2 Days in Genoa: The Best Genoa Itinerary and Cool Things to Do + Travel Tips From a Local

2 Days in Genoa: best Genoa Itinerary and cool things to do + travel tips from a local


Wondering what you could do for 2 days in Genoa? Here is the best Genoa itinerary and cool things to do while you stay in this Italian city.

Imagine a city that ruled the Mediterranean sea for centuries, left influencing buildings like Galata tower in Istanbul; and built some incredible palaces that attract visitors worldwide. Yes, that is Genoa.

The famous Christopher Columbus and other well-known navigators were born in the Republic of Genoa. Make sure you listen to some songs of De Andrè who is one of the most influential Italian songwriters born in Genoa. And let’s not forget the famous Genoa-born Renzo Piano who is the architect behind the construction of Porto Antico.

Still not sure if it is worth visiting Genoa? Add some world-famous dishes like pesto, focaccia, and white wine!

If you follow me long enough, you know that I live in Genoa and the city has no secrets for me. Keep on reading to discover the best Genoa itinerary and the best things to do in Genoa.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Useful things to know before visiting Genoa

The most popular tours in Genoa:

  • 🚶 This tour leads you through the top sites, secluded squares, and hidden spots – you’ll try local Prosecco, coffee, pesto, and focaccia, all with the expertise of a local guide
  • 🍲 There’s no better place to learn to make pasta than Italy and this small-group class in Genoa teaches you everything you need to know
  • 🛴 Explore the city of Genoa with ease on a Segway during this small-group sightseeing tour
  • 🍝 Discover Genoa from a gastronomic point of view on this food tour
  • 🚲 Discover the best that Genoa has to offer as you explore the city center on a bike tour

Getting to Genoa

Getting to Genoa

Genoa is located in Liguria, in the north of Italy. It has a small airport so you can easily reach Genoa from Milan, Nice, or Pisa Airport.

From Milan, you will have to take the shuttle service that takes you to Central Station. After 2 hours train ride, you are in Genoa. You can buy your tickets here.

From Nice, you have the Flixbus and it takes less than 3 hours to get to Genoa. Flixbus has a bus stop right outside the airport, so no need for shuttle services. You can buy your tickets here.

From Pisa, you can use the train or Itabus. You will need to use public transport or a taxi to reach the train or bus station. Check here for the train tickets. Or here for Itabus.

Genoa airport has very few destinations, but that’s the most comfortable option because you land 20 minutes drive away from the city center. The easiest option is a taxi and it will cost you around 25 euros. The shuttle bus is a cheaper option and a ticket to Brignole or Principe station will cost you 5 euros per person.

Where to stay in Genoa?

Now you are probably wondering where to stay in Genoa. As Ia local, I can recommend staying in the Area of De Ferrari Square or Principe station to be well connected to the rest of the city. You can see my accommodation recommendations for Genoa below.

How long to Stay in Genoa?

Trogoli of Santa Brigida - hidden gem

Maybe you are still planning your trip and you don’t know how long you should stay in Genoa? Well, most of the visitors come here for a quick 2-day trip, because there is a lot to see in the rest of the Liguria. 2 days in Genoa gives you cool insights, but you can easily stay here for one week and crave more.

If this is your first time in Genoa and you are planning to see the rest of Liguria, 2 days in Genoa will be perfect. If you want to use it as a base while you make day trips and want to see more of the palaces & museums, make sure you stay for 5-7 days in Genoa.

How to move around Genoa?

How to move around Genoa?

The best way to move around Genoa is by public transport or walking. The old town is full of narrow streets, so your feet can take you to explore the most secret corners of Genoa.

Busses and the metro take you to all the main attractions in the city. The train can be a good idea to skip the traffic and go quickly to places like Nervi, or to move between Principe and Brignole.

Occasionally you can take lifts or funiculars to reach some viewpoints. It is considered public transport and you will need a ticket.

The price for a single ticket is 1.50 euros and it is valid for 100 minutes. The daily ticket is 4.50 euros. Don’t forget to validate your single ticket every time you get onto the bus. The daily ticket needs to be validated just once.

There are no available apps for the taxi, so you will need to find a taxi station nearby. Yes, that’s right, you can’t grab a taxi on the street. You can try to call or ask your hotel to call for you – but it has an additional cost and depends on the location of the taxi driver. Extra price for luggage, during the night and on Sundays. I personally don’t advise using this option.

2 days in Genoa: the best Genoa itinerary and travel tips

Boccadasse

In this 2 day itinerary, we will cover the main attraction, food & drinks, hidden gems, best photo spots, historical palaces, and other cool things to do. I truly want to make this unforgettable as I feel very connected to this city and I want you to create the best memories in Genoa.

