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Ah, Cinque Terre, what’s there not to love? With its five villages perched on stone cliffs overlooking the ocean, Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful destinations in Italy. And if you’re planning a visit, you’re probably looking for the best places to stay.
We’ve put together this guide to help you decide which of the Cinque Terre villages fit your needs. This article covers everything from the highlights of each town and the pros and possible cons of staying there. We’ve also recommended some hand-picked options in each village for every budget.
So, no matter your budget, preference, or group size, you’re sure to find the ideal base for your Cinque Terre itinerary. Let’s jump right in.
Summary: Best Places to Stay in Cinque Terre
- Riomaggiore – The southernmost village in Cinque Terre with a lively nightlife scene.
- Manarola – The second Cinque Terre village after Riomaggiore, this town offers stunning sunset views and delightful white wines.
- Corniglia – The smallest and most central of the villages, Corniglia is not as easy to reach and is thus much quieter than other villages.
- Vernazza – One of the most picturesque villages, perched atop a small cape, surrounded by vineyards, and close to many hiking trails.
- Monterosso al Mare – The largest and northernmost of the villages, offering sandy beaches and the greatest variety of hotel options and transport links.
- Levanto – Sitting north of Monterosso al Mare, this town is close enough to explore the five Cinque Terre villages easily and offers great ferry and train links.
- Portovenere – A stunning town between La Spezia and Riomaggiore, home to some incredible biodiversity and many luxury hotel options.
- La Spezia – This port city is less than 10 minutes from the first Cinque Terre village, Riomaggiore, and offers a variety of accommodations to suit every budget.
Riomaggiore: Best Cinque Terre Village for Nightlife
Riomaggiore is the southernmost of the Cinque Terre villages and sits less than 10 minutes from La Spezia by train. It’s also the village closest to Tuscany.
This little village has an authentic and lively feel, with colorful case torre (tower houses) seemingly sliding down to the sea. The main road leading through the village to the harbor, Via Colombo, boasts many restaurants and bars. This road has quite a steep incline, so this town may not be the best option if you have trouble walking up hills.
Riomaggiore gets a lot of foot traffic as many tourists pass through here first to get to the other Cinque Terre villages from La Spezia. For that reason, the village is at its most peaceful in the early morning and late afternoon when tourist crowds dwindle.
By night, the restaurants and bars fill with locals and tourists who stay until late. So it’s one of the best towns to visit if you’re looking to socialize in the evening.
Some must-see sights in Riomaggiore include the Castello di Riomaggiore, which sits a short walk from Via Colombo. This 13th-century fort sits in the historic quarter of the village and offers incredible coastal views.
There are also delightful religious buildings like the Oratorio di San Rocco, the Oratorio di Santa Maria Assunta, and the Church of San Giovanni Battista of Riomaggiore.
Hotel Suggestions for Riomaggiore
- Luxury – Terra Prime Suite – Enjoy luxuries like a private hot tub and sauna, along with a quiet garden and a terrace offering sweeping views of Riomaggiore.
- Mid-range – The Sunset Line – This spot offers rooms and apartments with modern and minimalist interiors and stunning ocean views. You’ll love the large spa bath in your room and the option of a room with a hot tub.
- Budget – Scorci Di Mare – Bright and spacious apartments in a 14th-century property with terraces overlooking the marina. The town center can be reached via a nearby staircase, so you’ll never be far from the nightlife fun.
Manarola: Best for Sunsets, Wine, and Breathtaking Views
Perched atop a rugged cliff and surrounded by vineyards, Manarola is one of the most charming villages in Cinque Terre. It is the second village after Riomaggiore from the southern end of the Cinque Terre.
Manarola offers a broader range of accommodation options and is also the starting point of many hiking paths. So if you plan on joining any hiking trails, this village is the perfect home base.
This town also boasts attractions like the 14th-century Gothic-Baroque Chiesa di San Lorenzo and a beautiful harbor. The Manarola Overlook Point offers the perfect vantage point for that iconic snap of the cascading houses.
Nearby, there’s also a lovely and very popular restaurant called Nessun Dorma. This spot offers aperitivi and drinks along with dreamy views of the coast, village, and harbor. Book ahead of time to secure a spot, as Nessun Dorma is almost always full.
Hotel Suggestions for Manarola
- Luxury – La Torretta Lodge – This boutique accommodation in Manarola is nothing short of spectacular, with bright and airy suites overlooking the ocean. Expect treats like a Nespresso machine in your suite, Wi-Fi, and free luggage transfer from the train station.
- Mid-range – Hotel Marina Piccola – This hotel is a short walk from the marina and features contemporary interiors complemented by natural elements.
