One day in Genova Italy : Things to see , Itinerary

Thinking about spending One Day in Genova Italy during your Italian Riviera trip then in this Post I will share with you my tips, a one-day Itinerary for Genoa, and where you can stay on cheap around the city.

Genova, the vibrant city located on the northwest coast of Italy, is a destination that should not be overlooked. With its rich history, cultural attractions, and stunning geographical location, Genova offers a plethora of experiences for travelers.

While it may seem challenging to explore such a diverse city in just one day, with careful planning and an adventurous spirit, it is possible to make the most of your visit.

So let us dive in!

A little bit about Genoa

One day in Genoa, the sky is blue.
One day in Genova Italy, the sky is blue.

Genoa holds immense historical significance as one of Italy’s oldest cities. It was once a powerful maritime republic and played a crucial role in shaping Europe’s trade routes during the Middle Ages. This history can still be felt today as you wander through its narrow streets and admire its magnificent architecture.

Cultural attractions abound in Genoa, from world-class museums like the Palazzo Ducale to beautiful churches such as San Lorenzo Cathedral. The city also boasts numerous art galleries showcasing works by renowned artists like Caravaggio and Van Dyck.

Geographically speaking, Genova is nestled between mountains and sea, offering breathtaking views at every turn. The Ligurian Sea stretches out before you while lush green hills provide a picturesque backdrop to this bustling metropolis, highlighting the beauty of the port city of Genoa.

Is One Day in Genova enough?

While ideally one would have more time to explore all that Genova has to offer, sometimes circumstances only allow for a brief visit. There are both pros and cons to spending just one day in this captivating city.

On the positive side, having limited time forces you to prioritize your activities and focus on what truly interests you most about Genoa. It allows for an intense immersion into the culture without feeling overwhelmed by too many options.

However, there are also downsides to squeezing everything into one day. You may feel rushed or unable to fully appreciate all that each attraction has to offer due to time constraints.

To make the most of your limited time in Genova:

1. Plan ahead: Research the top attractions and create a rough itinerary to ensure you don’t miss out on anything important.

2. Start early: Begin your day as early as possible to maximize your time in the city.

3. Be flexible: Allow for some spontaneity and be open to unexpected discoveries along the way.

Things to do in Genoa in One Day ( One Day Itinerary for Genoa Italy)

One day in Genoa, a fountain stands in the middle of a square.
One day in Genova Italy, a fountain stands in the middle of a square.

Exploring Genoa in just one day is a thrilling opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of history, culture, and breathtaking sights this Italian gem has to offer.

Here’s how you can make the most of your single day in Genoa, ensuring a memorable experience that captures the essence of this captivating city.

I was staying in Rapallo so it was more like a day trip from Rapallo to Genoa for me, making it a concise 1 day in Genoa itinerary. 

Morning: Historical and Architectural Marvels

Start your day at the Genoa Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo), a magnificent example of Gothic architecture that dates back to the 12th century. This cathedral is not only a place of worship but also a repository of art, history, and spirituality that reflects the city’s past [1].

Next, take a stroll down Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, known for its palatial residences from the Renaissance period. This street, part of the Rolli Palaces UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts an array of opulent buildings that once housed Genoa’s most prominent families. The intricate facades and lavish interiors offer a glimpse into the city’s golden age [1].

Midday: Cultural Exploration

By midday, head over to the Aquarium of Genoa, one of Europe’s largest and most comprehensive aquariums. It’s home to a wide variety of marine life, showcasing species from around the globe. This visit not only promises an engaging experience for marine enthusiasts but also educates visitors on the importance of ocean conservation [1].

One day in Genova Italy,a boat is docked in the water.
One day in Genova Italy, a boat is docked in the water.

Afternoon: Scenic Views and Relaxation

After lunch, make your way to Spianata Castelletto, a panoramic lookout offering stunning views of Genoa’s cityscape and harbor. It’s the perfect spot for photography enthusiasts or anyone looking to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the city from above [1].

Late Afternoon: Cultural Immersion

Piazza de Ferrari is your next stop. This bustling square is the heart of Genoa, surrounded by notable buildings including the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and various theaters and museums. The square itself, with its iconic fountain, is a popular meeting point and offers an authentic taste of daily life in Genoa [1].

Evening: A Leisurely Stroll and Dinner

Conclude your day with a leisurely stroll along Genoa’s charming old town. As evening sets in, the city’s narrow alleys (caruggi) come alive with locals and visitors alike. Enjoy a traditional Genoese dinner at one of the many restaurants or trattorias here, savoring local specialties like pesto Genovese or fresh seafood dishes.

