Situated on the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, the beautiful town of Portofino is a favorite destination for travelers from all over the world. With its pastel-colored houses and lovely shops, Portofino is like something out of a storybook.
There’s plenty to see and do in this delightful town, from exploring the charming streets to relaxing on the beach. And of course, no visit to Portofino would be complete without enjoying some of the delicious Italian food on offer!
Visit the magical Castello Brown
There’s no mistaking it – Castello Brown is one fairytale castle! This imposing fortress overlooks the port town of Portofino, and its turrets and ramparts are unforgettable. The castle was built in the 11th century by a powerful local lord, and it has been used as a military stronghold, a private residence, and even a prison. It is also believed to have been the inspiration for the fictional castle in the children’s book The Little Prince.
Today, the castle is open to the public and well worth a visit. Castello Brown is a popular tourist attraction, thanks to its stunning location and fascinating history. Visitors can explore the castle’s beautiful gardens, visit the ancient chapel, and enjoy spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Admire the views from Chiesa San Giorgio
The pretty Chiesa San Giorgio is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Portofino. This lovely church was built in the 13th century and features a beautiful bell tower with stunning views over the town and port.
Inside the church, you’ll find several interesting paintings and artifacts. Chiesa San Giorgio is also a popular spot for weddings, thanks to its romantic setting.
Stroll along the romantic Portofino Harbor
The port of Portofino is one of the most picturesque in Italy. With its colorful houses and fishing boats, it’s the perfect place to while away an afternoon and enjoy the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. If you’re lucky, you might even see a dolphin or two!
There are some cafes and restaurants located around the port, so you can enjoy a coffee or a meal while enjoying the view. You can also take a boat trip from the port, which is a great way to see the nearby coastline.
Worship the sun on the beaches of Portofino
With its Mediterranean location, it’s no surprise that Portofino is home to some stunning beaches. The most popular beach is undoubtedly Paraggi Beach, situated just outside the town center. This wide sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying the views. There are also pretty beach clubs located here, so you can sip a refreshing cocktail or have a bite to eat in between dips in the sea.
Marina Piccola offers stunning views of the town and the surrounding mountains, while Lido di Portofino, is a great destination for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing.
If you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, definitely check out the Spiaggia della Punta del Capo, which can only be reached by boat. And of course, no trip to Portofino would be complete without a visit to the world-famous Via dell’Amore, a beautiful coastal walkway that connects Portofino with the nearby town of Riomaggiore.
Explore the charming streets
Portofino is a town best explored on foot, so wander around and enjoy the pretty buildings and shops. Make sure to stop by Piazza degli Amici, the main square, often filled with performers and musicians.
If you want to do some shopping, head to Via Roma, the main street, which is lined with high-end fashion boutiques and stores. Or, for something more unique, browse the shops selling local art and handmade goods.
Portofino is also home to a few museums, including the Museo Civico di Portofino where you’ll discover a collection of paintings and artifacts from the town’s history. Other interesting museums in town are the Museo della Marineria which tells the story of Portofino’s maritime past, and the Museo del Parco di Portofino, awaiting in an 18th-century villa and adorned with a lovely garden.
Sample the local cuisine
As you would expect from an Italian town, there are plenty of great places to eat in Portofino. You’ll find everything from casual pizzerias to Michelin-starred restaurants. The town is famous for its fresh seafood, so make sure to try dishes such as spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) and fritto misto (fried seafood).
For something truly special, book a table at the Michelin-starred La Terrazza Restaurant, a fabulous location with stunning views of the port as well as exquisite Mediterranean cuisine. Or, for a more casual dining experience, head to one of the many trattorias dotted around town.
End your evening with a drink in one of Portofino’s lively bars
After a day of exploring, there’s nothing better than enjoying a drink in one of Portofino’s lively bars. For something truly unique, head to the Drop Bar, located inside an old water cistern. Or, for breathtaking views of the port, visit the Sky Bar at the Hotel Splendido.
In the mood for a more traditional Italian bar experience? Head to Bar degli Amici, where you can enjoy a glass of wine or a refreshing spritz while chatting with the friendly locals.