Naples Travel Guide
Naples is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities of Italy. Friendly locals, delicious cuisines, wonderful archaeology, and amazing views will make you come back to Naples again and again. The food, hotels, and shopping is inexpensive here, which makes it a perfect place to visit for budget travelers. View our travel guide to Naples with recommendations for things to see, where to stay, transport, sightseeing tours and how to save money and visit on a budget.
Activities, Tours & Things to Do in Naples
Top Reasons to Visit Naples
If you have always dreamed of visiting Italy, or are keen on an authentic city break, Naples really should be added to your list of potential destinations.
Most places in Italy like Rome, Milan, and Florence are packed with tourists, which makes it difficult for travellers to enjoy an authentic Italian experience. If you want to spend your time away from the hustle and bustle of Rome for example, then you should visit Naples. A trip to Naples will make you understand the real life of Italians as you can spend time with them and hear the historical stories of Italy. Moreover, it is an inexpensive city as Naples does not attract as many tourists as the other cities listed above.
There are also incredible attractions to visit including; beautiful churches, enormous castles, and the royal palace, among others. You will also get to taste some of the best authentic Italian cuisine in the world as there are piazzas and restaurants located in every corner of the city.
How to Get to Naples
Capodichino is Naples International Airport, which is located about 7kms away from the centre of the city. This airport links Naples with several Italian, European, and US destinations.
Flight times from the UK are around 2 hours 40 minutes and return journeys usually cost around £100-£200 with low cost airlines depending on the time of year you book.
Airlines which fly to Naples from the UK include:
- British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, Thomas Cook and TUI.
Other airlines flying to Naples from international destinations include:
- Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Aer Lingus, Air France, Air Italy, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Blue Air, Brussels Airlines, EgyptAir, EL AL Israel Airlines, eurowings, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, SWISS, Turkish Airlines, and Vueling.
For the best deals and cheapest prices we recommend searching flights on Skyscanner.
Getting to Naples By Train
If you are planning to visit Italy and would prefer to arrive in Naples by train then the main station is Napoli Piazza Garibaldi. There are several trains that depart from here for various cities in Northern and Southern Italy like Rome, Florence, Milan, etc. Depending on the train that you select, the ticket fares will vary. Moreover, if you book in advance then you can find discounted rates too.
How to Get from Naples Airport to the City Center:
Once your flight lands at the airport, you can take a taxi or Alibus for reaching your hotel/destination. Another option you have is to rent a car and indpendently drive to your accommodaton, places in Naples and other locations in Italy.
Weather & Best Time to Visit Naples
Summer is the most popular time of year to visit Naples and accommodation is most expensive from June to August. Avoid this time if you are not a fan of the heat and are also going to be on a budget. April/May and September/October are recommended months to arrive when the weather is cooler and prices for accommodation and flights are cheaper.
Where to Stay in Naples
You can find lots of accommodation including hotels, hostels, appartments and AirBnB. There are lots of budget hotels which are great value whilst if you are really on a shoestring budget a hostel dorm room is your best way to keep your costs down. If you are looking for somewhere cheap to stay in Naples, use Hostelbookers or Booking.com to search for budget accommodation and book well in advance to get the best prices.
Best Hostels in Naples
Hostels dorm rooms generally cost around £8-£20. Prive rooms are usually also available. These are some of the best and also cheapest hostels to stay in Naples:
Giovanni's Home, La Controra Hostel Naples, Hostel Mancini, Hostel of the Sun
Best Budget Hotels in Naples
There are lots of hotels to choose from for all budgets. A general room costs around £20-£30 per night. These are recommendations for budget hotels in Naples you will love:
- Palazzo Carafa della Spina, Ambo: 55 e 72, Nina s'House, Factory Design, Hotel San Pietro, Toledo 700, Bitré, B&B Dell'Opera, Napolart, il-terno all'8
Best Places to Visit in Naples
Here are some of top things to do in Naples and essential places to add to your travel itinerary. Most can be visited by foot whilst others you will need to use public bus, metro or an organised local tour.
1. Piazza del Plebiscito
The impressive Piazza del Plebiscito is the most famous square in Naples, home to the Royal Palace and the Basilica Royal. Get your camera ready for some amazing shots.
2. Mount Vesuvius
Naples is located at the base of world’s most dangerous volcano; Mount Vesuvius. It is an active volcano that has caused lot of damage to Italy; yet, it is absolutely safe to plan your trip to Naples. Travelers usually visit Mount Vesuvius for trekking as the view from the top are mesmerizing.
3. National Archaeological Museum
The artifacts that are found by archaeologists during the excavation in Pompeii, Stabiae, and Herculaneum are displayed at the National Archaeological Museum. With more than 2,500 items on display, the museum is considered to be one of the largest in Italy. The museum opens at 9am each day and closes at 7:30pm. Except Tuesdays, the museum is open on all days. You can buy the entrance ticket at the counter right outside the museum. A single ticket costs EUR 12 per traveler and European residents / travelers under the age of 18 can enter for free of cost.
4. Palazzo Reale
Palazzo Reale is one of the best Royal Palaces in Italy located in the Piazza del Plebiscito opposite the Basilica Reale. Here you can see statues of previous kings of Naples and inside you will be awstruck by the luxury design and well preserved rooms.
