Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. If you want to eat Italian food, experience its culture, and see streets full of history but find Rome or Florence too crowded, then Genoa is the place to visit.
That’s why we’ve created this Genoa neighborhood guide, to help you decide where to stay.
Genoa has been an important harbor city for thousands of years. It was used by both the Romans and the Etruscans as a harbor and the city retains architectural elements from this combination of cultures.
Even if you don’t like history, you’ll enjoy this city with its beautiful churches, stately streets, welcoming piazzas, and uniquely Italian charm. It offers lots of opportunities for amazing dining and shopping as well as the chance to explore and enjoy.
That’s why we’ve created this easy guide, to help you find the best places to stay in Genoa so that you can enjoy convenient access and comfort.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Genoa
- Where to stay in Genoa for your first time – Molo
- Where to stay in Genoa on a budget – Piazza Principe
- Best area to stay in Genoa for nightlife – Porto Antico
- Coolest place to stay in Genoa – Nervi
- Best neighborhood in Genoa for families – Maddalena
- Marvel at the architectural wonder that is Doge’s Palace and go in to see the museum.
- Get lost in the twisting, medieval lanes and keep an eye out for a treasure!
- Sit in one of the many cafes and do some people watching.
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in Genoa
- Genoa’s Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Genoa
- #1 Molo – Where to Stay in Genoa for Your First Time
- #2 Piazza Principe – Where to Stay in Genoa on a Budget
- #3 Porto Antico – Best Area to Stay in Genoa for Nightlife
- #4 Nervi – Coolest Place to Stay in Genoa
- #5 Maddalena – Best Neighborhood in Genoa for Families
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for the coolest places to stay in Genoa.
Best Hostel in Genoa: Hotel Balbi
This budget accommodation option is located in one of the best areas to stay in Genoa. It’s located in a historic piazza and within a short walk to the train station for easy access around the city.
It’s also incredibly comfortable, with rooms and facilities to suit every style of traveler.
Need to spend some quality time with fellow backpackers? Get your fix by staying at one of these amazing hostels in Genoa!View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Genoa: Private Room
If you want to be central to everything, then try this Genoa accommodation option. It’s a private room in a historic building in the heart of the city. The location is absolutely first-rate and close to the Aquarium and Via Garibaldi.
The host is friendly and welcoming, and the room clean, comfortable and quiet.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Genoa: Hotel Genova Liberty
This budget hotel is within walking distances of all Genoa’s best. You can walk to the Aquarium and Palazzo Ducale from the hotel and it offers clean, comfortable rooms and an excellent breakfast.View on Booking.com
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Genoa
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Like other cities in Europe, Genoa has a tangle of neighborhoods that run the gamut from medieval to new and modern.
This is the city you visit when you want to explore Italy but are tired of the crush and crowds of Florence or Rome. And no matter what your budget or preferences, you’ll find a hostel or hotel in Genoa to suit your needs.
Genoa has the same sense of history, the same architectural marvels, the warm culture and the great food. But it also has a sense of peace and calm that you can’t get in other cities.
So far, it’s missed out on the frantic, sometimes dangerous energy of Rome and the crowds of Florence.
Genoa is the sixth-largest city in Italy, and it’s divided into a variety of distinct neighborhoods. Each of them has their own attractions and their own styles. And each neighborhood offers something different to travelers.
Whether you’re focused on where to stay in Genoa on a budget or want to be as close as possible to great shopping, you can find a neighborhood that suits you.
Molo is Genoa’s historic center. This area hasn’t changed much since medieval times. That’s why it’s the best neighborhood to stay in Genoa if you want easy access to historic buildings and features.
In the west of the center is Porto Antico, the city’s old harbor. This has been newly renovated and is a hotspot for eating and nightlife. If you want easy access to the rest of the country, then you need to stay in the Piazza Principe area.
This is also where you’ll find the cheapest best places in Genoa to stay.
If you want to get out of the center a little, then Nervi is the coolest and most picturesque region. And Maddalena is a more recent addition to the center of town, where you can find some of the nicest and most elegant accommodations in the city.
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Genoa
Traveling is a highly personal thing. What one person enjoys in a neighborhood can be a nightmare for someone else. So, have a look through our Genoa neighborhood guide and choose which one sounds best to you!
