Did you know?
Naples is home to the first pizzeria in Italy and in the whole world, which opened in 1830 and operates till today!
If we’re honest with you, going on holiday to Naples is one of the fanciest and most authentic travel experiences you’ll ever have. Why?
Because the capital of Campania has this crazy energy that blows everyone away. Art, food, spontaneity, and impeccable style blend together to create one of the most colourful and vibrant cities in Italy. Beyond any doubt, Naples is one of a kind!
If you want to find out everything about Naples, like where to go, where to stay, how to move around, and many more, keep reading and take notes!
Naples is a beautiful and vibrant coastal city nestled in the idyllic Bay of Naples. Located in the Campania region, on the southern side of Italy, Naples is considered one of the most important ports of that part of the country.
Its ideal location close to Pompeii and its wealth of architectural treasures make Naples the perfect combination of old and new. Stick with us to find out all you need to know about Naples, from its history and gastronomy to the best things to do in Naples and how to get around the city.
Naples (or Napoli) is located in the Campania region and is the third-largest town in Italy. Situated between the slopes of the active volcano Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples, this city boasts a unique beauty! Apart from its ideal location, Naples is famous for its history, culture, and food -many people declare that Naples has the most delicious pizza in Italy.
The cultural center of Naples (and the epicenter of activity in town) is Centro Storico, the historic center. There are many buildings in the historic center of Naples that belong to the UNESCO World Heritage list! Wandering the beautiful city, you’ll come across Medieval buildings, picturesque neighborhoods, Roman villas, small shops, and historical attractions like the National Archaeological Museum and Santa Chiara Church.
The best seasons to visit Naples in terms of weather is spring and fall. During these times of the year, the weather in Naples is amazing and the city is not overflowing with tourists. What’s more, prices are lower than in summer.
Naples is home to the first pizzeria in Italy and in the whole world, which opened in 1830 and operates till today!
The Duomo in Naples (Cattedrale di San Gennaro) is an imposing 13th-century Gothic cathedral built in honor of the city’s patron saint, San Gennaro. Apart from beautiful artworks, altarpieces, and frescoes, inside Duomo, you’ll find the saint’s relics along with a vial of his blood. On the day of San Gennaro’s feast (September 19th), pilgrims come to Duomo to watch the miracle of San Gennaro’s blood liquefying.
Info: Under the cathedral, there’s an archaeological zone, which includes ruins from ancient Greece and Rome.
The Piazza San Domenico Maggiore is one of the most beautiful squares in Naples! The highlight of this square is Guglia di San Domenico, an 18th-century obelisk built by monks in honor of the saint who saved the city from the epidemic of 1656. Except for the obelisk, the Piazza San Domenico Maggiore hosts the 15th-century Palazzo Petrucci and the 10th-century Church of San Domenico Maggiore. Visit the church to see the early Renaissance artworks and frescoes, some copies of works by Caravaggio and Titian, as well as the tombs of the Anjou dynasty.
The National Archaeological Museum of Naples (Museo Archeologico Nazionale) was established in the 18th century by King Charles VII. Inside it, you’ll find an amazing collection of Greek and Roman artifacts, like sculptures, ancient epigraphs, ancient relics, as well as a collection of mosaics from Pompeii’s Casa del Fauno.
Tip: If you want to upgrade your museum experience, join the Secret Cabinet tour, during which you’ll get to see erotic works from Pompeii.
This is one of the best family-friendly things to do in Naples. The Capodimonte Park in Naples includes a museum, a garden, and an observation deck, offering plenty of activities for adults and kids. In the Capodimonte Museum, you’ll find an art gallery that hosts a selection of paintings by Titian, Botticelli, Raphael, and Perugino. Other than that, the art gallery includes ancient Roman sculptures, 18th-century antique furniture, as well as majolica and porcelain pottery. After you have visited the museum, head to the 134-hectares Capodimonte Park, one of the biggest parks in Italy, which boasts an incredible selection of 400 different plant species!
Tip: Don’t forget to take advantage of the photography opportunities that the picture-perfect Capodimonte Park offers!
