• Date Cruise Ship PAX
    May 22 2024 MSC Fantasia 4363
    May 24 2024 MSC Orchestra 3223
    May 24 2024 Costa Smeralda 6518
    May 25 2024 MSC Seaside 5429
    May 26 2024 MSC World Europa 7662

    The Port of Genoa

    The Port of Genoa

    This guide is tailored for cruise passengers visiting Genoa.


    General Port Facts

    Genoa, a historic Italian port city, welcomes you with its rich maritime heritage, stunning architecture, and delectable cuisine. Explore the beauty of this Mediterranean gem during your limited time in port.

    Touristic Information

    Genoa offers a perfect blend of history and modernity. Stroll through the narrow medieval streets of the Old Town, visit world-class museums, and savor delicious Italian dishes in local trattorias.

    Top 5 Attractions

    1. Old Port of Genoa: Explore the historic harbor and visit the Aquarium (Admission fee).
    2. Doge's Palace: Discover the stunning medieval palace (Admission fee).
    3. Via Garibaldi: Wander through the UNESCO-listed street with beautiful palaces (Free access).
    4. Genoa Cathedral: Visit the iconic cathedral (Free access).
    5. Galata Maritime Museum: Learn about Genoa's maritime history (Admission fee).

    Nice to Know Facts

    • Genoa is known as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.
    • The city boasts one of Europe's largest medieval quarters.
    • Genoa's cuisine is a delightful mix of regional and international influences.

    Transportation Options

    Discover nearby attractions with these transportation options:

    • Taxis: Convenient for local travel within Genoa.
    • Portofino: Explore the charming seaside village - 35 km (21.7 miles), approximately 1 hour by taxi.
    • Cinque Terre: Discover the picturesque coastal area - 90 km (55.9 miles), approximately 1.5 hours by train.
    • Pisa: Visit the iconic Leaning Tower - 160 km (99.4 miles), approximately 2 hours by train.
    • Camogli: Experience the scenic fishing village - 30 km (18.6 miles), approximately 40 minutes by train.

    About the Port: Port Antico (Old Port) is located in the heart of Genoa and is often treated as a tourist attraction. Ponte dei Mille is the main cruise terminal, although Ponte Andrea Doria also hosts a few ships. The port has a movie theatre, shops, restaurants, an aquarium, and other tourist facilities. Port Antico is a walking-distance (5-10 minutes) from the downtown. It’s an ideal place to take excursions to the neighboring towns of Portofino and Savona. Hop on/off buses for Genoa start their tour here.

    About the City: Genoa is the capital city of Liguria region and the 6th largest city of Italy. The city is the birthplace of Cristopher Columbus. Although it’s often ignored by tourists, Genoa was among the European Capitals of Culture in 2004. The population of the city is around 650,000.
    The main tourist information center is located in the Piazza de Ferrari. Another one is available at the airport.

    Language: The Italian is the official language. The local dialect is called Genoese, which is similar to the French language. English is spoken only in touristic areas.

    Climate: Genoa enjoys a Mediterranean climate of hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature is 20°C in summer and 10°C in winter.

    Good to know

    • The currency of Genoa is Euro.
    • All shops close at 5:00pm on Saturdays and remain closed all day Sunday. Weekend shopping is best done in markets like Mercato Orientale.
    • Tipping is not obligatory, but advisable, if you’ve received awesome service. Waiters usually expect a tip of 10% from tourists.
    • Be prepared to wait; Italians are not very punctual, which is why you should never be on a tight schedule.
    • Carry a small Italian dictionary, which will help you to communicate with taxi drivers and waiters.

    Things to Do

    Genoa Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, was built on the spot of an ancient cathedral in the 12th century. The cloisters display Genoese art and historic artefacts uncovered from archaeological findings. Moreover, the cathedral used to house the ashes of Saint John Baptist during the Crusades. Today, it’s the seat of Archbishop of Genoa.

    Piazzas (city squares) of Genoa are some of the top architectural attractions. Piazza De Ferrari and Piazza Principe are only two of the many must-visits.

    Palazzo Reale was built in the 17th century. The palace is full of frescoes, sculptures, paintings, and other works of Baroque and Rococo masters. The palace currently operates exclusively as a museum.

