Are you considering visiting the stunning Cinque Terre and don’t know where to stay? No matter if you are spending one night or more, I have gathered the absolute best places to stay in Cinque Terre: split by town and destination.
You’ll find traditional hotels, apartments set in historical buildings with a panoramic terrace, luxury hotels, and hidden gems.
I’ll also answer some of the other questions you might have about visiting the Cinque Terre and help you plan your ultimate vacation on the Ligurian coast.
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What and where is the Cinque Terre?
The Cinque Terre is a coastal area in Italy’s Liguria region, and one of the most picturesque places you could visit. As the name says it, the region is comprised of five villages, perched on the top of cliffs, overlooking the sea, in the middle of the Cinque Terre National Park.
Packed with beautiful views, hiking trails for all levels, rocky beaches, vineyards, olive groves, and colorful buildings, this is a dream for any travel lover.
How many days to spend in Cinque Terre?
Honestly, there’s no right answer to this question.
While we managed to see a lot in 3 days, I would have stayed longer and explored some of the fewer known spots in the Ligurian Coast.
That being said, you can also spend anywhere between 1 and 3 days and see all the 5 towns.
In my view, one week in the Cinque Terre would be the perfect amount of time, but if you include a visit on a longer Italy itinerary, 3 days in Cinque Terre would be best.
When’s the best time to visit the Cinque Terre?
As expected from such a charming area, the Cinque Terre is one of the most popular destinations in Italy, after the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, and Rome.
Consequently, visiting during the peak season would mean having to navigate the thousands of other tourists which also comes with an increase in accommodation prices.
Since the region has rather mild weather, anytime is a good time for a visit, but in my opinion, the best time would be somewhere between the beginning of March and the end of April, and the second part of September and the whole of October.
For us, the second part of April was just right, with perfect temperatures, affordable prices, and the towns being not so crowded.
How to get to Cinque Terre?
Since the villages are rather remote, flying to Cinque Terre won’t be possible, but you have the option of flying to a city nearby (such as Milan, Pisa, Florence, or Genoa) and taking the train.
The best way of traveling to Cinque Terre is by train because you will have easy connections no matter where you are coming from, with Pisa as the closest airport.
Another option would be to rent a car and make your way towards the National Park.
MILAN TO CINQUE TERRE BY TRAIN
That’s just a roughly 3h30-4h train ride from Milan Central Station to one of the 5 Ligurian cities. You will most probably need to change the train at least once (Genoa or Levanto), but most of the time the train comes at the same line so there won’t be any trouble with that.
GENOA TO CINQUE TERRE BY TRAIN
If like us, you have chosen to spend a night in Genoa, you will have plenty of options to get to Cinque Terre by train, having to spend only around 1h30 on the road.
FLORENCE TO CINQUE TERRE BY TRAIN
Depending on the connections it could take from 2h15 to 4h for this ride, and you could change the train once or even 3 times.
PISA TO CINQUE TERRE BY TRAIN
The fastest ride, so if you have the choice of landing in Pisa, go for it! That’s because the train ride will take between 1 and 2 hours (depending on the train), with only one change requested.
How to get around the Cinque Terre?
Driving around the Cinque Terre could prove to be a bit challenging, with steep hills and scarcity of parking spaces. In most cases, you won’t be able to go inside the villages by car since they have pedestrian-only roads, and you will have to park outside.
That being said, it is not impossible to drive around the Cinque Terre, but maybe it would be better to get around by train to boat.
My go-to car rental company is always Discover Cars. It is a great aggregator that will help you find and book the best option for renting a car during your trip, helping you save up to 70% on your car rental. They have a pretty good cancellation policy that would give you options in case your flight or travel plans change. You will most probably need a car to get to most of these places, especially if you want to keep a schedule. Get your best offers here!
The Cinque Terre Express links Levanto and La Spezia, passing through each and every one of the five towns. It is a very convenient means of transportation since it will only take around 10 minutes to get from one town to the other.
Currently, the daily price for an adult is 16 EUR, and for that money, you can have an unlimited amount of trips.
The Cinque Terre train map would look like this: Levanto – Monterosso – Vernazza – Corniglia – Manarola – Riomaggiore – La Spezia. All in all, from one end to the other, the train takes approx. 30 min.
What is the cheapest town to stay in Cinque Terre Italy?
Riomaggiore is probably the cheapest town to stay in Cinque Terre, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find affordable options in all the other villages.
Mostly because it is the largest village, you will have plenty of apartments and B&B’s to choose from in Riomaggiore. And as you will go further up the hill and away from the Train Station, prices might decrease.
What is the prettiest town in Cinque Terre?
