best day trips from genoa

The Best Day Trips from Genoa – Where to visit from Genoa for a day

The Ligurian city of Genoa is well located for some great day trips around the region.    The central location of Italy’s fifth-largest city means that taking day trips from Genoa is easy to do – so long as you plan your activities in advance.   Relaxed day trips from Genoa include exploring the villages of Cinque Terre or marveling at Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure.   Take a look at organized and independent day trips that you can take from Genoa.


Where to Stay in Genoa

There are a host of places to stay in Genoa – here’s our pick of the luxury places to stay in Genoa, mid-range places to stay in Genoa, and budget accommodation in Genoa.

Hotel Bristol Palace, Genoa: The Hotel Bristol Palace is located in the heart of Genoa, perfectly situated for visiting top attractions such as the Genoa Aquarium. This renowned and spectacular four-star hotel has more than 100 rooms with large private bathrooms with a shower or a bath and free toiletries, terraces, air-conditioning, and soundproofing. This gorgeous Genoa hotel in the old town also has all the services you’d expect in a four-star hotel, like dry-cleaning, laundry, and ironing. The Hotel Bristol Palace is one of a kind place to stay when visiting Genoa. You can check Hotel Bristol Palace’s room rates and availability here.

B&B Piccoli Leoni, Genoa: The B&B Piccoli Leoni is situated in the center of Genoa, just a few steps away from Genoa’s top attractions. B&B Piccoli Leoni units are equipped with a flat-screen TV a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer, a wardrobe, and linens. They offer breakfast in the room, daily housekeeping, dry-cleaning, babysitting/child services, and free access to WiFi in the rooms and the common area. B&B Piccoli Leoni also has a book-sharing facility where you can leave a book and take one from the B&B stocks, there’s also an exhibition of arts from local artists displayed in the common area. The B&B Piccoli Leoni is a homey accommodation and great to stay at when in Genoa. See rates and availability here.

Ostello Bello Genova, Genoa: The Ostello Bello Genova is located in central Genoa. Its units include air-conditioning, a private bathroom with a hairdryer, and bed linens. The hostel also features a shared kitchen and barbeque facilities and also offers a continental or buffet breakfast. The Ostello Bello Genova has ‘Happy Hours,’ walking tours, movie nights, evening entertainment, karaoke, table tennis, billiards, and a games room. Family rooms are also available along with lounge/TV areas, a sun terrace, and a garden. Ostello Bello Genova is an accommodation with a warm atmosphere, and a fantastic budget place to stay in Genoa. Read more reviews and check room rates and availability here.

Best Day Trips from Genoa

Whether you’re looking for a relaxed day trip from Genoa or a themed day trip from Genoa, Genoa’s central location and excellent public transport network mean it’s easy to either arrange a preplanned tour or travel independently.  There are 2 main railway stations in Genoa – Brignole and Piazza Principe from where you can reach the east and west of the region of Liguria.  It’s also easy to arrange sea-based transport to the famous Cinque Terre Villages!  All of these Genoa day trips are possible to take as independent travelers, however, if your time is short, they’re also easy to take as an organized and prebooked tour.  The choice is yours.

Day Trip to Portofino from Genoa

The picture postcard-perfect village of Portofino is probably the most expensive on the Italian Riviera.  Flawless pastel-colored buildings circle a harbor of glossy yachts.  These are the homes of the Italian glitterati yet it’s just 32 kilometers (20 miles) by road or 90 minutes by ferry from the port of Genoa.  Perfect for a day trip.  It’s possible also to fit in a day in Genoa, a short walking tour of Genoa (try this highly reviewed walking tour that lasts 2 hours), and then a short half-day trip to Portofino to maximize your time in Genoa.


Take a coffee in La Piazzetta, Portofino’s central square, and then head for the best views of Portofino from sea level at the Faro di Portofino in the marina.  Portofino is one of the most famous places to visit in Italy, read about others here. Alternatively, make the steep climb to Castel Brown for the best panoramic views of Portofino and the entire coast.  For a little more exercise you can hike out to the abbey at San Frutuoso of Capodimonte for breath-taking views of a different type.