Castel Nuovo, which means “New Castle”, is an imposing Medieval castle that lies in front of Piazza Municipio in Naples. It was built in 1279-1282 by King Charles I of Anjou and was the base of the kings of Naples, Aragon, and Spain until 1815. Today, Castel Nuovo hosts the Civic Museum, which displays frescoes, paintings of important artists like Battistello Caracciolo and Fabrizio Santafede, and bronze sculptures from the Middle Age.
Tip: We highly recommend that you book a tour at Castel Nuovo. The tour will get you around all the areas of the castle, like the Armoury Hall, the Charles V Hall, and the Sala della Loggia.
The 170-acre Botanical Gardens of Naples is one of the most impressive places to visit in Naples, especially if you are a nature lover. This paradisiacal public garden comprises a facility of the University of Naples Federico II and hosts over 10,000 plant species, some of them endangered. In the Botanical Gardens of Naples, there’s also the 5,400 square foot Merola Greenhouse and the Museum of Paleobotany and Ethnobotany.
Shops in Naples are open from Monday till Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Supermarkets and department stores are usually open all day long every day of the week, including Sundays.
The history of Naples goes way back to 600 BC when it was founded as “Neapolis”, which means “new city” in Greek. It was initially a Greek settlement, like the nearby Parthenope, a mainland colony older than Naples.
Naples has always been strongly influenced by the Greek culture, even after it became part of the Roman Empire and a major cultural center of the Roman Republic. As the centuries went by, Naples was also influenced by several civilizations that lived there.
Naples is easily accessible from other Italian cities, like Rome and Sorrento as well as from most European cities by several direct and indirect flights.
Taking a plane is the easiest and fastest way to get to Naples, especially if you’re traveling from abroad. Naples International Airport, the fifth busiest airport in Italy, lies 7 km northeast of Naples city center, in the suburb of San Pietro a Patierno. It serves about 250 daily flights to/from Naples by international airline companies, like EasyJet, Ryanair, and Volotea. There are direct flights to Naples from 34 countries including the US, Africa, and countries of the Middle East.
Taking a ferry is a good way to travel to Naples from other cities or islands in Italy. Naples is also a great base for excursions to nearby destinations. There are two ports in Naples, Molo Beverello and Mergellina. Molo Beverello, which is located in the city center, is the main port of Naples. There are frequent ferry connections between Naples and nearby destinations, like Capri, Procida, Ischia, Salerno, Positano, Amalfi, and Sorrento. The routes from Naples to Ischia and from Naples to Capri are the most popular ones.
Info: The types of ferries that serve itineraries to/from Naples are high-speed ferries, catamarans, hydrofoils, and car ferries.
Getting to Naples by train is a good option if you’re traveling from another Italian or European city. The main railway station in Naples is Napoli Centrale (Naples Central Station). It is located next to Piazza Garibaldi, in the eastern part of the city. Napoli Centrale is also the main railway station in southern Italy and the sixth biggest train station in the country.
Napoli Centrale train station serves high-speed trains (Frecciarossa) and InterCity trains. It is also connected with an underground station, Stazione di Napoli Piazza Garibaldi (Naples Garibaldi Piazza station), and Circumvesuviana trains that serve itineraries to Sorrento, Pompeii, and other regional destinations (getting from Naples to Pompeii by train is a bucket list experience!). The rail companies that serve the suburban itineraries are Trenitalia, Ferrovia Cumana, Circumvesuviana, and Metronapoli.
From Naples central train station depart trains to many southern and northern towns. One of the most popular train itineraries is the one from Rome to Naples, which lasts for 1 hour and 10 minutes by a high-speed train. Another scenic route is from Florence to Naples by train, which lasts for 3 hours.
Getting to Naples by car is a good option if you want to travel independently or if Naples is included in your road trip itinerary. You can reach Naples through major motorways, like the Autostrada A1 that connects Naples with Milan, the A3 that connects Naples with Salerno, and the A16 (Autostrada dei Due Mari) that connects Naples with Canosa. Naples to Amalfi Coast and Naples to Sorrento are two of the most popular car routes from Naples.
