The old port city of Genoa is the largest in the Liguria region of Italy. It sits on the country’s northwestern coastline in the Italian Riviera, characterised by brightly-coloured cliffside houses, rocky beaches and storied cobblestone streets.
Many tourists seeking an Italian city break overlook Genoa in favour of glitzier northern cities such as Milan or Verona. But Genoa, Italy is a bustling city with many things to do and even its own UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Once you’ve decided to give Genoa a shot, you’ll next be wondering where to stay in Genoa to best suit your needs. If it’s your first time staying in Genoa, you’ll want to be within walking distance of the main attractions.
If you’re visiting Genoa on a backpacking trip then you might want to know which are the best neighborhoods in Genoa on a budget or for nightlife. And if you’re travelling with young kids or as an older couple, you’ll want the best accommodation in Genoa, Italy for a more relaxing trip with all the amenities you’ll need.
This guide covers all types of accommodation in Genoa Italy from hostels to luxury hotels and everything in between. It also breaks down all the best areas to stay in Genoa and where to avoid to ensure you have a fantastic trip in the capital city of Liguria.
Below are 10 of the best neighbourhoods in Genoa to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best place to stay in Genoa for you.
We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible. We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Genoa so you can use this as a go to guide for Genoa accommodation.
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Molo / Old Town – Where To Stay in Genoa for First Timers
Every Italian city has an old town and Genoa is no exception. Molo, which is the name that Old Town Genoa goes by, has lots of labyrinthine narrow streets which will help shade you from the beaming summer sun. You’ll find family-run gelaterias on every corner as well as delis, small boutiques and even markets.
Just be mindful that you don’t accidentally stroll down Vico Della Rosa. As a former busy harbour city, these narrow streets will unintentionally bring you up close and personal with sex workers if you don’t know where you’re going.
But don’t be put off! It is a perfectly safe neighbourhood and one of the best places to stay in Genoa Italy for your first trip. This is where you’ll find all of Genoa’s top landmarks like Genoa Cathedral and Chiesa di San Pietro in Banchi.
There are no less than four other churches in this neighbourhood in the city and it’s always worth popping in if they are free and open in Italy because the churches are always so beautiful!
The Doge’s Palace is another historic building in the Molo area and there are lots of cheap yet insanely delicious delis serving the Ligurian food staples, focaccia and pesto.
Because of the architecture and layout of this neighbourhood, you won’t find many big box chain hotels here.
They are mostly family-run guesthouses and B&Bs in converted houses along the cobbled streets. Don’t be surprised if your taxi can’t drop you off right outside your hotel’s door and you need to drag your suitcase for the last few steps!
Best places to stay in Molo Genoa
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Molo
OStellin Genova Hostel
Budget accommodation in Molo
Bigo Guest House
Affittacamere Bed and Breakfast San Lorenzo
Mid range accommodation in Molo
Palazzina B – Contemporary Studio
Best Western Plus City Hotel
Charming Genova | Residenza d’epoca
Living Genova Apartment
Family Friendly accommodation in Molo
Hotel Cristoforo Colombo
Best Western Hotel Metropoli
Centro Acquario Family
New Apartament in historical Genoa center
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Molo
Hotel Palazzo Grillo
Hotel Bristol Palace
Piazza Principe – Where To Stay in Genoa on a Budget
Piazza Principe is given to the name of the neighbourhood that is just north of Maddalena. It’s named after Genoa’s main train station, called Genoa Piazza Principe Train Station. But this neighbourhood stretches from Piazza Vacchero to Piazza Dinegro and encompasses this side of the port too.
So, half this neighbourhood feels a bit more modern with the train station and the apartment blocks in the mountains than some of the other Genoa neighbourhoods. You’ll find a lot of the University of Genoa buildings in this part of town.
It’s no wonder that you’ll also find cheaper bars and restaurants here since there are a lot of students living in the area. There are also hostels and cheap hotels in this neighbourhood so it’s perfect for those travelling on a budget.
You also probably won’t need to hire a taxi or use public transport when navigating your way from the train station to your accommodation either.
