Where To Stay In Cinque Terre

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Cinque Terre is a stunning part of the Italian Riviera and has a rugged coastline straight out of a picture book. When planning where to stay in Cinque Terre, most visitors choose one of the five charming villages – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza or Corniglia. Each place has its own charm and vibe, so, deciding where to stay in Cinque Terre depends on what you plan on doing during your trip.

One of the top attractions is hiking the famous trail through Cinque Terre National Park that connects these five villages. This iconic walk hugs the coastline in some places, offering gorgeous Mediterranean views and heads inland past vineyards, olive groves, mysterious ruins and delightfully colourful villages. Hiking the trail is a fantastic way to explore. Whether you do a multiday hike or short hikes while you explore each village, here are some ideas on where to stay in Cinque Terre for all budgets.

Where To Stay In Cinque Terre

Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso Al Mare, Colorful Cityscape On The Mountains
Consider Monterosso Al Mare when choosing where to stay in the Cinque Terre.

Monterosso is the largest village of the five villages and has plenty to explore in the old town and the new one.

If you’re keen on spending time at the beach, choose Monterossa, as it’s home to Cinque Terre’s largest beach.

Keep an eye out for Il Gigante, which is a statue carved into the rock at one end of the beach.

This village is also home to historic sights such as the Capuchin Monastery, higher up in the town and where you can admire lovely ocean views, and the historic Gothic-Ligurian style San Giovanni Battista Church.

Monterosso also has a good selection of accommodation options, from hostels and vacation rentals to upmarket hotels.

You’ll also have a decent choice of eateries with tasty local cuisine, including Ligurian dishes and great seafood.


  • Most significant and easy to get to the beach for swimming and sunbathing.
  • It is less steep than other villages and more manageable to get around.
  • Wide range of accommodation options.
  • Variety of restaurants, cafes and bars that stay open late.


  • It is more crowded than the smaller villages during peak tourist season.
  • Less intimate than the smaller villages.
  • Prices for food and accommodation are slightly higher than the smaller villages.


Vernazza In Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy
Vernazza is a charming place to stay in Cinque Terre.

One of the most beautiful of the five villages, don’t miss Vernazza if you’re looking for photos to fill your Instagram feed.

It has a beautiful harbour, small rocky beach and charming narrow streets with cafes and eateries.

Home to Castello Doria, an old castle with a lookout tower where you can glimpse a stunning view of the village and ocean.


  • Stunning scenery that is a photographer’s dream.
  • It’s location in the middle of the five villages makes it a good base for short hikes.
  • Medieval charm with historic sites like the Castello Doria and Santa Margherita d’Antiochia Church.
  • There are eateries along the harbour with Mediterranean views.


  • Vernazza can get crowded during peak tourist season.
  • Fewer accommodation options.
  • Prices for accommodations and food can be slightly on the high side.
  • Vernazza’s train station is an uphill walk from the main town.
  • Lack of sandy beach
  • Susceptible to heavy rain and floods.


Happy Family With View Of The Old European Village
Corniglia is where to stay in Cinque Terre for a romantic time.

As Corniglia is on a cliff and not directly by the sea, this is the place to stay in Cinque Terre for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

You’ll find many excellent where you can sit and enjoy the magnificent ocean views.

The village’s main square, Largo Taragio, has a historic fountain that was once the village’s main water source.

The square is tranquil and surrounded by pastel-coloured historic Ligurian buildings, local shops, restaurants and bars.

It’s a lovely spot to eat gelato while lapping up the local vibe.

A short walk away, the 14th-century Church of San Pietro is worth a look for its Gothic-Ligurian architecture.

If you’re planning to hike between the villages, starting from Corniglia involves an uphill hike towards Vernazza or a descent towards Manarola.


  • Less touristy than other areas and a peaceful haven
  • Amazing views of the Ligurian Sea and other villages.
  • Authentic local life
  • Central location if you’re planning on visiting other villages.
  • Trattorias and cafes with tasty Ligurian dishes and smaller crowds.
  • More budget-friendly compared to Vernazza or Monterosso.