The historic center of Naples (Centro Storico) is the best place to stay if you’re visiting Naples for the first time. Most points of interest in Naples are concentrated in the historical center, so you’ll be close to everything. The narrow cobblestone alleys, the Medieval charm, and the picturesque piazzas of Naples city center ooze a nostalgic charm that will most definitely steal your heart! Some attractions you have to visit in Centro Storico are the Duomo, Via San Gregorio Armeno, and Santa Chiara.
The best family-friendly neighborhood to stay in Naples is Piazza del Plebiscito, which is close to the main attractions in Naples, the Centro Storico, and the sea. Piazza del Plebiscito itself is a large public square that hosts the Royal Palace and the church of San Francesco di Paola, two of the most beautiful buildings of the city!
Tip: Enjoy a shot of espresso at the Gran Caffe Gambrinus, the oldest cafe in Naples.
Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarters) is an ideal neighborhood to stay if you’re traveling on a budget. Located in the center of the town, close to the main points of interest in Naples, Quartieri Spagnoli is a go-to option for those who want to stay in Naples without breaking the bank. The streets of Quartieri Spagnoli are packed with traditional pizzerias and cafes, so you don’t have to look far for a delicious slice of the renowned Napoli pizza!
Perched on the top of a hill, near the city center, Vomero is where the heart of Naples’ nightlife beats! One of the most luxurious and green neighborhoods in Naples, Vomero is an absolute must-visit for hip travelers! The bustling streets of Vomero are lined with a collection of high-end boutiques and elegant Napolitan restaurants for every taste. What’s more, the elevated position of the Vomero district offers a panoramic view of the historical city center and the Gulf of Naples.
The bus, the tram, the Metro, and funicular railway comprise the public transportation network of Naples, which is regulated by Unico Campania.
The tickets for the public means of transportation in Naples are divided depending on the amount of time they are valid (hourly, daily, monthly, or annual). A single journey ticket is valid for 90 minutes and costs 1 euro.
Tip: If you’re planning to stay in Naples for 2-3 days, we recommend that you purchase Unico Artecard, a 3-day tourist pass. This pass grants access to all the public means of transportation and free entrance in two popular attractions, including the National Archaeological Museum, Pompeii, and Herculaneum.
Naples is a walkable city, so it can be explored on foot. Walking around the city, you’ll enjoy its architecture and take in the scenery. Besides, the total area of the city is about 10 square miles!
Buses and trams are probably the most comfortable means of public transportation in Naples. Most buses pass from the Garibaldi square, a central hub with a tourist information center. Given that many buses serve several routes throughout the city, you may feel confused as to which bus to take. Our recommendation is to print or take a photo of the transport map so that you can find your way easily!
Tip: If you want an express sightseeing experience, consider embarking on the hop-on-hop-off buses in Naples and going on a city tour!
The Metro network consists of 3 lines (Line 1, Line 2, and Line 6). Line 1 is the most popular metro line, widely used by tourists, as it connects the Central Station with Centro Storico. The Universita station is a very central Metro station, as it is close to the port, the historic center, and many points of interest. Another metro station that will serve you is the Museo Station, which is close to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Lines 6 and 2 are of limited use at the moment.
Aside from the metro, there are 4 funicular railways that pass through underground tunnels -not a great means of transportation for those who want to enjoy the view. These railways get you to the picturesque Vomero district, where you’ll marvel at the panoramic view of the city and the sea.
We don’t recommend getting around the historic center of Naples by car, because traffic is frequently chaotic. However, if you want to go on a day trip from Naples to the nearby towns, you can rent a car at several points throughout the city. To rent a car in Naples, you’ll need to have an international driving license and an international credit card.
An alternative to cars is taxis. Although pricey, the taxi is a convenient means of transportation in Naples. You can call a taxi through your phone or get a taxi from one of the various taxi parking lots throughout the city. Keep in mind that on holidays and at the weekends from 22.00 till 7.00 in the morning, there is an additional cost besides the usual taxi fare.
One of the things you need to know about Naples is that it is relatively cheap compared to other Italian superstars like Milan and Venice. So, if you want to travel to Italy without breaking the bank, Naples might be an ideal option to consider. In Naples, you’ll find a great selection of budget-friendly hotels, hostels, and apartments. Popular activities, like a trip to Pompeii from Naples, are quite cheap, too! Restaurants in Naples are also cheaper than in Rome and Venice, especially if you search for places off the beaten tourist trail.
