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  • Address: Palazzo San Giorgio, Via della Mercanzia 2

Italy ATTRACTIONS See all

Genoa Cruise Port

Genoa is most famous as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, so it's appropriate to set sail from here. The second largest port in Europe (Marseille is bigger), Genoa is a mix of the old and the new, with pretty old style pink, ochre, and red buildings sitting alongside skyscrapers and church domes, all of it climbing the hills up from the sea via gritty, narrow twisting streets.

During the 12th and 13th centuries the most powerful port in the world, it has managed to retain its feeling of that glorious history within the walls of the medieval old town, and is the self-declared capital of the Italian Riviera.

How to Get to Genoa

Passenger ships dock at the marine port, a busy industrial area full of traffic. Though it's not far from the Old Port and city center, you might want to get a taxi or shuttle bus for safety's sake. Have it drop you at Porto Antico (Old Port) where the locals come to relax, or up to the Cathedral San Lorenzo, one block away and the heart of the narrow alleys of the old center.

One Day in Genoa

Despite the city's size, it is easy to explore the old center on foot. The Cathedral San Lorenzo is the heart of the area you'll want to explore. The cathedral itself is Romanesque dating from the 12th century and houses the ashes of John the Baptist, Genoa's patron saint. A couple of blocks away is the Piazza de Ferrari which has the 13th-century Palace of Doges and the opera house. The main shopping street, Via XX Settembre, leads off from here.

The streets known as Strade Nuove house art museums in grand palaces. Outside the medieval gates, between the train station and Vittorio Park is a lively weekend flea market. Down at the Old Port is the Genoa Aquarium, the largest in Europe. Also The Bigo, a crane-like ride that gives panoramic views of the city; the Biosfera, a mini ecosystem in a dome; and a 17th-century pirate ship which kids love. Genoa is the embarkation or disembarkation point for many cruises so a day ashore is often not factored in; perhaps plan to add it yourself.

Port Information

The language in Genoa is Italian and despite its port status, English is not commonly spoken. The main tourist hubs will be more English-friendly but be prepared to smile, nod and gesture a lot. The currency is euro and if you're embarking here, find the Bancomat as you'll need euro throughout your cruise. Most shops and businesses close in the middle of the day (anytime from 1-4pm) and are closed all day Sunday, except in the tourist hubs.

Tours & Tickets

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Genoa Shore Excursion: Genoa City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 12 Reviews

Spend your time in port in Genoa by exploring the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, savoring the excellent cuisine and seeing the beautiful sights with your ...  Read more

Location: Genoa, Italy
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $20.46

Genoa Shore Excursion: Genoa Independent Sightseeing Experience with Private Driver

While in port in Genoa, take a private sightseeing shore excursion to explore this beautiful Italian city. Known as ‘La Superba,’ Genoa is the birthplace of ...  Read more

Location: Genoa, Italy
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $136.39

Genoa Shore Excursion: Private Day Trip to Cinque Terre

The moment your cruise ship arrives in port in Genoa, your private shore excursion to Cinque Terre begins. Discover the unique landscape with dry-laid stone ...  Read more

Location: Genoa, Italy
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $159.12

Genoa Shore Excursion: Private Day Trip to Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure

When your cruise ship docks in Genoa, enjoy a private shore excursion to Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure. On this full-day trip, discover Portofino -- a ...  Read more

Location: Genoa, Italy
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $159.12

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