Molo is one of the districts in Genoa’s old town and the most picturesque. It’s filled with historical buildings, twisting lands, architectural marvels and museums. Wandering through this area, you’ll get a feel for how the city used to be as well as how it is.
You can and should get lost in this part of the city, wile away the hours exploring tiny lanes and shops. It’s also the most convenient place to stay in the city, which is why it’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Genoa with kids.
A range of transport options are within easy reach of this neighborhood.
Things to See and Do in Molo
– Marvel at the architectural wonder that is Doge’s Palace and go in to see the museum.
– Take pictures of the San Lorenzo Cathedral and its artistic wall drawings, both of which date back to 1118.
– Get lost in the twisting, medieval lanes and keep an eye out for a treasure!
– Sit in one of the many cafes and do some people watching.
– Throw a coin into the famous Piazza De Ferrari with its ornate fountain and beautiful, symmetrical fonts of water.
– Check out the markets in the Piazza Matteotti, where you’ll also find other historically important buildings.
Best Hostel in Molo: Home Genoa Hostel
This hostel in Genoa is located within walking distance of Piazza De Ferrari and all the attractions around it. It offers fast Wi-Fi, comfortable beds, and all the amenities to ensure you have a convenient and safe stay in the city.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Molo: Apartment in Old Town
This private apartment is a great answer to the question of where to stay in Genoa for one night. It offers clean, modern facilities right in the center of Molo, so you can literally just walk out of the door and explore.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Molo: Hotel Veronese
This is one of the best places in Genoa to stay to be close to everything. The hotel is located in a 15th century building with free Wi-Fi and classically decorated rooms with air-conditioning for those hot days. It’s within walking distance of several attractions.View on Booking.com
Piazza Principe is the main railway station in Genoa. It’s located north of the Old Town and you can take a high-speed train from this area to almost any part of Italy.
You can also take international trains from the station and explore other parts of Europe.
Near the Piazza Principe, you’ll find several twisting medieval streets similar to those that make up Old Town. There are cafes, boutiques, and trattorias hidden in these alleys, so make sure you take the time to explore.
This is are is also cheaper than Molo and other more popular neighborhoods while still offering easy access to them. So, you can have the best of both worlds.
Things to See and Do in Piazza Principe
– Easy rail access to other cities like Rome, Turin, and Venice.
– Easy international access to Nice, Monaco, Cannes, or other exciting cities.
– Good proximity to Old Town at cheaper prices.
– Make sure that you explore the nearby streets for hidden cafes and restaurants that only the locals know about.
Best Hostel in Piazza Principe: Abbey Hostel
Everything you want to see and do is close by this hostel, which used to be a convent. It offers a range of room sizes including dormitories, double rooms or singles and lots of common areas so you can sit and chat with other travelers.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Piazza Principe: Peaceful Place at Principe
This quiet, private room and bath is located in one of the best areas to stay in Genoa. It’s within walking distance of the train and ferry stations and is located in a very safe and friendly neighborhood.
It’s close to Genoa’s best attractions and the space is clean, modestly decorated, and comfortable.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Piazza Principe: Hotel Chopin
This Genoa accommodation is within 2 minutes’ walk from the Piazza Principe train station. The rooms are clean and comfortable and include a TV and air conditioning. Very good coffee and pastries are served at the hotel every morning.View on Booking.com
Porto Antico contains the largest port in Italy and is an older part of the city that’s recently received a facelift. It’s now a great place to choose if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Genoa for nightlife.
This is one of the liveliest places in the city, and the port complex is an attraction that will keep you occupied for hours.
Things to See and Do in Porto Antico
– Explore the museum in the huge port complex.
– Take a ferry for a cruise to Sicily or other nearby ports.
– Grab your friends and have a night out in the local bars and restaurants.
– Easy access to Genoa’s Old Town means that you can still explore the more traditional parts of the city.
– This is the best neighborhood to stay in Genoa if you enjoy going out at night.
Best Hostel in Porto Antico: B & B Delfino Blue
This hostel is one of the best places in Genoa to stay if you’re on a budget but still want to be close to everything. It’s located in an old building and offers large rooms as well as lovely views of the harbor.
It’s also within walking distance of attractions like the Aquarium the Museum of the Sea, the Old Harbor, and Genoa’s Historical Center.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Porto Antico: Camera Centrostorico
This bed and breakfast is located in one of Genoa’s best neighborhoods for every type of traveler. The rooms are cheerful, bright and clean, and there’s an overhanging terrace you can use that’s filled with flowers and water features.
