The Ligurian coast is home to Italy’s largest seaport as well as some of the country’s tiniest fishing villages. Take in both these extremes by spending a day in bustling Genoa, then heading out along the coastline to explore picturesque Portofino and the Cinque Terre. Here's how.
Genoa Cruise Port
Palazzo San Giorgio, Via della Mercanzia 2, Genoa, Liguria, 16123
Those with limited time in Genoa should make use of convenient hop-on hop-off bus services, city walking tours, and private guides—don’t miss the 13th-century Palace of Doges, the UNESCO-recognized Palazzi dei Rolli, or the Via XX Settembre, the city’s main shopping thoroughfare. The Genoa Aquarium, one of the largest in Europe, is a popular family-friendly stop too, although shore excursions also leave Genoa Cruise Port bound for Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, the Cinque Terre, and Florence.
Things to Know Before You Go
Many cruises start or finish in Genoa, so build in time to explore the city and wider region pre- or post-cruise.
Ride the Genoa funiculars (cable cars) for budget-friendly bird's-eye view of the city.
Trains depart Genoa train station for several cities along the Italian riviera, although they can be very slow and crowded in summer.
More efficient trains run between Genoa and major Italian capitals such as Naples, Rome, Milan, and Venice.
You may have to negotiate steps at the port and in Genoa proper; plan accordingly if you're a wheelchair user or are traveling with a stroller.
How to Get to Genoa From the Genoa Cruise Port
Genoa Cruise Port is a 5–10 minute walk from downtown Genoa, although it's often easiest (and safest) to grab a taxi or shuttle bus from the dock. Trains run between Genoa and many major Italian destinations and the station is just a 5-minute drive from the port.
Despite being one of the main cruise ports in Italy, English is not widely spoken in Genoa. Many shops and businesses close in the middle of the day (between 1pm and 4pm) and all day Sunday, except in the tourist hubs. The official currency is the euro.
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- Dialogue in the Dark Exhibition (Dialogo nel Buio)
- Lighthouse of Genoa (La Lanterna)
- La Biosfera
- Aquarium of Genoa
- Royal Palace Museum (Museo di Palazzo Reale)
- Piazza Caricamento
- Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato
- Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello (Basilica di Santa Maria di Castello)
- Via San Lorenzo
- Genoa Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo)
- Palazzo Bianco
- Palazzo Rosso
- Palazzi dei Rolli
- Spianata Castelletto