8 Best Towns to Stay in Cinque Terre

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by Olivia Ellis

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The Cinque Terre National Park is one of the most beautiful areas in all of Italy. With its 5 colorful fishing villages clinging to the edge of the Ligurian coast, it’s easy to see why that is. When you’re planning a trip it can be difficult to know which are the best towns to stay in Cinque Terre.

All five Cinque Terre villages are wonderful contenders for the best place to stay, but there are also a few options outside of the national park that are just as ideal.

Best Town to Stay in or near Cinque Terre

Manarola – Best for a Romantic Stay

The town of Manarola is the second-smallest town within the Cinque Terre and is tucked between Corniglia and Riomaggiore. Manarola is likely most known for its famous sunset viewpoint offering quite possibly the most picturesque view from all of Cinque Terre National Park.

From vineyard visits to peaceful evenings with a view, Manarola is the perfect base in Cinque Terre if you’re hoping for a tranquil break.

Best for: Manarola is best for those looking for a Cinque Terre stay with postcard-worthy views and less of a “busy” ambience. This makes it well suited for couples or those looking for the most romantic feel in Cinque Terre.

Downsides: Due to its fame for its views, Manarola is one of the busiest towns within Cinque Terre. This leads to higher prices than some of the less popular places, as well as few options for accommodation if you book your trip last minute.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Manarola is quite steep so it’s best to choose to stay in a different town if you have mobility issues or aren’t keen on a hike. Also, if you’re looking for the best place to stay in Cinque Terre without a car, the whole national park is ideal considering cars aren’t allowed in any of the 5 towns.

Where to Stay in Manarola

Hotel Marina Piccola – This mid-range hotel located only a 2-minute walk from the beach is a perfect base in Manarola. They have a number of clean and comfortable rooms available, a buffet breakfast each morning, and a restaurant next door specialising in local fish specialities.

L’Emporio Rooms – A 4-star hotel offering a few different options, this is a great place to stay near Cinque Terre. They have a range of suites available and even an apartment option for those looking for self-catering accommodation.

Aria Di Mare – This two-bedroom apartment is the perfect choice for those looking for a bit of privacy in Manarola. It boasts beautiful sea views and a panorama of the entire town and also comes fully furnished with everything you could need.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Manarola hotels!


Riomaggiore – Best for an Active Getaway

When traveling north into Cinque Terre from La Spezia, the town of Riomaggiore is the first Cinque Terre town that you’ll come across. Riomaggiore is the most “social” of the 5 towns and is a great place to consider.

The famous “Via dell’Amore” hiking trail also begins in Riomaggiore making it an ideal base if you’re hoping to venture on the trails during your trip. Riomaggiore is also another steep town, so keep this in mind when you’re looking to decide where to make your base for your Cinque Terre itinerary.

Best for: Riomaggiore will be the best village for you if you’re a traveler looking to get out and experience the nightlife. Cinque Terre isn’t a party destination by any means but Riomaggiore is the most active in night entertainment in comparison with the other 4 towns.

Riomaggiore is also one of the best places to stay if you’re an avid hiker as from here you have the most options and opportunities for hiking trails. And for those traveling on a budget but wanting to stay in one of the five towns, Riomaggiore is the most affordable of the Cinque Terre towns. 

Downsides: Riomaggiore is undoubtedly the steepest town i the area. If you’re someone with mobility issues or with children and you’ll be visiting Cinque Terre, maybe skip Riomaggiore for your base and stay in Monterosso al Mare instead.

Where to Stay in Riomaggiore

Scorci Di Mare – This comfortable guesthouse located in a historic, 14th-century building is a great mid-range choice in Riomaggiore. They have a range of rooms on offer – some with a balcony and a fully equipped kitchenette – and are well-located for exploring the town and Cinque Terre as a whole.

