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When we plan a holiday and have to choose where to sleep, we are always assailed by many doubts and questions.

If, for example, you are planning a holiday in Genoa, you will ask yourself:

  • Which is the safest district in Genoa?
  • Which is the best area of Genoa to visit the city on foot?
  • Where to sleep near the Aquarium?
  • Where to sleep in Genoa with children?

If you plan to come on holiday to Genoa, you have essentially four possibilities: sleeping in the historic center of Genoa, outside the historic center (but always remaining in the center), in the Old Port or in fishing villages outside the capital of Liguria.

The choice depends very much on your desires and needs, but I thought to collect some advice and suggestions on the different areas and districts of Genoa to help you decide where to stay in your next holiday.

Are you ready for this? Let’s get started!


What’s the best area to stay in Genoa?

Historical Centre of Genoa

Historical Center Genoa Italy

Genoa is the largest historic centre in Europe and can be visited entirely on foot.

Just to give you an example, it would take you about an hour to walk through it all, and during your walk, you would pass by the best attractions of the city and the most important points of interest in Genoa.

Staying in the historic center has its pros and cons, but in my opinion, it is the ideal choice if you want to visit Genoa on foot without the stress of having to use the car or public transport.

The old town is the oldest part of the city (commonly called Old Town) and is enclosed by several gates and walls that surround it almost totally.

You should know that you cannot enter the historic centre by car: it is, in fact, a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL), in which you enter only with a special permit.

It’s definitely the best place to stay in Genoa.

Hotel Recommendations:

If you are planning to choose accommodation in the historic center, I strongly recommend you to look for one that offers the possibility of parking.

Among these, I recommend:

This was, in my opinion, the best neighborhood to stay in Genoa, but if you prefer a less-frequented area, read on.

The (non-historical) centre of Genoa

Genoa City Center

Where to stay while staying in the center of Genoa but outside the historic center?

The city centre is not very large, and you can visit it comfortably on foot or, if you wish, using public transport.

You can stay in the area of Genova Brignole and Piazza della Vittoria, and stay less than 5 minutes from the central Via XX Settembre (the shopping street) and Piazza De Ferrari (the central square).

These are all walking distances, to give you an idea of how close the main attractions of Genoa are to each other.

Hotel Recommendations:

The best hotels and B&Bs in the Brignole area are:

Do you prefer staying close to the Aquarium? Or at the Sea Museum? Well, read the next paragraph.

Genoa Old Port (Porto Antico)

Genoa Old Port

The Old Port of Genoa is adjacent to the historic center and is one of the busiest areas and full of tourist attractions.

Among the most important are the Aquarium of Genoa, the Museum of the Sea, the Biosphere and the Città dei Bambini.

Here you will find several hotels and small bed and breakfasts. This is a safe and quiet area, ideal for sleeping in Genoa with children.

Hotel Recommendations:

The best facilities in the Molo area are:

Sleeping in Genoa, but outside the city centre

where to stay in genoa

You can also opt to stay outside the centre of Genoa and there are several reasons in favour of this decision. The main advantage is the cost since accommodation outside the historic center is generally cheaper.

Another good reason to stay in a residential area of Genoa is the opportunity to breathe the true Genoese life, with fewer tourists and more locals, thus experiencing a stay as a true Genoese.

Finally, the third reason, it is a good choice if you travel by car and you have not found any hotel or B&B with parking in the area of the historic center.

Hotel Recommendations:

You can find a selection of the best accommodation outside the centre here. They’re all within pretty close range.

What are the safest districts in Genoa?

Is genoa safe for tourists? Is Genoa safe at night? Yes, Genoa is a fundamentally safe city.

When we talk about the safety of a city, we usually wonder if there are any areas to avoid. While larger cities may have riskier areas, Genoa, being quite small and always very frequented by tourists and the inhabitants themselves, does not have many areas that can be defined as dangerous.

Crime also exists in Genoa. As in all the cities on the planet, also in the Ligurian capital, and it is recommended to be careful (especially with your wallets and mobile phones).

The only two areas to avoid, in my opinion, are Via Prè and the area of Genova Principe station.

