Rossi Writes

Ultimate Travel Guide for Naples, Italy

Are you planning a trip to naples – italy’s city of pizza, volcanoes, and nativity scenes.

Via Atri in the historic centre - Naples, Italy -

This is my ultimate travel guide for Naples or Napoli , as the city is called in Italian. It’s designed to make your travel planning easy, logical, and enjoyable. It will also help you experience the largest city in Southern Italy in the most authentic way.

Built on a caldera and with a heart as passionate as a volcano, Naples is a vibrant, stimulating place where you can rediscover the joy of life. Good food, strong coffee , excellent art, and quaint experiences are easy to come across here and even a simple thing like the abundance of vibrant colours and the buzzing hubbub of Neapolitan daily life can make you feel alive inside.

Yet, Naples is also one of the most polarising cities in the world. Travellers either sing its praises or don’t spare negative words. Densely built, Naples is a maze of streets many of which can trace their outlines to the city’s ancient Greek urban plan.

Exhilarating and overwhelming in equal measures and often at the same time, the city has been growing with an unstoppable verve for almost three millennia. The result is an immense metropolis that spans the picturesque Gulf of Naples, shoulders the iconic Mount Vesuvius and buzzes with the voices of the million people who call it home.

This is a place that over the centuries has accumulated a staggering collection of architecture and art. They reflect both ancient local traditions and a wide array of outside influences on account of the many foreign rulers that Naples has had. This makes it both Italy’s most international city and the Italian city with the strongest identity.

Naples’ churches, palaces, artisan workshops, and streets tell many captivating stories. You just need to have the ear to listen and the eye to perceive them beyond the graffiti-covered facades, the economic difficulties, and the rubbish bags that pile up on street corners every night.

The splendid interiors of the Church of Gesu Nuovo - Naples, Italy -

The financial distress that the city experiences obviously puts some travellers off Naples for life. That’s a real shame! For this is a raw and real place, far from the polished images that social media deals with, and yet full of energy and with hidden depths.

Take Naples at face value and you will see that while it’s not picture-perfect, it influences us on many levels. Over the last three millennia, the city has originated fables, movements, and trends time and time again. Its heritage speaks volumes. To see and experience everything that Naples has to offer – from ancient ruins and modern art to food and coffee rituals – would take a lifetime.

In other words, more than a city, more than a destination to visit as a tourist, Naples is a state of mind. As such, come here with an open heart and ready to discover things about history, art, beliefs, gastronomy, and yourself that may push your limitations beyond your comfort zone.

Catacombs of San Gennaro - Rione Sanita - Naples, Italy -

So, to help you plan your trip to Naples, I have researched, photographed, and written this ultimate travel guide. Scroll down and browse through its sections. All the usual topics like how to get to Naples, where to stay in Naples, what to eat in Naples, and what are the best things to do in Naples are covered.

In addition, you will find my answers to many more pertinent and curious questions. For example:

  • Is Naples safe?
  • Where to see the best presepi in Naples?
  • How to explore Naples with kids?
  • What are some hidden gems to discover in Naples and what day trips to take nearby?

I have included maps, lots of practical details, and numerous real-life photos to give you an idea of what to expect. You will also find the best times to visit Naples, tips for navigating this traffic-heavy city, and practical packing suggestions. These are followed by the best guidebooks and books for Naples, the best tours you can take here, as well as a list of the artisan Neapolitan products to shop for.

Scroll down to the end of this guide to see my top five tips for visiting this stimulating on so many levels city in Southern Italy. Finally, read the five things you should never do in Naples. They are always good to keep in mind!

Have a look and enjoy your Naples trip!

Naples Travel Guide - Accommodation, Food, Major Landmarks -

The information in this travel guide reflects my first-hand experience. It may contain affiliate links and if you click and make a purchase through them, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. The ads on this page help me keep this blog free and produce new travel content for you to enjoy. Full details in my  Disclosure .


Naples is the largest city in Southern Italy and the capital of the Italian region of Campania. With just under a million people living here, it is the country’s third-largest city after Rome and Milan .

It lies along the Gulf of Naples – a 15-km wide bay along the southwestern coast of Italy. The densely built-up city sprawls from the supervolcanic area of the Phlegraean Fields ( Campi Flegrei ) to the iconic Mount Vesuvius.

The adjacent map shows you the city’s exact location in Southern Italy. You can click on it to zoom in and out in order to see further details.

Naples ranks among the ten most visited cities in Italy. It attracts just over a third of the number of tourists that head to the country’s most popular destination – Venice .

The city has an incredibly rich offering in terms of historic and artistic heritage. Its gastronomic traditions are at the basis of several worldwide famous and beloved dishes topped by pizza.

Naples is a must-see place in itself. It also offers quick and easy access by road, sea, and railway to several other popular destinations in Italy. From the historic ruins of Herculaneum, Pompei, Pozzuoli, Capua, and Paestum to the picturesque coastal towns of Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello, Naples is the starting point for many exciting and enriching trips in Italy. A ferry ride from Naples away, you can also visit the beautiful islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida.


The short answer is yes, Naples is very much worth a visit. Almost three millennia old, the largest city in Southern Italy is a vibrant stimulating place dotted with iconic must-see sights and offering the best cuisine this side of Europe.

Hugging the curve of the Gulf of Naples and sprawling in the shadow of the infamous Mount Vesuvius, this city has a passionate character marked by sharp contrasts.

Built on several layers – from ancient catacombs to multi-storey Baroque palaces and modern-day skyscrapers, in Naples, the past, the present, and the future blend into an exciting synthesis.

This is a city where you can walk along streets which follow the outline of ancient Greek and Roman roads, where deeply entrenched superstitions and folk traditions mingle with the most heartfelt Catholic faith, and where dishes made of simple seasonal foodstuffs have been elevated to nourishment for the soul.

Naples is also a place where poverty exists right next to the most splendid pinnacles of European architecture and art; where people ride pillion with no helmets on (and sometimes have their dog on the scooter, too); where the crowds, the smells, the colours, the graffiti, and the constant play of shadows and light in large courtyards and narrow streets make you suddenly feel reenergised, full of purpose, and ready to live your most exciting life.

Yes, Naples is worth a visit as here you never know what to expect next. Around every corner, there is a new surprise. It could be the Immacolata Obelisk which, they say, at sunset reveals Death holding a sickle. Or it could be the Sanfelice Palace that seems plucked out of an Escher’s print.

In fact, Naples is worth numerous visits as there is always something new to see and experience here, a new wave of excitement to wash all over you. It is one of those precious places that make travelling an adventure that you’ll remember and recall with love and passion when the humdrum of daily life gets too much.

Piazza del Gesu Nuovo - Naples, Italy -


Graffiti of Napoli - Naples, Italy -

In Italian, Naples is known as Napoli . In the Neapolitan language , the city is called Napule . In both cases, the accent falls on the first syllable. Both Napoli and Napule have evolved from the Ancient Greek name of the city – Neapolis, meaning ‘New City’.

Naples is also sometimes referred to as the città dalle 500 cupole , or the City of 500 domes in English, on account of the large number of churches dotted along its streets. Another of Naples’ monikers – città dei sette castelli – is also linked to its architectural heritage. The locals claim that theirs is the only city with seven castles in the world.

La città obliqua is a poetic reference to Naples, too. It comes from a famous song by the singer-songwriter Edoardo Bennato who was inspired by the unique Neapolitan landscape – neither entirely horizontal nor fully hillside. And so he sings:

It’s not flat, it’s not vertical it is a line that goes up the hill it is a road that starts from the sea The path of the oblique city.

More often than not, however, you will hear napoletani refer to themselves as partenopei and to their city as the città partenopea or the Parthenopean City. This is based on the foundation myth of Naples which is linked to the siren Parthenope – a mythical creature with a bird’s body and woman’s head.

Parthenope had a beautiful voice. Sailors were so bewitched by her singing that they would forget to steer their ships which would then crash against the rocky shore of what nowadays is known as the Sorrento Peninsula.

To avoid a similar fate, the Greek hero Ulysses made his men plug their ears with wax and bind him to the mast of his ship. This way, he could enjoy the siren’s song without sacrificing his ship and his crew.

Unable to make Ulysses fall in love with her and thus lure him to his death, Parthenope threw herself off the rocks. Her body washed on the island of Megaride where the local people found it and buried it. A settlement carrying the siren’s name quickly grew around her burial site. It was also known as Palaepolis (Old City) as around 470 BC, Neapolis (New City) was founded right next to it by Greek settlers.

Nowadays, Naples has expanded significantly beyond the limits of the original Palaepolis and Neapolis. The island of Megaride, today is a peninsula in the Gulf of Naples and houses the city’s oldest fortress – Castel dell’Ovo .

Finally, as you saw at the start of this Naples travel guide, I called it the City of Pizza, Volcanoes, and Nativity Scenes. The first is self-explanatory as the pizza napoletana is famous all over the world (especially the Naples-born pizza Margherita prepared with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves). With the volcanoes of the Phlegraean Fields and Mount Vesuvius playing a major role in the geology and the history of the area, the second part of the moniker is also clear.

As for Nativity scenes, Naples is famous for its tradition of artisan presepi . These are intricate Christmas cribs representing the Holy Family in the stables in Bethlehem. Beloved all over Italy, the best ones are handmade in Naples. I mention them in more detail below under the headings Best Presepi in Naples and What to Buy in Naples .


Naples is a large sprawling city divided into 30 quarters. Here are the main urban areas to visit in order to see the best that it has to offer:

Centro Storico – a UNESCO World Heritage Site , Naples’ historic centre is a vast area in the heart of the city where you will find the most famous landmarks – from the Veiled Christ in the Sansevero Chapel and the tiled cloister of the Monastery of Santa Chiara to Piazza del Plebescito and the Royal Palace. Follow Spaccanapoli – the long artery of straight streets that flow one into another and in the process splits the city in two. Look out for the large obelisks dotted along its route. Stuff yourself with pizza in all its Neapolitan varieties along Via dei Tribunali . Dodge the constant traffic of scooters and evade the persistent greeters trying to get you to enter their eateries. Find temporary peace and quiet in Naples’ former water cisterns .

Rione Sanità – a former no-go area, this authentic corner of Naples is where you can visit the striking Catacombs of San Gennaro – my absolutely favourite landmark in Naples. A short walk away don’t miss the macabre Catacombs of San Gaudioso underneath the resplendent Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità. The Palazzo dello Spagnuolo and the Palazzo Sanfelice are a must for lovers of architecture.

Quartieri Spagnoli – with a name that is a throwback to when Naples was ruled by the Spanish Bourbons, this Neapolitan quarter epitomises the city. Expect narrow streets, laundry flapping above your head, and lots of graffiti. Don’t miss the Pignasecca market – a hub of activity that is quintessential Naples.

Vomero – hop on a funicular for an exhilarating ride to the top of the Vomero hill and enjoy the unparalleled panoramas of Naples flanked by Mount Vesuvius. Then visit the proud Castel Sant’Elmo and the former monastery of Certosa di San Martino .

Chiaia – this upmarket quarter of Naples is a great place to stay in if you want to be close to the sea, the luxury boutiques, and the Villa Comunale expansive lush park.

Santa Lucia – standing right where the original settlement of Parthenope (or Palaepolis) first grew, Santa Lucia is a historic quarter of Naples where you can visit the mysterious Castel dell’Ovo , marvel at the imposing Fontana dei Giganti , and indulge in fresh seafood in the fishermen’s Borgo Marinari .

Piazza San Domenico Maggiore - Naples, Italy -


Vesuvius glimpsed behind tall residential buildings - Naples, Italy -

Naples has its own airport – Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli Capodichino (IATA airport code: NAP). It is one of the busiest airports in Italy and it’s only four km away from the city centre.

It is served both by low-cost and full-service carriers, making Naples easy to reach from all corners of Europe and the world. The flight from London Gatwick, for example, is just over two and a half hours, so Naples is a great destination for a long weekend.

The official website of Naples Airport has a lot of useful information – from how to reach the airport to what shops and restaurants you will find here.

Shopping is excellent with many international chains and high fashion brands having stores here. There are also numerous eateries which is handy especially when you know that you are about to leave Naples and you want to have one last delicious pizza or sfogliatella pastry for the journey ahead.

AliBus is the coach line linking Naples Airport to the city centre. You can take it either to:

  • Piazza Garibaldi – in front of the city’s main train station, Napoli Centrale ; or
  • Port of Naples – a short walk away from the centrally located Piazza Municipio .

We were lucky as we were met by a friend of a friend upon our arrival in Naples. He drove us to the flat we had rented in the historic centre giving us our first taste of the famous Neapolitan driving style.

On the way back, we found getting a taxi to reach the airport from the historic centre very handy as we were lugging a heavy suitcase. The journey door to door took less than half an hour and cost us around 30 euros.


Naples is very easy to reach by railway, road, and ferry from anywhere in Italy and abroad.

High-speed and regular trains connect Naples all throughout the day to many towns in the region of Campania and major cities all over Italy. You can check timetables and book your tickets on:

  • Omio – which pulls up results for both state-run and private railway companies in Italy;
  • TrenItalia – which covers the state-run train network of Italy.

Here are some sample travel times by high-speed train from the Italian capital and other large Italian cities to Naples’ main train station, Napoli Centrale :

  • Rome to Naples – from 1 h 13 mins;
  • Florence to Naples – from 3 h;
  • Bologna to Naples – from 3 h 31 mins;
  • Milan to Naples – from 4 h 45 mins;
  • Venice to Naples – from 5 h 22 mins;
  • Turin to Naples – from 6 h 3 mins.

The following ferry companies connect Naples to the nearby islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida, the Aeolian Islands, as well as to the towns on the Amalfi Coast and further away destinations like Sicily: SNAV , Caremar , and Medmar .

You can drive to Naples from anywhere in Italy, too. Toll roads (called autostrada , sing. and autostrade , pl. in Italian) connect the city to other large Italian cities and smaller towns. Here are the autostrade you can use here:

  • A1 Autostrada del Sole – Milan to Naples
  • A3 – Salerno to Naples
  • A16 – Canosa to Naples
  • A56 Tangenziale di Napoli – this is Naples’ ring road from Arco Felice to Capodichino

This useful website will give you up-to-date information about navigating Italy’s autostrade , the current traffic conditions, as well as how to calculate and pay the toll fees (called pedaggio in Italian).

If you are planning to visit Naples by car, you need to prepare yourself mentally for the busy traffic and the assertive driving style of the city. Make sure that your car insurance covers all eventualities. Ideally, arrange for a parking space in advance. Some travellers report that in some corners of the city, you may be asked to pay an additional fee to have your car ‘looked after’.

It is also advisable to familiarise yourself with Naples’ ZTL or zones with restricted traffic which can be traversed by car only if you have a special dispensation. This website may come in useful when you look into ZTL and the respective restrictions.

Scene of Spaccanapoli with a moped driver holding a pizza - Naples, Italy -


The station of Bagnoli seen from the Cumana train - Naples, Italy -

You can navigate Naples on foot as well as by bus, metro, funicular, and taxi. In some parts of the city you can get a tram and/or a trolleybus. There are also regional trains which connect Naples to several adjacent suburbs, towns, and landmarks nearby.

Naples’ historic centre and quarters are best explored on foot so that you can fully immerse yourself in their atmosphere. The narrow streets here often lack pavements and at all hours of the day experience a hectic flow of scooters, delivery vans, and cars. It pays to be vigilant at all times, especially next to turns and corners. Drivers are skilled but very impatient and expect you to move away asap. Otherwise, they keep pushing forward and whizz right past you.

Buses (as well as metro lines, trams, and trolleybuses) are very convenient if you want to save time walking from one quarter to the next. For example, we took a bus from the edge of the historic centre to the top end of Rione Sanità – a journey which took us about 15 minutes (inclusive of walking to the bus stop and time waiting for the bus) instead of the 30 minutes which walking there would have taken us.

Four funiculars connect Naples’ lower grounds to its hilly parts. They are very handy, especially on a hot day when you can’t bear to walk uphill for miles.

For up-to-date information about public transport in Naples, have a look at the official websites of Comune di Napoli and ANM – Agenzia Napoletana Mobilita . You will find exhaustive information about the different ways to travel here either by bus , funicular , metro , tram , or trolleybus , as well as about the different types of tickets and where to purchase them. At present, the websites seem to be only in Italian, so you may want to use Google Translate to get the gist of the information.

Taxis circulate through the historic quarters and can quickly take you anywhere in Naples, as well as to the nearby archaeological excavations, picturesque towns, and even Mount Vesuvius. You can download an up-to-date rate table from the official website of Comune di Napoli .

To reach the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompei by public transport, you will need to get the Circumvesuviana regional train. Use the EAV – Ente Autonomo Volturno’s website to check prices and timetables. There is a useful section in English.

To reach the towns and the archaeological parks in the Phlegraean Fields ( Campi Flegrei ), use the EAV website, too and check the timetables for the Cumana and the Circumflegrea train lines.


The most important thing to pack for a visit to Naples in any season is a pair of comfortable shoes. You will be walking long distances over all types of historic surfaces many of which are uneven. You will also spend time standing up and moving at a variable pace over long periods of sightseeing.

Make sure that your feet are as comfortable as possible. Choose shoes with a good grip that cushion your heels and support your ankles at all times. Even on the hottest of days, it’s advisable to wear closed shoes or shoes that at least cover your toes, especially if you are planning to explore the historic centre, Rione Sanità , or the Quartieri Spagnoli as they are very busy and spillages next to markets and small businesses may occur.

In winter, bring warm layers to stave off the chills produced by the high levels of humidity and yet can be quickly peeled off when the sun makes an appearance. In summer, bring a hat, sunglasses, and suncream to counteract the bright sunlight that bounces off the large facades and floods the wide piazzas. Invest in fabrics that dry quickly, are crinkle-free, and let your skin breathe through them. A rainproof jacket will come in handy in autumn when rainy days are plenty.

Even when it’s very hot, make sure that your outfits are appropriate for city living and respectful sightseeing. Shoulders and knees should be covered in churches and landmarks. Swimsuits are not acceptable attire on the street.

In any case, don’t overpack as navigating Naples with heavy luggage can be difficult, especially if you are planning to use the busy public transport. Instead, select pieces that can be matched with one another, producing outfits that look different every day but rely on the same small number of core pieces.

Leave expensive and ostentatious jewellery, watches, and accessories at home. Invest in a cross-body bag with a sturdy strap. Put a bottle of hand gel in it as well as your favourite mosquito and bug repellents, albeit a spray, a roll-on or a bracelet .

A cat relaxing on a balcony next to towels drying in the wind in the historic centre - Naples, Italy -


Limoncello and baba gelato sold in a local gelateria - Naples, Italy -

Naples is exhilarating in any season and there are lots of things to do here no matter the weather. So, visiting Naples is always a good idea – from a weekend break to a long holiday, the City of Pizza, Volcanoes, and Nativity Scenes offers an exciting immersion into the art, food, and heritage of this corner of Italy and Europe.

The shoulder season – from the end of March to May and then from the end of September to the start of November – is easily the best time of the year to visit Naples. Expect temperatures between 17 and 27 degrees Celsius and some rainy days but mainly clear skies.

Summers are hot and humid. With temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius, you will need to pace your sightseeing as being out and about in the throng of tourists and locals can quickly become tiring and overwhelming.

At the same time, summer is when Naples is full of vibrancy and life, so take long gelato breaks, linger over lunch, and commit to no more than two major sights a day (and a couple of smaller ones) to make the most of the sunny days and people-watching. If possible, return to your accommodation in the afternoon for a sweet little nap which will give you strength for a leisurely stroll (called passeggiata in Italian) in the early evening followed by a proper Neapolitan supper.

Winters in Naples are mild in comparison with most of Europe. The thermometer can go as high as 16 degrees Celsius. While this is not sunbathing weather it’s still a welcome escape from the minus temperatures in the northern European destinations. The Christmas season is especially lively. Expect lots of local events culminating in beautiful exhibitions of Nativity scenes and heartfelt celebrations.

You may also want to visit Naples for one of the city’s main festivals. Have a look at the heading Events in Naples further below to see what’s on and when. Then make your travel plans to experience quirky centuries-old traditions.


There is so much to see and do in Naples, that a plan to visit the city can quickly become an overwhelming jumble of ideas, intentions, and half-baked itineraries.

The best way to approach Naples is to be clear with yourself from the start that the city cannot be seen and done in a day or two and that no matter how long you spend here, there will always be sights and monuments to see on your next visit.

So, don’t overstretch yourself and don’t rush around like mad trying to squeeze in as much sightseeing as you can. Especially, if it is hot! Instead, either:

  • focus on a particular period , for example, ancient ruins or Baroque art and architecture;
  • pick a couple of Naples’s historic quarters to explore in detail; or
  • pencil two major sights a day to see at leisure and then fill the rest of the time with culinary experiences and spontaneous visits to any church, quirky shop, and hidden gem of a landmark you walk past.

In other words, instead of treating Naples as one endless list of sights that you have to tick off, tailor your visit according to your interests, willingness to walk long distances, and your curiosity. Be open to spontaneous experiences and let the city surprise you.

For a first visit to Naples, ideally, I would suggest four full days. These can be as packed up or as relaxed as you wish. Take your pick from this busy four-day Naples itinerary below:

Day 1: Traverse Naples’ historic centre. Pop in and out of churches (Duomo, Monastery of Santa Chiara, and the Church of Gesù Nuovo are a must but there are many more), explore the city’s charming piazzas, walk along Spaccanapoli , take an underground tour , shop for Christmas decorations on Via San Gregorio Armeno , visit some of the major sights here like the Sansevero Chapel and Pio Monte della Misericordia . Later in the afternoon, head to Piazza del Plebescito with Naples’ Royal Palace , as well as Teatro di San Carlo and the elegant shopping arcade Galleria Umberto I nearby.

Day 2: Begin the day with an early morning visit to the Museum and Royal Wood of Capodimonte . Then explore Rione Sanità with the Catacombs of San Gennaro and San Gaudioso , Palazzo dello Spagnuolo , Palazzo Sanfelice, and the Fontanelle Cemetery (when it re-opens). Spend the afternoon in MANN – Naples’ outstanding archaeological museum where you can see Pompeiian frescoes and mosaics, ancient statues, and so much more. If you still have some energy left, end the day in Museo Madre – Naples’ outstanding museum of contemporary art.

Day 3: Spend the day visiting either Herculaneum or Pompeii followed by a hike up Mount Vesuvius . There are many different ways to do it either independently or with an organised tour. To reach the excavations of the two ancient Roman towns, you need to get the Circumvesuviana train. The respective stops are Ercolano Scavi and Pompeii Scavi – Villa dei Misteri . You can buy your tickets for the archaeological sites either in advance to skip the queues or in situ. Once there, if you want, you can pay an additional fee for a private guide or a guided tour or just explore the ruins independently. To reach Mount Vesuvius from the train station Ercolano Scavi , you can get the Vesuvio Express which includes roundtrip transport and a ticket for Vesuvius National Park. There is also a similar option to visit Vesuvius from Pompeii. Otherwise, you can buy tickets for the roundtrip bus and for the Vesuvius National Park separately. Alternatively, you can book a guided tour which takes all three – Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Vesuvius – in a day.

Day 4: Spend your last day in Naples by exploring some of its other quarters. Chiaia, Santa Lucia , Vomero , and the Quartieri Spagnoli offer a vibrant mosaic of sights, smells, and views. Once again, don’t expect to cover all four in a day, so pick a major sight in a couple of them or simply amble through one of them.

This four-day itinerary for Naples will give you a good introduction to everything that this exciting Southern Italian city has to offer. Any return visits to Naples then can be of any length to catch up on anything you have missed and to discover yet more sights, museums, and corners of the city.

In any case, if you don’t have four days to spare and still you really want to see Naples, just come. Even if it’s just on a day trip from Rome. Enjoy your time (however short!) in the city and before you know it you will be making plans to return again and again.

The baptismal font in Duomo - Naples, Italy -


The courtyard of an 18th-century residential block of flats - Naples, Italy -

There is a huge selection of places to stay in Naples in any season and for any budget.

You can choose a historic building that nowadays functions as a luxury hotel. You can opt for a comfortable B&B . Or you may prefer an accommodation with its own kitchen to enjoy a home-from-home experience.

When picking accommodation in Naples consider carefully its location. Depending on what you want to do and see here, you may prefer to stay closer to the major landmarks, a bus or metro stop, or in a hidden corner of the city that offers peace and quiet.

If your focus is sightseeing in Naples, then it pays to stay in the historic centre. For more of an upmarket experience, look into the quarter of Chiaia . The area around Piazza Garibaldi and the main train station, Napoli Centrale , is convenient in terms of public transport but it made me feel on the edge every time we needed to walk through it.

Here are some suggestions for places to stay in Naples. All come highly recommended:

Luxury: Grand Hotel Vesuvio , Palazzo Doria Napoli , The Britannique Hotel Naples, Curio Collection by Hilton

Mid-Range: Relais della Porta , Artemisia Domus – Centro Storico , La Lepre Bovio

Budget:  Ostello Bello Napoli , Leone Suites Toledo , EMME Napoli

Alternatively, use the map included here to get a quick visual idea of the available accommodation options in Naples, Italy. You can zoom in and out, type in your specific travel dates, and then click on the different price points for detailed information about the hotel you want to know more about.

In addition, have a look at this blog post which explains the different types of accommodation you can book in Italy. It will give you plenty of ideas to look into for the best and quirkiest places to spend the night at here:

  • Where to Stay in Italy – 19 Types of Accommodation to Suit Any Budget


Neapolitan food is excellent. Eating here is a great experience that nourishes not just the body but the soul, too. Every meal in Naples has the potential to be absolutely unforgettable. So don’t waste any chances to tuck into yet another delicious local dish.

From inexpensive street food to the freshest seafood and local variations of pasta, Naples has a lot to offer even to the pickiest of eaters.

Pizza is always a good choice in Naples. Deep-fried foods taste so good after a long day of sightseeing. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be delighted with the rich displays of cakes and pastries. And you can finish it all off with a proper Neapolitan coffee prepared with a traditional flip pot called cucumella . Alternatively opt for a local liquor – from the world-famous limoncello to the herbal Strega , a distinctive digestif drink the name of which means ‘witch’ in English.

Here are some of the best Neapolitan foods and dishes to sample during your Italian holiday:

Taralli – this typical for Naples snack is circular in shape and traditionally made of lard, toasted almonds, and black pepper. Nowadays, it comes in many different flavours. Take your pick from the wide selection at Taralleria Neapolitana .

Pizza – you have to have a pizza or two when in Naples! Try as many of the traditional varieties as you can. Take your pick from pizza Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil), pizza Marinara (tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, oregano and garlic), pizza fritta (a Calzone-shaped pizza stuffed with different fillings and deep-fried), pizza Montanara (open fried pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil), and pizza portafoglio (a smaller pizza Margherita or pizza Marinara folded in four and eaten on the go. Or choose any other pizza with classical and innovative toppings offered in Naples’ best pizzerias. Many of them are clustered along Via dei Tribunali in the historic centre. It’s the city’s veritable pizza paradise!

Ziti alla Genovese – this is an iconic Neapolitan dish and it doesn’t have anything to do with the city of Genoa, although there are many theories as to how it got its name. Ziti is a type of extruded pasta typical for the Southern Italian region of Campania of which Naples is the capital. The genovese sauce is made of ground beef, cherry tomatoes, celery, carrots, and lots and lots of onions. It has a slightly sweet taste and it is very more-ish. Order it at La Locanda del Monacone .

Ragù – this Neapolitan meat sauce is absolutely delicious. Tomato-based, it’s made with beef and densely stuffed sausages left to simmer for hours. Try the ragù dishes of Tandem – a famous Neapolitan chain of ragù-centric restaurants. My favourite dish consists of thick slices of provola cheese served with an extra-generous helping of ragù on top.

Cuoppo Napoletano – this paper cone filled up with fried finger foods is proper Neapolitan street fodder. There are two main varieties – cuoppo di terra and cuoppo di mare . The first is a mix of battered and deep-fried chopped veggies, rice balls (known as arancini ), potato croquettes, and my favourite – zeppoline (delicious dough balls). The latter is a mix of battered and deep-fried seafood – from calamari to sardines. Try the cuoppo at Passione di Sofi .

Babà (also babà al rum ) – you will see these mushroom-shaped and rum-infused sponges all over town. Treat yourself to one when you are in the mood for something sweet and boozy. For added delight, have your babà with lots of whipped cream and strawberries, too.

Sfogliattella – this pastry is typical for Naples and comes in two varieties – riccia (made of overlapped sheets of filo pastry crisped to perfection) and frolla (made of thick shortcrust pastry). Both the sfogliatella riccia and the sfogliatell frolla are stuffed with a delicious filling of ricotta and candied citrus peel. Try the ones sold at Sfogliate e Sfogliatelle .

