One Day in Genoa Itinerary for First Time Traveler

I was already done with exploring the Cinque Terre before I reached Genoa to spend the next two days in Genoa as planned in my Italian Riviera Itinerary but I was so tired that I just spent one day in my Airbnb next to the Gelata Museo Del Mare.

So if you’re looking to spend One Day in Genoa Italy then this can be a go to itinerary for you to plan the most of the day. I will be talking about all the things to do in Genoa Italy along with what I personally squeezed in a day and will also talk about what I could have missed which you shouldn’t when you are traveling to Genoa.

So without further adieu let us get started with How to Spend a Day in Genova Italy.

Where is Genoa?

Genoa is one of the biggest port city in Europe and can be easily accessible from Nice or Menton if you are already following a French Riviera Itinerary like me. ( Since I took a train to Explore Menton and then from Menton I headed to Ventimiglia and later to Genova)

If you are thinking about starting your Italian Riviera Itinerary from Genova then that can also be an option for you as it has lot of attraction in city which could be worth your time.

It was quiet easy for my to find a flight from Frankfurt to Genova and kind of economic as well but since I was traveling from French Riviera I chose this way.

You can check the flight cost to Genova from our Free Flight checker tool.

Should you visit Genoa Italy?

Well, Yes you should visit Genoa Italy as it is absolutely worthwhile to spend your time here. I personally could have spent around more than 3 to 4 days in Genova to explore the numerous things to do in one trip if I would have researched more about this place before deciding to stop around just 2 days in the city.

It is pretty big so you have to know your way around kind of have an idea about what you want to see in the city because there were so many alleys which I walked while taking my Guided Tour In the City which I could have not came across if I was traveling alone.

What to do in One Day in Genoa Italy?

If you are short on time I am pretty sure that you will not be able to cover all the things in the city because one day can be a quiet a less time to explore everything in the city but this is what I personally did to make the full use of time.

Take a Guided Tour from Ferrari Square

Well since I knew I was short on time and had to cover complete Genoa in one day the easiest option for me was to take a walking guided tour. 

It lasted for around 2 hours and I was lucky since my group was the only group to which our guide was catering to so we had the freedom of time and we could take multiple photo stops along the way.

The guided tour which I booked was from GetYourGuide if you want to check that out and on top of that I also had to buy the bus tickets on the go which our Guide asked because apparently we had to take a bus to reach to point where we could get the panaromic view of the city.

Checkout Piazza de Ferrari Square and Garibaldi Stateu

If you are already at Ferrari Square then you are in the new town of Genoa, and you will enjoy the scenic view of the Fountain, a highlight of your Genoa trip. I would recommend you to visit this place in the evening as well because that is the time when you can get the best shot of this place, especially if you’re exploring the city of Genoa.

If you’re already here you can also view the Stateu of Guisippe Garibaldi which is situation right here and can also have some coffee around the coffee house just the next street.

Visit the Cathedral of San Lorenzo

One day in Genoa, a grand building stands tall with a clock tower.
One day in Genoa, a grand building stands tall with a clock tower.

I was amazed by the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genova, Italy. Its impressive architecture and beautiful decorations left me speechless.

The exterior with its grand facade and tall bell tower, and the interior filled with stunning artwork and colorful stained glass windows, made me feel a deep respect for its history and beauty. Walking through the cathedral, I felt connected to its rich past and was truly captivated by the experience.

See the Christopher Columbus House Museum

Okay this one is just something which I walked by and explore and didn’t spend much time to look at it, because apparently even the guide who take the toor provides a disclaimer saying that there is no actually proof of Christopher Columbus being here but is mostly a marketing Gimic.

So, yes I was there and I saw that but I just walk passed this place. What I personally like here was the Old Door right before the Christopher House which was absolutely photogenic.

There was also a small Restaurant which is right next this old door where we stopped to eat one of the special dish in Genova which I would recommend you to try

Visit the Aquarium of Genoa

This is something which I wanted to do but I actually missed because I was not able to get the tickets for the same. Genova’s Aquarium, one of the biggest in Europe, is a must-visit if you are in the city, illustrating the rich marine life around the Port of Genoa.

Check Out the Vascello Neptune ( Pirate Ship)

One Day in Genoa Italy
One Day in Genoa Italy
One Day in Genoa Italy
One Day in Genoa Italy

If you’re already near the Old Port area of Genova then I would recommend you to stop at the Pirate ship and get a click near the ship. It is absolutely stunning.

