Things to do in
Genoa

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

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Top activities

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 15,000 animals from 400 species at Italy's largest aquatic zoo. Skip the line, and 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.

Genova : Boat Tour to Camogli, San Fruttuoso, & Portofino

2. Genova : Boat Tour to Camogli, San Fruttuoso, & Portofino

Experience a full-day boating excursion and discover three of the most charming villages in Liguria: Camogli, San Fruttuoso, and Portofino. You can choose to visit all 3 villages, or just stop and enjoy one or two of them when booking. The ferry connects the charming fishing villages of Camogli and San Fruttuoso while offering visitors a boat trip around Golfo Paradiso with stunning views and unforgettable sights. Depart from Genova in the morning aboard the motorboat Città di Camogli and enjoy panoramic coastal views on your way to the harbor of Camogli. If you choose to visit San Fruttuoso, you will find a charming fishing village located on the promontory of Portofino and the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. After leaving the dock from Camogli, passengers will catch sight of beautiful views of the tiny village. Next, you'll be able to admire the majesty of Portofino mountain, the pudding-stone landmark outcrop of Punta Chiappa. Then you'll pass the exclusive hamlet of San Fruttuoso, followed by the famous Hermit's Grotto and the Cala dell'Oro. Both of these locations are protected areas where boats are prohibited. In Portofino, you will find the awe-inspiring blue sea, the lush green vegetation at the edge of the cliffs, and the elegance of villas along the coast. Passengers often sight striped bottle-nosed dolphins and the other dolphins that live in these coastal waters.

Genoa: Aquarium & Christopher Columbus' House Entry Tickets

3. Genoa: Aquarium & Christopher Columbus' House Entry Tickets

Acquario di Genova The Aquarium of Genoa hosts the most extensive range of aquatic biodiversity in Europe. The exhibition gallery consists of over 70 exhibits and about 12,000 specimen of 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 great predators of the sea; but also jellyfish, seals and multi-coloured tropical fish species. Come with us in a journey that will fill you with a range of emotions and inspire you to respect deeply the sea and its extraordinary inhabitants. Casa di Colombo: not far from Porta Soprana, just outside the ancient medieval walls, is the Casa di Colombo, where the discoverer of the Americas lived in his youth. According to archival documents, Domenico Colombo, father of the great navigator, moved here in 1445, when Christopher Columbus was four years old. The ground floor of the house was used as a workshop, an attic with wooden beams divides it from the upper park, where the rooms for private use were located.

Genoa: Aquarium of Genoa Entry Ticket with Snack

4. 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.

Genoa: World-Famous Aquarium and Lighthouse Combo Ticket

5. 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, take an 800m 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: 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of the Historical Center

6. 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 belonging 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.

Aquarium of Genoa: Entry Ticket and Aperitif

7. Aquarium of Genoa: Entry Ticket and Aperitif

Book your Aquarium Happy open ticket and enter the Aquarium of Genoa without any reservation. Take a break with a glass of wine or sparkling wine at the Tender Bar inside the aquarium with a spectacular view of the Old Port. Visit the Aquarium of Genoa after 4:00 PM, the quietest moment of the day, and enjoy the flexibility of an open ticket. In between your visit, sit down and relax at Tender Bar. To experience your visit in the best way, it’s recommended you schedule your entrance between 4 PM and 5 PM.

Genova: Segway Tour

8. Genova: Segway Tour

Visit the most historically significant sites of the largest medieval historic center in Europe on a segway tour. Enjoy a fast, easy, and fun way to see the beauties of the city of Genova. Explore the hidden alleys of the old town and the beautiful noble streets with an experienced guide. Take in the medieval atmosphere and learn about the culture, art, traditions, and gastronomy of the city.

Genoa: Private Tour with a Local

9. Genoa: Private Tour with a Local

With this welcoming tour, transform traveling philosophy: make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Explore the city with a friendly local who is passionate about his or her city and eager to share all the tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your trip. Meet wherever you're staying to get familiar with the neighborhood, find out about the best places to eat and buy groceries, discover the easiest ways to get around and learn about the top things to see and do. By the end of the tour, you'll feel more comfortable navigating the city and confident that you have all the information needed to make the most of your stay.

Genoa: Palazzi dei Roll and Palazzo Reale Guided Tour

10. Genoa: Palazzi dei Roll and Palazzo Reale Guided Tour

See some of the most sumptuous residences built by the aristocratic Genoese families on guided tour of the Palazzi dei Roll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built during the Golden Century, the grounds include splendid open staircases, courtyards, and loggias overlooking gardens. The Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli in Genoa’s historic center date from the late 16th and early 17th centuries when the Republic of Genoa was at the height of its financial and seafaring power. Discover the palaces positioned on different levels that were part of a network of public hospitality houses for state visits, as decreed by the Senate of the Republic of Genoa in 1576.    Explore the Palazzo Reale, built in the 17th century by the Balbi family, based on the designs of Pier Francesco Cantone. One of the largest architectural complexes in Genoa, its reception halls are decorated with frescoes, stuccos, paintings, sculptures, furniture, and fittings belonging to the noble and royal families who lived there. Some of the most important names in Baroque and Rococo decorative art frescoed the vaulted ceiling of the living rooms and galleries. Among the more than 100 paintings on display are works by the greatest 17th-century Genoese artists. Other works on display are masterpieces by Anton Van Dyck, Tintoretto, Guercino, Luca Giordano, Ferdinand Voet, and Bassano.

Frequently asked questions about Genoa

What top attractions are a must-see in Genoa?

Planning Your Visit

  • Does Genoa have beaches?

    Yes! For the city's best free beaches, head to Quarto, Quinto, Nervi, or even take a boat to San Fruttuoso in Camogli Bay to sunbathe on the sands in front of a 10th-century monastery!

  • How many days?

    Tourists often mistake Genoa for a small place. Although you could have your sightseeing covered within two or three days, there's plenty to do across the city, and with the enchanting Cinque Terre just 2 hours away by train, you wouldn't regret booking closer to a week.

Good to know

  • Language
    Italian
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +39
  • Best time to visit
    Genoa is in its prime late spring through early fall. High tourist season is in July and August, but in the case of this coastal town, the influx feels quite jubilant!

Other Sightseeing Options in Genoa

Want to discover all there is to do in Genoa? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Genoa

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 3,013 reviews

Hop on hop off bus in Genoa was a great experience. When we bought the day ticket online, we didn't even know that there was a red and a blue line, so we accidentally got on the blue line, which runs a little further out of the city center but also reaches many stations on the red line. It was a great tour with great explanations. Class! We didn't go to the last station and got off at the station because that's where our hotel was. Unfortunately we didn't have time for the red tour, but that's a reason to come back to Genoa...

This game was very interesting and informative. Everything close by, great to walk to. Unfortunately, some sights are being renovated, so not easy to find. And some tasks a bit difficult, but thanks to the solve function you can just keep going. We thought it was great and can recommend it.

There is only a small tour, but so much to see in terms of plants and animals. We actually planned to go in again the next day because we liked it so much, but unfortunately we didn't have time anymore

Great excursion welcome punctuality pity that the stops are not longer The boat is good value for money I recommend this crossing

We loved the city and its history discovered thanks to Pierpaolo.