    Galata Museo del Mare is the largest sea museum of the Mediterranean. The four floors of exhibition cover the important time periods of the city like the Italian emigration and traditions of Darsena armory.

    Palazzo Doria Tursi was built for Niccolo Grimaldi in the 16th century. The palace has served as a city council and currently hosts the Museum of Genoa. Make sure to visit Sala Paganini, which displays Nicolo Paganini’s Guarnerius violin.

    La Lanterna (the Lighthouse) is the symbol of Genoa and was built in 1543. It’s 77m tall. The 172 steps lead to the first terrace.

    The Aquarium of Genoa is one of the largest ones in Europe. It was built to celebrate 500 years since the discovery of America by Columbus. Besides the 70 water tanks that contain more than 5000 sea creatures, you can also visit Pianeta Acquario, AcquarioVillage, and Acquario Segreto.

    Other Genoa attractions you should visit are the National Gallery, Church of the Gesù, Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Rosso, Wolfsoniana, and Il Galeone Neptune.

    Eating/ Drinking

    Genoa is famous for sauces like pesto, salsa verde, and salsa di noci, which are great with meat and pasta.
    Other must-tries are focacce and torte salate. These are pie-like salads made of vegetables and cheese.
    When ordering pasta, go for Spaghetti, Trenette or Troffie with pesto sauce, which is the traditional dish of Genoa. Other dishes are Lattughe Ripiene, Focaccia di Recco, Corzetti, and so on. In fact, the best restaurants are found in the historic center.
    Italian wine is the number one option for drinks. The legal drinking age is 18, but you can drink when 16, if accompanied by a parent.

    History & Culture

    The city of Genoa was founded in 4th century AD. The name means “the door” in Latin. A legend states it originated from the Roman god Janus (Giano), who was the protector of passageways, including the doors to one’s house. Genoa has rivaled against Venice for centuries, defeating it in 1298.
    The city has been under the rule of a number of European countries and was renamed numerous times in the 17th century. It was the first city in Northern Italy to rise against the local fascist rule during WWII.

    Genova is famous for medieval palaces, historic streets and surrounding mountains. The best art on display is mainly from the late-Renaissance period. The majority of historic buildings date back to the 16th century.

    There are 2 train stations in Genoa - Genoa Piazza Principe and Genoa Brignole. Trains connect the city to Milan ($20, 2 hours), Turin ($20, 2 hours), Rome ($50, 5 hours), San Remo ($18, 2 hours), and Pisa ($20, 2 hours).

    Buses are operated by AMT. The single-ride bus ticket costs a dollar and is valid for 90 minutes. Tickets that are valid all day cost around $5. The Genovapass offers a day of free AMT services. Card Musei combines free access to the city museums and the transport managed by AMT at the same time.

    Renting a car is NOT advised, as the streets are very narrow. The attractions are located close to each other and can be reached on foot or by bus.

    The city transport also includes funiculars ($1.5) and cable cars.

    Local Foods

    Indulge in authentic Italian flavors with local specialties such as pesto, focaccia, and fresh seafood. Don't miss trying Genoa's famous street food, "farinata," a savory chickpea pancake.

    Local Customs

    Italians greet with a friendly "buongiorno" or "ciao." Respect the local culture and dress modestly when visiting churches or religious sites. Enjoy a leisurely pace of life during your time in Genoa.

    Fun Things for Children

    • Up to 6 years old: Discover marine life at the Aquarium of Genoa.
    • 7-12 years old: Take a trip to explore nearby Portofino or take the cable car for spectacular views.
    • 13-18 years old: Visit the Galata Maritime Museum for an interactive experience.

    Google Maps

    Explore the location near the cruise port on Google Maps.

    Main Tourism Office Website

    For more information, visit the official Visit Genoa website.

    Notice: Content and travel advice presented is created by a port moderator and/or AI, courtesy of ChatGPT. It is specifically designed for cruise passengers visiting this port of call. A port moderator could be a local individual, destination expert, port authority, or a tourism agency. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, we recommend that you verify critical information like visas, health and safety, customs, and transportation with official sources before departure.