Glorious and gritty, historic and happening, sprawling but with a small-town sense of warmth, Naples can both captivate and confound. Often overlooked for blockbusters like Rome and Venice, the largest city in southern Italy has enough dazzling historical sites, sumptuous art and architecture, and thriving street life to hold its own against the most famous cities in Europe. Not to mention its fabulous traditional cuisine, infectious soccer (football) obsession, and dreamy spot on its eponymous bay.
If you’re wondering whether you should visit Naples, here are a few reasons why this buzzy city should top your next Italy itinerary.
Is Naples worth visiting?
Naples is a fascinating city, with colorful streetlife and a rich history, and there's plenty to explore in this Italian metropolis. Here are three reasons why Naples Italy is worth a stop:
1. Naples is home to some of the best food in Italy
Whether you're looking for traditional pizza and pasta or something more unique, you'll find it here. And with so many great Neapolitan restaurants to choose from, you're sure to find something to suit your taste and budget.
2. Some of Italy's most iconic landmarks are located in Naples
Culture vultures will find plenty to see and do in this city thick with imposing fortresses, baroque churches, and ornate palaces. And if you're a fan of classic or contemporary art, you'll be spoiled for choice with the numerous museums and galleries on offer. And Teatro San Carlo is one of the finest opera houses in Italy.
3. Naples is famous for its lively atmosphere
From the bustling streets of the historic center to the throbbing clubs and bars of the Vomero district, there's always something going on in this city. So if you're looking for a vibrant and exciting place to visit, Naples is definitely worth considering.
What is Naples Italy known for?
Naples is best known for its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine. Set on the Mediterranean Sea, Naples has a long history as a major trading port. This has helped to create a diverse and cosmopolitan city, with influences from around the world. One of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, Naples was founded by the Greek settlers in the 8th century BC and has long been a major cultural hub for art, literature, music, and food.
Is Naples tourist friendly?
Though it may not be as famous as Rome, Florence, or Venice, Naples is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, and for good reason. The city is home to a wealth of historical and cultural attractions, from the world-famous National Archaeological Museum to the Royal Palace of Naples. Visitors can also enjoy beautiful views of the city from atop Mount Vesuvius, or take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque streets of the historic center. In addition, Naples is well-known for its delicious food, and there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. Whether you're looking to explore Italy's rich history or simply enjoy some good food and wine, Naples is definitely a tourist-friendly city.
Is Naples Italy cheap?
Prices for things like hotels, dining, museum tickets, and tours in Naples are the same or slightly less than what you would expect to pay in other major Italian cities. However, there are some ways to save money while visiting Naples.
Eat like a local.
Pizzas are cheap and plentiful in Naples, so take advantage! Skip the fancy restaurants and stick to the local pizzerias for your meals.
Walk or take public transportation.
With so much to see in the compact historic, there's no need to spend money on taxi rides or rental cars. Walking is a great way to explore Naples and the city is famous for its contemporary art metro stops.
Shop at local markets.
If you're looking for souvenirs or gifts, head to one of the city's many markets instead of the high-end stores. You'll find better prices and unique items that you won't find anywhere else.
Is Naples dangerous?
While Naples is not without its share of crime, it is generally considered to be safe for tourists. The most common dangers in Naples are petty crimes like pickpocketing and scams, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables close. However, as long as you exercise caution, there is no need to avoid Naples entirely. Just use your common sense and you should have no trouble enjoying your time in Naples.
What is a popular food in Naples?
Pizza reigns supreme in Naples, and UNESCO-listed “pizza napolitana” is the city’s pride and joy. The city is home to countless pizzerias, from the famous landmark eateries to hole-in-the-wall storefronts, and you can get unforgettable pies at both. But the city’s cuisine doesn’t stop at pizza. There are also great street food options like “cuoppo” (a paper cone of fried seafood), frittatine di pasta (pasta fritters), and panzerotti (a fried pizza pocket with mozzarella and tomato sauce inside).
The city is also known for its traditional pasta dishes, from pasta alla genovese and spaghetti alle vongole to local versions of ragù and lasagne, and fresh fish and seafood. To top it off, the city’s classic desserts are a must to satisfy your sweet tooth. Feast on sfogliatella, babà al rhum, pastiera napolitana, and zepple di San Giuseppe.
How many days you need to visit Naples Italy?
How many days you need to visit Naples really depends on how deep you want to delve into the city’s history, culture, and dining scene. You can get an overview of the historic center of Naples and pop into a few of the major sights (Castel dell’Ovo, Castel Nuovo, Piazza del Plebiscito, the Duomo, the nativity scene shops on Via di San Gregorio Armeno, and the Cappella Sansevero with its 18th-century “Veiled Christ” statue) in one day. But if you want to explore more of the city and outlying area, you’ll need at least three days.
With at least three days in the city, you’ll have time to explore the city’s underground treasures like the Bourbon Tunnel (Galleria Barbonica), Catacombs of San Gennaro, and Naples Underground. You can also take the funicular up to its scenic hills and hilltop sights like the Charterhous of San Martino and Capodimonte Museum. Finally, you’ll have time to go deeper than the most famous sightseeing attractions and discover areas like the scrappy Spanish Quarters and elegant Chiaia.
How do people spend 3 days in Naples?
How do I spend a day in Naples?
How do you spend an afternoon in Naples?
If you have very limited time to cover the must-see attractions in Naples, your best bet is to join a guided tour of the city center. With a walking tour, you can cover much of the historic center and its gems in just a few hours without wasting time trying to navigate your way around its worren of streets with a map or travel guide. With the time you save, you can pop into a city cafe for a true Neapolitan espresso, dig into an authentic “pizza napolitana”, or nibble your way through the city’s many street-food stands.
Book a guided tour of the city center
Where to visit near Naples Italy?
Some of the most iconic sights and destinations in Italy are located within an hour from the city of Naples. Mt. Vesuvius and the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum are easily reached from the city center, as is Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Ferries run from the city’s busy port to the islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida in the Bay of Naples regularly, making for an easy day trip by sea.
The ancient city of Pompeii (and the nearby buried city of Herculaneum) is located about 30 minutes outside the city, and easy to reach via the Circumvesuviana commuter train line or by car. Pompeii is one of the most popular day trips from Naples, since you can get there and back plus tour the ruins to admire the frescoes and mosaics in the preserved villas, baths, temples, theaters, in a single morning or afternoon.
Is Naples a good base to visit Amalfi Coast?
The Amalfi Coast is farther from Naples than most people thing (consider that it takes about 1.5 hours to drive from Naples to Positano), so it’s probably not the best option if you plan on spending multiple days exploring Campania’s famous stretch of coastline. If you’d like to plan a day trip to the coast to check off two or three towns (Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello are the most famous) in one go, than Naples is an excellent jumping-off point. The fastest and easiest way to reach the Amalfi coast from Naples is via the ferry, which lets you avoid the snarled traffic along the coastal highway to make the most of your time.