Top attractions 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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!
6. 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!
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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!
10. 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 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
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- 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!
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
Eleonora is a wonderfully welcoming person who loves her city. We were located close to the area we would be seeing so she guided us walking to see the city center including a bit of the old town both from the inside of it and from the top. We got there through the panoramic elevator. We were staying for a few days so she told us how to get around the city and how to reach other interesting spots. She was so gracious and offered to help us if we had questions later. The buildings are incredible there's so much to see. Eleonora pointed out the "newer" buildings which had only been built in the 1700s. So much history to absorb can not be done in the brief time we were there.
It was a great tour full of interesting information of the history of Genova. Also the guide was very friendly and used to do this, perfect English and humor!
121 Guide who was simply excellent. Friendly, knowledgable and really took the time to ‘show off’ his city and chat along the way
Excellent tour! Lots of information and our guide was super generous with his time! Highly recommend
Very big and nice aquarium, i and my doughter enjoy a lot. Dolphins are amazing.