Spending 2 days in Cinque Terre is a great experience. Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful places in Italy. It's a coastal area in Liguria.
When I first arrived in Cinque Terre, I couldn't believe my eyes. The houses are very colorful, making them look like a fairy tale. There are many photos of Cinque Terre on the internet, and I can promise you, the area will not disappoint you!
The towns are very close to each other, so you can see them in a day. But if you want to have the best experience, I'd recommend spending 2 days in Cinque Terre. Then, you have enough time to actually enjoy the villages and see everything.
I first start with some basic information about Cinque Terre. After that, I show you the perfect itinerary for 2 days.
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Tips for 2 days in Cinque Terre
Here are some tips for your 48 hours in Cinque Terre!
Cinque Terre Card
If you're in Cinque Terre for 2 days, it's convenient to buy the Cinque Terre Card. This card is for the hiking trails and the train.
You can choose the card that only allows you to access the hiking trails. But you can also choose the card that gives you access to both the train and the hiking trails.
The second card is more convenient, as this card also allows you to get to La Spezia by train. La Spezia is a city near Cinque Terre. Furthermore, the trains are very fast, so that's great.
You can buy single tickets at the train stations of the villages as well.
Take a water bottle and sunscreen with you in summer
If you're going to Cinque Terre in summer, it can be very hot. Especially if you're planning on hiking, I'd recommend having sunscreen with you.
Also, having a water bottle is convenient, as there are drinking fountains in the villages. So I'd recommend taking a water bottle with you!
Why visit Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a wonderful coastal area in Italy. There are so many reasons to visit Cinque Terre! This is a great place to visit if you want to see gorgeous colorful houses.
Cinque Terre belongs to the most picturesque places in the world! For that reason, there are many photo spots in Cinque Terre. If you're 2 days in Cinque Terre, you're going to see many beautiful views.
Another reason to visit Cinque Terre is that you can hike between the villages. There are so many trails in Cinque Terre, making it perfect for those who love hiking. All villages also have a train station.
Also, there is very delicious food in Cinque Terre. There are many restaurants that serve Italian food such as pasta and pizza.
Furthermore, the villages of Cinque Terre are very close to each other. For that reason, it's easy to visit several villages in a short amount of time.
There are five villages in Cinque Terre. The villages are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. All villages have something special.
If you're in Cinque Terre for 2 days, you should definitely see all villages. I included every village in this itinerary.
Riomaggiore is a very charming village in Cinque Terre. The houses here look incredible and the historic character of the village is great.
Furthermore, in the main street, you can find lovely restaurants and shops. Having food and shopping here is amazing! It's such a beautiful village to see during your trip.
Manarola is the second-smallest town in Cinque Terre. The historic buildings in Manarola are very beautiful to see.
There's a church dating from the 14th century. The name of the church is San Lorenzo.
Corniglia is the only village in Cinque Terre that isn't at the seafront. That makes it different from the other villages. The architecture of the buildings in the town is amazing.
Very interesting is that there was a castle in the past according to documents from the 13th century. But Corniglia didn't find remains yet.
Vernazza is my favorite town in Cinque Terre. That's because the view of the town is so magical and the houses are elegant! The beautiful view of Vernazza is also part of this 2-day itinerary.
Furthermore, there's a lovely beach in Vernazza. From there, you have a great view of the town. In summer, swimming in the water is very convenient.
Vernazza also has a lovely port. The beautiful boats make the town even more charming.
There are also some great sights in Vernazza. For example, Doria Castle is an interesting sight to see. People built this castle very long ago to protect Vernazza from pirates. From, there, you have a gorgeous view of the town.
Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso al Mare is a very popular village. That's because there's a large sandy beach.
One of the most beautiful things to see in Monterosso al Mare is Scoglio di Monterosso. This is a large rock in the water. You should definitely see it if you're in Cinque Terre for 2 days.
There are several great beaches in Cinque Terre. And the area is close to other wonderful destinations in Italy. Furthermore, it's a great place to experience the Italian culture. In short, it's definitely a place you have to see!
How to get to Cinque Terre
Getting to Cinque Terre is very easy. The best way to get there is to first go to a city close to Cinque Terre. For example, you can get to Pisa first, as there is an airport. From there, you can take a train to La Spezia.
La Spezia is very close to Cinque Terre. From there, it takes about 10 minutes to get to Riomaggiore by train. All villages of Cinque Terre have a train station. So that's very convenient.
It's easy to get to Cinque Terre from many parts of Italy. For example, getting from Florence to Cinque Terre is also easy.
How to get around during your 2 days in Cinque Terre
Getting around in Cinque Terre is very easy. You can get everywhere by train!
That's also one of the reasons why it's easy to see a lot in 48 hours in Cinque Terre.
As I mentioned before, with the Cinque Terre Card you have unlimited access to the trains. But you can also buy single tickets at the stations.
Furthermore, many people hike in Cinque Terre. It's a very popular activity.
Where to stay when you’re 2 days in Cinque Terre
There are many places where you can stay during your trip.