Day 1 in Genoa – morning

De Ferrari square, Genoa, liguria, italy

Your best itinerary for Genoa starts with a sweet breakfast at Caffè Mangini, one of the oldest and best-known cafes in the city. This cafè dates back to 1876 and is definitely one of the coolest experiences in Genoa.

From there, walk down the Galleria Mazzini, where you can admire old boutiques and shops and the Teatro Carlo Felice. Head to De Ferrari square which is the main square of Genoa.

One of the best ways to discover Genoa is through its palaces. Once in De Ferrari Square, check out the treasures of Palazzo Ducale and available exhibitions. The entrance fee is 12 euros.

A perfect Genoa itinerary must include at least a place related to Columbus. Walk to the porticos of Via Dante, to arrive at the Columbus house and take the perfect photo of Porta Soprana.

Book your Columbus house tickets here

Now it is finally lunchtime! Local food is one of the things that you can’t miss in Genoa. Here I am giving you 2 options. You can try Antica Osteria Ravecca for a comfortable lunch in a typical trattoria – try their seafood and pesto. Or try some street food at the famous Sa Pesta – every respectful Genoa travel guide would recommend you this little place of heaven. Make sure you taste traditional salty pies, different kinds of focaccia, pesto, and everything Liguria has to offer.

You can also immerse yourself deeper into the culinary culture of the city on these tours:

—> Do Eat Better Experience – Food Tour in Genoa
—> Homemade Pasta and Pesto Class with a Local Chef
—> Genoa Gourmet Half-Day Food Tour

Day 1 in Genoa – afternoon

Genoa best travel itinerary

In the afternoon your Genoa itinerary takes you to the oldest area of the historic center – Molo. Here you will find church Santa Maria di Castello – one of the oldest churches in Liguria.

As soon as you get out of the church, the tower of Embriaci stands tall and proud. Your next stop is one of my favorite hidden gems in Genoa: Campo Pisano.

Do you remember when I said that Genova ruled the Mediterranean Sea? Campo Pisano is a place where Genoa celebrated victory over Pisa. Today you can admire a little square with colorful houses and a famous Risseu – a typical Ligurian mosaic.

It’s time to see one of the best places in Genoa – The cathedral of San Lorenzo. This beautiful Duomo dates back to 1118 and it is built in the typical Gothic-Ligurian style with black and white horizontal bands.

Bring your camera this is one of the best photo spots in Genoa. Inside you can admire a bomb of the British Navy that landed inside the church and didn’t explode. It is still considered a miracle of God.

Visiting Genoa wouldn’t be complete without making some aperitivo. From San Lorenzo, walk through the Vigne Church to arrive at Piazza Lavagna. This is where locals come to have a good time, meet up with friends and enjoy some of the best aperitivo in Genoa. Consider Vermentino wine or Asinello – it’s a liquid gold of Liguria.

After head to Piazza Banchi – the square where the first bank in the world was born. Take a look at the beautiful facade of Palazzo San Giorgio and don’t miss the biggest aquarium in Europe – the Aquarium of Genoa.

This is where you choose your dinner spot. Vico Palla – famous for seafood or Cavour 21 – great homemade pesto.

Day 2 in Genoa – morning

Genoa travel guide

The second day in Genoa starts with breakfast in Caffehin. Try their special coffee and brioche with pistachio.

After breakfast, walk down to discover via Balbi. Snap a picture of the Trogoli of Santa Brigida and visit the Royal Palace. Learn the history behind this famous landmark of Genoa and discover the Mirror gallery. You will see Risseu in the garden. The entrance fee is 10 euros.

Tourists often miss Santissima Annunziata dal Vastato, but this is one of the most beautiful places in Genoa for Baroque art. You will find out why the philosopher Montesquieu defined it as “the most beautiful Genoa Church”.

Just a short walk away from the church, you can discover the medieval heart of Genoa: Carmine. This is one of the most authentic and picturesque areas of Genoa.

Imagine, the locals chatting from the balconies, kids playing football, and the clothes of the locals hanging under the windows. This is Piazza della Giuggiola, and it’s one of the most “instagrammable” places in Genoa.  Don’t miss the church of San Bartolomeo dell’Olivella

Once you finished, treat yourself to some focaccia or farinata in Le Bontà del Grano and go to Via Cairoli. While walking the Via Cairoli take a look at the church of San Siro, which was originally the cathedral of Genoa.

Next, head to one of the most popular places in Genova: via Garibaldi. The street is famous for its palaces – Rosso, Bianco, and Tursi are the most popular.

