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Top 5 things to do in Genoa

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Aquarium of Genoa
Aquarium of Genoa
The Aquarium of Genoa isn't just the largest aquarium in Italy – it's the largest in Europe! Located in Genoa's Porto Antico (Old Port), this 3,000 m2 aquarium, built inside an old ship, boasts the biggest collection of aquatic biodiversity in Europe. Meet penguins, sharks, dolphins, and more!
Aquatic Park Le Caravelle
Aquatic Park Le Caravelle
Thrilling slides? Check. A giant wave pool? Check. The only water disco in Italy? Check! Parco Acquatico Le Caravelle is one of the best in Italy. This kingdom of slipping, sliding adventure has got all the attractions you would expect – flumes, pools, and relaxing deck chairs – plus a whole lot more. There are volleyball courts, restaurants, and even wellness activities you can purchase on-site.
The Biosphere is a stunning glass sphere close to Genoa's Aquarium in the Old Port. Known affectionately as 'The Glass Bubble' it was designed by superstar architect Renzo Piano for the July 2001 G8 Meeting. This tropical paradise is home to over 150 species of plants, as well as a rainforest that protects numerous birds, butterflies, and reptiles.
Galata Museo del Mare
Galata Museo del Mare
Calling all wannabe sailors and aspiring sea captains. The Galata Museo del Mare in Genoa offers 12,000 m2 of exhibition space covering man's longtime relationship with the sea. The building itself is the oldest surviving construction in the dockyard of the old Republic. It's a worthwhile attraction for anyone interested in the ocean, immigration, and the history of Genoa.
Lighthouse of Genoa
Lighthouse of Genoa
The second-tallest lighthouse in the world (if taken as a whole with the natural rock formation from which it protrudes), the Lighthouse of Genoa is an emblematic landmark of the city, and one of the area's top cultural attractions, affording glorious views across the seas and the rooftops. Constructed in 1128, it is also the third-oldest lighthouse in the world.

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The Abbey of San Fruttuoso (Abbazia di San Fruttuoso) is a Benedictine monastery tucked away on an idyllic bay between Camogli and Portofino in the Italian Riviera. The abbey's remote location means that it can only be accessed by boat or through hiking trails, making it a hidden gem that takes some effort to unearth!
4.6 / 5 (7)
From $8.36
The Toirano Caves are a karst cave system in the municipality of Toirano, in the province of Savona, Liguria, Italy. The caves are home to ancient human and cave bear remains, as well as a cellar for some 12,000 bottles of Durin Spumante wine.
4.8 / 5 (5)
From $15.68
The Bigo Panoramic Lift is part of the Aquarium, situated in the middle of Genoa's Porto Antico. Bird's eye views of the harbour and everyday life will put your Genoa time (and maybe your whole life) into perspective.
4.2 / 5 (20)
From $5.23
up to —20%
The Rolli Palaces are located in the historical centre of Genoa and consist of 42 beautifully decorated palaces that were once called home by visiting VIPs in the 16th and 17th centuries. The 'Rolli' were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. Rather than one single site, the palaces are spread out. Some are privately owned while others now house banks or offices.
4.7 / 5 (3)
From $14.64
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.
From $10.98
Rich in original pieces, memorabilia, statues, articles, posters, and more, FantaCinema excites young and old alike with a tour that tells the story of how fantasy cinema was born and where it is today. Start with the history of film and move through to your favourite modern fantasy favorites, with costumes and models celebrating everything from Back to the Future and Alien to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars (of course!).
From $5.23

More ways to experience Genoa

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Genoa City tour

Join a guided walking tour of Genoa and discover the beauty of the city
From $15.68

Planning your Genoa visit




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Weather and Transport

Autumn and spring are the best times to visit Genoa. Temperatures reach 30°C from June through August, with frequent rain showers from mid-August. Forget rental cars, Genoa’s streets are too narrow for anything bigger than a Vespa. Your feet are your best friends when it comes to reaching most sights, and there’s always the bus or funicular. Buy your multi-purpose 90-minute tickets from tobacconists and newsagents.

Eat and Drink

Fish features prominently on many Genoan menus. If that suits you, angle for trying capponada (traditional seafood salad) at least once. Prefer things less fishy? Steer towards vivid green pesto and plain focaccia, flavored with nothing but olive oil. Adventurous foodies love Romeo Viganotti on Vico dei Castagna. This tiny chocolate shop has goodies with some out-there flavors (we dare you to try the onion!).


Most of the nightlife in Genoa is centered around the redesigned port area, as well as the medieval quarter. The latter’s atmospheric bars have an old-worldly feel to them and you’ll see locals and tourists alike spilling out onto the ancient piazze. Get involved! For great steaks and live music, try the aptly named Live Music Club, or for cool indie bands, top DJs, cabaret and avant-garde theatre try La Claque.

What to do in Genoa for 3 days

Make a splash at the Aquarium of Genoa

The ocean and its residents are ready to add an underwater twist to your time in Genoa. Europe's biggest (and possibly best) aquarium is packed with predators like sharks, crocs and piranhas, but with 70 rooms, 12,000 animals and sea creatures across 3,000 m2 of exhibition space, there’s loads more to see. Built inside an old ship in the harbor, the entire aquarium is a pretty spectacular sight!

Visit the Opera

Opera is to Italy what Justin Bieber is to Canada, and that’s a very, very popular national treasure. Treat your ears to the very best of Italian classical music and opera with a visit to Genova in Concerto. Set in the Lower Church of San Giovanni di Pré this musical journey, performed by the Virtuosi della Commenda, makes for a magical night at one of the most impressive locations in the city.

Fish Festivals and Supermaggio

If you like action, the streets of Genoa come to life every May for Supermaggio. This month-long festival brings lots of people and even more live events to the city, ranging from music and dance to talks. At the end of May, attend workshops, talks and tastings at the biennial Slow Fish festival – a special event to help raise public awareness about the issue of sustainable fish in the Mediterranean.

Cinque Terre and Portofino

See all the picturesque villages of Cinque Terre by hopping on a train from Genoa, which stops at all of them. There are no buses and you’re not allowed to drive into them, which makes for a much more magical experience. You can see Portofino in the same day, but this colorful coastal town is worth a day trip on its own. Just avoid August if you can, it’s peak season and insufferably hot.

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