Genoa is in the northwest of Italy in the region of Liguria. It is a very historic city as it was a rich maritime city and home to some of the oldest banks in Europe. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Genoa Italy.
Top 10 places to visit in Genoa Italy
Genoa is very underrated Italian city compared to the big cities of Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan, and because of this Genoa is not crowded with tourists.
I love Genoa and my many friends and family members that I have introduced Genoa too, they always enjoy the city and want to return. It is a city by the sea with lots to see and do throughout the year, here are the top ten places to visit:
1. Top 10 places to visit in Genoa Italy – San Lorenzo Cathedral
San Lorenzo Cathedral is located in Via San Lorenzo and is a great place to visit in Genoa. It is a beautiful Cathedral and was built between the 12th – 14th century and completed in the 17th century.
You can walk around the cathedral and even go up the tower for a spectacular view of the city. At the time of writing this, there was a charge of 5 Euros to go up.
There is a museum below the cathedral; Museo del Tesoro della Cattedrale di San Lorenzo. This has displays of gold and other very old artefacts. There is a charge of 5 Euros at the time of writing this to enter.
2. Christopher Columbus House and Entrance to City Walls
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa and you can view the remains of Christopher Columbus’s house. The museum is an 18th-century reconstruction of the house. It was believed he lived in the house between 1455 and 1470.
Next to the house is one of the entrances to Genoa’s 14th-century city walls. It is quite an impressive place to visit in Genoa.
3. Piazza de Ferrari
Piazza de Ferrari is a big square in the city centre and has a big water fountain and this is a place you have to visit in Genoa. From Piazza de Ferrari you can walk into the main shopping district.
For the high street and independent, shops go down Via Venti Settembre. It is just under a kilometre long and if you love shopping this is the street for you. For the designer shops head to Via Roma and Via Ventcinque Aprile.
4. Via Garibaldi
Via Garibaldi one of Genoa’s oldest street dating back to 1550, originally called Strada Nuova.
The street buildings are Baroque in style as they were built in the 16th century, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This street has the some of the oldest banks and palaces. Genoa is home to 114 Palace’s (not all of them are open to the public as some are offices) and 12 of them are in Via Garibaldi.
You can go into some entrances of the building for free and just see the grand entrances with large chandeliers and painted walls and ceilings.
5. Palazzo Rosso & Palazzo Bianco
Palazzo Rosso (the red palace) is beautiful inside with art collections and some of the rooms are preserved with original furniture and decoration. If you can go the top the views are amazing.
It was built between 1671 and 1677 and the Brignole Sale family owned the palace until 1874, later it was given to the city of Genoa and it became a public gallery.
Palazzo Bianco (the white palace) is another beautiful palace with an art collection and stately rooms, that was built between 1530 and 1540.
The De Franchi family owned the palace until 1711, it was then inherited by the Brignole Sale family. In 1884 it became a public gallery. Both museums are in Via Garibaldi.
Top 10 places to visit in Genoa Italy
6. Palazzo Reale
Palazzo Reale is in Via Balbi and was built in 1643. The building is a large aristocratic residence, which the Balbi family lived in and built.
The Durazzo family lived there at the end of the 17th and at the beginning of the 18th Century, they enlarged the building. The Savoy dynasty lived there the 19th Century.
Inside there are very old pieces of art and it gives an insight into how the other half lived back then. The courtyard is unique and there are old carriages from that period.
7. Porto Antico
Porto Antico (the old port or the ancient port), was originally the old harbour and is an ancient part of Genoa.
It is now a vibrant modern marina with an aquarium, museums, a cinema, bars, restaurants, children’s play area, modern sculptures and old port equipment on display.
Take a trip on the ‘Bigo’ that is a panoramic lift that takes you 40 meters to the air in a cabin in the shape of an old crane unloading goods from a ship. This short ride that gives you a panoramic view of the city and harbour.
Porto Antico is a nice area to walk along the water and stop and have a drink or lunch.
8. Villa del Principe – Palazzo di Andrea Doria
Villa del Principe is in Piazza del Principe and it was the richest and most noble household of the city of Genoa.