If you feel like going inside the ship then it is going to cost you around 5 € to get inside and this is something which I have not tried that on my own because I was short on time but I wanted to this attraction.

Old Town

The Old Town of Genova, also known as the Historic Center of Genova, is a charming and picturesque district located in the city of Genova, Italy. This historic area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the best-preserved medieval old towns in Europe.

The Old Town of Genova is characterized by its narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings with distinctive Genoese architecture, and historic landmarks such as the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Palazzo Ducale, and the Palazzi dei Rolli.

Visitors can explore the charming alleyways, medieval squares, and numerous museums, galleries, and shops that are scattered throughout the area.

The Old Town of Genova is a popular tourist destination and offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture. It is also home to many restaurants, cafes, and bars where visitors can sample traditional Genoese cuisine and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this historic district in the city of Genoa. 

Palazzo Rosso

Palazzo Rosso, also known as the Red Palace, is a historic palace located in Genoa, Italy, and is a perfect example of places to visit in Genoa. It was originally built in the late 17th century and served as the residence of the Brignole-Sale family, one of the most prominent noble families in Genoa.

The palace is known for its stunning red façade, which is decorated with intricate stucco work and features a grand entrance staircase leading to the main entrance. Inside, visitors can explore beautifully decorated rooms, including the Sala degli Specchi (Hall of Mirrors) and the Sala del Fuoco (Fire Room), which showcase the luxurious lifestyle of the Brignole-Sale family.

Today, Palazzo Rosso is home to the Musei di Strada Nuova, a museum complex that also includes Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Doria Tursi. The museum features a collection of art and decorative objects, including paintings by renowned artists such as Luca Cambiaso, Anthony van Dyck, and Bernardo Strozzi. It offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Genoa during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. 

Palazzo Reale

The Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) of Genova is a historic palace located in the heart of Genova, Italy. Originally built in the 17th century for the Balbi family, it later became the residence of the Savoy royal family. The palace is known for its beautiful Baroque architecture and stunning frescoes, as well as its impressive collection of artwork and historical artifacts.

Today, the Palazzo Reale is a museum open to the public, showcasing various exhibitions and events throughout the year. Visitors can explore the grand halls and rooms of the palace, adorned with intricate decorations and furnishings from centuries past. The palace also offers breathtaking views of the city and harbor from its rooftop terrace.

Port and Lighthouse of Genoa

One Day in Genoa Italy

If you are exploring the Port you will encounter the Biosphere which has around 150 different species of Plants so if you are someone who loved Biological Parks then this could be an option for you and for this you have to get the tickets for the Biosphere.

You can also get the panoramic view of the city from the Lighthouse but you have to spend around 8 € for the Tickets of Lighthouse.

Visit the Bigo Panoramic Lift

One Day in Genoa Italy

By just spending around 5 € you get the awesome Panoramic view of the city and this time it is not a tower of the Church or some Port but actually something interesting.

Genova has this weird Panoramic Lift, designed by Renzo Piano, which is like octopus tentacles :P, and it takes you up in the sky to get the perfect panoramic view of the port of Genoa.

You can book your tickets for Bigo Panoramic Lift if you are planning to visit this.

How much time to spend in Genoa Italy?

I think around three to four days should be more than enough for you to explore Genoa and other attractions around Genova easily. Post this you can possibly move to Rapallo or La Spezia which is around 30 minutes and 2 hours of train ride from Genoa to explore other awesome destination in the Italian Riviera.

Have More Than 24 Hours in Genoa?

1. Portofino

If you are planning to explore Portofino from Genova in day trip using the public transport then it is going to cost you around minimum 14.50 € to reach to Portofino.

You can take a train from Genova train station to Santa Margherita Ligure & Protofino this ride is going to cost you 4,50 € and then you can head to the Santa Margherita Ligure Toursim office to get the ticket for the round trip bus to Portofino which is going to be the easiest way to reach Portofino without any efforts.

2. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is by far the  most popular attraction around the Italian Riviera Itinerary and is one of the best place to visit if you ask me. Unless you are okay with the feeling of FOMO.

But still I really would enjoy doing this trip from staying at La Spezia rather than from Genova because it is kind of easy to plan this thing out.