It's the most fun to stay in one of the towns. All towns have beautiful accommodations.
For example, staying in Riomaggiore is amazing. There are many hotels with beautiful views of the town.
Staying in Vernazza is also great. There's a street with lots of restaurants, making it a very convenient village to stay in.
The other towns, Manarola, Corniglia, and Monterosso al Mare, have beautiful accommodations too. As there are great train connections, it's not very important in which village you stay. You can get to all villages very fast anyway!
If you're on a budget, I'd recommend staying in La Spezia. It takes about ten minutes to get to Cinque Terre from La Spezia. But it will save you a lot of money. The accommodations in La Spezia are way more affordable.
Even though La Spezia isn't in Cinque Terre, it's a very nice place to stay! The city has many shops and it looks pretty. Furthermore, there are many large supermarkets which is convenient.
This was the view from my accommodation in La Spezia. It was such a nice place to stay! And it was only a short walk to the train station.
You can also stay in another city such as Pisa. I wouldn't recommend that, as it takes longer to get to Cinque Terre from Pisa. But if your return flight leaves early in the morning, staying there can be more convenient.
2 Day Itinerary for Cinque Terre
Now you have all the important information about Cinque Terre. So let's start with this itinerary! If you follow this itinerary, you will definitely make the most out of your time there.
2 Days in Cinque Terre: Day 1
It's your first day in Cinque Terre! This day is going to be amazing. The day starts in Vernazza. So if you're staying there, you can wake up and go outside. If you're staying in another village, wake up and get on the train!
I'd recommend having breakfast at your accommodation.
Wonderful view of Vernazza
You're now going to one of the most beautiful places to see in the area. It's a wonderful viewpoint of Vernazza! The colorful village looks gorgeous from here.
You can find this place along the hiking trail between Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. So you need the Cinque Terre Card to get there.
It's not a very long walk, as it's close to the center of Vernazza. You only have to walk for about twenty minutes.
Once you're there, admire the wonderful view! This is also one of the best places for photos in the area. So I'd recommend taking your camera with you.
If you want to get on the platform, you need to go underneath a fence and climb down. You can also eat your breakfast here if you prefer that over your accommodation.
This place actually looks like a fairy tale. I can't believe how wonderful the view is!
Small beach in Vernazza
After seeing this magnificent view, it's time to go to the beach of Vernazza!
There's a very cute small beach. This is actually my favorite beach in Cinque Terre.
The view from the beach of the houses in Vernazza is so beautiful! Swimming here is definitely one of the best things to do in the area. It's so peaceful! If you're 2 days in Cinque Terre, you have to see this beach.
If you don't like swimming, or if it's too cold for that, going here is still great. You can relax at the beach for a while, as it's a lovely place to be.
After relaxing at the beach, it's time for Doria Castle. Doria Castle is a very interesting place to be in Cinque Terre. Here, you can both learn about the history and get a beautiful view!
From the port of Vernazza, you need to follow a small path uphill. After that, there's a staircase and then you're there. There are signs that show the way.
The fortress is already there since the 12th century. In the past, people needed it to protect the town from pirates.
It's so nice to also learn about history when you're 2 days in Cinque Terre. And it's impressive to realize that Doria Castle is hundreds of years old.
To get to Doria Castle, you need tickets. You can buy tickets at the entrance. Tickets are only about $2 (€1.50).
This morning, you swam, you saw beautiful views and you learned about history. So you're definitely hungry. Now, it's time for lunch!
As you're already in Vernazza, you can have lunch there!
Vernazza has some lovely places where you can eat. You can have lunch in one of the amazing restaurants.
But you can also order lunch to take away! That's a great option as it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Vernazza more.
For example, there are benches in the town where you can sit down and eat. But you can also walk to the port and sit on the rocks. Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure you'll have a very nice lunch!
I'd recommend having some pizza or pasta. But there are many other options in the village as well.
Traveling to Monterosso al Mare: on foot or by train
Now, it's time to go to Monterosso al Mare!
There are two options. You can go hiking but you can also travel by train.
As hiking is one of the most popular things to do in Cinque Terre, this is a great option. But keep in mind that the hike between Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare is a hard hike. Other hikes in Cinque Terre are easier.
Make sure to wear good shoes if you're going to hike! And don't forget to bring your Cinque Terre Card with you.
Hiking here is definitely an amazing experience. If you want to see as many views as possible, you should definitely go hiking.
If you don't want to go hiking, you can travel to Monterosso al Mare by train. The train is much faster, so in that case, you have more time in the village! You can also choose to stay a little longer in Vernazza if you prefer that.
Beach in Monterosso al Mare
When you arrive in Monterosso al Mare, you can go to the beach! There's an amazing long sandy beach in the village. You can choose to go to the free part of the beach.
But you can also rent a sunbed. The sunbeds at the beach are very colorful which looks incredible.
Swimming here is one of the best things to do. It's so much fun! Don't forget to have a look at the Scoglio di Monterosso. You can find this large rock in the water.
You can also walk through the village and explore it!