Tip: Efficient Planning

Given the rich array of options and limited time, prioritizing according to personal interests is key. Consider using public transportation or walking to easily move between sites. Genoa’s compact city center makes it feasible to cover a lot of ground in a single day.

In just 24 hours, you can experience the essence of Genoa through its historic sites, cultural landmarks, and stunning views. Each stop offers a unique insight into the city’s heritage and the vibrant life that pulses through its streets today.

One day in Genoa, a bicycle is parked on a cobblestone street.
One day in Genoa, a bicycle is parked on a cobblestone street.

Where to Eat and What to Try in Genoa

As a coastal city with strong culinary traditions, seafood takes center stage on many menus here. From fresh anchovies marinated with lemon juice (known locally as “acciughe”) served on crusty bread called “focaccia,” these flavors will transport your taste buds straight into food heaven.

For those looking for heartier fare, try traditional dishes like “pansoti,” which are pasta parcels filled with herbs and ricotta cheese served with walnut sauce. Another local favorite is “farinata,” a thin, crispy pancake made from chickpea flour.

To experience the best of Genoa’s culinary scene, head to the historic Porto Antico area or the vibrant Mercato Orientale, both essential stops on any Genoa itinerary. Here you will find a wide range of restaurants and cafes offering both traditional Ligurian dishes and international cuisine in the port city of Genoa.

Colorful houses on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Cinque Terre.
Colorful houses on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Cinque Terre.

Taking a Day Trip from Genova: Nearby Towns and Villages to Explore

If time allows, consider taking a day trip from Genova to explore nearby towns and villages that offer their own unique charm. 

Some popular options include:

1. Portofino: This picturesque fishing village is known for its colorful buildings lining its harbor. Enjoy leisurely walks along its narrow streets or hike up to Castello Brown for panoramic views.

2. Cinque Terre: A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cinque Terre is a collection of five colorful villages perched on the cliffs overlooking the Ligurian Sea. Take a train or boat ride to explore these charming towns and hike along the famous coastal trails.

3. Camogli: This quaint fishing village is known for its pastel-colored houses and beautiful pebble beach. Enjoy fresh seafood at one of its waterfront restaurants or take a boat ride to see the stunning San Fruttuoso Abbey.

Transportation options for day trips include trains, buses, or private tours. Research in advance to determine which option suits your needs best.

More about this can be found in my detailed post about Day Trip from Genoa Italy.

Shopping in Genova: Where to Find the Best Souvenirs and Local Products

Genoa offers plenty of opportunities for shopping enthusiasts looking for unique souvenirs and local products. Some of the best areas for shopping include:

1. Via XX Settembre: This bustling street is lined with shops selling clothing, accessories, and homeware from both international brands and local designers, showcasing the diverse shopping experience in the center of Genoa.

2. Mercato Orientale: Located near Piazza De Ferrari, this vibrant market is perfect for food lovers looking to sample local produce such as pesto sauce, olive oil, and regional wines.

3. Via San Vincenzo: Known as “the street of antiques,” this area is home to numerous antique shops where you can find vintage furniture, artwork, and collectibles.

When it comes to souvenirs from Genova, consider purchasing items like locally made ceramics depicting scenes from the city’s history or traditional Ligurian textiles such as embroidered linens or lacework.

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.

Getting Around Genova: Transportation Options and Tips

Getting around Genoa is relatively easy thanks to its efficient public transportation system consisting of buses and metro lines that connect various parts of the city.

However, one of my favorite ways to explore Genova is by foot or bicycle. The city’s compact size makes it perfect for leisurely walks, allowing you to soak in the atmosphere and discover hidden corners that may be missed when using public transportation.

If you prefer cycling, Genoa offers bike-sharing services where you can rent a bicycle for a few hours or the entire day, enhancing your visit to Genoa. This allows for greater flexibility and the opportunity to explore areas further away from the city center.

When navigating the city, keep in mind that Genoa’s historic center is made up of narrow streets and alleys that can be confusing at times. It’s always helpful to have a map or use GPS on your phone to ensure you don’t get lost.

Enjoying Genova’s Parks and Gardens: Relaxation and Nature in the City

Genova may be a bustling metropolis, but it also offers numerous parks and gardens where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Some top parks worth exploring include:

1. Parco della Villetta Di Negro: Located near Porto Antico, this park features beautiful flower beds, fountains, and sculptures. It is an ideal spot for picnics or simply relaxing amidst nature.