For an expert introduction to Neapolitan food and Naples’ best food joints, treat yourself to a specialised guided tour. This  street food experience  will take you around the city’s historic centre to sample traditional dishes in secret eateries frequented by the locals.

Alternatively, taste the best that Naples has to offer with this private tour . Expect ten drink and food tastings and the expert commentary of a foodie guide. If you would rather learn to cook the Neapolitan way, then get busy making your own pizza Margherita or pasta dish followed by tiramisu .

Classical Neapolitan pizza Margherita served in Pizzeria del Purgatorio on Via dei Tribunali - Naples, Italy -


Frescoes in Rione Sanita - Naples, Italy -

There are many wonderful and exciting things to do in Naples to suit all types of travellers and personal interests. This beautiful city has a lot to offer to the history buff, the art lover, the architecture aficionado, the foodie, the photographer, and above all the person who wants a vibrant and stimulating travel experience.

Here are the main things and activities you can enjoy in Naples. Specific examples for each one of them are provided up and down this page under the different headings of this ultimate travel guide for Napoli .

Sightseeing – Naples is studded with world-famous museums, millennia-old catacombs, and imposing churches with priceless art. With preserved outlines of its ancient Greek and Roman urban plans and plenty of historic spots to explore, this is one of the world’s best cities for sightseeing and landmark visiting.

Eating – Neapolitan cuisine has originated several of the world’s most famous foods with pizza holding the triumphal top spot. Eating here is a cultural experience. Try something new every single meal! Then take a food tour visiting historic deli shops and tiny eateries frequented by the locals. Even better, learn to make pizza the Neapolitan way yourself.

Water-Based Activities – here you are never far from the sea. You can take a ferry or a boat to the islands off the coast of Naples. Or you can enjoy a boat trip around Castel dell’Ovo and snorkelling in the gulf. If you want to combine water and history, then head to the Phlegraean Fields ( Campi Flegrei ) next door to Naples. In the Submerged Archaeological Park of Baia, you can enjoy a trip on a glass-bottomed boat and even a once-in-a-lifetime diving experience to see Roman mosaics and statues underwater.

Shopping – take advantage of exciting shopping opportunities when in Naples. Invest in a traditional Neapolitan Nativity scene (or at least in a small handmade figurine) on Via San Gregorio Armeno . Buy a selection of cornicelli (Naples’ protective amulet) to give as presents to family and friends. Get a cucumella – Naples’ traditional flip coffee pot. Splurge on handmade cameos and coral jewellery. Shopping in Naples is fun as each traditional, locally-made item has a story to tell.

Daytripping – Naples is a great base for day trips in this corner of Italy. From the world-famous Amalfi Coast to the archaeological ruins of Herculaneum , Pompeii , and Paestum , a long list of exciting destinations are only a short train ride away from Naples.


There are many must-see sights in Naples. These five major landmarks should be on top of your Neapolitan bucket list.

Spaccanapoli – one of the most iconic urban arteries in the world. This is a sequence of long straight streets which flow one into another and thus bisect Naples in two. Go for a walk along Spaccanapoli to sightsee and people-watch. Many of the city’s most interesting sights, for example, the Monastery of Santa Chiara , are on it or next door to it.

Sansevero Chapel – visit this small chapel in the heart of Naples to marvel at one of the most famous and most extraordinary statues in the world – the Veiled Christ. The chapel is a work of art in itself and was designed by the Italian soldier, alchemist, and inventor Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of Sansevero. Don’t miss the statues of the Veiled Truth and of Disillusion which are striking by themselves and were dedicated to the prince’s parents. The two 18th-century anatomical machines in the chapel’s basement are creepy yet incredibly intricate. You won’t be able to take your eyes off them!

MANN – National Archaeological Museum of Naples – a splendid museum with many excellent collections covering the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Magna Graecia, and Rome. The Pompeiian frescoes and mosaics are absolutely stunning. If you don’t blush easily, check out the Gabinetto Secreto for some ancient erotic art. To make the most of your visit, consider booking a museum tour . An expert guide will take you around the cavernous building pointing out precious artefacts and sharing the stories behind them for a truly enriching experience.

Piazza del Plebiscito – this expansive square is flanked by the imposing buildings of the Royal Palace and the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola. From Piazza del Plebiscito (a word which means ‘referendum’ or ‘vote’ in English), you can easily walk to several other must-see places in Naples. Among them is the oldest opera theatre in the world, Teatro di San Carlo , the elegant shopping arcade Galleria Umberto I , and the historic Gran Caffè Gambrinus – the oldest still in operation coffee house in the city.

Castel Nuovo (also known as Maschio Angioino ) – standing on the waterfront, this 13th-century fortress is one of Naples’ seven historic castles. Notice the large triumphal arch inserted around its main gate. It is one of the pinnacles of Italy’s Renaissance art.

The facade of MANN - The National Archaeological Museum of Naples - Naples, Italy -


Madonna with Child by Pacecco - Pio Monte della Misericordia - Naples, Italy -

There are many exciting museums dotted all over Naples. In addition to MANN – National Archaeological Museum of Naples and the Royal Palace (see the entry above), here are five of the best among them:

Capodimonte Museum – built to house the renowned Farnese Collection of art, this former royal residence is surrounded by a lush park (originally, a hunting ground). Here you can see and enjoy an endless number of masterpieces by the likes of Botticelli, Titian, and Caravaggio as well as a number of renowned collections of art, porcelain, tapestries, and contemporary works.

Pio Monte della Misericordia Monumental Complex – run by a religious charity founded at the start of the 17th century, this is one of the must-see stops for lovers of art in Naples. It includes an octagonal chapel and a picture gallery housed in an elegant historic palace. Caravaggio’s famous painting ‘The Seven Acts of Charity’ was painted specifically for the chapel and it takes pride of place above its altar. Next door, you can browse a beautiful selection of Baroque and contemporary masterpieces and enjoy a lovely view of the Obelisk of San Gennaro and the dome of Naples’ Duomo.

Gallerie d’Italia – Napoli – I am partial to this group of art galleries which also has branches in the Italian cities of Milan , Vicenza , and Turin (you can see all their works of art on this link ). The permanent collection in Naples is eclectic and ranges from Attic and Magna Graecia pottery to works by Neapolitan, Italian, and foreign artists. This gives you a chance to explore the developments in art from ancient history to the 20th century. Caravaggio’s last painting ‘The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula’ is the crowning glory of this must-see art gallery in Naples.

N.B.: Calling all Caravaggio lovers! To learn more about the Neapolitan periods of the great Baroque master, have a look at this guided tour . It takes in the masterpieces and the places frequented in Naples by the painter of darkness and light.

Certosa e Museo di San Martino – this former Carthusian monastery nowadays functions as a museum complex with lush gardens. Here you can spend many stimulating moments looking at art used in all its forms to emphasise and decorate the impressive architecture. The charterhouse’s hilltop position opens splendid panoramic views of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Next door, you can also explore the military fortress Castel Sant’Elmo .

Museo Madre – if by now you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by ancient ruins and Baroque splendour, a visit to Museo Madre and its excellent collection of contemporary art is just what you need to refresh your eyes and enrich even further your impressions of Naples.


Naples is dotted with countless churches, monasteries, and religious buildings. It’s not in vain after all that one of its monikers is the City of 500 Domes!

From the tiniest chapels to the imposing basilicas, Neapolitan churches guard priceless art repositories and unique local traditions. They are also an intrinsic part of the city’s architectural mosaic. Visiting them you can trace the development of building styles and decorative programmes from the Early Christian chapels nestled in the underground catacombs to the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque shrines and sanctuaries of Naples.

Here are some of the city’s must-see churches:

Duomo and Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro – Naples’ cathedral has a millennial history and a cavernous body that incorporates two earlier churches built at the same site. One is the Church of Santa Restituta, allegedly founded in the 4th century by Constantine – the emperor who made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Nowadays, Naples’ Duomo preserves many priceless artefacts. Among them are the relics of San Gennaro or St. Januarius in English – the city’s main patron saint. It is here that the ritual of liquefying the saint’s blood takes place three times a year – an important event in the Neapoltan calendar (see the heading Events below). Next to the Duomo, don’t miss the Treasure of San Gennaro. Among the many exhibits here, you can see one of the most expensive pieces of jewellery in the world – the saint’s necklace.

Church of Ges ù Nuovo – this absolutely massive building was erected in 1470 as a princely palace. A century later it was sold to the Jesuit Order and converted into a church. Lavishly frescoed and ornamented in the Baroque style inside, its main point of interest is its unusual facade. This is made of piperno, a stone formed from volcanic magma, and fully covered by countless small pyramids. Unusual symbols are chiselled in some of these. Recently, it has been suggested that the symbols correspond to musical notes. When played, the resulting piece was, apparently, intended to attract good energy to the building.

Monastery of Santa Chiara – widely famous for its cloister decorated with lavish majolica tiles and Baroque frescoes, this monastery also has an onsite museum and guards the remnants of an ancient Roman bath. Its enormous Gothic basilica was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War (after Milan, Naples was the most bombarded Italian city) and then it was painstakingly restored to its former glory.

Museum Complex of Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco – this is one of the main centres of Naples’ curious cult of the souls in purgatory or anime pezzentelle in Italian. It consists of two churches. The decoration of the upper one explores the themes of death and salvation. The underground one is where many of Naples’ poor and destitute citizens were buried in the past. The locals, believing them to be stuck in purgatory, would come here to pray over their remains. This gave rise to the idea that the dead could serve as intermediaries between the living on Earth and the saints and God in heaven. So skulls were treated with special care and requests would be addressed to them.

N.B.: If you want to learn more about the cult of the anime pezzentelle , make sure that you also visit the Fontanelle Cemetery (due to re-open in 2024), the Monumental Complex of St. Anne of Lombardi, and the Church of Santa Luciella ai Librai.

Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità – built over the Catacombs of San Gaudioso , this resplendent Neapolitan church is notable for its elevated altar and the double staircase that leads to it. Covered with bright majolica tiles, its large domes reflect beautifully the light, especially on a sunny day. If you book to see the catacombs (one of Naples’ best underground sights), the guide will tell you a bit about the church and the cult of San Vincenzo Ferrer – the patron saint of the quarter of Sanità and to whom the locals address prayers when they want to have a child.

Church of San Francesco di Paola – inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, this expansive Neapolitan church brims the city’s main square, Piazza del Plebescito , with its long colonnade. Built in the early 19th century in the Neoclassical style, it stands out with its portico and enormous central dome.

The facade of the Duomo - Naples, Italy -


Banksy's mural of Madonna con la Pistola on Piazza degli Gerolomini - Naples, Italy -

A city like Naples has a lot of secrets and hidden corners. Try to uncover as many of them as possible for a truly memorable trip. Make a note of the sights below and step off the beaten path.

Madonna con la Pistola by Banksy – up to 2019, this was the only documented mural by the artist in Italy. You can see it on Piazza dei Girolamini and it represents the Madonna with a gun where her halo should have been.

N.B.: Naples is a great place for street art. Everywhere you go, you will see murals and graffiti of differing quality adorning the facades of both historic and modern-day buildings. Keep an eye out for the graffiti of Trallalà – the moniker of the Naples-born artist Alfonso de Angelis. His fleshy ladies (known as ciaciona in Neapolitan) are particularly iconic.

Incurables’ Monumental Complex – come here to learn about the history of medicine in Naples and to visit the splendid Pharmacy of the Incurables, the Museum of the Sanitary Arts, the 16th-century cloister, and the medical garden.

Library and Monumental Complex of the Girolamini – a beautiful church with cloisters and a splendid historic library. From precious art to rare books, there is much to be seen and admired here far from the tourist crowds.

Monumental Complex of St. Anne of Lombardi – this 15th-century church preserves extraordinary works of art. In the sacristy, you can see the Sistine Chapel of Naples – an important fresco cycle by Giorgio Vasari, the Tuscan Renaissance painter and art historian. In the Crypt of the Abbots (or Hypogeum), you can learn about the Neapolitan scolatoi or draining holes where the bodies of the deceased underwent a somewhat gruesome and long procedure to liberate the bones from the flesh in an act which was believed to expiate the soul.

Naples’ Stairways – about 200 stairways and ramps connect the city’s flatter parts to its hilltop quarters. Following one of these inclined paths weaving past houses, churches, and monuments, is a great way to explore Naples and enjoy splendid panoramas of the urban sprawl and Mount Vesuvius. Among the stairways with the best views are the Pedamentina a San Martino , the Montesanto Stairs, and the Gradini del Petraio .


Almost 3,000 years old, Naples is a city of layers. Many of these run deep under the streets and are keepers of marvellous stories that oscillate between the sacred and the macabre. Often within the same space below the surface.

Uncovering Naples’ underground secrets is a major portion of getting to know this one-of-a-kind city in Southern Italy. There is a bewildering number of underground tours and experiences for you to choose from. Here are some of the best:

Catacombs of San Gennaro and Catacombs of San Gaudioso – visiting these catacombs was my favourite experience in Naples. Both are accessible on the same ticket via guided tours. You will need to book your entry times in advance. I suggest that you head first to the Catacombs of San Gennaro on the far end of Rione Sanità (near the Capodimonte Museum and Park and next door to the imposing Basilica of the Crowned Mother of God). Here you will learn about the early Christian history of Naples and see prized frescoes and mosaics from the first millennium AD, as well as tombs chiselled directly in the volcanic tuff rocks. The focus of the guided visit to the Catacombs of San Gaudioso, on the other hand, is on the funeral ritual of scolatura . This was practised by Naples’ nobility and clergy of the 16th and 17th centuries and prescribed the draining of the bodies after death of all fluids in order to liberate the bones from the sinful flesh. Leave at least an hour between your visits to the two catacombs and explore Rione Sanità . If you can’t see both on the same day, your ticket for San Gaudioso is valid for 12 months after your visit to San Gennaro.

Napoli Sotterranea – Naples’ most popular underground tour. It takes in the city’s ancient water cisterns, the ruins of the ancient Roman theatre, stories from World War II, and even a recently planted underground garden. An exciting experience on many levels which culminates with a short walk down pitch-black narrow corridors to reach water pools with amphoras suspended above them. People suffering from claustrophobia can skip this part and wait for the rest of the group in a spacious underground chamber before continuing with the tour.

Bourbon Tunnel – built in 1853 and heavily used during the Second World War, this space below the surface of Naples has many stories to tell spanning four centuries. Especially photogenic are the abandoned cars and motorcycles that line up the tunnel. Next to them are stored statues from the fascist period.

Spanish Quarters Underground Guided Tour – winding tunnels will take you to the remains of the Neapolitan aqueduct deep beneath one of the city’s liveliest and most authentic quarters. From the ancient Greeks to the Second World War, you can trace Naples’ history as you walk along the dimly lit corridors.

San Lorenzo Maggiore and Neapolis Sotterrata – a wonderful journey through time that gives you a chance to trace Naples’ development from the 5th century BC to the 18th century AD both below and above ground. Here you can see the remains of a 1st-century AD Roman market, visit the imposing basilica where the 14th-century Renaissance humanist and writer Bocaccio met his muse Fiametta for the first time, and amble through historic halls decorated with splendid frescoes.

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore alla Pietrasanta and LAPIS Museum – this imposing 17th-century church stands at the spot of an early Christian basilica that was preceded by an ancient Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Diana. 35 m underneath it, you can visit Naples’ museum of water. Expect Greco-Roman cisterns and a submerged portion of the Roman Decumanus (the east-west oriented road that bisected the city in the past). Once you return to the surface, stop for a coffee in Diaz Microtorrefazione (one of Naples’ best coffee shops) in the shadow of the church’s 11th-century bell tower.

Church of Santa Luciella ai Librai – it’s easy to walk past this small church in the historic centre of Naples and not even suspect the stories and curiosities it keeps. The skull with ears takes the central place among them. They say that in the past, Neapolitan women would come to pray to it and whisper in its ears their innermost secrets and desires. The church’s crypt can be visited with a short guided tour. In the past, the funerary ritual of scolatura was practised here, too.

Underground Stations of Art – 15 stations along Line 1 and Line 6 of Naples Metro host over 200 works of art by 90 artists both from Italy and all around the world. Started in 1995, the project Stazione di Arte has produced some of the most beautiful metro stations in Europe with Stazione Toledo the receiver of many awards and accolades. Other metro stations worth a mention here are Università , Dante , Museo , Materdei , and Garibaldi . Even just travelling around the city of Naples is already an experience of art.

Entombed skeletons covered with frescoed walls - Catacombs of San Gaudioso - Rione Sanita - Naples, Italy -


The poetry of a Neapolitan courtyard - Naples, Italy -

Here are five curious things that made an impression on me as I was exploring Naples with my family. You will come across them all around the city. They make it the lively, crazy, multilayered place that it is. I am mentioning them here to give you yet another angle (or angles) from which to approach Naples, experience its traditions, and capture truthfully its character.

Courtyards – a nucleus of authentic Neapolitan life, the courtyard is where you will find in no particular order parked cars and mopeds, rows of post boxes, the obligatory clotheslines, pots with plants, recycling bins with strict instructions on what to put in each, and so on. Providing an island of tranquillity in a densely built city, courtyards here are usually square or rectangular and flanked by balconies and rows of windows. Huge wooden gates block access to the courtyard from the street. These have a small door cut out in them to allow residents to walk in or out when the gates are closed.

Baskets – in a multi-storey city such as Naples, baskets come in handy when you don’t want to rush downstairs every time a delivery driver rings the bell. Instead, people drop a basket suspended by a cord from their balcony and then pull it up with the delivered item safely inside. Pure genius!

Mopeds/Scooters – these two-wheel vehicles are everywhere in the city. They are the main form of transport here, especially in the historic quarters. From teenagers to octogenarians, everyone rides them. Often, you can see a whole family with the baby and the dog on a single moped. You will quickly learn to jump out of the mopeds’ way, especially on the narrow historic streets with no pavements. Your head will be on a swivel at all times and you will subconsciously start to double up any walking time predicted by Google Maps, as by your first afternoon in Naples you will know that walking with a constant stream of mopeds right next to you is very time-consuming. Neapolitans seem to think that helmets are optional. I certainly don’t recommend not wearing one if you decide to brave the local traffic and ride around on a moped yourself.

Shrines – in Italian, they are known as edicole votive or edicole sacre . These are shrines attached to the walls of houses and buildings. You will see dozens of them as you walk around the city. A heartfelt expression of popular devotion, they vary in size and are decorated with religious images, candles, rosary beads, and plastic flowers.

Basso (pl. bassi )- also known as ‘o vascio in the Neapolitan language, these are small ground-floor flats with doors that open directly on the street. As you walk around town, your eyes will spontaneously look through the windows and the doors of many bassi giving you glimpses of real life. Some of these flats are so small that the marital bed stands right opposite the kitchen sink. In others, the occupants have reclaimed a corner of the street by fencing it off as a small verandah or placing large pots with plants to turn it into a personal garden. The family’s laundry flaps on freestanding driers placed directly on the pavement or on makeshift clotheslines. Some bassi have been turned into shops or workshops where you can buy bread or fresh fish or have your moped repaired if you need.


A presepe (also known as presepio in Italian and a Nativity scene in English) is a figural representation of the Holy Family in the stables of Bethlehem. It is the focal point of festive decorations in Italian homes during the Christmas season. You can read more about presepi in this blog post:

  • Presepe or 15 Facts about Italy’s Nativity Scenes – History, Traditions, and Meaning

Naples is Italy’s main centre of presepe -making. Handmade Neapolitan presepi are recognised for their beautifully carved and sculpted figurines, complex settings, and the introduction of folk characters, scenes of daily life, and even representations of modern-day celebrities in the Biblical Nativity scene.

A visit to Via San Gregorio Armeno is a must when you are in Naples. This is the street in the heart of the historic centre where you will find the largest concentration of presepe -making workshops. It’s Christmas all year round here.

As part of your sightseeing in Naples, don’t miss the following large-scale and very intricate presepi in the city:

Presepe Favoloso in the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità – this is my favourite Nativity scene in Naples. Four metres long and two metres high, it has over 100 figurines and it was made in 2021. The curious thing about it is that it incorporates figural representations of countless Neapolitan folk stories and contemporary happenings. As such, the Holy Family is surrounded by weird and wonderful characters that make you want to learn more about Naples’ myths and traditions. You can see this presepe as part of the guided tour of the Catacombs of San Gaudioso .

Cuciniello Nativity in the Museo Nazionale di San Martino – this large and complex  presepe  is composed of figurines of 173 people, 42 angels, and 80 animals (including two monkeys!). 450 miniature objects complete the scene.

Presepe del Banco di Napoli in the Capella Palatina of the Royal Palace – this lavish Nativity scene is composed of 354 pieces dating to the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. All of them were designed and handmade by famous artists of the time, for example, Giuseppe Sanmartino, the sculptor of Naples’ most famous statue – the Veiled Christ.

Presepe by Fratelli Capuano in their bottega on Via San Gregorio Armeno – this Nativity scene was made in 2006 by the artisans of one of Naples’ most renowned presepe -making workshops. In the style of an 18th-century Neapolitan presepe , it is incredibly detailed and expansive in size. There is a nominal charge of one euro to see this presepe .

Sala del Presepe in the Monastery of Santa Chiara – this large-scale Nativity scene is composed of 18th-century pieces commissioned during the reign of Ferdinand IV. The king himself was a big fan of presepi

Don’t worry if you don’t manage to see exactly these five Neapolitan presepi . Large-scale Nativity scenes are installed all over Naples, especially in the local churches. The best time of the year to see them is obviously around Christmas but they add a touch of whimsicality and wonder to your memories of this Italian city no matter the season.

Scene with Pulcinella and a band of children from the Presepe Favoloso - Church of Santa Maria della Sanita - Rione Sanita - Naples, Italy -


Pulcinella's bust on the corner with Via dei Tribunali - Naples, Italy -

Naples has a rich calendar of events. From art exhibitions and religious festivals to culinary get-togethers (called sagra ) and street celebrations, there is always something fun and exciting to do in the largest Southern Italian city.

Here are some of the most important events in Naples to enjoy together with napoletani :

January – 6th January or Epiphany is the day of Befana, an old long-nosed lady who rides around on a broom. As one of Italy’s five Christmas gift-bearers, she brings presents to the well-behaved Italian kids. What do the naughty ones get instead? Find out here . On 17th January, Naples celebrates the day of St. Anthony the Abbot, the protector of animals, with traditional bonfires.

January/February – travel to Naples for Carnevale . This is a period of confetti, costumes, music, and fun in the city. It’s also an opportunity to spot a Pulcinella or two out and about in the historic quarters. With a black mask with a protruding nose, this is the commedia dell’arte character who hails from Naples. In English, he is also known as Punchinello and originated the British puppet character Punch (as in Punch and Judy).

N.B.: If you can’t make it to Naples specifically for Carnival, then head to Vico del Fico al Purgatorio , a dark portico right off Via dei Tribunali , at any other time of the year. Here you can see the famous bronze bust of Pulcinella by the local artist Lello Esposito. Tourists touch the bust’s nose for good luck which explains its shiny surface.

March/April – Easter is one of the major celebrations in the Neapolitan calendar. Spend the Holy Week here and immerse yourself in centuries-old religious rites and popular traditions. For example, the sepolcri and the giro delle sette chiese . The sepolcri are specially decorated altars or chapels in Naples’ churches. The giro comprises visiting seven churches to pray for benevolence. Tuck into local festive dishes such as zuppa di cozze (mussel soup eaten on Holy Thursday) and pastiera (a shortcrust pie filled with ricotta-based cream).

April – twice a year (on the 5th of April and on the first Tuesday of July) the historic quarter Rione Sanità celebrates its patron saint, the Spanish Dominican friar Vincenzo Ferrer. Known as O’Munacone – the Big Monk – it is believed that the cholera epidemics that decimated Naples in 1836 only ended after the saint’s statue was carried along the quarter’s streets.

N.B.: You can see the shrine of San Vincenzo in the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità. The locals pray to the saint when they want to have a child.

April/May (then Septembe r and December ) – Naples’ major celebration takes place three times per year: the Saturday preceding the first Sunday of the month of May, then the 19th of September, and the 16th of December. This is when napoletani flock to the city’s Duomo and pray for the Miracle of Liquefaction. The blood of Naples’ patron saint San Gennaro was collected in a glass vial after he had been beheaded during the persecutions of the Christians spearheaded by the Roman emperor Diocletian. Over the centuries, the blood dried and turned solid. However, on these particular dates, it becomes liquid again after a complex ceremony performed in front of the people of Naples. A successful liquefaction of the saint’s blood is a sign of forthcoming prosperity. A failure to liquefy is interpreted as misfortunes to befall Naples and the world in the months to follow.

September – visit Naples around the 8th of September for the annual Feast of the Madonna of Piedigrotta. Expect float parades, firework displays, and concerts.

December – the Christmas season is especially heartfelt in Naples. Head to Via San Gregorio Armeno to immerse yourself in the festive hubbub of shoppers seeking new pieces for their presepi . Visit the city’s churches to see their intricate Nativity scenes. Enjoy traditional Christmas desserts such as struffoli (fried balls of sweet dough covered with hot honey and colourful sprinkles) and roccocò biscuits.


Is Naples a good place to visit with kids? This is a very valid question considering the city’s incredibly busy historic centre, the obvious social contrasts, and the large number of sights and museums where one can spend many hours walking around to full exhaustion.

My personal opinion is that Naples is a great place to visit with kids who are eager to learn new things, who love to eat, and who have vivid imaginations. Also, kids who don’t mind walking around for long stretches of time and who love exploring new places and cultures.

Here are a handful of places and sights which you may enjoy visiting particularly with your kids in Naples:

Aquarium of Naples – this is the oldest aquarium in Italy. It was opened in 1874 by the German Darwinist Anton Dohrn. Two years before that he had founded the world’s first zoological research station in Naples. The aquarium is housed in Villa Comunale – an important historic garden in the quarter of Chiaia. It has 200 animal and plant species in 19 basins and represents nine different habitats of the Mediterranean Sea. Near the aquarium, you can also visit the Museum Darwin-Dohrn .

Botanical Garden of Naples – this verdant oasis is a pleasure to visit with the family, especially on a hot day.

Ospedale delle Bambole – this Dolls’ Hospital is a very whimsical place in the heart of Naples. It first opened its doors in the 19th century and since then it has been run by four generations of the same family. It specialises in the repair of antique dolls and it has a small museum.

Città della Scienza – right next door to Naples you can visit Italy’s first interactive museum dedicated to the different branches of the sciences. A fun and educational destination for the whole family.

Below you can read my 10-year-old child’s honest opinion about visiting Naples in Italy:

Naples is a busy and lively city. With the noise, tight roads, and scooters, it gives you an air of happiness. But it is also very warm and within five days your feet can start hurting within five minutes of walking.

Children might enjoy the Napoli Sotterranea guided tour because of the dark and tight passages and the underground pools of water. One part of this tour includes something that you wouldn’t imagine being in an ordinary house but I won’t give any spoilers. (Especially as it’s underneath the bed!)

I also enjoyed seeing the Nativity scenes, especially the moving ones. Naples’ amulets – cornicelli – were everywhere.

The veiled statues made me feel a bit sad but you must visit not just the Veiled Christ in the Sansevero Chapel but also the Veiled Son (see the heading 5 Curious Facts About Naples below to find out why). In the Sansevero Chapel, you will also find a statue with an impressive fishing net around it.

I really liked Naples’ tight little streets and the way the delivery system works with baskets tied on ropes. You will find out soon enough!

Be warned! Maradona is everywhere! But I liked the fact that Naples’ colour is light blue (my favourite colour).

If you go to Herculaneum, there is a house which I liked. It has orange and red walls, which I describe as tropical. There are also some ancient Roman snack bars, but if you get hungry you can get an ice cream or a snack from the vending machines by the ruins. I liked walking around, looking into the ancient houses and naming them. Herculaneum is the perfect size to explore with kids and they even have cats who live there. I saw two of them – Ciuccio and Ercolina.

In Naples, you must go to the best ragù restaurant in the world – Tandem. And also you obviously have to taste gelato and pizza. A pizzeria to have in mind is the Pizzeria del Purgatorio. The sfogliatella riccia is quite difficult to bite, so watch it! Another thing to try are the Neapolitan taralli.

Let me tell you one thing! In Naples, they not only have granita (similar to slush puppy) but they even have watermelon and melon flavours. They are delicious!

The combination of hot, blazing sun and a full belly is not good. In this case, I suggest that you follow the Italian tradition of afternoon nap which is called riposo .

I would definitely return to Naples! I am happy that I got a Neapolitan cornicello , a fridge magnet, and some pieces for a Neapolitan Nativity scene. Naples is worth it! Especially for the food.

