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When you’re visiting the national park, you have options when choosing where to stay in Cinque Terre. That will, of course, depend on your means of transport and what kind of vacation you’re looking for!
If you’re visiting the Cinque Terre by train, the best option for you is to stay in one of the five villages or one of the adjacent bigger towns. If you’re visiting by car, you’ll want to stay at one of the larger villages, like Riomaggiore or Monterosso.
In general, accommodation in any of the 5 villages is sparse so if you’re planning to visit, figuring out where the best place to stay in Cinque Terre is for you is very important. Luckily, we’ve put together this post to help you with your accommodation planning!
Best for: first-time visitors, couples
Manarola is the most well-known of the five villages. Access to the town is forbidden for cars, for both tourists and residents. There’s a parking space at the entry to Manarola, which costs €25 per day. If you’re wondering where to stay in Cinque Terre without a car, Manarola is a good bet.
If you’re looking for a postcard picture experience in Cinque Terre, Manarola would be one of the best villages for you to stay in.
The village has a lot to offer in terms of cafes and restaurants that are concentrated along the main street of the village, called Via di Mezzo. Staying in Manarola is also a great choice for couples who want to enjoy the view with their partner.
While Manarola might be one of the most popular, well-known, and magic villages, the accommodations there are not many. If you’re set on staying here, you’ll have to plan ahead and once you find something you like, act quickly.
Best places to stay in Manarola:
Best for: families, foodies
Riomaggiore is the closest village to La Spezia and the first one you reach coming from there by train. It’s one of the best villages to stay in if you’re traveling with a young group of friends who are mostly set on having a good time. If you’re wondering where to stay in Cinque Terre, keep that in mind.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Riomaggiore is a village built into a cliff, so you better be prepared to hike up a hill, where your accommodation will most likely be situated.
The many village cafes, restaurants, and pubs are situated along the main road. Riomaggiore is also the start of the Sentiero Azzurro, which is the most famous path connecting all five villages. It’s a 12 km long path, divided into 4 parts.
If you decide to go on that adventure, be careful because the path is quite difficult and not to be accessed in flip-flops. The path will however reward your efforts with amazing views.
The accommodation offer is limited and is mostly limited to traditional and family-run hotels and apartments. The prices are never low and rise still during summer, so plan in advance!
Best places to stay in Riomaggiore:
Best for: Hiking, an authentic experience, budget travelers
An authentic gem, Corniglia is the smallest of the five villages. The hardest to reach and the least touristy. If you’re not sure where to stay in Cinque Terre to avoid the crowds, this is your village.
Corniglia is characterized by colorful houses and the fact that it’s the only one of the five villages that doesn’t have access to the sea. The charming, rustic village is a perfect choice if you don’t mind a bit of hiking and are looking for an authentic experience.
Even arriving by train, you’ll have to walk up about 300 stairs to reach the village, so if you’re thinking about staying in Corniglia, pack light.
The accommodations in Corniglia are somewhat sparse, but the hotels are more affordable than in some of the other villages.
Best places to stay in Corniglia:
Best for: History fans, beach-goers
Vernazza is the picture-perfect image of Cinque Terre you’ll see on postcards and blog headings. It’s a small village, only bigger than Corniglia, but it attracts a crowd of tourists every year.
The village rests on a hilltop east of Monterosso. There are medieval buildings, like the Doria family castle, a little port, and the medieval church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia.
It’s a lively village that has a lot to offer, day and night. There are several cafes and restaurants with terraces that are perfect for watching the sunset.
In terms of accommodation, Vernazza is the ideal place to stay when visiting Cinque Terre, if you don’t mind the tourists. The number of apartments and hotels is not high, which means the prices are appropriate and go quickly.
Best places to stay in Vernazza:
Best for: large groups, beach-goers
Monterosso is the largest of the five villages of Cinque Terre. It’s also the only one not built on a high cliff, so it’s perfect if you’re still trying to figure out where to stay in Cinque Terre with family.
Because it’s the largest, it also has the highest number of hotels and other types of accommodation, which means it’ll be easier to find something if you’re traveling in a large group. It also means that there’ll be a wide range of accommodation at various price points.
Monterosso is the proud home of Cinque Terre’s only honest to god sandy beach. If you’re someone who’s after a real Italian riviera vacation, Monterosso is the perfect destination for you. But that means there’s less of a charming, village feel.
Because the town isn’t built on a cliff, it’s perfectly walkable for those of us who might not be in the best shape or have mobility issues, but still want to enjoy the magic of Cinque Terre. You can still wander around and visit ancient ruins and the large statue of Neptune in the city center.
Best places to stay in Monterosso:
If by now you’re still wondering where to stay when visiting Cinque Terre, there’s also a wildcard option for you. And that is finding accommodation in La Spezia or Levanto. It’s not as attractive or charming as staying in one of the villages, but it’s affordable and perfectly acceptable if you’re only staying a couple of days!
Well, there you have it, some of the best places to stay in Cinque Terre. This is one of the best places we’ve visited in Italy, and we know you’ll love it too!
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