Genoa Airport – Aeroporto di Genova – lies just outside the port city of Genoa (Genova) in north-west Italy, in the region of Liguria. The airport is called Aeroporto Cristoforo Colombo, after local hero Christopher Colombus. It is a fairly small airport, but it has regular flights connecting it with the UK, operated by Ryanair and British Airways. At the time of writing, Ryanair are extending their involvement with the airport and operating internal Italian flights from Genoa. The airport’s IATA code is GOA, and its ICAO code is LIMJ.
Genoa airport is around four miles from the centre of Genoa, so transfer times are short, making the destination a good one for a short break. Its location is to the west of the city – see the foot of this page for a satellite image and map of the airport position. Take-off and landing are quite dramatic as the airport’s runway extends into the sea, parallel with the shore and protected by a breakwater. For scenic views of Genoa and the coast, your best bet is to sit on the right-hand side of the plane.
Flights to and from Genoa
Flights to and from Genoa Airport vary according to season and airline schedules, but at the time of writing British Airways operate one daily flight from London Gatwick to Genoa and back, while Ryanair run three flights a week. As Genoa isn’t a particularly high-profile holiday destination, you can sometimes find very cheap flights from the United Kingdom. Other flights from Genoa are mostly internal Italian flights, with frequent services to Rome and connections to other Italian destinations including Bari, Naples and Catania. Other destinations in Europe with direct flights to Genoa include Madrid, Munich and Paris. Up-to-date timetables can be found on the airport’s official website (see right-hand links panel).
There’s not a great deal to do at the airport, and the duty-free shop was small and uninspiring when I visited. There are small bars where you can buy food and drink, and a self-service food counter.
In the main hall of the airport there is a tourist information desk which is a good place to get organised on arrival. There are free maps and English-language booklets about Genoa, and you can ask for advice about transport and your onward journey.
Things to do in Genoa
Genoa is a good destination for a city break, with a range of things to do from art galleries to summer boat trips. The sixteenth and seventeenth-century palaces in Genoa’s ‘new town’ are listed by UNESCO, and three of them are open as art museums. Around town there are several other good museums including a large aquarium and other family attractions. There is easily enough to do in Genoa for a long weekend at any time of year, with shops, gardens, good restaurants and hip cafes, panoramic viewpoints and novel forms of public transport.
> Read my guide to Genoa
Genoa is a good starting-point for a tour either east or west along the Italian Riviera. Travelling west will bring you to Riviera resorts like Finale Ligure, Cervo, Alassio and Sanremo (approximately two hours by train) and, further on, to the French Riviera resorts.
Travelling south-east, down the coast of Italy, will take you past Genoa and along a string of old-fashioned and picturesque resorts and fishing villages: Camogli, Portofino and the Portofino headland, Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure (35 minutes by train) and on to the villages of the Cinque Terre (an hour and a half), which have become a hugely popular destination in the last few years. If you like the idea of making an odyssey down the coast, you could continue past Porto Venere and La Spezia into Tuscany, and fly home from Pisa, which is also served by budget flights from the UK. A direct train journey from Genoa to Pisa takes only two hours.
Thanks to a coastal railway line, these itineraries can be managed either by car or public transport. The airport has its own exit on the A10 autostrada. Trains in Italy have the advantage of being cheap, and travelling by train means you won’t have to worry about parking or driving restrictions, which are frequently problems in Italian towns and villages. To join Italy’s railway network, catch the airport bus (see below) to Genoa’s main railway station, Genova Piazza Principe, an important stop for trains travelling along the Riviera and to other Italian destinations.
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Travel and public transport
A regular bus, which takes around twenty minutes, connects Genoa airport with Stazione Piazza Principe, the city’s principal railway station (sometimes called Stazione Principe or Porta Principe). Currently this service, called Volabus, runs only once an hour, but it is nevertheless a cheap and easy way to head into Genoa. The latest timetables and prices can be found on the airport and AMT websites. At the time of writing, a ticket into Genoa costs 6, can be purchased from the driver or from ticket kiosks and news-stands, and is valid for an hour’s travel on Genoa’s public transport network. The Volabus terminus in Genoa is in Piazza Acquaverde, which is right outside the station. From here you can catch another bus onwards if necessary – the 35 is a useful service which heads past the central streets and stops in Piazza de Ferraris.
Taxis, of course, are also available for hire at the airport. The airport website carries a listing of official prices from the airport to each of Genoa’s two largest railway stations. I would suggest printing this off to show drivers if you are likely to use the service.
If you only want an overnight stay close to the airport, for a late or early flight, the Sheraton Genova Hotel is right by the airport, though otherwise not ideal for sightseeing.
On this site
Genoa hotels and B&Bs (Booking)
Aeroporto di Genova official website with latest timetables, arrivals and departures