Magnets sold in a souvenir shop along Spaccanapoli - Naples, Italy -


The lunette above the main gate of Duomo - Naples, Italy -

Booking an organised tour in Naples with a reputed tour guide or travel company is a shortcut to getting to know on many different levels this vibrant, stimulating, and often overwhelming city. It’s like stepping through a secret door to discover Naples’ best corners and hidden gems which otherwise may be difficult to come across one by one on your own.

With a millennial history, a rich catalogue of art, delicious local food, and many traditional crafts with outstanding output, Naples is a must-see city in Italy. This is a place that keeps many secrets that it reveals to only those in the know. No matter how many books or guidebooks you may read about Naples before coming here, the City of Pizza, Volcanoes, and Nativity Scenes can still be a shock to the system. You may find yourself ambling through its ancient streets unsure where to head to first and what to delve into next.

It is at this point that an expert local guide or a reputable tour company can be of great help. With a structured approach and offering tours covering specific fields of knowledge or tailored to your personal interests, you can see and experience the maximum of Naples within the shortest amount of time.

Here are some of the best and most highly recommended tours to take in Naples organised by category:

  • Sightseeing: Hop-on Hop-off Bus ; Walking Tour with Underground Ruins ; Walking Tour with the Most Famous Monuments
  • History: Pompeii with an Archaeologist ; Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius ; Pompeii and Herculaneum
  • Food: Street Food Tour ; Do Eat Better Experience ; Secret Food Tour

Alternatively, select directly local tours and activities in Naples on GetYourGuide , Viator , and Tiqets .

Even if you decide against booking a tour and then you change your mind at the last moment, don’t worry! Tour guides can be hired in situ in many museums and sights in Naples. For example, when you visit Herculaneum, you will see the tour guides’ desk next to the entrance.


There are several visitor passes for the city of Naples and the region of Campania in Italy. In general, they cover a period of one, three, or seven days and provide free and discounted access to the best and most popular sights and museums here. Most of them also include free transport either as an included perk or as an add-on option.

The most popular visitor passes for Naples and Campania are issued by the following companies:

Campania ArteCard

Naples Pass

Both offer different options in terms of pass duration and number of free sights covered by each pass. So browsing their websites and choosing the right card for you is worth the time.

On Tiqets you can also find visitor passes just for Vesuvius and Pompeii, too.

Early Christian frescoes - Catacombs of San Gennaro - Rione Sanita - Naples, Italy -

We purchased the three-day Campania Artecard as we wanted to be able to use it on our day trip to the Phlegraean Fields, too. In my personal experience, the card was useful but it had some shortcomings.

Only the seven-day card is physical. The others are virtual. You have to download an app on your phone which provides you with special QR codes to scan every time you use public transport or visit a sight. This meant that we needed to make sure that we had enough battery left at all times and that the internet was working wherever we were.

Often, the QR code wouldn’t scan easily, especially at the train stations, so we had to go find someone to let us in through the barrier. In the process, we would get approached by small-time crooks offering to open the barrier for us in exchange for a small tip.

As far as we understood, children travel for free on the parent’s card if they are under a meter tall. As our child is over a meter, we needed to go buy tickets for her with all the queuing this entailed. I would have loved to be able to pay a bit more for the card but to have my child’s travel on it or simply to have the option to buy a child’s card from the get-go.

The crypt of the Church of Santa Maria della Sanita - Rione Sanita - Naples, Italy -

Another thing to have in mind is that the card seems to cover a specific number of days and not a specific number of hours. In other words, no matter how early or how late in the day you activate it, it counts the day of activation as a full day.

Otherwise, the card is handy as it saves you quite a lot of money. Especially, if you plan your visits in such a way that you head to the most expensive sights first. It also allows you to jump the queues at museums and sights which is a great timesaver. The app has a lot of excellent information about the sights and landmarks to see in Naples. This can give you lots of ideas for places to explore which makes your stay in Naples even more exciting.


Mollo di Baia with a view of the gulf and the Aragon Castle - Naples, Italy -

For everything that Naples has to offer, right next door to this vibrant Italian city you will also find an almost overwhelming number of must-see destinations. No matter what you are after – ancient ruins, picturesque towns, coastal villages, diving trips, natural beauty or panoramic views – take your pick from this list:

Ancient Roman Cities and Landmarks – Herculaneum and Pompeii don’t really need an introduction. Destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, today the excavations of these two ancient Roman towns are a must-see if you love history and archaeology. If you have time to spare, don’t miss the Virtual Archaeological Museum of Herculaneum and Boscoreale , Oplontis , and Stabiae in the vicinity of Pompeii. Take the Circumvesuviana train and you can easily get from Naples to all of these ancient Roman hotspots by yourself. Alternatively, you can also book this highly recommended day tour which takes in Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. If you have little time to spare, then this two-hour visit to Herculaneum in the company of an archaeologist is a great option to consider.

Phlegraean Fields ( Campi Flegrei ) – a truly exciting yet little-visited by mass tourists area right next to Naples. Here you will find small towns with fresh seafood, impressive ruins, and volcanic heritage. From the enormous Flavian Amphitheatre and the ancient Roman macellum in Pozzuoli to the Archaeological Park of Cuma and the Piscina Mirabilis in Miseno, this is the best day trip from Naples you have never heard of. I particularly loved the Roman baths in Baiae. The sea here guards the remains of once lavish Roman villas. Protected as part of the Submerged Archaeological Park of Baia, they can be seen as part of a diving or snorkelling trip.

N.B.: If little-known historic sites are your thing, then make sure that you also head to the Archaeological Site of Pausilypon halfway between Naples and the Phlegraean Fields. You can read more about it here .

Islands near Naples: a handful of beautiful islands are a short ferry ride away from Naples. The most famous one of them all is Capri but if you have the time, don’t miss Ischia and Procida. Check ferry timetables and ticket prices at the official websites of the ferry operators SNAV , Caremar , and Medmar . Don’t forget to book a boat tour of Capri in advance for maximum fun during your time on the island.

Amalfi Coast ( Costiera Amalfitana ) – this beautiful stretch of coastline along the Gulf of Salerno is dotted with small towns that are the essence of picture-perfect Italy. Amalfi, Positano and Ravello are the most famous among them and every high season suffer the effects of overtourism. Head there in the low season to avoid the crowds and for a more authentic experience. To simplify your travel arrangements, you can also book an organised day tour . Alternatively, make a plan to discover for yourself the lesser-known corners of the Costiera Amalfitana , for example, Vietri sul Mare and Atrani.

Other destinations to visit from Naples – here in no particular order but all deserving a day trip (or a longer stay) are some more must-see places for you to easily explore coming from Naples: Royal Palace of Caserta , Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia , and the towns of Sorrento, Benevento, and Gaeta. If you have little time but you want to see the most, then you can book an organised tour taking in Sorrento and the highlights of the Amalfi Coast.


The question ‘Is Naples safe?’ surely is one of the first things that pop into the mind of any traveller considering a visit to Naples in Italy.

For decades, books, films, and news stories have all presented this vibrant city as a beautiful yet decaying place where danger lurks around every corner. Speaking truthfully, Naples definitely is an edgy city. The consequences of limited financial means are easy to stumble upon even right next to major landmarks. Some areas here seem to experience real penury.

On the plus side, however, I felt that Naples is a friendly city where it was immensely enjoyable to walk around and talking to people felt natural and easy.

Some time ago I used to live in Northern Italy which I got to explore in depth. Yet, I always felt like an outsider and even in the city that my family called home for six years – Vicenza – there were people who refused to talk to me on account that I was a foreigner and others who kept me at arm’s length and took obvious offence to the fact that I would speak to my own child in my mother tongue instead of Italian.

In contrast to this, Naples felt easy to slot into. While I was situationally aware at all times, this didn’t interfere with my feeling relaxed, happy to explore, and at ease to talk to people. We all have been fed with cliches about Italy and some of us may have been left disappointed when some of these cliches didn’t live up to reality. Naples for me lived up to some of the best expectations people may have of Italy – friendliness, ease of communication, and the strive to create beauty in any and all circumstances. It’s a shame that this striking in so many ways city has been experiencing financial deprivation over such a long period of time. This, obviously, has left a deep imprint on its fabric!

The friend of a friend who met us at Naples Airport gave us some safety advice which I found applicable to any other large, lively city in the world. For example, no flashy jewellery, expensive watches, or branded accessories (which was easy for me as I don’t wear any jewellery when I travel), sticking together after dark (we are a family of two parents and a small child, so we tend to stick together when we walk around), and not exploring deserted areas at night (this we don’t do in principle).

Depending on where you come from and what urban environment you may be used to, what you may find unsettling in Naples at first glance are the quantities of rubbish towards the end of the day, the proliferation of graffiti (some of them are rather good), and (in some corners of the city) the obvious signs of people living rough. This is not exclusive to Naples. I live in a rather economically deprived town in England, so locally we have some of these issues affecting the community at large, too.

Before travelling to Naples, I didn’t know what to expect and I had seen all the negative reviews online. I am glad to report that I found Naples a joy to explore. It was stimulating on so many levels and offered such a rich list of things to do that I felt I could return to this city time and time again to get to know it better. Naples is full of life and this was such a wondrous thing to see and experience.

Safety is always a concern when travelling. I am speaking as the almost victim of a violent mugging in a public place in a large European city (not in Italy!), so you can be sure that when I am in a new place, especially with my child and my camera around my neck, I have my head on a swivel.

Naples is a city of great contrasts. Poverty is not conveniently hidden away here. You can see that survival is tough for many people. Beauty and decay occupy the same spaces. So, if you want to spend your holidays in a highly presentable and polished environment, then maybe Naples is not your destination. If, on the contrary, you are looking to see a place that has nurtured life in all its manifestations – from the creative to the destructive – for close to three millennia, then Naples is an excellent choice to consider.

As in all other places, be travel-smart. Keep your belongings close to you, be aware of your surroundings, in control of your abilities, and don’t engage in conversations with overly friendly people who approach you first. They are running a small-time scam where they give you some information and then ask for a tip. And, if you need a good list with lots of common-sense safety tips applicable to all destinations, have a look at this article on my blog.

A figurine handmade by La Scarabattola - Catacombs of San Gennaro - Rione Sanita - Naples, Italy -


napoli tourist information


napoli tourist information


Neapolitan tombola - Naples, Italy -

Shopping in Naples is an exciting experience on many levels. From artisan products and luxury goods to treat yourself to heaps of imaginative and colourful souvenirs to take home for family and friends, you will be tempted to spend, spend, spend time and time again.

Artfully arranged shelves and windows tempt you with handmade Nativity scenes , hand-painted Neapolitan tambourines, beautiful ceramics, hand-carved cameos , antique books, and so many more weird and wonderful, unusual and eclectic, rare and irresistible things.

Prices accommodate every budget! So, here are some cool things to buy in Naples and some of the best local makers to purchase them from:

Handmade Neapolitan Nativity scenes from Fratelli Capuano , La Scarabatola , and the shops along Via San Gregorio Armeno . Handmade Nativity scenes (known as presepe or presepio in Italian) are an intrinsic part of Naples’ artisan heritage.

Corno portafortuna (also known as cornicell o ) – you will see these chilly-like horns all around Naples. Traditionally red, nowadays they come in all sizes, colours, and variations. The locals believe that this Neapolitan amulet protects you and brings you good luck. For it to work, however, it needs to be handmade and given to you as a present. Apparently, you can’t just buy your own! D’Auria Artigiani make a large selection of cornicelli . Otherwise, you will find these amulets all over Naples.

Cameos by Gerolomini Gallery – this elegant shop has a wide selection of beautiful handmade cameos and coral jewellery. It also has a small museum dedicated to the delicate art of cameo-carving which is typical for the area around Naples.

Handmade bags and purses by Jiji Lovemade – I fell in love with Jiji’s colourful, vibrant bags during my week in Naples this summer. With beautiful patterns, they are both practical and elegant, perfect for city living and weekend travel.

Neapolitan tombola – a cheeky lotto-like game that Neapolitan families play together, especially at Christmas. Many small shops along Spaccanapoli and Via San Gregorio Armeno sell it.

Artisanal chocolate by Gay-Odin – this over a century-old Neapolitan company makes high-quality chocolates and chocolate-based products.

Cucumella – this traditional Neapolitan flip pot produces smooth and strong coffee. With its elongated design, it is a great conversation starter and is a great gift for the coffee lover in your life.


napoli tourist information


1. Naples has 52 patron saints – one for each week of the year. The city’s main patron saint is San Gennaro with whom napoletani signed a notarised contract on 13th January 1527 stipulating that the saint was to protect them from plagues and eruptions of Vesuvius.

2. In Naples, you can see not just the worldwide famous sculpture of the Veiled Christ , but also the sculpture of the Veiled Son. Both are carved from a single block of marble and the latter is the work of Jago – an Italian sculptor currently residing in New York. The Veiled Christ is in the Sansevero Chapel. The Veiled Son is in the Basilica of San Severo fuori le Mura. Both are a must-see!

3. Via di San Gregorio Armeno (also known as Via dei Presepi ) is Naples’ famous street that houses the workshops of the artisans who make the famous Neapolitan presepi . These intricate Nativity scenes include dozens of figurines and represent the Holy Family in the stables often surrounded by purely Neapolitan characters and settings. Curiously, millennia ago, this same street was lined with workshops producing terracotta figurines which people bought and left as votive offerings at the adjacent temple of Ceres – the Roman goddess of agriculture.

4. Naples’ historic city centre is one of the largest in Europe. Its many layers – from the deepest catacombs and underground water cisterns to its tall obelisks and church domes covered with majolica tiles – are the result of 27 centuries of history. Its surface encloses 1,700 hectares, 1,021 of which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995!

5. Napoletani are football-mad and are particularly obsessed with Maradona. Hailing from Argentina, the legendary footballer played for S.S.C. Napoli from 1984 to 1991 and took the Neapolitan team to the top of the game. To this day, Maradona has a god-like status in the city. Everywhere you go you will see his face on flags, murals, and even packets of crisps.

A Maradonna poster in the historic centre - Naples, Italy -


Fishmonger - Scenes of daily life in Rione Sanita - Naples, Italy -

  • Explore Naples area by area. This is a large and exciting city with lots to see and do. Group the sights you want to visit based on their proximity to one another instead of exhausting yourself by running all over town every day of your stay.
  • Where possible, book entry tickets and tours in advance. This will minimise waiting times and will allow you to make the most of your day. Tiqets is a great resource for tickets for Naples’ best museums and landmarks. Viator is my favourite tool for booking guided tours.
  • Bring your appetite. Naples is a city where eating is akin to an elevated cultural experience. From bakeries and family-run trattorias to restaurants with sea views and unmissable gelaterias, Naples runs on excellent food. Don’t skip a meal!
  • Embrace Naples’ joy of life! This is a vibrant city that stimulates the senses on many different levels. Let it get under your skin!
  • Indulge in people-watching. Naples is as much about its historic and artistic heritage as it is about its people. Take time every day to just stop and take in little scenes of daily life. Many napoletani are worthy of a book and you can read their story on their faces, in their gestures, and in a conversation with them.


  • Don’t expect to see the whole of Naples in a day or two. This is a large city with lots of major sights and plenty of hidden gems.
  • Don’t hire a car. Traffic in Naples is intense, the driving style is incredibly assertive, and the historic quarters are akin to mazes of narrow streets. Free parking spaces can be very difficult to come across, so parking needs to be organised in advance. Most importantly, Naples has several ZTL’s (limited traffic zones) which are accessible only with special dispensations (for example, local residents and hotel guests) and more or less cover the areas with the biggest concentrations of landmarks and sights.
  • Don’t buy counterfeit luxury and designer goods . Heavy fines are in place for tourists tempted to buy knock-offs which you may see being sold from sheets spread directly on the ground around town.
  • Don’t be negative about Naples and/or its icons. As with every large city with a millennial history, Naples has its own specific problems which are easy to spot. The least a visitor to the city can do is to show respect to the people who have to deal with them on a day-to-day basis. Neapolitans have also elevated certain personalities to a god-like status. Disrespect is not tolerated no matter how well-based your opinion about them may be.
  • Don’t accept unsolicited offers for help. Most often than not they will be followed by a request for a tip. At busy spots around town, for example, train or metro stations, you may be approached by a smiley person eager to explain how to get from point A to point B. Don’t engage! If you really need directions, it’s best to ask at the ticket office or a uniformed employee.

Fake bags sold along Spaccanapoli - Naples, Italy -


A capital in the Roman terme in Baia with a view of the gulf - Naples, Italy -

I have been blogging about travel in Italy for almost ten years now providing detailed and first-hand tried and tested information about the best things to do in this beautiful country. It’s all based on my close to twenty years of visiting Italy solo and with my family. Six of them, we actually spent living in  Vicenza  in the  north of the country .

If you are after in-depth researched and illustrated with dozens of original photos articles about Italy, have a look at the following categories and blog posts:

  • Italy  – a full list of all my blog posts about Italy
  • 10 Reasons to Visit Northern Italy
  • Veneto ,  Trentino ,  Emilia Romagna ,  Umbria  – full lists of all my blog posts about these Italian regions
  • Venice ,  Padua ,  Lake Garda ,  Lake Como , Milan  – full lists of all my blog posts about these must-see destinations in Italy.

In addition, right at the end of this page, you will find a list with links to some of my most popular blog posts about many beautiful and exciting cities, towns, and regions to visit in Italy. So, just scroll down and then click on the ones you want to know more about.

Finally, Italy’s  official tourism website  is a great source of the latest news about travel in Italy. Otherwise,  this is one  of the best guidebooks about Italy.


Have a look also at my ultimate travel guides for Venice , Lake Como , and Lake Garda .

For more useful information like this, please, like my blog’s page on  Facebook  and Instagram and  subscribe  to my strictly no-spam newsletter.

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Neapolitan espresso served in a small cafe - Naples, Italy -


Convitto Nazionale on Piazza Dante - Naples, Italy -

Get Ready for Your Trip to Naples in Italy

Get a guidebook from Amazon. Buy plane tickets , train tickets , and bus tickets through Omio. Research accommodation on Select local tours and activities on GetYourGuide , Viator , and Tiqets .


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View of Naples, as seen from Castle Sant`Elmo.

©Mariia Golovianko/Shutterstock

Naples is raw, high-octane energy, a place of soul-stirring art and panoramas, spontaneous conversations and unexpected, inimitable elegance – welcome to Italy's most unlikely masterpiece.

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Must-see attractions.

Water carriers from Herculaneum, Museo Archeologico Nazionale.

Museo Archeologico Nazionale

Naples' National Archaeological Museum serves up one of the world’s finest collections of Graeco-Roman artefacts. Originally a cavalry barracks and later…

Royal Palace of Capodimonte, Naples

Museo di Capodimonte

Originally designed as a hunting lodge for Charles VII of Bourbon, the monumental Palazzo di Capodimonte was begun in 1738 and took more than a century to…

napoli tourist information

Cappella Sansevero

It's in this Masonic-inspired baroque chapel that you'll find Giuseppe Sanmartino's incredible sculpture, Cristo velato (Veiled Christ), its marble veil…

napoli tourist information

Certosa e Museo di San Martino

The high point (quite literally) of the Neapolitan baroque, this charterhouse-turned-museum was built as a Carthusian monastery between 1325 and 1368…

Burial chamber at the San Gennaro Catacombs

Catacombe di San Gennaro

Naples' oldest and most sacred catacombs became a Christian pilgrimage site when San Gennaro's body was interred here in the 5th century. The carefully…

Front entrance of Naples Duomo

Whether you go for Giovanni Lanfranco's fresco in the Cappella di San Gennaro (Chapel of St Janarius), the 4th-century mosaics in the baptistry, or the…

Tiled cloister of Basilica di Santa Chiara.

Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara

Vast, Gothic and cleverly deceptive, the mighty Basilica di Santa Chiara stands at the heart of this tranquil monastery complex. The church was severely…

Entrance to Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano

Gallerie d'Italia

Built for a Spanish merchant in the 17th century and reconfigured in belle-époque style by architect Luigi Platania in the early 20th century, Palazzo…

Top picks from our travel experts

The best 15 things to do in naples: livin' la dolce vita.

napoli tourist information

Via San Gregorio Armeno

Dismissed by serious collectors, this narrow street nonetheless remains famous across Italy for its pastori (nativity-scene figurines). Connecting…

Palazzo Reale

Palazzo Reale

Envisaged as a 16th-century monument to Spanish glory (Naples was under Spanish rule at the time), the magnificent Palazzo Reale is home to the Museo del…

Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo in Naples

Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo

Day in, day out, this cult-status pizzeria is besieged by hungry hordes. While debate may rage over whether Gino Sorbillo's pizzas are the best in town,…


In a city infamous for belt-busting temptations, this piazza-side pasticceria (pastry shop) enjoys celebrity status. While you'll find all the local…

Castel Nuovo

Castel Nuovo

Locals know this 13th-century castle as the Maschio Angioino (Angevin Keep), and its Cappella Palatina is home to fragments of frescoes by Giotto; they're…

Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo

Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo

The extraordinary Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo is an architectural Kinder Surprise. Its shell is the 15th-century, Giuseppe Valeriani–designed facade of Palazzo…

napoli tourist information

When you need a break from Naples' hyperactive tendencies, take a deep breath on its pedestrianised seafront strip. Stretching 2.5km along Via Partenope…

napoli tourist information

Castel dell'Ovo

Built by the Normans in the 12th century, Naples’ oldest castle owes its name (Castle of the Egg) to Virgil. The Roman scribe reputedly buried an egg on…

Piazza Vanvitelli

Piazza Vanvitelli

Octagonal Piazza Vanvitelli is the elegant heart of the Vomero district, its cafes and gelato vendors drawing everyone from fur-clad, cappuccino-sipping…

Exterior of Teatro San Carlo.

Teatro San Carlo

An evening at Italy's largest opera house is magical. Although the original 1737 theatre burnt down in 1816, Antonio Niccolini's 19th-century…

The best free things to do in Naples: fun activities that won't cost a penne

Orto Botanico di Napoli

Orto Botanico di Napoli

Founded by Joseph Bonaparte between 1807 and 1819, these botanical gardens belong to the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Dedicated botanists…

napoli tourist information

Complesso Monumentale di San Lorenzo Maggiore

The basilica at this richly layered religious complex is deemed one of Naples' finest medieval buildings. Aside from Ferdinando Sanfelice's facade, the…

napoli tourist information

Museo Duca di Martina & Villa Floridiana

The Museo Duca di Martina houses a beautiful collection of ceramics, with priceless Chinese Ming (1368–1644) ceramics and Japanese Edo (1615–1867) vases…

Piazza del Plebiscito

Piazza del Plebiscito

For Continental grandeur, it's hard to beat Piazza del Plebiscito. Whichever way you look, the view is show-stopping. To the northwest, vine-covered…

Basilica di San Francesco di Paola

Basilica di San Francesco di Paola

The undisputed star of Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples’ largest square, is the Basilica di San Francesco di Paola, a later addition to the colonnade that…

Planning Tools

Expert guidance to help you plan your trip.

Things to Know

Naples, with its captivating architecture, rich history, and mouth-watering food, is not to be missed. Here's everything you need to know before you go.

Best Neighborhoods

A variety of sights and activities are packed into each Neapolitan neighborhood, so you can craft your own experience – ethereal, elegant or edgy.

Naples cooks up plenty of things to see and do, but the pace of life is full-throttle – take one of these day trips from Naples for a breath of fresh air.

Money and Costs

Discover how to shop for picnics, find a volunteer experience, select just the right short-term rental and more ways to enjoy Naples on a budget.


Though you're usually better off walking to get around Naples, the city does offer a comprehensive network of public transportation.

Free Things to Do

Many of the best things to see and do in Naples are found in its historic center. Here are 10 don't-miss Naples' experiences that cost next to nothing.

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Naples is history, culture and nature : a beautiful, vibrant, full-of-life destination. Our travel guide contains up-to-date, personal information on everything from what to see , to when to visit , where to stay and what to eat ! 

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Why visit Naples?

A city of organized chaos with a legendary history,  incredible architectural and cultural heritage, and beautiful natural landscapes , Naples is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy and the third biggest city after Rome and Milan . It's located in the south of the country, in a region called Campania.

Naples is steeped in history, and around every corner, you'll find impressive castles, churches and palaces with legendary stories to tell. Even if you don't visit inside the  Castel dell'Ovo , the Duomo , the San Francesco di Paola Basilica  or the  Royal Palace of Naples , just wandering around the picturesque streets is enough to enchant any visitor.

It's not just Naples that's full of charm: the entire region is home to countless fascinating places to visit , making the city a great base for day trips to Pompeii , Capri , Amalfi , Sorrento , Positano , and  Mount Vesuvius .

After all this sightseeing, you're bound to be hungry. What better way to finish off a day of exploring than indulging in typical Neapolitan cuisine at a traditional local restaurant ? This is, after all, the birthplace of pizza!

Where to start?

If you're planning a trip to Naples and you don't know much about the city yet, the first thing to do is to learn all about its legendary history - understanding the past will help you understand the present. Next, check out our practical hints and tips on traveling to the city before discovering which of its most important museums , monuments , and attractions interest you most.

Looking for a place to stay?

Booking your accommodation in advance is the best way to get great discounts. Our detailed guide on where to stay in Naples  will help you decide which neighborhood you'd like to look for hotels or apartments in, and our hotel search engine will find you the best deals!

top activities

Day Trip to Pompeii 24th of August, year 79. A.D: the ground begins to tremble, the sky blackens and Vesuvius unleashes its wrath. Join us to r elive the history of Pompeii .

On this tour, we'll discover a hidden side of this city by venturing underground to discover the history of the tunnels that lie below the Spanish quarter .

Capri and Pompeii Day Trip Fall in love with the beauty of Capri and travel back in time at the archaeological UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pompeii on this tour of contrasts!

Naples Pizza Making Class Get your recipe notebooks ready and discover all the steps to making the star product of Italian food in this workshop in the home of pizza: Naples.

Free Walking Tour of Naples Old Town Legendary stories of Ancient Greeks and Romans await you on this free walking tour of Naples Old Town. Explore the city's most historic streets!

Naples Private Tour With this private walking tour of Naples , you'll enjoy an exclusive tour in English around the city center. The best way to discover the region's capital!

Pompeii & Vesuvius Day Trip Lava and ash petrified the citizens of Pompeii , leaving them frozen in time. Get to know it on this excursion which  includes climbing the volcano itself .

Capri Boat Tour Don't leave Naples without having spent a day in Capri . Discover the island's beautiful surroundings by boat and explore it at your lesuire on foot.

Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Day Trip Discover Sorrento & the Amalfi Coast & allow yourself to be seduced by one of the most beautiful areas of the Mediterranean . 

Herculaneum Tour Step back in time to Ancient Rome with this tour of the Herculaneum ruins . A unique trip to an archaeological UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Amalfi Coast Day Trip Cliff side houses and the most colourful scenery awaits in Positano, Amalfi and Ravello with this tour along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.

Neapolitan Songs Concert at Napulitanata Attend a traditional Neapolitan music concert at the Napulitanata Theater and fall in love with the most iconic songs of Naples.

Naples Pass Discover Italy's third-largest city with this Naples Pass. Visit some of the most important museums in Naples and discounts for its best attractions.

Spanish District Street Art Tour Are you looking for unique plans in Naples? With this urban art tour you'll discover the many graffiti and colourful murals that decorate the streets of Naples.

Naples Pasta Workshop Are you passionate about Italian cuisine? Learn how to prepare a delicious dish of tagliatelle or stuffed ravioli, with this Naples Pasta Workshop.

Naples Sightseeing Bus Explore the stunning Italian city of Naples and its beautiful bay when you take this fantastic open-top sightseeing bus tour !

Basilica of San Lorenzo Underground Tour Discover Naples' fascinating past -  explore the undergrounds of the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore and visit Naples Cathedral !

Amalfi & Positano Boat Excursion Allow yourself to be seduced by the charm of Amalfi & Positano on this boat excursion. Two of the most beautiful towns on the Amalfi Coast await!

Combo: Naples, Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius Tour Visit the city's historic center, the Pompeii archaeological site, and Mount Vesuvius with our Combo: Naples, Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius tour.

Gulf of Naples Boat Tour Admire the incredible views along the Italian coastline on this boat tour of the Gulf of Naples ! You'll enjoy a pleasant crossing of the Tyrrhenian Sea .

Naples Food Market Tour The streets of Naples have so much to offer, with this walking tour you'll see the best of the city centre and visit a traditional food market .

Capri and Anacapri Day Trip On this excursion , you'll explore Capri , one of the most popular Italian islands to visit, and its most naturally beautiful town, Anacapri !

Tour of Naples & Pompeii This offer is ideal if you want to enjoy the best of Naples and Pompeii in one day . Taking both tours on the same day, you will save both time and money.