Cinqueterre Residence – If you’re after luxury in Riomaggiore, then this is one of the best Cinque Terre hotels to choose from for a plush stay. They have a number of luxe and chic rooms on offer, a beautiful terrace to enjoy and plenty of great amenities to ensure your stay is a great one.

Ca Da Maina – This one-bedroom apartment is the perfect choice for those after their own space in Cinque Terre. It is fully equipped and furnished and also boasts a lovely balcony with fantastic panoramic sea and town views.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Riomaggiore hotels!

Beautiful Riomaggiore

Corniglia – Best Area to Avoid the Crowds

Corniglia is probably the most unique option to stay in Cinque Terre. While the other 4 towns are all perched upon the seaside, Corniglia is directly in the middle of Cinque Terre and perched upon a hill between Vernazza and Manarola.

Due to it not being beside the sea like the other 4 towns, there’s a much quieter atmosphere in Corniglia. The town’s population is just around 150! This gives it more of a village feel and without large crowds, you feel like you’re in a peaceful little Italian corner of your own. 

Best for: Corniglia is best for those looking to experience Cinque Terre off the beaten path. 

Downsides: If you’re looking to be directly beside the water during your Cinque Terre stay, Corniglia isn’t the best area for you to stay in. It’s also important to note that although there is a train station servicing Corniglia, there are about 350 steps that you need to walk to reach the town.

If you’re looking to just stay in Corniglia, it’s not that big of a deal. But if you’re planning on also visiting the other towns, that’s about 700 steps a day. If you’re up for it and are active, great! But if you’re someone with mobility issues, I’d skip Corniglia and stay somewhere else.

Where to Stay in Corniglia

Locanda Il Carugio – This is a great mid-range option for those looking for a comfortable stay in Corniglia. They have a number of clean, bright and comfortable rooms on offer (some with balconies) and there is also breakfast available each morning.

Daa Maduneta – For those after a luxury option in Corniglia, this 4-star guesthouse is an excellent choice. They have a great location for exploring the town (and Cinque Terre as a whole), a number of lovely rooms available and plenty of nice amenities to ensure you have a great stay.

Affittacamere Le Terrazze – If you’re looking for a good, self-catering option in Corniglia, then this guesthouse is a great choice. They have a number of fully-furnished apartments on offer of varying sizes and a perfect location for exploring the surrounding area.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Corniglia hotels!


Vernazza – Best for Iconic Sea Views

The old town of Vernazza is located between Corniglia and Monterosso al Mare and is easily one of the busiest towns in Cinque Terre. When looking for where to stay, Vernazza is going to be one of the towns that pop up most due to its size and a larger number of accommodations.

Known as “the pearl of the Cinque Terre”, the town offers incredibly beautiful views and rich history. There isn’t a lack of things to do or see here, so if you’re looking to spend a lot of time at your Cinque Terre base, Vernazza is a prime candidate. 

Best for: If your ideal trip is full of gorgeous views and abundant restaurants, Vernazza is for you. There is also a castle located on the coast of Vernazza which is a unique option for visitors if you’re looking for unique scenery during your Cinque Terre stay.

Downsides: Due to Vernazza being known as “the most beautiful town of Cinque Terre”, the stunning views also come with a price. Vernazza is likely one of, if not, the busiest town of all the five villages that make up the Cinque Terre National Park.

If you’re hoping for more of a quiet base during your stay, I’d stay in one of the quieter towns instead. This large popularity of Vernazza also makes it one of the most expensive towns to stay in Cinque Terre.

Where to Stay in Vernazza

Rina Rooms – Situated in the heart of the Old Town, this is a wonderful mid-range place to stay in Vernazza. They have a number of different rooms available and each room is equipped with air conditioning.

Casa Catò – For those looking for a bit of luxury in Vernazza, this plush guesthouse is a great choice. They have a range of lovely rooms available – each with a sea view and air conditioning – and a great location for exploring the area.

