Are you planning to visit Naples and wondering where to go and what to see in Naples? Check out our 30 places to visit and the best things to do in Naples, an overview of admission fees and opening times, and where to buy tickets for sights in Naples.
- Naples: the overlooked jewel of southern Italy
- Sights and things to do in Naples
- Sights in Naples: practical information
- Where to stay in Naples
- Naples: map of sights, restaurants and accommodation
Do you love history, beautiful nature and great food? Then you will love Naples too.
When I first mentioned at home that I wanted to visit Naples, Petya jokingly replied that he wasn’t going there, that it was all mafia and whatnot. That’s exactly the reputation Naples has. A reputation as a dangerous city that has led many tourists to dismiss Naples.
But the reality is that Naples is actually a pretty safe city for tourists. It’s an undiscovered gem, and if it weren’t for its reputation, I dare say they would be struggling with mass tourism.
Naples is the heart of Campania and forms the gateway to southern Italy. Each neighbourhood has its own atmosphere and is a small village in itself.
1. Historical centre
The historic centre stretches along the Spaccanapoli. You can imagine this as a long strip of several intertwined streets. Translated, it means Neapolitan divider. There are lively street markets, pastry shops, pizzerias, churches and monuments.
Naples is one of the oldest cities in the world, so the centre will take you back in time. With graffiti on the buildings, they form a perfect contrast of history and the 21st century.
During your wanderings through the old streets of Naples, you can also wander into the Spanish Quarter. This is where all the films are shot in Naples.
2. Piazza del Plebiscito
The main square, surrounded by the Royal Palace and the Royal Basilica of San Francesco di Paola. Piazza del Plebiscito is the perfect starting point to explore Naples.
It will captivate you with its magnificence, open space and a touch of the Napoleonic era. Piazza del Plebiscito is one of the most beautiful places in Naples that you can’t miss when you visit.
If you were in Rome St Peter’s Square, it may remind you a little of it with its columns lining the basilica. While you’re here, take a peek inside the basilica. Beautiful.
3. Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale)
The Palazzo Reale is another central building in the Piazza del Plebiscito. The front façade consists of a symmetrical row of dark frames, brown plaster, many windows and, at the bottom, 12 statues of past kings of Naples from Roger of Sicily to Frederick II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
This gives the palace an impressive impression. As well as lavish and ornate interiors with a grand staircase.
- Price: full admission to the Palazzo Reale is €10 and reduced admission is €2 (EC students 18-25).
- Tickets: click here to purchase tickets.
- Opening hours: The Royal Palace is open daily from 9:00-20:00.
4. Archaeological Museum of Naples (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli)
There is a lot to see at the Archaeological Museum of Naples. Greek and Roman artefacts from Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum. Statues, mosaics and even casts of bodies found in Pompeii.
There are still temporary exhibitions with a number of sculptures of aroused male genitalia. These were once used to entertain dinner guests in Italian homes. During the Roman era, they were a symbol of good luck.
The Naples Archaeological Museum is one of the most important museums of its kind in the world. If you miss a visit to Pompeii or Herculaneum, stop here and step back in time to ancient Naples.
- Price: admission to the Archaeological Museum is 18 € and reduced 2 €. Tickets can be purchased online.
- Opening hours: open daily except Tuesdays 9:00-19:30.
5. Naples Cathedral – Duomo
Naples is famous for its churches, basilicas and cathedrals. That is why it is called the city of 700 domes. The most famous dome is the Duomo, or Naples Cathedral.
Originally a Gothic cathedral from the 13th century. It has been restored several times throughout history and therefore bears elements of several styles, from Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque.
When visiting, don’t miss the San Gennaro Chapel, dedicated to the patron saint of San Gennaro. The chapel has a finely decorated altar and 2 vessels containing the blood of the saints. In honour of the patron saint, the Cathedral hosts the annual San Gennaro Festival.
- Price: entrance to the cathedral is free; you can purchase an audio guide for €4.
- Opening hours: the Cathedral is open Monday-Saturday 9:30-13:00 and 14:30-18:00 and on Sundays and public holidays 9:00-13:00 and 16:30-18:00.