Discover the ancient city of Pompeii and explore the archaeological site of Herculaneum on this excursion from Naples and climb to the top of Mount Vesuvius !

Are you in Naples and want to explore the surrounding area? This excursion to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast will take you to two of Campania's must-see places .

Pompeii and Sorrento Shore Excursion If you're arriving in Naples on a cruise and want to know the area, this tour of Sorrento and Pompeii is for you. History and beautiful views await you .

Naples Street Food Tour Enjoy the exquisite Italian cuisine in this gastronomy tour of Naples. You will taste the most delicious sweets and dishes of this captivating city.

Naples Legends & Folklore Free Tour Uncover the intriguing history behind the capital of Campania with us on this free Neopolitan legends and folklore tour .

Naples Castle Tour Discover the history of Borgo Marinari and the Castel Nuovo , two of the most symbolic monuments of the capital of Campania, with this Naples Castles Tour !

Ticket to Pompeii + Train Ride from Naples This activity includes tickets to Pompeii and round-trip train transportation from Naples , making it a hassle-free way for you to explore this historic gem.

Pompeii and Sorrento Day Trip Decipher the enigmas hidden in the ruins of Pompeii with this excursion which also takes you along the seductive Sorrento coast.

Naples, Pompeii & Sorento Tour Explore the captivating trio of Naples, Pompeii, and Sorrento . Immerse yourself in the rich history , breathtaking viewpoints, and iconic landmarks of Campania.

Naples Mysteries and Legends Tour Discover the mysteries and legends of Naples with this magical tour of the city's secret side. Goblins, fairies, amazing miracles and more await you!

Naples Guided Tour A charming blend of curious history, beautiful art and delicious cuisine... Get to know the capital of Campania with this Naples Guided Tour.

Train and Ticket to the Royal Palace of Caserta Visit one of the largest palace complexes in Europe with this ticket to the Royal Palace of Caserta with round-trip train tickets from Naples included !

Mount Vesuvius Day Trip Climb to the peak of Mount Vesuvius and enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Neopolitan bay offered by the summit of this volcano.

Visit one of the most outstanding archaeological sites in Italy & walk around the volcano that buried it on this excursion to Vesuvius and Herculaneum .

Private Tour of the Capodimonte Museum Discover the Museo di Capodimonte - one of Naples' most important collections of artwork housed in an elegant former royal palace - on this private guided tour.

National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa On this guided tour of the Railway Museum of Pietrarsa , we'll learn about old locomotives and wagons, and visit a botanical garden. 

Campania Pass With the Campania Pass , you'll have access to numerous museums and tourist attractions in the region and to public transportation.

Pompeii+ Mount Vesuvius Excursion On this  excursion from Naples we'll visit the  ruins of Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius  and enjoy a wine tasting. A day of history, gastronomy, and nature!

Archaeological Park of Paestum Ticket + Train Discover life in the Classical era with this ticket to the Archaeological Park of Paestum , one of the most important Greek sites in Italy.

Naples Electric Bike Tour Tour the capital of Campania in comfort and style! On this electric bike tour of Naples , you can choose the route you like the most!

Naples Tour for Cruise Ships  If you're arriving in the Campania capital by sea , don't miss out on this walking tour of Naples and visit  significant monuments that will captivate you!

Underground Naples Tour If you want to take a journey back in time in the heart of Naples , don't miss this interesting tour through the undergrounds of Piazza San Gaetano !

Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro Guided Tour Join us to discover the history of the patron saint of Naples on this guided tour of the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro !

Tour of the Naples National Archaeological Museum On this tour of the Naples National Archaeological Museum , we'll admire the mosaic of Issus, the sculptures of the Farnese collection, and much more!

Pedamentina Stairs Free Tour On this tour of the Pedamentina Stairs , we'll have the opportunity to learn an important part of the history of Naples and marvel at the breathtaking views.

Ischia Self Guided Tour This self guided tour of Ischia is the best way to discover the beautiful attractions of this island in the Gulf of Naples  at your own pace. 

Private Excursions from Naples Book one of our private excursions from Naples and explore some of the most fascinating locations in the south , such as Salerno, Caserta, Potenza or Avellino.

Naples National Archaeological Museum Private Tour Travel through history with exhibitions at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. You'll see sculptures from the Roman Empire and objects from Pompeii.

Naples & Pompeii e-Bike Tour If you like sports & sustainable tourism, this electric bike tour of Naples and Pompeii is the best way to get to know the capital of Campania!

Royal Palace and Bourbon Tunnel Guided Tour Discover the oppulence and mystery of Naples with this fantastic guided tour of the Royal Palace of Naples and the enigmatic Bourbon tunnel.

Procida Island Boat Trip Discover the charming island of Procida on this boat trip from Naples . Plus, you'll enjoy a mouth-watering lunch of Italian delicacies!

Night of Opera in the Salotto Barbaja at the Medici Acquaviva Palace If you're after an unforgettable evening in Naples, this o pera concert in the Salotto Barbaja at the Medici Acquaviva Palace is perfect for you!

If you're in Naples, don't miss this boat excursion to Ischia and Procida, two of the most charming islands on the Amalfi Coast!

Free Walking Tour of Naples Let yourself be captivated by the historic city of Naples on this free walking tour. Discover ancient castles, picturesque piazzas and impressive churches.

Spaccanapoli + The Veiled Christ Tour Stroll down the old streets of Naples to admire the city's most famous sculptures on this  tour of Spaccanapoli and the Veiled Christ !

Naples Maradona Tour Wander through the historic centre of the Italian city and follow in the footsteps of the famous Argentinian footballer on this Naples Maradona Tour.

Naples Christmas Market Tour Christmas has arrived in Campania! And there's no better way to enjoy it than on this  Christmas   tour of Naples . Are you ready?

Why is our Naples travel guide the best?

Introducing Naples is a  city guide written by travellers for travellers , and contains personalised advice to help you make the most of your trip to the city on everything from what to see , to when to visit , where to stay and what to eat ! 

All the information in this guide is valid as of October 2022. If you find any errors or have any comments, please feel free to contact us.

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Your Trip to Naples: The Complete Guide

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

napoli tourist information

Visitors seeking to scratch beneath Italy's sometimes idealized surface should head south to Naples, the third-largest city in the country and the capital of the Campania region. With its colorful regional language and international population, Naples offers a real slice of urban Italian life, from the crowded, narrow streets of the centro storico to its busy seafront. It's rich in history, hearty food, character, and scenery, and it's the stepping-off point for trips to Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and points further south. And once you've gotten to know Naples, you'll feel like a real Italy insider.

Planning Your Trip

Best Time to Visit :  Naples is most crowded in the summer months and at the Christmas and Easter holidays. Winter is less crowded but can be quite rainy. For that sweet-spot combination of weather and fewer crowds, we pick late spring and early fall as the best times to visit.

Language:  Italian is the official language in Naples, though throughout most of Naples and Campania, you'll hear Napolitano (Neopolitan), one of a related group of regional dialects spoken in the south of Italy. It's mostly interchangeable with standard Italian, so your phrasebook or rudimentary Italian should get you by. You'll find English spoken in most hotels and many restaurants, but less-so in smaller shops and eateries.

Currency:  Naples and all of Italy uses the euro, and other currencies are not accepted. Credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, though some restaurants, most street food stalls, market vendors and smaller, independent merchants will want you to pay in cash. American Express and Diner's Club are less widely accepted in Italy. Be sure to confirm in advance with your hotel or restaurant if you intend to pay with one of these cards.

Getting Around:  Most of Naples's tourist attractions are concentrated within the seafront and centro storico, both areas with either little or gradual elevation change. Both zones are walkable and are within a one- to two-mile walk of one another. If you'd like to rest your feet, Naples has a comprehensive public transportation network of Metro trains, buses, and trams. Funiculars take residents and visitors to several prominent hills in the city, such as the top of the Vomero, site of the Certosa e Museo di San Martino and Castel Sant’Elmo, and regional trains connect to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Sorrento. Naples International Airport is connected to the city by buses. We strongly advise against renting a car or driving in Naples—a car is unnecessary, parking is scarce, there's a confusing maze of one-way streets and traffic is often at a standstill.

Travel Tip:  If you plan to spend a lot of time sightseeing in Naples and also figure on visiting Pompeii and/or Herculaneum, the Naples Pass is a worthwhile investment. Sold in three- or seven-day increments, it includes free and discounted admission to attractions, plus free travel on all public transportation.

Things to Do

Visitors come to Naples for its Greek and Roman underground, its numerous mosaic- and relic-filled churches and its museums stuffed with art and archaeological treasures. Then there's the food—Naples is famous for pizza, seafood, fried everything, and decadent pastries. And as much as anything, visitors come to Naples just to be in Naples, and witness the soulful authenticity of the city. Here are some of the top things to see in Naples.

  • Museums:  Naples's National Museum of Archaeology has the world's preeminent collection   of Greek and Roman antiquities from Italy, including artifacts from Pompeii. The collections of the San Martino complex has an extensive collection of Italian art within a beautiful, clositered monastary. The Palazzo Reale Museum contains collections of Italian art and historical documents, plus royal apartments and grand public spaces.
  • Churches:  Naples's most important church is the Duomo, the seat of the Festa Di San Gennaro honoring Naples favorite saint. Not far away, the San Severo Chapel is home to the breathtaking "Veiled Christ" by Giuseppe Sanmartino and a host of other sculptures.
  • Castles: The number of major castles and fortresses in Naples speak to its strategic importance through the centuries. Castel dell'Ovo slouches along the waterfront, with turretted Castel Nuovo nearby. On top of the Vomero Hill, imposing Castel Sant'Elmo looms over the city.
  • Underground: Unless you're claustrophobic, plan to spend some time exploring Naples' fascinating subterranean layers. The Catacombs of San Gennaro and the Naples Underground tours are both highly recommended.
  • Shopping:  Naples is known for its hand-carved nativity figures, some of them with an amazing attention to detail. Buy yours, or a Christmas ornament, on Via San Gregorio Armeno , known as Christmas Alley.

Explore more things to do with our full-length articles on the  top things to do in Naples and the best day trips from Naples.

What to Eat and Drink

Thanks to the southern Italian diaspora   at the turn of the 20th century, the Italian food you'll taste in Naples is more akin to Italian food in the U.S. Pizza, pasta, seafood, fried foods, and rich pastries dominate, and Naples is an excellent destination for street food. Find the top destinations for traditional Neopolitan pizza , or try pizza fritta (fried pizza), which is not as heavy as it sounds. A cuoppo, usually eaten as street food, is a paper cone filled with freshly fried seafood or vegetables. Arancini are deep-fried rice balls filled with ragu or vegetarian fillings. Fresh fish and fish and seafood-based pastas are quite popular. For sweets, try sfogliatella, a crunchy layered pasta with creamy ricotta filling, or babà, a soft, rum-soaked cake filled with whipped cream. Read more about what to eat in Naples .

Falanghina and Greco di Tufo are two reliable white wines grown in the Campania. For reds, try Aglianico and Piedirosso. The evocatively named Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio (Christ's Tears of Vesuvius) grapes grow in several varieties on Mount Vesuvius and are used in red, white, and rose wines.

Where to Stay

For a look at what part of the city to stay in, check out our article on the top neighborhoods in Naples . There are a cluster of hotels of every price point and quality located around Napoli Centrale train station, convenient if you have an early or late train. Otherwise, most people head to the centro storico or the seafront for their lodgings. The majority of hotels in Naples are three- and four-star, and there are plenty of bed-and-breakfast and Airbnb options.

Getting There

Unless you fly into Naples International Airport, you'll probably arrive to the city by train, at Napoli Centrale station  . From there, you can catch the Metro, a taxi or a bus to your destination. This is also the point of departure for trains to Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Sorrento, gateway to the Amalfi Coast.

If you've rented a car in Italy and are driving to Naples, get very specific instructions from your hotel on how to reach the property and where to park your car. (Confirm ahead of time that the hotel offers secure parking.) Under no circumstances do we recommend driving in Naples, unless it's to pick up or drop off a rental car as you're leaving or arriving to the city.

For more on train travel in Italy, see our articles on  getting around Italy by rail  and  what to know about traveling by train in Italy .

Culture and Customs

While there aren't any strict customs to adhere to in Naples, keep in mind that it is an extremely religious city, and residents take their religious holidays, festivals, and other observations quite seriously. You won't be allowed to enter a church unless your knees and shoulders are covered (that goes for men, too), nor should you try to, as it will be viewed as disrespectful. If you stumble upon a procession or other religious observation in the street, be quiet and respectful—if you can't discreetly move on, just be patient and wait until it's over. Other than that, basic good traveler rules apply—no dipping your feet or other body parts in fountains, no matter how hot it is outside; avoiding public drunkenness; and generally, just behaving politely.

Some other tips to keep in mind in Naples:

  • Dinner is eaten later in Italy, especially in the summertime. Most restaurants won't start serving until 7:30 p.m. or so, and may not fill up until 9 p.m.
  • Your waiter won't bring you the check ("il conto") unless you ask for it.
  • Tap water is not served in Italy, so bottled water it is.
  • If "servizi" or "pane e coperto" is listed on your restaurant bill, this counts as a tip. If your server has been particularly attentive or helpful, don't hesitate to leave a few euros on the table.
  • Keep an eye on your personal belongings at all times, especially in crowded areas and where mopeds and motorcycles are zipping by (that means everywhere). Do not wear gold jewelry, expensive watches, or other valuables while walking around, and keep wallets and cellphones in a secure front pocket.
  • While most everyone working in hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions and shops speaks some English, it's always polite and appreciated to offer a few basic niceties in Italian, such as buongiorno (good day), per favore (please) and grazie (thank you).
  • Read more about customs and culture in Italy with our list of 10 things not to do on your Italian vacation.

Money Saving Tips

Naples is less expensive to visit than many Italian cities, and you can save a few more euros by following these tips:

  • Travel in the off-season, when hotel prices are markedly lower.
  • Save with street food; Naples has gloriously good street food, which you should eat even if you're not trying to save money. Follow the Neopolitans—if a place has a long line, it's because they make the best of whatever it is they're selling.

Wikipedia, List of museums of Greek and Roman antiquities,, 15 March 2020

Library of Congress, The Great Arrival,, October 30, 2020

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiano,

The Top 10 Day Trips from Naples, Italy

Italy UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Southern Italy

The Best Time to Visit Naples, Italy

Visit the Amalfi Coast of Italy

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Your Trip to the Amalfi Coast: The Complete Guide

The 14 Best Day Trips from Rome

The Top 23 Things to Do in Italy

Italian Nativity Displays and Christmas Scenes

Top 6 Tourist Attractions in Italy

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Getting Around Naples: Guide to Public Transportation

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22 Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Naples, Italy

  • Isabelle Hoyne
  • February 15, 2024

** Disclosure: some of the links on this site are affiliate links and should you make a purchase through these, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!**

Following my own numerous explorations of Naples, this guide arms you with crucial insights to be aware of before you visit the city. From history to food, accommodation to day trips and getting there and around, here are 23 essential things to know before visiting Naples, Italy .

Naples is a well-known city in southern Italy, but it is also one that is gravely misunderstood. Many travellers skip through its airport on their way to the Amalfi Coast and don’t give this diverse, historic city a look-in. That, in my opinion, is a grave error. 

Those who know a little about Naples might allocate half a day to head into city centre and sample from the source the city’s most delectable dish – pizza. Others may tack on a night in Naples so they can use it as a base to go and explore nearby Vesuvius or the ancient city of Pompeii.

While these visitors are on to something, they’re still a bit wide off the mark as to just what this city is all about. 

Rough around the edges, the historical centre of Naples is a hodge-podge of narrow, cobbled streets. Apartment buildings are strung with a festoon of sheets and unruly scooters play cat and mouse with pedestrians, beeping with indignity when the crowds fail to part in prompt fashion. 

Thought that was a pedestrian zone? 

Well think again, for here they march to the beat of their own drum and shopping, walking, driving, eating and living all mesh together as one with all activities often taking place within a few square metres of each other.

With a fascinating history that stretches back to the ancient Greeks, the city of Naples followed a slightly different path to other places in Italy.

You’ll notice it when you get there, especially if you’re a regular visitor to Italy – the food is different, the architecture is in a class of its own and the people, as a generalisation, have much more time for tourists when compared to other large cities in Italy.

This Naples city guide will help you navigate through the many nuances of Naples. Navigating the vibrancy and chaos of Naples can be an exciting adventure, yet knowing where to focus your attention can truly enrich your experience.

Discover, amongst other things, why I think you should prioritise a visit to the serene Catacombs of San Gennaro over the more chaotic Naples Underground, as well as what you need to know about safety in Naples.

This guide, honed by my visits and extensive research, is designed to navigate you through the many layers of Naples’ charm. From savouring pizza to strolling the historic streets, get ready to uncover the unexpected surprises of visiting Naples, Italy.

Useful resources for your trip to Naples, Italy

Trains: Check Omio to search schedules and buy tickets Flights: Find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner Ferries : Search ferry schedules and book tickets here Airport transfer : Get a quote & book here Top rated Naples attractions & tours ⭑ Naples Underground ⭑ Catacombs of San Gennaro (*Cultured Voyages top pick*) ⭑ Street Food Tour with Local Guide ⭑ Small Group Naples Pizza Making Experience Best day trips from Naples ⭑ Naples or Sorrento: Full-Day Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Tour ⭑ From Naples or Sorrento: Amalfi Coast Full-Day Trip ⭑ Island of Capri Full-Day Tour with Lunch Cultured Voyages recommended accommodation ➡ Quatrum Napoli ( plush guesthouse with rave reviews ) ➡ Grand Hotel Santa Lucia ( waterside luxury with sea views ) ➡ Decumani Hotel De Charme ( central hotel with old school charm ) ➡ Artemisia Domus ( extremely well-located luxe-for-less pad ) ➡ La Casa Sul Nilo ( old world luxury on a budget ) Don’t forget to pack! Ricks Steve’s Naples & Amalfi Coast // In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Cultural History of Naples // compression packing cubes (my #1 travel item) // good walking shoes (these are my tried and tested favourites of all time!)

Things to know before visiting Naples, Italy

It’s gritty, but that’s part of its charm.

One arrives in Naples and is met by an assault of the senses. The first thing that hits you is a sheer cacophony of sound. A barrage of lilting Italian voices fight to be heard over the sound of revving engines, beeping horns and the rattle of tyres over worn cobblestones. It’s all one big great, beautiful chaos.

Grandiose buildings erected in wealthier times now have faded, peeling facades and many today carry graffiti (although efforts are being made to renovate some of these). Sheets are strung from balconies, as well as across narrow, winding alleyways to dry and neighbours shout across the narrow voids to each other.

Naples is a densely populated city, with many living in the confined spaces of apartment lodgings and life, naturally enough, spills over into the streets sometimes.

With that comes a bit of a rubbish problem – Naples is by no means the cleanest city you’ll ever visit – and you will have to be prepared to see quite a bit of rubbish in the streets, piled up around bins.

From the 1990’s to 2010’s, the Camorra (Campania’s branch of the Mafia) infiltrated the waste business, which led to a rubbish crisis in Naples. Local government has since taken back control and there has been a vast improvement, but do expect to see some rubbish about.

RELATED READING | Best Things to do in Naples Italy

Naples is distinctly different to other cities in Italy

Naples simply bursts with attitude and unlike the – dare I say it – more sterile cities further north in Italy, the hubbub and helter-skelter aspects of the city are more akin to major urban centres in South-East Asia .

The root as to why Naples is so different from the rest of the country lies in its history and the fact that it’s operated rather independently for centuries; millenia even.

The city dates back some 4,000 years and is one of the oldest cities in the world. Having first been established by Greek settlers, by the 6th century BC the ancient city of Neapolis had been erected and with it, the Neapolitan culture that Naples is famous for – even the Romans couldn’t shake it when they conquered the area.

Following the Romans, Naples was ruled by a succession of Goths, Byzantines, Lombards and Normans, before it became part of Kingdom of Sicily, of which it became the capital in 1266.

After a few more power shifts, Naples played a major role in the Italian Renaissance of the 15th century and subsequently nurtured some of the greatest artists the world has ever known, including Renaissance bad-boy Caravaggio and master of sculpture, Bernini.

The Neapolitans tried to go it alone in the 17th and 18th centuries, but both its attempts to establish a republic failed. It unified with the rest of Italy in 1861 (although from conversations I had with locals while there, still feels a little cut off from the north of the country today).

Continuing on the theme of independence – you can’t keep a Neapolitan down – in 1943 they were the first Italian city to rise up against Nazi occupation. When Allied forces arrived in town, Naples, they discovered, was already free.

With a past that differs to Italian cities further north, Naples presents a unique tapestry.

This city layers its distinct aspects one upon another. Its cuisine, the life it had under the grip of the Mafia, and its obsession with Maradona – footballing legend and Naples’ Argentinian born, adopted son – all contribute to its character.

Additionally, there’s an underlying gritty, yet bohemian edge. You’ll come to see that Naples really is different to anywhere else you’ll visit in Italy.

RELATED READING | Where to stay in Naples, Italy

Football is a religion, and Maradona is a God

In the pulsating heart of Naples, football transcends mere sport; it’s a fervent religion, and Diego Maradona, its undying deity.

The city’s passion for its beloved team, Napoli, is palpable in every corner, every chant, and in the sea of azure that floods the streets. This fervour reached a crescendo in early 2023, when Napoli clinched their first Italian Serie A title in 33 years .

Wander through Naples, and you’ll find the streets festooned with football banners and flags, a vivid tapestry of blue and white that flutters in the Mediterranean breeze.

Souvenir shops overflow with Napoli memorabilia, each item a sacred relic to the local faithful.

But it’s the reverence for Maradona that truly encapsulates the city’s love affair with football. The Argentine legend, who led Napoli to its previous Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990, is not just remembered; he is venerated.

In the labyrinthine alleys of the Spanish Quarters, Maradona’s legacy is immortalised in a huge, vibrant mural and the subsequent shrine of sorts that’s built up around it.

Maradona’s story is inextricably linked to Naples – his extraordinary talent mirrored in the city’s own gritty resilience and flamboyant flair. To understand Naples, one must understand this unbreakable bond with football, where every goal is a communal heartbeat, and Maradona seems to forever be its guiding spirit.

It sits in the shadow of an active volcano

There’s no getting away from this one – Naples sits in the shadow of a humdinger of a volcano, the infamous Mount Vesuvius. Astonishingly, more than two million people live in its vicinity.

Vesuvius is highly monitored and has been studied intensely due to its eruptive past. At the moment, the volcano is in a period of ‘active rest’, and visitors can today hike the paths of Vesuvius National Park , even walking to the top of the crater if they so desire.

At its highest point, Vesuvius is 1,127 metres tall, with a crater that measures 450 metres in circumference and reaches a depth of 300 metres.

Thought to be around 400,000 years old, Vesuvius in its present form is actually the union of two cones – the older Mount Somma cone, which sits on the outside, and the younger internal cone that is Vesuvius.  

The soils in the area of Vesuvius are rich in minerals and the area has become synonymous with food production as a result – more on that later in this post.

The slopes of Vesuvius are planted with orchards and vineyards and wine produced there is called Lacrima Christi , which is Latin for “Tears of Christ “.  

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Pompeii and Herculaneum are a stone’s throw away

Vesuvius is most famous for its most fatal eruption of 79AD, which today has left us with the preserved Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Both these towns had a different eruption experience, which has led to two different types of remains today.

In the first phase of Vesuvius’ eruption, a huge column of volcanic ash, gas and rock shot into the air and rained down on nearby Pompeii.

It trapped inhabitants in the town under falling buildings, which led to a far higher human cost than in nearby Herculaneum, where many inhabitants had the chance to escape.

The second phase of the eruption became horrifically fatalistic. Pyroclastic flows seeped from the crater with intense speed and ferocity. Pompeii was covered under ash 4-6 metres deep, while Herculaneum was buried under an astonishing 25 metres of ash. 

Today, visitors can walk the streets the ancient Romans once did and marvel at fast-food outlets, sporting arenas, public baths, brothels, places of worship and gathering and private homes, some with vivid frescos and mosaic floors. Archaeologists remain at work and there are regular discoveries still to this day. 

The best of these you will find in Herculaneum.

Under its 25 metre covering of ash it found better protection against the march of time, along with the fact that the upper floors of Pompeii’s buildings did not survive the barrage of volcanic rock in phase one of the eruption, so more of Herculaneum remains intact. 

| Plan a visit: See all visiting options for Pompeii and Herculaneum here

It’s home to an ancient underground system of caverns and catacombs

The city of Naples and the area surrounding it sits on a fantastic natural resource, and that is the marvellously durable material of tuff rock.

Inhabitants of the area have been wise to this fact for many years and when building their city of Neapolis in the 4th century BC, the Greeks extracted this tuff rock in large quantities, using it to build the city walls, temples and underground tombs.

The rock extraction process left great underground caverns and later, the Romans came along and applied their engineering prowess to repurpose these into aqueducts, which supplied water to the city of Naples.

Over time, these grew into a vast network stretching to some 450km under Naples.

A new aqueduct was built in the early 1600’s but this eventually fell out of use by the early 1900’s, when a more efficient water system was created.

These underground caverns and passages were abandoned, until they found great purpose as bomb shelters during the Second World War – at 40 metres below the surface, it is estimated that the tunnels saved some 200,000 lives.

It is now possible to visit Naples Underground , to explore some of the water cisterns, bomb shelters and ancient caverns. 

In addition to this, is the much younger in comparison Bourbon Tunnel. The masterplan of Ferdinand II, who was a Bourbon king of Naples and Sicily in the 19th century, the tunnels were constructed as an escape route by an increasingly paranoid Ferdinand. They stretched from his palace to the army barracks. 

Never used by Ferdinand, they found purpose during WWII as bomb shelters, but not before Mussolini dumped many wrecked vehicles, which can still be viewed today, eerie and dust-covered, during a guided visit to the Bourbon Tunnel. 

Finally, are the spectacular catacombs in Naples, of which there are three. The largest are the Catacombs of San Genaro , who is Naples’ patron saint.

Stretching to some 60,278 square feet, they contain around 2,000 burial recesses, 500 sarcophogi held within wall niches and some remarkable 5th-6th century frescoes. It’s an extremely worthwhile visit and one I highly recommend. 

History and culture buffs will fall in love with Naples

On the basis of the city’s long history already outlined in this post, history buffs are guaranteed to fall in love with Naples. Having passed through so many hands throughout the millenia, most ruling entities left a mark on the city that can still be viewed today. 

The earliest of those marks is the vast, ancient cave system underneath the city, where you can still see the chisel marks left by Greek slaves in the tuff rock thousands of years ago.

This, you will be able to explore in more detail via a guided tour of Naples Underground , with tours led in a variety of languages. You’ll also be able to see the remains of some of the original, 4th century BC city walls in Piazza Bellini .

I’d also recommend a visit to one of Naples catacomb systems. The spectacular San Genaro catacombs were recovered through a local initiative and they are managed by “ La Paranza, ” a group formed by local youths.

Their renovation and opening to tourists has led to a regeneration of the area and provides an opportunity for you to contribute to and support a very worthy social initiative. 

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples  is world famous and holds within its walls a vast collection of artefacts, including many of the frescoes and some tiled mosaics, from the destroyed cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

If you’re planning a visit to nearby Pompeii and/or Herculaneum a visit to the museum should also be a must in your itinerary. 

It is possibly the Bourbons who left the most visual impact on what we see of Naples today in terms of its architecture in the historic centre.

You can learn more about them in the Royal Palace of Naples located in Piazza del Plebiscito and their impressive art collection, which contains masterpieces by artists from every Italian school of painting, is housed in the Capodimonte Museum , a grand palazzo that overlooks the city centre from on high. 

Naples is also home to one of the most famous important sculptures in the world; The Veiled Christ . Completed by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753, the veil and its folds on this masterpiece are carved with exquisite delicacy and tickets to see it book out well in advance, so make sure to purchase yours a few weeks before you head to Naples city.

There is an ever-evolving street art scene

Naples’ streets are an open-air gallery, where the walls narrate stories through vibrant street art. This art form, blending the contemporary with the traditional, is an integral part of Naples’ urban landscape and offer insights into its soul.

One cannot miss the iconic “ Madonna with a Pistol ” by Banksy, a piece rich in irony, juxtaposing religious imagery with a symbol of organised crime. It’s a striking commentary on the complex interplay of faith and societal issues in Naples.

In East Naples, the Murales Park , birthed from a collaboration between “INWARD” and Arteteca, is more than art; it’s a social project.

Here, Jorit Agoch’s “Ael. Tutt’egual song’ e criature” portrays a Romany child, symbolising integration and hope. Similarly, his hyper-realistic “Gennaro” at Forcella intertwines the familiar with the divine, merging the face of a friend with that of San Gennaro, the city’s patron saint.

