best day trips from genoa

The Best 5 Day Trips from Genoa [Sightseeing Genoa]

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.




Visit Portofino from Genoa

This glorious postcard-perfect village is just stunning. Visit for the day in our top day trip pick from Genoa. This fabulous tour includes all transport and an English-speaking guide. Book early to confirm your dates.

The 5 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 pre-booked tour.  The choice is yours.

1. 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, and then a short half-day trip to Portofino to maximize your time in Genoa. This glorious day out from Genoa combines the two and you can see what you get here.


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. You can combine a day trip from Genoa to Portofino with a tour of Genoa and maximize your time –  reserve your English-speaking driver and tour guide now!

2. 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.  Get a door to door trip here. 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. This is a stunning place to visit and if you only have a short time in Genoa, then you can explore with this gorgeous day trip from Genoa to Santa Margherita Ligure – make your booking now!

3. 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!

4. 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. Want to see more?

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. Visit THE most stunning villages of the Cinque Terre as a day trip from Genoa – reserve your spaces now!

5. 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 want to make sure that you have the right equipment for hiking, take a decent filter water bottle, a good pair of hiking boots, and a set of hiking poles.


Most Popular Trekking Poles

These fabulous budget trekking poles are the best buy and the most popular poles for hiking.

You’ll walk through vineyards, pine forests, and rural villages.   This is a great opportunity to take a very different day trip to Genoa.

Or Stay in Genoa and Indulge Your Ligurian Appetites

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.

Travel Tips for Exploring Italy

Final Words on the Best 5 Genoa Day Trips

Genoa is a glorious city and there’s lots to explore in and around the city. However, with its location, it’s also perfect for exploring the area. These day trips from Genoa are a great way to see more of the Liguria area while staying put in that perfect hotel that you’ve found, or heading back to the cruise ship. 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!

Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.

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