Cinque Terre was a huge travel bucket list destination for me, and to be able to experience it in real life was beyond incredible. Today I’m sharing my Cinque Terre travel guide with where to eat, where to stay, what to do, and more!
THINGS TO DO IN CINQUE TERRE, ITALY
Monterosso Al Mare: Where To Eat
- Da Eraldo: We ate here on our first night in Cinque Terre. It has great reviews on TripAdvisor and was close to our Airbnb. I made the mistake of not ordering pasta (I had the swordfish), and didn’t love my meal, but Haley got the bolognese and she said it was one of the best she’s ever had!
- Torre Aurora: This lovely restaurant is nestled at the top of a cliff, with sweeping views over the sea and the coast line of Monterosso. It’s a bit on the pricier side, but the food was delicious. They even brought out a champagne welcome drink! I highly recommend the truffle salad and the ricotta dessert. I recommend making a reservation, especially if you want a table right by the sea!
- Ristorante L’Ancora Della Tortuga: I had heard great things about this restaurant, but we didn’t have time to eat here on our trip. It has beautiful views of the sea and the menu boats plenty of fresh fish!
Monterosso Al Mare: What To Do
- Rent a beach chair for the day! One of my favorite days of the entire 2 week trip to Italy was the day we rented chairs at Bagno Eden beach club. Not only is it absolutely stunning (there’s a famous Gray Malin print of this beach), but it was so relaxing and fun. We swam in the sea, drank Aperol Spritz, and soaked up what were some of the last bits of summer. I don’t remember the exact price of the beach chairs, but I do remember being pleasantly surprised with how cheap they were compared to other European beach clubs. I want to say we paid about 50 Euro for 3 chairs and 2 umbrellas.
Manarola: Were to Eat
- Nessun Dorma: This might be the most well known restaurant in Cinque Terre thanks to Instagram. The views from this place overlook all of Manarola, and it’s absolutely stunning. The food and cocktails were also amazing!! I highly recommend trying one of their many bruschetta options, it was the best bruschetta I’ve ever had. You may have to wait for around 5-20 minutes to be seated, but the line moves quickly and it’s worth the wait.
Riomaggiore: Where To Eat
- La Lampara: We came here for dinner on our last night in Cinque Terre and it was a great send off. I highly recommend the trofie pasta with pesto – it was amazing!!
- Panificio Rosi: This came highly recommended by our friend Victoria, but we didn’t have time to make it to this cute bakery. I hear the pesto focaccia is incredible!
- Rio Bistrot: Another reco from Victoria. She said this is the perfect spot for a date night or special occasion, as it’s a lovely high-end dining experience. The reviews on TripAdvisor are great, I hope to go next time I’m in Cinque Terre!
Corniglia: Where To Eat
- Alberto Gelateria: We didn’t make it to Corniglia on this trip, but we had friends who stopped at Alberto Gelateria as they had heard it’s some the best gelato in ALL of Italy! Apparently it did not disappoint, and the online reviews are also amazing. I definitely hope to have the chance to go back and try it for myself!
- We only stopped in Vernazza for about 30 minutes before heading on to the next town – it was incredibly crowded, and the town itself is quite small. If you’re goal is to see all 5 towns, then of course you should go, but you don’t need more than an hour here.
How To Get There:
Cinque Terre was the second leg of our trip, so we took the train down from Portofino. It was only about an hour ride, and was pretty seamless (minus the sight of the 3 of us lugging our gigantic suitcases up and down the stairs at the train stations lol). If your planning on flying into Cinque Terre, your nearest airport is Genoa. You can take the train into Cinque Terre from there, and it’s about a 75 minute ride.
Where To Stay:
There aren’t a lot of hotel options in the Cinque Terre region, and if you’re after a luxury resort they unfortunately don’t exist in the area. In my opinion, your best bet is Airbnb. You can find some really nice and affordable options in all 5 towns. I would recommend making Monterosso your home base. Mainly because it’s the largest of all the towns and has the best beach area. If you have any plans to hit the beach during your trip, Monterosso is hands down the best town for swimming! If you aren’t keen on the beach, then my second choice would be Riomaggiore. The views there were my favorite of the whole trip.
- There is a beautiful hike that you can take between all 5 towns of Cinque Terre. We didn’t have time to do this, but it comes highly recommended. Note that I’ve heard it can get difficult at times. So keep that in mind if traveling with children or elderly companions. Be sure to pack bug spray if you go!
- If you’re not up for the hike, you can also get around by train or ferry. We chose to take the ferry between each of the towns. Which was such a lovely way to view them from the water (and the breeze from the boat was also very much welcome – it was so hot in late August!!). Both the trains and ferries run regularly during the day and are not expensive.
- There are lots of stairs in Cinque Terre. So be prepared to have to carry your suitcases up a few flights at your accommodations!
- The Liguria region of Italy is the birthplace of pesto, so be sure to try a pesto pasta when you’re there (the same goes for Portofino)!
- While the summer is of course the most popular time to travel here; I would recommend going mid-May. Or anytime in September! The temps will be still be warm enough to enjoy the beach. Plus it will be much less crowded with tourists. If I’m being completely honest with you, I’ll never go back in August. It was too hot and too crowded – I would love to do a September Italy trip next year.
I hope you enjoyed this travel guide of things to do in Cinque Terre! As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with specific questions and I’d be happy to help.