2. Villa Durazzo Pallavicini: Just outside of Genoa lies this stunning 19th-century villa surrounded by lush gardens filled with exotic plants, waterfalls, and hidden grottoes waiting to be discovered.

3. Parco Naturale Regionale del Beigua: For those seeking more adventurous outdoor activities, this regional park offers hiking trails through rugged landscapes with breathtaking views of mountains and sea.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an active adventure in nature, Genova has something to offer every outdoor enthusiast.

On one day in Genoa, an ornate arch is illuminated at night.
On one day in Genoa, an ornate arch is illuminated at night.

Where to Stay in Genoa?

I chose to stay in Rapallo during my trip and the last two days in Genoa because my return flight was from here. So here are some of the places to stay in Genoa for all budget.

Place to StayAverage Link
Hotel Splendido$200-$
Hostel Genova Centro$50-$
Airbnb Apartment$80-$

Hotel Splendido

Hotel Splendido offers luxurious accommodations with stunning views of the sea. It is located 2 miles from the city center, providing a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle.

Hostel Genova Centro

Hostel Genova Centro is a budget-friendly option for travelers looking to stay in the heart of the city. It offers dormitory rooms and is conveniently located within walking distance of many attractions, only half a mile from the city center.

Airbnb Apartment

For a more homey feel, consider booking an Airbnb apartment in Genoa. These accommodations offer a comfortable stay at a mid-range price point. Depending on the location, Airbnb apartments can be found throughout the city, with varying distances from the city center.

Final Thoughts: One day in Genova Italy

In conclusion, while one day may not seem like enough time to fully experience all that Genova has to offer, with careful planning and an open mind there are countless opportunities for exploration within this vibrant city.

From its rich history and cultural attractions to its delicious cuisine and stunning natural landscapes, Genoa is a destination that should not be missed. So pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this captivating Italian city.


What is Genova?

Genova is a city located in the Liguria region of Italy. It is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and delicious cuisine.

What are some must-see attractions in Genova?

Some must-see attractions in Genova include the historic city center, the Genova Aquarium, the Palazzo Ducale, and the Piazza De Ferrari.

What is the best way to get around Genova?

The best way to get around Genova is by foot or by using the city’s public transportation system, which includes buses and a metro line.

What is the local cuisine like in Genova?

The local cuisine in Genova is known for its seafood dishes, including pasta with pesto sauce, fried anchovies, and stuffed squid.

What is the weather like in Genova?

The weather in Genova is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to mid-70s Fahrenheit throughout the year. It can be rainy at times, especially in the fall and winter months.

What is the best time of year to visit Genova?

The best time of year to visit Genoa is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists. However, the city is also beautiful in the summer months, when visitors can enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities.

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

A: Genoa offers a wide range of attractions to explore. Some of the best things to see in Genoa include Via Garibaldi, the Old Port, Palazzo Rosso, and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, making it one of the best places to visit in Genoa.

Q: How can I get around Genoa?

A: Genoa is a compact city that can easily be explored on foot. Walking tours are a popular way to see the city. Alternatively, you can use public transportation, such as buses and trams, which offer a single ticket valid for 100 minutes.

Q: What is the best itinerary for one day in Genoa?

A: If you have one day in Genoa, a suggested itinerary could include starting with a visit to the Old Port, exploring the historic streets of the city center, visiting the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, and enjoying the views from the terrace of Palazzo Rosso.

Q: Is Genoa a good place to visit with kids?

A: Yes, Genoa is a great destination for a family trip. The city offers various attractions that are suitable for kids, such as the Genoa Aquarium, which is one of the largest in Europe.

Q: What are the best places to visit in Genoa?

A: Some of the best places to visit in Genoa include Via Garibaldi, the Old Port, Palazzo Rosso, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, and the Genoa Aquarium.

Q: Can I do a day trip from Genoa?

A: Yes, Genoa is a great base for day trips to nearby destinations. You can explore the beautiful Ligurian coastline or visit other cities in the region, such as Portofino or Cinque Terre.

Q: What can I see in Genoa’s Old Port?

A: Genoa’s Old Port is a vibrant area with shops, restaurants, and attractions. You can visit the Galata Maritime Museum, take a boat ride, or simply enjoy the atmosphere of the waterfront.

Q: How can I plan a day in Genoa?

A: To plan a day in Genoa, start by creating an itinerary that includes the attractions you want to see. Consider the opening hours of the places you wish to visit and plan your time accordingly. It’s also a good idea to check if there are any special events or exhibitions happening during your visit.

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