These areas are made up of very narrow and dark alleys. They are not particularly dangerous, however, if there is a possibility to choose, better to avoid them.

Anyway, a little common sense will be enough and you won’t have any problem, being able to enjoy the best of all the attractions of Genoa and its splendor.

Where to stay near Genoa

Where to sleep in genoa italy

If you are thinking of using Genoa as a base to visit the rest of Liguria, you can decide to stay overnight in the villages located around the city and take advantage of the benefits of being near the center (a few minutes by train or car), but in the midst of fairytale landscapes, with colorful houses and pallets of freshly caught fish.

Boccadasse Genoa

Even in this case, however, you do not need to use the car – for travel, you can safely use the regional rail service, which is very efficient and will take you from the Cinque Terre to Genoa (perhaps passing through Portofino) in a short time.

In this regard, I recommend Boccadasse (a fishing village a few minutes from the center), Nervi or Camogli.

Sleeping in Genoa: Frequently Asked Questions

Sleeping in Genoa on a budget?

If you are planning to visit Genoa on a budget, then I suggest you book accommodation in the historic center or just outside the center (Marassi / Foce area) and reach the attractions of the city by bus or metro.

Alternatively, you can opt for Airbnb, the website to sleep in the best cities in the world at a low cost. These are the best cheap Airbnbs in Genoa.

Which is the best area of Genoa?

The richest areas of Genoa are Albaro, Castelletto and Carignano, three residential districts located respectively 15, 5 and 2 minutes from the center by car.

If you want to know which is the best area of Genoa in which to choose a hotel or bed and breakfast, then I recommend the historic center or the Molo area, which are super central and will allow you to visit Genoa on foot.

Which is the best 5-star hotel in Genoa?

The most prestigious hotels in Genoa are the Savoia, located in the Principe area, the Melia (Carignano area) and the Bristol Hotel, which is located in the most central street: Via XX Settembre.

Where to sleep in Genoa with children?

Well, the old town is definitely a great place to sleep in Genoa with your children. Alternatively, you can opt for hotels located near Genova Brignole station.

I only recommend you to avoid Via Prè and the area of Genova Principe, as they are not suitable for families.

How long does it take to visit Genoa?

I would say that you should spend at least 3 days in Genoa, especially if it is the first time you visit the city.

The historic centre of Genoa can be visited in just one day, but if you plan to go to the Aquarium and the Sea Museum, you need at least two days.

If you decide to visit the beautiful neighborhoods of Boccadasse, the promenade and the park of Nervi and possibly the beautiful fishing village of Camogli, then I recommend to extend your stay to at least three days.

Do you also want to visit the Cinque Terre and Portofino? Then you’ll have to stay at least a week.

Here you will find all my itineraries:
Genoa in one day
Genoa in two days
Genoa in three days
Genoa in one week

Best part in Genoa to stay: conclusion

Well, we have come to the end of this article in which I explained where to stay in Genoa and which are the best areas and neighborhoods of the capital of Liguria.

Did you find all the info you needed?

If yes, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

If you need more info, read my article about the best hotels in Genoa Italy.

Happy holidays,

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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  • #!trpst#trp-gettext data-trpgettextoriginal=163#!trpen#Brad & Annie J sagt:#!trpst#/trp-gettext#!trpen#

    Ciao, Andrea.
    Thank you for your passion and possible help, Andrea!
    This will be our first time to visit Genoa. We are very excited. We love Italy.
    We were supposed to have take this trip in May of 2020 with a highlight of attending the Lemon festival.
    We like to stay close to where it is easy to get transportation.
    Where do you get the train to the cities of Cinque Tera please? What good hotels are near there? Or where do you get ferry’s (boat) to the cities along the coast? Here is our plan – see if you like it and or have other suggestions please and thank you in advance !
    We will stay 3 nights in Genoa and then spend 7 nights in Monterosso al Mare. Then take the train to Milan for 3 or 4 nights and fly home from there.
    Thanks, Brad and Annie

  • #!trpst#trp-gettext data-trpgettextoriginal=163#!trpen#Maria Matheas sagt:#!trpst#/trp-gettext#!trpen#

    Ciao Andrea,

    I’ve very much enjoyed reading about your love for Genoa. So much information to absorb. 🙂

    I will be travelling there in late May-early June.