As you meander through Naples, the works of Exit Enter, with their whimsical stickmen, and Alice Pasquini’s mysterious women, add layers of intrigue and strength to the cityscape. Blu’s large-scale mural at the Ex-OPG Je so’ Pazzo, depicting the horrors of imprisonment, is a powerful, unsettling presence.

In the Quartieri Spagnoli, the immense Maradona mural by Jorit , a tribute to the football legend, is one of the most visited pieces of street art in the city.

Each piece of street art in Naples tells a story, a blend of history, culture, and social commentary, making the city’s walls a canvas of collective expression.

Naples is safe for tourists…

When most people hear ‘Naples’, they immediately think ‘Mafia’. This, unfortunately, is a little unfair to Naples as there is a whole lot more to this life-filled city.

Naples is a safe city for tourists to visit. It is a city on the up and has made great strides in recent years to shake off its former associations to crime, poverty and corruption. 

While the Camorra does still operate in the city (as they have done for around 400 years) you need to think about this a little more logically if that fact makes you nervous – basically, they have bigger fish to fry than your average tourist.

Cities in the US like Philadelphia and Chicago rank higher than Naples in terms of crime.

It is more in your line to worry about the more ‘regular’ mishaps that befall tourists when visiting any busy city – pickpockets and petty theft. This can be avoided by ensuring you don’t wear anything too flashy and by ensuring your belongings can’t be accessed easily.

Wear a secure, cross body bag that you can safely close and if you are wearing a backpack, to make sure you wear both straps properly over your shoulders. 

Like most major cities, the area around the train station ( Garibaldi ) is a bit dodgy so pay attention around here. While the areas around the Archaeological Museum and the Spanish Quarter are fine during the day, exercise more caution at night and stick to well lit areas.

Naples is a place that is full of narrow, cobbled streets (i.e. great escape routes if you know these streets well), so to counteract this I would just stick to the main thoroughfares at night as you’re not familiar with the city.

All of the above being said, while according to Numbeo crime rates in Naples fall on the higher side, these tend not to be related to tourism. 

…but you should avoid the train station at night

As dusk falls over Naples, the vibrant hum of the city takes on a different tone, especially around Napoli Centrale, the main train station. It’s wise to exercise caution here after dark, particularly if laden with luggage.

Thefts, often swift and non-violent, are not uncommon, even in the broad light of day. As it gets darker and quieter later in the day, the area becomes a fertile ground for opportunistic pickpockets and luggage snatchers, who are adept at exploiting a moment’s distraction.

This isn’t to paint a picture of pervasive danger but to advise vigilance.

In Naples, as in any major city’s central station, there’s a heightened risk of petty crime. The key is not paranoia, but preparedness. Keep your belongings close, your backpack in front and your valuables securely tucked away.

In crowded areas, maintain a firm grip on your luggage and stay alert to your surroundings.

Remember, these are mostly crimes of opportunity, not aggression. Naples’ rough-around-the-edges charm requires a street-smart approach.

Look confident, be aware, and you’ll navigate the city’s nuances with the savvy of an experienced traveller.

Locals are extremely welcoming, but there may be a language barrier

The citizens of Naples are incredibly proud of their city and of being ‘ Neapolitan ‘.

Despite what would appear to be an initially gruff demeanour, Neapolitans are exceptionally helpful, friendly and interested in where you’re going, what you’re up to and if you’re enjoying your time in their city.

I’d actually go as far as saying that out of all of the larger cities and touristic destinations in Italy that I’ve been to (which would encompass the likes of Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, to name but a few).

I really felt like Neapolitans have time for you and actually want to engage in conversation and share their opinions (side note – the same can be said for the residents of nearby Ischia ).

It’s definitely useful to have a few Italian phrases prepared – while many Neapolitans speak English, there are also a lot that don’t.

While some of these are happy to gesticulate, nod and smile enthusiastically in the face of any language barrier, do both yourself and the lovely people you will meet a favour and learn some simple and commonly used phrases. 

Many of Naples’ most authentic restaurants won’t have menus in English – nor should they, for that matter as we’re the ones visiting their country!

To get around this, however, there is a simple solution if you don’t speak Italian and that is to download the Google Translate app. From there, you can use the camera icon in the translate box to hover over menus and voila – instant translation to English. 

RELATED READING | The Perfect Rome, Naples & Amalfi Coast itinerary

There’s a hip edge to Naples

While Naples is very much a city steeped in history and tradition, I definitely feel that there’s a distinctly hip undercurrent at play.

I felt this to be particularly apparent on my most recent visit to Naples at the end of 2023, even compared to the same time a year earlier. The city, always vibrant, thrums with a new, youthful energy, a testament to its evolving character.

On my recent visit, sipping a cocktail in a bar nestled between Piazza Bellini and Piazza Dante, I was struck by the scene around me. The crowd, a mix of stylishly dressed young locals, exuded an air of effortless cool.

The areas around Piazza Bellini, Spaccanapoli, and Via Tribunali seem to be the epicentres of this up-and-coming vibe.

Here, the narrow, cobbled streets, once just historical pathways, are now pulsating with the lifeblood of a new generation. Students and young creatives appear to flock to these quarters, infusing them with an infectious, hip energy.

Amidst the ancient facades, a new scene is emerging.

Bars selling craft beers and artisanal cocktails dot the landscape, each with its own unique flair yet unmistakably Neapolitan. Artisanal shops and boutique clothing stores line the streets, offering a blend of contemporary style and traditional craftsmanship.

This is the new Naples – vibrant, edgy, and unmistakably cool.

It’s the home of the pizza

And so we get to the pizza.

There’s a difference to actual Neapolitan pizza and the ‘Neapolitan-style’ pizza you may have been hoodwinked into ordering at home.

There are very strict guidelines in place for what constitutes a true Neopolitan pizza and these have been put in place by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN).

This organisation provides strict guidelines, together with a certification that deems a pizzeria to be an official provider of Neapolitan pizza. 

So what constitutes a Neapolitan pizza? 

First, is a wood-burning oven, heated to around 900F (485C). Pizzas are cooked for around 90 – 120 seconds.

They must be 30-35 cm in diameter with a raised outer crust but its with the ingredients where the wheat really gets sorted from the chaff, for in order to be designated as Neapolitan pizza, all ingredients must come from Naples own region of Campania.

This might not sound like much, but here I must remind you of Mt. Vesuvius and those rich, fertile soils in its radius. Until you’ve actually tasted tomatoes grown in the region, or mozzarella made from cows who have been reared near to Naples, then you may just be missing a trick. 

When you get to Naples, you’ll discover some of the best and most famous pizzerias in the world.

The headline act here is L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele (tip – go really early if you want a table here, or order a takeaway pizza instead, the earlier the better too), which found immortal fame after Julia Roberts featured in a scene from the movie Eat, Pray, Love here.

Then you have Sorbillo , another guidebook favourite on the Neapolitan pizza scene.

I enjoyed a rather fabulous pizza at the more upscale Palazzo Petruchi Pizzeria as well, but the pizza I’m most pining after is the star-shaped, ricotta-stuffed delight from Pizzeria Da Attilio . Don’t miss out on this no-fuss, no-frills neighbourhood pizzeria. It truly is outstanding. 

There’s more to eat than just pizza

So what do you eat in Naples if you’re not a pizza lover, or want to sample something else? The answer is lots!

Naples is home to some rather delicious food besides from pizza and much of this is focussed on the local produce from sea and land that they have available. 

Pasta lovers should ensure that they try three dishes; any form of pasta alla Genovese , Neapolitan ragu and spaghetti alla Vongole, a relatively light pasta dish made with fresh local clams, garlic, olive oil and parsley.

There may be a dash of white wine and some tomatoes thrown in from time to time too.

The Genovese and ragu options are similar – both include a hearty, slow-cooked base of meat and onions. The ragu has the additional element of tomatoes in the recipe.

Both are truly delicious – the Genovese has a comforting, gloopy, caramelised sauce, whereas the ragu comes with large chunks of meat and a richer sauce.

Two establishments I can recommend for each are Tandem Ragu for, naturally enough, the ragu and La Locanda Gesu Vecchio for a mouthwatering pasta alla Genovese. You will need to book both in advance. 

Also, while you are in Naples, make sure you eat a truck load of their deliciously creamy mozzarella and incredibly flavoursome homegrown tomatoes – there is beauty in simplicity sometimes and Campanian produced tomatoes and mozzarella are truly exquisite. 

Finally, for those with a sweet tooth the local sugary snack is the clam shaped sfogliatella,  a flaky pastry with many folds that give it a somewhat mermaid-like quality.

Some are even filled with creamy ricotta and dusted with sugar. They are perfect to grab with a quick espresso while on the move.

Traffic is nuts and their own rules of the road apply

When it comes to the traffic in Naples, you’re going to have to cast to one side the motoring rules with which you are familiar and adopt to the horn beeping, reckless melee. 

Simply put, the traffic situation will seem positively bonkers to someone who comes from a place where people generally follow the rules of the road. That’s not to say that the Neapolitans don’t have their own system – for all the mania that ensues, it all somehow, someway, seems to work.

Whatever about cars, what you will need to be most careful of are the scooters, on which people bulldoze up pedestrian-filled streets with a cursory beep here and there – you will quite literally need to watch your back.

A lot of people don’t seem to wear helmets and of those who do, some of these bizarrely choose not fasten the chin strap!

If you need to cross a road, don’t expect anyone to stop unless you’ve actually made the commitment and are on the zebra crossing. Even at that, expect cars on the lane that you haven’t reached yet to keep driving, and don’t be surprised if a scooter keeps coming and simply drives around you.

It’s easy to both reach and get around in Naples

One fabulous bonus point that Naples can lay claim to is how well connected it is and how relatively easy it is to get there from many places in Europe.

Getting to Naples by train

The train system within Italy is great, and Naples is extremely well connected to other main urban centres in Italy via the fast train network. It’s also very well connected to France via Milan, as it is to the likes of Zurich and certain cities in Germany via the same route.

Munich, cities in Austria and Prague are easily connected too, via Rome and Bologna. This is just a small example of other cities in Europe that you can reach Naples from should you wish to travel by train.

| Search & book : Check train routes and purchase tickets in advance here (you may have to wait until closer to your journey to book your train tickets.

Flying into Naples Airport

Naples Airport is extremely accessible from the city and without traffic, is only around a 15-20 minute drive from city centre, and vice versa.

The airport is serviced by approximately 20 airlines , including European budget favourites like Ryanair and easyJet, meaning that you’ll be able to get to Naples by air from a lot of cities in Europe.

Naples also services some international airlines, but you may have to travel through larger airport networks like Rome, Frankfurt, Dubai etc if you’re coming from further afield.

| Search & book : Search for flights here .

Getting from Naples Airport to city centre

One thing that makes Naples an excellent city to visit is how relatively short and easy it is to get to city centre from the airport, which is only around 6km from city centre.

While there is no train running from Naples train station to Naples Airport, the Naples Alibus Airport Shuttle schedules plenty of buses that run throughout the day.

Tickets cost €5 and the bus stop is located in close proximity to the entrance of the airport. It has two stops in the city; Central Train Station and Molo Beverello Port. You can find more information here .

Alternatively, you’ll find that there are plenty of taxis available outside the airport. Again, they are right outside the door.

It can be a little overwhelming when you come out the door of arrivals at Naples Airport, and you’ll likely be approached once or twice with the offer of a transfer as you make your way outside.

Ignore these, as they are likely unlicensed drivers, and just keep going and you’ll spot the rank across the road right outside of the arrivals hall.

Rates are pre-determined and your driver can give you an indication of what this will be when you get into the car – they usually have a printed off sheet in the car. There may also be some surcharges if you are travelling with luggage and several people.

| Find a driver : If you’d like to schedule a transfer in advance, you can search for and book drivers here.

How to get around Naples

Naples is extremely walkable, and you may find that you won’t need to use public transport much, if at all during your visit, with the exception of getting to and from the airport (and perhaps taking the funicular up to Sant’Elmo – there’s no way I’d be walking that!).

While you can also take buses, here are three main ways you can get around Naples, besides from on foot:

Metro | There are two lines (line 1 and 2). On line 1 (which lays claim to Naples’ famous ‘art stations’) tickets cost €1.10 for a single journey, but you can also purchase daily and weekly passes, at €3.50 and €12.50 respectively.

You’ll most likely take this line when visiting the city.

Tram | There are three tram lines in operation. Those you’ll likely use are Line 1 from Piazza Garibaldi to Piazza Vittoria and Line 4 from San Giovanni to Piazza Vittoria. Tickets cost €1.50 onboard from the driver, or €1.10 when purchased in advance from a newspaper stand.

Funicular | Naples is a very hilly city and there are four funiculars in operation to take locals up the steep hills of certain neighbourhoods.

The one you are most likely to take as a tourist is the Funicolare di Montesanto from Montesanto to Castel Sant’Elmo. Tickets cost €1.20 each way and can be purchased at the station.

If you need to use a mixture of public transport options, you can purchase a TIC (Ticket Integrato Campani)  which will cover you for metro, bus and funicular services. There are a mixture of single tickets, one-day and weekly passes, starting at €1.60 for a 90-minute period.

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The Amalfi Coast is at your fingertips

Naples is a gateway to the Amalfi Coast   and many people choose to combine their time in Naples with some time on one of the most famous stretches of coastline in the world. 

Depending on where you are going along the Amalfi Coast, getting to your final destination can prove to be a little tricky. In general terms, it’s easiest to first get yourself to either Sorrento or Salerno by train and then make your way to your town of choice. Search schedules and book train tickets here . 

If you can, always opt for the ferry to get you as close as possible to your accommodation – that way, you’ll be able to better avoid the infamous traffic that clogs the tiny road that snakes its way along the sea.

In high season, I would strongly recommend booking ferry tickets online in advance for peace of mind. Search ferry routes and book tickets here . 

If you’re tight on time in Naples but still want to see some of the Amalfi Coast, then your best bet is to take an organised tour – that way, you’ll be rid of the complications that logistics would otherwise cause.

This well-reviewed Amalfi Coast full-day tour  takes in Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello and offers the add-on of an optional boat trip while in Amalfi too. 

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It’s the perfect base for island hopping

Naples sits within the Bay of Naples, which is home to three islands; Capri , Ischia and Procida.

Contrary to popular opinion, Capri doesn’t actually form part of the Amalfi Coast (which sits within the district of Salerno), but gets included in many Amalfi Coast itineraries due to its close proximity to both Positano and Sorrento (which, as a side note, is also not part of the ‘official’ Amalfi Coast, although it is very popular as a base for exploring same). 

Capri is the most famous of these islands of the Bay of Naples. It has been drawing in the rich and famous for many a century and is home to the sprawling clifftop ruins of Villa Jovis, where the infamous Roman Emperor Tiberius holed himself up in the 1st century AD.

Many others flocked to Capri in subsequent centuries, drawn by the astonishing natural beauty and seclusion that the island offered.

Seclusion today, however, is relatively hard to come by as Capri is heavily visited. Home to a host of luxury hotels and boutiques, it is an upscale destination with prices to match and receives many day-trippers, amongst those others who chose to stay a little bit longer.

RELATED READING | Escape to Paradise: The Insider’s Guide to Visiting Capri

Ischia is a real underrated gem on this part of the Italian coast. This volcanic island is a special one, in that it boasts healing thermal waters which you can visit and bathe in if you so wish.

A relatively small island of six separate communes, there is also much else to be discovered on this more slow-paced island. Its most famous attraction is the unique Castello Aragonese, built on a small separate islet and today home to a hotel and large museum complex. 

RELATED READING | Capri or Ischia: Which Island Paradise Should You Choose?

Procida is the smallest of the islands of the bay, but it does it is oh-so charming and perfect for a day trip, during which you’ll be able to see much of the island.

Completely under the radar until recently, when it was voted as Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2022, this tiny island is home to charming pastel houses and some beautiful beaches. It’s also less than an hour from Naples by ferry.

You won’t find too many hotels in the historical centre

One thing that really stood out to me when both searching for accommodation and wandering through the streets when I got there was that there are very few hotels in Naples centro storico.

I don’t see any problem in that whatsoever though, as what it does mean is that much of the accommodation in this atmospheric part of town comes in the form of unique guesthouses in beautifully tall, historic buildings that have been renovated recently to make the most of their charms ( like this fabulous one ).

If you do prefer hotels, you’ll find a handful of lovely ones in the vicinity of the port and Piazza del Plebiscito.

Some of these offer sweeping views of the shimmering waters of the Bay of Naples, where you’ll be able to pick out the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida and gaze on the hulking presence of Mount Vesuvius on the horizon. 

While you might come across some hotels offering good value around Garibaldi (which is located in the wider San Giovanni a Teduccio area), I would shy away from those.

It’s one of the dodgier areas of the city as it’s close to the train station and you would do better to stick to the centro storico areas around Via Tribunali, Via Toledo and Plebicito. 

Search all Naples accommodation using the map below, or read my dedicated post of where to stay in Naples . It goes through each of the best neighbourhoods to visit one by one, with recommendations of where to stay for each.

Naples travel guide – common question to have before visiting Naples

Is naples worth visiting.

As outlined thoroughly in this post , Naples is a city like no other and is absolutely worth visiting. Full of history, bursting with culture and home to a bustling, vibrant atmosphere, this city in southern Italy offers a different experience to any other city that you will visit in Italy.

While it can be said that the majority of cities in Italy offer the same three factors – history, culture and atmosphere – Naples has had a somewhat alternative history as part of different kingdoms throughout the centuries.

This has shaped the city in a different way and has led to unique outputs in terms of culture.  

RELATED READING | Is Naples Worth Visiting? 17 Pros + 5 Cons to Help You Decide

How much time to spend in Naples

While you can easily visit Naples as a two-day weekend city break , I think you need three full days to explore Naples properly ( see my 3-day Naples itinerary ). This is especially true if you want to visit Pompeii or Mount Vesuvius.

If you’re a history buff, a day in itself could be spent exploring the National Museum, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for eating pizza, or discovering peculiarities to Naples like the Christmas-decoration filled Via San Gregorio Armano.

If you’d like to visit some of the islands or the Amalfi Coast as day trips, and use Naples as a base, then I would add on an extra day for each additional destination you would like to visit. 

When is the best time to visit Naples

Naples is pretty pleasant all year round, although both its hottest months of July and August should be avoided. March and October see the most rain, so by the process of elimination, this leaves the shoulder months of April/May/June and September to be the best time to visit.

I visited in early October and found it to be perfect sightseeing temperature. The weather was warm and it was mainly sunny.

It did rain heavily on one day, however, when we were staying nearby on the island of Ischia but this was throughout a 10 day period when on the rest of the days, the weather was a consistent 24 degrees celcius and very sunny. 

Is Naples safe at night

Like any city, you should take precautions when out at night, especially if you are not familiar with the place. 

Stick to main, well-lit streets at night that have some foot fall on them, and don’t wander outside of the main areas.

Close to the city centre, there are a couple of areas that you’ll want to take extra care in at night (or just stay away from them if you don’t have to go there) – the Spanish Quarter, Piazza Garibaldi and the Museo area. 

Where to go next – more Naples posts

  • One day in Naples | Best of Naples in One Day – What to See, Eat & Do
  • Two days in Naples | A Perfect 2 Days in Naples Itinerary for Culture & History Buffs
  • Three days in Naples | How to See Naples in 3 Days – Where to Go, Eat & Stay
  • How many days in naples italy |   How Many Days in Naples are Enough? Essential Tips & Itineraries
  • Naples wine tours |   Top 14 Naples Wine Tours [2024] + Tips To Choose The Right One
  • Things to do in Naples | 40 Captivating Things to Do in Naples, Italy
  • Naples accommodation guide | Secret Naples: Where to Stay in Naples Italy – Best Areas & Accom modations
  • Is Naples worth visiting |  Is Naples Worth Visiting? 17 Pros + 5 Cons to Help You Decide
  • 10 days in Amalfi Coast | The Perfect 10 Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary For A Luxurious But Authentic Trip
  • 4 days on Amalfi Coast | A Blissful 4 Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary – Sun, Sea & Scenery
  • Rome, Naples & Amalfi Coast | A Rome, Naples, Amalfi Coast Itinerary for Culture, Food & Scenery

Amalfi Coast

  • 10 days on Amalfi Coast  |  The Perfect 10 Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary For A Luxurious But Authentic Trip
  • 4 days on Amalfi Coast  |  A Blissful 4 Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary – Sun, Sea & Scenery
  • Ravello travel guide  |  Best things to do in Ravello – a complete Ravello Travel Guide
  • Sorrento wine tours | 10 Best Sorrento Wine Tasting Tours & Experiences
  • Capri travel guide |  Escape to Paradise: The Insider’s Guide to Visiting Capri
  • Capri or Ischia  |  Which Island Paradise Should You Choose?
  • Ischia travel guide |   Ischia Travel Guide: 27+ Essential Things to Know in 2024
  • Is Ischia worth visiting |   Is Ischia worth visiting? 17 Pros + 4 Challenges To Help You Decide

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Hi there! I'm Isabelle, aficionado of immersive travel experiences and unique, luxurious hotels. You'll most likely find me camera in hand, or nerding out on research in advance of my next trip. A major foodie, history and scenery lover, nothing makes me happier than soaking in the atmosphere and culture of the destination I'm visiting.

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The Adventures of Nicole

The Top 18 Things To Do In Naples, Italy: The Naples Travel Guide

Updated December 2023, The Top 18 Things To Do In Naples, Italy: The Naples Travel Guide was originally published in August 2020

My fascination with Napoli is multi-faceted. My Mom’s family spent some time living there before boarding a ship bound for New York in the earlier part of the 20th century.

In my early 20s when I finally made it to Italy I was more fascinated by Sicilia and the Ionian Sea coast of Calabria where my family had hailed from originally, so Naples hadn’t landed on my must-visit list- but a woman I met on an overnight train to  Syracusa  (who was on her way home from a weekend in dirty Napoli) whipped out a switchblade and told me and my friend that she never travels to Naples unarmed piqued my interest.

Naples has a bad reputation for being polluted, piled with trash, riddled with crime, and infested by the Camorra for several decades. Despite all that, Naples has experienced a bit of a renaissance in recent years with a movement that has sought to clean the city up starting with the trash and pollution. Of course, things aren’t perfect in Naples, but is it really anywhere?

Personally, I have a soft spot for Naples as it is my favorite place to eat in Italy without a doubt, and a perfect little weekend escape. In this guide, I’ll include the best things to do in Naples and more.

Start planning your trip around the  South of Italy

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A Quick History Of Naples, Italy

Settled in the second millennium BC by the Greeks, on to become a colony known as Parthenope in the 9th century BC, and then founded as the city of Neapolis in the 9th century BC, Napoli has quite the long history.

An important center of the Magna Graecia, a capital of the Duchy of Naples, the Kingdom of Naples, and finally of the Two Sicilies before the Unification of Italy in 1861 Naples has been a center of culture, the arts, and politics.

Naples wasn’t always so prosperous though. The 19th and 20th centuries saw droves of Neopolitians emigrate to the US, Argentina, and Australia citing poverty and fading opportunity (a common theme throughout Southern Italy in general at the time). During WWII Naples was badly damaged in bombing campaigns by the Allied Forces.

Naples, Campania, Italy

Things To Do In Naples, Italy

Order a pizza at gino sorbillo’s.

Before I headed down to Naples for a weekend after my arrival at my temporary home in  Terracina  back in 2018 I asked my friend Igor who grew up between Itri and Naples where to grab a pizza and instantly he whipped back “Gino Sorbillo’s of course!”

This place is well known, and you’ll likely have to wait in line for quite some time, but in all honestly, it’s totally worth it- this is the pizza you’ve been dreaming of (I still dream about to this day now that I’m far far from Italy). Gino is a third-generation pizzaiolo, who is widely regarded (arguably) as the best in all of Italy. His ethos behind the perfect pie is the art of keeping it simple.

The family’s original restaurant opened in 1935 along Via dei Tribunali in the historic center of Naples and is still there to this day.

Metro stop:  Dante

Santa Chiara Complex

The Santa Chiara Complex is a religious complex centered around the Santa Chiara Basilica and features a monastery, the tombs of the King Robert of Naples and Queen Sancha of Majorca, and an archeological museum. The church was badly damaged during WWII, but has since been renovated.

Entrance to the Santa Chiara Complex:  €6

Visit Castel St. Elmo

Castel St. Elmo is now appreciated for its amazing panoramic views of Naples and for its Museo del Novecento housing numerous 20th century Neopolitian pieces, but it was originally a church built in honor of Saint Erasmus. in the 14th century the church as converted into a castle and fortified.

Entrance to Castel St. Elmo:  €5

Metro stop:  Vanvitelli

Wanna see Italy’s lesser-known side? Check out my favorite  off the beaten path destinations in Italy

Explore The Quartieri Spagnoli

The Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarter) is a colorful and the most densely populated neighborhood of Naples. The Spanish Quarter came to be as a garrison for Spanish troops in the 17th century when the Kingdom of Naples was ruled over by the Spanish. Now it’s a maze of colorful, crumbling and peeling buildings crisscrossed by alleys so narrow some pavement never sees the sunlight.

Metro stop:  Toledo

Naples, Campania, Italy, Piazza del Plebiscito

Take A Break At Piazza del Plebiscito

Piazza del Plebiscito is the grandest and largest public square in Naples, home to the Basilica of San Francesco da Paola, Palazzo Reale, Palazzo della Prefettura, Palazzo Salerno, statues of Charles III of Spain and Ferdinand I, and the Gran Caffe Gambrinus. The Piazza del Plebiscito is one of the best places in Naples to just sits and watch.

The Palazzo Reale is Naples’ royal palace, attached to the Teatro di San Carlo. The palace served as one of the four residences of royalty during the Kingdom of Naples and the Kindom of the Two Sicilies. It now houses the Museo del Palazzo Reale.

Entrance to the Palazzo Reale:  €6

Metro stop:  Municipio

Catch An Opera At Teatro di San Carlo

Located next to Piazza del Plebiscito, Teatro di San Carlo is Naple’s opera house and the longest continuously opera house in the world.

Teatro di San Carlo Tickets:  Prices range from €30-250 depending on the show and seating choice

Get Underground At The Napoli Sotterranea

Explore Naples underbelly by getting underground and diving into the Napoli Sotterranea. The Napoli Sotterranea is a labyrinth of passageway, aqueducts, and cisterns originally laid out by the Greeks to mine tufa stone and channel water from Mount Vesuvius, but later expanded by the Romans, and then on to serve as air-raid shelters during WWII.

Tours are mandatory and are offered in English every two hours starting at 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, and 6 pm. Tours in Italian run every hour on the hour between 10 am-6 pm.

Napoli Sotterranea Tickets:  €10

Castel dell’Ovo

Meaning ‘castle of the egg’ Castel dell’Ovo is Naples’s oldest castle, built by the Normans in the 12th century. The site of Castel dell’Ovo is also where the Greeks first settled the city in the 7th century BC naming the island the castle now sits upon Megaris.

Entrance to the Palazzo Reale:  Free

Shop At Mercato di Porta Nolana

Located right outside the Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi Metro Station/Napoli Centrale, the Mercato di Porta Nolana is one of the best places to begin your walking tour of Naples from. You can find almost anything along here, from greengrocers fishmongers, bootleg movies to fast-food snacks.

Metro stop:  Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi

Continuing on the Basilicata? Don’t miss  Castelmezzano & Pietrapertosa

Check Out The Museums

Museo archeologico nazionale.

  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale entrance: €12
  • Metro stop: Museo or Piazza Cavour
  • Madre entrance: €7
  • Metro stop: Piazza Cavour

San Lorenzo Maggiore

  • San Lorenzo Maggiore Archeological site and museum entrance: €9 (entrance to the church is free)
  • Metro stop: Museo

Pio Monte della Misericordia

  • Pio Monte della Misericordia entrance: €7 (entrance to the church is free)

Certosa e Museo di San Martino

  • Certosa e Museo di San Martino entrance: €6
  • Metro strop: Vanvitelli

Galleria di Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano

  • Galleria di Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano entrance: €5
  • Metro stop: Municipio

Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte

  • Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte entrance: €8
  • Metro stop: Materdei

Castel Nuovo

Built by Charles I of Anjou in 1279, Castel Nuovo served as a royal residence. Now it houses the city council and two museums.

Castel Nuovo entrance:  €6

Metro stop:  Municipio

Where To Sleep In Naples

Hotel Zara Napoli |  |  |

Hotel Piazza Bellini |  |  |

Romeo Hotel |  |  |

Pizza, Gino Sorbillo, Naples, Naples Pizza, Napoli, Italy

Where To Eat In Naples

Naples is one of my favorite cities to eat my way across in all of Italy. Here are just a handful of restaurants I loved and dishes you should try in Naples.

