Where to stay in Cinque Terre without a car: 5 Best areas

I love to explore places without a car, and on my website, I cover many topics for car-free travelers. In this article, we will visit Cinque Terre and help you find the best places to stay in Cinque Terre without a car. 

I will share my recommendations for the top areas to stay in Cinque Terre without a car, along with a helpful map. I’ll also tell you where I stayed in Cinque Terre and suggest the best hotels in Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre, which means Five Lands in Italian, is a group of five breathtaking coastal villages in the Liguria region of Italy: Monterosso al Mare, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Manarola.

The region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has become a popular tourist destination for its breathtaking scenery, terraced landscapes, hiking trails, and authentic Italian charm.

Visitors often explore the villages on foot, hiking along the scenic trails that connect them, such as the famous Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail). The beauty of Cinque Terre attracts not only tourists but also artists, photographers, and nature enthusiasts from around the world.

Can you get around Cinque Terre without a car?

Yes, you can easily explore and enjoy the beauty of Cinque Terre without a car. In fact, cars are generally not recommended within the villages, as the narrow, winding streets are not suitable for regular vehicle traffic. The most comfortable way to get around is by train, ferry, and on foot.  

The train is the most popular and convenient mode of transportation between the five villages. The train connects all the villages, and the journey between them is short and scenic. Trains run frequently, making it easy to explore the entire area.

You can take a train from major Italian cities like Florence, Pisa, Genoa, and La Spezia to reach Cinque Terre. La Spezia is a major transportation hub in the region, and from there, you can easily transfer to trains heading to the Cinque Terre villages.

During the warmer months, you can use boats to travel between the villages. This provides a different perspective of the coastal scenery and can be a pleasant way to travel.

Cinque Terre is known for its beautiful hiking trails that connect the villages. The trails offer stunning views of the coastline and are a great way to experience the beauty of Cinque Terre at a slower pace. Keep in mind that some trails may be challenging, so wear appropriate footwear.

Where to stay in Cinque Terre without a car?

The best areas to stay in Cinque Terre without a car are Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Manarola, and Corniglia. I recommend booking accommodations close to the train station, carrying light backpacks/luggages, and being prepared for lots of steps and stairs to ensure an enjoyable stay.

If you’re driving, it’s recommended to park in La Spezia or Levanto and then take the train to Cinque Terre. La Spezia and Levanto are the best places in Cinque Terre for travelers with a car.

Monterosso al Mare is the largest and flattest village in the region, making it a great base for families with young kids, and older people. Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Manarola, and Corniglia also have their unique charms and are well-connected by train.

Many accommodations offer free/paid pick up from the train station, and you can also use luggage transportation services if you have heavy luggages and cannot handle it.  

During my trip to Cinque Terre, I had 5 wonderful nights at the Alla Marina Affittacamere. It was in a very convenient location, close to everything, including the train station, restaurants, and shops. There were lots of stairs though, but it is a part of the experience when visiting Cinque Terre. 

Below is a map of the popular areas in Cinque Terre for car-free travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Cinque Terre without a car
Map of the best areas to stay in Cinque Terre without a car

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Cinque Terre, especially for travelers without a car. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Cinque Terre have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Best areas to stay in Cinque Terre without a car are:

1. Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the southernmost village of the region and is one of the most popular areas to stay in Cinque Terre without a car. The village is well-connected by train, making it easy to explore other villages or travel to nearby cities. The train station is centrally located, making it convenient for transportation.

Riomaggiore offers stunning views with its colorful buildings and the Ligurian Sea. The village is a great place for photography and enjoying the coastal scenery.

This town has a relaxed and authentic atmosphere. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a less touristy experience compared to some of the larger villages.

Riomaggiore, like the other Cinque Terre villages, offers delicious local cuisine. You can enjoy fresh seafood, pesto, and other regional specialties.

Like many Cinque Terre villages, Riomaggiore is built on steep hills. Be prepared for some uphill walking, and the streets can be narrow and steep.

Best places to stay in Cinque Terre in Riomaggiore without a car:

Mid-range ($$): Scorci Di Mare, popular accommodation located right at the harbor overlooking the water in Riomaggiore. Easy access to the ferry dock, train station, beach, restaurants and shops. There are narrow stairs to get to the room but it’s more manageable than other places. If you have a car, they can help arrange parking spots and luggage transportation.

Mid-range ($$): Alla Marina Affittacamere, great  family-run accommodation in a wonderful location, short distance from local restaurants, shops, waterfront area, and train! You can communicate with the hotel for meetings at the train station, help with your luggage, or arrange car parking if you drive. They have air conditioning rooms and good breakfast.

Mid-range ($$): Sottocoperta, great apartment in a beautiful quiet location right on the main street Via Colombo. Within walking distance to many Bars and restaurants. Short walk from the train station and harbor where the trains/boats leave to the other villages. There are numerous steps to get to the apartment but it is standard of Cinque Terre and part of experience.


2. Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al Mare is a great base for car-free travelers, families and those who want a beach destination with a lively atmosphere. It is the largest and northernmost of the five villages in Cinque Terre.  

Monterosso is known for its beautiful beaches, making it an ideal choice if you enjoy spending time by the sea. The beaches here are larger and more accessible compared to some of the other villages.

As the largest village, Monterosso al Mare has more amenities, including a wider range of accommodation options, restaurants, shops, and services. It offers a bit more in terms of convenience and variety.

