Ever have that one friend you rarely see, but when you do, it feels like no time has passed? Luckily, I have that friend too. Both of us living the nomad lifestyle, meeting up can be a challenge. However, in June, our stars aligned, and we decided to pick a convenient city in Europe to spend some quality time together. Italy was an easy choice, with its accessibility and, let’s be honest, the allure of food and wine.
Genoa, Italy ended up being our surprise destination. It turned out to be a great pick for our girls weekend getaway, offering everything we needed and more. So, here I am, excited to share our short Genoa experience with you.
Where is Genoa, Italy
Situated on the northwest coast of Italy, Genoa boasts a prime location that makes it easily reachable from major European cities. Whether you prefer air travel or exploring by bus or train, reaching Genoa for your girls weekend getaway is a breeze.
The city is well-connected by air, with its international airport offering multiple flights and direct connections. I hopped on a plane from Brussels and found myself in Genoa in no time. Buses and shuttles operate from the airport to the city center; I paid around 6 euros. My friend joined me by taking a Flixbus from France, with the bus stop conveniently located next to a metro station in the city center.
Genoa’s reputation as a traditional port city and commercial hub may not initially position it as the typical choice for a girls weekend getaway. Often overshadowed by its more glamorous counterparts like Rome, Florence, or Venice, Genoa offers an alternative experience that pleasantly surprised us. It’s precisely this under-the-radar status that adds an element of intrigue to the city.
What to Do in Genoa, Italy
Before I arrived in Genoa, I had zero expectations. It’s not like those typical party destinations such as Ibiza or Barcelona, where you already have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Here, all we wanted was some fantastic Italian food and wine, and we would have been happy no matter what for this girls weekend getaway.
On our first day, we arrived into town in the afternoon and checked into this simple yet handy apartment that I can totally recommend: the Blue Sea Apartment, Piazza Lavagna Genova. It’s perfectly situated and equipped with everything you need.
Our three-day adventure mainly revolved around strolling around, eating delicious food, and sipping drinks at cool spots. So, I thought I’d give you some insider tips here for a chill girls weekend getaway.
Let’s kick things off with this awesome spot where we went for some evening snacks and drinks. In French, we call it “apéro”—that magical time before dinner when you sip on a few drinks and munch on yummy snacks. Apéros aren’t just for early evenings; they can turn into a full-blown dinner party ! It’s my favorite time of the day, hands down.
Anyway, this place not only boasts stunning decor but also serves up delicious food—don’t miss their must-try shared platter! Warning: their generous portions might leave you stuffed.
It’s a perfectly preserved fishing village that is absolutely adorable. It gave us a taste of Cinque Terre vibes, and it’s worth every minute of your time. Take a stroll through its charming streets, grab some delicious lunch, or simply bask in the sun in an authentic Italian-style setting. Now, if you’re not up for a long walk since it’s a bit further away, no worries! Just catch a bus to reach this gem.
It’s a girls’ weekend getaway, which means shopping is a must. Don’t worry, Genoa has got you covered. There are plenty of shops to explore, including designer shops and international brands.
Go check out Via XX Settembre; it stretches from Piazza De Ferrari to Piazza Corvetto, covering a significant portion of Genoa’s historical center. You’ll find everything from stylish clothing and accessories to shoes, home decor, and unique gifts.
Beach Bliss at the Bagni
If the sun is out and you’re craving a chill day by the sea, then look no further than the bagni in Genoa. The bagni refer to seaside establishments or beach clubs that cater to all your seaside needs. Imagine lounging on comfy sunbeds, sheltered under colorful umbrellas, with access to changing rooms, showers, and even bars and restaurants. For example, Bagni Lido is one of the oldest and most famous bagni in Genoa.
Focaccia and Food Frenzy
The focaccia treat was born right here in Genoa and demands your attention. Imagine a golden-brown, fluffy bread, drenched in fragrant olive oil, sprinkled with herbs, and perhaps adorned with cherry tomatoes or olives. You’ll find plenty of local bakeries and street vendors offering various versions of this Genoese masterpiece. Whether you prefer the classic plain focaccia or the ones infused with ingredients like rosemary, onions, cheese, or pesto, I promise every bite will leave you craving for more.
And there’s more! As we dig into Genoa’s amazing food, let me share two more absolute must-eats:
Pesto Genovese: Oh happy days, Genoa is also where the world-famous pesto sauce was born – are we still thinking Genoa is not cool? It’s made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. This green sauce is traditionally served with trofie pasta. If you haven’t tasted it yet, dios mío, don’t wait any longer.
Fritto Misto di Mare: Being a coastal city, Genoa offers this delicious mix of lightly fried seafood, such as shrimp, calamari, anchovies, and small fish. Perfect for seafood enthusiasts.
During the rest of your weekend, wander around and discover all the charming spots: Palazzo Ducale, Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Via Garibaldi, Piazza De Ferrari, and much more. Fun fact: did you know that Genoa is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus?
To me, Genoa isn’t just about checking off a list; it’s about embracing the relaxed vibes. So, if you feel like taking a lazy afternoon to chill, there’s no guilt involved.
A helpful tip: The metro is super convenient and well-connected, making it easy to get around. Plus, it’s free between 10 a.m and 4 p.m and between 8 p.m and 10 p.m. So, take advantage of it!
Final Thoughts on Genoa for a Girls Weekend Getaway
In sharing this article, I also wanted to remind you how important it is to spend time with your friends and family. Even if you can’t see them all the time, make those moments count. These three little days made both of us so happy. We didn’t do anything fancy, just had a blast doing our thing and exploring a cool new place.
If you’re all about amazing food and drinks in a cute, walkable city, Genoa is a great choice for your girls weekend getaway. And if you’re up for more excitement and exploration, you can easily hop over to nearby Cinque Terre (check out my article here on how to explore Cinque Terre by ferry) or catch a train or bus to other awesome cities like Pisa, Milan, or Florence in Tuscany. Personally, I headed to Milan next, and the train ride was cheap, crazy fast, and a breeze.