It doesn’t mean you can not visit to Cinque Terre from Genova. The train ride to Monterosso which is the closest village from Genova is going to cost you around 12 € and will take around roughly 1 hour 15 minutes to reach.

Cinque Terre Card is one thing which you need to explore Cinque Terre and you can get more information about that here

3. Boccadasse

One of the best and the easiest Day trip from Genova is Boccadasee and it is its own personal Cinque Terre kind of village and which can be reached by just taking the 2 € public transport ticket of Genova.

I have talked about this more in my separate guide about Day trip from Boccadasse from Genova so you can follow that along if you are planning to visit Boccadasse.

Where to Stay in Genoa Italy?

One Day in Genoa Italy

The Airbnb where I stayed during my trip to Genoa was just next to the Galata Museo del Mare and walking distance from the Piazza Princip Train station of Genova and could be an option for you to stay in Genoa.

You can also make use of the below map to find your ideal place to stay in Genova.

Sample One Day in Genoa Itinerary to Follow Along

This is something which I missed when I was is Genova which was visiting the Genoa Aquarium which is one of the largest Aquarium in Europe because I missed to pre-book the ticket, but I would absolutely recommend you to visit that and make sure that you pre-book the aquarium tickets.


  • 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Start your day with a visit to the Acquario di Genova, one of the largest aquariums in Europe.
  • 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Explore the historic Old Town, known for its narrow alleyways, colorful buildings, and charming cafes.


  • 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Enjoy a traditional Genoese lunch at a local trattoria. Try some pesto pasta or farinata, a chickpea pancake.


  • 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Visit the Palazzo Reale, a magnificent royal palace with beautiful gardens and stunning architecture.
  • 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Take a leisurely stroll along the Via Garibaldi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site lined with impressive palaces.


  • 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM: Head to the Piazza De Ferrari, the main square of Genoa, to admire the fountain and surrounding buildings.
  • 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM: Relax at a local bar or cafe and enjoy some gelato, a delightful treat to indulge in during your Genoa trip. while soaking in the atmosphere of the city.


  • 7:30 PM onwards: Have dinner at a waterfront restaurant overlooking the harbor. Try some fresh seafood dishes paired with a glass of local Ligurian wine.

Additional Tips:

  • Consider taking a guided walking tour to learn more about the city’s history and culture.
  • Don’t forget to try some authentic Genoese desserts like panettone or canestrelli.
  • Keep an eye out for local markets and street vendors selling handmade crafts and souvenirs around the old parts of the city of Genoa.

Final Thoughts: One Day in Genoa Italy

If you are short on time then 1 Day in Genoa could be ideal for exploring all the best things to do in the city but in case you have time then I would absolutely recommend you to spend more time in Genova so that you can explore all the attraction in the city.

FAQs: Things to do in Genoa Italy

Q: What are the best things to see in Genoa in one day?

A: Some must-see attractions in Genoa for a one-day itinerary include the Old Port, Royal Palace, Palazzi dei Rolli, Genoa’s Old City, and the Maritime Museum.

Q: How can I get around Genoa as a first-time traveler?

A: As a first-time traveler to Genoa, you can explore the city on foot, take a hop-on hop-off bus tour, or use public transportation like buses and metro.

Q: What is the Royal Palace Museum in Genoa known for?

A: The Royal Palace Museum in Genoa is known for its opulent architecture, historical significance, and impressive art collections, making it a must-visit attraction for history and art enthusiasts.

Q: What can I expect from a walking tour in the center of Genoa?

A: A walking tour in the center of Genoa will take you through historic streets, charming piazzas, and iconic landmarks such as Palazzo Ducale, San Lorenzo Cathedral, and Piazza De Ferrari.

Q: What are some popular day trip options from Genoa?

A: Popular day trip options from Genoa include visiting nearby towns like Portofino, Cinque Terre, Camogli, and Santa Margherita Ligure, where you can enjoy picturesque views, delicious food, and relaxing seaside vibes.

Q: How much time should I allocate for spending a day in Genoa?

A: To fully experience Genoa in a day, it is recommended to allocate at least 8-10 hours for sightseeing, exploring the city’s attractions, enjoying local cuisine, and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere.

Q: What are the top things to do in Genoa’s Old City?

A: In Genoa’s Old City, you can explore historic sites like Porta Soprana, Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Doge’s Palace, and Via Garibaldi, where you can admire stunning architecture, learn about the city’s history, and enjoy authentic Italian culture.

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