- Budget – Affittacamere Nuova Vandiris – Enjoy coastal views without breaking the bank with this budget-friendly stay. This spot is conveniently close to the Manarola train station.
Corniglia: Best for a Quiet Getaway
Sitting roughly in the middle of the Cinque Terre villages, Corniglia is the hardest town to get to, so it’s also one of the quietest. The village doesn’t have a harbor, and even the walk from the train station takes quite a bit of leg work.
You’ll have to ascend the 382-step Lardarina to reach the village from the train station. So Corniglia may not be the ideal base if you have mobility issues. There is a shuttle bus that runs between the village and the train station too. But this costs about €3 one way, which can quickly add up if you’re staying for multiple days.
If you do decide to stay in Corniglia, though, you can expect a much more peaceful experience. The village also doesn’t lack any beauty. Surrounded by vineyards and lush greenery, the colorful buildings are stacked on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
For some architectural gems, you can stop by the Oratory of San Caterina and the Parish of San Pietro. The village is also connected to some exciting hiking trails, like the Sentiero Azzurro.
Hotel Suggestions for Corniglia
- Luxury – Amare il Mare Affitacamere – This property offers lovely rooms and self-catering apartments, some with large balconies facing the sea. The owners go above and beyond to ensure a comfortable stay.
- Mid-range – Appartamento Giumin – Roomy apartment with a terrace and panoramic views of the ocean. The spacious kitchen is great for trying your hand at some Italian recipes.
- Budget – Affittacamere Il Timone – Homely apartments with sea-view terraces a short walk from the Lardarina.
Vernazza: Best for a Picture-Perfect Stay
Vernazza is often touted as the most beautiful Cinque Terre town, but it’s ultimately up to preference. What makes it so picturesque is its natural harbor and the towering houses perched near the azure waters.
The harbor is a great place to enjoy people-watching or sample some seafood. Other attractions include the ruins of the 11th-century Doria Castle, which offers postcard-worthy views of the village and sea. The 14th-century Chiesa di Santa Margherita is another pretty sight, featuring an octagonal tower and sitting on the waterfront.
Vernazza is also connected to Corniglia and Monterosso al Mare via the Sentiero Azzurro, so you can reach the other towns by foot in less than an hour’s hike. But, with the beautiful harbor at your doorstep, taking a ferry is another must for exploring the coastal Cinque Terre towns.
Hotel Suggestions for Vernazza
- Luxury – MADA Charm Apartments – Stunning apartments with ultra-modern interiors and views of the mountain and harbor. You’ll be a short walk away from many restaurants and the bay.
- Mid-range – La Bloo di Vernazza – Stunning apartment with views of the azure coast and just a short walk from the beach.
- Mid-range – Da Marcella – Vibrant, beautifully decorated apartments in the heart of Vernazza. Enjoy views of the town square and harbor.
Monterosso al Mare: Best for Sandy Beaches
Monterosso al Mare is the largest and northernmost of the villages and sits closest to Genoa. This village is the ideal base if you’re looking to bask on soft sandy beaches. There are also a variety of accommodation options and lovely restaurants available here.
There are many water-based activities on offer here, like kayaking and coastal boat tours that depart from Monterosso al Mare. There’s also the interesting 46-foot Statua del Gigante near Fegina Beach which makes for great photo opportunities. Be sure to wander through the carrugi (alleyways) and stop by the shops for items like Monterosso’s famed salted anchovies.
Hotel Suggestions for Monterosso al Mare
- Luxury – Roca Du Ma Pasu – This refined and calming hotel features neutral-toned decor and apartments with vast terraces overlooking Fegina Beach.
- Mid-range – Hotel La Colonnina – Situated steps from the beach, the highlight of this hotel is its spacious terrace filled with sun loungers and tables.
- Budget – Locanda Il Maestrale – Decorated in vibrant colors and featuring frescoed ceilings, you’ll love your stay at this 18th-century property. The terrace is especially lovely for enjoying the sunshine, while the train station is a short walk away.
Cinque Terre: Places to Stay Close to the Villages
If you can’t find the right option in Cinque Terre, you can also stay in the nearby cities and towns, like Levanto, Portevenere, and La Spezia. They’re all close to the Cinque Terre villages, well connected to public transport links, and usually offer a greater variety of accommodation options.
Levanto is the next town after Monterosso al Mare as you head north. This picturesque destination boasts a beautiful beach, a laid-back vibe, and a great variety in terms of accommodation and restaurants. Accommodation prices may also be slightly less than in the Cinque Terre villages, making it a great option for a budget-friendly stay.
Levanto is well connected to train and ferry lines, so you’ll have no problem visiting the Cinque Terre towns.
