Are you dreaming of strolling between pastel-covered houses and medieval buildings set in craggy cliffs and surrounded by lush green fields? Then you need to spend some time in Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre is a collection of five towns in the Liguria region on the Italian Riviera coast. It’s an almost ridiculously pretty area, with quaint fishing boats bobbing on the Mediterranean and seafood restaurants baking under the warm Italian sun. In fact, this part of the world is so pretty that it’s a UNESCO-listed site and an amazing place to sit and watch the world go by.
Cinque Terre is made up of 5 small towns known as Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Riomaggiore, and Corniglia. This gives you lots of choices when it comes to where to stay in Cinque Terre for your first time. In this guide, we’re going to make your choices a little easier with a closer look at the best areas for every type of traveler.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Cinque Terre?
- Where to stay in Cinque Terre first time – Riomaggiore
- Where to stay in Cinque Terre on a budget – Monterosso
- Best neighborhood in Cinque Terre for families – Vernazza
Where to Stay in Cinque Terre
If you like to make fast choices, then here are some accommodation options that will definitely impress you.
- Family rooms
This apartment is perfect for couples who are looking for a romantic stay in Cinque Terre. It’s in the town of Monterosso al Mare and has 1 bedroom and a private bathroom. You’ll get to enjoy the garden and terrace during your stay as well as a short walk to the local beach and private parking. The apartment also has a fully equipped kitchen and a patio with garden views, just in case you don’t see enough beautiful scenery during the rest of your stay.
Locanda Ill Carugio
- Free parking
- Tea/coffee maker in all rooms
- Situated in Corniglia, 2.9 km from Vernazza Beach
Located in the town of Corniglia in Cinque Terre, this hotel is basic but comfortable. You’ll be able to chat to fellow travelers in the shared lounge, wander the gardens, or sit out on the terrace and enjoy the weather. While you’re there, you’ll stay in an air-conditioned room with a desk and fridge as well as a private bathroom and be able to start your days well with the hotel’s breakfast.
Rio Groppo Guesthouse
- Free WiFi and luggage storage space are available
- Boasting a garden, terrace and views of river
- Situated in Manarola, 2.7 km from Canneto Beach
A good addition to your list of where to stay in Cinque Terre on a budget, this guesthouse is located in the town of Manarola and has comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. It also has a lovely garden, terrace, and views of the river so you can spend as much time in or staring at nature during your stay.
Cinque Terre Neighborhood Guide
There are five towns in Cinque Terre and they’re fairly similar, so you really can’t make the wrong choice when you’re choosing somewhere to stay. However, there are some differences between the towns that could take your stay from great to spectacular. The towns are also close together but separated by steep cliffs, so you probably don’t want to have to cart your bags from one to another!
The first area to consider for your trip is Riomaggiore. This is one of the larger towns and has a little of everything, from history to hiking and nature experiences. It also has a good collection of nightclubs and bars, making it a good choice when you want to find where to stay in Cinque Terre for nightlife!
The second area on this list is Monterosso. This is a busy, crowded town and because it has so many accommodation options, you may be able to find a bargain for your stay. Just make sure you book early as the budget-friendly options and everything else books out fast.
And then you have Vernazza, a busy and popular town with lots for the kids to do and enough attractions to keep the rest of you happy as well. If you’re looking for modern conveniences and lots of activities, they’re all easy to find in this town.
Cinque Terre’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
If you’re still struggling to make your choice, then here’s what the different neighborhoods have to offer.
Where to stay in Cinque Terre first time
- COOLEST thing to do in Riomaggiore – Try some delicious local wines at Terra di Bargòn
- BEST place to visit in Riomaggiore – Manarola Overlook Viewpoint for sunset views with a drink in hand
Riomaggiore is easily the best neighborhood in Cinque Terre for your first time in this area. It’s the second largest town in the area and offers a city feel and amenities along with the pastel-colored buildings and history that this part of Italy is known for. Basically, this town offers the best of both worlds, the old and the new, the unique and the familiar, and that’s a great way to start your holiday in Cinque Terre.
Riomaggiore has a good collection of restaurants and bars for fun nights out as well as access to hiking trails and even scuba diving. It’s also set into the side of a hill, so be prepared for some steep walks when you’re exploring the town!
- Explore the 13th century fortress Castello di Riomaggiore
- Relax at Riomaggiore Beach but only go in the water if you’re a strong swimmer as it can get rough
- Try some shellfish or rabbit stew at Fuori Rotta
- Enjoy the home cooking at La Lanterna
- Go hiking at Monesteroli sentiero dei 1100 gradini or Monesteroli but be prepared for some steep ascents
Best Apartment in Riomaggiore
What makes this apartment so luxurious is the views. It offers sea views from the patio as well as a place where you can sit and enjoy them. It’s also just over a mile from the local beach and has a private bathroom with a bidet and parking. It’s also just a short walk from the city center, all of which makes this the top choice of where to stay in Cinque Terre close to everything.
