We suggest you spend at least two days here: with so many surprises awaiting you, Genoa deserves it! You will need an entire day to visit Acquario Village at the Old Port (Porto Antico). Furthermore, you should make sure you have time to see the wonderful architecture of Genoa and taste the local cuisine: the Genoese focaccia and pasta with pesto alla Genovese.
Article was last updated in December, 2023.
How to reach Genoa and get around
It is best to take the train to one of the two stations in Genoa: Porta Principe or Genova Brignole. Prices and timetables are available on the page “By train”.
Parking is not a problem in Genoa; there are many parking places, especially near the port and along the beachfront. A ticket costs 2.2 euro/hour, to a maximum of 25 euro per day.
Address of the parking lots at the port for GPS navigators: Calata Falcone e Borsellino, 108, Genova.
What to see in Genoa
The Aquarium (Acquario) is definitely worth a visit, including the 1“Dialogue in the Dark” experience (10 euro), an exhibition with a sensorial itinerary, a ‘’journey’’ in the dark that transforms familiar places and gestures into an extraordinary experience. Sight is not used, only the sense of touch, hearing, smell and taste. Visitors are accompanied by sight-impaired guides. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 100 persons per day, so you’d need to book in advance - at least a couple of hours beforehand! A visit to the 2Galata Museo del Mare, the largest and most innovative sea museum in the Mediterranean is also recommended, as well as a visit to the 3Nazario Sauro submarine: visiting both will cost about 20, otherwise the Museo del Mare alone will cost 19 euro. You can also spend some time at the 4Biosfera (Biosphere), which cares about vegetable and animal species from tropical forests threatened by human exploitation; and there, you'll find a 5panoramic elevator giving you a view from above of the entire Old Port of Genoa! A visit to the 6Acquario (Acquarium) costs 32 euro, and it boasts the richest exposition of water biodiversity in Europe.
The ticket for all attractions of the Acquario Village (“Dialogue in the Dark” excluded) costs 55 euro. But tourists can buy a customized multiple ticket and pay for only some of the attractions with a saving of 20-30%. For example: the Aquarium + The Museum of the Sea + the submarine = 38 euro; the Museum of the Sea + the submarine + Dialogue in the Dark = 20 euro; the submarine + Dialogue in the Dark = 13 euro. Buy your tickets from the cashier at the Museum of the Sea, where shouldn’t be any queues.
Before visiting the Acquario Village, you can stroll along the coast and 7waterfront on the outskirts of the city of Genoa. A long walkway commences at the railway station of Genova Nervi, taking you along a beautiful seascape as it leads through “Il Parco di Genova” – The Genoa Park.
After seeing this part of the coast, take the train or a bus into the 8center of Genoa for the visit to the Acquario and then stroll around to admire the many architectural masterpieces of the city. You can see the magnificent Gothic-Romanesque 9Cathedral of San Lorenzo and the Duke’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), built in the Mannerism style, a style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. Another building, the 10“Palazzo Reale” – Royal Palace - is an exposition of interiors with a very interesting room, the “Sala degli Specchi” – the Hall of Mirrors. You can also see more architectural elegance in 11via Garibaldi and in the Quartiere dei Palazzi: the district of the Palaces. You will be very surprised when you see the residences in that area!
After you’ve seen a lot in the city center and the old part of Genoa, take a photo from the panoramic terrace on the hills above the city at the 12Spianata di Castelletto: the domes of the Churches are at eye level from here. An elevator takes you to Castelletto for 1 euro (it is indicated on the map).
Where to stay in Genoa?
If you choose to stay the night in Genoa, it is better to book a hotel in advance. Some hotels worth mentioning are listed below.
La Superba Rooms & Breakfast
Rating: Wonderful, 9.4.
Rating: Good, 7.8.
Or you can compare some of the hotels based on the comments from tourists and at the prices indicated on this page.