Gino e Toto Sorbillo

Naples is famed for its pizza, and Gino Sorbillo is likely the most famous pizzaiolo in Naples. If you missed it in the earlier part of this post with Gino Sorbillo’s pizzeria being listed as one of the best things to do in Naples, here it is again! The pizzas are wood-fired perfection.

Best Arancini

La Sicilia Di Serafino Napoli

Arancini hail from Sicily of course, created in 10th century Sicily when the island was under Arab rule. These little fried balls of heaven are traditionally stuffed with a ragu consisting of a tomato-based meat sauce, mozzarella, and rice, though there are countless variations (I’ll admit the traditional arancini al ragu are my favorite). I’ve stopped by and grabbed an arancini (or three) at La Sicilia Di Serafino Napoli when I was passing by (typically to go wait in line at Gino e Toto Sorbillo down the street), however, you can find plenty of delicious arancini at many streetside vendors all over the city.

Best Sfogliatelle

Sfogliatelle Attanasio

These popular little pastries, shaped like a seashell are an easy breakfast favorite. Sfogliatelle translates to little leaves- pointing to its appearance of little leaves stacked together. The origins of Sfogliatelle actually trace back to nearby Conca dei Marini along the Amalfi Coast. Sfogliatelle Attanasio is regarded as one of the best purveyors of the flaky sfogliatelle in Napoli, but you can easily find them in patisseries all over Naples as well as the rest of Italy.

Pizza Fritta

La Masardona

Pizza Fritta is an essential street food and quintessentially Neopolitan. Did you know that deep-fried pizza predates the oven-baked pizza known the world over? La Masardona is a longstanding Napoli landmark, still family owned and operated, and is regarded among the best fried pizzerias in Naples.

Things To Do Near Naples

Visit pompeii.

Pompeii is among the most important archeological sites in all of Europe. The bustling Roman city was wiped off the map in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius blew, though luckily for its residents most had already evacuated 17 years prior due to a massive earthquake that struck the ancient city. You can easily reach Pompeii by grabbing a train from Naples and getting off at the Pompeii-Scavi Train Station

Pompeii entrance:  €13

 Explore Herculaneum

Smaller and easier to navigate than Pompeii, the Herculaneum ruins are still very much worthy of a visit. Numerous archeological finds have been discovered here. From the Ercolano-Scavi Train Station, the Herculaneum ruins can easily be reached on foot.

Herculaneum entrance:  €6

Climb Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is famous for blowing its top over 30 times since its major explosion in 79 AD. You can view the volcano from just about anywhere along the shores of the Bay of Naples, but the view from the top looking down is outstanding. The cheapest way to get to Mount Vesuvius is by using the public EAV bus.

Mount Vesuvius entrance:  €6

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy

Explore The Gorgeous Amalfi Coast

The  Amalfi Coast  is something of legend. This gorgeous stretch of Campania extends south from the southern edge of the Bay of Naples, encompassing a promontory jutting out into the sea.

After traveling the Amalfi Coast back in 2018, I thoroughly recommend renting a car from Naples and making your own itinerary if you’re not visiting in high season. But if you are taking on the Amalfi Coast in the height of summer I would recommend utilizing the ferry system between the gorgeous towns that dot the coast. Read more about the Amalfi Coast and start planning your trip  here .

Check out my  quick guide to the Amalfi Coast

See Why All The Celebrities Go To Capri

The natural beauty of Capri has drawn in crowds for centuries, from the Romans to modern-day celebrities. Sapphire blue grottos, sky-high cliffside views, crazy rock formations, and more seem to elicit a visit (except me, because we couldn’t get there when I was in Naples due to bad weather!). You visit Capri for a few days, staying on the island, or you can take a ferry across the bay from Naples and make it a day trip. Shop Capri accommodations  here .

Get Off The Beaten Path In Procida

Procida honestly was the island I was most sad not to visit when I traveled around Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Calabria with my friends in 2018. We had our crosshairs set on Procida, but because of the horrible weather and rough seas, the ferries were canceled.

A couple of friends that have made it to Procida have described it as the ultimately perfect Mediterranean island with colorful buildings and charming beaches.

One thing that I was told by Italian friends is that Procida can be quite crowded in July and August because it’s no secret among the Italians (Italians are privy to the best secret spots that foreign tourists don’t seem to know about). So if planning to visit Procida in July-August, I’d suggest locking in your plans well in advance. Shop Procida accommodations  here .

Check Out Big Little Ischia

Ischia is the largest and most developed of the islands in the Bay of Naples. I noticed most of the friends I made in  Terracina ,  Sperlonga , and Itri while I was based up that way would say that Ischia was their favorite of the Bay of Naples Islands, over Capri because of the affordability and lower tourist numbers. Shop Ischia accommodations  here .

Have Any Questions About Visiting Naples?

Ask in the comments section below.

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Full Suitcase Travel Blog

23 Best Things to Do in Naples, Italy (Top Sights, Map & Tips)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: October 22, 2023

23 Best Things to Do in Naples, Italy (Top Sights, Map & Tips)

Are you thinking of visiting Naples in Italy and wondering what to expect, what there’s to see and do in the city, whether it’s actually worth a visit, or how much time you need? In this guide, we cover the main landmarks and highlights of Naples, coupled with our experience-based tips and info for your visit. Find out!

You may already have heard that Napoli is quite unlike any other Italian city . It’s a chaotic blend of centuries-old history, incredible architecture, crowded streets, narrow (and often dirty) alleyways, and charming balconies strewn with laundry. Vespas speed through the never-ending crowds, and there are new sights, smells, colors, and sounds in every direction…

The gastronomic scene is a delightful mix of fried street food, fine restaurants serving fresh, local fare, and – of course – pizza! Invented in Naples, pizza was originally a popular food among the city’s poor. Nowadays, Neapolitan pizza is made according to strict rules and is truly the best you can get in the world!

There is definitely something very real about Naples and its many contrasts guarantee a very authentic experience. To say that Naples is overwhelming, dazzling, and a one-of-a-kind city is an understatement. You really have to experience this unique city first-hand in order to understand what makes it so special.

Below is our selection of the very best things to do in Naples . It’s a mix of must-see places and the best experiences that will give you a good overview of what to expect and what to see in Naples. Find out!

Top Experiences in Naples:

  • Naples Underground .
  • Naples Catacombs .
  • Pompeii & Mt Vesuvius Tour .
  • Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Tour .

What to see and do in Naples (Napoli, Italy)

Good to know: To give you a better idea of where everything is located, we also created a map indicating the main sights and tourist attractions in Naples mentioned in this article.

Also, for each place, we include some practical information and useful tips based on our first-hand experience during a recent visit to Naples.

This info should help you plan your trip and avoid disappointment like showing up at the must-see landmark when it’s closed or not being able to see something because you didn’t book a ticket in advance…

How to use this map:  Use your computer mouse (or fingers) to zoom in or out. Click on the icons to get more information about each place. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the index. Click the star next to the map’s title to add it to your Google Maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open Google Maps, click the menu and go to ‘Your Places’/’Maps’. If you want to print the map or see it in a bigger window, click on ‘View larger map’ in the top right corner.

Best things to do in Naples:

1. Historic Center of Naples & Spaccanapoli

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Historic Center of Naples is a must-see in Napoli. And there’s no better place to start your visit than Spaccanapoli, the most famous street in Naples. Except… you won’t find it on the map under this name.

Spaccanapoli is actually composed of several connecting streets: Via Pasquale Scura, Via Maddaloni, Via Domenico Capitelli, Piazza Gesu Nuovo, Via Benedetto Croce, Piazzetta Nilo, and Via San Biagio Dei Librai.

The name ‘Spaccanapoli’ translates to ‘Naples Splitter’ because it ‘divides’ the city in half. It extends well outside the old city center, but the must-see part is right in the historic old town.

Everything there is to know about Naples is encapsulated in this area! The atmosphere is filled with the noise of neighbors calling to each other from their balconies, artisans hammering in their tiny workshops and the ubiquitous Italian scooters whizzing past you with inches to spare.

Rough, noisy, and exceptionally crowded, Naples’s historic center may not be to everyone’s taste, but Spaccanapoli and its wide surroundings remain a must-see in Naples!

The best way to experience the real Naples and its unique atmosphere is by taking a walk here. Just be prepared to have to constantly navigate between the crowds, motorbikes, and countless street vendors. It’s part of the fun!

Good to know: There are lots of great places to eat and drink here – often at very reasonable prices. You’ll find some of Naples’ most famous landmarks in this area too.

TIP: If you want to understand how special Spaccanapoli really is, you have to see the Naples splitter from above! The best place to do this is from the ramparts of Castel Sant’Elmo – you’ll find more information about it further below.

Spaccanapoli - Naples splitter aerial view

Interesting to know: All over Naples, you’ll see red twisted horns that sometimes look a bit like red chili peppers… These are Neapolitan cornicello , or corno – a special talisman that is supposed to protect you from any evil and bring you luck.

Another character that you’ll see all over the city is Pulcinella , a sort of clown wearing a traditional Neapolitan half-mask. You’ll find these masks for sale at souvenir stores, street artists dancing dressed as Pulcinella, and you can also rub Pulcinella’s nose in Naples city center (we indicated the location of this statue on our map).

You’ll find these talismans for sale everywhere in Naples and you will also see ‘corno’ hanging at the entrance of the shops, standing on restaurant counters, and pretty much everywhere. Neapolitans are quite superstitious, indeed. You can even find ‘corno’ horns with Pulcinella mask on them – just in case one talisman doesn’t do the trick.

Traditional Napoli souvenirs corno and Pulcinella for sale in Naples

2. Naples National Archaeological Museum

Naples National Archaeological Museum is probably one of the best museums in the whole of Italy. So if you are looking for the very best places to see in Naples, this museum is absolutely not to be missed!

The beautiful 16th-century building housing the Museum was originally a military and cavalry barracks.

Founded as a museum in 1816 by Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies, Naples National Archaeological Museum is now home to an extensive collection of Roman remains . These include artifacts and mosaics excavated from Pompeii and Herculaneum , both of which were devastated by the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius. You can even find a small room displaying a unique collection of erotic Pompeiian art!

The museum also contains a beautiful selection of marble statues portraying mythological scenes. Be sure not to miss the Farnese collections ! There are also amazing mosaics and many ancient Egyptian exhibits , too, including death masks and mummified remains.

Good to know: The museum is huge and a visit here can be somewhat overwhelming. We visited on our own, but if you are interested in art and have a few hours to spare, this is one place where it could be really interesting to visit with a guide . The museum also offers an audio guide, but they don’t give you any map and so I’m not sure how useful or easy to use it is.

Practical info: Naples National Archaeological Museum is open daily except on Tuesdays. So plan your visit accordingly! You can just get the tickets on the spot and – unless you book a guided tour – there’s no need to reserve. For more practical info, see their website .

Naples National Archaeological Museum is a must see in Napoli

3. Gesù Nuovo Church & Square

Piazza del Gesù Nuovo (‘New Jesus’) is a large and lively town square along Spacannapoli in the old town. It has the Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo on one side and the Basilica di Santa Chiara (more about it below) on the other side. Once the main western entrance to the city, the area was modified twice in the 16th century and the city walls were moved.

You can see an ornate statue of the Virgin Mary – Guglia dell Immacolata – in the center of the square, and behind it is the rather quirky stone façade of the Gesù Nuovo church. However, don’t let the exterior mislead you – this is one of the most beautiful, most impressive, and must-see churches in Naples!

In complete contrast to its exterior, the inside of the Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo is decorated in amazingly opulent Neapolitan Baroque style, with lots of frescoes and colored marble. Our local guide compared it to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and while not nearly as big, it’s indeed just as ornate.

In one of the chapels, you can also see the bronze statue of Naples’ newest saint – Saint Giuseppe Moscati. Beatified in 1987, he was an early 19th-century doctor who devoted himself to helping the poor.

Gesu Nuovo Church is a must see in Naples

4. Santa Chiara Church & Cloisters

Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara is a fascinating network of cloisters, located behind the restored Gothic basilica of the same name. You can visit the cloister, Chiostro di Santa Chiara (which requires a ticket), and the church, Basílica de Santa Clara (entrance is free of charge).

Basílica de Santa Clara is a huge church located just across from the above-mentioned Church of Gesù Nuovo. But the two churches couldn’t be more different! While every inch of the interior of the New Jesus Church is decorated, the interior of Santa Clara church is very simple. But it’s this simplicity in combination with the gigantic proportions that make it really impressive to see!

But the main highlight here is the exceptionally beautiful Chiostro di Santa Chiara . Despite its central location in the heart of Naples’ busiest district, the cloisters are really tranquil and offer a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city.

Inside, you can see a beautiful garden with blossoming lemon trees and colorful Rococò style tiling on the columns and benches (just don’t try to sit on them!). The walkways of the cloisters – lined with frescoes and colorful tiles – are equally impressive too. There’s also a small museum and an archeological site where you can see excavations from ancient Roman times.

There’s also a short film playing in one of the rooms close to the entrance. It explains the history of the convent and the church – quite interesting.

Good to know: The cloister is open daily and you can get a ticket on the spot. The church (just as most other churches in Naples) closes for a few hours at around lunchtime, so it’s best to visit in the morning or in the afternoon.

Chiostro di Santa Chiara is one of the best places to see in Naples Italy

5. Via dei Tribunali

Via dei Tribunali is another of the must-see places in Naples. Dating back to the Ancient Roman times, this street in the old town is also known as Decumanus Maggiore – one of the main east-west roads ( Decumani ) of the ancient Greek then Roman city of Neapolis.

Via Dei Tribunali runs parallel with the above-mentioned Spaccanapoli. The atmosphere here is very similar – crazy, overwhelming, and so typically Naples. But there’s one more reason to come here and that’s pizza!

If you are a pizza-lover, a visit to Via dei Tribunali is a must!

Commonly referred to as ‘pizza street’ , Via dei Tribunali is believed to be the best place for pizza in Naples. The highlight is the world-famous Sorbillo pizza restaurant and you’ll recognize it from far because of the crowds waiting outside in order to get a table here. Just be sure you have the right one – Gino e Toto Sorbillo – because just nearby, there’s another smaller restaurant with ‘Sorbillo’ in its name that has nothing to do with the original one.

While there are countless other amazing pizza restaurants in this area (and all over Naples), many consider a pizza at Sorbillo an absolute must-do in Naples. So, of course, we had to try it too, and I have to agree – it’s absolutely delicious!

TIP: If you don’t want to spend hours waiting in line at this restaurant, try to come at least 15-20 minutes before the opening time. We arrived at 11.45 am (at lunch, the restaurant opens at 12) and there were already lots of people waiting at the door. Luckily, the restaurant is quite big and it wasn’t a problem to get a table, but people who arrived at 12, ended up waiting for over an hour. Alternatively, simply choose one of the many other pizza restaurants in Naples.

There are lots of souvenir stalls, shops, and bars here too, plus a fun atmosphere that makes the street well worth visiting – even if you aren’t here for the pizza!

Gino e Toto Sorbillo pizza restaurant on Via dei Tribunali in Naples

6. Sansevero Chapel

Museo Cappella Sansevero is one of the must-sees in Naples, attracting big crowds.

Located in the heart of the city, this chapel museum was designed by alchemist and inventor John Francesco di Sangro. Although tiny, it is filled with wonderfully symbolic artworks and sculptures, and the ceiling is decorated with a magnificent fresco. It’s absolutely breathtaking!

The most famous exhibit here is the marble sculpture ‘Veiled Christ’ ( Il Cristo velato ) by Giuseppe Sanmartino made in 1753. It portrays Jesus lying with a veil over his face as he takes his last living breaths. This sculpture is world-famous for the incredible tissue-like quality of the marble and no words can describe how special it is – you really have to see it in person!

Other incredible sculptures not to miss here are the ‘Veiled Truth’ ( Pudicizia ) by Antonio Corradini and ‘Release from Deception’ ( Il Disinganno ) by Francesco Queirolo. Also, in the basement under the chapel, you’ll find two “anatomical machines” – skeletons with “blood vessels” that show how advanced human knowledge was in terms of anatomy back in the 18th century already.

Practical information: Museo Cappella Sansevero is open daily except on Tuesdays. You only need 10-15 minutes for a visit inside. However, this is one of the most popular places to see in Naples and it’s advisable to get your tickets in advance , especially if you are traveling in the high season (April – October).

If you didn’t book in advance, you may still be able to get tickets on the day itself, but you can’t count on that. Also, in the high season, it’s best to go as early in the morning as possible in order to get a hold of the last tickets for that day. The entry is timed, so – depending on what’s available – you might have to come back a few hours later.

TIP: This popular old town walking tour includes many of the main sights in Naples, a few lesser-visited hidden gems, as well as the entrance to Sansevero Chapel. Going with a tour might also be your chance to visit this chapel if the regular tickets are sold out.

Good to know: Any kind of photography is not allowed inside the chapel. The picture below is of one of the info signs located outside of the building. The other two images are courtesy of Museo Cappella Sansevero.

Veiled Christ and Museo Cappella Sansevero is one of the must sees in Naples Italy

7. Catacombs of Naples

The Catacombs of Naples is one of our personal favorite things to do in Napoli. It’s something that could be listed among the must-dos in the city, but also as a hidden gem. If you are looking to get a bit off the beaten path and do something truly unique in Naples, definitely check these out!

The Catacombe di San Gennaro and Catacombe di San Gaudioso are both underground cemeteries, dating to the times of the Roman Empire. While the Catacombs of San Gennaro are considered to be the most important of the two, I highly recommend visiting both of them since they are totally different.

If you have ever visited Rome’s underground sites and catacombs , then you may be quite surprised how much more spacious the ones in Naples are! This is because they were excavated from tuff, a rock formed from volcanic ash which is known for its workability and longevity. Also, the Catacombs of Naples are way more impressive than the ones in Rome, the people who run the place and the guides are amazing, and you’re also allowed to take pictures inside.

San Gennaro Catacombs are the biggest in southern Italy. A 2nd-century network of tunnels is lined with crypts and graves, some of which are decorated with the most impressive frescoes. The tombs here are spread over two levels and you can visit both of them.

Catacombe di San Gennaro - best things to do in Naples

The San Gaudioso Catacombs were built below the Abbey (Badia) of the Basilica di Santa Maria della Sanità. Here, you can see mosaics and frescoes from the 5th century all the way to the 17th century.

Probably the most fascinating here are the rooms of the ‘draining ritual’ and the ‘Gallery of the Nobles’, where you can see the quirky skeleton paintings of some prominent citizens of 17th-century Naples. The stories behind these catacombs are fascinating!

Everyone in our family unanimously agreed that the catacombs should be on top of any Naples bucket list! Even our teens were fascinated and impressed (and if you have teenagers you know they’re the toughest public when it comes to visiting churches and historical sites).

Skeletons at San Gaudioso Catacombs in Naples

Good to know: Since it was forbidden to bury people inside the city gates, the catacombs are located somewhat outside of the old town, in the northern part of Naples. Still, it’s really not that far and you can easily get here by taxi or by public bus. Or you can even walk here from the old town – the Catacombs of San Gaudioso are just a 10-15 min walk from the Naples National Archaeological Museum.

Practical information: The Catacombs are open daily – see their website for more information and visiting times. The ticket includes both catacombs (and also gives a discount on the earlier-mentioned Cloister of Santa Chiara). You don’t have to visit both catacombs on the same day as the ticket remains valid for a year. You’ll visit the catacombs with a small group accompanied by an official guide.

Tickets: To save you time and confusion about all the ticket options, this ticket is what you need for an English-speaking tour that includes both catacombs. You choose the timed entry to Genaro Catacombs and then visit the Catacombs of San Gaudioso with the same ticket afterward.

TIP: If you have a bit more time, we highly recommend a guided ‘Holy Mile’ tour . It’s by far the best way to see both catacombs, and also some other amazing places in the Rione Sanità district (such as Palazzo San Felice or Palazzo dello Spagnolo). However, at the moment, this tour is only available in Italian. For a tour in English, you have to book a private tour directly via their website .

Or you can simply visit the catacombs and then explore the Sanita neighborhood on your own.

Palazzo dello Spagnolo in Rione Sanita neighborhood in Naples

8. Naples Cathedral – Duomo

The main church of southern Italy, Naples Duomo dates back to the 13th century. Although its official name is Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta , it is more commonly known as the Cattedrale di San Gennaro (one of the patron saints of the city).

The Cathedral has been restored and added to multiple times throughout its history and the result is a curious mixture of Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic styles that you see today. Nevertheless, it is very beautiful, particularly the decoration surrounding the main nave.

Of particular importance is the immaculately decorated chapel of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples. It is here that the residents of Naples attend three times a year to see if the two vessels of his dried blood liquify. If they don’t, it is believed that a terrible event will befall the city, such as the devastating earthquake of 1980.

The building also contains two of the oldest places of worship in Naples – The Capella di Santa Restituta and the Capella di San Giovanni in Fonte. When visiting the latter, you can just about make out some beautiful frescoes in the dome, one of which shows Christ multiplying the fishes.

Good to know: The Cathedral is open daily, but – just as most other churches in Naples – closes for a few hours early in the afternoon (usually from 1 to 3.30 PM). The entrance to the Cathedral is free of charge, but there’s a small extra fee if you want to see the most interesting chapels.

Naples Cathedral

9. Napoli Sotterranea

Napoli Sotterranea is Naples Underground – the intriguing maze of ancient cavities and tunnels that lie 40 meters (120 ft) beneath the modern city. This is one of the most fascinating places to see in Naples, a trip that takes you back in time to the earliest days when the city was first founded.

Originally dating from Greek times (some 2,400 years ago), over a thousand caves were excavated in order to extract stone for the construction of Nea Polis (the ‘new town’). During Roman times, the caves were connected with a series of tunnels and used as Naples’ cisterns and water supply for over 23 centuries.

More recently, the Naples underground also served as a shelter during WWII. Over 2500 people (mostly women and children) were hiding here for over 1.5 years. It’s hard to imagine…

A visit also includes a Roman theater… hidden inside a traditional Neapolitan house.

Good to know: You’ll have to negotiate over 100 stairs (down and up again) and some very narrow passages too. The narrowest sections can be skipped if you feel claustrophobic, but those are actually the most special parts and guarantee the most unique experience that you won’t quickly forget.

Practical information: Napoli Sotterranea is located on Piazza San Gaetano 68 – do not confuse it with the nearby underground site La Neapolis Sotterrata at San Lorenzo Maggiore (which is not nearly as interesting). It’s open daily and a visit takes about 1.5 hours. You can only visit here with a guided tour, and it’s best to prebook well in advance . This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Naples and in the high season, tours in English often sell out a few weeks upfront.

TIP: The easiest way to book a tour is via the Tiqets website , which is much more user-friendly than the official site . Plus, when we visited, it was cheaper to book tickets indirectly (go figure).

Napoli Sotterranea (Naples Underground) entrance sign

10. Views from Sant’Elmo Castle

Castel Sant’Elmo is a medieval fortress sitting high on the hill in the Vomero district in central Naples. This is where you’ll find the very best panoramic views of Naples city and its wide surroundings, with the most amazing backdrop of the Mediterranean on one side and Mount Vesuvius on the other.

Originally a church dedicated to St Erasmus, Castel Sant’Elmo was turned into a castle 400 years later in 1349. It was further fortified in the early 16th century and was also used as a prison.

The site is now also home to the Museo del Novecento. Located in the former prison of the castle, this museum is dedicated to 20th-century Neapolitan art. But the best thing to do here is simply walking around the entire perimeter of the ramparts (the castle is huge!) and enjoy the stunning 360° panorama. The views from here are unparalleled!

TIP: Castel Sant’Elmo is the best place in Naples from where you can see an aerial view of Spaccanapoli – the iconic street that ‘splits’ Naples in two (mentioned as #1 on our list of top places to see in Naples).

Good to know: Castel Sant’Elmo can be reached by various staircases from the old town, but the easiest way to get here is by taking a funicular. We took the funicular from Montesanto funicular station, and you can also get here from Augusteo funicular station.

Practical information: Castel Sant’Elmo is open daily and you can get the ticket on the spot. For more practical information, see the official website (in Italian).

Naples city view from Sant Elmo Castle

TIP: Combine Sant’Elmo Castle with a visit to San Martino Monastery, just nearby (more info below). Afterwards, take one of the steep staircases back down to the city center – it’s a great way to explore a more local side of Naples!

There are stairs – Pedamentina a San Martino – right at the Belvedere San Martino in front of the Monastery, which seem to be quite popular with tourists.

Alternatively, you can walk around the castle to the Salita del Petraio staircase which – we were told – is more impressive and gives better views and a more local experience. We took the latter and indeed, it was a great choice – highly recommended instead of taking the funicular back down.

Salita del Petraio staircase in Naples

11. San Martino Monastery & Museum

Located right at the foot of Sant’Elmo Castel, high on top of the Vomero hill overlooking Naples bay, you’ll find another landmark of Naples – Certosa e Museo di San Martino .

The Charterhouse of St. Martin was built in 1325 and was originally a Carthusian monastery. It has been renovated and altered many times throughout its history by some of Italy’s most important sculptors and architects.

Nowadays it is a museum dedicated to Neapolitan and Italian art, with beautifully designed cloisters and elaborate frescoes. You can see works by 17th-century artists such as Battista Caracciolo and Jusepe de Ribera here, and some beautiful inlaid marble work in the nave. You’ll also find Lanfranco’s ceiling painting of the ‘Ascension’ and the ‘Triumph of Judith’ ceiling fresco by Luca Giordano.

The Monastery is huge and there’s so much to see that you could easily wander here for several hours. Plus, there are big gardens to explore, offering nice views of Naples and the coast below. But even if you only have an hour to spare, it’s well worth a visit – both, for the building itself, the stunning art inside, as well as the views. However, if you are only interested in the views, then go to Sant’Elmo Castle instead.

Good to know: Just as with Sant’Elmo Castle, the best way to get here is by funicular.

Practical information: Certosa e Museo di San Martino is open daily except on Wednesdays. See the o fficial website for more info (in Italian). There’s no need to reserve tickets – you can just get them on the spot.

Certosa e Museo di San Martino in Naples

12. Piazza del Plebiscito

With 25,000 square meters, Piazza del Plebiscito is Napoli’s main square and one of the largest in Italy. An amazing place to visit in Napoli, the square is framed by the semi-circular colonnades of the San Francesco di Paola Basilica . A minor basilica, it is considered one of the most important examples of Italian Neoclassical architecture.

There are lots of other important buildings to see here too, including the Royal Palace (more info below), the Prefecture Palace (which houses the institutional body that rules the province), and the Palazzo Salerno. You can’t miss the two statues in the center either – one of them is dedicated to Spain’s Charles III, and the other one – to Ferdinando I.

Totally pedestrianized (giving you a welcome break from the noisy Vespas), this vast open space was once known as Largo di Palazzo and used for bullfights. These days, Piazza del Plebiscito is a popular spot for outdoor concerts and other cultural events.

Fun to do: Whilst there, why not try the popular local game of crossing the square blindfolded or with closed eyes… The game started with the legend of Queen Margherita, who was said to grant salvation to only the prisoners who had accomplished the task.

The idea is to start at the entrance of the Royal Palace (between the two equestrian statues). You then walk for around 170 meters in a straight line, passing through the middle of the square. Apparently, no one ever manages it because of the square’s slight (but unnoticeable) slope.

Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples

13. Royal Palace of Naples

Located in the Piazza del Plebiscito opposite the Basilica Reale, Palazzo Reale di Napoli is a huge stunning building that was constructed from 1600 onwards. Originally used by the Bourbon Kings as one of their four royal residences in the city, the palace and its grounds are now dedicated to the Teatrino di Corte, the Teatro di San Carlo, and the National Library.

It is worth visiting just to see the building from the outside as it is really impressive, with statues honoring various rulers of Naples from the 12th to 19th centuries.

But the real attraction is the palace’s opulent interior – now a museum. The exquisitely preserved rooms filled with elaborate decoration showcase the history of Naples from the 17th to 19th centuries.

The majestic hallway and sweeping staircase are quite breathtaking, and if you stand in the magnificent throne room it is easy to imagine all the kings and queens that must have stood there before you. The lavish theater – Teatrino di Corte – was built for the wedding of Marie-Antoinette to Ferdinand.

Practical information: The Royal Palace of Naples is open daily except on Wednesdays. There’s no need to reserve a ticket – you can get it at the entrance. For more practical info, see here .

TIP: If you have more time in Naples, visit the Royal Palace of Caserta which is located outside the city (more info in the ‘day trips’ section further below). It’s even more impressive than the Royal Palace of Naples. But if you don’t have the time to travel to Caserta, definitely take a look inside the Royal Palace in Naples city center.