Best Guesthouse in Riomaggiore
Located just 550m from the local train station, this guesthouse offers air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms and clean, modern decor. It’s also in the best neighborhood in Cinque Terre for nightlife as it’s close to the local shops and wineries and just 5 minutes from the beach as well.
Best Hotel in Riomaggiore
Located in a 15th-century building and 5 minutes walk from the sea, this simple hotel has lots of Ligurian architectural features and history about it. It’s close to everything in Riomaggiore and offers parking and a restaurant as well as breakfast in a room that was once a wine cellar that produced famous local wines.
Where to stay in Cinque Terre on a budget
- COOLEST thing to do in Monterosso – Have a drink on the beach at Bar Bagni Alga
- BEST place to visit in Monterosso – Monterosso public beach for a quick dip or some people watching
Monterosso is the largest village in the area and has an old and new section, so you can enjoy a mix of the old and the new. It also offers the most accommodation, food, and shopping options in the entire area and it’s famous for its amazing beaches and lots of fun activities.
What makes this the best neighborhood in Cinque Terre if you are on a budget is the variety of accommodation options. Because this is the largest town in the area, it has accommodation that ranges from bigger hotels to apartments at a variety of price points. If you’re going to get a bargain on your accommodation in Cinque Terre, it will be in this town!
- Rent a boat and see the town from the water
- Get lost in the winding streets and tiny shops of the Old Town
- Take a look at the ‘Church of the Dead’ Oratorio dei Neri
- Take in the views from 16th century Chiesa di San Francesco and the Capuchin monastery
- Buy some handmade ceramics or linens at family-owned Fabbrica d’Arte Monterosso
- Pick up a treat at the Pesto Lab
- Try some local delicacies at L’Osteria or Da Eraldo
Best B&B in Monterosso
This B&B is right in the center of town and the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Cinque Terre close to everything! It has brightly decorated rooms with private bathrooms, fridges, and Wi-Fi as well as massage treatments available on request. It’s also within walking distance of the local train station and from the beach, so there’s no excuse for not exploring!
Best Budget hotel in Monterosso
Located within walking distance from the beach and the center of Monterosso, this hotel is in the best neighborhood to stay in Cinque Terre if you are on a budget. It has newly renovated rooms with private bathrooms and some of them have sea or garden views. The hotel has a lounge area with a bar and serves a delicious hot or cold breakfast and there are lots of places to eat just a short walk from the hotel.
Best Luxury Hotel in Monterosso
Located right on the beach, with views over the sand, this hotel is definitely in the best neighborhood in Cinque Terre for couples. It has a restaurant and large rooms with private bathrooms and fridges and there are even family rooms available in case you’re traveling with kids. The bathrooms even have bidets, so make sure you try them out!
Best neighborhood in Cinque Terre for families
- COOLEST thing to do in Vernazza – Relax and take in the scenery on Vernazza Beach
- BEST place to visit in Vernazza – Climb up Ruins of Doria Tower and take in the sweeping views
If you’re traveling with kids that need to be entertained all the time, then Vernazza gives you lots of choices when it comes to where to stay in Cinque Terre for families. This beautiful little town is home to the only natural port in the area and has two beaches to help keep the kids busy. It also offers access to lots of local hiking trails so that you can get the kids out in nature and wear them out at the same time!
Vernazza’s accommodation is a little more expensive than the other towns, but when you stay there, you’ll also have access to lots of activities, shops, and restaurants. And isn’t that worth a little extra money when you’re traveling with kids and want a convenient holiday!
- Explore the 14th century Church of St. Margaret of Antioch and take in the sea views
- Have a drink overlooking the water at Gianni Franzi Deck
- Try some regional dishes and wine at La Torre or Ananasso Bar
- People watch at Porto di Vernazza
- See the black-skinned Madonna at The Sanctuary of our Lady of Regio
- Hike the famous Blue Trail along the coast
Best Apartment in Vernazza
This cute little apartment is just a short walk from the beach and is pet-friendly, so you can bring man’s best friend along on your holiday! The apartment has its own terrace where you can sit out and enjoy the garden views and with 2 bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen, is good for couples, groups, and for small families.
Best Budget hotel in Vernazza
Located in the best neighborhood in Cinque Terre for families, this guesthouse is in the center of Vernazza and offers a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and parking. There is a range of rooms available to suit every travel group size and the beach is just 40m away from the guesthouse’s front door.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Cinque Terre
There are no words to really describe the charm and atmosphere of Cinque Terre. It’s beautiful, has amazing food, friendly people, and a uniquely Italian atmosphere that can’t be simulated and faked. And with all that, it’s also nestled in a beautiful natural area, surrounded by ocean and green fields. But even these words don’t do it justice. All we can really say is that you need to find the best neighborhood in Cinque Terre close to everything and experience it for yourself.
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