Genoa is Italy’s largest port city, the capital of Liguria, the centre of the Italian Riviera, a real lively Italian city with a population of 700, 000. The city was a vibrant centre of trade in the Roman times already and its port traffic has been buzzing ever since. The buildings of Genoa are testimonies of the history of bygone decades. Genoa has it all: exclusive promenades, renowned restaurants, cultural events and fascinating free time activities. Join us to find out about the most exciting things to do in Genoa!
The article includes the followings:
- What to do in Genoa: go back in time!
- Things to do in Genoa: culture and entertainment
- What to do in Genoa: for water sports lovers
- Things to do in Genoa: find your inner child!
Genoa’s Old Town is crammed with historical monuments. The streets running to the port are reminiscent of the city’s maritime power. Porto Antico, for instance, used to be the distribution centre of eastern luxury goods. Genoa was the starting point of the European journey of goods such as silk, exotic spices, precious stones and many unique goods. The Old Town of Genoa is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Let’s see what to do if you’re passionate about history!
Le Strade Nuove
This part of the city is dotted with the palaces of famous Genoese trading families. These are richly embellished, multi-storey villas, 42 of which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The palaces on Via Garibaldi have been converted into museums; it’s definitely worth having a look inside! The furnishing evokes the prosperity of the heydays of the Republic of Genoa. The most stunning palaces include Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco and Doria Tursi. Shop around on Via Garibaldi, and have a coffee to recharge your batteries.
One of the most compelling of the religious buildings in Genoa is the San Lorenzo Cathedral. The building works started in the 11th-12th century and the cathedral bears all the significant characteristics of the past 800 years of the history of art. It’s a shrine, with a chapel guarding the ashes of St. John the Baptist.
The construction of the St. Augustine Church started in 1260. It was built of black and white stones in a characteristic Ligurian Gothic style and its walls are decorated with frescos.
Visit one of the centuries-old churches and let the silence and piety take you over!
It’s impossible to get bored in Genoa. It’s the passion of the locals that enlivens the city that was the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2004. This vibrant city hosts innumerable events. If you’d like to spend your holiday filled with culture and music, Genoa is made for you! We’ll show you some of the best things to do in Genoa.
Paganini Festival – If you are passionate about classical music
Every year in October, for 10 days the city is buzzing with the melodies of the best violinists of the world. The Paganini Festival hosts numerous international artists on stage and several classical concerts take place in respect of the ‘Devil’s Violinist’.
Supernova Festival – If you prefer the more popular music
Those who prefer the more popular music genres won’t be disappointed either. At the end of April, the Supernova Festival allures music lovers. The up-and-coming artist of indie, pop, rock and electronic music showcase their musical talent.
Suq Festival – If you are interested int he diversity of the world
The Suq Festival takes place in Porto Antico in July. The event aims to introduce various cultures. You can sample the traditional dishes of different nations whilst listening to their music. You can have some fascinating conversations with the exhibitors that you can continue by a glass of wine in the evening. There’re also several art and handicraft workshops. If you are fascinated by the culture of different nations, Suq festival is the place to be!
Best bars in Genoa – If you’re a night owl
Genoa lifts your spirit and if you’d like to enjoy the nightlife, you’re definitely at the right place. The Estoril Beach Club, for instance, organises thematic nights. Regardless of whether you are crazy for tango, salsa, blues or you are a fan of soul, this club is made for you and it also boasts a huge terrace with a fantastic view over the sea.
La Bottega del Conte, on the other hand, is a little pub that really takes you back in time, right to the 1200s as this is how long the building has been there. You can sample the finest craft beers and whiskeys in an authentic medieval milieu.
The Britannia Pub conjures up Merry England; you can enjoy your locally prepared dinner sitting on robust oak benches.
If you’re passionate for Cuban music, head to Hemingway’s Pub. Lustful Latin rhythms, cocktails, cigars, and great vibes; all there to make your night!
Being a coastal city, Genoa is a beloved spot amongst water sports lovers. Conquer the coasts and dive in the sparkling, turquoise waters!
Diving – For those who like to ‘dig’ deep
Genoa boasts several diving opportunities. Whether it’s leisurely snorkelling in the shallow waters alongside the coast or a dive in deeper waters, there’re several specialised companies around Porto Antico, offering various opportunities. Immerse yourself in the rich marine life of Genoa!
Ride the waves!
On the Capo Marina coastline, west of Genoa, you’ll have plentiful surfing opportunities. The nearby reefs provide perfect conditions. Hop on board and ride the Ligurian Sea!
Whale & Dolphin watching
In front of Genoa’s Aquarium, you can buy tickets for one of the whale watching tours. It’s a long trip, so keep at least half of your day free. You can admire these wonderful creatures out on the open sea in their natural habitat whilst a marine biologist tells you about the life of these mystic mammals. The lucky ones amongst you can even spot dolphins!
In Genoa, everyone will find a way to keep busy. There’re numerous entertainment facilities for recreation. If you’re up for a bit of fun, choose one of the below activities:
Parco Avventura – Adventure amongst the trees
Are you brave? Would you like to test yourself up high? Head to Parco Avventura in Pegli, west of Genoa. Enjoy the dazzling sensation on the tree-top rope trails suspended amongst twenty-metre high trees. The difficulty of the trails vary, thus every age group from 6-99 can find their suitable level. Boost your adrenalin and enjoy the adventure!
Il Bigo –Gaze at the city from high above!
Il Bigo is a multi-armed construction, resembling an old loading crane. There’s a panoramic lift on the middle arm that runs every 10 minutes in the summer. On the top– 40 meters high – you can admire the stupendous scenery of the Gulf of Genoa.
Luna Park –Christmas cheer
However unlikely it might be, if you happened to visit Genoa around December, make sure you visit Luna Park! Europe’s largest funfair is set up in Genoa around this time of the year. Roller coasters, merry-go-rounds, glimmer and music – everything you need for festive joy! There’re rides for all ages. To relive your childhood, visit Luna Park and you’re bound to get some candyfloss too!
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Genoa
Are you scared of heights? Gain your courage and admire a bird’s-eye view over the ‘proud’ city. You can hire a plane and spend an hour up in the sky. In clear weather, you can enjoy the view over the whole of the magnificent Italian Riviera.
Horse riding in Genoa
If you have a bit of experience and like horses, go horse riding around Genoa! Many stables offer tours suited for different levels of ability. Trot around the corral or gallop alongside the edge of the city!
Our article has listed some ideas on what to do in Genoa. If you’d like a relaxing but active holiday, definitely moor up in Genoa! To encounter the effervescent bustle of the ancient city is an experience of a lifetime. Read more if you plan Genoa sailing or yacht charter in Genova.