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Santa Margherita Ligure is a small town of only 9000 inhabitants located near Genoa, in Liguria.

This area is certainly appreciated for the crystal clear sea, but also for an important peculiarity: we can define it as a real city where sea and mountains coexist.

The small commune is characterized by the extreme charm and the vastness of the attractions present here, so much to be among the most renowned places to visit in Liguria.

Let’s discover together some interesting details about the city in a real guide to never be unprepared as tourists in Santa Margherita Ligure!


What to visit in Santa Margherita Ligure?

Seas and mountains constitute a beautiful frame to the city of Santa Margherita Ligure, that fills up of tourists really in every moment of the year, especially in summer, in which you have the possibility to make a bath to the sea observing the mountain behind you.

A paradisiacal landscape and very special places: this is what you can enjoy in Santa Margherita Ligure if you decide to go there, and indeed this is what I recommend.

Yes, it’s only 35 kilometers from the city that is the capital of Liguria, so you can’t absolutely not pass by here too!

We are going to discover in the next lines of the guide some attractions that, in my opinion, you absolutely cannot miss to fully immerse yourself in the culture of Santa Margherita Ligure.

Santa Margherita Ligure historic centre

The historic center is definitely a starting point for your visit to Santa Margherita Ligure: in the narrow streets that adorn the city you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself completely in history.

Since it’s a fairly small historic centre, you’ll really be able to admire every glimpse in less than half a day.

In the center of the city you will be able to admire the Central Cathedral, full of works of art and statues, perfect to observe for all those who are passionate about art and history.

Just a few minutes walk from this one you will be able to discover more small churches that are sure to be a delight to the eyes.

Examples are undoubtedly the Church of San Giacomo di Corte, but also various oratories of real charm.

Lose yourself in the streets of the historic center of Santa Margherita Ligure will also have the advantage of being able to delight your palate: there are many bars, pastry shops, but also ice cream parlors, which are going to make definitely sweeter the day spent in the town.

Santa Margherita Ligure beaches

Seas and mountains constitute a beautiful frame to the city of Santa Margherita Ligure, that fills up of tourists really in every moment of the year, especially in summer, in which you have the possibility to make a bath to the sea observing to your shoulders the mountain.

The beaches, during the summer period, are really taken under assault: after the days of heat that we have witnessed in recent years, during the days of August we all want nothing more than to jump into the cool of the sea water.

In Santa Margherita Ligure, under the point of view of the expanses of sand and sea you can not really complain: surely everyone will find a place to enjoy a day of pure relaxation.

But which is the best beach in S Margherita Ligure?

Well, there are many, but the best, in my opinion, is the bay of Paraggi, where there is a small public beach, flanked by some private staiblimenti.

The bay of Paraggi

You can reach this bay by simply walking towards Portofino for about 2.5km from the centre of Santa Margherita.

In case you are too tired to walk there are some buses that will drop you right on the way to the bay.

The walk, however, will be really stimulating, precisely because you will have the opportunity to go from an area where the architecture is more classical to another rich in some very elegant palaces and wealthy villas.

This attraction is the one that is most targeted by tourists who only want to immerse themselves in a charming and fascinating place, with a formidable beauty and crystal clear sea.

In this area are typical some private beaches where you can spend a unique day in every respect.

A few steps from this bay there is also a castle: from the apex of this last one you will be able to observe in all its magnificence the adjacent city to Santa Margherita Ligure, that is Portofino.

Villa Durazzo

Among the most fascinating attractions of Santa Margherita Ligure we certainly trump Villa Durazzo, inside which you can immerse yourself in a real Italian garden.

You can also admire the interior of the Villa, where you will enjoy moments of history and art.

As far as tickets are concerned, the gardens can be visited for free, while there will be a small contribution to enter the visitable areas of the villa.

There are several entrances to the gardens of Villa Durazzo, but the most suggestive and fascinating one is the main door situated in Via Giuncheto.

The Castle of Santa Margherita

The Castle of Santa Margherita takes up the name of the city: it was built in 1550 with purely defensive purposes, in fact it was built with great haste in a truly optimal position to be able to observe in a constant manner the boundaries of the city.

The construction of this castle was completed after only one year.

You can also take a look inside this fascinating attraction: exhibitions or fairs are held here periodically.

Obviously only some parts of the Castle of Santa Margherita Ligure are accessible; the rest of its magnificence can be admired from the outside.

What’s fun to know about this Castle is that it has hosted numerous TV and movie sets, such as one famous commercial starring Charlize Theron.

The seafront of Santa Margherita Ligure

In addition to soaking in the vastness of beaches that is present in the city, you will be able to admire the waterfront, which is extremely charming and full of attractions for both tourists and those who live in this charming little town.