La Ripa Camere Vernazza – If you’re after your own place in Vernazza, then this is a great option. They offer a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment on offer along with an option for a double room.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Vernazza hotels!

Vernazza - one of the five towns of Cinque Terre

Monterosso al Mare – Best Town for Families

Monterosso al Mare is the furthest north town of the Cinque Terre, and it is also the largest town. Most known and visited for its beaches; it has several beaches to visit including the only sandy beach in all of Cinque Terre.

This is Fegina Beach and it also includes an incredibly interesting landmark, il Gigante. This statue of Neptune was built in 1910 and has been weathered throughout time but is still worth the visit.

Due to its large size, there are many options for accommodation making it a great to stay in if you want options for where you decide to stay on your trip. 

Best for: The other 4 villages in Cinque Terre are incredibly steep, making a Cinque Terre visit difficult if you have mobility issues. Monterosso al Mare is quite flat in comparison to the others, so this is the perfect town to stay in if you need to stay somewhere that isn’t going to offer a challenge.

Due to the numerous beaches and large size of the town, Monterosso al Mare is also great for families with kids that are looking for where to stay in Cinque Terre. 

Downsides: Because of its large size, Monterosso al Mare doesn’t have as much of the “local” or Italian village feel. While there are still parts of the town that give this feeling, as a whole, Monterosso al Mare feels more like a larger town in Italy than the quaint feeling that the other 4 towns give.

If this is something important for you during your trip, I’d suggest staying in one of the other 4 towns instead of Monterosso al Mare. 

Where to Stay in Monterosso al Mare

Hotel Marina – This mid-range hotel is the perfect choice in Monterosso al Mare for your Cinque Terre accommodation. They have a number of lovely rooms on offer, a great location, and there is even breakfast available each morning.

La Serra Sul Mare – If you’re after a luxury escape in Monterosso al Mare, then this plush place is one of the best hotels to choose from. They have a great location within a stone’s throw from the beach, beautiful rooms on offer (each with its own balcony) and they also offer a shuttle service for guests.

Appartamento Buranco – This apartment is perfect for those looking for their own space in Monterosso al Mare. It is fully furnished and well-located for exploring the town and Cinque Terre as a whole.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Monterosso al Mare hotels!

Exploring Monterosso

Levanto – Best For a Quiet Beach Escape

While the 5 towns making up the Cinque Terre National Park are idyllic bases, they do come at a high cost. There are a few other towns right outside of the park’s vicinity that offer great features, but don’t come with the steep cost of staying in Cinque Terre. 

The charming town of Levanto is north of Monterosso al Mare and can be reached by train in just under 6 minutes. Some call Levanto the 6th town of Cinque Terre, and upon visiting you’ll see why for yourself.

There are a handful of restaurants in the town, as well as any other amenities you may need during your trip. You can spend time in the pretty town center after exploring Cinque Terre while having the chance to decompress away from the crowds while you plan your days ahead.

Best for: The town of Levanto has its own beach which makes it a great option if you want to spend time at the beach while in Cinque Terre. Because of its location, the beach is a lot quieter, making it a great base for a calm and less chaotic trip.

Downsides: I’d say that the only downside of staying in Levanto, is that it isn’t within the national park. You may dream of waking up in a small, sleepy, seaside Italian town and Levanto likely isn’t the best town to stay in Cinque Terre to make those dreams come true. 

Where to Stay in Levanto

Le Divine La Terrazza – This guesthouse located only 500 metres from the beach makes for the perfect mid-range place to stay in Levanto. They have a range of rooms on offer, a wonderful location for exploring the area and all rooms have air conditioning.

A Durmì – This 4-star guesthouse is located only five minutes from the Levanto train station, making it the perfect base for exploring Cinque Terre. They have a number of large and bright rooms available and there is also a bar on site.

