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Genoa with children: the most fun activities

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Genoa is a wonderful city to visit with children.

Most people come to the city to visit the Aquarium and not everyone knows that there are plenty of other activities suitable for the little ones.

And we, living in Genoa and having two little girls, have obviously tested everything and can tell you about it.

In this article, therefore, you will find out what to do with children during a visit to Genoa.

You might also be interested in What to do with children in Genoa when it rains.

What to do in Genoa with children

Fun transport: lifts and funiculars

lift

You may wonder what fun transport is.

Well, you should know that several parts of Genoa are located on hills and the quickest way to get there is with a lift: lifts and funiculars.

These ‘fun transports’ are always very popular with children and the ones I am going to describe are also very scenic because they allow you to admire Genoa from above.

The best known is, without doubt, the Castelletto lift , which in just a few minutes connects Piazza Portello, in the centre of Genoa, to Spianata Castelletto, one of the city’s most famous belvederes.

Once at the top, in addition to admiring the fabulous panorama, you can pop into Don Paolo ‘s for a delicious granita with cream.

Also worth a trip is the Zecca-Righi funicular railway that connects Largo Zecca to the hillside district of Righi, at an altitude of 302 metres.

The time it takes to get to the terminus is about 20 minutes.

Once there, you can visit Righi’s astronomical observatory or take a trek to the Forts of Genoa.

At Righi, there is also a beautiful Adventure Park that offers trails for children of all ages.

You might be interested in Genoa: lifts, funiculars, rack, historic railways.

What to do in Genoa with children: La Città dei Bambini e dei Ragazzi

genoa with children

La Città dei Bambini e dei Ragazzi is the first Experience Museum dedicated to the 5 senses.

The 4 rooms (taste and smell, touch, sight, hearing) present interactive and very stimulating games for children.

In addition, there is the wonderful Building Room for children aged 3-5 years and the Splash Area, the room dedicated to 2-4 year olds .

The age group that La Città dei Bambini is aimed at is 0-12 years; we have been there and, in our opinion, the visit is recommended from 7 years of age.

For a fun day out indoors when it rains (as we did with little girls) it can also be fine from age 3.

Count at least a couple of hours for the visit.

▶ For more information on the City of Children and Young People, you can read this article.

Genoa with children: Galata Museo del Mare

genoa with children

The Galata Museo del Mare is one of the largest and most important maritime museums in the world.

We found it really interesting and never boring.

The visit allows you to understand the deep connection Genoa has with the sea through exhibits, historical documents, and interactive displays.

Tour is well-structured and also intrigues children, who can climb onto reconstructed ships and experience first-hand what it is like to be a sailor.

The interactive approach with the exhibits certainly helps to keep the children’s attention and stimulate their interest, so we definitely recommend a visit if you come to Genoa with children!

▶ For more information on visiting the Galata Museo del Mare, you can read this article.

Aquarium of Genoa

aquarium

The Aquarium of Genoa is one of the largest aquariums in Europe: it currently has 70 tanks housing around 10,000 animals of 200 different species.

Needless to say, children will have a great time observing the penguins playing and jumping in the water, dolphins, sharks, jellyfish, stingrays (which get petted!) and all the other sea creatures present.

For the visit, count at least a couple of hours.

Once inside, however, there is no maximum visit time, so you can stay as long as you like.

There are two refreshment areas inside the Aquarium, but if you have time, we recommend eating in one of the many typical trattorias in the old town.

▶ For more information on visiting the Aquarium of Genoa, you can read this article.

What to do in Genoa with children: Galeone Neptune

genoa with children

Also in the Porto Antico area of Genoa is the Galeone Neptune, designed and built in 1986 for the film ‘Pirates’ directed by Roman Polanski.

Despite being built for the filming of a movie, the engine is fully functional and could sail the galleon at a speed of 3 knots!

The Neptune Galleon is 63 metres long and children and adults alike can climb aboard and have a look around.

The visit takes about 15 minutes and costs 6 euros/adult, 4 euros/child.

Tickets are bought directly from the Galleon (arrive with some cash as the pos is often broken).

▶ To find out about all the attractions in Genoa’s Porto Antico, you can read this article.

What to see in Genoa with children: Giacomo Doria Natural History Museum

giacomo doria

The Museo di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria is the oldest museum in the city of Genoa.

It exhibits 6,000 plant, animal, and mineral exhibits from all over the world.