Time to grab some lunch, right? Restaurant Da Maria is famous for its pesto. If you still haven’t tried pesto, you have to visit Maria – it’s like entering the home of Italian nonna

An alternative option is Il Mugugno. Mugugno is a dialect expression that defines one of the favorite activities of Genovesi: complaining about something. Luckily the food here is excellent and you won’t find anything to complain about! Pesto is always on the menu, but you might want to give a chance to their fish ravioli.

Day 2 in Genoa – afternoon

he most romantic place in Genoa: the Nervi promenade

After lunch, it is time to see one of the most loved places by the locals – Belvedere Castelletto. On your way, make a stop in the “Bottega Storica” Pasticceria Profumo.

This place is a paradise for Ligurian sweet tooths since 1827 and they produce everything in their laboratory with 100% fresh, seasonal products. Here you will find the best souvenirs from Genoa for your family and friends.

Now its’ time to go to Piazza Portello to take the Liberty-style lift to visit the best viewpoint of Genoa. In Belvedere Castelletto, refresh yourself with granita in Don Paolo – an authentic Sicilian corner in Liguria.

Take a taxi or train to the most romantic place in Genoa: the Nervi Promenade. The promenade is the best spot to take a picture of the old village of Nervi and catch a dramatic sunset on the Mediterranean Sea. 

You can finish your day 2 in Genoa with dinner or aperitivo in the old fisherman village of Boccadasse. Don’t forget your camera, because this is one of the most epic places to take a photo in Genoa.

Treat yourself like royalty in Ristorante Capo Santa Chiara to finish your trip in the most luxurious and sophisticated way. Or get a table with a view of Boccadasse in Vittorio al Mare and try their fritto misto or Pata Negra.

And this is the end of your 2 days in Genoa.

Further reading for 2 days in Genoa

Or read about other popular regions of Italy

Dolomites | Liguria | Lombardy | Piedmont | Puglia | Sicily | Tuscany | Veneto

Other useful tips for visiting Italy

🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide and Viator have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Italy? Use Rentalcars
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo

In conclusion…

2 Days in Genoa: best Genoa Itinerary and cool things to do + travel tips from a local


I am sure that after reading this article, you noticed my love for Genoa and that’s why I want you to have the best time here. This itinerary for 2 days in Genoa guarantees that you visit the main attractions, discover hidden gems, eat like a local, and take some epic photos on your way.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

Pin it for later and make sure you save the best itinerary for 2 days in Genoa

best Genoa Itinerary and cool things to do + travel tips from a local
best Genoa Itinerary and cool things to do + travel tips from a local

 

95 Comments

  1. Hello! We just came back from a visit to Chiavari meeting friends and had time for a bit more than lunch in Genova so followed some of your itinerary. Grazie! It was all perfect! We went to Caffè Mangini and loved it, then walked around to sights with your guidance…had a nice lunch at Antica Osteria Ravecca and went to your hidden gem of Campo Pisano.
    We live in Aix-en-Provence, France, so hopefully we’ll get a chance to visit Genova more sometime soon! Thanks again!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh wow! Thank you so much! And glad you had a nice time in Genoa… hopefully you can come back and see more 😊

  2. Genoa looks spectacular! You have done such an amazing job capturing all the details. I would love to see Santissima Annunziata dal Vastato. I’m an Art History minor, and still love baroque art.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad you like it! Snd thank you so much! You should see all the palaces of Genoa😍

  3. I love the picture of the car with the suitcase. You always take the best pictures with your cute little dresseys 😍 Does the car still run?

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! Yes, last time I saw the owner come back with groceries haha. He participates is parades as well 😍

  4. I can’t wait to go back to Italy to visit Genoa! I loved your hotel recommendations as well!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Caroline 😍

  5. OMG Your photos are always so stunning! Love that red dress on you, such a power color 🙂 I was in Cinque Terre back in April and you’re very first picture reminds me of it. Adding genoa to my list for my next Italy trip and saving this to my Pinterest.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yes, it’s Boccadasse and it’s like little version of Cinque Terre. Just less crowded haha. After all, it’s only couple of hours away. Thank you so much, Ashley ❤️

  6. I just loved Genoa. I think it is an underrated city in Italy. There is so much to see. Thanks for sharing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      That’s so true! And these 2 days are just an introduction!