The Royal Palace of Naples (Palazzo Reale di Napoli)

14. Galleria Umberto I

Galleria Umberto I is a public shopping gallery located just a few steps from the Piazza del Plebiscito and the Royal Palace. While not an absolute must, in our opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful landmarks in Naples. Furthermore, it only takes a few minutes of your time, so we highly recommend you check it out!

Beautifully designed, its domed steel and glass roof fills the gallery with light. Builts towards the end of the 19th century, it features various sculptures and murals, with shops and eateries on the ground floor and offices upstairs. If you’ve ever been to Milan , you may just notice how much it resembles the Galleria Emmanuelle II, on which it was modeled. It has a similar, cross-shaped design.

It’s hard to imagine that this was once an area that had a bad reputation for fighting, crime, and prostitution! Indeed, the very purpose of this gallery was to make Naples attractive again, providing a safe place for people to walk and shop.

The shops at Galleria Umberto I are a mix of boutiques, high street names, and discount stores. There are also several cafes where you can indulge in a little people-watching and regular visits from street performers.

TIP: The gallery is also home to a 4* luxury hotel – the Hotel Art Resort Galleria Umberto , a nice place to stay for sightseeing in Naples!

READ ALSO: Best Places to Stay in Naples

Galleria Umberto I is one of the most beautiful landmarks of Naples Italy

15. San Carlo Theater

Housed in a magnificent Neoclassical building just near the Royal Palace and across the street from Galleria Umberto I, Naples’ Teatro di San Carlo is the oldest continuously running public opera venue in the world.

San Carlo Theater was first opened in 1737, commissioned by the Bourbon King Charles III of Naples. Restored following a devastating fire in 1816, the interior is now quite dazzling, with a traditional horseshoe-shaped auditorium and beautiful red and gold furnishings. It’s decorated with vibrant frescoes as well.

TIP: If you are lucky to visit when there are performances (and can get tickets), you could attend an opera or a ballet here. The opera season runs from January to May and there are ballet performances from April to June. However, we visited in mid-April and there was nothing on the program during our travel dates… You can check the events calendar on their website .

Alternatively, you can take a guided tour of the auditorium, the royal box, and the foyers. However, the schedule of the guided tours depends on the performances, etc. and it’s not straightforward to book it. You can check the general tour schedule online , but the best way to get a tour is by calling the theater a few days in advance. There’s usually one tour (in English) in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Teatro San Carlo opera house in Naples Italy

16. Via San Gregorio Armeno

Via San Gregorio Armeno may just be the most famous alleyway in Naples and its purpose is somewhat unique!

Otherwise known as ‘Christmas Street’ , this is where you will find the city’s presepe artisans. A presepe (plural presepi ) is a Nativity scene and the tradition of creating them goes back for 1000 years. At any point in the year you can visit Via San Gregorio in order to buy the figurines you’ll need to create a display of your own!

But even if you don’t plan to buy anything, a walk through this street is a must when visiting Naples.

TIP: For the best atmosphere and displays, come here in the morning – early afternoon because some shops close quite early.

Another attraction to visit here is the hidden cloister of the San Gregorio Armeno Church . It has an enclosed 17th-century garden filled with citrus trees and a Baroque marble fountain. Be sure to go in the morning, though – admission is only permitted for a few hours, usually until noon.

Via San Gregorio Armeno in Naples

17. Naples Waterfront

A popular thing to do in Naples is to take a stroll along the 2.5 km pedestrianized seafront promenade, aka Naples Waterfront (also called Lungomare di Napoli or Lungomare Santa Lucia ).

The views here are lovely, taking in Capri and Mount Vesuvius along with Naples itself. On the other side is the greenery of Naples Villa Comunale Park, making this a real oasis of calm in this crazy busy city.

You’ll find a few free beaches along the way, plus boat rentals and numerous kiosks selling lemon granita and snacks. There are also a few places to rent bikes – in fact, some of the restaurants even offer free bike rentals to their diners.

Alternatively, visit towards the end of the day when the sun goes down. Not only will you be able to take some amazing photos, but you’ll also find many locals enjoying their traditional evening stroll – the passeggiata .

TIP: Some of the most popular ‘grand’ hotels in Naples ( Eurostars Hotel Excelsior , Hotel Royal Continental , etc.) are located on Via Partenope, a wide boulevard facing the sea.

If you are visiting Naples in summer, this would be one of the nicest areas to stay in – not just for the sea views or waterfront activities, but also – literally – in order to have some air. You can enjoy a nice breeze here whereas the city center with its narrow alleyways can get really hot.

Naples waterfront area with a view on Mt Vesuvius

18. Ovo Castle

Visible as soon as you enter the port of Naples, the imposing Castel dell’Ovo (the Egg Castle) is the city’s oldest remaining fortification, dating back to the early 6th century BC. Legend has it that the Roman poet Virgil placed a magical egg into its foundation – hence its name. A less compelling version is that the castle was named for its unusual shape.

The castle stands on an island overlooking a small marina, although it is actually connected to the mainland via a footbridge and road. There is not a great deal to see inside except for a few displays explaining its past and – sometimes – temporary exhibitions.

However, walking around its stone walls gives you a real feel for its history and the nice views across the Mediterranean sea make it worth a quick visit. You can also take a stroll around the tiny island on which the castle stands – the Borgo Marinaro . Here, you’ll also find some nice (seafood) restaurants.

Good to know: Castel dell’Ovo is open daily and the entrance is free of charge. Many people say this is an amazing place to see a sunset in Naples, but unfortunately, the castle closes too early for that… I guess you could always stay for sunset at the waterfront area – see below.

The Bay of Naples and Mt Vesuvius as seen from Castel dell'Ovo in Naples

19. Castel Nuovo

A prominent part of the city skyline, the Castel Nuovo is one of the most remarkable buildings in Naples. It was first constructed in 1279 and the name ‘New Castle’ was given to distinguish it from the other fortresses in the city at the time. It’s also known locally as Maschio Angioino (Angevin Keep).

Castel Nuovo is located close to the Piazza del Plebiscito and the harbor. It features 5 circular crenulated towers, plus a later addition of a majestic triumphal arch carved from white marble.

While this castle is more impressive from the outside than it is on the inside, if you have a few hours to spare, you can take a tour to view the interior. Here, you’ll see frescoes by Giotto and a collection of 17th to 20th-century artworks by Neapolitan painters. Some of the highlights include the beautifully painted ceiling of the Barons’ Hall and the panoramic views across the city and bay from the ramparts.

Practical information: Castel Nuovo is open daily, with some exceptions. You can try to understand a very unclear official website or simply go there and see if it’s open. I have to admit that we decided not to visit this castle inside since we heard there’s not that much to see compared to the other landmarks in Naples. So I cannot really comment on this one based on personal experience.

Castel Nuovo in Naples Italy

20. Spanish Quarter & Largo Maradona

One more place that’s probably worth mentioning among the best places to see in Naples is the Quartieri Spagnoli . This is a small neighborhood in central Naples, west of Via Toledo, one of the main shopping streets in the city.

The Spanish Quarter is crisscrossed by narrow alleyways lined with tall residential buildings. On the ground floor, you’ll usually find tiny shops, small cafes, and lots of restaurants – this is one of the nicest areas for lunch or dinner in Naples. This area has a few pizza places too, but it’s more a place for seafood, pasta, risotto, and other local dishes.

If you have 15-20 minutes to spare, simply walk around the Spanish Quarter. It’s a lively area where you can get a taste of the real day-to-day life of regular residents of Naples. Neighbors chatting to each other, kids playing football, Vespas zooming past you… Colorful street art and cloth lines with laundry spanning the streets just add to the atmosphere.

One of the quirkiest places to see here is the area Largo Maradona with several big murals dedicated to Diego Maradona. This Argentinian football player achieved the peak of his career during the 7-year period between 1984 and 1991 when he played in Napoli.

You could say that Maradona is the adopted son of Naples. Many locals – not jokingly – call him their patron saint. Some Neapolitans regard their ‘San Diego’ the same way as ‘San Gennaro’…

You’ll see Maradona and all kinds of memorabilia dedicated to him all over Naples. But if you have a few minutes to spare, check out this ‘shrine’ to Maradona in the Spanish Quarter. On Via Emanuele de Deo, you’ll find a small cafe La Bodega De D10S , several big Maradona murals, and all kinds of Maradona memorablia…

Spanish Quarter in Naples

21. Royal Palace of Capodimonte

Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte is another interesting place to see in Naples – if you have more time after visiting all the ‘musts’ in the city center.

This art museum is located inside the 18th-century Bourbonian Royal Palace of Capodimonte . This palace – museum houses an incredible collection of 47,000 artworks. This makes it one of the world’s largest collections of medieval, modern, and contemporary art.

In its 126 galleries, you can view works by illustrious artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and many, many more. To see these pieces in such a beautiful setting is a fantastic experience.

There is natural beauty to be found here too in the 300 acres of the Royal Park of Capodimonte , which contains more than 400 species of plants. This tranquil green space was once named the most beautiful park in Italy and it feels completely disconnected from the bustling city below.

Good to know: The Royal Palace of Capodimonte is located just 2 km outside of the city center. However, since it’s set on a hill, it’s easier to take a bus or a taxi rather than walk. Normally, the Naples hop-on hop-off bus stops here too, but the route seems to have been discontinued when we visited. Maybe they’ll include it in the itinerary again in the future – be sure to double-check if you plan to visit here…

Practical information: The Museum is open daily except on Wednesdays. You can find more practical information on their website (in Italian). A nice way to visit here is with a private guided tour – especially if you are interested in art and want to learn more about the most important pieces.

Royal Palace of Capodimonte in Naples

22. Pizza & Food Tours

Of course, one of the VERY BEST things to do in Naples is trying the world-famous Neapolitan pizza , right where it was first created.

As already mentioned before, Via dei Tribunali in the heart of the old town is a great area for pizza, but there are countless amazing pizza restaurants scattered all over the city!

Some of the most popular and best-rated pizza restaurants in Naples center include Sorbillo , L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele , Pizzeria Starita a Materdei , Pizzeria Da Attilio , Antica Trattoria e Pizzeria da Donato , and many – many others. I indicated these and a few other restaurants on our map of Naples sights and attractions – be sure to try the pizza at least at one of them.

In addition to the traditional Neapolitan pizza, Naples is also famous for its folded pizza ‘a Portafoglio’, and also fried pizza . You’ll find many restaurants serving folded and fried pizza in Naples. For some of the best fried pizza in Naples, head to the Isabella De Cham Pizza Fritta restaurant in the Rione Sanità district where the Catacombs are located.

And, of course, there are so many other amazing typical dishes, drinks, and desserts to try in Naples, beyond pizza!

TIP: One of the best ways to get a taste of traditional food in Naples is by joining a food tour . In just a few hours, you get a nice introduction to the regional cuisine and try some local specialties, plus you tour the city center with a local guide so you learn a lot more about the city than just by having a meal at a restaurant.

There are many food tours and pizza-making classes in Naples and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. We opted for this highly-rated street food tour and had a great evening eating our way through the old town. Our tour included different types of cheeses and small snacks, two types of pizza, traditional pastries, limoncello, gelato, and more. It’s something fun to do in Naples for the whole family!

READ ALSO: Traditional Italian Food per Region

Pizza Napoli at a local pizzeria in Naples Italy

23. Take a day trip outside the city!

No trip to Naples would be complete without visiting at least a few of the most famous places near the city. Pompeii, Herculaneum, the Royal Palace of Caserta, Amalfi Coast, and Capri Island are just some of the most popular options (and each is worth a trip on its own!). So when planning your Naples sightseeing itinerary, be sure to foresee some extra time to spend outside the city as well!

There are many ways to plan a trip to the Naples area and the Amalfi Coast and you can make a longer trip to the area. However, it is possible to see all the best places by taking day trips/ tours from Naples as well.

Here are some of the most popular places nearby that we recommend to see when you visit Naples:

  • Pompeii. The remains of an incredibly well preserved ancient Roman city that has been destroyed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. You can take a train to Pompeii, but without a guide, it’s all just ruins and the huge site is overwhelming, so we recommend you book a guided tour ! There are many day tours that can bring you there from Naples too, often, in combination with a few other places nearby.
  • Herculaneum. This ancient city was also destroyed by Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. It’s similar to Pompeii but is smaller and better preserved, however not as famous and therefore less visited by international tourists. If you have the time to see both, it’s well worth it. But if you can only visit one – most people opt for Pompeii instead. You can easily get to Ercolano from Naples by train, but it’s best to book your entrance ticket so that you don’t waste too much time in line. Day tours from Naples are also available, often in combination with Pompeii and or MtVesuvius.
  • Mount Vesuvius. A visit to the crater of this impressive volcano is one of the most impressive things to do in Naples! If you want to visit on your own, take a train to Ercolano or Pompeii, and from there a bus to Mt Vesuvius (the bus company can usually help you get the entrance tickets too, or you can book them yourself – see some of the best ticket options here and this is the bus from Ercolano ). But the easiest way to get to Mt Vesuvius (and make the most of your time) is by taking a tour that visits Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius on the same day . Tours that include Herculaneum are also available.

READ ALSO: How to Visit Mount Vesuvius

  • Capri . This beautiful island can be reached by ferry from Naples and is a wonderful day trip to consider! You can visit Capri on your own , just be sure to pre-book the ferry tickets, especially in high season. Also, plan well in advance what you want to see when you get there since one day is really just enough for the highlights. Alternatively, you can opt for an organized tour and let them take care of the planning and transportation to and on the island.
  • Amalfi Coast. One of the most beautiful places in Italy , the Amalfi Coast deserves a separate visit. But yes, you can also see the main highlights on a day trip from Naples. With just a day, I wouldn’t recommend going on your own – take a tour or book a private driver and enjoy this beautiful area without having to stress about getting around. Here you can find more information on how to get to the Amalfi Coast from Naples .
  • Royal Palace of Caserta . This is one of the largest royal residences in the world and one of the most interesting places to see when visiting Naples! In addition to the impressive interior, the Palace also has stunning Versailles-like gardens. Located in Caserta, you can easily get here by train from Naples and there are also organized half-day tours available. A visit here is a wonderful addition to any Naples sightseeing itinerary!

LEARN MORE: Best Excursions & Day Trips from Naples

Below are some frequently asked questions that might help you plan your visit to Naples – take a look!

Yes, Naples is well worth a visit! It’s one of the most fascinating cities in Italy, with centuries-old history, impressive architecture, and some of the most remarkable ancient art in the world. Furthermore, Naples has a stunning coastal location, an incredible bustling atmosphere, and the best pizza in the world. In addition, the surroundings with sites like Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius, or the Amalfi Coast make Naples more than worth a trip.

We recommend 2-3 days for Naples city, not including the time for any of the day trips nearby. While you can see some of the main landmarks in Naples city in 1 day , you really need at least 2 days to do this city justice. In addition, plan 3-4 extra days for the nearby places such as Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, Mt. Vesuvius, and Capri.

You may have heard that Naples is dirty and unsafe, and there’s definitely some truth in it. However, it’s mostly petty crime and Naples isn’t any more dangerous than most other major cities in the world. Just be careful with your belongings and cautious of pickpockets in busy areas and when using public transport. We spent several days exploring many different areas in Naples city and never felt unsafe.

Naples is a large city, but most tourist attractions are concentrated rather close to each other and you can explore the majority of the main sights in Naples on foot. For the areas located on the hill, take a funicular, and if you prefer not to walk bigger distances, you can use the metro, public buses, or taxis which are rather cheap. Hop-on hop-off bus is also available and covers most of the tourist attractions in Naples.

Depending on what you plan to see and do (in and near Naples), you may want to stay in different parts of the city center. If you plan multiple day trips by train, stay west of the central railway station (e.g. UNAHOTELS Napoli or Hotel San Pietro ). For sightseeing and shopping – stay between Via Toledo and the harbor area (e.g. Palazzo Turchini or NapoliMia Hotel ). For a more relaxing vacation, stay at the Lungomare waterfront (e.g. Hotel Royal Continental ).

So, this is our guide to some of the very best things to do in Naples for first-time visitors. I hope that it helps you plan an unforgettable visit to this fascinating city that I can only describe as a rough diamond. Naples is definitely one of a kind, a captivating city, which has a life very much of its own.

If you have limited time and are wondering how to plan your time in Naples, check out our suggested 1-day Naples itinerary .

TIP: If you are wondering how to plan your visit to the Naples area and don’t know where to start, you may want to check out our guide with the Amalfi Coast itinerary suggestions . It gives you an idea of how to visit the ‘must-see’ places in as little as 5 days (although I recommend much longer if you have the time). If you have more than a day or two for that area, be sure to also check our detailed guide to the best places to stay on the Amalfi Coast , and also our guide to hiking the Path of the Gods .

READ ALSO: Naples – Capri – Amalfi Coast Itinerary (+-10 Days)

More guides to some of the nicest Italian cities:

  • Best things to do in Rome
  • Best things to do in Venice
  • Best things to do in Florence
  • Best things to do in Milan
  • Best things to do in Verona
  • Best things to do in Ravenna
  • Best things to do in Siena
  • Best things to do in Como
  • 1 day in Milan
  • 1 day in Rome
  • 1 day in Florence
  • 1 day in Venice
  • 3 days in Venice
  • 2 days in Rome
  • 4 days in Rome

READ ALSO: Italy itinerary for 2 weeks & How to Plan a Trip to Europe

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Top sights and tourist attractions to see in Naples Italy

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Sunday 17th of September 2023

Hi there - I'm so grateful for your blogs on Italy since we'll be doing our 1st trip the 1st two weeks of April 2024 and I'm torn between where to stay in Naples. We will be arriving via train from Rome by Noon & will stay 3 nights. Two days will be day trips w/tour companies to Pompeii and the Amalfi coast. That means we will only have half a day (Easter Sunday) in Naples and plan on doing the food tour you took. My question is should we stay in the historic center OR the Naples waterfront? When we return from the day trips we'll be tired so most likely will hit the hotel to rest. I appreciate your advice.

Hi Patricia, if you are taking day trips, they will most likely depart from the railway station. In that case, it's probably best to stay there. For example, Hotel San Pietro or UNAHOTELS Napoli are both located in that area. The main areas in the old town are just 15-20 minutes walk from there. If I were you, I'd first check the departure locations of the tours that you plan to take and then book a hotel as close as possible. That will save you a lot of stress. Have a great trip!

Michael Cicchi

Sunday 24th of April 2022

I spent a week in Napoli and thought I saw plenty of it but this article just showed me that I missed a whole lot of it. 😔 So, I will definitely dedicate another week there after going to Venice.

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

It's impossible to see 'everything' in the Naples area in a week, Michael. You already spent much more time here than most tourists do. But yes, it's well worth a repeat trip I think - just like pretty much any place in Italy. :)

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

Naples Travel Guide

Last Updated: August 23, 2023

Naples skyline and Mediterranean views

Naples, made famous as the birthplace of pizza, is a gritty city home to a wealth of historical treasures. The medieval Naples Cathedral, the 18th-century Villa Comunale park, and nearby Pompeii make Naples a must-see destination for history buffs and foodies alike.

Naples is the gateway to the south of Italy so you’re very likely to come here if you’re crisscrossing the country. Its location near Pompeii, Capri, and Sorrento makes it the perfect starting point for exploring the region.

Best of all, it’s a foodie city like no other; I ate my weight in pizza during my visit!

This Naples travel guide can help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most of your time in this iconic Italian city!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Naples

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Naples

Ruins of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background, near Naples, Italy.

1. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Naples

This museum has one of the world’s best collections of Greek and Roman artifacts from both the city of Naples and nearby Pompeii. There’s ancient jewelry, mosaics, bronzes, sculptures, and a cast of a girl who perished in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. The museum also contains a room that is referred to as the “Secret Cabinet,” a collection of 1st-century Roman erotic art from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Admission is 15 EUR.

2. Check out Villa Comunale

King Ferdinand IV designed this strip of seaside land as a park for Bourbon royalty in the 1780s. Except for special events, it was closed to the public until 1869 after the unification of Italy. In addition to beautiful walkways and gardens, there is a vintage aquarium and several ornate fountains lining the 1-kilometer (0.62 miles) promenade.

3. Hike Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is the volcano that wiped out Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 CE, killing thousands of people in the process. The hike is a fairly steep climb, but a short one (it’s just 30-60 minutes). At the top, you’ll be able to look into the volcano’s crater and out across the Bay of Naples. The entry fee is 10 EUR and it must be purchased online in advance. It’s easy to get here from Naples by taking the train and then transferring to a shuttle bus.

4. Explore Pompeii

The archaeological site of Pompeii lives up to the hype. Buried under 4-6 meters (13-20 feet) of volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted, the ancient Roman city was preserved as a snapshot in time. Today, you can wander the expansive, 160-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site with its excavated villas, baths, amphitheater, mosaics, frescoes, and gruesome casts of victims in their final moments. It’s a fascinating place, and I spent a whole day here. You can visit the site on your own for 16 EUR, but the best way to make the most of your time is to take a guided tour to get the context of all the buildings and remains.

5. See the Duomo

The Duomo is a 13th-century Gothic cathedral dedicated to the city’s patron saint, San Gennaro. The church is decorated with frescoes, reliefs, and mosaics from across the centuries. You can also descend into the crypt to see the archaeological remains of the ancient paleo-Christian church that the cathedral was built on top of. Every year, the Duomo hosts the Festival of San Gennaro, where a vial of the saint’s dried blood is taken out of storage in hopes that it will liquefy. Legend states that if the blood does not liquefy, tragedy will befall Naples.

Other Things to See and Do in Naples

1. take a free walking tour.

One of the first things I do in a new destination is to take a free walking tour. It’s the best way to see the main highlights and learn about the city from a local guide who can answer all your questions. Free Walking Tour Napoli offers a solid free tour that covers all the main sights. Just be sure to tip your guide at the end!

2. Shop at Piazza del Mercato

This market has been Naples’ main market square since the 13th century. It sells everything from household goods to fresh produce and handmade souvenirs. During the Christmas season, this place is jam-packed with even more stalls selling festive goods.

3. Watch a show at Teatro San Carlo

Opened in 1737, this is the world’s oldest opera house, having survived wars, fires, and revolutions. The inside, with blue upholstery, gold décor, sparkling chandeliers, and almost 1,400 seats gives off a lavish and ornate atmosphere. If you can’t catch a show here, at least do a guided tour for 7 EUR.

4. Explore Herculaneum

Herculaneum is the lesser-known cousin of Pompeii. It used to be a fishing village of about 4,000 inhabitants who all befell the same fate as the citizens of Pompeii. The site is also very well preserved and usually has fewer tourists. While I wouldn’t skip Pompeii, you should also try to work in a visit here too. Tickets are 11 EUR. If you want to do a guided tour with an archeologist , tours are 45 EUR.

5. Watch a film under the stars

Every summer there is an open-air film festival held here called N’ato Cinema. It starts at the beginning of June and then runs every week until the end of July, with screenings of international films and family films. Tickets are just 4.50 EUR.

6. Visit Villa Floridiana

Originally built in 1816 as a gift from King Ferdinand I to his second wife Duchess Lucia Migliaccio, this estate has beautifully manicured gardens, expansive views over Naples Bay, and an ornate fountain filled with turtles. It also houses the National Museum of Ceramics. With over 6,000 pieces in the collection, you’ll see everything from Japanese Edo ceramics to European pieces. It’s 4 EUR to visit the museum.

7. Tour the Anfiteatro Flavio

This was once the third-largest amphitheater in all of Italy, dating back to 1 CE (only the Roman Colosseum and the amphitheater in Capua are larger). Started under Emperor Vespasian and completed by his son, over 40,000 people used to gather here to watch gladiator matches and other entertainment. Today, you can tour the various fallen columns and learn more about the history of the stadium and its events. Admission is 4 EUR.

8. Visit Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte

This is the Neapolitan National Gallery, a museum featuring work by Baroque and Renaissance artists. Some of the big names here include Giordano, Caravaggio, Bellini, El Greco, and Titian. Works date from the 13th to 18th century. Admission is 12 EUR.

9. Wander through Castelnuovo

Castelnuovo is a large medieval castle that stands out along the coastline. Come here to visit the art museum, which houses a gallery of 17th-19th century Italian paintings, including works from Luigi Crisconio and Carlo Vanvitelli. It’s 6 EUR to visit and you will get some great views over Naples and the coast too.

10. Take the Underground Tour

This was my favorite activity in Naples. Located in the city center, you can take an underground tour to explore some of the historic ruins of the city, including ancient reservoirs and the remains of a Roman-era theater. You’ll learn about how the city has been built upon and changed over its 2,400-year history. It costs 80 EUR, but it’s worth every penny.

For more information on other cities in Italy, check out these guides:

  • Cinque Terre Travel Guide
  • Florence Travel Guide
  • Milan Travel Guide
  • Pisa Travel Guide
  • Rome Travel Guide
  • Sorrento Travel Guide
  • Venice Travel Guide

Naples Travel Costs

San Francesco di Paola basilica in the main square of Naples, Italy.

Hostel prices – A dorm bed in a hostel with 4-6 beds costs 28-35 EUR per night, while a bed in a room with 8-12 beds costs 20-27 EUR per night. Private rooms range from 75-100 EUR per night. Prices don’t fluctuate much with the seasons. Hostels usually include free Wi-Fi and some also include free breakfast.

For those traveling with a tent, camping is available outside the city for as little as 10 EUR per night for one person and a basic plot without electricity.

Budget hotel prices – There aren’t many two-star budget hotels in Naples. For a three-star budget hotel, prices range from 60-100 EUR per night. Expect basic amenities like free Wi-Fi, AC, TV, and a coffee/tea maker. Some also include free breakfast.

On Airbnb, you can find private rooms for 35-60 EUR per night. Entire apartments cost closer to 100 EUR per night but expect prices to double if you don’t book early.

Average cost of food – Italian cuisine is beloved around the world, though every region in Italy offers its own distinct flavor. Tomatoes, pasta, olives, and olive oil form the backbone of most meals, with meat and fish and various cheeses rounding out the menu.

Pizza, popularized here in the 18th century, is a must when you’re in Naples. Spaghetti alla puttanesca (spaghetti with capers) and Caprese salad (a fresh salad with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella) are two other local favorites.

Overall, you can eat very cheaply in Naples. As the birthplace of pizza, there is no shortage of options under 10 EUR. Try Pizzeria Sorbillo (it’s famous for a reason). Most casual restaurants offer pizza or pasta dishes for 10 EUR or less.

For other affordable eats, head to just about anywhere along Via dei Tribunali. Chinese takeout is another low-cost option, costing 5-7 EUR for a dish.

If you want to splash out, a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant serving traditional Italian cuisine costs around 25 EUR.

Fast food (thick McDonald’s) costs around 8 EUR for a combo meal. Beer is around 3 EUR while a latte/cappuccino costs around 1.50 EUR. Bottled water is less than 1 EUR.

If you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen, a week’s worth of groceries costs 50-60 EUR. This gets you basic staples like pasta, seasonal produce, and some meat.

Backpacking Naples Suggested Budgets

On a backpacking budget of 60 EUR per day, you can stay in a hostel dorm, cook all your meals, limit your drinking, take public transportation to get around, and do mostly free activities like strolling the parks and taking free walking tours. If you plan on drinking, add 5-10 EUR to your daily budget.

On a mid-range budget of 135 EUR per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb, eat out for most meals, enjoy a few drinks, take the occasional taxi to get around, and do more paid activities like visiting the museums and taking a day trip to Pompeii.

On a “luxury” budget of 230 EUR or more per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out for all your meals, drink more, rent a car or take more taxis, and do whatever tours and activities you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

Use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in EUR.

Naples Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Naples isn’t as expensive as northern Italian cities like Rome or Florence but it’s still easy to blow your budget if you eat out a lot and do lots of activities. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to save here too. Here’s how you can save money in Naples:

  • Eat on the cheap – Have a pizza or take a sandwich to go for just a few dollars to help manage your spending. Pizza is the best food in Naples and won’t break the bank.
  • Get the Visitalia Tourist Card Napoli – If you are going to do lots of sightseeing, this tourist card provides discounts on the top museums, tours, and attractions. It’s priced to save you money compared to buying separate tickets and includes free public transportation. A one-day pass costs 14.50 EUR, a two-day pass costs 19 EUR, and a three-day pass costs 23.50 EUR. There’s even a week-long pass for just 26.80 EUR.
  • Buy wine instead of going to a bar – You can buy a great bottle of wine for just a few euros at the store. It’s a lot cheaper than drinking at the bar.
  • Stay with a local – Accommodation is quite expensive in Italy, even in the hostels. Use Couchsurfing to stay with locals who have extra beds and couches for free. It’s a great way to save money and connect with locals who can share their tips and advice. Just make sure to send your requests early.
  • Go on a free walking tour – This is a great way to learn the history behind the places you are seeing and to avoid missing any must-see stops. Free Walking Tour Napoli runs regular tours to help you get your bearings and see the main highlights. Just don’t forget to tip your tour guide!
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.