Naming one of the 5 towns as the pretties would make a huge injustice to all the other ones. Most offer stunning views, green hills, houses with lovely gardens, and cute small beaches.
That being said, Manarola has been considered by many as the prettiest town in Cinque Terre, in a back-to-back fight with Vernazza.
Where to Stay in Cinque Terre: Best Towns & Hotels
Before we start looking at accommodation options for each village, here are a few things I always have in mind as I book my hotel.
I always check for hotels or apartments with a central stunning location, in the historic centre, or at least one that offers some fantastic views from the terrace or window. Depending on the budget, I love a stylish hotel with a swimming pool or a private terrace.
If that’s what you are looking for, have no fear, for my recommendations, I always check reviews and impressions from previous guests.
Another thing to have in mind when looking for the best place to stay in Cinque Terre is that most villages are set up the hill and might be challenging for people with mobility issues. You’ll get the panoramic views but you’ll have to put in the leg work and climb all those stairs.
Monterosso al Mare – where to stay for the beach or when you travel with your family
The first little town if you are coming from Levanto, and the most different from all the others, Monterosso is where you will have the possibility of staying at the beach as well if that is what you’re in for. Just don’t expect sand, because that’s not what you’ll find.
Even though different from all the other villages in Cinque Terre, Monterosso is definitely a typical Italian town, with beautiful colorful narrow streets, lots of places to eat, do apperitivo or just have a gelato.
The town is split between the New Town (where the train will leave you and where the beach is) and the Old Town (the charming side of the city) and has the best beach in Cinque Terre.
The buildings here are not as iconic as the ones in Manarola for example, but if you have a few hours to spare, make sure not to skip Monterosso because it will charm you for sure.
Hotels in Monterosso al Mare
Hotel Porto Roca
The best choice you could make when you are looking for a hotel in Monterosso al Mare. While this hotel is not exactly in the historical center, it offers an outdoor swimming pool with spectacular views. It is one of the few hotels with an infinity pool in the Cinque Terre.
Set 5-minutes away from the center, and right next to the start of the hiking Blue Trail, the hotel has a beautiful garden and is hosted in an old Italian villa.
Locanda Il Maestrale
The stay in this 18-th century villa will not disappoint and neither its location is right in the heart of Monterosso. By staying here you won’t be far from the train station so that you can plan your itinerary without a care.
It is a traditional hotel, run by a family where you will be less than 100 m away from the beach and will have access to the beautiful garden.
Albergo Suisse Bellevue
This hotel had me as soon as I’ve seen the terrace with the wonderful views over the sea. The property is high up at the edge of Monterosso, which might not be for everyone, but it is perfect when you want to escape the crowds.
However, the hotel has a free daily shuttle that brings guests to the city and back on multiple occasions.
Apartments in Monterosso al Mare
Manuel’s Guest House
It is sure worth climbing the stairs all the way to this place because the views you’ll get, the delicious Italian breakfast, the hospitality of the hosts are just amazing. And all of it at a very reasonable price.
Trust the name of this place because here you will get sun and sea from that beautiful rooftop terrace. It is a family-run accommodation set in the center of everything, within walking distance to the beach, restaurants, and supermarkets.
Zia Letizia Bed And Wine
Don’t be fooled by the name, you will get much more than a bed and wine at this stunning place. Rooms have a beautiful and cozy interior design, and you will have access to a rooftop terrace with sunbeds and amazing views of the city and the sea.
Vernazza – the most popular destination in Cinque Terre
When we first took the train from Levanto everyone was asking about Vernazza, that’s how we figured this was one of the most popular towns for travelers. For travelers to stay in, that is.
And when we got here, later on, we discovered a beautiful town indeed with lots of pretty buildings, stranded on the cliffs in the most iconic manner possible, and views that would take your breath away.
All that, with the hectic buzz owed to the hundreds of people running around the streets.
Here you will find one of the most photogenic sites in the Cinque Terre with stunning views of the colorful villages, and the starting point for some of the best hikes.
Hotels in Vernazza
Admittedly, there are literally 2 hotels in Vernazza, with all the rest being guesthouses and affittacamere (“rooms for rent” in a literal translation).
Has a perfect location right next to the small and beautiful beach, but you shouldn’t expect much from the interior. Rooms are simple and some have access to a shared bathroom, so you much pay attention when reserving.
Hotel Gianni Franzi
One of the best affordable hotels in Vernazza, with an excellent location right below the Doria Castle – one of the main sites in town.
They also feature a restaurant with local cuisine and a sun terrace with a sea view. The previous guests appreciated the help they received from the host and all the valuable information they were willing to share with travelers.
Apartments in Vernazza
Seaview Apartment in Vernazza
A three-bedroom traditional Italian apartment that will host up to 6 people, set in one of the few buildings with a sea view in Vernazza.
