10 Best Things To Do In Genoa, Italy - Updated 2021

things to do in genoa italy

Genoa on North-west Italy’s coast is a beautiful, old fashioned European city. It’s not the most famous of Italy’s tourist cities, but in this bustling, vibrant city with its history, art, culture and cuisine all dominated by the sea and historic trading, you’ll find a perfect example of a European city holding onto history whilst embracing the future.

Genoa has so much to surprise you. Here, we’ve gathered ten of the best things to do in Genoa, Italy. These activities and tours will allow you to get the very best from your trip to this beautiful Italian city.

1. Tour of Genoa and Day Trip to Portofino from Genoa (from USD 104.0)

Portofino harbor right
Source: Photo by user Stan Shebs used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Combining the Genoa city experience and a stop at the picturesque fishing village of Portofino, this seven-hour tour, by foot, air-conditioned coach, and boat, will give you a chance to experience even more of the beautiful Italian Riviera.

Your knowledgeable tour guide will bring to life the historical importance of this maritime city. A gentle walk through Genoa’s streets takes you to midday lunch followed by a 20.8 miles (33 km) coach trip from Genoa to Santa Margherita along the scenic Tigullio Gulf before taking to the water for the short boat trip to Portofino. In Portofino you will be able to wander the narrow streets, visit the shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants, or simply relax in the main Piazzetta. The trip ends with a boat journey back to Genoa, the perfect end to a day’s touring.

Tour of Genoa and Day Trip to Portofino from Genoa

Duration: 9 hours

15 reviews

2. Genoa and its music tradition in a private guided tour (from USD 116.0)

Loggia dei mercanti da piazza Banchi
Source: Photo by user Maurizio Beatrici used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Genoa is famous for its musical culture and this 2.5-hour walking tour will take you on a musical journey through the city’s rich musical heritage. You’ll see Piazzo Banchi, the site of composer Alessandro Stradella’s murder, Piazza Campetto, frequented by Giuseppe Verdi, Galleria Mazzini, where Genoa’s artistic and intellectual community gathered of old.

This tour offers all of the grandeur of Genoa’s finest old buildings, streets and monuments, but the musical theme brings the city and its history to life. A short, but fascinating tour for music lovers and those simply wanting to absorb Genoa’s rich culture.

Genoa and its music tradition in a private guided tour

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

3. Special Concert Featuring Renaissance and Baroque Music Including Tour Of Villa Del Principe (from 41 USD/35 EUR per person)

Experience the musical tradition of Genoa.
Source: Viator

After touring the city and hearing of its musical past, what better way to add to your experience than to attend an exclusive musical concert in a beautiful private chapel?

This intimate concert, with a maximum of twenty people in the audience, features renaissance and baroque music in two parts, featuring ‘Dances, Arias and Virtuosities’ and includes a musical presentation of Genoa’s musical culture and a guided tour of the private apartments with an art historian.

Special Concert Featuring Renaissance and Baroque Music Including Tour Of Villa Del Principe

Address: Genoa, Italy

Price: from 41 USD/35 EUR per person


4. Boccadasse District Tour Including Pesto Making Lesson, Pesto and Gelato Tasting (from 53 USD/46 EUR per person)

The beautiful harbour at Boccadasse
Source: Pixabay

Any visit to Genoa should include the Boccadasse district and what better way to experience it than with two of Genoa’s most flavorsome culinary delights? Boccadasse is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods of Genoa, and this two and a half hour tour will give you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the sights before sampling two must eat Genovese staples. The tour begins with a twenty minute public bus journey, followed by a walk through Boccadasse’s harbour, just enough to give you an appetite!

The first stop is for the pesto making lesson and tasting, followed by a short walk to a Gelateria where you’ll again be hands-on, learning just how to make authentic Genovese gelato before tasting the samples on offer. Finally, return to central Genoa by public bus.

Boccadasse District Tour Including Pesto Making Lesson, Pesto and Gelato Tasting

Address: Boccadasse, Genoa, Italy

Price: from 53 USD/46 EUR per person


5. Small-Group Aperitif Wine and Food Tasting in the City Center of Genoa (from 41 USD/35 EUR per person)

The Migone Wine Shop, Genoa.
Source: Viator

For those wanting to experience the food and drink of Genoa without too much walking or touring, this might be the activity for you. Eat and drink as locals with this short hour and a half wine and food tasting session. Based in the famous Migone wine shop with over 1,000 delicious wines, a local expert will show you all you need to know about wine-making, Italian wines and local food delicacies. You’ll taste three Ligurian wines and sample local dishes.

Small-Group Aperitif Wine and Food Tasting in the City Center of Genoa

Address: Genoa, Italy

Price: from 41 USD/35 EUR per person


6. Genoa City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour (from USD 22.0)

For travelers on a tighter budget, this bus tour option is perfect. For just 18 USD/15 EUR per person, you have the chance to ride in the open-top double-decker bus to experience the city at your own pace. The ticket is valid for 48 hours and there are eight hop-on, hop-off spots around the city to make it easy to see many of the beautiful sights. The bus tour also includes a commentary about the sights passing by to add to the experience.

