this focaccia.


have a bite to eat in genoa
Pizza? Or focaccia?

Next, our goal is to see the house of Columbus and go to the central square of De Ferrari.

We move along Via S. Lorenzo and exit to the Cathedral of the same name. The Cathedral of St. Lorenzo is the main cathedral of Genoa. Its construction began at the beginning of the 12th century, but what we see now is, of course, not that original Cathedral. In 1296, the Cathedral was rebuilt for the first time after a fire, later altars were completed, more than one reconstruction was carried out, and the Cathedral acquired its modern appearance only at the end of the 17th century. You can also visit the treasury of the Cathedral – the Museum of Tesoro. By the way. In this museum, a vessel is stored, which at one time was considered the Holy Grail (until it was proved that the “real” Holy Cup was made of other material and stored in the main Cathedral of Valencia ).


cathedral of saint lorenzo genoa
Cathedral of St. Lorenzo – the main Cathedral of Genoa


After walking about 300 meters we get to Porta Soprana and the House of Columbus.


what to see in genoa
Streets leading to Porta Soprano
attractions of genoa in 1 day
Here is such a Genoese flavor – medieval gates, Tabacchi kiosk and African


Porta Soprana – the medieval gate that once served as the main entrance to Genoa. Today it is one of the most preserved medieval buildings.


medieval gate porta soprano
Porta Soprano

Columbus House is a house in which, according to some sources, Christopher Columbus was born. Honestly, I always thought that Columbus was Portuguese, but it turns out that he was born in a Genoa family (his father was called Domenico Colombo, and his mother was Suzanne Fontanarossa). Today, the house looks somewhat abandoned, and unpretentious. Entrance here is possible only by agreement, and for all comers it is open only one day a year – on Columbus day (October 30)


house of columbus in genoa
The house in which the famous navigator was born


Next we go to the center – to Ferrari Square. In the middle of the square is a fountain; beautiful buildings surround the square (including the Palazzo della Nuova Borsa, Opera House). The facade of the Doge’s Palace also goes here. Today, Ferarri Square is the political and financial center of the city. And just a walk here is nice.


ferrari square
View of Ferrari Square and the facade of the Doge’s Palace
what to see in genoa in one day
Buildings on Piazza Ferrari are somewhat reminiscent of Spanish Valencia
Opera theatre
Genoa Opera House


From Piazza De Ferrari we move towards the quarter of palaces, or Palazzi Dei Rolli. Here, on both sides of the street are the palaces of the Genoese aristocracy, built in the 16-17th centuries. This was the first quarter, the construction of which was carried out according to the original plan. On a small territory there are about 40 palaces, all of them are located so close to each other that the nobility had to build their palaces up if necessary. You can see the quarter of palaces and visit some of them on excursion . An interactive map of the palaces can be found on the official website


the quarter of palaces in genoa
The quarter of palaces (left – Palazzo Rosso)
red palace genoa
Cafe next to the Red Palace


Some palaces are also museums (in one of them the Paganini violin is even stored, and the other, the Red Palace, attracts with its observation deck).


royal palaces in genoa
Entrance to some palaces is prohibited – private property


Since we do not have much time, we only look at some palaces from the outside and go by cable car to the “upper floor” of Genoa. We will rise on the funicular of Santa Anna. This is the oldest funicular in Genoa.


genoa funicular
Funicular Santa Anna – the oldest (but recently remodeled) funicular in Genoa


It is located on Agostino Bertani and rises from Portello Square to Corso Magenta (it is marked on my map). A funicular ride costs 0.70 €. You can buy a ticket right here, at the funicular stop (there is a special machine). Funiculars are included in the public transport system of Genoa, so you can use a single ticket. Genoa wrote about public transport in this article .

And here is a short video of how we climb the funicular. In the carriage mainly locals:



Where to go in this part of the city – only you decide here. You can take a comprehensive tour – around the Old Town and the upper town (good rating and excellent reviews). It’s nice here and just take a walk, sit in the kindergartens. We went into a small kindergarten, and then walked to one of the churches.


upper genoa church
One of the churches of the “upper floor” of Genoa
Genoa route for 1 day
View of Genoa and the sea from the streets of the upper city
genoa in one day
Want to see the panorama of Genoa and such lovely courtyards, get ready to climb the steep stairs


We returned to the funicular along a very picturesque path


genoa yourselfinteresting places of genoa


And we went out to such a cozy little square.


self genoa in one day


Ladders leading here, I marked on my map.

Returning to the funicular, we decided to go back on foot, at the same time and walked around the Villetta Di Negro park


парк Villetta Di Negro
View of the observation deck from the park Villetta Di Negro
viewing platform genoa
Sea view from the same park

We come back to the city, buy ice cream in gelatin Profumo di Rosa. By the way, they speak Russian and will be very happy if you help to practice it 🙂

genoa ice cream
Gelato in Genoa

We return to the hotel, and in the evening you can visit the cafe or restaurant. Near our hotel there is a restaurant Da Mario. This place was a godsend for us and both nights in Genoa we visited this restaurant. This is a family-run establishment, where the owner is an uncle with a real Italian name, Mario, he seats guests (by the way, there are not so many tourists here, and if they are, Mario controls everything and sincerely worries), young guys help with the service, maybe , children, or nephews.

The menu is small, but nevertheless, the choice is not bad, and the prices for Italy are very affordable. Our first dinner of pasta with seafood and wine cost 18 euros. The second dinner (prosciutto e melone, mussels, shrimps and squid grilled, wine, dessert and coffee) – only 30 euros.

where to eat in genoa
Dishes in the Mario restaurant – everything is very tasty, fast, and most importantly – inexpensive!


The restaurant is marked on the map, so come in, I sincerely recommend it. As far as I remember, it works for several hours at lunch, and then opens in the evening from 7 o’clock.

Opposite it there is another fish restaurant, but judging by the reviews, it is much worse and more expensive, so do not mix it up!

There are also famous sights that we did not have time to visit.

Firstly, it is the Genoese lighthouse (La Laterna) – a symbol of the city and one of the oldest lighthouses in the world from surviving to this day. The height of the lighthouse is 77 meters. You can get inside and climb the stairs (entrance 6 euros), there is also a museum. As far as I understood from the reviews, you can get inside only on holidays (except Christmas) and on weekends. The rest of the time – inspect only from the outside (free)

By the way, a good view of the city opens from the observation deck – Belvedere Castelletto. An elevator also lifts there (it is possible for a single ticket or for 70 euro cents).

Another attraction of Genoa, which is worth a visit if you have already seen everything in the city, or really like sculpture, is the monumental cemetery of Staglieno. This is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. A huge number of marble tombstones are made by famous Italian sculptors.

Opening hours of the “sights” from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can get from Piazza Principe by direct bus number 34 in 25-30 minutes. Get off at Via Piacenza Cimitero Staglieno. I always look at the schedule on google maps. There are very few excursions to the Staglieno cemetery, and indeed, they say that many guides are simply silent about this place. 


cemetery steel genoa
Stallieno stop and cemetery diagram (“open the picture in a new window” to better see the diagram)


In order not to end on this note (suddenly, who has what kind of prejudice), I will tell you about one more place. Many sites and guides recommend walking along the picturesque Corso Italia street – the Genoa promenade. At the end of the promenade, you will reach the Sant’Antonio church and enjoy the traditional “Ligurian view” of the colorful houses. If a trip to Portofino or Rapallo is not included in your plans, then be sure to visit this place. By the way, you can also find where this church is located on my map.

Well, now I’m finishing. If you have additions, feel free to write in the comments. 

Have a nice trip!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You can also like