Day Trip to Santa Margherita Ligure from Genoa

Take a train from Genoa to Santa Margherita and chill out in this lovely town overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.  You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time here with an old-fashioned promenade and grand hotels lining the seafront.   Santa Margherita Ligure may be sleepy but that’s a lot of the charm of the town.  Climb up the narrow streets to the castle, and don’t miss the public park that is the Villa Durazzo terraced gardens. Be sure to take a photo of the Santuario di Nostra Signora Della Rosa, a stylish Baroque church complete with ornate gold-covered carvings and stunning frescoes.  Before you leave don’t forget to try the Ligurian specialty of freshly baked focaccia.

Day Trip to Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure from Genoa

Combine a day trip to Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure from Genoa – either by train and ferry or by taking a private guide and driver.   Your day trip from Genoa gives you plenty of time to see both the stunning village of Portofino nestled into the hillside and then take a ferry to the sleepy Santa Margherita Ligure and still make it back to Genoa easily.

  • Maximize your time and fit in a trip to both Santa Margherita Ligure AND Portofino before heading back to Genoa at the end of the day > reserve your places now!

Day Trip to Cinque Terre from Genoa

There are five villages that make up Cinque Terre and it’s easy to visit them on a day trip from Genoa.  The five villages of the Cinque Terre are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso.

The easiest way to visit the Cinque Terre from Genoa is to take a private trip with a driver – this way you’ll be able to spot all the churches, vineyards, and castles as you go and set your own agenda.  Want a stop for lunch?  Or a coffee or a glass of prosecco?

Cinque Terre

The best itinerary for a day trip to Cinque Terre from Genoa is to stop first at Riomaggiore – beautifully colored houses, alleyways, and a gorgeous castle.  It’s easy to walk from Riomaggiore to the next village of the Cinque Terre, Manarola, with its typical Genovese tower.  This walking route is called the Via Dell’Amore – the path of love.  The next village, which you’ll be driven to is Vernazza – and this is probably the loveliest of the Cinque Terre villages.

Take your lunch here at one of the typical restaurants and then head onto Corniglia, known as the balcony of the Cinque Terre.  The final village that you’ll visit is Monterosso.

This is a fabulous day trip from Genoa, visiting the ancient villages of the Cinque Terre – you can explore marinas, and vineyards and see the stunning colorful houses that cling to the cliffs along this UNESCO World Heritage part of the Mediterranean Sea.

Take a Hiking Day Trip Above Cinque Terre from Genoa

The villages of the Cinque Terre and the landscape aren’t just about taking photos of the gloriously colored houses, although we seriously recommend that!   Take a day trip from Genoa with a difference and join local experts off the beaten track.  Hike high above the Cinque Terre and get great views, a seriously deep understanding of the landscape, and local knowledge.   You’ll walk through vineyards, pine forests, and rural villages.   This is a great opportunity to take a very different day trip to Genoa.

Indulge Your Ligurian Appetites in Genoa

You don’t have to leave the city of Genoa to take a fabulous trip.  Why not spend the day learning about the food of Genoa with a local.  You can opt to take market trips – even go to the Mercato Orientiale Genova, and find the most amazing Genovese Basil to make Pesto, learn to cook Pasta al Pesto, and other regional delights in the kitchen of your host.


You can read more about the food of the region in our guide to Genoa’s food.   Check out these options of fabulous ways to spend the day in Genoa.

  • Take a Genoa Street Food Tour:  Learn about Genoa’s traditional street foods and visit three different eating establishments and take 3 different food tastings.    Check availability and book now
  • Learn to make 3 different regional pasta dishes in the home of a certified home cook in Genoa.    This authentic Italian food experience will give you your own workstation and the guidance of a local chef, who’ll teach you three different pasta dishes.  You’ll get to taste your creations with the accompaniment of local wines or soft drinks.  Book your Genoa cooking course now!
  • Take a traditional Genoa food tour – walk the winding streets of Genoa with a local guide and take 5 tastings of local, Ligurian food all included within your tour price.  From focaccia to Farinata, your host will explain the history of the dishes that you’ll taste and take you to real local places to experience them!  Check your options now.

Where Will You Take Your Day Trip From Genoa?

We’d love to hear about where you decided to visit from Genoa for the day.  Let us know in the comments, but before you leave Genoa – are you sure you’ve explored all of Genoa?  We put together a one-day itinerary for spending a day in Genoa  – so if you haven’t visited before, come check out some of the amazing things to do in Genoa in a day – from museums and cathedrals to local history, and incredible Ligurian food!

Let us know what you plan to do!

Travel Tips for Exploring Italy

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