6. Teatro San Carlo – Teatro San Carlo
Teatro San Carlo is the oldest opera house in the world, and will blow you away with its gilded interior with blue upholstery and glittering chandeliers. You can go to one of the performances (translation included), but you will understand the context well from the performance itself. The second way to see the opera house is a guided tour .
See the complete offer accommodation in Naples .
7. Castel Nuovo
The medieval Castel Nuovo, dating from 1282, is one of Naples’ most distinctive castles. You can recognize it by the 5 scalloped towers and the victory arch that they added afterwards.
Inside is an art gallery with Italian paintings from the 13th-19th century. In addition to the art, you can enjoy views of Naples and the coast from the castle.
- Entrance fee: €10 for a guided tour (you will see almost nothing on the cheaper €6 tour). Required reservation in advance .
- Opening hours: Castel Nuovo is open daily except Sunday from 8:30-17:00.
8. Sansevero Chapel (Cappella Sansevero)
The Cappella Sansevero, dating from 1590, is best known for its sculpture of Christ clothed in a garment. But beyond that, it will blow you away with its magnificent interior with a fresco on the ceiling and a huge amount of artwork, including several other famous sculptures.
Admission to Sansevero Chapel is €8 (reduced 10-25 years €5). Open 9:00-19:00. Closed on Tuesdays.
9. Naples promenade
A 3-kilometre promenade between Santa Lucia and Mergellina, which invites you to stroll at sunset overlooking Vesuvius and the island of Capri. Cafés and restaurants line the promenade.
To its west lies Castel dell’Ovo, which we’ll tell you more about in a moment.
10. Castel dell’Ovo
The medieval Castel dell’Ovo is the oldest castle in Naples and one of the most famous. It occupies the entire area of the islet of Megaride, which is now connected to the mainland. The fortification on which the castle stands is the oldest standing fortification in Naples.
The name of the castle comes from the legend of the Roman poet Virgil, who in the Middle Ages had the reputation of a great sorcerer and prophet. He supposedly put a magical egg in the castle’s foundation to support the fortifications. If the egg had been broken, the castle would have been destroyed and Naples would have suffered a series of disasters.
Castel dell’Ovo is open Monday to Saturday 9:00-19:00 and Sunday 9:00-13:00. Admission is free, but you must make reservation in advance .
11. Galerie Umberto I. (Galleria Umberto I)
Galleria Umberto I is a perfect contrast to the rest of Naples. A stunning and elegant shopping centre from the 19th century. …that looks like the famous gallery in Milan.
The gallery is decorated with sculptures and murals, which receive natural light thanks to the huge glass dome ceiling. Go for a sfogliatella at Mary’s favourite patisserie. You’ll be licking yourself behind the ears.
12. Bethlehem – Presepi
Naples is famous for its wooden, hand-carved nativity scenes called presepi. Artisans have been making figurines for centuries and the tradition has been handed down for generations. The collection includes not only biblical characters and animals, but also local celebrities, movie stars and Italian politicians.
The nativity scene can be found on Via San Gregorio Armeno, known as Christmas Alley. Just before Christmas, the place fills up with Neapolitans looking to add a new figure to their collection.
A short walk away is the church and convent of San Gregorio Armeno, which is cared for by nuns from all over the world. A perfect oasis of tranquility in the middle of a bustling centre with a small garden full of citrus trees. The entry fee is only 4 €. Take a peek into the rococo church (different entrance).
13. Monastery of San Martino – Certosa e Museo di San Martino
The Monastery of San Martino, with its Baroque decoration and ambits, is set on a hill in the Vomero district. The top is reached by cable car from Piazza Augusteo. There is a bus stop a short walk away and the metro is about a 15-minute walk away.
The view of the Bay of Naples from here is one of the best and most popular in Naples.
Speaking of those cribs, this is where you’ll find the city’s largest presepi from the 18th century, which includes 160 characters and 80 animals.
Next to the monastery stands the third of the Neapolitan castles – Castel Sant’Elmo from the 12th century, which was rebuilt from the original castle.
14. Naples Underground
Naples is famous for its underground, which is one of the top places in Naples. There are few places in the world where you can see and experience something like here.
