If you are in the planning stages of a visit to "La Bella Napoli", the first question you may be grappling with is "where should I book a hotel in Naples?" It may be harder than you think to decide where to base yourself in the city, as Naples has a number of very different and unique neighborhoods spread across the downtown and surrounding hills, despite being relatively compact. It's not easy to decide on one convenient location that is central to all the main sights in the city.
Here are a few tips to help you decide where to book a hotel in Naples, Italy.
The most convenient place to stay in Naples is the historic center of the city, where it's easy to reach most museums, churches, and monuments and take in the highlights if you have limited time.
Naples' famed "centro storico" is laid out in a grid fashion like many ancient Greek and Roman cities, with north/south and east/west roads called Decumani and Cardini. The entire quarter can be explored on foot, so if your base is in the historic center you can walk to many of the city's most famous attractions, including Spaccanapoli, San Gregorio Armeno, the cathedral, the Veiled Christ, Naples Underground, and many museums.
From the city's heart, it's easy to take public transportation to other areas of the city, from the seafront to the hillside residential quarters, and from the train station to the port.
Be Careful Around the Station
Like in all large cities, in Naples the area directly surrounding the Napoli Centrale train station is not the best choice for booking a hotel. The area is safe to explore by day, using the same precautions one would use in any large city (avoid large and expensive pieces of jewelry and watches, keep your eye on your camera and wallet, and store your cash and documents in a safe place), but we suggest booking a hotel in another area of the city.
In the Decumani area, you'll find hotels and other accommodations to suit any budget and travel style, including numerous B&Bs set in historic palaces and residences. The historic center is also crowded with pizzerias, restaurants, cafès, and clubs.
If you're considering booking a hotel in the historic center of Naples, great choice! That said, keep in mind a few things:
We strongly discourage you from driving and parking in the historic center, and many areas are closed to non-resident traffic and the parking garages are very expensive (up to EUR 6/hour).
The entire historic center is very crowded, especially on the weekend. If you are looking for a more quiet and peaceful spot to stay, you may want to consider another area of the city.
The neighborhood around the university offers budget hotel options and is well-located for touring, but keeping mind that students love to stay out until the late hours and you may find your room is noisy until dawn!
Choose a hotel in the Chiaia neighborhood if you want to be near the major attractions in Naples while enjoying an authentically local atmosphere. There aren't many attractions located in this area, but it is strategically located along the seafront not far from Piazza Plebiscito and the historic center, and is well-served by the metro and other public transit.
Stretching from Piazza dei Martiri to Piazza Amedeo and covering a number of sidestreets, Chiaia is thick with elegant clubs, restaurants, shops, and cafés. The historic palaces and villas in this area are now home to residences, B&Bs, and suites.
Naples' Exclusive Neighborhood
Chiaia is an elegant quarter of Naples, and considered one of the most exclusive in the city. Hotel prices reflect this, but if your budget can handle a slightly more expensive accommodation, this area is an excellent base for exploring the city.
The seafront, or Lungomare, is perfect for those who want great views over Naples' bay and the coastline.
The views of the Bay of Naples, Sorrentine Peninsula, and Capri are magnificent, and there are numerous A-list attractions along and near the seaside promenade, including Castel dell'Ovo and Borgo Marinari, the Santa Lucia fountain, Villa Pignatelli, Mergellina, and Via Partenope.
From Naples' seaside promenade, you can also easily reach Piazza Plebiscito and the historic center either by taxi or on foot, as well as the ports where ferries to the islands and Sorrento depart.
The Most Famous Hotels in Naples
Though the city's seaside promenade is lined with everything from boutique hotels to exclusive residences, this stretch along the Bay of Naples is mostly famous for its grand dame hotels, some of the most luxurious in the city. These hotels cater to tourists, business travelers, and VIPs who are visiting Naples for pleasure or work. Expect sky-high rates that match the elegance of the hotels!
Over the past few years, Naples' Lungomare has become largely pedestrian only and is lined with restaurants and pizzerias with open-air tables, market stalls, food stands, and gelato vendors. You can also rent a bike or rickshaw to pedal along the Bay of Naples. This area also hosts a number of events with street artists and musicians in the summer months.
If you are looking for a hotel that's a little out of the ordinary and want to enjoy an authentically local neighborhood, or if this isn't your first visit to the city and you'd like to explore a little further afield, we suggest you consider booking an accommodation in one of Naples' two hillside neighborhoods: Vomero and Posillipo. These areas are elegant and safe, home to upscale restaurants, clubs, markets, and shops of all kinds.
Posillipo is a neighborhood known for its spectacular views over the Bay of Naples, but it is not well-connected to the rest of the city. Choose this area if you want to take a break from the urban bustle or if you want to take a deep dive into the true Neapolitan marine culture and traditions.
Vomero is home to a handful of important landmarks, including Castel Sant'Elmo the Charterhouse of San Martino. You can also easily reach the Parco Virgiliano from this area, with its breathtaking views over the islet of Nisida. From Vomero, you can take a jaunt to the Capodimonte district, where the famed palace, garden, and museum are located.
If you are thinking of booking a hotel in this neighborhood, try to choose an accommodation near one of the stops along Metro line 1 that runs between Vomero and the historic center, train station, and port.