  7. Obsessed with your photos! This sounds like a great guide and I’ll have to add Genoa to my list of places to visit in Italy next!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yaay! That makes me very happy… thank you, Sarah ❤️

  8. Wow this is stunning and such thorough tips, thanks so much for the info!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad you liked it! ❤️

  9. Genoa is absolutely stunning! Your pictures are wonderful. Definitely saving this for the next time I’m in Italy – we didnt’ have time to stop but now I wish we made time!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! So happy to read this ❤️ And hopefully you can visit Genoa at some point!

  10. Your 2 day Genoa itinerary looks amazing! I can’t wait to visit Italy and your suggestions for Genoa look like a fantastic addition to my trip. Thanks for sharing your tips and beautiful photos. They are so inspiring!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      You are so kind, can’t thank you enough ❤️ I hope you can visit Genoa, sounds like you would like!

  11. Valentina says:

    Loved this article. I have never been to Genova, but my parents did a few years ago. I only heard good things about this city and with your itinerary, you really made me wish to plan a visit.
    Thanks for your great content, like always!!!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you, Valentina! I’m waiting for you in Genoa haha. I’m sure you would love it ❤️

  12. That’s quite an exhaustive guide. Genoa seems like a beautiful place – thanks for this post. Added to my list, hopefully I can visit soon 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thanks for your feedback, so happy to read this ❤️

  13. I have been to Italy many times and have missed Genoa! I had no idea it was so beautiful! Next time it’s on my list!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      But I’m glad you found something new here! Hopefully one day ❤️

  14. We were in Genoa as a ‘surprise’ port when seas were too rough for our original destination. Boy, do I wish I had your guide before that trip, as we missed so many of Genoa’s highlights! Next time we’ll be better prepared!

    1. I’ve been to Italy a few times and each time missed seeing Genoa. Wow do I feel robbed for missing such a beautiful city 💀 I’m definitely going to be making a stop here when I go next!

      1. lasma.plone says:

        Haha! Glad to hear that you want to visit Genoa, I’m sure you wouldn’t be disappointed ❤️

    2. lasma.plone says:

      Oh my! I bet it was scary! But sounds like you should give another chance to Genoa 😍

  15. What a charming looking city. So beautiful and so many cute colorful buildings and narrow streets. My favorite thing to explore when traveling. Thanks for a local’s guide, you’re lucky to live in such a stunning place

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you, Emma! I’m glad you found something new and inspiring in this guide. Hopefully you can visit!

  16. Your posts are always such a joy to read 🙂 From the photography to your fashion sense, everything looks great. Thanks for the great tips!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Ohh! Thank you so much, Palo! ❤️

  17. I love this epic 2-day Genoa itinerary! So many cool things to do!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Karen!!

  18. I would love to wander the old streets of Genoa and admire the architecture. I find the interior of churches in Italy to be some of the best decorated and most elaborate in the world.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Totally! And all these churches are free to visit, so you always have to visit… you might find something unforgettable 😍

  19. Geneo looks and sounds gorgeous. I don’t often see posts about this beautiful place….and the FOOD. It sounds like that’s all I’d be doing if I went was eating.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      You are right, Genoa is so underrated!! And yes, food is probably my favorite in entire Italy 😍

  20. So helpful to have such a thorough post from a knowledgable local! Thank you for all of the tips. Your photos are incredible and very inspiring for trip planning to Genoa.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Erica! I love to hear that kind of feedback – so kind of you ❤️

  21. I love that you covered food/restaurant suggestions as well as where to get your souvenirs. These are the things I personally get overwhelmed trying to decide about!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I’m a foodie, so I always include some tips about restaurants haha. Thank you ❤️

  22. It’s so great to get advice from a local! Genoa looks amazing. Interesting that I could do a two day trip and then see more of Italy. That’s good to know. It’s so beautiful that it would be hard to leave, I’m sure.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad you liked it! And I hope you can visit this area of Italy at some point ❤️

  23. Genoa looks like the perfect place to spend a couple days or more! Would love to explore the sites as well as the eateries!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Genoa is waiting for you ❤️

  24. Genoa looks beautiful! We just traveled through here the last time we were in Italy, but I would love to spend some more time here next time. Thanks for sharing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like you need to come back and see more. Hope very soon 😍

  25. Genoa is so colorful, and the food sounds divine! This 2 day itinerary seems to sum up the best of things to see and do in this gorgeous Italian city.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I know, food is my favorite in entire Italy and competition is real haha. Thank you so much!

  26. Jenn | By Land and Sea says:

    We spent some time in Genoa on our last trip to Italy and I loved this city! Thank you so much for taking me back!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Hope you made some great memories here ❤️

  27. Hi Lasma, such a detailed post to visit Genoa! And I’m saying this as I lived very close to that city till my 20s. I’ve visited many times and I can tell you this is probably the best 2 days itinerary I’ve read! Love from French Guiana, Anita

    1. lasma.plone says:

      That is so kind of you! I had a local who helped with the best insights 😊 I know that there is more to see in Genoa but I bet this is good for a quick visit!