The underground of Nepaul consists of tunnels, caves, catacombs, tombs and rich traces of history. It’s like traveling back 2,400 years. You have several options to explore the underground.
The Neapolitan underground is located 40 metres underground and hides such gems as the Greco-Roman aqueduct, the air-raid shelters of the 2. World War II or the Hopegeum Gardens, where vegetables are grown.
The entrance is from the small Piazza San Gaetano 68 – right next to the Basilica of San Lorenzo. English tours take place every two hours from 10:00-18:00.
Catacombs of San Gennaro (Catacomba di San Gennaro)
Part of the underground are the Catacombs of San Gennaro (Catacomba di San Gennaro) in the north of the city, where in 5th century buried patron saint of San Gennaro. You can think of them as a network of tunnels and passages that line the tombs and crypts.
The lower floor contains over 3,000 graves on two levels and is dimly lit to retain its eerie underground feel. Many frescoes and works of art are displayed on the top level.
Book here tickets to the Catacombs of San Gennaro .
Bourbon Tunnel (Galleria Borbonica)
Another place that is open to the public underground is the Bourbon Tunnel (Galleria Borbonica). It is a tunnel system from 1853, which connected the royal palace with the barracks by the sea.
The masterpiece of architect Errico Alvino, which was used for the safe escape of Ferdinand II. of Bourbon in case of a riot. During 2. World War, it served as an air-raid shelter and later as a refuge for cars and motorbikes.
Admission to the standard Bourbon Tunnel tour is €11 for over 14s, €7 for children 11-13 and under 10 free.
If you pay a few extra euros, you can take an adventurous tour of the Bourbon Tunnel, which will give you a different view of the tunnel. The entrance to the tunnel is from Vico del Grottone.
Tickets to the Bourbon Tunnel can be purchased in advance.
15. Flavian Amphitheatre (Amfiteatro Flavio di Pozzuoli)
Were you captivated by the Colosseum in Rome? Then the amphitheatre at Naples will captivate you. It was designed by the same architect and is the third largest amphitheatre in Italy.
It measures 149 by 116 metres and at one time held 40,000 spectators who came to watch gladiatorial matches and other entertainment of the time.
The amphitheatre is located a short distance from Naples, but can be easily reached by metro (line 2, Pozzuoli – Solfatara station) or by train from Cumana station (Pozzuoli – Porto exit). Admission to Amfiteatro Flavio di Pozzuoli is only €4 (reduced €2). Opening hours are varies according to the season .
16. Neapolitan pizza
It wouldn’t be a visit to Naples if you didn’t try Neapolitan pizza. But the real thing, the truly Neapolitan one, must meet the strict standards of the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana). How do you know if a pizzeria meets the certification? According to the Vera Pizza Napoletana sign.
The greatest classic among pizzas is the margherita with basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. Why these colours? They symbolize the Italian flag. And one more interesting fact – locals usually drink beer with their pizza.
The best pizzeria in Naples:
You may recognize the last-mentioned pizzeria from the movie with Julia Robert Eat, Meditate, Love. Be prepared for queues at all pizzerias, but they are worth the effort.
18. Vesuvius Volcano
One of the highest active volcanoes in the world towers directly over Naples. Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in 79 AD, when its volcanic ash and rock obliterated nearby Pompeii, Herculaneum and other ancient cities.
Vesuvius is still active. The height of the volcano is 1,300 metres, but its height and shape change due to underground processes. Since 1995, the area around the Vesuvius volcano has also been a natural park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A maintained trail leads steeply uphill to the volcano. The journey will take you only about 30 minutes. You can peek both into the crater of the volcano and out onto the Bay of Naples. The Vesuvius volcano can be reached by EAV buses directly from Naples.
- Tickets: Book tickets for Vesuvius here.
- Opening Hours: Opening hours vary according to the season – please check the latest information when booking your ticket.
Or choose from a selection of popular day trips that include transportation and admission to Vesuvius.
17. Fried delicacies
Neapolitans follow the rule Everything that is fried is good – even the soles of your shoes. The street food is full of fried delicacies and some of them are definitely worth trying.
For example, cuoppo, a small paper cone full of local fried delicacies. Or panzerotti, potato croquettes stuffed with meat.
