Oh, the Cinque Terre! Those 5 beautiful coastal villages in Italy seem to be on everyone’s Instagram feed, including ours! If you’re planning on visiting and wondering where to stay in Cinque Terre then look no further because we have you covered in this post!
You know, I first fell in love with the Cinque Terre through pictures, specifically all of the pictures that I was seeing from people while on Pinterest.
I just loved the beautiful cliffsides dotted with colorful houses and vineyards that seemed to be engulfed by the turquoise waters of the Meditteranean. That’s probably the Cinque Terre is listed as one of the 7 best places to visit in Italy.
Travel bloggers consistently have Cinque Terre on their list of places to see in Italy, so I had high hopes!
As I began researching our trip to Cinque Terre, I quickly realized that each of the 5 towns had its own distinct character and charm. Whether it’s a stretch of beach or a rocky cliff view that you are looking for, the Cinque Terre has you covered.
I realize that there are so many options on where to stay in Cinque Terre that it could make your head spin. That is where we come in. We’re here to help.
Keep reading to find a breakdown of each village. Our goal is to give you as complete of a picture of the area as possible so that you can make the decision that is best for you!
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Where to Stay in the Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre Villages
Let’s start with a quick introduction to the area.
The Cinque Terre is part of the Liguria region of Italy and is probably on everyone’s Italy bucket list. This region is known for some of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Europe.
You will find the Cinque Terre, meaning 5 (cinque) towns (terre), up in the western curve of the top of the country.
This area, also called The Italian Riviera, is known for its beautiful resort towns and fishing villages sprinkled throughout the region. Famous for pesto, focaccia bread (don’t call it pizza), and porcini mushrooms, the Liguria region has its own take on food as well.
The 5 towns of the Cinque Terre are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each town has its own unique personality so you are sure to find the perfect town for you.
Of course, while you are here, you are going to want to visit each one, and thanks to the hiking trails and the regional train, you can do just that. I would recommend choosing one as your home base and then exploring from there using this Cinque Terre train travel guide to assist you.
You will find the 5 villages connected by a regional train, and it is super simple to navigate. The villages are literally just minutes apart from one another by train.
Even if you choose to stay in La Spezia as noted below in our insider tip, you are still only about 5 minutes away from the first village.
Insider tip: I personally would not rent a car in this area. There is very limited parking in the Cinque Terre. If you do have a car rental during your time here, then you might consider staying in La Spezia instead.
This way you can take the regional train from La Spezia to Cinque Terre and leave your car parked.
Riomaggiore is the Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre for Nightlife Lovers
If you want nightlife, Riomaggiore, the southernmost town of the Cinque Terre, and the first town the train will stop at if you are heading in from La Spezia is the town for you!
I was blown away when I stepped off the train and saw the Mediterranean Sea crashing against the rugged cliffs of Riomaggiore.
Riomaggiore is also home to the easiest of the Cinque Terre hiking trails, the Via dell’Amore, or the walkway of love. The Via dell’Amore connects Riomaggiore to Manarola and is an easy, flat stroll along the turquoise Mediterranean.
Riomaggiore offers visitors many dining options as well as a little taste of nightlife.
Because of this, some people find Riomaggiore to be a little too loud for them. That combined with the fact that Riomaggiore is built into the hillside can deter some people from wanting to stay here.
Therefore, Riomaggiore is the best place to stay in Cinque Terre if you want nightlife.
Riomaggiore attractions include the Castello di Riomaggiore, a neat castle with demanding views of the Meditteranean. Visitors will also enjoy checking out the beautiful Church of San Giovanni Battista.
Best Hotels in Riomaggiore
Cinque Terre Residence
The Cinque Terre Residence is one of the most recommended hotels in all of the Cinque Terre, not just Riomaggiore. Cinque Terre Residence offers guests WiFi throughout the property.
They also offer a panoramic terrace, perfect to match the sunset before soaking in the hot tub. All rooms have air conditioning, a free mini-bar, a private bathroom, and a private terrace.
Hotel Due Gemelli
The Hotel Due Gemelli is a more budget-friendly choice in the Cinque Terre. This boutique hotel is set among the pines on a hillside overlooking the pastel house of Riomaggiore.
