Things to do in Genoa

Visit this gateway to the Riviera and find a city buzzing with historical gems, plus some incredible beaches.

Our most recommended things to do in Genoa

Aquarium of Genoa: Timeslot Ticket

1. Aquarium of Genoa: Timeslot Ticket

Make your way to the Aquarium of Genoa to see more than 5,000 animals from 400 species at Italy's largest aquatic zoo. Learn how the aquarium was built for the Genoa Expo '92. Enjoy a venue that is home to the biggest display of aquatic biodiversity in Europe. Venture into the fascinating waters of the world as you explore more than 70 tanks of critters. Marvel at animals from the Antarctic, such as penguins, and see sharks, seals, jellyfish, and the colorful fish of the coral barriers. Go to the Cetacean Pavilion, designed by Renzo Piano, and laugh along with the bottlenose dolphins at 4 open-air pools.

Genoa: Aquarium of Genoa with Lunch

2. Genoa: Aquarium of Genoa with Lunch

Immerse yourself in the largest aquatic biodiversity exhibition in Europe. Stroll through the world's most fascinating seas and waters as you discover the ocean and enjoy an unforgettable experience. In spectacular settings, enjoy new thematic itineraries to get to know all the secrets, curiosities, and details of a place that never ceases to surprise and excite. Enrich your visit with lunch at the Tender Cafè, which is a fast food bar inside the Aquarium of Genoa which has a splendid terrace overlooking the port of Genoa. It will be there that you can taste and discover Ligurian and Genoese specialties. Lunch is Genoese focaccia with burrata cheese, cherry tomatoes, chips, or a salad. Lunch also includes 1 drink of your choice.

Genoa: World-Famous Aquarium and Lighthouse Combo Ticket

3. Genoa: World-Famous Aquarium and Lighthouse Combo Ticket

Experience the Aquarium of Genoa, the largest aquarium in Italy, located in the old harbor area of Genoa. Enjoy an exciting, immersive, and engaging visit before climbing the steps of the Lighthouse of Geno, the tallest lighthouse in the Mediterranean.  Take a rich and exciting journey as you discover the seas of the world in an aquarium that hosts the most extensive range of aquatic biodiversity in Europe. The exhibition gallery consists of over 70 exhibitions and 600 species from all the seas of the world. From the rarest species such as manatees — marine mammals that may be at the origin of the legend of mermaids — to the most famous ones such as dolphins, penguins, and sharks.  The Genoa Aquarium is filled with innovative scenography, the latest digital installations, a completely renewed light and sound design, and a rich daily schedule of speeches. See also two areas dedicated to reptiles and amphibians, and to the conservation and recovery projects of animals in difficulty or seized by the authorities and entrusted to the aquarium. Next, walk over the iconic promenade to visit the monumental complex of the Lighthouse of Genoa, a symbol of the city. The world's fifth tallest lighthouse, the Lanterna di Genova has been operating for almost nine centuries and is the official lighthouse of the Port of Genoa. Climb the first 172 steps to admire Genoa from the top of its first panoramic terrace.