Many stuffed animals can be seen: from savannah lions to Australian kangaroos to polar bears from Antarctica.

Inside the museum, there is also a section on minerals and one on insects.

In addition, the Museum Education Association offers interesting workshops for children on Saturdays and Sundays.

▶ If you would like more information about the Natural History Museum, you can read this article.

Discovering the carruggi in the historic centre

carruggi

Walking through Genoa’s historic centre is a fascinating experience that both children and adults will enjoy.

The maze of alleys (carruggi in Genoese), the little churches, the historic shops, the colourful buildings attached to each other, represent a real gem.

Every corner of the historic centre tells a story.

Moreover, it is in the carruggi that you will find the most typical Genoese trattorias and fried-food shops.

During the day, don’t be afraid to venture into the historical centre, even with children in tow, because it is teeming with life thanks to the numerous shops and venues .

In the evening, perhaps prefer the wider, lit streets.

▶ You can read my itinerary in the historic centre with directions on where to eat by clicking here.

Genoa with children: Acquasola Park and Villetta Di Negro

After so much wandering around, you definitely deserve a rejuvenating break in the city’s largest park, Acquasola Park.

While you relax on the benches or have a coffee in the little café, the children can indulge themselves in the two beautiful play areas, which are differentiated by age.

Getting to Acquasola Park is easy: from Piazza de Ferrari, take Via Roma, the luxury shopping street, arriving in a few minutes in Piazza Corvetto.

Pass the historic Bar Mangini and continue uphill.

At the traffic lights, cross the street, a few more metres and you will have arrived.

piazza corvetto
Piazza Corvetto
genoa with children
Acquasola Park

Still above Piazza Corvetto but on the opposite side of the Acquasola, you will find Villetta Di Negro, another wonderful city park with a waterfall, several caves, and important botanical species.

Inside, you will also find the Edoardo Chiossone Museum of Oriental Art.

Moreover, at the top, there is a beautiful panorama of the city.

genoa with children
cave

The sea, games in Corso Italia and ice cream in Boccadasse

Let’s move a little further away from the city centre to get to the sea!

The Corso Italia promenade is perfect for stretching your legs and letting the kids ride their bikes.

There is also a children’splay area right at the start of the route and a nice park with inflatables a little further on.

corso italia
genoa with children

▶ If you would like more information about Corso Italia, you can read this article.

At the end of Corso Italia, you will find another little gem: the picturesque fishing village of Boccadasse.

Boccadasse is one of the most popular destinations for us Genoese, especially in fine weather when you can have an aperitif by the little beach or enjoy an ice cream on the rocks.

In the village you can also find elegant restaurants, focaccerie and fish fry shops.

Visiting boccadasse is definitely one of the things to do in Genoa!

boccadasse
genoa with children

▶ If you want more information about Boccadasse, you can read this article.

Genoa with children: the Nervi Parks

The Nervi Parks, with their meadows and centuries-old trees, are definitely worth a visit.

The park brings together what were once large gardens belonging to private villas.

Here you can lie on the lawns, play ball, have a picnic, and take the children to the large playground, which is really beautiful.

In spring, you can also admire the rose garden.

From the Nervi Parks, you can go down to the beautiful promenade by the sea, where there are restaurants and ice-cream parlours.

genoa with children
nervi

▶ If you want more information about the Nervi Parks, you can read this article.

Whale Watching at the Cetacean Sanctuary

Another great activity to do in Genoa with children is a boat trip to the Cetacean Sanctuary.

An expert marine biologist accompanies Genoese and tourists to discover the large mammals (dolphins, sperm whales, minke whales) swimming in the Ligurian Sea.

The tour lasts about 4 hours, and is suitable for adults and children.

The tour is proposed by the Golfo Paradiso and Liguria Via Mare companies.

Click on the banner to find out more.

Where to sleep in Genoa with children

The best areas to sleep in Genoa with children are definitely the Porto Antico area and the city centre, so you will be within walking distance of all the main attractions.

On the other hand, I do not recommend the carruggi (narrow streets ) of the old town centre because, not knowing them, you run the risk of perhaps taking a dark alley or getting lost in the maze of alleys, and at night it is not very suitable with children.

▶ To find out where to stay in Genoa, you can read this article in which I have grouped together the best hotels to stay in, even with children in tow.

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Continue reading:

1. The Paper Museum in Mele

2. The Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno

3. What to see in Genoa in a day

4. The Ligurian Riviera: Portofino

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