All of the rooms at this hotel have sea views, private balconies, free parking, and free WiFi. Guests also enjoy a continental breakfast daily while at the Hotel Due Gemelli.
Hotel Villa Argentina is a short, 10-minute walk from the Riomaggiore train station. The rooms at Hotel Villa Argentina have private bathrooms, air conditioning, and come with a daily breakfast buffet that can even be delivered to your room if you wish.
Check Reviews on TripAdvisor
Manarola is the Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre for Hikers
Manarola is one of the most photographed of the Cinque Terre towns, and I’m sure you have seen it. You’ve probably seen it on postcards, blog posts, and social media platforms.
Known for its wine production and gorgeous hillside, Manarola is a quieter town in comparison to Riomaggiore.
Manarola is the second smallest of the five towns and was once a frazione community. Hikers and walkers will love all of the trails that start in Manarola, including the beautiful Manarola vineyard trail that Marty and I had the pleasure of walking.
The pathway starts up the hill by the church and then winds around the northern edge of the city. Along the way, you will stroll through the grapevines and along the beautiful coast until you wind up in the most picturesque portion of Manarola with the Meditteranean Sea and your feet and the town with its pastel houses across from you.
Although Manarola doesn’t have much of a beach, its rocky outcropping is popular to sunbathe and jump off of into the refreshing waters of the Meditteranean Sea.
Honestly, swimming here is one of the highlights of this fabulous town. Well, that and trying some of the village’s famous wine, Sciacchetra.
This is why Manarola is the best place to stay in Cinque Terre if you want access to several hiking/walking trails, a quieter pace, and if you don’t mind dodging tourists during the day since this is one of the most popular towns in Cinque Terre.
Best Hotels in Manarola
Hotel Ca D’Andrean
Hotel Ca D’Andrean is a top rated Manarola hotel. This beautiful hotel, which is also recommended by Rick Steves, boasts beautiful views, private balconies, air conditioning, and free WiFi for its guests.
Arpaiu is a small place, offering up 5 guestrooms, a rooftop terrace, self-parking, and free WiFi. This hotel is a basic, no-frills hotel which means it should easily fit into your budget.
The First- Il Sogno di Manarola
The First Hotel is an absolute luxury hotel. Don’t dismiss it though, because depending on the time of year you visit, you will find that most of the hotels in Cinque Terre are not outrageously priced.
The First consists of three private apartments that each have fabulous terraces overlooking Manarola. If you are looking for where to stay in Cinque Terre, you should definitely consider The First Hotel.
Read Reviews on TripAdvisor
Corniglia is the Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre to Avoid Crowds and Live Like a Local
If you’re looking at where to stay in Cinque Terre that is off the beaten path and not overrun with tourists, then Corniglia is for you.
Corniglia is the oldest of the Cinque Terre towns and is the only one that doesn’t sit directly on the water. Home to only 150 local residents, Corniglia is often overlooked by tourists, but it is actually a great choice if you are wanting a quiet town to escape the crowds.
Corniglia is within walking distance of Vernazza and a wonderful place to call home during your time in Cinque Terre. Because most people overlook Corniglia you can often find budget accommodations here.
Keep in mind that because Corniglia is situated high atop a cliff, there is a climb to get into the town. A climb of 365 steps to be exact.
Not to worry though, if you don’t feel like trekking up the stairs, there is a small shuttle bus that you can catch outside of the train station that will tote you up to the village.
Best Places to Stay in Corniglia
Affittacamere Le Terrazze
Apartments at Affittacamere Le Terrazze has both standard rooms and apartments. The apartments contain a fully equipped kitchen which can help save on your food budget as well.
Travelers love the location and the views from Affittacamere Le Terrazze.
The majority of rooms Il Taragio has beautiful mountain views, but some have partial ocean views. Both beckon guests to come and explore the Cinque Terre. Il Taragio has private bathrooms and free WiFi.
La Posada offers guests the opportunity to stay right in the center of Corniglia, about a half-mile from La Spiaggione Beach. Most rooms overlook the sea and contain private bathrooms and air conditioning. La Posada also offers a sea view restaurant that specializes in regional cuisine.