  • You’ll need to climb the Lardarina (382 steps) from the railway station.
  • No direct sea access or a beach.
  • Limited Nightlife
  • Fewer accommodation options than larger villages like Monterosso.


Manarola Village , Cinque Terre National Park
Where is the best place to stay in Cinque Terre for access to the water? Try Manarola.

Manarola is a romantic and serene village with amazing sunset views that makes it a popular spot for photographers.

The view from the “Lover’s Path” is especially famous and the town also has vineyards, which produce the local wine, Sciacchetrà.

San Lorenzo Church is a lovely church with a square bell tower.


  • Stunning coastal scenery: the sight of colourful houses clinging to the cliffs is not to be missed.
  • Hiking: Manarola is an excellent place to start a longer Cinque Terre hike, especially the famous Via dell’Amore.
  • Village charm: The narrow winding streets and local shops makes this a charming and traditional village to stay at.
  • Smaller Crowds: Manarola is often less crowded than other villages.
  • Swimming: It has some good swimming spots.


  • Limited Accommodation: There aren’t as many choices and you’ll need to book in advance.
  • Steep Hills: Some places require uphill walking or climbing stairs.
  • Limited Nightlife: Manarola is a quieter than other places.
  • Accessibility: Access is by train or boat and there’s no direct road access for cars.


Luxury hotel and five star room service, various food platters, bread and coffee as in-room breakfast for travel and hospitality brand.
Wondering where to stay in Cinque Terre?

Riomaggiore’s harbour is the place to enjoy the view of the town’s colourful buildings cascading down the cliffs but that’s not all it offers.

If you’re keen to explore history, admire the architecture of the 14th-century church of San Giovanni Battista and gaze at Riomaggiore Castle.

Another place to relax and admire the rocky coastline is Riomaggiore Beach.

One of the best reasons to choose staying in Riomaggiore is because it offers access to the famous Via dell’Amore, the path that connects Riomaggiore to Manarola.

This is quite an easy walk with incredible views.

The narrow streets of Riomaggiore are packed with local shops, eateries and cafes.


  • Scenery: This is another village with colourful buildings perched on cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean.
  • Hiking Trails: Riomaggiore is a popular starting point for the hiking trails through the villages. You can access to famous trails, Via dell’Amore and Sentiero Azzurro from Riomaggiore.
  • Local Charm: The village has a traditional atmosphere with narrow streets, local mom and pop shops and seafood restaurants.
  • Swimming: Riomaggiore has some great swimming spots.


  • Limited Accommodation: Rooms can be pricey during peak season as accommodation is limited.
  • Hilly Terrain: Riomaggiore is built on steep hills, and some places require uphill walking.
  • Limited Nightlife: Riomaggiore is a quieter village, and it doesn’t have a vibrant nightlife scene. If you’re looking for nightlife and entertainment, you may need to visit nearby villages or cities.

La Spezia

La Spezia City Marina
La Spezia is where to stay in Cinque Terre for a city vibe.

If you prefer staying in a city, La Spezia is a gateway to the Cinque Terre with a greater choice of accommodation options and an easy day trip to the five villages.

It’s also a good place to look for budget-friendly options.

There’s also lots to do in La Spezia, including visiting Castello San Giorgio, the Naval Technical Museum and the Church of Nostra Signora della Neve.


  • Cheaper accommodation and a greater range
  • More attractions to visit
  • Busier nightlife and more dining options


  • You’ll need to travel by boat or train to explore the five villages

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Jane Williams is a writer living in Mexico. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, she has visited over 30 countries and lived in Japan for two years. Passionate about culture and history, her fascination for ancient civilisations has led to her to explore the world's iconic sites, such as Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat. Even though she loves uncovering the secrets of the past, she feels equally at home exploring contemporary culture. A mother of two with a degree in anthropology, she enjoys sharing her travel adventures with others.