Naples, the third largest city in Italy, is situated in a wide and elegantly curved bay, is sheltered by the magnificent Mount Vesuvius and offers beauty, culture and gastronomy in excellent proportions.
With a southern way of being, similar to the Spanish, in Naples life is done on the street. Full terraces, people communicating loudly, maximum facilities for tourists and permanent good vibes are some of its essential features. It is a perfect place to try authentic Italian pizza, for example at 50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo and L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. But the Neapolitans do not live by carbohydrates alone: the seafood dishes at Trattoria Castel dell’Ovo are indescribable.
The attractions of Naples never run out. From the fantastic Museum of Capodimonte to the opera, from sailing on the ferry to Capri to the unique Via San Gregorio Armeno, dedicated to nativity scenes all year round and where you can find illustrious characters and celebrities turned into shepherds or other figures. The National Archaeological Museum in Naples is another unmissable reference point.
- Top 5 reasons to visit Naples
- What to do in Naples
- When to visit Naples
- How to get to Naples
- Where to stay in Naples
- How to get around Naples
- Cost of living in Naples
- Where to eat in Naples
Top 5 reasons to visit Naples
The pizza, mamma mia!
You’ll discover it right away: Naples is one of the best gastronomic destinations in the world. This is where pizza was born, which you can taste like never before in any neighbourhood pizzeria, and the pasta and seafood are extraordinary.
Banksy’s urban works
Banksy made two of his most famous graffiti in Naples, both featuring the Virgin. In the first one, which has already disappeared, he presented himself with the menu of the McDonald’s next to him. The second, with the Madonna della Pistola, perfectly reflects the character of the Neapolitan people, whose mixture of religious and pagan beliefs, the fusion of religion and Camorra (the mafia), has been consolidated.
Excursions to the coast
The bustle, excitement and dynamism of Naples are intoxicating, so plan some escapes to the Amalfi coast, whose beautiful ports and idyllic island of Capri guarantee very satisfying day trips.
This square, the largest in Naples, hosts most of the events held outdoors. On one side is the Royal Palace, on whose façade are the Bourbon kings who reigned in Naples; on the other, the neoclassical-style basilica of San Francesco di Paola.
Spaccanapoli’s fun nights
If you like bars, nightclubs and live music, in Naples you will find yourself in your salsa, especially in the long central street called Spaccanapoli. Dining and drinking cocktails at Clu, dancing at Bourbon Street Napoli Jazz Club or enjoying the best DJ music at Moses live club in the historical centre are some of the possibilities.
What to do in Naples
Here’s our detailed guide about the Best Things To Do in Naples.
Admire its historic centre
The historical heart of one of the oldest cities in Europe can only be a real visual wonder. Around Spaccanapoli street you can find the cathedral, the basilica of St. Dominic Major and the mysterious Sansevero chapel, together with numerous catacombs and caves. Moreover, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples tries to make sense of these enigmas.
Tour the Monastery of Santa Clara
In Piazza del Gesù Nuovo you will find this monastery built between 1310 and 1340 on top of a Roman bath complex dating back to the 1st century AD. It includes the largest Gothic church in Naples, a museum with some frescoes by Giotto and four monumental cloisters with fabulous columns.
Marvel at the Royal Palace in Naples
This impressive palace has luxurious halls filled with centuries-old furniture and houses a large white marble staircase and dozens of ornate rooms. The restored ballroom invites you to feel the music of the time while the Teatro di San Carlo, located next door, completes the tour.
Explore the Museum of Capodimonte
What was once an imposing hunting lodge now houses the largest museum in Italy, displaying magnificent works by Caravaggio, Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini and other great artists. With over 160 cameras, it is located near the underground catacombs of San Jenaro, another must-see when you are in Naples.
Travel to the now defunct Pompeii
In the first century, the colossal eruption of the Vesuvius volcano razed the legendary city of Pompeii, whose remains are a window into the past. The base of this ancient civilization was preserved by volcanic material, allowing us to appreciate, even now, how its paved streets lead to residences, temples, amphitheatres and even a brothel, all of which has been identified thanks to architectural evidence and the moulds of the bodies found.
When to visit Naples
If you don’t want to endure temperatures close to 38°C, don’t travel to Naples in summer, as it is extremely hot. Spring and autumn are better dates for planning your visit, especially April, when temperatures are around 19°C and you can go to the beach without finding crowds in Pompeii or the other tourist attractions. Here’s more information about the Best Time To Visit Naples.