It’s the perfect place to enjoy nature if you get tired of the city.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Porto Antico: Hotel Galata
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Genoa for families, this budget hotel is a great choice. It’s located between the train and ferry station and has comfortable bedrooms with a minibar and bathroom in each room.
It also has a sun terrace that offers panoramic views over the city.View on Booking.com
The neighborhood of Nervi is around 7km west of Genoa’s center. It was once a fishing village but become a part of Genoa long ago. It’s not the most central area, but it is the best area in Genoa to stay in if you’re looking for beauty and quiet.
So, it’s probably not the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Genoa for your first time. But anyone looking for a different kind of trip will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
Nervi is a coastal suburb and offers astounding views along the coast as well as a quiet vibe that attracts visitors who like some peace and quiet.
There are also regional trains running into the heart of Genoa so you can still explore other neighborhoods.
Things to See and Do in Nervi
– Wander along the Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi, a 2km walk which goes along the cliffs over the Mediterranean Sea and is the pride of the area.
– Sit in a little café and watch the ocean and the people who live around it.
– Take the train into the center of the city to explore but return to the tranquillity of Nervi afterwards.
– Eat and drink to your heart’s content at the many great restaurants and gelaterias.
Best AirBnB in Nervi: Room Over the Garden
The best thing about staying in Nervi is the proximity to the sea, which is why this room is a great choice. It’s within 5 minutes of the seaside promenade and is also suitable for almost any size travel group.
It’s the perfect place to relax and take in the laidback vibe of this part of Genoa.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Nervi: Appartamento Genova Nervi
If you want your own private space when you’re in Genoa, this apartment is a great choice. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a kitchen with a microwave and fridge as well as stunning city views.
So, whether you’re traveling in your own or with a group, this is one of the best places to stay in Genoa.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in Nervi: Ancient Porticciolo – Nervi Genova
This extremely popular beachfront property is one of the coolest places to stay in Genoa. It offers beach views, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and comfortable, colorful rooms. It’s the perfect place to just relax and take in the scenery.View on Booking.com
Maddalena is another district that together with Molo makes up part of Genoa’s Old Town. This area is a little more modern, which is reflected in the architecture and buildings, but it still contains that narrow, snaking, fascinating laneways.
It isn’t the cheapest area to stay in Genoa, but the homestays and hotels are elegant and comfortable.
This is also one of the best areas to explore if you enjoy palaces. Many of the buildings in this area were originally palaces, so you’ll get some of the best pictures of buildings you’ve ever taken.
Things to See and Do in Maddalena
– Explore Via Garibaldi’s antiques shops and outdoor cafes in search of souvenirs or just the perfect cup of coffee.
– Take the local dishes such as trofie pasta with pesto.
– Take a stroll to see the elegant mansions like Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso and head inside to see their stunning, old-master collections.
– Get lost in the narrow street and keep an eye out for old-style bakeries and food counters selling delicious fried fish.
Best Hostel in Maddalena: Ostellin Hostel
This hostel is located in the best area in Genoa to stay in. It’s central and affordable and the inside of the building is absolutely stunning. The hostel is located in a historic building so the ceilings are covered in frescos, it has marble floors in a Genoese pattern and ancient fireplaces.
Staying in this hostel is the best way to have a comfortable base and learn more about the history of the city at the same time.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Maddalena: Apartment 2 Rooms
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Genoa with kids, then this apartment might be the answer. It’s located on the fourth floor and offers comfortable, elegant accommodations.
The apartment is fully furnished and includes Wi-Fi and an equipped kitchenette. It’s also located right in the center of the city, so it’s convenient to everywhere.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Maddalena: Hotel Brignole
This hotel in Genoa is conveniently located close to the historic center and to public transport to other parts of the city. The rooms include a private bathroom and minibar as well as TV and air conditioning.
It also offers a really good breakfast that will set you put perfectly for a day of exploring the city!View on Booking.com
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Genoa
Whether you’re deciding where to stay in Genoa for one night, or planning on a longer trip, you need to get accommodation that suits your budgets and preferences.
Where you lay your head at night is just as essential to the success of your trip as where you eat and what you buy. So, when you make your bookings, keep our Genoa guide close to you so that you make the right choices.
While Italy can be very safe, it’s super important to make sure you get travel insurance!
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.