A walk along the promenade of Santa Margherita Ligure will be refreshing, enjoying the invigorating sea breeze, especially during the evening hours when the illuminations make everything much more suggestive and unique from every point of view.

In short, if you find yourself in Santa Margherita Ligure you absolutely can’t not walk without a well-defined destination on the wide expanses of sea that are present here.

How do you get to Santa Margherita Ligure?

As I said in the first lines of the article, Santa Margherita Ligure is only 35 kilometers from Genoa, the capital of the region Liguria, so it is very important to specify that it is not at all complex to reach as a town.

Even if Liguria is not an easy land as far as transportation is concerned, given the different altitudes, fortunately Santa Margherita Ligure has excellent connections both by train and bus.

For all those who are not willing to give up their autonomy, however, you can also go to Santa Margherita Ligure directly with your own car.

In order to view more detailed directions on how to get to Santa Margherita Ligure, it is always advisable to check beforehand with digital maps, such as Google Maps or Apple Maps.

If you have to take public transport, the advice is to buy tickets in advance, because during the high season it is very crowded.

By train

Getting to Santa Margherita Ligure is possible, and above all it is not at all expensive.

You will be able to get there via a regional or fast regional.

The station closest to the village is that of Santa Margherita – Portofino, so you will also have the opportunity to admire another fascinating location.

The only downside of reaching Santa Margherita Ligure by train is that it will take about 21 minutes to reach the town.

As for the timetable to reach Santa Margherita Ligure by train, the first run of the fast regional line leaves at 4:55 am.

There are so many trains from Genoa that stop right here.

I suggest you look them up on the Trenitalia website.

By bus

It is not complicated to reach Santa Margherita Ligure, also because the stop is only five minutes from the town centre.

The buses with stops in Santa Margherita Ligure are the 773, 775 and 798, whose routes can be specifically viewed directly on the online platforms.

The Moovit website is helpful in this regard.

The first scheduled bus ride is at 6am.

From the bus stop it is only a 20-minute walk to the station, so it will also be possible to take a mixed option for the return journey.

In the car

Through the convenience of the Italian motorway network you can avoid, for a small fee, the mountainous and irregular roads that characterize the territory of Liguria.

The nearest exit to reach Santa Margherita Ligure by car is Rapallo, which will allow you to arrive at your destination with only five more kilometers from the town center.

By sea

You can also reach Santa Margherita Ligure by sea in a few minutes, disembarking right in the port of the small town.

The ports of embarkation to reach Santa Margherita Ligure are Portofino, Rapallo, Genoa and Sestri Levante.

In order to take a sea transfer I suggest you to buy the ticket online on the official website Traghetti Portofino, especially if you have special needs regarding embarkation.

Examples are large dogs which, should you plan to take them on board with you, should be left in a dedicated area of the boat.

Santa Margherita Ligure tourism: frequently asked questions

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Santa Margherita Ligure, so that you can arrive fully prepared if you go on a visit to this beautiful town near the capital of Liguria.

These questions have been asked by other travellers in the same situation as you, so they could certainly help to clarify some doubts you may have.

Where to park in Santa Margherita Ligure?

With regard to parking in Santa Margherita Ligure it is necessary to specify some important details: in addition to the scarcity of parking spaces, most of them are fee-paying and the amount to pay is quite exorbitant, exactly as it happens in the rest of Liguria.

We can, however, say that there is a public car park in Via Andrea Doria 1, but also a parking area near the station in Viale Roma 7, which, however, will be paid with parking meter.

A piece of advice we can give you in this matter is to park your car in a private, guarded parking lot, leaving it for the whole day and continuing your tour on foot.

As far as private parking is concerned, we certainly have the Parking Riviera, located in Via Favale 46, but also the Parking Regina Elena which is located in Via Milite Ignoto 46.

You have to pay attention to the parking areas that can be found in various points of the city, because some are intended only for residents: parking in these areas could cost a hefty fine.

Fortunately in the area of Santa Margherita Ligure, given the large influx of tourists, even the parking lots are optimized with the virtual map systems, such as Google Maps and Apple Maps, so you just type parking on the search bar to find the closest one to the place where you are.

The town of Santa Margherita Ligure is not particularly extensive with regard to the main attractions: each of these can be reached in a few steps, so you will not have any kind of problem with your vehicle.

If there were any covered car park that allowed online booking it would undoubtedly be optimal, so that you can guarantee yourself a place and not have any worries about having to leave your car too far from the centre.

Are you visiting Portofino and don’t know where to leave your car? Find out where to park in Portofino.

Are there any parking areas for camper vans in Santa Margherita Ligure?