Check Reviews on TripAdvisor
Vernazza is the Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre for Sheer Beauty
Vernazza is one of the best places to stay in Cinque Terre. Like all of the other towns in the Cinque Terre, Vernazza has beautiful coastal views and colorful houses that dot the hillside.
If you’re a beach lover looking for where to stay in Cinque Terre, then Vernazza might be the best choice for you. Vernazza is often recommended the most by Europeans as the best place to stay in Cinque Terre.
Vernazza has the only natural harbor in the Cinque Terre and has two beaches that you can choose from. While both beaches are small, they are sandy and a great way to spend a day in the Cinque Terre.
Visitors to Vernazza like to walk the town walls and visit the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia.
Best Accommodations in Vernazza
Hotel Gianni Franzi
Located just below Vernazza’s Doria Castle, Hotel Gianni Franzi has a terrace with a stunning view of the Meditteranean Sea. Each room includes a private bathroom and has free WiFi in public areas. The hotel is in close proximity to the beach and hiking trails.
Paola 51 is in the heart of Vernazza and contains rooms with both city and mountain views. The accommodations also include breakfast, WiFi, a balcony, and air conditioning.
Michela Rooms Vernazza
If you’re looking for where to stay in Cinque Terre for a beachfront apartment, then look no further than Michela Rooms Vernazza. This air-conditioned bed and breakfast has free WiFi and has bicycle and car rental on site.
Check Reviews on TripAdvisor
Monterosso is the Best Place to Stay in Cinque Terre for Beach Lovers
Monterosso is the largest and most northern village in the Cinque Terre. The village is separated into two sections, the “new town” and the “old town”.
Since Monterosso is the largest village, it contains many options for accommodation and dining, not to mention the best beaches in the Cinque Terre.
Monterosso is also relatively flat in comparison to the other Cinque Terre towns so it is a little easier to navigate.
The beaches are truly the biggest draw to Monterosso and are therefore the best place to stay in Cinque Terre if you are a beach lover.
Marty and I loved wasting the day away in the sun on the gorgeous Italian Riviera and our favorite place to do so in Cinque Terre was Monterosso.
The turquoise water glistened in the sun and just beckoned for you to come in and cool off. Combine that with the great beachside dining that we found, and we were in heaven.
Best Places to Stay in Monterosso
Hotel Stella della Marina
Situated in old town Monterosso, the Hotel Stella della Marina might be the best place to stay in Cinque Terre for those that love a good rooftop terrace and bar.
Visitors like that this hotel is only a 10-minute walk from the train station and that the hotel staff is very welcoming. Rooms have great views, air conditioning, free WiFi, and free breakfast.
Do note that this is a non-smoking hotel and it does not have an elevator.
Nestled at the top of the hill in Monterosso, but only a 2-minute walk to restaurants and cafes, the Hotel Souvenir might just be the place for you. This non-smoking hotel has a multi-lingual staff, free WiFi, free breakfast, and allows pets!
Hotel Villa Adriana
A unique feature of Hotel Villa Adriana is that it has a pool! Now, I know, you are on the Meditteranean, but sometimes a pool is nice also.
In addition to the pool, guests enjoy free WiFi and breakfast. Guests love that the location is close to everything, but they do note that you have to haul your luggage up the hills, so keep that in mind.
Check Ratings on TripAdvisor
How Many Days in Cinque Terre
Granted, you can do the Cinque Terre in one jam-packed day. For some, this is their only option as they are visiting the Cinque Terre on a day trip like we suggested in our 10 day Italy itinerary.
I assume that since you are reading this post on where to stay in Cinque Terre that you are interested in spending some time here.
Once you’ve decided the best place to stay in Cinque Terre, then you need to determine the number of nights you will need to book. I would suggest a minimum of 2 nights.
This will allow you time to visit all of the villages of the Cinque Terre and do a little bit of hiking.
Of course, if you want to do more hiking or spend some time at the beach as we did, then I would say you need 3-5 nights depending on your preference.