Riviera Apartments – These apartments are perfect for those looking for some privacy or a self-catering option in Levanto. There are a few fully furnished flats available, ranging in size, and they have a great location for exploring Levanto and Cinque Terre.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Levanto hotels!


La Spezia – Best for Budget Visitors

La Spezia is the first town sitting south of the national park and is likely where you will arrive when you begin your trip. Being a port town, and the largest on this list, La Spezia has more of a city feel that makes you feel far from small-town Italy when in reality, you’re only about a 5-minute train ride to being within Cinque Terre.

Because of this, you’ll also have all the amenities you need on your trip as well as the convenience of not having to go too far upon arrival or departure from the train station. 

Best for: La Spezia is hands down the best area to stay if you want to save money. You’ll find the cheapest accommodation here, and you’re also just as close to Cinque Terre as the 5 towns are next to each other.

Downsides: Although it’s affordable, La Spezia is also unfortunately the least attractive of the towns on this list. Port towns typically have a unique grit to them and La Spezia is no different but still retains its charm if you’re looking to find it.

Where to Stay in La Spezia

L’Approdo Dell’Ammiraglio – This cosy guesthouse is a great mid-range option in the town of La Spezia. They have a range of lovely rooms available and are perfectly located for exploring the town itself and for Cinque Terre as a whole.

Affittacamere Le Camere Nel Corso – This 4-star guesthouse is an excellent choice for those after a slice of luxury in La Spezia. They have a number of plush rooms on offer, a fantastic location and plenty of other amenities to ensure you have a great time.

Miramare Apartments&Suites – For those looking for their own place in the town of La Spezia, then this aparthotel can be a great choice. They have a range of different apartments and suites to choose from and give you all of the benefits of a hotel with the convenience of having your own flat when exploring Cinque Terre.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more La Spezia hotels!

City of La Spezia
La Spezia

Portovenere – Best for a Charming & Picturesque Stay

Portovenere is a tiny medieval town south of Cinque Terre on the “gulf of poets”, that is a wonderful contender for the best places to stay around the Cinque Terre area (although it isn’t within the park). It retains its status as a UNESCO Heritage Site and is quite a special place to stay on the Italian Riviera.

To reach Cinque Terre from Portovenere, you can take a ferry which takes about an hour to an hour and a half. When planning a trip, many miss this charming town. However, it is quite close and, without a doubt, worth a stay – or even just a visit. 

Best for: Due to the lack of a train station, Portovenere is the best place to stay in Cinque Terre with a car. This way you can drive to La Spezia, take the train to Cinque Terre, and then drive yourself back to Portovenere.

Downsides: Unlike the other towns on this list, Portovenere doesn’t have its own train station. Because of this, you’ll need to take a taxi or bus from La Spezia. Although it’s quite straightforward, it can be a bit of a drag when you’ve been exploring all day and need multiple modes of transport to reach your base. 

Where to Stay in Portovenere

Relais Santa Caterina – This mid-range bed and breakfast is the perfect base in Portovenere. They have a number of great, clean and comfortable rooms on offer, breakfast available each morning and a fantastic location for exploring the highlights of the region.

L’Ancora – If it’s luxury you want in Portovenere, then you can’t go wrong with this plush guesthouse. They have a myriad of lovely rooms on offer, gorgeous sea views and you can get a delightful breakfast delivered to your room each morning.

Residence I Gabbiani – This aparthotel is a great option for those who want the comfort and convenience of a self-catering flat while visiting Cinque Terre. They have a number of fully furnished apartments available, ranging in size, and a great location for exploring the area.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Portovenere hotels!


The Cinque Terre National Park is a true gem of Italy and the Liguria region. Here you’ll experience some of the most exhilarating sunsets of your life as well as some of the best regional food in all of the country.

All of these towns are great options for your base in Cinque Terre and I recommend choosing either one or two of the towns as your base to explore this stunning region.

Are you planning a trip to Cinque Terre? Are you wondering where to stay? Let us know in the comments!

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Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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