Have you ever been to Genoa in Italy? No? Well, I recently placed myself alongside you as well. Luckily for me, I got five full days to spend here, and boy, was it worth the trip to one of Italy’s less talked about travel destinations. Genoa is a not-so-popular city in Italy, just 40 minutes outside of Milan. Although maybe not considered the fanciest of choices, it offers everything you would want from a small cosmopolitan city in Italy. Everything, within a very, very, reasonable price.
So it would be my pleasure to introduce to you all the fabulous things I discovered about Genoa, that you might have not known about either.
Here you’ll enjoy an abundance of traditional, local and homemade food. A city of the famous and incredibly tasty Pesto sauce, Genoa, like the rest of Italy, knows how to do food.
Here’s my recommendations for the best places to eat;
Banano Cunami: A marvelous outdoor bar, serving mouth-watering cocktails (for 8 euros or higher) accompanied by a delicious snack menu.
Mr. Bar: If you are into quick, yet deliriously yummy pasta specialties, Mr. Bar is your flavor. Situated in the core of the city, Mr. Bar offers homemade pasta and a glass of an aromatic local wine (the meal itself cost me around 12 euros).
Zimmino: Now this is where you wine and dine. Situated in the heart of Genoa, Zimmino is easy enough to find along the narrow streets and does traditional Italian cuisine for relatively low prices.
Irish Pub: A great way to spend the evening out in town, Irish Pub offers nights packed with fun. From karaoke to quiz night and foosball tournaments, this place is both casual and ultra-trendy. This place has a huge selection of beers and the burger I’ve ever tried.
You may not be aware of this but this city offers plenty to see. From adventurous to more sophisticated places to visit and stunning landmarks, Genoa will certainly give you a reason to take out your camera. Aside from the impressive architecture displayed all over town, Genoa also knows how to do fun as well.
So here’s the things you must see and do while here;
Porto Antico di Genoa: From fabulous cafés to visit, to the marvelous replica of one of Christopher Colombo’s three ships, the Old Port is spectacular and a must see. The port is just around the corner from the city center and from here you can also enjoy the sensational sunset over the ocean.
The Genoa Aquarium: The biggest aquarium in Europe is right here in Genoa. The Aquarium offers a range of activities but the entrance fee is pricey at around 50 euros, if you’ve got the money then it’s well worth it!
The Beaches: Back when I did my research on Genoa, I read many articles explaining how this city is beach-less. I made my peace with it, but what I came to find out is that in Genoa, there are actually plenty of beaches you can visit and all in town too. Now, as the apartment I was staying in was further away, I took the local bus that led me to a wide boardwalk. Here, you can find pebble beaches spread all along the coastline.
So, if you want to explore beach life here, I warmly advise you to check out Bocadasse, Sestri Levante or any beach along Corso Italia. With plenty of restaurants and bars in sight, Genoa’s beaches are bound to take your breath away. Well, at least they did mine.
Aside from these, you can always explore the city on foot and just soak up the charming Italian ambience. I would highly recommend taking a stroll through Piazza di Ferrari, as well as Piazza Della Vittoria.
I did my search as I always do on AirBnB. Here you can find some amazing apartments for rent in Genoa from as little as 20 euros per night. Be mindful of the fact that it’s a hillside city, so unless you enjoy a good cardio, ride the bus downtown. Trust me when I say, everybody does it and it’s kinda fun.
Genoa Travel Tips:
If you want to make your visit here easier, here are a few key notes;
- Have everything on you before you leave home, to avoid losing an hour in traffic.
- Ask for at least one taxi company number, for transport.
- Learn the bus transport system and its working days/hours.
- Mind your manners while in Genoa. People here are very accommodating and polite and should be you.
- Always ask for prices if you decide to eat at a restaurant. The prices in Genoa and Italy differ, depending on whether you like to eat at the counter or dine at a table.
What else can I tell you, except that Genoa awoke a certain curiosity in me. A curiosity for places I have rarely heard of. A craving for destinations that ooze national history and charm. I loved every minute here, and I pay my respect to Genoa for being everything I desired but never saw coming.
Have you visited Genoa yourself? Do you recommend it a great place to experience in Italy? Feel free to share your own opinions in the comments section below.