The Best Towns in Cinque Terre COMPLETE Guide

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Discover the best towns in Cinque Terre for the best visit to one of Italy’s most magical coasts.

Cinque Terre is a collection of FIVE stunning seaside villages located along the coast of Italy. This region of Italy has always been known as one of the prettiest places in Italy and has become even more famous in recent years due to the movie Lucca (I loved this film and it is definitely one of the reasons I wanted to visit)!

I spent a few days exploring Cinqu Terre and it really is STUNNING! One thing I didn’t love though is that it is incredibly touristy and as a result, there’s not too much local life. It almost feels like there is no “soul” in Cinque Terre. With this in mind – it’s stunning to see once, but I wouldn’t go back.

Nonetheless, below are the best towns in Cinque Terre!

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5 Best Towns in Cinque Terre

BEFORE you visit Cinque Terre READ THIS!

Where to Stay in Cinque Terre:
🌞 Riomaggiore: EC Luxury Rooms
🌞 Manarola: La Piramide
🌞 Monterosso al Mare: La Terrazza sul Mare Affittacamere
🌞 Vernazza: Affittacamere Benedetta e Isabelle
🌞 Corniglia: Passito rosso

🍃 Book this PESTO MAKING class!

Or Get the Cinque Terre Card HERE.


⭐️ Best for: beautiful views, quieter experience, hiking.
⭐️ Rating (out of 5): 4.5

Riomaggiore is one of the best towns in Cinque Terre because it is simply SO beautiful. With its multicolored buildings set against jagged sea cliffs, it really is something out of a movie.

Riomaggiore is the largest and most Southern village and it is perfect for taking photos, drinking coffee in cute cafés, and walking along the coastal path. This is the perfect base for sailing, kayaking, hiking and of course exploring the other villages!

While here I highly recommend joining this wine tasting tour. You get to visit local vineyards and sample 5 types of wine (fitting for CINQUE (5) Terre)!
Book this Wine Tasting Tour HERE!

Where to Stay in Riomaggiore

➡️ EC Luxury Rooms
➡️ Ai Pesci Room Rental
➡️ Il Rifugio sul mare


⭐️ Best for: world-famous viewpoints, coastal walk, and local cuisine.
⭐️ Rating (out of 5): 4.7

Manarola is one of the best towns in Cinque Terre and my personal favorite! It has breathtaking views, many restaurants, and unique local wines.

Although it is a smaller village with just one main street it has everything you could need. With its colorful houses built into the mountain, beautiful Marina, and world-famous viewpoints it is definitely a place you don’t want to miss!

The number one thing to do here is the PESTO MAKING CLASS! This is such a cool local experience with some of the BEST views. Book this class here before it sells out!

Where to Stay in Manarola

➡️ La Piramide
➡️ ALBERTA Rooms Manarola

Monterosso al Mare

⭐️ Best for: BEST beaches, charming old town, and seafood restaurants.
⭐️ Rating (out of 5): 4.8

Monterosso al Mare is the largest and most lively town in Cinque Terre. This is one of the most popular places to stay in Cinque Terre because it is bigger and has a little more going on when all the tourist buses leave.

➡️ Read More: Hidden Gems in Italy

Monterosso al Mare is also one of the only villages with a beach that you can layout on and swim and sunbathe!

Beyond the beach, you can also explore the old town with its narrow streets, colorful houses, and churches. Although, a highlight is the many restaurants where you can enjoy fresh Italian food and amazing local wines!

Where to Stay in Monterosso al Mare

➡️ La Terrazza sul Mare Affittacamere
➡️ Monterosso Rooms


⭐️ Best for: beautiful harbor, colorful buildings, and stunning coastal views.
⭐️ Rating (out of 5): 4.6

Vernazza is one of the best towns in Cinque Terre and quite an underrated one at that. The town’s single street connects the harbor to the train station, bringing you through colorful houses and vineyards.

The little cove is a popular place to sunbathe, see the local fishing boats, and watch the sunset. Of all the villages in Cinque Terre, this is the most authentic one which has maintained its traditional ways.

Where to Stay in Vernazza

➡️ Affittacamere Benedetta e Isabelle
➡️ MADA Charm Apartments Terrace&Carugio


⭐️ Best for: travelers looking for a quiet and authentic Cinque Terre experience.
⭐️ Rating (out of 5): 4.4

Corniglia is the smallest and most relaxed of the five towns in the Cinque Terre. With limited time Corniglia is a village people often skip in favour of some of the more popular ones but if you have time it is 100% worth the visit.

Corniglia is a romantic village located on a cliff overlooking the Sea. It has stunning panoramic views and charming narrow streets, it is one of the most peaceful and “local” feeling villages in the region.

Where to Stay in Corniglia

➡️ Passito rosso
➡️ Madüneta 5 Terre

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most beautiful town in Cinque Terre?

Choosing the most beautiful town in Cinque Terre is subjective as each town has its own unique charm and beauty. Most people think Vernazza and Manarola are the most beautiful towns in Cinque Terre – but this is 100% subjective!

💡 I think the most beautiful town in Cinque Terre is Manarola.

Which of the five towns in Cinque Terre is best?

Each of the five towns in Cinque Terre—Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare—has its own unique charm and attractions. The “best” town depends on what you’re looking for in your Cinque Terre experience.

➡️ Riomaggiore: Best for its colorful buildings, harbor, and scenic views.
➡️ Manarola: Best for its picturesque beauty, vineyard hillsides, and famous hiking trails.
➡️ Corniglia: Best for a local experience, panoramic views, and authentic Italian charm.
➡️ Vernazza: Best for its iconic harbor, romantic atmosphere, and coastal scenery.
➡️ Monterosso al Mare: Best for its beaches, lively atmosphere, and seafood restaurants.

Which part of Cinque Terre is best to stay?

Choosing where to stay in Cinque Terre is a hard decision and one you really can’t make a mistake with. Here are all the villages and where you should stay based on your values!

➡️ Riomaggiore: A good option if you want easy access to hiking trails and don’t mind stairs.
➡️ Manarola: A great choice for wine lovers and those seeking stunning views.
➡️ Corniglia: An ideal option if you prefer a quieter, more authentic experience.
➡️ Vernazza: A good choice if you want to be in the heart of the action.
➡️ Monterosso al Mare: A great option for beach lovers and those looking for a more vibrant nightlife.

Which village to skip in Cinque Terre?

While each village in Cinque Terre has its own unique charm, if you’re short on time, Corniglia might be the one to skip.

Unlike the other four villages, Corniglia is not directly on the sea. It sits atop a cliff, and reaching it requires climbing a long flight of stairs or taking a shuttle bus from the train station.

While Corniglia is beautiful and offers stunning views, its location and accessibility might make it less convenient to visit if you’re short on time. However, if you have the time, Corniglia’s quieter atmosphere and panoramic views make it WELL worth a visit.

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