Dinner in Monterosso al Mare
In the evening, you can have dinner in Monterosso al Mare.
One of the best restaurants in Monterosso al Mara is L'Ancora della Tortuga. Here, you can taste delicious Ligurian dishes.
The location of the restaurant is magnificent! A part of the place is on a cliff and you have a wonderful view of the sea here. The inside of the place is wonderful as well! It's very charming. Also, a family owns this restaurant.
So I'd definitely recommend having dinner there! But there are many other restaurants in Monterosso al Mare that are very good. And you can also have dinner in another village.
Sunset in Monterosso al Mare
Now you can watch the sunset! Sunsets in Cinque Terre are very magical. As you had dinner in Monterosso al Mare, you can watch the sunset here. You can sit by the water and look at the beautiful horizon. Seeing a sunset here is so romantic!
You can also choose to watch the sunset in another village. For example, sunsets in Vernazza are very beautiful as well.
2 Days in Cinque Terre: Day 2
Your second day will start in Riomaggiore! If you're staying there, you will wake up with a beautiful view of the town. If you're not staying in Riomaggiore, you can first take the train to the village.
See Riomaggiore when it's quiet
Early in the morning, it's very quiet in Riomaggiore. The village looks peaceful then. This is so special to see because in the afternoon and evening it's very busy.
I'd recommend taking some breakfast with you. You can have breakfast with a beautiful view of the village.
When you had breakfast, it's time to go to Riomaggiore Beach! This is a very small and lovely beach. When it's summer, you can swim here. Otherwise, you can enjoy beautiful views from there!
After that, it's time to go to Manarola! Take the train, and you'll be there very fast. You can first have a look at the beautiful town and after that, it's time for lunch.
Lunch with a magnificent view
You're going to have lunch at a very special place, Nessun Dorma! This is one of the most popular places in Manarola. You should definitely have lunch here if you're 2 days in Cinque Terre.
One of the reasons why this place is amazing is the incredible view of the village you have from there! It's on a hill in Manarola. This is one of my favorite locations in Cinque Terre.
Furthermore, the food at Nessun Dorma is incredible. Most people have bruschetta here. That's an Italian dish made of grilled bread with garlic, olive oil, and salt. There are several toppings, such as tomato.
But the restaurant offers more food. For example, you can have delicious salads here. The place uses fresh ingredients for the food.
Keep in mind that there can be a long queue as it's so popular.
Viewpoint in Corniglia
After lunch, you can go to Corniglia! You can take the train and you'll be there very fast. This lovely town has a very beautiful viewpoint that you have to see. The name of the viewpoint is Saint Mary's Terrace.
From there you can see parts of the other towns of Cinque Terre. Furthermore, you also have a magnificent view of the sea from there. You should definitely see it during your time in Cinque Terre.
Chiesa Di San Pietra
After enjoying the wonderful view, it's time to see the Chiesa Di San Pietra. The church is one of the best sights in Corniglia.
It's very interesting to go there, as the church is hundreds of years old. So if you like history, you'll definitely love it. It is a very small church and not only the outside, but also the inside is wonderful.
It's time for dinner! You're still in Corniglia, so you can go to a restaurant there.
A great place for dinner in Corniglia is Il Buongustaio. The food at this restaurant is very good! I'd especially recommend the pasta dishes. Furthermore, the interior of the place is amazing and the atmosphere is great.
But you can also take the train and have dinner in another village! All towns have great restaurants.
For example, you can have dinner in Riomaggiore. Order a pizza to take away and eat it outside with a wonderful view! I did that and it's amazing!
If the sea isn't very rough, you can also sit on the rocks in Riomaggiore.
If you have more time
This was the itinerary. If you follow it, you will make the most out of your time and see all highlights!
But if you have more time, there are other great things to do in the area. Here are some options!
Rent a boat in Cinque Terre
A very fun thing to do in Cinque Terre is renting a boat! The villages always look incredible. But from the water, it's even more unique to see them.
Furthermore, it's very fun to sail in the area on a summer day.
Porto Venere is a town very close to Cinque Terre. Many people call it the sixth Cinque Terre! This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are beautiful colorful houses in Porto Venere too. It's very photogenic!
One of the best things to see in Porto Venere is the San Lorenzo Church. This church is very old, as people built it in the 12th century.
Hike between all villages
In this itinerary, I only recommend hiking between Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. That's because of the time. But it's definitely fun to do the other hikes as well!
You can hike between all villages in one day. For example, you can start in Riomaggiore and finish in Monterosso al Mare. This is a very fun thing to do!
But most people don't do all hikes in one day. That's because it takes a lot of time and it can be challenging. Also, you enjoy the villages more if you have more time for each village.
This activity is especially fun if you like beautiful views.
If you have more time, you can also decide to explore La Spezia! There are many great things to do in the city.
For example, you can see Castello San Giorgio. This is a very old castle in La Spezia.
But La Spezia also has many shops, so you can go shopping too.
Or you can go to one of the great museums in the city! For example, the Technical Naval Museum in La Spezia is great. You can learn a lot about the Italian Navy there.
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