Things to do in Portofino

Things to do in  Portofino

Follow the jet-set crowd

Chic retreat for the international jet set, Portofino charms with its sea views and pocket-sized harbor. Technicolor former fishermen’s houses today host exclusive boutiques and restaurants with al fresco tables overlooking the protected waters of the surrounding marine reserve. Travelers explore the town and surrounding promontory on foot as far as San Fruttuoso or set off to skirt the coastline between Portofino and Santa Margarita by kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or boat—often stopping to swim and snorkel in the pristine Paraggi Bay.

Top 2 attractions in Portofino

Portofino Marine Reserve (Area Marina Protetta di Portofino)

The resort town of Portofino on the Italian Riviera is a popular bolthole for the international jet set, but the town offers more than tony boutiques and glorious sea views. It's also home to an important protected marine area (Area Marina Protetta, known for its pristine coastline and diverse marine life.More

Church of San Giorgio (Chiesa di San Giorgio)

Portofino is the crown jewel of the Italian Riviera, a cheerful clutch of pastel-colored houses lining the waterfront and backed by steep wooded hills of Liguria’s coast. High above this coastline sits the pretty Church of San Giorgio, its sunny yellow facade overlooking a scenic square with magnificent views of the harbor below.More

All about Portofino

When to visit

Portofino is a small coastal village that’s mostly pedestrianized; as such, it’s difficult to park or drive through. A nice way to get there is to leave your car at the cheaper parking lots at Santa Margherita or Rapallo and take the boat to Portofino. Alternatively, take the train to Santa Margherita Ligure, and then a taxi or a public bus for the 15-minute journey to Portofino. Once there, everything is reachable on foot.

Getting around

The village relies on tourism, so many restaurants and shops are closed in winter. By Easter, the place livens up, and summer is a great time to visit with balmy temperatures and cooler breezes coming in from the sea. A big event to plan for is the Zegna Trophy in May, when yachts converge on the town for the annual regatta.

Traveler tips

If you’re looking for knockout Portofino views to fill your social media feed, head up the hill to Castello Brown, setting of Elizabeth von Arnim’s The Enchanted April novel, and the wedding reception venue of Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker. The 10-minute hike up the cobblestone path is steep, but the sea views from the castle gardens make the effort worthwhile.


People Also Ask

What is Portofino known for?

Once a humble fishing village, Portofino is now better known as the Beverly Hills of Italy—a port of call for yachts and monied travelers who like luxurious vacations by the sea. It’s also become an A-list wedding destination; celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker have tied the knot here.

Is Portofino Italy worth visiting?

If you have the money for a splurge, Portofino is worth visiting, even if just for a lunch with views of yachts and Ferraris. Otherwise, it’s worth stopping for a photo as you head down the coast to Camogli, a picturesque seaside town without such eye-watering prices.

Does Portofino have a nightlife?

Yes. Portofino has swanky bars and restaurants clustered around its famous Piazzetta, which starts to get busy around aperitivo hour. Unless you’re invited to a private VIP party, however, you’ll have to go farther afield for late-night dancing; the legendary Covo di Nord-Est nightclub is a few minutes away in Santa Margherita Ligure.

Can you visit Cinque Terre from Portofino?

Yes, but you shouldn’t try to drive yourself as there are driving restrictions and limited parking. Instead, take a train from nearby Santa Margherita Ligure to Sestri Levante and then on to Monterosso, the northernmost Cinque Terre village. In the high season, you can also take a public ferry.

What is there to do in Portofino in the winter?

In winter, you can soak up the town’s beauty without the crowds. You can also explore Portofino Regional Natural Park, which offers varied trails that link up coastal towns like Camogli and Santa Margherita Ligure. But be aware that tourist amenities like ferries and even some restaurants may be closed.

How many days do you need in Portofino?

Portofino is tiny, so a day trip or an overnight stay offers enough time to experience the town itself. That said, if you want to hike or explore the wider area, there’s enough here to keep you occupied for several days—especially if you include the Cinque Terre in your plans.

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