Traveling to Cinque Terre – My Best Tips

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Last updated: July 2, 2018

Want to travel to Cinque Terre in Italy? Then you probably wonder what to do, how to get around, where to eat and which hotels to stay as well as other things that might be good to know before and during your trip to Cinque Terre!

I’ve been to Cinque Terre, and I loved it. It’s a wonderful destination where you can go hiking, eat delicious food, and simply just enjoy the views and colorful old houses. We visited Cinque Terre while we did our 14-days road trip in Italy together with Momondo.

To make it easier for you who’re traveling to Cinque Terre, here are my best tips!

Quick links
SightseeingHow to get around
Recommnded restaurantsBest time of the year to visit Cinque Terre
Recommended HotelsCinque Terre card

The five villages of Cinque Terre

The name “Cinque Terre” can literally be translated as the five lands. Since 1997 all of the villages are a part of the Unesco Heritage list. The five historical villages (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola och Riomaggiore) are nowadays also one of the world’s most visited places in Europe.

Below you can read about by the villages in Cinque Terre, one by one.

Monterosso al Mare

The northernmost village, and the place where you arrive when taking the train from Genoa and Milan. Monterosso is divided into two parts, one newer part where you can find the train station, and one older part where locals still are living.

The old part is located on the way towards Vernazza. Here you’ll find a good range of restaurants and small cozy alleys. It is also in Monterosso where you will find the largest beach in Cinque Terre.

monterosso al mare cinque terre monterosso al mare

Vernazza

The first stop after Monterosso is Vernazza, which is one of the famous postcard places in Cinque Terre. It’s easy to get here by train or just by walking along the hiking path between Monterosso and Vernazza, or from the other end from Corniglia to Vernazza.

Don’t miss: The view over Vernazza when walking towards Monterosso.

Vernazza cinque terre

Corniglia

Personally, I didn’t like this village that much. The most fun part was to walk up the stairs and then seeing the church. But there are some nice spots here too and some cozy restaurants. If you have time, you should of course still come here since it’s a part of the five villages.

Don’t miss: The beautiful church in Corniglia.

corniglia italy corniglia

Manarola

According to me the most picturesque village in Cinque Terre. Manarola feels genuine, especially while walking around early in the morning and meeting the locals. It’s a bliss to stroll around here, and if you like to photograph, you’ll love Manarola!

Don’t miss: Lunch with a view at Nessun Dorma.

nessun dorma manarola

cinque terre sightseeing

Riomaggiore

Another photogenic village along the Riviera, and the southernmost village of the five that makes up Cinque Terre. From here you’ll find some of the most famous postcard spots, just as Manarola and Vernazza.

When it comes to atmosphere, Riomaggiore is my favorite. It feels nice, genuine, and it’s not crazy expensive. Riomaggiore has something for everything.

Don’t miss: Walk of love and the view from down the water.

riomaggiore

riomaggiore italy

Do you have to visit all five villages?

Well, you can get a great experience in Cinque Terre without visiting all villages, so if you have time for it, why not. Everyone has their own favorite of course, but for me, I would recommend Riomaggiore, Vernazza, and Manarola if you have limited time.

Monterosso was a personal favorite of mine, but I know others who don’t find it that interesting. For me though, I liked the big beach, the relaxing atmosphere and mostly the cozy alleys and all restaurants. It felt like a more local experience than the other villages.

Accommodation and Hotels in Cinque Terre

Despite the pretty small area of the villages, there are quite a few bed and breakfasts, apartments and hotels to choose from in Cinque Terre. They come in all budget ranges, and you can choose both simple standard or luxury.

I recommend you to stay in Riomaggiore, Vernazza or Monterosso. These villages are lively and have a good range of hotels. Riomaggiore is the most popular place to stay, but if you book ahead there is a good selection. The same goes for Vernazza and Monterosso, whereas Monterosso is the most budget-friendly place to stay.

I recommend these hotels in Cinque Terre

Airbnb

If you prefer staying in apartments, there are lots of Airbnb apartments in Cinque Terre.
If you register via this link, you will get 31 Euro in a discount on your first booking.

How to get to Cinque Terre

There is no airport in Cinque Terre. The closest airport is either in Pisa, Genoa or Milan with international flights. From there it’s easy to take the train or rent a car.

Det finns ingen flygplats i Cinque Terre. Närmaste flygplats är antingen Pisa, Genoa eller Milano med internationella flighter. Därifrån kan du med enkelhet åka tåg eller hyra bil.

Here are the cheapest flight tickets

Train from Genoa and Milan

There are several direct trains every day from Milan and Genoa with stops in Monterosso and La Spezia.

Train from Spezia, Pisa, Florence, and Rome

From La Spezia, you can hop on the Cinque Terre train that goes between Levanto and La Specia, with a stop in each village. In addition to that, there are also regional trains that go by frequently. Pisa and Florence got trains to Monterosso a few times a day, but you can also change trains in La Spezia.

If you come here by train from Rome to Cinque Terre, it’s best to transfer at the station in La Spezia.