Genoa: Hop-on Hop-off Tour 24 or 48-Hour Ticket

4. Genoa: Hop-on Hop-off Tour 24 or 48-Hour Ticket

World Heritage-listed Genoa is the capital of Liguria and birthplace of Christopher Columbus. See many of its monuments and its grand 16th and 17th century palaces on the Strade Nueve, on a hop-on hop-on sightseeing tour. With your 24 or 48-hour ticket you’ll see more than just splendid buildings. Genoa presents a multitude of hidden gems waiting for you to discover. The double-decker bus departs from Piazza Caricamento and provides easy access to both of the city’s train stations, as well as ideal stopping points for shopping. Explore at your own pace as you hop off at attractions such as the Cathedral San Lorenzo, built in a patchwork of styles, from Gothic to Renaissance. Admire the huge Palazzo Ducale before jumping back on the bus to continue your journey to the city’s splendid museums. The town's best art collections can be visited in the 3 palaces of the Musei di Strada, where you’ll find masterpieces by Rubens along with many other local and Italian artists. Enjoy 360-degree panoramic views from the top deck. Take a stroll along the elegant Via Garibaldi, located in the cultural center of Genoa and lined with grand buildings and fine stores. By the rejuvenated Porto Antico you’ll find a number of attractions suitable for the entire family, including the aquarium where you can watch dolphins play. Buses run daily every 30 to 60 minutes until early evening, when you can take some time to discover Genoa’s active nightlife scene. The hub of evening activity lies in the historic part of town along the stretch bordered by Piazza Sarzano and Via San Lorenzo. Back on the bus the next day, within the ticket’s 24 or 48-hour period, you can stop off at the Bigo, a replica of a device that was used years ago to offload cargo from the ships. You’ll enjoy multilingual commentary on the bus, making it an ideal way to take in Genoa’s best attractions in a convenient, comfortable, and fun way. Line A- Red Line Stops 1) Caricamento 2) Via Garibaldi 3) Piazza De Ferrari 4) Brignole Train Station 5) Via XX Settembre 6) Carignano 7) Corvetto 8) Portello 9) Principe Train Station 10) Cruise Terminal Line B - Blue Line Stops 1) Caricamento 2) Via Garibaldi 3) Piazza De Ferrari 4) Levante Water Front 5) Boccadasse 6) Scalinata Borghese 7) Via XX Settembre 8) Corvetto 9) Portello 10) Principe Train Station 11) Cruise Terminal

Genoa: Aquarium and FantaCinema Combined Ticket

5. Genoa: Aquarium and FantaCinema Combined Ticket

See tanks with beautiful and strange aquatic life at the Genoa Aquarium. Discover creatures from the Ligurian Sea, the North Atlantic and Caribbean reefs. Watch dolphins, penguins, and sea cows play in their habitats. Visit the playful past of fantasy cinema at FantaCinema. View original pieces, memorabilia, statues, articles, and posters. Learn how the cinema of fantasy was born and how it developed. Listen to soundtracks of cult films as you tour the exhibits. Look at cult objects such as the famous "the machine of tempo” original used by Zemeckis in the movie Back to the Future, or the original costumes from Alien and Star Wars. Walk though the Harry Potter and Game of Kings sections.

Genoa: Lighthouse Entrance Ticket

6. Genoa: Lighthouse Entrance Ticket

Take in great views of the city while walking through a major piece of this history with entrance tickets to the Lighthouse of Genoa. Visit the third-oldest lighthouse in the world. Take the 800-meter seaside path overlooking the harbor and enjoy the open-air museum. Check out the ancient fortifications. This still-functioning lighthouse is a major part of Genoa's long maritime history. Climb to the top for great views of the city.

Genoa: Cetacean Watching Cruise with Marine Biologist Guide

7. Genoa: Cetacean Watching Cruise with Marine Biologist Guide

Join a cetacean-watching boat tour in the Pelagos Sanctuary with a marine biologist guide. See the marine animals in their natural habitat and learn about their species, habits, behavior, and more. Upon arrival, receive an introductory briefing about the Pelagos Sanctuary from your expert marine biologist guide. Learn more about its history, conservation programs, and the species that populate it, including fin whales, sperm whales, Cuvier’s beaked whales, bottlenose dolphins, and many more. Set sail on the open sea and reach some of the most favorable locations to spot various species of marine mammals in their natural habitat. Wait in anticipation of spotting a distant breach, or a jump that announces the arrival of a pod of dolphins. In full compliance with non-disturbance directives, approach the aquatic mammals by boat and see them frolicking in their natural habitat. Learn more about the curiosities of the species from your expert biologist guide, including their diet and mannerisms. After admiring the jumps or breaches, go in search of other marine species within the sanctuary. Feel free to ask the guides plenty of questions and learn about the important work being undertaken to protect native marine life.