Combining the bus and walking will allow you to see many of the famous sights of this beautiful and historic city including the Ducal Palace, lighthouse, port, the Bigo and Via San Lorenzo.

Genoa City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Duration: 1 hour

82 reviews

7. Genoa Walking Tour: discover hidden treasures and street food (from USD 187.0)

Palazzo Reale - Genova
Source: Photo by user Phil Tizzani used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The best way to fully experience Genoa is on foot and this relaxed, seven hour guided tour will take you deep into the city as you meander through the beautiful streets. There will be plentiful opportunities to sample local bars and restaurants along the way on this relaxed walking tour, beginning with an 11am stop for Prosecco and focaccia.

Enjoy a local Trattoria for ravioli and red wine before resting by the sea with coffee. Experience the Ascensore Castello d'Albertis-Montegalletto, a lift that takes you horizontally and then vertically to the beautiful Castello D'Albertis. More walking takes you further into the history of the city with the ‘African Mile’, an area full of African culture followed by a ten minute train ride to Nervi Parks and Luxoro Museum to learn of Genoa’s rich maritime history. Finally, with the tour drawing to a close, the train to Quarto brings you to the Monu Cafe, perfect for drinks as the sun sets.

The tour requires a minimum of two people per booking and is not wheelchair accessible.

Genoa Walking Tour: Discover Hidden Treasures and Street Food

Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes

26 reviews

8. Genoa Scooter Day Trip - Discover the Most Beautiful Squares and View Points of Genoa (from USD 184.0)

Genoa - scooters
Source: Photo by user Tiia Monto used under CC BY-SA 3.0

With so much to explore in Genoa, the best way to see it all is to travel as the locals do, by scooter. Your scooter guide will show you sights walking tours simply cannot provide, but also allow you to experience the city’s cultural highlights.

Eight hours of exploring begins with a ride into the hills for a view of the city and harbour before riding into the city centre and to the harbour through the exciting alleyways and passages. Lunch is taken at a tranquil bay a few minute’s scooter ride away from the city where there’s a chance to take a dip in the Mediterranean. Relaxation over, the ride back into Genoa city takes you along the highway, where you can ride through the city’s tunnels before ending the day parked up by the Cathedral for a final drink.

Insurance, fuel, helmets, wheel locker and a coffee at the final stop of the day are all included. Minimum age to ride is 18.

Genoa Scooter Day Trip - Discover the Most Beautiful Squares and View Points of Genoa

Duration: 8 hours

9. One week Italian Language Course and Gourmet Package (from USD 432.0)

Italian language course and gourmet package.
Source: Viator

To truly experience Italian culture, what better way than to immerse yourself in both the rich language and the delicious food? This five day course consists of five, four-hour language classes each morning followed by four afternoons or evenings of food and drink explorations and learning. After a morning of study, afternoons are all about Italian culinary experiences and include: a coffee tasting course, with experts sharing the history of Italy’s favorite drink, chocolate and candy tasting at the famous Romanengo confectioners, and wine and cheese tasting.

Finally, the group will finish the course with an Italian cooking class and dinner. Visit a professional cooking school to learn the best of Italian and local Ligurian cuisine with a three hour course. Finally, relax and enjoy a full group dinner, to relive the experiences of the course.

One week Italian Language Course and Gourmet Package

Duration: 5 days

10. Private Half-Day Genoa Food Tour and Pesto Class (from USD 289.0)

Troffiette genovese
Source: Photo by user phoebe used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Of the many culinary highlights of Genoa, the rich green pesto is something you should make sure you taste. Pesto alla Genovese was invented in Genoa, and the best pesto in the world is still served here. With this 4-hour food tour you’ll be guided around the many shops, markets and eateries of the city, experiencing authentic Genovese food alongside the locals.

The tour begins with a trip to one of the finest local markets, followed by visits to a local food shop to be tempted by candies, spices, seafood, and the amazing bakeries where you won’t be able to resist the other Genoa food specialty, fresh baked Genovese focaccia bread.

After all of this food exploration, your guide will take you to a traditional market to demonstrate how to make pesto for yourself. Finally, to end the tour, relax with a traditional Genovese lunch of delicious pasta and pesto, all included in the price.

Genoa Food Tour and Pesto Class - private tour

Duration: 4 hours

1 review

With so much to see and do, Genoa is a must visit European city

In our look at all of the best things to do in Genoa, Italy, we’ve highlighted ten wonderful tours and activities to suit all tastes. Genoa is one of Italy’s finest city destinations, but is all too often overlooked. We love it for its fabulous architecture, rich culture and delicious food and drink. Make it a must see destination when you visit Italy.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Richard Bruton was born in Dudley, England, but gave up the Midlands for Yorkshire many years ago. His love of travel was born many years ago with a first trip to the USA with just $30 a day to...Read more

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