You can buy train tickets at www.trenitalia.com

cinque terre tåg

How to get around in Cinque Terre

It’s easy getting around the five villages, and what means of transportation one chooses to use depend on health, time, and personal preference. You can use train, shuttle buses or walk.

You could also drive between the villages, but it’s not recommended since parking space can be hard to find.

Train

To go by train is convenient, but also the most expensive way to get around Cinque Terre. One single ticket costs 4 Euro, no matter how many stations you go. If you’re planning to get around by train, you can buy a train card with unlimited rides, but to make it worthwhile, you need to hop on the train at least 4 times a day.

Taking the train goes quickly since the distances are short. They depart frequently, and it’s only the train station in Corniglia that’s a challenge to get to since there are some steps you need to walk first. When taking the train to the other villages, you will hop off pretty much in the center.

Shuttle bus

A newer alternative to get around the villages is the minibusses driving certain routes. They drop off passengers and pick up new ones. If you buy the Cinque Terre card, you can use these for free, otherwise, they cost 2.50 Euro per ride.

Bus Routes:

  • Riomaggiore – Monesteroli – Biassa – Telegrafo
  • Manarola – Groppo – Cantina – Volastra
  • Corniglia Stazione (tågstationen) – Corniglia paese (centrum)
  • Vernazza – Sant. Reggio – Drignana – Fornacchi – S. Bernardino – Murro – Vernazzola
  • Monterosso – Santuario di Soviore

Hiking in Cinque Terre

The beautiful scenery and historical hiking paths attract visitors from all over the world. Some of the walking trails are more demanding than others, but along the coast, they’re pretty easy as long as you got good health.

For those looking for a challenging walking trail to hike, there are several alternative walking trails in Cinque Terre.

Recommended restaurants

  • Nessun Dorma (Manarola)
  • Gastronomia San Marino (Monterosso)
  • L’osteria (Monterosso)
  • Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre (Vernazza)
  • Mamma Mia (Snabbmat i Riomaggiore)
  • Pizzeria La Cambusa (Manarola)

Tourist attractions and things to do in Cinque Terre

  • Borgo Antico (Monterosso)
  • Chiesa di Lorenzo (Manarola)
  • Castello di Goria (Vernazza)
  • Chiesa di San Pietro (Corniglia)
  • Via dell’Amore (Walk of Love between Manarola and Riomaggiore)
  • Volastra
  • Groppo

Things to do

  • Eat some gelato (ice cream)
  • Buy a cone with fried fish and seafood
  • Wine tasting
  • Photograph the colorful houses
  • Hike between the villages
  • Eat some delicious Italian food
  • Go up to the mountain villages Volastra and Groppo

Good to know before you’re traveling to Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre Card

This is included in the Cinque Terre card:
– All hiking paths
– Free use of the shuttle buses
– Free Wi-Fi

Price adults:
1 day Cinque Terre Card: € 7,50
2 days card € 14,50

Price (4 to 12 years):
1 day Cinque Terre Card: € 4,50
2 days card: € 7,20

Price family
1 day Cinque Terre Card family: € 19,60
2 days card: € 31,50

Barn 0 – 4 år: gratis

cinque terre card

Cinque Terre Card (Train)

The Cinque Terre card includes everything above plus unlimited trips with trains between Levanto and La Spezia.

Price for Adults:
1 day Cinque Terre Card: €16
2 days card: €29
3 days card: €41

Price for children (4 to 12 years)
1 day: €10

Price for family card:
1 day (2 adults with 2 kids 4-12 years: €42

Kids 0-4 years: Free

Other things to know

  • Can you drink the tap water? Answer: Yes, the tap water is safe to drink in Cinque Terre unless it says it’s not potable.
  • Do you need a travel adapter? Answer: If you’re from Europe, you don’t need an adapter. Otherwise, you might need a travel adapter.
  • Currency: Euro.
  • Language: Italian.
  • Offical Website: parconazionale5terre.it

Cinque Terre Map

Weather in Cinque Terre

The weather is pleasant year-round, but most visitors go here from April to October. The summer season has an average temperature of 25-30 degrees, and the winter has an average of around 10 degrees with some colder periods and days.

When is the best time to travel to Cinque Terre?

Spring is ideal for greenery and flowers. There are also fewer tourists before June, July, and August. If you don’t consider Easter, then the period from April to June is a great time to visit Cinque Terre.

However, the best period is probably in September and even early October since the climate and water temperature is warmer. It’s also during this period you harvest the grapes.

Average temperatures in Cinque Terre

Below you can see the average low and max temperature in Cinque Terre month by month as well as average rainfall.

MonthTemperature (min-max Celsius)Rainfall (mm)
January3-11 C.139
February4-12 C.98
March6-14 C.101
April8-17 C.102
May14-21 C.80
June15-25 C.53
July18-29 C.28
August18-29 C.57
September15-25 C.80
October11-21 C.149
November7-15 C.140
December4-12 C.120

Have you also been to Cinque Terre in Italy, or do you have more questions? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your experiences or question!

March 18th, 2018|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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