  28. Genoa looks gorgeous, and it’s not somewhere I have thought of visiting before. But is has everything I look for in a city, so another one for the Italian bucket list.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sooo happy to read your feedback! Hopefully you can visit soon!

  29. Another amazing post from you Lasma! I love seeing your stunning photos each time. I love to explore Italy and since reading your post on the Linguria region, I am slowly building up a solid bucket list, which will now include Genoa!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! That means so much!! I really love this area, so hope more and more people can fall in love with Liguria as well ❤️ Can’t thank you enough

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much!!

  30. Wow!! I’m just stunned by your photography skills! You have a way with capturing images that just make me want to hop on a plane RIGHT.THIS.MINUTE and head there! This is a terrific guide to Genoa – I’ve never heard of it before. Thanks for sharing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      That means a lot! I love photography and hope it inspires people to visit as well 😊 And I’m glad to hear you found something new!

  31. Wow!!! I don’t know why I haven’t been here yet? Definitely on my list to visit. I love Genoese pesto and the anchovies in the Ligurian region. The Baroque architecture is just beautiful Would love to see the galleries and palaces too.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I have the same question, I can tell you would love Genoa and the rest of Liguria 😍

  32. umm WOW! This place looks breathtaking and these photos really capture everything so nicely. I would love to visit here someday and definitely feeling inspired by all of your gorgeous dresses!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you, Melissa! I’m glad I convinced you to visit Genoa and I hope you can do that soon. Photo guide for Genoa coming soon!!

  33. You can tell how much you love Genoa from the way you write! Your boyfriend did a great job with helping with the details to make this truly the Ultimate Genoa Guide! I haven’t been there yet. But will definitely be referencing your article when I do!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I’m glad it shows ❤️ and he is the real Genoa expert, nor me haha. Hope you can visit it soon!

  34. We have done so much travelling in Italy yet have missed this part of Italy. Really love all the great things to see and do in Genoa. Good to know we could stay for a week and keep busy. We would definitely take the funicular and get the great panoramic views.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a perfect plan! And sounds like you really need to visit Liguria asap… you won’t be disappointed 😍

  35. We loved our time in Genoa it is such a beautiful place! This is a great itinerary I will be saving for our next visit as it looks like we missed out on a few places!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! Hopefully you can come back and see more 😊 glad you liked it!

  36. I had not heard much about Genoa before, so this was really helpful! It seems like there is a lot of beautiful architecture, especially with the churches.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      That’s right! I’m going to write another article about churches as well, so stay updated ❤️

  37. Genoa always sounds like such a beautiful place! I’d love to go to Molo and see the Santa Maria di Castello! What a gorgeous place!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I’m glad you like it… sounds like you would enjoy Genoa, so hopefully you can visit one day.

  38. This is a great Genoa itinerary! I would love to spend two days in Genoa!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      So happy to read that! ❤️

  39. This looks like a wonderful guide for Genoa! I had no idea it was so close and easy to travel to from Milan. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s my pleasure! And I hope you can visit one day ❤️

  40. My husband and I are in the process of planning our 25th anniversary trip and are looking at all of the options in Italy. Genoa looks like a place we could definitely enjoy.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh that sounds fantastic! And you have a lot of romantic places in the rest of the Liguria as well. Hope it works out ❤️

  41. Meravigliosa Genova resa ancor più meravigliosa da foto ineccepibili e di una professionalità unica. Modella di classe che da vita alle meravigliose foto il tutto scrtto e spiegato in maniera d’eccezione

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Grazie di cuore, Rita! Sono contenta che ti sia piaciuto l’articolo ❤️ ti abbraccio

  42. I haven’t been to Genoa in like 25 years! Looks so beautiful. Amazing history- and of course the food!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I would love to see Genoa 25 years ago… but sounds like you need to come back and see how it changed haha!

  43. I am so happy you finally published this perfect guide for 2 days in Genoa! As a local I would love that people will spend even more than 2 days, but I am so happy that everything that matters is covered! Soon I want to see 1 week guide 🤣

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I was thinking that I should do that one as well! Thank you for precious help here ❤️

  44. Ciao lasma,
    a great itinerary to discover a surprising city!! I’m happy you loved Genoa.
    Thanks for your love for Italy
    cristina

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Grazie mille, Cristina! My love for this country is endless ❤️

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