Hotel Suggestions for Levanto
- Luxury – Park Hotel Argento – This luxurious hotel offers a large pool perfect for those hot summer days, as well as a spa and sauna. You’ll love the big rooms and private terraces and the Ligurian cuisine prepared by the restaurant.
- Mid-range – Angiolina’s Farm – Offering views of the verdant valley and luxuries like a hot tub, seasonal pool, and spa, you’ll feel right at home at this property. The breakfast is exceptional too.
- Budget – L’Antico Borgo B&B – This homely bed and breakfast features comfy rooms and a large terrace on which to enjoy your complimentary breakfast.
This medieval town sits about halfway between La Spezia and Riomaggiore and features those classic case alte that Cinque Terre is known for. Portovenere is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site, yet it’s often overlooked for the Cinque Terre villages.
The town features impressive historic sites like the old town, accessed through the old city gate, the Porta del Bargo, Doria Castle, and Lord Byron’s Grotto. Portovenere Regional Natural Park also offers a variety of hiking trails and scenic walks to enjoy.
Portovenere boasts some incredibly luxurious hotels. Below are a few options.
Hotel Suggestions for Portovenere
- Luxury – Colonna 24 – Offering exquisite rooms and a complimentary breakfast, this hotel near the harbor offers a luxury stay in the heart of Portovenere.
- Mid-range – L’Ancora – Enjoy complimentary breakfast in bed as you admire the ocean from your elegantly decorated room.
- Budget – Affittacamere L’Oblò – Situated within walking distance from the harbor, this conveniently located B&B offers beautiful rooms at a budget-friendly price.
This port city is very well connected to transport options like ferries and trains, making the perfect base for exploring Cinque Terre and other nearby villages and towns like Biassa. Riomaggiore is less than a 10-minute train ride from La Spezia, and each village from there is a quick five-minute ride apart.
La Spezia has a buzzing waterfront and is home to architectural beauties like the 13th-century San Giorgio Castle and the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta. You’ll also love a visit to The Naval Technical Museum if you’re interested in Italy’s naval history.
La Spezia offers some great budget accommodation options, like the ones below.
Hotel Suggestions for La Spezia
- Mid-range – Elegant Apartments 5 Terre – As the name suggests, you can expect exceptional apartments complete with a fully equipped kitchen and sits in the historic center, near the port.
- Mid-range – Miramare Apartments & Suites – Offering some of the best coastal views in Liguria from its infinity pool and roomy terrace, this property is the perfect spot for summer stays.
- Budget – Ca’ da Sirio – Situated a five-minute walk from La Spezia Centrale train station, this accommodation is the perfect budget-friendly base to explore Cinque Terre and Liguria.
Where to Stay, Cinque Terre | FAQs
Still have a few questions about visiting Cinque Terre? Have a look at these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Why Can’t I Find Many Hotels in the Cinque Terre?
Most accommodation options in Cinque Terre are apartment-style offerings, usually run as family businesses. You’ll come across many affittacamere (guesthouses) rather than big hotels.
Any available hotels in Cinque Terre are often booked up well in advance. Your best bet for finding a hotel would be searching in Levanto and Portovenere.
What’s the Best Town To Stay in Cinque Terre?
The best Cinque Terre town to stay in depends entirely on your preference. Some towns, like Riomaggiore and Corniglia, require a bit more leg work, which may not be ideal if you have mobility issues.
Each village may also have slightly cheaper or more expensive accommodation offerings. So your choice might depend on your budget.
Regardless of where you stay, you’re guaranteed stunning views and a memorable experience, and you can easily reach all the other villages by train in just a few minutes.
How Much Does Accommodation Cost in Cinque Terre?
Accommodation in Cinque Terre can range anywhere from about €100 per night to around €2,000 for luxury options. Cinque Terre accommodation does tend to cost a bit higher than average. If you’re on a budget, you’ll find options that are a bit friendlier on the pockets in nearby cities like La Spezia, Portovenere, and Levanto.
How Far Ahead Do I Need To Book Cinque Terre Hotels?
Cinque Terre is an understandably popular destination. And, with limited places to stay on offer, accommodation gets booked up fast. So book your stay as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, especially if you’re planning to visit during peak season.
Ready to Visit Cinque Terre?
As you can see, there are plenty of beautiful accommodation options in the stunning Italian Riviera towns of Cinque Terre National Park.
From luxurious rooms offering ocean views to budget-friendly options in the heart of the village, there’s something for everyone in Cinque Terre. And, if you can’t find your ideal place in the villages, the nearby towns offer additional options well worth a stay.
If you’re looking to explore beyond Cinque Terre, have a look at this in-depth Liguria travel guide to help you plan.