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Genoa
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Top attractions in Genoa

See all tours & things to do in Genoa

Top 10 things to do in Genoa

Rome, Venice, Florence, and Milan might share Italy's more famous landmarks, but Genoa's display of lesser-known treasures is simply breathtaking! Here's what to see in one of the Mediterranean's largest and most resplendent cities.

Via Garibaldi

Via Garibaldi

Though barely an alleyway, the Via Garibaldi is flanked by several grand palaces! The Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco, and Palazzo Tursi can all be toured on a single ticket.

Palazzo Bianco

Palazzo Bianco

Of the palaces on Via Garibaldi, this is the real must-see. Its Gallery of the White Palace offers a comprehensive run-down of European painting from the 12th to the 17th century.

Cathedral of San Lorenzo

Cathedral of San Lorenzo

Genoa Cathedral dates back to the 12th century, although it exhibits Gothic and Renaissance flashes too. Visit its Museum of the Treasury to see medieval jewellery and silverware.

Aquarium of Genoa

Aquarium of Genoa

The world-class "Acquario di Genova" is one of the largest aquariums in Europe. Spend an afternoon gazing at dolphins, sharks, sturgeon, stingrays and other beguiling sea creatures.

Palazzi dei Rolli

Palazzi dei Rolli

Having once provided ostentatious lodgings for royals on state visits, an incredible 46 of these 163 palaces are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

Piazza De Ferrari

Piazza De Ferrari

Surrounded by Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings, this piazza – and its magnificent fountain – provides the perfect jumping-off point for Genoa sightseeing tours!

Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato

Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato

Step inside this Mannerist church to see the contrasting Baroque interior. Its striking frescoes include the cupola masterpiece by Giovanni Andrea Ansaldo.

Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno

Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno

This hillside cemetery is famous for its huge sculptural monuments. The extravagant graves were a bourgeoisie fashion of the 19th-century and are simply fascinating to look at.

Natural History Museum of Giacomo Doria

Natural History Museum of Giacomo Doria

Genoa's Natural History Museum contains over four million specimens from across the world. Check out the huge woolly mammoth skeleton!

Edoardo Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art
Photo: gnuckx@Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Edoardo Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art

You'll want to explore the stunning Villetta di Negro on a sunny day, but we'd urge you to make time for the park's museum, which hosts an extraordinary collection of Asian art.

Planning Your Genoa Visit

Does Genoa have beaches?

Yes! For the city's best free beaches, head to Quarto, Quinto, Nervi, or even take a boat to San Fruttuoso in Camogli Bay to sunbathe on the sands in front of a 10th-century monastery!

How many days?

Tourists often mistake Genoa for a small place. Although you could have your sightseeing covered within two or three days, there's plenty to do across the city, and with the enchanting Cinque Terre just 2 hours away by train, you wouldn't regret booking closer to a week.

Good to know

  • Language
    Italian
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +39
  • Best time to visit
    Genoa is in its prime late spring through early fall. High tourist season is in July and August, but in the case of this coastal town, the influx feels quite jubilant!

Things to Do in Genoa

Top Attractions in Genoa

Cities in Italy

Other Sightseeing Options in Genoa

Want to discover all there is to do in Genoa? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Genoa

Excellent English speaking guide proceeded many interesting facts

Geneo or the vertical city as our guide described it. She spoke excellent English and was very enthusiastic in explaining the importance of Genoa as a Roman port and trading centre and the golden age of the Middle Ages. Via Garibaldi the residential street of palaces of the most powerful families at that time - the Rolli palaces now a designated UNESCO world Heritage Sites. It was fascinating to hear about the Crusades bringing back the relics of St John the Baptist in the 1100’s now kept in the cathedral San Lorenzo. Birthplace of Columbus and traces of his house. We learned about the origins of the first bank Banco do S Giorgio, it’s prison history and Marco Polo’s imprisonment. We visited the medieval city, historical centre, city gates and hidden squares of interest. All in all a very enjoyable explanation of the historical town

The GetYourGuide tour was the highlight of our trip to Genoa!

We had only a few hours to explore Genoa, and our tour of the city with a local was such a great experience that we would recommend it to anyone visiting the city. Our tour guide, Pier Paolo, was not only a wealth of knowledge on the history and architecture of Genoa, but spoke perfect English and had a great sense of humor and perspective that added very valuable insights to our visit. I would definitely suggest adding this activity to your itinerary, and would also suggest directly requesting Pier Paolo as your tour guide. You will be glad that you did!

Genoa: Private Tour with a Local Reviewed by Nathan, 24/06/2018

Great experience however the place should be avoided at weekends

Avoid weekends as the experience is ruined by the screaming children who bang on the aquarium glass and take pictures with flash. The dolphin show at 14.15 was fantastic however the MC spent more time asking kids to leave room for the trainer to walk around. Overall great setup. The animals seemed quite happy and my favorite has to be the coral reef, I could spend hours there if it weren't for the high pitched distractions!

Aquarium of Genoa: Skip-the-Line Open Ticket Reviewed by Anoushka, 11/06/2018

Through the eyes of a local living in Genoa.

Pier Paolo met us at our hotel and asked what we were interested in seeing. We said local history, importance of Genoa, older parts of the city, and other interesting sights. Some of the highlights were Knight Templar church and hospital, Roman road and Roman gates, old part of the city, old buildings' architecture compared to new, former palaces of wealthy families, and much more.

Genoa: Private Tour with a Local Reviewed by Anonymous, 30/10/2018

great areas to visit--uninterested tour guide

Visiting Genoa and Portofino were amazing but unfortunately our tour guide Eddie was not really interested or engaged in the tour. He was very snippy and hard to approach with questions. He made us feel uncomfortable. But all in all, these coastal cities were breathtaking and are a must see!

Genova & Portofino Full-Day Tour from Milan Reviewed by Jan, 02/07/2019