A rarity is the fried pizza, which you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Fried pizza was here even before the traditional baked pizza as we all know it. But the mainstay here is still pizza, pasta and gnocchi.
Pompeii. A ghost town. Vast and magnificent. A picture of the way life used to be. With preserved houses, public baths, temples, an amphitheatre and even a brothel. 2
Pompeii is one of the most tragic archaeological sites in the world, where over 2,000 people died.
Most of the mosaics, sculptures and artefacts can be found in the Archaeological Museum of Naples. Still, there’s so much to see here that you should make time to visit Pompeii. If you speak English, choose a guided tour to help you understand the context. There are also engaging tours with an archaeologist .
- Price: 24 €
- Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets in advance.
- Opening hours: open daily 9:00-17:00 (November-March; last entry 15:30) and from April to October until 19:00 (last entry 17:30).
Check out the most popular tours of Pompeii:
Another ancient city with a tragic history, it was burnt to the ground after the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD. Herculaneum used to be a fishing village with 4000 inhabitants.
There are fewer tourists than Pompeii and many of the buildings are better preserved, including the magnificent frescoes. On the other hand, it is smaller and less ostentatious.
Admission to the Herculaneum Archaeological Park is 18 €. You can buy tickets buy online and simply download them to your mobile phone. It is open daily from 8:30-17:00 from November to March and 8:30-19:30 from April to October.
21. Neapolitan desserts
Neapolitans love sweet and rich desserts. Some of the best include Baba, a sweet pastry dipped in rum and syrup, and Sfogliatella, which is a bit like a harder roll and comes in several flavours. The description may not sound appealing, but it’s really yummy.
22. Gesú Nuovo Cathedral
Gesú Nuovo Cathedral was built in 1470 by the Prince of Salerno. It will disarm you with its interior. Gold and azure blue ceiling panels with scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
In the side chapel there is an urn with the relics of St. Joseph Moscati, a doctor who dedicated his life to helping the poor.
The Gesù Nuovo Cathedral is open daily 9:00-12:30 and 17:00-19:15, and on Sundays 8:30-13:30 and 16:30-19:30. Admission is free.
23. Santa Chiara
We move a few steps away from the Gesú Nuovo Cathedral. To the magnificent complex of religious buildings of Santa Chiara. A place full of history, which hides in the local church the tombs of kings, queens, saints and soldiers. Behind the church is a beautiful majolica monastery with mosaics and gardens.
Full admission is 6 € (reduced for students under 30 years 4,50 € and children under 18 years 3,50 €). It is open daily. Mon-Sat 9:30-17:30 and Sun 10:00-14:30. The Basilica is open MON-SAT 8:00-12:45 and 16:30-20:00, SUN 9:00-12:45 and 16:30-20:00.
24. Villa Floridiana
An ideal place for walks in the beautiful and well-kept gardens with views of the Bay of Naples. The estate was built in 1816 by King Ferdinand I as a gift to his second wife. Today it houses the National Museum of Ceramics with a collection of more than 6,000 objects.
Opening hours vary according to the season. From April to October it is open 8:30-18:30 and the rest of the year 8:30-17:15. Admission is 4 € full and 2 € reduced.
25. Church of San Domenico Maggiore (Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore)
The Neapolitan people were and still are very strongly religious. That’s why you’ll come across a number of churches around the city, for which Naples is famous. In the centre of the old town is the Church of San Domenico Maggiore, founded by the Dominican Brothers in 1324.
Don’t be fooled by the church’s unassuming appearance and go inside to take a look. The lavish interior will take your breath away. The gilded panelled ceiling, the ornate decoration, the Renaissance artworks, the statues and the main altar, which is a masterpiece.
The Church of San Domenico Maggiore is open daily from 10:00-18:00. They’ll let you in for free.
26. Capodimonte Museum (Museo di Capodimonte)
The Museo di Capodimonte should not be missed by any lover of classical art. Here you can enjoy works by the greatest greats such as Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio and Andy Warhol. If you prefer modern art, you’ll love the MADRE Museum near the Duomo.
