2 Days in Genoa

Genoa is a lively bustling city with a grandiose fusion of old and new. Arguably most know as being the port city where Christopher Columbus spent his formative years, the city is also an opulent representation of centuries old palatial architecture. In this blog post, I’ll give you some ideas of what to do with 1-2 days exploring Genoa.

To Stay

Stay somewhere near the Piazza De Ferrari. From here, it’s an easy walk to all of the major sightseeing in Genoa. We stayed at Hotel Bristol Palace and loved it.

Day 1

Visit the house that Christopher Columbus once lived in

This is where Christopher Columbus once lived, but technically it’s an 18th century recreation from the ruins of the old home. It’s an easy stop in the city. We paid 3 Euro to go inside, and it wasn’t really worth it. It’s a small space and really only has some signage inside that tells about his life. The exterior is really cool though so definitely stop by.

Walk through Porta Soprana

Right up the road from the Columbus House is Port Soprano, Walk through the gates of these ancient 12th century walls of Genoa.

Visit the San Lorenzo Cathedral

This Cathedral is stunning with the black and white stripes throughout.

View the Piazza De Ferrari

This stunning square is the main square of Genoa with its beautiful fountain and ornate surrounding buildings. Close by are both the old and new parts of the city. Walk southeast to find modern shops like H&M and Sephora (sometimes housed in gorgeous old architecture), or walk north into little cobblestone streets with interesting coffee shops, restaurants and palaces.

Take a stroll along Via Garibaldi

This is a really amazing historic street to walk down, with many palatial residences built by Genoese aristocrats during the Renaissance. The building facades are colorful and ornate. You can peek into a few buildings by wandering into their entrances. A few have also become museums. Poke around and enjoy the centuries old architecture and fresco paintings.

Have Lunch at Cambi Cafe, a beautiful restaurant right on Via Garibaldi

There is a lovely restaurant called Cambi Cafe to dine in right on Via Garibaldi, with a lush patio with lots of shade and a great ambiance. We sipped cappuccinos and ate delicious caprese salad and pasta.

Dine in an old palace at Les Rouges Cucina & Cocktails

Are you sick of Palaces yet? Not too fast, this is a must! Go to dinner at Les Rouges Cucina & Cocktails, an old Palace that has been partially converted into a restaurant. I love finding gems like this.

Day 2

Visit the Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola

This museum was once an aristocratic residence from the 16th century, decorated with frescoes and paintings from the period. It’s most famous for its “Hall of Mirrors,” a smaller scale version of the more famous Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.

Explore the Port & have Lunch at Eaterly

The port of Genoa has a couple of oceanside restaurants, an Aquarium (great for families), and a large pirate shop called Vascello Neptunea that’s a 17th century replica of a Spanish sailing ship. It’s all a bit cheesy, but there are some beautiful views and its worth a short walk to see the water and some of the beautiful colorful buildings, most notable is Palazzo San Giorgio. Wander around here and grab lunch with a view at Eaterly.

Visit the Museo di Palazzo Reale

You can use your ticket from Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola to also go to the Museo di Palazzo Reale. Noticing a theme yet? There are a LOT of Palaces in Genoa. This one has some amazing rooms to view on the interior, but the exterior balcony is incredibly beautiful.

Dinner at Piazza dei Tessitori

Piazza dei Tessitori is a lively square with outdoor seating, great street art, food and drinks. It’s a casual spot that feels very local. Stop in for some focaccia and a delicious gin cocktail.

Late Night Drinks at the Bohemian La Bottega Del Conte

Brush up on your Italian before you head to this cute little bohemian bar. This bar is owned by two local artists, and they occasionally have live music downstairs. It feels like you’ve stepped back in time into old Europe. Ordering drinks was difficult with the language barrier, but it was well worth the ambiance.

I hope this helps you plan your trip! Do you have any more insights on things to do in Genoa? Leave them in the comments below.


Book Your Trip

These are some of my favorite sites for finding the best prices, places to stay, book tours, and more:

Book your accommodations

Use Booking.com for the best hotel deals and easy change or cancellation, or VRBO as a great resource if you prefer a house, condo or apartment.

Find a Tour

Search Get Your Guide to book a variety of tours and activities

Book your flight

Browse Expedia for deals on flights, hotels, rental cars and more

Shop Comfortable Hiking & athleisure

Shop Vuori for long-lasting comfortable hiking and workout apparel for men and women (my fave!)

Shop Travel Gear

Shop Herschel for nice luggage and other travel goods and accessories that are made to last

Travel Resources

Check out my resource page for a list of the best travel tools you can use to save time and money when booking travel.

This website contains some affiliate links. If you purchase an item, I receive a small commission at no added cost to you. Thank you for supporting this travel blog with your purchase!