Alternatively, you can plan to visit Venice off-season, when hotels are way cheaper and the city is less crowded. As for entertainment, it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive! Walking, sightseeing, and exploration are some of the best things to do in Naples for free.
So, generally speaking, you’ll spend about €80 ($87) per day during your holiday in Naples, which is way cheaper than your daily spend in other Italian cities. More specifically, you’re going to spend about €20 ($21.30) on food and drinks per day and about €9 ($9.78) on tickets for public transportation. As for accommodation, a double room at a hotel in Naples costs about €90 ($98) per night. Of course, these estimated daily spends may differ from season to season.
This is a must-try throughout the country, but Naples prides itself on making the best pizza in Italy! Besides, the first-ever pizzeria was founded in Naples a couple of centuries ago. The traditional pizza in Naples is the Margherita pizza, which is topped with fiordilatte mozzarella cheese or buffalo mozzarella, scrumptious tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, and olive oil! However, the uniqueness of pizza Napoletana lies in the fluffy dough, which is baked in a wood oven. Yummy, right?
Frittata di Pasta is a very interesting dish that will make you forget everything you knew about pasta! This Italian delicacy is made with spaghetti, eggs, bacon, and mozzarella cheese, which are mixed and deep-fried. The final result looks like a big omelet! You can enjoy Frittata di Pasta along with some freshly baked bread and a glass of local wine at many restaurants in Naples.
Calzone is a traditional delicacy similar to pizza, only folded. It consists of fluffy dough usually filled with cheese, ham, tomato sauce, and other local ingredients. Calzone might look smaller in size than pizza, but -don’t be fooled- it is very filling!
Parmigiana di Melanzane (eggplant parmigiana) is a typical Sunday meal in Naples. It consists of layers of fried slices of eggplants topped with mozzarella, parmesan, and tomato sauce. An ideal dish for vegetarians!
Babà is a sweet delicacy worth tasting! It is a soft yeast cake soaked in limoncello or rum (Baba’ al rum) and topped with whipped cream and fruits. It is a very interesting traditional sweet treat that’s often hard to describe. You have to try it yourself along with a glass of local limoncello!
Italy’s healthcare system (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN)) is one of the best in the world and is free for citizens. However, if you’re an EU citizen, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is all you need for free medical care in public hospitals in Italy. If you are a non-European citizen, you should opt for private health insurance in most cases.
In case of emergency, you should go to the pronto soccorso (casualty section) of a public hospital, where you can receive treatment. Make sure you have your ID/passport and Health Care card with you.
Vaccinations for mumps, pertussis, measles, rubella, polio, pneumococcal, and hepatitis B are recommended by the World Health Organization.
The World Health Organization recommends that all people traveling to Italy should make sure that their routine vaccines (diphtheria, measles, tetanus, rubella, mumps, polio, and hepatitis B) are up to date.
Summer in Naples is hot and humid. Some key items you need to pack are a bathing suit, a pair of flip-flops, a pair of shorts, a hat, some cotton t-shirts, and a pair of comfortable sandals, suitable for walking. A light jacket might also come in handy, as the temperature tends to drop at night.
Fall in Naples isn’t too cold, but it is rainy, so you need to pack accordingly. We advise you to pack a raincoat, a pair of waterproof boots, a pair of jeans, long sleeve shirts, and a couple of warm cardigans.
Winter in Naples is cold and rainy, so warm and waterproof clothes are a must! Make sure you pack a rain jacket, a pair of waterproof boots, a pair of gloves, woolen trousers, knitted sweaters, and an umbrella.
In spring, the temperature in Naples starts to rise, but there’s still a high chance of rain. Some key items you need to have with you are long-sleeve shirts, a raincoat, a medium-weight jacket, some pairs of jeans, and a pair of comfortable sneakers.
Do you have any tips or recommendations about travelling to Naples? Tell us in the comments! If you liked this article, don’t forget to share it on Social Media!
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