5. Castel dell’Ovo
If you head to the coast it is hard to miss the dell’Ovo castle which is now accessible on foot or car. This is the oldest fortification in Naples and inside you can check out exhibitions and information about the history of the castle.
6. Castel Nuovo
Looming high over the Naples skyline this medieval castle is a great place to check out and hard to miss. Also known as Maschio Angioino, this castle is located in front of Piazza Municipio and the city hall in central Naples. The castle was first built in 1279 and it's imposing and unique structure makes it one of the main architectural landmarks of the city.
7. Sansevero Chapel
The Cappella Sansevero is a chapel located on Via Francesco de Sanctis 19, just northwest of the church of San Domenico Maggiore, in the historic center of Naples, This is one of the most impressive churches in the heart of Naples, and the design is amazing.
8. Naples Harbour
Walk down to the Naples harbour to see ships, yachts, luxury boats and amazing sea views. We recommend going to relax and enjoy the swanky cafes, bars and restaurants of Porto di Mergellina.
9. Santa Lucia
For a local experience head to the Santa Lucia area with it quent cobbled streets, shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. Santa Lucia is located close to the Piazza del Plebiscito, and is still relatively un-touristy so great for taking photos and seeing locals going about their normal lives.
10. San Gennaro Catacombs
Located near the Basilica dell’Incoronata in the north of Naples, the San Gennaro Catacombs is a spooky uderground tunnel complex home to 3000+ burials.
Free / Low Cost Things to Do in Naples
Wandering around Naples by foot is free and a great way to see historical cultural attractions and experience Neapolitan life at its best. How much you spend depends on what you want to do and if you want to do any day trips. Naples is very cheap compared to other Italian cities and you can get by on a small bugdet.
Best Day Trips From Naples
These are places within a short distance from Naples which are worth checking out:
Your trip to Naples would be incomplete if you do not visit Pompeii, which is an archaeological site. It is a well-preserved and extremely vast ruin that displays the life of ancient Romans. You can reach south-west Pompeii by taking the Circumvesuviana train that runs from Naples and Sorrento. If you travel by local buses, then you will reach the east of Pompeii. The entrance ticket per adult is EUR 15 each day. On every first Sunday of the month, visitors can enter Pompeii for free of cost.
The ancient ruins of Herculaneum are an underrated destination. This city was destroyed by the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius and is similar to Pompeii but less touristy.
One of the most popular destinations in southern Italy, Capri is a great place to visit on a day out. To get here you can catch a ferry from Naples and the trip takes around 2 hours. In Capri you can see beautiful Italian villages, see yachts in the Marina Grande, view amazing scenery from the top of Monte Solaro and see the Blue Grotto Sea Cave.
Best Beaches in Naples
These are some of the best beaches in or within easy reach of Naples:
- Miseno and Miliscola beaches
- Gaiola beach
- Lo Scoglione
- Ieranto, Sorrento Peninsula
- Arienzo, Amalfi Coast
Naples Travel Tips
Here are some important travel tips which will come in useful if you are visiting Naples for the first time:
- Most local shops do not offer the opportunity to exchange currency. So, ensure you have enough local currency (Euro) before you step out for shopping or traveling. We recommend buying in advance before departure to get the best deals as if you use a local ATM you will usually be charged a fee.
- The roads in Naples are narrow and poorly-maintained, it is recommended to walk slowly and carefully especially as traffic can be chaotic, confusing, and noisy. Take caution when crossing streets!
- Compared to other destinations in Italy and Europe, Naples is not a neat and clean city, so you will have to ignore the trash you get on the streets and roads and just try to enjoy the city for what it is
- Bring along your best travel shoes so that you walk comfortably on the streets of Naples. Also, ensure that you get your hiking shoes too for climbing Mount Vesuvius.
- You will find most locals do not speak English unless in the main tourist attractions. Try to learn some basic Italian words which will not only make your experience easier, it will also be fun to see locals reaction.
- If you would like to visit multipe destinations in the country in the same trip then check out adventure tours of Italy.
Where to Eat & Drink
Naples is home to some of the best Italian food in the country, here are our top tips for eating out:
- Enjoy the authentic Italian cuisines from the local restaurants and snack bars that are located all around the city. The various kinds of pizzas should not be missed as they are fresh and delicious. If you try restaurants around the back streets you will get much better value for money than the main squares.
- Spend time shopping at local markets in Naples. You will be able to find antiques, souvenirs, clothing, food etc. These can be purchased for affordable prices especially if you bargain for prices in Italian.
- The grapes grown at the base of Pompeii are of a unique variety. The locals make exclusive wine from these grapes and if you drink wine, then you should not miss this one!
- You can find supermarkets and local shops selling food and drink which is a great way to save money and avoid eating at restraurants everyday.
Naples has a reputation but if you are careful and take pre-cautions you shouldn't experience any problems. Pickpocketing is common in some of the areas of the city; so, you should be extra vigilant of your belongings especially at night. Do not carry important documents like passports, visas, etc. to the local markets. Instead, keep them safely in the locker of your hotel. The same goes for expensive gadgets and jewelry, try not to leave them behind or don't flash then when out sightseeing.
Our Naples travel guide was written by Aistis Strelciunas. This city really is a unique cultural experience. So, what are you waiting for. Book your fight, pack your bags and get ready to explore this facsinating city for yourself. Your trip will certainly be an unforgettable one! Or if you have ever been to Naples and would like to share your experience or advice leave feedback in the comments section below.