There are some random sites and landmarks here that are free to visit, like the Lighthouse of Genoa and the Christopher Columbus monument. Did you know that Christopher Columbus was from Genoa? Many assume he is Spanish but he’s actually Italian!
Best places to stay in Piazza Principe
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Piazza Principe
Ostello Bello Genova
Budget accommodation in Piazza Principe
Hotel Le Tre Stazioni
Mid range accommodation in Piazza Principe
New Alexander Hotel
B&B Hotel Genova
Family Friendly accommodation in Piazza Principe
Hotel Continental Genova
Hotel Nuovo Nord
MSN Hotel Galles
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Piazza Principe
Grand Hotel Savoia
Porto Antico – Best Place To Stay in Genoa for Nightlife
Porto Antico is a small neighbourhood and it comprises the southern, busiest part of the harbour. There are tons of attractions here like Italy’s biggest aquarium, museums, restaurants like Eataly, outdoor live music venues, and bars with sprawling terraces where people drink and chat until the wee hours.
It’s not ideal if you want to know where to stay in Genoa with young kids or for a relaxing trip, but it’s perfect if you want to dive into Genoa’s nightlife!
As Porto Antico doesn’t have the restriction of space like the Old Town of Genoa, you’ll find bigger hotels and branded chain hotels along the waterfront here. This is probably where you will find the best hotels in Genoa!
If you’re lucky enough to snag a room overlooking the main road then you’ll have a fantastic view of the waterfront. Just bring your earplugs if you want an early night and you’ll enjoy your trip!
Best places to stay in Porto Antico
Budget accommodation in Porto Antico
Mid range accommodation in Porto Antico
Hotel De Ville
Family Friendly accommodation in Porto Antico
Best Western Porto Antico
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Porto Antico
Locanda da Toto
NH Collection Genova Marina
Maddalena – Where To Stay in Genoa With Family
Genoa is actually a fantastic city to visit with family. Sure, you’d probably be better off with a baby carrier than a stroller considering the uneven streets, but even in the peak summer season, the city is never teeming with people.
There are lots of cafes, benches and steps for you to enjoy a break and there are lots of parks to let your children burn off steam too.
Although Genoa has a big nightlife culture, it doesn’t take over the whole city. One of the neighbourhoods which is a bit quieter is the historic Maddalena neighbourhood.
It sits in the middle of the Molo Old Town and Piazza Principe and just behind Porto Antico so it’s not next to the harbour. Plus, part of the neighbourhood sprawls upwards into the hills.
This is the neighbourhood where you will find Genoa’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s ‘Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli.’ Strade Nuove means ‘new street’ and it’s the nickname of Via Garibaldi.
During Genoa’s heyday of the 16th and 17th centuries, lots of powerful shipping people visited Genoa so rich families built palaces to house their guests. Now, 150 still exist and 42 are protected by UNESCO.
Maddalena is also where you’ll find the Villetta Di Negro park with a waterfall. Many of these streets are pedestrianised so you won’t have to worry about keeping your kids safe from the infamous Italian drivers too much! There are lots of mid-range hotels around here and short-term rental apartments too.
Best places to stay in Maddalena
Budget accommodation in Maddalena
Mid range accommodation in Maddalena
Family Friendly accommodation in Maddalena
San Vincenzo – Best Neighbourhood in Genoa for Shopping
San Vincenzo is Genoa’s commercial district to the southeast of Molo. It stretches from Piazza De Ferrari and Teatro Carlo Felice all the way along Via XX Settembre to the Genova Brignole train station. This is the best place to stay if you like shopping, amenities, and the finer things when you travel.
It cannot be emphasized enough that Via XX Settembre is a super long shopping street packed with independent boutiques, designer stores and popular European high street shops too. If there is something you want to buy, you will find it in Via XX Settembre!
There are lots of bakeries and upmarket restaurants in this neighbourhood as well as the Spianata dell’Acquasola park and the supposed birthplace of Christopher Columbus.
For most neighbourhoods in Genoa, as long as you don’t have any health or accessibility issues, then you can walk around quite easily.
