The first time I went to Genoa I was’n particularly impressed by this city, maybe I was too young or shallow, I do not know. But Genoa hadn’t entered in my soul. A different story however was when I visited Genoa some years after: The second time I was literally conquered by the city, between narrow alleys and drying laundry, with that a little ‘Eastern fascinates me always when the meeting around the world. The second time I appreciated the city because there are many things to do in Genoa for all the family!
So today with a cool head and calm heart I thought I’d share with you some ideas about things to do in Genoa with kids, because the city is really nice to visit with all the family. Here they are…
What to do in Genoa City
We start from the city center, because seeing Genoa means to walk in its narrow alleys, look up and see the blue sky that rises from the buildings, along with clothes hanging and shrines. If, however, aside from walking aimlessly you want some ideas useful to stop here are my “must”:
- The street named “Strada Nuova” and the Rolli Palaces: The “Strada Nuova” street is actually “Via Garibaldi” and it’s a street dotted with many beautiful buildings. It could not be otherwise because this road was built in the sixteenth century to become the home of the richest families in the city. Since 2006, UNESCO declared this street and its buildings in the list of World Heritage Sites.
- The churches of Genoa: There are many churches to see in Genoa but I advise you not to miss the Cathedral and the “Chiesa di San Pietro in Banchi” ( the Church of Saint Peter in Banks). The history of the Church of St. Peter is very special because in there you will find shops: the ancient citizens of Genoa built first the shops, then with the money earned, they built the church!
- The Historical Shops of Genoa: If you love small shops where to buy something special you can not stop at these ancient shops of Genoa. The Historical Shops are certainly one of the things to do in Genoa, between what I think are worth a visit and there is a barber since 1910 still working, the Druggist Torrielli and the Confectionery Romanengo.
What to see in Genoa with kids
There are many things to do in Genoa with kids! In fact in addition to the beautiful old town there are many interesting activities for the little ones, here’s a few here:
- Galata Museum: The “Galata Museo del Mare” of Genoa is dedicated to the sea. Visit this Sea Museum means diving in the history of the sea in all its forms. The routes are many and are organized exhibitions, really interesting is the Storm Room in which children can experience the emotion of the stormy sea (not suitable, however, for me to small children!) and the path of Migrants (for children grown-ups). Remember that you can also visit the submarine “Nazario Sauro”.
- Whale Watching: Did you know that just in the mirror of the sea in front of Genoa you may spot dolphins and even whales? A thrilling experience!
- Genoa Aquarium: Among the things to see in Genoa with kids you can miss the Aquarium. In fact this is one of the attractions of the city. In addition to the free tour you can participate in guided tours including the “behind the scenes” for children. We’ve done it and it was very interesting!
- “La Città dei Ragazzi”: This museum for kids – literally “City of Boys” is in our list but unfortunately we have not had time to visit it. Everyone here in Italy speaks well about thi museum, with the walls to be built and trials.
- Dialogue in the Dark: More than just an attraction for children in my opinion this is a path of growth for all. It is an activity organized by the National Association of the Blind. I’ve been in Milan, it is a path I think everything beautiful in the dark, inside you lose every point of reference and you understand what it means to be blind. But be careful because in my opinion it is not suitable for children too small even if it is a very instructive.
- The sea: Genoa is a seaside town, lest we forget, then a trip to the beach especially in the summer is all there. Note that if you want to find many seaside resorts already in town or you can get away for half an hour and get to Nervi. There is a nice park where to play, a beautiful promenade along the sea in very scenic and some small beaches. I would say that among the things to do in Genoa on the sea there is, shall we?
- The “Bigo” Elevator: At the Old Port of Genoa, just off the famous Aquarium there is this panoramic elevator where you can climb to admire the city and the harbor from the top.
Hotels in Genoa with children
There are many hotels in Genoa: the last time we stayed at the Hotel No Logo. This hotel is located not far from the center and from the harbour (you get to walk with about 15 minutes walk) and then from the Aquarium and the Museum of the Sea, that are two of the things to do in Genoa with children.
The rooms are spacious, recently renovated and themed “music” and also have six-bed rooms for families. There is also a private parking available for the customers of the hotel just on the corner, that is very useful because there are no many parking in Genoa. The only flaw in my opinion is the breakfast which is served with a kind of “self service” for which, however, you have to queue at certain times and the wait can be long, but do not hold, under the hotel is a bar! 🙂
Genoa Restaurants: Where to eat in Genoa and what to taste
Among the things to do in Genoa there is the pleasure of good cuisine! 🙂 Keep in mind that the cuisine of Genoa is historically a kitchen of “heart”: some traditional dishes of Genoa are pasta with pesto souce, the “fritto misto alla Genovese” and the Easter cake.
As for the restaurants instead one thing to remember is that Genoa is a city wedged between the mountains and the sea so the spaces are critical, even in restaurants. The most family restaurant where we went is I Tre Merli, which also has tables outside, changing table, high chairs and a playground right next door. It is located in front of the Bigo Elevator, not far from the aquarium of Genoa.
Where is Genoa and how to get Genoa city
Genoa is in the north west part of Italy, close to the sea, in Ligury Region. Here if you want there are some tips about other things to see in Ligury Region.
The last time we were in Genoa we get the city by car but convenient option that I have used in the past is by train, since Genoa is well connected with Milan. In the city are few parking – hard to find and pay – but there is the subway and buses which will get you everywhere. The center is quite collected and then turns a great time walking in summer because the tall buildings create a pleasant shade even during the hottest hours.
Here, I summarized a bit ‘of information that I hope will be useful and ideas on things to do in Genoa. The city for me was really a (re) discovery might like it too so I hope you and your children!