It was the home of the only Prince Genoa ever had in 1529. The rooms are ancient and have painted walls and ceilings and tapestry everywhere and the grounds are stunning.
9. Castello D’Albertis
Castello D’Albertis is a modern castle built between 1886 and 1892. The castle was owned by sea captain Enrico Alberto D’Albertis.
The castle was donated to the city of Genoa when he died in 1932 and it is located on top of the hill of Monte Galletto in the district of Castelletto.
To get to the museum you can drive, take a bus or take the lift that goes through the hill. The lift entrance is just off Via Balbi.
The view from the castle is stunning of the harbour of Genoa. Inside the castle are collections of artefacts from around the world from the owner’s travels around the world.
The rooms are very interesting to see as he decorated the rooms to remind him of his travels and one even like a ship’s cabin!
10. Galata Museo del Mare
The maritime museum – Galata Museo del Mare is a fantastic museum about the history of Genoa and the sea.
Inside the museum, there are life-size models of boats from years ago. Experience going back in time to when a lot of Italians emigrated by sea to America.
See the submarine selection and much more. The views from the top of the museum are worth a visit looking out to the city. There is the option to visit a real submarine just outside of the museum.
Now you know the top 10 places to visit in Genoa Italy!
Top 10 places to visit in Genoa Italy ESSENTIAL INFO
- Weather: Spring 15*C – 20*C /Summer: 22*C – 35*C / Autumn 10*C – 15*C / Winter: 6*C – 13*C
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Italian, English is spoken in some places (tourist attractions, restaurants, shops)
- Wear comfortable shoes, as most walkways are uneven!
- Bring your camera or smartphone to take lots of photos
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Have you been to Genoa? What would you recommend doing?
love the vintage feel of Italy. The stories that could be told. Thanks for sharing loved the pictures you shared
Glad you enjoyed the photos! I hope you get to explore Genoa in the furture.
Hi I live in Genoa and I couldn’t agree more with your list!!! This places are usually the ones where I bring my friends when they come to visit!
Thank you so much! I am pleased my top ten is approved by a local!
I love travel but don’t like a lot of touristy things that are crowded with people. I also prefer to take vacations where I can learn more about history. Genoa sounds like a perfect place for me.
Genoa sounds your type of place if you like history and not too many tourists.
I have heard of this place but not the individual places within the city! I love the cathedral. So many beautiful places to explore!
San Lorenzo Cathedral is beautiful inside and the view of the city from the top.
Genoa looks so fun! I’ve only been to Rome, but really want to get back to Italy one day.
When you return to Italy make sure to visit Genoa, you will not be disappointed!
Italy is definitely on my bucket list of places to visit. I didn’t have a specific are to visit but appreciate you sharing your trip.
Genoa is a great place to visit as it is a hub for other beautiful towns on the Ligurian Riviera.
I recently posted my Italian bucket list, but I may have to extend it now you’ve shown me all about Genoa! It’s so beautiful, thank you for sharing.
Your welcome! I hope you make it to Genoa one day, as it is a beautiful part of Italy.
A dream of mine is to travel to Italy one day! Reading articles like this and seeing pictures of different places across the country makes me want to go explore for myself!
I hope you get to Italy in the future and explore Genoa!
gosh, now I feel like I need to go back. I was in Genoa quite recently but only saw half of this. I did a lot of food focused events (I was there for the World Pesto Championships), but I’d love to have seen Christopher Columbus’s house for instance…and didnt!
That’s a shame, but at least you know what to to see next time you come over!
Your photography is beautiful and Genoa seems to have quite a few gems. The maritime history, from Christopher Columbus to castle building captains is fascinating. If I had all the money in the world, I would build myself a castle. The fire pole and water slide might look a little bit out of place, but it’s my castle and can do what I want. Come to think of it, isn’t that a song from the 60’s – it’s my castle and I’ll do what I want to…. Sorry, digressed. Nice post and it definitely inspires me to go to Genoa.
Thank you very much! I hope you visit Genoa in the future and build your castle!
Love the views from the top of the cathedral and the city walls. I have been to the larger cities in Italy, like Rome, Venice and Florence but haven’t heard of Genoa. Porto Antico sounds like the perfect place to hang out for the day, the marina looks beautiful!
