How to Spend 2 Days in Genoa
Discover Genoa’s history as the center of a powerful maritime republic, explore a hub of modern museums clustered at its port, and wander local fishing villages. The city’s location makes it a convenient jumping-off point for towns along the Italian Riviera, so here’s how to visit both city and coast in two days.
Day 1: Genoa
**Morning:**Stroll through the narrow alleys, called “carruggi,” surrounding the soaring Cathedral of San Lorenzo with a walking tour of Genoa’s old town. Then, move on to the city’s lavish palaces: the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale); the Royal Palace; and the Palazzi dei Rolli on Via Garibaldi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
**Afternoon:**Make the most of your afternoon at the revitalized port, booking advance skip-the-line tickets to popular draws like the Genoa Aquarium. The old port today houses museums, restaurants, and attractions, such as the Galata Maritime Museum, a tropical garden biosphere, panoramic elevator, and the Dialogue in the Dark sensory experience.
**Night:**Genoa’s distinct cuisine combines delicacies of land and sea. Take a food and wine tour through the city or opt for a hands-on cooking lesson to learn how to recreate classic dishes. Other foodie options include a pesto-making demonstration and tasting or a family-style dinner in a local home.
Day 2: Riviera
**Morning:**Genoa is the gateway to the Italian Riviera for many travelers, so spend your second day along the Ligurian coast visiting some of the most colorful fishing villages in the Mediterranean. Perhaps the most popular day trip is to the Cinque Terre, five pastel-hued hamlets clinging to the cliffs.
**Afternoon:**If you want to savor the charm of a time-capsule fishing village but would prefer to spend less time traveling, tour the village of Portofino just an hour’s drive south along the coast. Colorful houses line a doll-sized harbor, making this popular spot the quintessential coastal retreat.
**Night:**You may be surprised to learn that Genoa has its own fishing village, the pedestrian-only Boccadasse district at the end of the Corso Italia promenade just outside the city center. Spend your final evening relaxing over dinner or a gelato in this quaint and quiet corner of the city.