Genoa does have a bus system but it’s unreliable and difficult to navigate for tourists. And there is a skeleton metro system that runs along the harbour and to some of the main stations in the area but it’s not extensive.
However, it’s easy to travel from the Brignole metro station in San Vincenzo to neighbourhoods like Piazza Principe which are a little far further away. So you don’t have to worry about getting around from here! Plus, there are lots of hotels in historic buildings to suit a range of budgets.
Best places to stay in San Vincenzo
Budget accommodation in San Vincenzo
Albergo Locanda Alambra
Mid range accommodation in San Vincenzo
B&B Hotel Genova City Center
Hotel Genova Liberty
Hotel Bel Soggiorno
Family Friendly accommodation in San Vincenzo
Best Western Hotel Moderno Verdi
Granello Suite Central
Casa San Vincenzo, un nido nel cuore di Genova
AD Home centro
Affordable Luxury accommodation in San Vincenzo
Castelletto – Where To Stay in Genoa for Couples
The sprawling neighbourhood that comprises the hills on the outskirts of Genoa city centre is Castelletto.
This neighbourhood is accessible by taxi or the funiculars that climb the hills like Funicolare Zecca-Righi. It’s a much quieter, picturesque part of the city so it’s perfect for couples and tourists on their second or third visit to Genoa.
Just some of the cool historic landmarks in Castelletto are Castello Bruzzo and D’Albertis Castle, which give the neighbourhood its name.
There are fewer accommodation options in this neighbourhood but most of them are mid-range B&Bs which are perfect for older travellers or those seeking a comfortable trip with their partner without emptying their bank balance.
Best places to stay in Castelletto
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Castelletto
Victoria House Hostel
Budget accommodation in Castelletto
Leone X Genova Affittacamere
Mid range accommodation in Castelletto
Genova46 Suites & Rooms
A Home in Genova Rooms & Suites
Homes in Genoa
Family Friendly accommodation in Castelletto
Il Giardino dei Limoni Room & Apartments
CasaViva-Modern Elegant Trilo in Genova Castelletto
ALTIDO Lovely Flat for 4 near Piazza Corvetto Genoa
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Castelletto
NH Genova Centro
Boccadasse – Best Area in Genoa for the Italian Riviera
Genoa is a sprawling metropolitan area. If you’re itching to stay somewhere outside of the city then you might consider one of the many colourful fishing villages close by.
Boccadasse is one of the closest villages to Genoa and is ideal to give you a taste of the Italian Riviera while still having all the top landmarks and Genoa restaurants within a short distance.
Boccadasse is only around 5 km south of Genoa. This isn’t so far that you couldn’t hire a taxi to drive you in and out of the city and it’s perfect if you are hiring a car for an Italian Riviera road trip. Note that it doesn’t have a train station and the closest one is Genova Sturla.
This little former fishing village has a charming little seafront with gelaterias, restaurants, and hotels in historic buildings. Visiting Boccadasse always tops the ‘things to do in Genoa’ lists so lots of people visit during the day but leave it peaceful at night.
Best places to stay in Boccadasse
Budget accommodation in Boccadasse
Hotel La Capannina
Le Stanze di Boccadasse
Appartamento con giardino a Boccadasse
Mid range accommodation in Boccadasse
Rex Hotel Residence
Casa delle Sirene a Boccadasse
Family Friendly accommodation in Boccadasse
IL RIFUGIO SUL MARE – GenovaInRelax
A&B Affittacamere a Boccadasse
Casa sulla spiaggia di Boccadasse
Nervi – Where To Stay near Genoa for Foodies
Around 7 km further south down the coast from Boccadasse is the small town of Nervi, which is still very much within the metropolitan area of Genoa.
This is another colourful fishing village but it’s much bigger than Boccadasse and therefore has more amenities, restaurants, and bars. There are lots of fantastic seafood and traditional Ligurian restaurants in Nervi so it’s a fantastic place to stay if you are a foodie.
And you might think that Nervi is too far away from Genoa’s city centre but the great thing about Nervi is that it has a train station.
