© 2017 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Objectives Concerns have arisen regarding the equivalence of levofloxacin and some macrolides for treating community-acquired legionella pneumonia (LP). We aimed to compare the outcomes of current patients with LP treated with levofloxacin, azithromycin and clarithromycin. Methods Observational retrospective multicentre study of consecutive patients with LP requiring hospitalization (2000–2014) conducted in two hospitals. The primary outcome assessed was 30-day mortality. To control for confounding, therapy was assessed by multivariate analysis. Results We documented 446 patients with LP, of which 175 were treated with levofloxacin, 177 with azithromycin and 58 with clarithromycin. No significant differences in time to defervescence (2 (interquartile range (IQR) 1–4) versus 2 (IQR 1–3) days; p 0.453), time to achieve clinical stability (3 (2–5) versus 3 (2–5) days; p 0.486), length of intravenous therapy (3 (2–5.25) versus 4 (3–6) days; p 0.058) and length of hospital stay (7 (5–10) versus 6 (5–9) days; p 0.088) were found between patients treated with levofloxacin and those treated with azithromycin. Patients treated with clarithromycin had longer intravenous antibiotic treatment (3 (2–5.25) versus 5 (3–6.25) days; p 0.002) and longer hospital stay (7 (5–10) versus 9 (7–14) days; p 0.043) compared with those treated with levofloxacin. The overall mortality was 4.3% (19 patients). Neither univariate nor multivariate analysis showed a significant association of levofloxacin versus azithromycin on mortality (4 (2.3%) versus 9 (5.1%) deaths; p 0.164). The results did not change after incorporation of the propensity score into the models. Conclusions In our study, no significant differences in most outcomes were found between patients treated with levofloxacin and those treated with azithromycin. Due to the small number of deaths, results regarding mortality should be interpreted with caution.