Yes, there are also areas where you can park your RV, should you have one.

There are also several campgrounds that are present near the waterfront.

Among the parking areas where you can spend the night with your camper in Santa Margherita Ligure, we have to mention the municipal one, located in Via Garibotti 26, which is also regulated by a parking meter, so you will have to pay for the whole period of time you want to stay.

Santa Margherita Ligure where to eat?

There are many restaurants on the pier of Santa Margherita Ligure where you can delight yourself with menus based on the flavors of the sea, given the proximity to expanses of crystal clear water and uncontaminated.

There are also some earth courses for those who prefer a different type of taste.

Even walking along the seafront you will be able to see several places where you can enjoy a tourist menu where you can taste all the specialties made by expert hands.

These offerings will also be significantly cheaper than many other restaurants with different settings.

To give you some ideas on where to eat for lunch and dinner, I can only mention some names of restaurants that are particularly famous for their excellent value for money.

These are L’Ancora di Santa Margherita Ligure, La Madia and La Paranza di Maria, all located in the limited area of the seafront.

Where to sleep in Santa Margherita Ligure?


The hotels are certainly not lacking in the city of Santa Margherita Ligure; these swarm with people during the high season, especially those with proximity to the beaches during the summer period.

In fact, tourists flock from all over the world to be able to enjoy their holidays in the name of relaxation, surrounded by crystal clear water and beautiful mountains.

In this case you will be able to find Bed&Breakfasts, hostels, but also hotels with different stars where you can take advantage of additional services, clearly with a more exorbitant cost.

The closer the proximity to the center and the sea, the higher the final price of the accommodation.

Among the most popular and sought-after hotels in Santa Margherita Ligure there is certainly the Grand Hotel Miramare, the Continental, the Imperiale Palace Hotel and the Best Western Hotel Regina Elena, all characterized by their proximity to the center and the sea and above all agreements with the beaches in the area to admit only hotel guests, so as to ensure a certain privacy and confidentiality.

In Santa Margherita Ligure you can also evaluate the holiday homes designed just for seasonal rentals.

These are certainly more convenient, especially if you are travelling with several people, however they are less comfortable: you will not have daily cleaning service, let alone catering.

In this case you can choose to cook meals at home, or take advantage of the many restaurants in the territory of Santa Margherita Ligure.

You will be able to find both hotels and vacation rentals on the various online portals. So you can find what you need on Booking or AirBnb and similar sites.

Indicatively you will have to take into account a price per night from 50€ to 150€ according to your needs and preferences regarding services and structure.

What to buy in Santa Margherita Ligure?

There is no shortage of shopping in Santa Margherita Ligure.

There are numerous shops to let your imagination run wild.

You can also opt to buy some typical products and in this sense you can’t absolutely renounce to buy a jar of Ligurian pesto in order to enjoy a unique dish even at home.

Among the typical foods you can buy in Santa Margherita Ligure there is no doubt the extra virgin olive oil, vegetables in oil, but also honey and fruit jams, really tasty!

Even the meat is really delicious in Santa Margherita Ligure, so, if you are staying in an apartment, I suggest you cook it at home and enjoy it: it will be a real explosion of flavors in your mouth!

What to do in Santa Margherita Ligure in the evening?

Even the nightlife is not lacking at all in Santa Margherita Ligure.

Being a place crowded with tourists, most of the clubs offer live music and disco every night, bringing the attention of all the young guests of the city.

The most famous disco in Santa Margherita is the Covo di Nord Est, an enchanting structure overlooking the sea that offers evenings for young people of all ages.

And for all those who plan to spend a fairly quiet evening, you can not fail to think of a walk along the waterfront to observe a breathtaking view thanks to the many lights.

You can also end the evening on a high note with a cocktail enjoyed with the sea breeze blowing on your skin.

Contacts and information about Santa Margherita Ligure

  • Region: Liguria
  • Province: Genoa
  • Inhabitants: 8.935
  • Altitude: 13 m
  • Area: 9.8 km²
  • Tourist Office: Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 16038 Santa Margherita Ligure, Genoa

Visiting Santa Margherita Ligure: conclusions

Here we are at the end of this guide on tourism Santa Margherita Ligure, in which we have discovered together which are the attractions to visit, the restaurants in which to eat, the hotels in which to sleep, and the beaches in which to bathe.

If you need more info on tourism in Liguria, check out my guides on what to do in Camogli and what to do in Chiavari.

Photo credits:



Andrea Semonella

Hey! I'm Andrea and I am a little bit obsessed with exploring the world and meeting people on the road. I'm in love with my city, and I'm happy to share with you all the best place and most incredible secrets of Genoa, Italy.

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