Really, how many days in Cinque Terre depends on what you want to do and what you would like your pace to be. We spent 5 nights on our trip and were able to visit all of the villages at a leisurely pace and spent a couple of days on the beach.
Getting Around Cinque Terre
Getting around Cinque Terre is actually very easy. You have several options available to you including renting a car, taking the train, using ferries, and walking.
Our preferred method of transportation while in Italy is usually always public transportation. We enjoy the ease of train travel and found that Cinque Terre was very easy to navigate.
Of course, you should be familiar with train travel in Europe to make it easy for you.
All of the villages are only minutes apart by regional train. In addition, the train also connects you to Levanto and La Spezia. You can purchase single-ride tickets or you can buy a “hop-on, hop-off” pass with the Cinque Terre Card.
If you are flying into Milan or Florence and are getting a car in order to explore Italy, then you can easily drive to Cinque Terre as well. Please note, as we mentioned above, that parking in the 5 villages can be difficult.
If you are traveling with a rental car the staying in Levanto or La Spezia might be the best place to stay in Cinque Terre for you.
In addition to the train, there are several ferry companies that operate during the summer months to transport passengers to most of the Cinque Terre villages. These ferries also make stops in La Spezia, Portoverne, and Levanto.
You can check their routes and timetables here.
One of the most popular ways to get around Cinque Terre is by hiking and walking. It is important to note that you must have a permit in order to hike in Cinque Terre. This permit can be obtained by buying the Cinque Terre Card.
You can buy a Cinque Terre Card that is just for trekking, or you can buy one that includes hiking and train riding. Keep in mind when deciding where to stay in Cinque Terre that some places can access the trails more easily than others.
You should also check the Cinque Terre National Park website to monitor which trails are open and which are closed.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Cinque Terre
Well, there you have our tips on where to stay in Cinque Terre. We would love to know which villages appeal to you. Comment below and tell us!
Suggested Tours in Cinque Terre
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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight:
We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best prices on flights. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines all over the world to ensure you get the best deal! In addition to flights, you can also find great hotel prices on Kayak and Kiwi.
Book Your Vacation Package:
If you want to book an entire vacation package, then we suggest using Expedia. We love how easy Expedia is to use and we always find good deals on entire vacation packages on their site.
Another great site for vacation packages is BookVIP. BookVIP offers super cheap vacation packages to incredible destinations. You are sure to save money using their site!
For full guided vacations including hotels, some meals, transportation, and guides, then we book with Trafalgar. Trafalgar is a trusted tour company that will meet all of your needs while ensuring that you have a great experience.
Trip.com allows you to book flights, hotels, train tickets, rental cars, airport transfers, tours, and more all on one site. Owned by the parent company that also owns Skyscanner, this is a trusted resource for travel booking and a great “one-stop-shop.”
Book Your Accommodations:
We always begin our search by checking out the honest review on hotels at TripAdvisor. This allows us to narrow our search for specific properties once we are ready to book. Of course, you can also book directly on the TripAdvisor site as well!
There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it gives you a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses at a good price.
Another “go-to” hotel booking site for us is Hotels.com. We love their loyalty program that allows you to earn free nights, and their “secret prices” for members are fabulous deals!
If you are looking for a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, then consider checking out the Sandals/Beaches properties. Sandals properties are for couples only and Beaches are for families. We have visited Sandals in the past and absolutely love the attention to detail and the service they provide.
Tour Companies We Trust:
We love taking guided tours when visiting new places. Our go-to tour companies are Viator.com and Get Your Guide. Both of these companies have been in business for years and provide excellent customer service. You can trust booking tours from their sites for sure!
CityPass is a great way to save money when visiting large cities. CityPass allows you to get free admission to major attractions once you buy their pass. The savings add up quickly with this pass, often saving 50% with combined admissions.
Another great pass to save money in larger cities is the Sightseeing Pass. This pass allows you to save valuable time and money by combining admissions to major attractions. They also have a handy app that keeps everything you need at your fingertips.
Looking to Save Time and Money?
Check out our resource page for all of our favorite vendors. These companies help us to save time and money on our travels!
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About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.