So, a 20-minute car ride or train journey and you are in Genoa! Nervi is a little more expensive than Boccadasse and some neighbourhoods in Genoa but it’s worth it to stay in such a beautiful seaside town.
Best places to stay in Nervi
Budget accommodation in Nervi
Hotel Villa Bonera
Mid range accommodation in Nervi
Locanda Villa Moderna
Family Friendly accommodation in Nervi
(Gem flat) in NERVI * Free Parking
Bogliasco – Best Neighbourhood for Beach Lovers
Despite both Boccadasse and Nervi being fishing villages, the beaches they have are small and can get crowded. If you want the best of both worlds (a city break in Genoa and a beach vacation) then you should stay a little further south down the coast in Bogliasco.
Again, there is a train station here so you can be in Genoa in 20 minutes. And these coastal, regional trains leave every 30 minutes!
Bogliasco has calm waters that both tourists and locals love to swim in as well as long, popular beaches like Spiaggia Libera and Maa Beach.
Sure, they might not have the soft white sand that you find in the French Riviera but they certainly do the job! Most of the hotels in Bogliasco are family-run, cosy guesthouses.
Best places to stay in Bogliasco
Budget accommodation in Bogliasco
Il giardino di Peo
Mid range accommodation in Bogliasco
JOY BAMBOO, Downtown, a Stone’s Throw from the Sea
Casa Anna by Holiday World
Family Friendly accommodation in Bogliasco
Precious terrace in Bogliasco by Wonderful Italy
Casa Barbara by Holiday World
Un minuto dal mare
Ca’ del mare
Sestri Ponente – Where To Stay Near Genoa City Airport
Genoa City Airport is only a few km north of the city; it’s much closer to the city centre than many other big city airports!
If you have an early flight or a late arrival and want to know where to stay in Genoa that is convenient and easy to reach, stay in the Sestri Ponente neighbourhood.
There are lots of chain hotels here so you won’t struggle to find a cheap and comfortable place to lay your head.
There are lots of restaurants in this neighbourhood, plus there’s a train station so you will be able to travel in and out of the city centre quickly.
Best places to stay in Sestri Ponente
Budget accommodation in Sestri Ponente
La Turandot Genoa
Benny! Appartamento ad uso ESCLUSIVO con balcone!
Mid range accommodation in Sestri Ponente
Best Western Premier CHC Airport
Ostello Le Ville di Cornigliano
Barca americana old style refittata (Boat hotel)
Dream To Fly
Family Friendly accommodation in Sestri Ponente
Tower Genova Airport – Hotel & Conference Center
Airport House Alexander
Appealing Apartment in Genoa with Sauna
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Sestri Ponente
Marina Place Resort
Marina di Sestri Wonderful Penthouse
Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Genoa
Is Genoa safe? Absolutely! Though it’s a lively spot, there are fewer international tourists in this city than there are in other popular Italian cities like Florence and Rome. Logically, there are fewer pickpockets and crime targets against tourists. You should still use your common sense, though!
Some of the neighbourhoods you should avoid staying in during your time in Genoa are because they are too far away from the city centre or too residential with no direct public transport links or few amenities.
One of those is Sampierdrena – it’s just too far away. Marassi, near the stadium, in particular, is perhaps a neighbourhood you should avoid because drug-related incidents are common. But you’d have to be exceptionally lost to stumble across these neighbourhoods by accident!
FAQs for Where to stay in Genoa
What is the best part of Genoa?
Genoa’s Old Town, also known as Centro Storico, is the ideal place to stay because it holds the majority of the city’s tourist attractions as well as the best dining and shopping options.
Is Genoa a nice place to stay?
One of Liguria’s most picturesque tourist destinations is Genoa. Genoa is packed full of architectural gems, including grand palaces, stunning churches, and remarkable baroque structures. Making it a pretty awesome place to visit and stay!
How many days in Genoa is enough?
3 days in Genoa will be ideal if this is your first visit and you want to see the rest of Liguria. Although you can remain in Genoa for 5-7 days if you want to utilize it as a base to go on day trips and explore more palaces and museums and sights within Liguria.