Last Updated on July 7, 2023

Italy is a beautiful country with many interesting and exciting cities to visit, one such city is Genoa which is the capital of the region of Liguria and sits on the Gulf of Genoa alongside the Ligurian sea. It is a port city and is well known for the industrial history. The port is the busiest in the Mediterranean and the sixth most busy in Europe, proving that this is truly a thriving place.

The city is Italy’s 6th largest and has a population of 600,000 but is also a major attraction for tourists and Genoa has brings in an impressive tourist business throughout the year. The old town of Genoa has in part, been deemed a UNESCO world heritage site as of 2006 and the city is famed for its rich culture in art, music and its expansive cuisine. Due to this diverse culture, the city was awarded the honor of capital of culture back in 2017.

For those who are interested in paying a visit to Genoa, there are an incredible amount of things to see and do whilst you are here. This economic center offer visitors the chance to see a diverse range of sights and get involved in a variety of activities. In this article, we are going to be sharing with you, some of the best things to do whilst staying in the impressive Italian city of Genoa.

1. Aquarium of Genoa

If you have an interest in marine life or if you have children who would love to get involved with the animals then a trip to the aquarium of Genoa is a must. The attraction is housed inside a building that highly resembles a ship, adding to the ocean theme.

There is a great selection of marine creatures here including jellyfish and rays. The aquarium is an impressive 33,000 square feet and so gives plenty of space to look around and is the largest in Italy.

2. Cattedrale di San Lorenzo

The cathedral in Genoa is one that is truly magnificent. Built in the mid 1100s, the building has a rich history and was commissioned by the Pope Gelasius II. The style of the building is Romanesque and many renovations have taken place over the years.

Despite the original date of erection, the bell tower and the dome were added onto the main structure in the 16th century.

3. Royal Palace Museum

This incredible colorful palace is home to a museum where visitors can spend a morning taking in the beautiful art work that is housed here. The building itself is something that must be seen to be believed and gives an authentic Italian feel.

4. Piazza de Ferrari

© Pxfuel

The Piazza de Ferrari is the main square of Genoa and a meeting place for the locals who enjoy the lively and vibrant atmosphere of the square. There is a great selection of places to eat whether you are looking for just a coffee, a full three course meal or a sample of some tasty Italian gelato.

The square is most famous for the impressive fountain that sits at its center, which makes for a great snapshot of your vacation. The square is lined with offices and headquarters of banks reflecting the economic nature of the city.

5. Lighthouse of Genoa

As one of the oldest lighthouses in Europe, the lighthouse of Genoa is an impressive structure which dates back hundreds of years. In the 1500s it was renovated and altered to have the appearance that we see today.

It is proudly, the 5th tallest lighthouse in the whole world and is the main one for the port. The lighthouse is one of the most famous attractions in Genoa and sees many visitors every year.

6. Galata – Museo del Mare

Otherwise known as the maritime museum,, Galata is one of the most modern museums of its kind and is able to boast being the largest of its kind in the entire Mediterranean area. It is located in port Antico and has been here since 2004.

Visitors are given the opportunity to explore the submarine which is housed here and this makes for a great day out for those with children as this is an extremely educational yet fun place to visit.

7. Christopher Columbus House

As the name suggests this building is a reconstruction of the home that the great explorer, Christopher Columbus grew up in. The home was built in the 18th century and is truly sensational, the detail that has gone into it is something that is really a wonder. The quaint home is an attraction that remains popular with locals and tourists alike and is well worth a visit.

8. Bigo

If you want to get a good view over the city then the best way to do it is from above! Bigo offers you the chance to do this by soaring high above the city in this lift which has been inspired by the industrial crane. Not only that but there is the opportunity to take a bite to eat here and the food is said to be excellent.

This is a unique experience that you should definitely consider whilst staying in Genoa.

9. Museum of Oriental Art

One would not think that Italy would be home to a collection of art from the far east, yet here it stands. The museum of Oriental art was founded in order to house a collection or art work created by Edoardo Chiossone who spent an impressive 23 years living in Japan.

The works of art here are inspired by the country as well as drawing inspiration from nearby China. Visitors are invited to look at a variety of works including sculptures, paintings, prints and masks. This small exhibit is something a little out of the ordinary and unique.

10. Biosfera

© Giancarlo Scola Wikimedia Commons

For those with an interest in wildlife, the biosfera is a must visit attraction whilst spending time in this city. Here you will find a range of tropical wildlife and although the attraction is not the largest, it certainly has drawn a lot of attention. In a beautiful waterfront location, guests can enjoy the peaceful views as well.

11. Via XX Settembre

The main street of Genoa where visitors can take a stroll and visit some lovely little boutique stores with a real Italian feel. This bustling street also offers many recognizable high street chains where you can wile away the day browsing or finding some great purchases. Every city break has to include a little retail therapy, after all.

Not only is the shopping here second to none but the amazing architecture of the buildings that line the street give you something to look at too! There is a great choice of eateries here where you can relax after a hard day of shopping.

12. Osataietta

This cozy restaurant has been given rave reviews all over the internet and it is little wonder. For those looking for a place to eat that is laid back and casual yet that serves incredible food, you are sure to find that at Osataietta.

The food here looks as though it has come right out of Masterchef and yet is offered at amazingly reasonable prices. One of the must eat places in Genoa for anyone with a taste for good food.

13. Natural History Museum of Giacomo Doria

This museum was named after the man who founded it in 1867. He served as the museums curator for an amazing 40 years and so it is only right that the museum should bare his name.

The museum is home to 4 million species which have been taken from all over the world. This shows that there is plenty to see here across a variety of areas such as zoological, geological and botanical.

14. Villetta di Negro

If you feel as though you would like to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, then why not consider visiting the stunning Villetta di Negro which is a park that features a beautiful waterfall.

This is an idyllic spot to take in the scenery, enjoy a quiet stroll or spend the afternoon indulging in a picnic, made up with foods brought from one of the local markets. Whilst you are here, there is the opportunity to visit the art museum which is located within the park.

15. Boccadasse Beach

With Genoa being a coastal city, it would not be right to omit a beach from this list and Boccadasse is a beautiful one! This stone beach has some scenery that must be seen to be fully appreciated and sits in a colorful little fishing village which is the ideal quiet retreat for an afternoon. There are a wide selection of bars and restaurants here that will cater to every taste.


Genoa is a historical port city that has much to offers its guests. With an array of cultural activities to take part in as well as some more obscure things to do, it is certain that boredom would never be a factor whilst in this city.

Whether you like to indulge in some good food or prefer to soak up the local beauty spots there will always be something to keep your entertained in this impressive Italian city.


  • Rovology is leveraging advice from Vagabonds, Tourists, Digital Nomads, Wayfarers and Travel Writers to give our readers a guide on the best things to do no matter where they go.