How to get to Naples
Naples International Airport (NAP) is the main destination for domestic and international flights arriving in the city. Located 6 kilometres from the centre, you can take the Alibus service to the city for 3 EUR. There is also a slightly cheaper bus (the 3S), although it is longer.
Naples is well connected by train to Rome, Florence and other Italian cities. Trenitalia and Frecciargento schedule frequent trips from Rome, available for about 40 EUR, but also available for 27 EUR, which triples the length of the trip (almost three hours). Almost all of them arrive at Piazza Garibaldi station, which is included in the underground system, whose single fare is 1.50 EUR.
If you’re driving from the north, take the E45 motorway from Rome and you’ll be practically in the centre of Naples, although you’ll pass briefly along the A3. This is also the route to travel from the Amalfi coast, while the E842 crosses Italy from Brindisi.
FlixBus and Baltour are the main bus companies that arrive in Naples, almost always at Piazza Garibaldi, very close to the centre. You can travel by coach to Naples from almost anywhere in Italy: from Rome, for example, the journey will cost you 17 EUR.
Airports near Naples:
Where to stay in Naples
Naples has a hotel for every budget, including the highest category, such as the Romeo Hotel, the stately and nineteenth century Grand Hotel Parker’s and the Eurostars Hotel Excelsior. Economic alternatives include the centrally located Hotel Europeo and some smaller hotels, such as Giovanni’s Home, which provide warm Neapolitan welcomes. The most common price range for a double room is between 45.61 EUR for the Hotel Ideal and 136.82 EUR for the Hotel Palazzo Decumani.
Interesting neighborhoods in Naples
The Historical Centre is the epicentre of the Neapolitan tourist attraction, as it houses the Opera House, the Gothic Cathedral of the Duomo, Caravaggio’s masterpieces located in the church of Pio Monte della Misericordia and the entrance to the catacombs
Lungomare is a haven of peace and tranquillity in the face of the traditional Neapolitan hustle and bustle. Built around a promenade almost 3 kilometres long, it has the oldest aquarium in Europe, a beach where volleyball and football competitions are usually held, beachfront cafes and breathtaking views of the bay.
Chiaia, next to Lungomare, is one of the most prosperous and exquisite neighbourhoods in Naples. Besides the presence of the sea, it is ideal for eating fabulous pizzas and seafood in restaurants such as Lord Tonino or Il Carnaio.
How to get around Naples
Getting around Naples is easy thanks to the combination of public services of metro, tram, suburban train and funicular. It is best to buy a full day ticket for 4.50 EUR.
Neapolitan taxis are plentiful and inexpensive, but also unpredictable. It is better to negotiate a price before travelling, because sometimes taxi drivers take longer “creative” routes than necessary. The usual fare is 3.50 EUR and then the additional cost is 2.50 EUR per 1.6 kilometres. In addition, in the Historical Centre the prices can be higher.
Neapolitans drive erratically, so in this city it is not easy to move around by car. If you like a challenge, you will find parking in the surroundings of the Market Square. In addition, the so-called ZTL Zone applies, which limits access to the Historical Centre and infringements lead to heavy fines. If you want, you can rent your car at Hertz, Europcar and Sixt from 18 EUR per day.
Cost of living in Naples
The difficult thing in Naples is not finding memories, but choosing between them. In the Via Toledo you will find jewelry stores like Pandora and clothing stores like Dieci Dieci, as well as the Galleria Umberto I shopping gallery. Via San Gregorio Armeno is the ideal place to find antiques, toys and Christmas decorations all year round.
Groceries and others
Buying food in Naples is very easy, both in supermarkets, like Carrefour, and in small delicatessen shops like Gran Gusto. La Pignasecca is the largest open-air food market in Naples. Prices are generally low: about EUR 2.50 for 12 eggs, EUR 1.26 for half a litre of beer and EUR 2.10 for a 0.33 litre can of imported beer.
Where to eat in Naples
You’ll eat well anywhere in Naples. The best restaurants include La Stanza del Gusto in Via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli and the seafood restaurant Trattoria Castel dell’Ovo. To taste elite pizzas, Pizzeria Starita is infallible. A quality pizza costs 5 EUR and a complete meal about 30 EUR.
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