Genoa is a fitting location for the Galata Museo del Mare, as the city has been a major maritime power for centuries. The Museum of the Sea’s four floors feature numerous exhibits on sailing ships and sea explorations—including an entire room dedicated to the famous Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus and his Transatlantic voyage.
The Galata Museo del Mare is housed in the oldest building in the Darsena (area of the Old Port), and its name is a nod to the old Genoese quarter in Istanbul, which was a part of the Genoese Republic from the 13th to 15th centuries. In addition to the 28-room museum, there is an open-air area where you can explore the inside of an S518 Nazario Sauro submarine.
Most tours of the Old Port include a visit to the Galata Museo del Mare along with the adjacent Genoa Aquarium. Also available are combo tours that take in several port attractions including the panoramic lift, the biosphere, and the S518 Nazario Sauro submarine.
Things to Know Before You Go:
- The Galata Museo del Mare is a must-visit for history buffs, especially those interested in maritime history.
- Book a skip-the-line ticket to save time.
- Guests typically spend about three hours exploring the main museum and the outdoor submarine.
- Head to the top floor of the museum for some of the best panoramic views of Genoa.
- The museum is fully accessible for those with vision and hearing impairments, with tactile guidance and amplification devices available.
- The museum’s main building is fully wheelchair accessible, however the outdoor submarine is not.
How to Get There
The Galata Museo del Mare stands in the middle of Genoa’s Old Port, Porto Antico. Take the train to Piazza Principe or the metro to Darsena, both a 5-minute walk to the museum. If driving, there are a few paid parking lots in the area.
When to Get There
The maritime museum is open 10am to 7:30pm daily from March to October; from November to February it’s open 10am to 6pm Tuesday through Friday and 10am to 7:30pm on weekends and holidays. It’s best to visit the museum—one of Genoa’s most popular attractions—before lunch to avoid large crowds and enjoy a more contemplative experience.
Memory and Migration
This section of the museum is very popular among visitors. More than 40 multimedia stations showcase Italian emigration by sea and the recent immigration to Italy. You can see reconstructions of Italian immigrant areas across the world, such as La Boca in Buenos Aires and New York’s famous Ellis Island.