Where to Stay in Naples

Looking for an affordable place to stay when you visit? Here are some of my recommended places to stay in Naples:

  • Hostel Mancini
  • Hostel of the Sun
  • La Controra Hostel

How to Get Around Naples

Mopeds lined up along a colorful street in Naples, Italy.

Public transportation – When it comes to public transportation in Naples, it’s best to get a TIC (Ticket Integrato Campani) ticket, which works on all city metro, bus, and funicular services. A single ticket costs 1.60 EUR and is good for 90 minutes. A one-day pass is 4.50 EUR and a weekly ticket is 15.80 EUR.

The bus isn’t the most efficient way to get around Naples, but it’s useful for navigating Corso Umberto (the long main commercial street) since there is a designated bus lane.

Naples has a metro, but it doesn’t have an extensive network so the bus is usually a better idea.

Train – The Circumvesuviana trains from Napoli Centrale runs to Sorrento for 4.50 EUR, and Herculaneum for 2.20 EUR. Pompeii costs just 2.80 EUR. The Ferrovia Cumana trains run to Pozzuoli for 2.20 EUR.

A great resource to use when planning your trip via train is ItaliaRail .

Taxis – Taxis are not cheap here. Meter rates start from 4.25 EUR and cost 1 EUR per kilometer. Skip the taxis if you can as they add up fast. If you do need a taxi, make sure the driver uses the meter so you don’t get ripped off.

Bike rental – Naples is a bike-friendly city and rentals can be found for as little as 10 EUR per day.

When to Go to Naples

Thanks to its location on the Mediterranean, Naples is warm year-round. The summer months (June-August) are the most popular time to visit but they are also scorching, with temperatures usually above 31°C (88°F). July is also the driest month of the year. Many Italians take their vacations in August, so it gets particularly crowded here then. Expect accommodation to be booked well in advance (and to be more expensive) during this time.

Personally, I think the shoulder seasons are the best time to visit Naples (April-May and September-October). You’ll avoid peak tourism season and you’ll still have nice weather. Temperatures average around 22°C (72°F) which is much more tolerable.

This is especially a good time to visit Naples if your priority is going to Pompeii or Herculaneum. There will be fewer crowds and you will be a lot more comfortable exploring the ruins in cooler temperatures. There isn’t much shade at these sites and very few places to sit and take breaks.

December to February are the coldest months, with daily highs around 8°C (46°F). This isn’t the best time to visit, but prices will be a little lower and the crowds are gone.

How to Stay Safe in Naples

Naples is a very safe place to backpack and travel but often gets a bad rap for being a bit grittier than other places in Italy. Pickpocketing is the most common crime you’ll encounter here so you need to stay vigilant in crowded areas (especially on public transportation). Always keep your valuables secure and out of reach.

When taking a taxi, always make sure they use the meter so you don’t get ripped off.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (don’t leave your drink unattended at the bar, don’t walk around alone at night intoxicated, etc.).

While scams here are rare, if you’re worried about getting ripped off you can read about common travel scams to avoid here.

The Spanish Quarter is a little sketchy at night, so avoid that area after dark or if you’re alone.

If you’re walking everywhere, stay alert! The traffic in Naples is crazy, and drivers do not respond to traffic lights very well. Be careful when crossing the street.

If you experience an emergency, dial 113 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Naples Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • BlaBlaCar – BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheaper and more interesting way to travel than by bus or train!

Naples Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Italy and continue planning your trip:

Where to Stay in Milan: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Milan: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

The 6 Best Hotels in Milan

The 6 Best Hotels in Milan

The Best Walking Tours in Florence

The Best Walking Tours in Florence

The 8 Best Hotels in Rome

The 8 Best Hotels in Rome

The Best Walking Tours in Milan

The Best Walking Tours in Milan

The Best Walking Tours in Venice

The Best Walking Tours in Venice

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  • Where To Stay
  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
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Naples, Italy   Travel Guide

Courtesy of Francesco Riccardo Iacomino | Getty Images

napoli tourist information

9 Best Things To Do in Naples, Italy

Updated April 14, 2021

Naples is a sprawling city, but most of its best things to do are tucked in the pedestrian-friendly historic center. This UNESCO World Heritage site and its surroundings are home to churches like the Museo Cappella Sansevero , which doubles as an art

  • All Things To Do

napoli tourist information

Via Caracciolo e Lungomare di Napoli Via Caracciolo e Lungomare di Napoli free

For a nice seaside promenade, look no further than the Via Caracciolo e Lungomare di Napoli. Flanked by cafes and restaurants on one side and the Gulf of Naples on the other, this walkway serves as a relaxing place to stretch your legs and breathe in the fresh sea air. The views of nearby Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri add an almost magical element to this pedestrian walkway. 

Although recent visitors say a walk on Via Caracciolo e Lungomare di Napoli is a definite must-do, they recommend steering clear during the weekends when it gets "extremely crowded." Some also cautioned that vendors trying to hawk their goods can be a bit pushy, so be prepared to say a kind but firm " no, grazie " a time or two.

napoli tourist information

Museo Cappella Sansevero (Sansevero Chapel Museum) Museo Cappella Sansevero (Sansevero Chapel Museum)

The highlight of the Museo Cappella Sansevero is the "Veiled Christ," a statue created by the Neapolitan artist Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753. The famously realistic statue rests at the center of the chapel, but there are other works of art on display here, too, including the Statues of the Virtues, which portray themes like "Decorum," "Modesty" and "Sincerity." The chapel itself, in both its 18th-century architecture and design, is also a sight to behold. Once you've toured the chapel, head downstairs to the crypt, where the "Anatomical Machines" exhibit is housed. Not for the faint of heart, the exhibit features two glass cases with the skeletons of a man and woman that have their artery and vein systems exposed. It's believed these skeletons date back to 1763. 

Recent visitors reported that the "Veiled Christ" is worth the long queues. Others highly recommend reading up on the chapel's artists and history before you go to get the most out of your visit, though purchasing the audio guide is another way to do the same. Audio guides are available in a variety of languages, including English. 

napoli tourist information

Certosa e Museo di San Martino Certosa e Museo di San Martino

Founded in the 14th century as a Carthusian monastery, the Certosa e Museo di San Martino sits high above the city on Vomero hill, leaving visitors in awe of its intricate exteriors, immaculately-designed cloisters and sweeping skyline views. The interior has undergone many alterations over its centuries of existence, including contributions by famous Italian masters Giovanni Antonio Dosio and Cosimo Fanzago. Visitors will also find 17th-century works by such famed artists as Francesco Solimena, Massimo Stanzione, Jusepe de Ribera and Battista Caracciolo. What's more, the Certosa e Museo di San Martino is home to an impressive collection of antique presepi (nativity scenes). 

Recent travelers raved about the church's elaborate frescoes and its unbeatable views of the bay, the city and Mount Vesuvius. However, reviewers warned others not to make the same mistake they did by trying to walk to the monastery. After all, it's much easier (and inexpensive) to pay 1 euro ($1) to ride the funicular up the cliff and walk the rest of the way. 

napoli tourist information

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napoli tourist information

Catacombe di San Gennaro Catacombe di San Gennaro

The Catacombe di San Gennaro date back to the second century, but they became a pilgrimage site in the fifth century when San Gennaro – the patron saint who lends his name to the catacombs – was laid to rest here. Along with the underground graves, visitors will view art, including fifth-century mosaics and a third century, Pompeian-style room adorned with early Christian-themed paintings. 

One recent traveler called the tour of the catacombs the "highlight" of his trip to Naples, citing the knowledgeable (English-speaking) travel guide who retells the fascinating history of the catacombs. But this reviewer isn't alone: Most visitors agreed that the guided tour makes this attraction really come alive. Along with comfortable shoes, you'll want to bring a light sweater (even during a summer visit), as the temperature underground can vary quite a bit from the street-level climate. 

napoli tourist information

Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Naples National Archeological Museum) Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Naples National Archeological Museum)

The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli is where you'll find artifacts rescued from Pompeii and Herculaneum. The collection includes everything from Greek and Roman sculptures to intricate mosaics. The building itself is also a sight to behold, as it once served as military barracks before it became the city's main university. It didn't become a museum until Charles VII declared it so in the late 18th century. 

If you only have time for one museum on your Naples getaway, many recent travelers (and travel experts) recommend making the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli your pick. Still, more than one visitor lamented the lack of a museum cafe or other on-site refreshments (a valid complaint considering the size of the museum). Others complained about the signage, which is mostly in Italian. Though there is an audio guide available, reviewers said it only provides information on the museum highlights. 

napoli tourist information

Galleria Borbonica (Bourbon Tunnel) Galleria Borbonica (Bourbon Tunnel)

The Galleria Borbonica – or Bourbon Tunnel – is an unfinished underground passageway commissioned by King Ferdinand II and carved back in the 19th century as an escape route that would link the Royal Palace of Naples to military barracks in Via della Pace (now Via Morelli). Though the tunnel was never finished, it was used in World War II as an air raid shelter and military hospital. Along your tour of the tunnel, you'll spot debris and period relics, including vintage cars. 

According to recent visitors, the passionate (English-speaking) tour guides make a visit to the Bourbon Tunnel extraordinary. Reviewers say that although the entrances are narrow and may leave some feeling slightly claustrophobic, the tunnel widens inside. 

napoli tourist information

Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius

Two of the area's most iconic locales – Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii – can be found roughly 15 miles away from central Naples. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano left on Europe's mainland, while Pompeii, which fell victim to one of Mount Vesuvius' eruptions in A.D. 79, is a UNESCO World Heritage city that was preserved by the volcano's ash. It was not rediscovered until 1748. 

According to many travelers, the best way to view both of these sites is to see them together on a guided tour; consult our list of the best Italy tours to view traveler-approved companies. During the tour, visitors will get to hike up Mount Vesuvius and wander around Pompeii. Tours offer more background about the locales than can be learned if exploring without a guide, but keep in mind that the hike up the volcano can be a bit strenuous. 

napoli tourist information

Museo di Capodimonte Museo di Capodimonte

Originally commissioned in 1738 as a hunting lodge for Charles VII, king of Naples and Sicily, this grand palace took more than a century to construct. These days, it serves as a museum, hanging works by names like Titian, Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo da Caravaggio, among other well-known Italian and Neapolitan artists, as well as Andy Warhol. 

Some travelers say the works housed here can feel monotonous, and one visitor notes that the placards describing the works of art are only in Italian. Still, most say that the view from the palazzo is magnificent, as is the surrounding park. 

napoli tourist information

Pompeii Vesuvius day trip from Naples + Italian light lunch

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from $ 154.55

Pompeii Half Day Trip from Naples

Pompeii Half Day Trip from Naples

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from $ 71.61

Capri and Blue Grotto Day Tour from Naples or Sorrento

Capri and Blue Grotto Day Tour from Naples or Sorrento

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napoli tourist information

Via San Gregorio Armeno (Christmas Alley) Via San Gregorio Armeno (Christmas Alley) free

Nicknamed "Christmas Alley," Via San Gregorio Armeno bustles year-round with artisans hawking goods, such as nativity and celebrity statuettes, as well as the famous terracotta figurines created by Giuseppe Ferrigno. Visitors will find ornaments resembling everyone from the pope to popular football players to baby Jesus. Curiously, Elvis shows up here, too.

Some travelers call the shops that flank Christmas Alley cute and kitschy but say Via San Gregorio Armeno is worth a stroll. Even if you're not in the market to purchase any souvenirs, visitors say the area's architecture and overall ambience are perfect for a coffee, a gelato and an interesting glimpse into Naples culture. 

napoli tourist information

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Visit Naples Italy - N°1 Napoli Travel Guide

Naples travel guide - tips for tourism in naples city (napoli).

Visit Naples

All sightseeing, tourist attractions information and tourism tips for the city of Naples such as visiting the sights and highlights. What to visit in Naples (Napoli) and Pompeii in Italy? Your travel starts on

What to visit in Naples (Napoli)?

Naples , or Napoli for Italians, is a major port city in the south of Italy in the Campania region. With 4.4 million inhabitants ('Neapolitans'), it is the third largest city in Italy. The chaotic city has everything for an inspiring city trip because of the rich history, the Italian cuisine and especially in the field of art and culture, the city has a lot to offer. In addition, a short distance from the city of Naples are famous places of interest such as Pompeii , Herculaneum and the Vesuvius volcano. South of the city lies the colorful and beautiful coastal strip of the Amalfi Coast and you can easily reach the beautiful islands such as Capri off the coast of Naples by ferry. All these highlights ensure that you can easily spend a week in Naples Italy and the surrounding region. We are happy to help you during your travel with our travel guide !

Naples travel guide

Things to do in Naples Italy

Naples city has a history of about 3000 years and is one of the culturally richest cities in Europe. Although the messy city initially has a somewhat dilapidated and neglected appearance, the city has many beautiful churches, museums and monuments. In addition, it is the city of pizza, espresso and football legend Diego Maradona, who played for SC Napoli. Naples has been attracting tourists for years as a destination for a city trip and it is becoming more popular every year, although you will experience less of the feeling of mass tourism here as in Rome or Venice . A number of places of interest highlighted:

Impressive churches

The Neapolitan churches in Baroque and Renaissance style all have their own atmosphere and identity. So you have the Duomo di Napoli , the cathedral with the treasures of patron saint San Gennaro. Three times a year his clotted blood liquefies. When it doens't happen it would bring disaster upon Naples city. The San Gregorio Armeno has a baroque interior and, despite its busy interior, is a place of tranquility amidst the bustle of nativity scenes sellers in Via San Gregorio. The funerary chapel Cappella Sansevero was erected for Santa Maria della Pietá and houses large statues by the 18th century sculptors Corradini and San Martino.

Historic castles

In addition to these church buildings, there are also many castles in Naples Italy. So you have Castel Sant'Elmo on top of the Vomero hill. Here you have amazing views of the city, islands and Phlegraean fields. Castel dell'Ovo is also known as the Egg Castle. Legend has it that Roman poet Virgil placed an egg in the foundation. Should the egg break, the castle would perish. It still stands today. Yet little of the castle remains today, but it is definitely worth a visit and see the Bay of Naples.

Naples region

In the Naples region you will find the well-known places like Pompeii that you really shouldn't miss. In AD 79, the volcano of Mount Vesuvius destroyed the city and also the nearby city of Herculaneum . Today, the excavations and remains are one of the most popular attractions of a visit near Naples Italy. In addition, you have the Amalfi Coastline, which is beautiful to visit with an excursion. With several cute villages and the sea at your feet, you will have a great time at the Amalfi Coast.

Other activities in the city of Naples

These days Naples is a bustling city, but the Italian city also has a special underground network of streets and air-raid shelters. This system was already built by the Greeks and Romans and later used as air raid shelters during the war. Today you can book a tour and immerse yourself in the hundreds of kilometers of caves, tunnels and other underground passages. Official routes of Naples Underground include the Napoli Sotterranea, Galleria Borbonica and Neapolis Sotterrrata. Naples city also has a beautiful open square called Piazza del Plebiscito with the Royal Palace 'Palazzo Reale' and the Church of San Francesco di Paolo.

Top 25 Things to do in Naples

Naples guide

Neighborhoods in Napoli Italy

You need a lot of time to see and fully explore all the neighborhoods of Naples. The area you should definitely not miss is the busy and lively historic center ' Centro Antico ' with highlights such as the Spaccanapoli, beautiful churches and the nativity scene of Via San Gregorio Armeno. You also have Rione Sanità , perhaps the most beautiful neighborhood of Napoli . Nearby is the popular National Archaeological Museum . Rione Sanità is a neighborhood that breathes history. It was very popular, because in the past the king braved the streets with his carriage. The horses were replaced by oxen in the district, because only oxen were strong enough to carry the carriage to the hill of Capodimonte . Nowadays you will find coffee shops, restaurants and stalls everywhere here.

The Vomero district: best views of Napoli city

Higher up in Napoli city is Vomero . From this district you have an amazing view of the center of Naples. You can easily reach this district via cable car. Vomero is by no means boring, because here too there are cozy bars and restaurants with important sights nearby. For example the Carthusian Monastery ' Certosa di San Martino ' and the castle ' Castel Sant'Elmo '. Again, you will have an incredibly beautiful view of the city. Vomero is a neighborhood to escape the bustle of the center for a while.

Authentic Neapolitan life in Quartieri Spagnoli

The Quartieri Spagnoli is a typical Neapolitan working-class neighborhood that served as housing for the Spanish army in the 16th century. The reason was to suppress the Neapolitan revolts. Nowadays, in this neighborhood with its typical narrow streets you will find the most authentic life that the people from Naples Italy lead. Laundry hanging in the streets, screaming people and residents who keep a close eye on things on a chair in front of the house. You will also find colorful street art here that you have to see with your own eyes.

Popular in the Naples travel guide

Pompei visit

Visit Pompeii

In AD 79, the city of Pompeii was completely buried under a layer of ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The city was completely excavated from this layer of ash in the 18th century, where you can admire old Roman buildings, frescoes and mummies. The absolute top attraction in Naples.

Things to see in Naples

25x Naples things to do

What to do in Naples Italy? Would you like to know what the most important sights, monuments and activities are during your holiday or city trip in Naples? Check out this article with tourism tips about the 25 most visited highlights in Naples so that you can make your perfect itinerary.

  • Top 25 Naples


  • Mount Vesuvius

Close to the city and not to be missed in the Neapolitan skyline is the volcano Vesuvius. It is possible to visit the volcano and take a hike to the top where you can see the crater and have a great view over Napoli.

Naples Underground

  • Naples Underground

Beneath Napoli city is a whole network of old streets, squares and tunnels that tell the rich history of the city, from the Romans to the Second World War. You can, for example, make tours through Napoli Sotterranea and the Galleria Borbonica.

Naples activities

Naples Activities & Tours

In Naples you will find a wide range of activities, tours and excursions with a guide. In the article you can read more about these fun or original activities, such as a bike ride or excursions in the beautiful region of Naples city.

  • Tours & Activities

Tours from Naples Italy

Naples day trips & Amalfi Coast

Perhaps the region surrounding Naples is even more beautiful than the city itself. Visit picturesque places on the Amalfi Coast such as Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi. Or take a day trip by ferry to islands such as Capri, Procida or Ischia.

  • Excursions from Naples

Brief history 'Napoli'

  • The first inhabited area: The history of Naples begins with the legend of Parthenope, a mythical figure from Greek mythology. She fell into the sea by Odysseus and drowned. Her body washed ashore and, according to legend, was buried in what is now the boulevard and Castel dell'Ovo. Thus, that area was also named after Parthenope.
  • Naples 470 BC: The Etruscans, who won a victory over the Saracens, created a new area next to Parthenope called Neapolis. The historic city of Naples was built during this period by the Greeks. In the old center of Naples you can still see the street plan of the Greeks today.
  • Naples during the Roman period: Neapolis was taken over by the Romans in 326 BC. In the following centuries, Naples became a place for rest and recreation. Many Roman villas were built and slowly the language changed from Greek to Latin and later Italian.
  • Eruption of Mount Vesuvius: In the year 79, the volcano Vesuvius erupted, causing that the cities Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed and buried in volcanic ash. Naples also suffered massive damage.
  • Part of the Spanish: In the 15th century, Naples became part of the Spanish kingdom. This time is characterized by the many palaces to accommodate the nobles.
  • The reign of the Bourbon dynasty: In the 18th century, Naples fell under the rule of the Bourbon dynasty from Spain. During this period, the villages of Chiaia and Posillipo developed which later joined Naples and are now neighborhoods of the city. Also in this period the well-known Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte , the Palace of Caserta and Teatro San Carlo were built.
  • Unification with Italy: In the 19th century, Naples became one with Italy and lost its title as the capital. The city fell into a major crisis due to the cholera epidemic.

Best time to travel to Napoli Italy

In the city of Naples ( Napoli ) it is about 30 degrees in the high season (June to August) and 12 degrees in the low season. In the high season it is very busy with many tourists, which you have to take into account. If you want to see major sights, don't visit Naples city in July and August. You then meet crowds of people and will have long waiting times. Better opt for less busy months such as April to June, September and October. The weather is then slightly less warm and the city is also a lot less crowded. Another period of great bustle in the city is the month of December due to the Christmas atmosphere in streets such as San Gregorio Armeno.

Transport in Napoli

In Naples, several sights of the historic center are within walking distance of each other, but for a number of other highlights you'll have to rely on public transport. Naples has an excellent metro network of two metro lines and some of the hills can be reached by the 'funicolare'. For transportation to the archaeological areas of Pompeii and Herculaneum you can use good train connections that leave from the central station. You can also use the many ferries that leave from the port of Naples and connect the beautiful islands such as Capri, Procida and Ischia.

More info transport in Naples

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In the last few years Naples has become one of the favourite destinations for all those Italian and foreign tourists who love spending their holidays in cities of artistic interest. Unlike cities in which art is stored in museums and daily life happens on the streets, Naples's distinctive mark is its folclore: people living and working among the artistic beauties of the city. Tourism has become a key factor in the city's economy. These pages of our website aim to provide a series of useful or even essential information to help you get to know the city. So, welcome to Naples ! We wish you have a good stay in this wonderful place and we hope you will take pleasant memories of your holiday back home.

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Comune di Napoli

Palazzo San Giacomo, piazza Municipio, 80133 Napoli   Telefono: +39 081 7951111   PEC   Reg. presso il Tribunale di Napoli, aut. n. 5213 del 17 maggio 2001- Redazione in Napoli P. IVA 01207650639

© 2017 Comune di Napoli - Tutti i diritti riservati

Tourist information in Naples

Where to find visitor information offices in naples.

Thre are tourist offices or info desks scattered all around Naples:

  • In the Palazzo Reale at Piazza del Plebescito 1 ( tel . +39-081-252-5711)
  • Stazione Centrale train station ( tel . +39-081-268-779)
  • Via Santa Lucia 107 ( tel . +39-081-245-7475)
  • Piazza del Gesù ( tel . +39-081-551-2701)
  • Via San Carlo 9 ( tel . +39-081-402-394)
  • Piazza dei Martiri 58 ( tel . +39-081-410-7211)
  • Mergellina station ( tel . +39-081-761-2102)
  • Naples airport (tel. 081-780-5761)

Pick up a copy of the free Qui Napoli for updated inforamtion on all sights (open hours, tickets prices, etc.), events, transportation timetables, hotels, restaurants, and bascially every other useful bit of information on Naples for the visitor. (At the tourist office website— —you can also download the latest few issues to help you can plan before you go—handy.)

Tips & links

Napoli toursit office: Via San Carlo, 9 tel . +39-081402394 For more info:

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Related pages

  • Naples planning FAQ
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  • Naples sidetrips : Pompeii , Amalfi Coast , Capri , Mt. Vesuvius , Herculaneum , Caserta
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Accedi gratis alle principali attrazioni di Napoli ed ottieni sconti nelle migliori attività

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Discovering the historic centre of Naples: what to see and where to stay

napoli tourist information

Naples is the city with the largest historic centre in Europe

napoli tourist information

Naples is one of the oldest cities in Europe and with the largest historical city centre . Here you can find all the traces of its cultural influences, crossing and telling 27 century oh history. 

In 1995, a portion of its historic city centre was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique universal value, which profoundly influenced most of Europe. An incredible stage of art, history and urban expression for almost three millennia. 

The true essence of Naples is in Spaccanapoli

napoli tourist information

"Spaccanapoli" is the most characteristic road in the historical city centre of Naples. It goes from the Spanish Quarters to the district of Forcella, cutting in a straight line the city of Naples. If you watch it from San Martino in the highest part of the city, you will understand the why of its name.

In Spaccanapoli, you can find a lot of impressive Neapolitan handicraft shops.  You will discover all the stories, curiosities and anecdotes of Neapolitan tradition and folklore.

A trip in Spaccanapoli is a journey through the thousand-year history of the city, where there are not only the ancient palaces, the churches, but also the legends and the unmistakable smells of Neapolitan cuisine. 

Along the route of Spaccanapoli, you will meet beautiful churches and families living in the “bassi”, artists and artisans. But do not be surprised at anything! Spaccanapoli is not a tourist postcard, it is Naples!

Mystery and culture: the San Severo Chapel Museum

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Hidden in the alleys of the historic centre of the city.  Cappella di San Severo , also called the church of Santa Maria Della Pietà or Pietatella , is one of the most fascinating and mysterious museums in Naples .

Located in the centre of the Chapel, the Cristo Velato (Veiled Christ) is one of the most beautiful and evocative works in the world, whose image has become famous all around the world for the prodigious “weaving” of the marble veil. 

In Sansevero Chapel, there are also wonders of virtuosity as “Disinganno” and enigmatic presences as “Macchine Anatomiche”. 

Legends and unique tours: the history of Naples Underground

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The Naples that we see today rests its foundations on an ancient network of as many underground roads. In Underground Naples, we found the tunnels excavated by the Greeks when they began to extract the tuff from the subsoil to strengthen the city walls.

Over the centuries, the underground Naples has been in ferment almost as much as that on the surface. The tunnels below Naples have been used in different ways.

During World War II, the underground Naples was modified to accommodate the population during the bombing. During the war years, about four thousand people populated the underground city, waiting for the war to allow the return to daily life.

According to popular belief, Underground Naples is a place frequented by the funny “Monaciello” (monk): the spirit who inhabited the buildings of Naples; this could find money in the drawers or the jackets hanging at the entrance. But, by chance, the spirit was offended, showing little devotion or claiming not to believe in ghosts, the revenge of the "Monticello" was inevitable.

An obelisk, a church and a view of the Santa Chiara Monastery: Piazza del Gesù Nuovo

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Piazza del Gesù was born casually when the city was widening westward. It is one of the most important squares of Naples. You reach it, walking along Spaccanapoli. There are three significant monuments in the square: Gesù Nuovo Church, the Immaculate Oblisk and Santa Chiara Monastery. 

The church has a typical Neapolitan Baroque architecture, with marble, decorations and paints. According to the legend, the building was built with magic stones , able to attract positive energies. Inside the church, there is San Giovanni Bosco Chapel, where on the walls, there are thousands of ex-votos  as signs of gratitude for the miracles. 

Also, about the Square's Obelisk,  there are many legends. Watching it during some hours of the day, thanks to a game of lights and shadows, you can glimpse death's image. 

The Monastery of St Clare and the cloister with tiles

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In the beginning, the Santa Chiara Monastery was a Gothic building, then transformed into a Baroque example, till to go back to its origins after the post-war restoration. 

It was born by Roberto D'Angiò's willing and, under the Angioinians, was the fulcrum of civil and religious ceremonies. Close to the monastery, there is the famous and beautiful Majolica Cloister  with its pillars completely covered by blue, yellow and green majolicas: colours that perfectly match with their surroundings. The cloister is a proper peace oasis in the chaotic heart of Neaples. 

San Domenico Maggiore square in Naples

napoli tourist information

Piazza San Domenico Maggiore stands up in the centre of Naples as a reality unto itself, absolutely alien to the surrounding traffic. Far away by modernity, the square takes the gaze of the beholder. 

In its centre, the monumental obelisk built by the Dominicans in 1556 as gratitude for the ending of the plague . Next it, the Basilica in Baroque style. 

The square is populated, both on the day and the night, by tourists and youth. 

Airone Hotel: a stay in the historical centre of Naples

napoli tourist information

In the heart of Naples, closed the historic city centre, there is Airone Hotel . A charming hotel that fascinates all the travellers who stay there. A precious jewel set among the oldest walls of the city surprising every day its visitors. The Airone Hotel expresses grace and elegance while retaining the traditional and typical Neapolitan atmosphere.

The rooms   are welcoming, all equipped with safe, free wifi access, writing corner, wardrobe, telephone access for free. Their lovely balconies offer a city view on Via Guglielmo San Felice .

For a more enchanting view, the hotel has a roof garden . It is the terrace where they serve breakfast and where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.  Airone Hotel serves a rich ITALIAN Breakfast  or, upon request, you can have an Intercontinental breakfast for a small fee.

In Summer, on the roof, the hotel set up a comfortable solarium for you to enjoy the beautiful Neapolitan sunshine. Also, the terrace overlooking the city for events of all kinds .

According to the Anti-Covid rules , Airone Hotel works to offer its guests a  peaceful and safe holiday , introducing new procedures to make you feel safe at home, but without giving up a stay in Naples!

The hotel offers its guests its own minibus with a driver with a capacity of up to 8 people for transfers and excursions .

Book your stay ❯

Hotel Airone, Via del Cerriglio, 10, 80134 Napoli NA

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