The best advantage? The stunning Instagrammable terrace from where you can enjoy breakfast or see the sunset with a glass of Italian wine.
You will also be steps away from the beach in Vernazza.
Lassu Apartment with View
Just steps off the Cinque Terre hiking trail and fairly close to the railway station, this apartment will charm you with its beautiful terrace overlooking the town and the sea. Because having a view in Cinque Terre is mandatory.
The apartment has 2 bedrooms, a living room, and 2 bathrooms you can have all to yourself.
La Polena Camere Vernazza
You might not get the cliche village view, but nothing compares to the sea view you will have from every room, no matter if it is from the window or the terrace.
On top of that, the place is spacious and centrally located, perfect for your vacation in Cinque Terre.
Corniglia – the only village up on the mountain, where to run from the crowds
Maybe the less touristic town of the 5, mainly because of the hundreds of stairs you need to climb from the train station and the fact that the city is not reachable by sea, Corniglia holds a special vibe to it.
I felt that this was the most authentic Italian village of the 5, with locals sitting around in the small Piazzetta where we stopped for a glass of wine and delicious focaccia, talking between themselves in the local dialect and just making the best out of a beautiful April afternoon.
Hotels in Corniglia
AMARE IL MARE Affittacamere
Rooms with a spectacular view, and special interiors that will make you feel that the owners have put much thought into decorating.
Wine lovers will appreciate the bathroom sink, and all guests will be happy to know that the location offers free parking if you travel by car and want to avoid the 350 stairs from the train station.
Locanda Il Carugio
A 3 stars affordable hotel, with a garden and a terrace, in the heart of Cornigila. Everything is new and modern, so this is the place to choose if you are not into the more rustic Italian houses.
Guests loved the breakfast here and the rooftop terrace.
Apartments in Corniglia
Affittacamere Arbasia De Ma
If you don’t want to climb all the stairs from the station and arrive in the evening, the staff will pick you up and help you get to the accommodation without having to carry your luggage on the stairs.
If, however, you arrive by car, you will have a free parking space available. Rooms are clean and the owners change the towels daily during your stay.
Cecio 5 Terre Rooms
I absolutely love the view you get over the picturesque town from both the window and the terrace of this apartment.
The interior is classic and standard for Italian apartments, but you will be in the right place to watch the sunset over the vineyards.
Manarola – the perfect views in Cinque Terre
Voted by many the most beautiful of the 5 villages in the Cinque Terre, Manarola is a very small but yet a very charming seaside town.
We got here on an early Monday morning, just before all the buzz and fuss, and got to enjoy a delicious breakfast near the sea, before everything else was open and the tourists came flooding the town.
Indeed the views from Manarola are amazing, but the city center (which is only one street with restaurants, bars, and shops on both sides) is very crowded.
If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, take the street climbing on the left side from the tunnel leading to the train station and you will find both an oasis of chill and also some perfect views over the city.
Hotels in Manarola
Stylish rooms, with air conditioning and a terrace with a perfect city view. Truth be told, you will be a bit far away from Canneto Beach in Manarola, but that is only a 10-minute walk and you will need it after all the delicious Italian food.
The hotel staff is amazing, and most guests appreciated Francesco, the owner, and its helpful information.
Il Sogno di Manarola by The First
Very modern rooms with an eye for detail and the honeymoon suite has a romantic jacuzzi inside. The hotel has a rooftop terrace with sunbeds perched on the rocky cliffs offering a stunning sea view, while on the other side you can admire the colorful village.
Be prepared for a hike up to the hotel, but it will all be worth it once you get there!
La Torretta Lodge
Enjoy the city and sea views from the comfort of your own terrace jacuzzi. Have breakfast on the sunny terrace, or indulge in the free aperitivo that the hotel offers every evening.
The interior design of this small hotel is exquisite and perfect for some pictures that will catch anyone’s attention.
Apartments in Manarola
Aria di Mare – The View
A splendid apartment with an amazing view, with an ideal size to host a family. The host will help you with all kinds of information from shops opening times, to hikes and difficulty, but also with a description for each restaurant in town and its specialty.
You will have a fully equipped kitchen for when you spend more than just a few days in Cinque Terre.
L’Attico GIALLO ORO di Giulia
An authentic Italian apartment, with a modern interior that somehow manages to keep the original charm. You simply cannot get a better view than the one you will have from the balcony of this apartment.
Breakfast snacks and coffee are provided by the host, along with valuable information for your perfect vacation.
Riomaggiore – colorful houses and Michelin star restaurants
The village we chose to stay in, and the Southernmost town packed with colorful houses.