The city of Genoa is over looked, but it is a beautiful Italian city to visit. Porto Antico is my favourite part of the city as you do not even feel like you are in a city.
Genoa looks great, definitely a place I would like to visit after the hustle and bustle of Italy’s more well-known tourist spots. So many fantastic looking palazzos to discover.
Genoa a great way to get away from touristy cities and see some beautiful places in peace.
Always been dreaming to go to the more historical spots of Italy. Fell in love with Genoa through this post! The architecture in this city is an art in itself. So beautiful!
Thank you! I hope you get to visit Genoa in the future and see the beautiful architecture for yourself.
Cannot wait to visit Italy, and Genoa is definitely on my list now 🙂 I’ve been wanting to go to Italy for quite some time now.
I hope you get to visit soon in the future!
Pinned because I want to go to all of them! 🙂 Italy has always been on my bucket list, and the more cities I add the more I want to go!
Thank you for pinning! I hope you get to visit Genoa soon!
so much beauty and history!! i will have to visit the gardens at Villa del Principe !
The gardens are beautiful at Villa del Principe and even have lemon trees.
VIA GARIBALDI is something I would love to visit. Streets where there is no sign of modern machinery has already excited me.
Its nice that there are not many tourists in Genoa. I am sure you will find loads of peace with beautiful architecture and other things to do. Surely looking forward to the Bigo.
Would love to see that submarine as well. Your picture are nice. Very helpful write up.
Keep travelling. 🙂
Thank you! I hope you get to visit Genoa soon and see the beautiful old streets and views of the city.
Genoa is new to me… visited several cities of Italy but missed this. Walking tour along Via Garibaldi is something I look forward to. The palazzos look so grand, a pity nobody makes likes of those any more. The photo galleries are fantastic.
I hope you get to visit in the future and see the palaces and the beautiful artwork. It is a shame we do not build grand buildings like these any more as they are a pleasure to look at.
Wow! What a great places to visit. I would love to see this someday.
I hope you get to Genoa in the future!
What a great list. Genoa was actually one of the first cities I visited in my travels, and I recognize a few of these, including Christopher Columbus’ House and Piazza de Ferrari. I probably went to a couple more without knowing them, and now I really want to go back. The castle looks gorgeous (don’t think I made it there) and I loved my time spent in the harbor. Such a beautiful place, and I was so surprised when I heard Italians calling it dirty. Certainly not the impression that I got.
Thank you very much! Genoa is a great city to visit and the castle is worth going to for the incredible views of the city. I do find it dirty, it is very clean.
great city to visit. Would love to visit it in near futures. I have heard some amazing things about Italy
I hope you get to visit Genoa soon!
Visiting those beautiful places would be my dream vacation. I would love to go to Italy.
Genoa is a lovely city to visit and I hope you get to visit soon!
I would love to have the chance to travel to Italy. All of these places look like they are so beautiful.
I hope you do in near future!
I’ve been to so many cities and towns and regions in Italy. In fact aside from my own country (Canada) Italy is the country I’ve visited the most since I first started travelling. Yet somehow Genoa has always seemed to elude me. I did not know Christopher Columbus was born in Italy. Very cool. The city looks amazing and I will eventually get over there…
Italy is a great place to travel around and Genoa has a lot of history. So I’m sure your would have a fantastic time visiting in the future.
To be honest, I didn’t really know anything about Genoa. It looks like a lovely place though, with so much culture and history. I’d love to visit before it gets full of tourists.
I’m not surprised a lot of people haven’t! But I highly recommend visiting Genoa as there is a lot to see in the city and the surround areas.
I love that Genoa is not crowded with tourists – that’s the biggest thing I try to aim for these days; a more authentic experience than crazy popular places like Rome or Florence 🙂 I’ve made it through a lot of Italy, but not Genoa yet – San Lorenzo Cathedral looks beautiful, and Christopher Columbus House looks really interesting – I had no idea that he was born here!
Thanks for the inspiration 🙂
Thank you very much! I hope you get to visit Genoa soon as it is a lovely city, rich with history and culture.
Thank you very much!