Lotte and I have been to Genoa together for 4 days and 3 nights; leaving Friday afternoon and returning Monday morning. I didn’t know this city yet and I was very pleasantly surprised. The climate is sunny as can be, the historic city center is impressive, the old harbor is cozy, the food is delicious and there is tons to do for kids. For that reason I made you a list of ‘must do’ highlights in Genoa with kids!
10x must do, highlights in Genoa with kids
I think this is the most well-known sight in Genoa too. We went on a backstage tour here where you get to see what goes on “behind the scenes”. The aquariums with the sharks, seals and manatees were Lotte’s favorite. But she was most enthusiastic about the “design your own fish” interactive game. On a touch screen you get to assemble your very own fish, its shape, color, pattern and everything. When you press “ready” the fish appears in front of you in a large digital aquarium on the wall.
Childs: 18€ (up to three years free of charge
2# Parchi di Nervi
The train takes you to Nervi from Genoa in 15 minutes. When you get off the train you’re almost directly standing in the sea. A path stretches along the shore with amazing views, museums and parks. The park “Parchi di Nervi” not only has stunning flowers, plants and views, but also a very well kept playground! Lotte had a great time playing here while I sat on a bench in the shadow and observed.
Costs: free of charge
3# Museum Villa Grimaldi
Near the park you will find this museum. Aside from the beautiful art collection they have a photography workshop for kids which was a lot of fun. Lotte got to make and develop pictures the old way with the use of sunlight and different developing fluids. The result was terrific!
Costs: free of charge
4# Rock Pools , Bagni Medusa
On the shore of Nervi, at walking distance from the park and the museum, you will find this restaurant. Aside from tasting wonderful food you can take a refreshing dip in the sea and relax afterwards on the beach recliners. You can walk directly into the sea from the restaurant or get into the “rock pool”. A natural bath with salt water in the rocks and shallow parts for kids too. After a day of walking in the hot sun, this was Lotte’s favorite ac
Adults: no charge if you eat at the restaurant
Kids: no charge if you eat at the restaurant
In the old harbor of Genoa there are lots of sailboats to go on a sailing trip. Our sailing trip is organized by the Galata Museo del Mare (museum of the sea). We made a sailing trip of 1:30hrs with 4 other people. The sailboat offers a beautiful view of Genoa once you leave the harbor and when you’re on the open sea you can go for a refreshing swim. Lotte got to take place behind the stir like a real captain.
Costs: inform at Galata Museo del Mare
Roughly translated this means as much as “museum of the sea”. It’s located in the harbor area of Genoa. The museum tells you all about shipping in the old days and you can take a really cool VR (virtual reality) experience and visit a submarine too. The submarine was Lotte’s favorite and lies in front of the museum in the water. It’s the only submarine in Italy that you can visit in the water by the way. It was used by the Italian navy until the year 2000. It’s really something special to experience what it was like for sailors aboard the submarine where they had so little space and privacy.
The museum itself is rather large and you can choose to go on an audio or guided tour. Depending on your pace it will take you 2 to 4 hours. I believe this is surely worth your time when you’re in search of educational highlights in Genoa with kids.
Kids: 12€ (up to three years free of charge)
7# Jumping paradise
In the old harbor you’ll find a fenced, open air playground with multiple jumping cushions. They have all kinds, from cushions with enormous slides to the more smaller types. Of course Lotte had to go jumping around for a bit.
You pay for each 15 minutes and say how long you want when you enter. At just a 2 minute walk, on the other side of the road, there is a McDonalds so Lotte could lose her recently acquired chicken nugget calories quickly.
Adults: free of charge
Kids: 3€ for 15 minutes
8# Spotting Whales
From the old harbor of Genoa you can take expeditions to Cetacean Sanctuary to spot whales. In this protected piece of sea you can spot dolphins too, aside from whales. On board they have a sea-biologist that can tell you all there is to know about these animals but also about the specific surroundings.
Kids: 18€ (kids up to 4 years of age free of charge)
9# Old harbor
Aside from the fact that this area has a beautiful history, you can find lots of sights that are a lot of fun, as you read above. Even if you decide not to participate in any specific kind of activity this is just a lovely place to hang out: walk past the market stands, take a seat on a terrace or on a bench and enjoy the boats, enjoy an Italian lunch or let the kids blow off some steam in the playground.
Costs: free of charge
10# Treasure Hunt through the city
Would you like to discover the historic city of Genoa in a special way? Choose the “treasure hunt”. Armed with a GPS and all kinds of riddles you will discover the best spots of the old city center. And the person that solves all the riddles is in for a reward of course. Would you like to take this tour? Visit IAT Tourist Office in Via Garibaldi or Piazza Caricamento.
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