The train station in Monterosso is centrally located and well-connected, making it easy to explore other Cinque Terre villages and nearby towns.

While Monterosso is generally flatter than some of the other villages, there are still some hilly areas, and navigating the village may involve some uphill walking.

Best places to stay in Monterosso al Mare without a car:

Mid-range ($$): Albergo Degli Amici, popular 3-star hotel that has amazing breakfasts, stunning views from its terrace. It has a great location in the center of the old town, within walking distance from the train station, boating dock, restaurants, shops, beach, and Sentiero Azurro trailhead. Getting luggage from/to the hotel is less difficult than other places in Cinque Terre!

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Marina, great 3-star accommodation, located within a 7 mins walk from the train station and 3 mins from the beach. There are many great food options and shopping nearby.  It has comfortable air conditioning, family rooms, an elevator, and exceptional breakfast on the lemon terrace.

Mid-range ($$): Stella Della Marina, 3-star good value for money hotel, located  right in the middle of the old town close to everything, near Monterosso Train Station and the ferry. They provide wonderful breakfast on the beautiful sea-view terrace and air conditioned rooms.


3. Vernazza

Vernazza has a relaxed and authentic atmosphere. While it attracts tourists, it maintains a certain local charm that makes it a popular choice for those seeking a genuine Cinque Terre experience.

The harbor in Vernazza provides stunning views, and you can enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the waterfront cafes while taking in the scenery.

Vernazza is well-connected by train, making it easy to explore other Cinque Terre villages or venture further afield. The train station is conveniently located in the center of the village.

Best places to stay in Cinque Terre in Vernazza without a car:

Mid-range ($$): Camere Fontanavecchia, great accommodation in Vernazza, convenient base for car-free travelers as it is located in a quiet area right next to the train Station. Train can take you to La Spezia and other villages in the region. Also a short distance from the beach, trails, restaurants, cafés and shops. For older people over 60-65 years old, it is recommended to have light luggages/backpacks. 

budget ($$): Rina Rooms, good value for money accommodation in a very nice location,  close to everything, easy access to  the main piazza and the train station. 

budget ($$): Hotel Gianni Franzi, 2-star accommodation close to the harbor, the plaza, and the train station. A bit of a steep climb but it is to be expected when visiting Cinque Terre.  You can enjoy having breakfast with stunning sea views on the area that is perched on the side of the cliff.


4. Manarola

Manarola is well-connected by train and is a great base for car-free travelers exploring the other villages. It is  a fantastic option for an authentic experience with stunning views and good connectivity.

Manarola is celebrated for its breathtaking views and is often considered one of the most photogenic of the Cinque Terre villages. The sunset views over the sea from the harbor are particularly spectacular.

Manarola has a quaint and authentic atmosphere. The village is smaller than Monterosso but still offers a range of amenities, including restaurants serving local cuisine.

There are scenic walking trails in and around Manarola, offering opportunities to explore the surrounding hills and vineyards. The famous Via dell’Amore (Lover’s Lane) trail connects Manarola to Riomaggiore.

Best places to stay in Cinque Terre in Manarola without a car:

Mid-range ($$): Cà de Lelio, beautiful guest house situated in a great location, close to the train station and shop. It has an exceptional view of Manarola, a spacious bedroom, and a huge terrace. 

Mid-range ($$): Luxury Seaview Apartments Manarola by Arbaspàa, sustainable apartment near Riomaggiore Beach, easy access to the train station. It features  air-conditioned rooms, paid private parking, and paid airport shuttle services. Quiet area of town, but close to everything.

Mid-range ($$): Affittacamere San Giorgio, central location, great  base to explore Cinque Terre. Great sunset views. Short walk from a few restaurants and bars. As any area in CInque Terre, it is recommended to prepare for a steep hike from the train station and pay a porter to carry your luggage up the hill to your accommodation.


5. Corniglia

Corniglia is the smallest and least visited of the five villages in Cinque Terre. It is an excellent choice for those seeking a quieter and more authentic experience in Cinque Terre. 

Perched on a hill, Corniglia offers beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards and the sea. The village has a terrace with stunning vistas.

Corniglia is situated on a hill, and reaching the village requires climbing a staircase of around 370 steps from the train station. This might be challenging for individuals with mobility issues.

Best places to stay in Cinque Terre in Corniglia without a car:

Mid-range ($$): AMARE IL MARE Affittacamere, 1-star hotel, conveniently located in a wonderful location in Corniglia right on the trail to hike to Vernazza. Be prepared for lots of hike up from the train station though, but you can use a shuttle bus or ask the host to pick up. Also steps away from shops, restaurants, and marina.

Mid-range ($$): Affittacamere Arbasia De Ma, Terre Marine, great apartment in Corniglia village, 10 mins walk from the train station. The staff can pick you up from 7.30 to 11.30 pm from the train station. 

Mid-range ($$): Affittacamere Le Terrazze, very nice apartment in the center of Corniglia. Easy access to the train station, and tourist amenities. Great base for an authentic Italian experience.


In conclusion, Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Manarola, and Corniglia are the best places to stay in Cinque Terre without a car. These are the five major towns in the region, so you’ll have easy access to tourist attractions and amenities by walking, hiking, and by using trains.

You can continue reading other popular tourist destinations in Italy in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas that you can stay during your car-free trip to Cinque Terre. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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