Genoa: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of the Historical Center

8. Genoa: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of the Historical Center

The tour allows you to discover the historical center of Genoa and the wonderful Palazzi dei Rolli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These elegant residences belonged to the aristocracy and date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. You will be guided through the narrow alleys (Caruggi) of the widest historical center in Europe, to discover its many curiosities and secrets. The tour starts from the Old Port area and guides you through the highlights of the city, including the San Lorenzo Cathedral, the Doge Palace, the Opera House, and the wonderful Strada Nuova Museums. In the museums – the galleries of Pallazo Rosso, the Palazzo Bianco, and Palazzo Tursi – you can admire the antique furniture and important masterpieces of Italian and foreign artists. The museum exhibits works by Veronese, Procaccini, Rubens, Van Dyck, and many more.

Genoa: Aquarium of Genoa Entry Ticket with Snack

9. Genoa: Aquarium of Genoa Entry Ticket with Snack

Immerse yourself in the largest exhibit of aquatic biodiversity in Europe with a visit to the Aquarium of Genoa. Discover the world's fascinating seas and waterways, including all their creatures. Tuck into a snack at the Tender Café inside the aquarium, refueling with a drink and a butter donut. Walk through the aquarium's spectacular settings and learn about the secrets, curiosities, and interesting anecdotes about our world's oceans. End your visit with a hot or cold drink and a light snack at the aquarium's café, which has a splendid terrace overlooking the port of Genoa.

Guided Tour of Rolli Palaces UNESCO Site, Genoa

10. Guided Tour of Rolli Palaces UNESCO Site, Genoa

Visit the wonderful Genoese residences of the XVI century and join this guided tour of the Rolli Palaces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A guided tour of some of the most sumptuous residences built by the aristocratic Genoese families during the so-called “ Secolo d’Oro“ (“The Golden Century”), between the 16th and 17th century. The System of the "Palazzi dei Rolli" includes splendid palaces with open staircases, courtyards and loggias overlooking gardens. The palaces, positioned at different levels, were part of a network of public hospitality houses for state visits, as decreed by the Senate of the Republic of Genoa in 1576. The “Rolli” (named from the parchment rolls in which the palaces were inscribed) were subdivided into three “bussoli”, balloting lists, where the palaces were registered according to their richness and dimension. Lots were drawn to decide which palace would have the privilege - and the duty - of playing host to visiting state dignitaries. The first “bussolo” was for cardinals, princes and viceroys, the second for large scale landowners and third for princes of lesser standing and ambassadors: the first example of hôtellerie in Europe. The “Rolli” were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. These exclusive and elegantly decorated residences did not escape the eye of a fine artist as the great Flemish painter Rubens, who at the beginning of the 17th century published a book collecting the drawings of these buildings as a residential model for the Antwerp nobility. Experience a piece of Italy's extravagant Golden Century in Genoa.

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What people are saying about Genoa

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 5,416 reviews

Great trip, with helpful staff. Punctual departures from all locations. The boats is close enough to the shore so you can see all the beautiful places along the coast. It was a real pleasure to go on this trip. We made two stops on the journey for dropping off & picking up passengers. it would have been nice to spend a little longer in Portofino to be able to explore as there was only time to have a quick walk, have a sandwich & a drink but it was still a lovely trip

5 stars. Anita who guided us from hotel in Rome, whole Florence and back to Rome was a friendly, flexible and professional guide. She is a lawyer but does this work for the love of Italy. Giovanni who guided us in Academy was also excellent. His explanation of David was quite impressive. Driver Adam was friendly and professional. Strongly recommend Anita for families with children and child-like husband.

Great boat trip best way to see portafino by coming via the sea.... However could have spent more time there.

It was very well organized, super punctual and very friendly stuff

Very efficient good service, clean boat, easy to book.