Admission to the museum is €14, €8 for young people aged 18-25 and free for under 18s. On Sundays, the general admission is only 6 €. Open daily except Wednesdays 8:30-19:30 for the ground floor and 9:30-19:30 for the first and second floors.
27. Toledo Metro Station
Yes, the subway station here is definitely worth seeing, just like in Stockholm . This is the Toledo station, where you will feel like you are in an aquarium.
28. Mostra d’Oltremare
Literally a City within a City, representing a group of buildings, squares and streets that were built for exhibition purposes. Interestingly, the main square inside is designed in the proportions of the famous Piazza San Marco in Venice . The square is dominated by the Esedra Fountain.
At the end of the Mostra d’Oltremare, you’ll find the Golden Cube, which is covered in mosaics set in gold plaster. Its interior is used not only for exhibition purposes, but also for displaying several original works.
29. Fontanelle Cemetery – temporarily closed
The Fontanelle Cemetery is an old quarry, which in 17th century was converted into an underground cemetery for 250,000 people who died of the plague in Naples.
It’s a place where you will get a chill, but at the same time you will learn a lot of interesting facts and curiosities. For example, about locals who used their handkerchiefs to polish random skulls so that the soul could be released into the heavens, and in exchange they received protection.
The cemetery is open daily 10:00-17:00. Admission to the cemetery is free.
30. Island of Capri
Do you have time for a day trip in Naples? The island of Capri can be reached from Naples in about an hour. Naples-Capri ferry departs from Molo Beverello or Calata Porta di Massa several times a day. A one-way ticket will set you back around €20 (some times even as low as €15).
And why go to the island? According to many, it is one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean. An elegant and luxurious island with whitewashed streets that contrast with the rugged and unique landscape, rock formations, hills dotted with lemon groves and clear azure water.
I’ve attached a few posts for inspiration:
- Phoenician stairs
- Sentiero dei Fortini Borbonici trail
- Grotta Verde Cave
- Belvedere Tragara viewpoint
- Arco Naturale rock formation
- Blue Grotto Cave
- Cable car to the highest peak of the island – Monte Solaro
Trip to the island of Capri book here.
31. Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is an incredibly beautiful and unique area of Italy. So much so that the entire coastline is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The dramatic coastline with its vast cliffs, crystal clear blue water and picturesque hilltop towns have made the Amalfi Coast famous around the world.
You can stroll through the charming streets, hike one of the mountain trails with fantastic views or take a boat trip.
From Naples you can reach the Amalfi Coast by bus or rent a car. Just keep in mind that the roads here are winding and narrow and you have to drive very carefully.
Book trip to the Amalfi Coast :
Must-see places in Naples: practical information
- Most churches have free admission. Take advantage of that and take a peek inside. Sometimes they look inconspicuous from the outside and then literally stun you with the interior.
- Visit Pompeii early in the morning or in the afternoon. Avoid the morning when the tour buses arrive in Pompeii.
- If you want to visit Pompeii but are put off by the crowds, head to Herculaneum. It is a little closer to Naples, and although smaller, it has beautiful frescoes and very well preserved buildings.
- Would you like to explore Naples from a different angle and learn something interesting? Try a ride in a sightseeing bus .
- Hotel Ideal: A boutique hotel with a perfect central location directly opposite the train station with easy access to the airport, Vesuvius and Pompeii.
- B&B Le Petit Palais: This accommodation is located just below the San Martino Monastery with the most beautiful view of Naples with Vesuvius in the background.
- Hotel Nuovo Rebecchino : Three star hotel with a good central location on Corso Garibaldi (a short walk to the station and well connected around Naples).
- B&B Re Diego : Accommodation in a 4-star B&B in Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi (a short walk from the train station and the airport bus stop).
- Bed&Boarding: Hotel just 100m from the airport, ideal for those arriving late at night or departing early in the morning. Accommodation in capsule rooms – ideal for overnight stays.
See the complete offer accommodation in Naples .
Link sights, restaurants and accommodation in Naples and plan your Naples trip and itinerary in minutes.
HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of the best things to do in Naples. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the Naples guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.
This was our guide and tips on the best things to do and see in Naples. If you have a question, let me know in the comments below. Have a safe journey!
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