    I am staying 5 nights in a B&B in Boccadesse. I’m so excited!!

    I chose Genoa as my base, as I want to travel to Portofino and of course Cinque Terre. 🙂

    I believe there is a train that can take me to Portofino & certain villages of Cinque Terre.

    Are these all on the same line from Genoa? Is it worth combining all in 1 trip and spending a full day?

    Or is it best to see them separately?

    Also, I believe I can take the train to Milano from Genoa around a 2-hour ride.

    It has been 36 years since I last visited Milano, so I thought I could get another visit in this time round. 🙂

    I’m so looking forward to seeing this beautiful part of Italy.

    Kind regards


    • #!trpst#trp-gettext data-trpgettextoriginal=163#!trpen#Andrea Semonella sagt:#!trpst#/trp-gettext#!trpen#

      Dear Maria,

      I’m very happy you choose to visit Genoa. Boccadasse is a hidden gem in the heart of Genoa, I’m pretty sure you’re gonna love it.

      Here you can find the answers to your questions:

      1) Portofino and Cinque Terre: are these all on the same line from Genoa? Is it worth combining all in 1 trip and spending a full day?

      I recommend to spend a full day in Portofino and a full day in Cinque Terre. They’re not close.
      In my opinion, you should:
      – The first day, take the train from Genoa Sturla train station and exit the train at Santa Margherita Ligure train station (about 30 mins). Then going by walk to Portofino (it’s such a nice walk)
      – The second day, take the train from Genova Brignole to La Spezia, then take a regional train to Monterosso al Mare and walk in the Cinque Terre.

      2) Or is it best to see them separately?

      Yes, I confirm it’s best to see Portofino and Cinque Terre separately.

      3) Also, I believe I can take the train to Milano from Genoa around a 2-hour ride.

      Yes, the regional train from Milano Centrale to Genova would take about 1.45h.

      If you need any help don’t hesitate to ask.

      Wish you a lovely holiday in Italy,

  • #!trpst#trp-gettext data-trpgettextoriginal=163#!trpen#Suzanne Bessems sagt:#!trpst#/trp-gettext#!trpen#

    Hallo Andrea,

    Wij hebben meerdere vragen met betrekking tot verblijf en parkeren in Genua.

    1. We gaan op cruise vanuit Genua maar willen eerst 2 dgn in Genua verblijven is het dan mogelijk om die dagen al in de parkeergarage Lanterna te parkeren? (Omdat ze de naam van het schip vragen bij boeking)
    2. Ons B&B ligt wel in de ZTL zone, hoe mogen we dat dan bereiken?
    3. Mag je de ZTL zone in met een diesel auto uit 2014?

    By the way: je site is super, zijn er heel blij mee.

    Groetjes Suzanne

    • #!trpst#trp-gettext data-trpgettextoriginal=163#!trpen#Andrea Semonella sagt:#!trpst#/trp-gettext#!trpen#

      Hoi Suzanne,

      Allereerst hartelijk dank voor je complimenten, die me veel plezier doen en me de kracht geven om door te gaan met schrijven over Genua.

      Ik zal je vragen hier beantwoorden:
      1) Ja, je kunt de dagen ervoor ook parkeren bij Lanterna Parking. Ik laat u de link achter om uw parkeerplaats te reserveren: https://tidd.ly/3AVCIDd

      2) Als je hotel in de ZTL-zone ligt, heb je twee opties: of je vraagt de hoteleigenaar om je een toegangsvergunning te geven. Of, als je dat liever doet, kun je je auto achterlaten bij Lanterna Parking en door de stad lopen.

      Genua is een stad die je gemakkelijk te voet kunt bezoeken. En zelfs als je naar de kust wilt (Portofino, Cinque Terre, enz.), raad ik je aan om met de trein of het openbaar vervoer te reizen.

      Als je hulp nodig hebt bij het plannen van je vakantie in Genua, vraag het gewoon.

      Vriendelijke groeten,

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