Mainly because of its size, stretching way beyond the small port, and all the way up to the rugged cliffs, Riomaggiore offers also budget options for accommodation.
Another reason for choosing Riomaggiore as your base camp in Cinque Terre is the fact that it is not so crowded as the other fishing villages. On top of that, from here you will be only one train stop away from La Spezia and close enough to go on a day trip to Pisa or even Florence.
In the small port, you can join all the other sunset enthusiasts and find a spot on the rocks from where you can indulge in one of the best views you’ll ever see: that warm light playing around with the colors of the diverse buildings perched on the hills of Riomaggiore.
Right before you step on the small beach, you’ll find 2 restaurants with delicious and fresh seafood and fish. Make sure to reserve your table in advance.
Hotels in Riomaggiore
Hotel Villa Argentina
A simple hotel with a wonderful location close to the center of Riomaggiore, and an easy walk to the train station.
Choose this place if you don’t want to climb lots of stairs and want to be in the center of it all.
Apartments in Riomaggiore
Incredible hospitality in the heart of Riomaggiore. Close to the train station, center of town and great dining, and overlooks the marina and sea.
Alla Marina Affittacamere
It cannot get better than this, right in the Marina of Riomaggiore with a colorful view under your eyes. And the best part? Not hundreds of stairs to climb to get to this place.
Extra town: Porto Venere – the hidden-gem town of Cinque Terre
Even though it’s hard to choose between all the incredibly beautiful towns in Cinque Terre, I would risk saying Porto Venere is one of the nicest. Narrow streets, chic stores with local merchandise, and that incredible fresh pasta with freshly made pesto.
I could tell I would love this place even as we were approaching the colorful line of buildings on the seafront.
Since the town is not literally part of the 5 Terre, you cannot reach it by train and you will have to drive or take the boat to Porto Venere.
Since it is not such a popular place with tourists, you will find mainly locals strolling around and I can imagine it is not so crowded as night approaches. There’s even a somewhat bigger beach as compared to the ones in other beautiful villages.
Where to stay in PortoVenere
You’ll have a beach close by, the streets are packed with small shops with local produce and handmade products, and the food is delicious. Here is where I ate one of the best ice creams in my life.
Coming back to the villa, the place is suitable when you travel with your family or more friends since it accommodates up to 8 people.
Its elegant interior is complemented by a sea-water pool and a patio where you can enjoy your breakfast.
Affittacamere la Tortuga
An amazing location with a beach just down the stairs only minutes away, a beautiful terrace covered in wisteria during the spring, and a delicious traditional breakfast.
Perfect for when you want a romantic vacation, or when you travel with your family.
The Most Charming Luxury hotels Cinque Terre
As you might have seen so far, there aren’t many options when it comes to luxury hotels in the Cinque Terre. There are, of course, luxury options available, but maybe not hotels in the way you expect.
However, here are a few of the best luxury hotels in Cinque Terre.
Grand Hotel Portovenere
A 5-star hotel with spectacular views, a terrace overlooking the small port, and friendly and helpful staff.
A magical place anyone looking for luxury hotels in Cinque Terre must consider.
Park Hotel Argento
Another hotel that is not really in Cinque Terre, but close enough. This place boasts a SPA and wellness center, an outdoor pool with stunning views, and a great location in between hills and the sea.
The best hotels in Cinque Terre with a Pool
If you are looking for a hotel with a pool in Cinque Terre, on top of the options already mentioned above, some of the nicest hotels are in La Spezia. Not exactly in Cinque Terre but close enough by train or car, here are 2 of my favorite hotels with a pool.
Le Ville Relais
Even though you will need a car if you choose to stay at this hotel, it will be worth it for the remote location, outstanding view and incredible pool.
Additionally, the hotel’s restaurant has a Michelin star so you will be able to taste some of the best food on the Ligurian Coast.
A charming villa with a great infinity pool and a private garden with a terrace where you can have breakfast and dinner with a view.
If, however, you are traveling with your family or group of friends and are looking for a villa with a pool, here are a few options I would book without blinking.
It is an Italian villa that fits up to 6 guests in its 3 bedrooms and it is nestled on top of countryside hills, offering breathtaking views over the Ligurian riviera.
You will have access to a private swimming pool, and the villa is split into 2 apartments, each with its own living room area and kitchen.
A larger villa that would guest up to 10 people, with a big pool, nestled on the Ligurian hills. It is a perfect getaway for a family looking for tranquility, at the same time offering plenty of options for fun activities.
You will also have access to a sauna, gym, volleyball area, barbeque, and much more.
While this villa might not be the best place to stay in Cinque Terre because it is set a bit further away from the reservation, you can easily do day trips to the colorful villages.