If you plan to visit Genoa, it’s a good idea to dedicate two days to it: visiting only the Aquarium Village on the waterfront requires one day. On the other hand, if you are just passing through Genoa, don’t spend time visiting this highly publicized Genoa Aquarium because there are other places more worthy of a visit. Our advice is, if you have time, to visit the aquarium in Monaco; there are fewer visitors and it will be easier and more enjoyable.
The quickest and best way to reach Genoa is by train. Familiarize yourself with the stations close to the city center, Genova Piazza Principe and Genova Brignole. You can start your visit to Genoa from one of these stations; and in fact they are connected by the single short metro line that runs through the center and along the waterfront.
Places of interest in Genoa
Below are 10 places to visit in Genoa.
Open this page from your mobile phone and you can start the navigator for any point of interest or monument described here.
The Aquarium Village complex
The Aquarium Village (L’Acquario) complex is located in the old port area on the Genoa seafront. It is an important place to visit and has several places of interest to tourists, such as the Biosphere, which displays many endangered species of living flora; the Antarctica Museum, revealing the mysteries of that continent, or the panoramic elevator that allows you to see the ancient port of Genoa from a height.
The 2017 all-inclusive ticket costs 50 euro (it excludes the visit to “Dialog in the Dark”). With this ticket you can choose whatever is of most interest to you at the Aquarium Village. You can also purchase a multi-ticket just for certain attractions. For example:
Aquarium + Museum of the Sea + Submarine = 37 euro.
Museum of the Sea + Submarine + Dialog in the Dark = 20 euro.
Submarine + Dialog in the Dark = 10 euro.
If you can make a quick decision on what you want to see at the Aquarium Village, you should buy the multi-ticket and save 20-30%. It’s advisable not to go to the cashier at the Aquarium to buy your ticket: instead, go to the Museum of the Sea where the queue is shorter. While you’re there you can also purchase a ticket for “Dialog in the Dark” (this excursion takes a maximum of 100 people per day).
The most publicized Aquarium in Europe. On average, tourists spend two and a half hours there, looking and learning about the marine world in a unique way.
Price: 25 euro.
Dialog in the Dark
A sensory journey of 45 minutes with a blind guide, in absolute darkness. You will remember this emotion-filled excursion for a long time afterwards and it will make you think about how the blind live in a world which is so usual for us. Small groups venture into this “walk” (7 people); book for “Dialog in the Dark” a few hours beforehand.
Price: 7 euro. Languages: Italian, English.
Museum of the Sea + Submarine
The museum is a complex of five floors entirely dedicated to the sea and it is one of a kind. On the top floor they give you the ancient sailor’s passport. If you pass all the tests with the submarine simulator, you will receive the certificate of training enabling you to sail a submarine! There is a terrace on the roof of the Museum with a panoramic view along the coast. You will need 2 hours to walk through the museum in comfort. You can also climb aboard a real submarine: this excursion takes less than 20 minutes.
The price for the Museum of the Sea: 12 euro, 17 euro with the submarine. There are no tickets to visit the submarine only.
The center of Genoa
In the city center of Genova you will encounter places of interest at every step: the striated Cathedral of San Lorenzo, an example of the Genoese Gothic-Roman era; the Palazzo Ducale, built in the refined Mannerism style, and Piazza De Ferrari, surrounded by marvelous buildings in the art-nouveau and modern hybrid neoclassical styles. A stroll through this part of Genoa will be unforgettable!
Il Palazzo Reale (The Royal Palace)
The Royal Palace of Genoa is the former residence of the Savoy (Savoia) dynasty, and is remarkable for those of you who love interiors. Tourists will be stunned by the stylish furniture inside the residence, the collection of XVII century art and the gilded Hall of Mirrors; outside, instead, in the surrounds of the palace you can admire the hanging gardens and the wonderful flower beds.
The Cemetery of Staglieno
A unique cemetery where the architecture will enchant you with its moving beauty, though the statues in Carrara marble may even inspire a little fear. This burial place has become the monumental incarnation of neoclassical and historical significance. To reach the cemetery of Staglieno you can take bus number 14 from Genova Brignole train station (buy the ticket at the tobacconist shop).
Open from 7.30 am to 5 pm. Closed on Easter Monday (in 2017: April 17), ), on 1 and 6 January, 24 June, 15 August, 26 December. If one of these holidays happens to fall on a Sunday, the Cemetery of Staglieno is open!
To experience Genoa to the full, there is much to see outside the city center. For example, you can visit the fishing village of Boccadasse. It is a quiet and pleasant place for lunch. You can reach Boccadasse from Genova Brignole station with bus 31 or the train to Genova Sturla followed by a 15-minute walk through residential areas to Boccadasse.
Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi (The Anita Garibaldi Promenade)
There is a large park on the outskirts of Genoa, close to the Genova Nervi train station, and nearby is a delightful walkway lined with many benches where you can sit and listen to the sound of waves breaking onto the rocks. Stroll along the little path from Nervi and go back via the park. Alternatively, you can get off at the next station (northward bound) which is Genova Quinto and take a look at the seaside suburbs of the city.
The Palaces District + Via Garibaldi
In 16th century Genoa, upon the orders of Admiral Andrea Doria, an unusual “tradition” commenced, whereby the notable families of the city built their luxurious palace-residences along one single street, and offered a short stay to well-known personages who were passing through Genoa. These illustrious residences are a feast for the eyes and a delight for tourists of today. Via Garibaldi too is equally as interesting from an “architectural” point of view.
Panoramic Piazzetta di Castelletto
A wonderful panorama across old Genoa and the port lies before you here, with the domes and spires of the churches at eye level. Piazza Castelletto (Spianata Castelletto) is a lovely place to relax in a cafe or on a bench. It is more practical to take the elevator to arrive there with payment of 1 euro; the elevator is located not far from Via Garibaldi (and it is indicated on the map).
Map of the places to visit in Genoa
Recommended hotels in Genoa
One of the widest selections of accommodation is offered to tourists in the city of Genoa: hotels for all tastes and pockets. For visitors to Genoa we propose the following accommodation options.
On this page you can read visitor comments on all the hotels and compare them. In addition, you should consult:
Low-cost hotels in Genoa.
Romantic hotels in Genoa.
Luxury hotels in Genoa.
Use a filter to search for a hotel in Genoa.
Parking in Genoa
For people who like to get around by car, parking in Genoa will cost about 2 euro per hour, up to a daily maximum of 15 euro. There are many car parks here, and the most important thing is to know where they are located: at the port and waterfront area of Genoa (marked on the map).
Address: piazza Repubblica, Genova or Via Antonio Gramsci, 98, Genova.
Alternatively, you can save money and park your car free of charge in the Fiumara shopping center. Bus number 1 leaves from here, and in 20 minutes with 1.50 euro you will be at the Aquarium and in the center of town. Important: underground car park is closed together with the shopping center at 9pm and caretaker checks that there are no cars parked for the night. But the six-storey car park is open from 7 am to 3 am.
Address: via Fiumara, Genova. Marked on the map together with the bus stop.
Local food in Genoa
Among the dishes you must try in Genoa, the Genoese focaccia is definitely one of them. It is a very popular type of bread and is sold at any cafe. Another dish to try is pasta with pesto alla Genovese and the farinata of chick peas (note: an iconic savory flatbread typical of Genoa made of chickpeas, salt, olive oil and water and baked in the oven).