Welcome to Naples, Italy! A place of rich history, mouthwatering cuisine, and differentiating culture. Naples may have a mixed reputation due to its chaotic streets and online stories, but don’t let that deter you from exploring this amazing city. This guide will dive into the reality of safety in Naples.
I recently had the chance to visit Naples on a multi-day trip here and on the Amalfi Coast. Naples completely surprised me in so many ways. I loved the incredible blissful chaos, iconic history, and overwhelming food options.
I stayed right in the city center at the Renaissance Napoli Mediterraneo, which was centrally located and allowed us to explore the city in a variety of ways (read our full review of staying at the Renaissance Napoli).
This city has its edges that also warrant understanding, which can help you navigate the rest of the city. This city is meant to be explored and not avoided.
What We Cover
- Key Takeaways
- Naples: A Mixed Reputation
- Is Naples Safe? The Reality
- Petty Crime
- Mafia Presence
- Dangerous Parts of Naples
- Safe Neighborhoods and Areas to Stay
- Centro Storico
- Garibaldi Central Station
- Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarter)
- Navigating Naples Safely
- Solo Travelers and Female Travelers in Naples
- Avoiding Scams and Unpleasant Experiences
- Natural Disasters and Emergency Situations
- Top Tips for Visiting Naples
- Is Naples worth visiting?
- Can you drink tap water in Naples?
- Is it safe to walk in Naples at night?
- Navigate Naples safely by following travel safety tips and trusting your instincts.
- Stay in safe neighborhoods and be aware of potential scams to avoid unpleasant experiences.
- Prepare for natural disasters or emergencies with the relevant numbers and procedures.
Naples: A Mixed Reputation
Naples, situated in the Campania region of Italy, is notorious for its myths and legends. Despite appearances that it may be a dangerous city from online stories about chaos and disorder on its streets – Naples is generally safe and has much more to offer than meets the eye.
As a UNESCO World Heritage site, its past adds a unique charm to this bustling Italian metropolis. You can easily sample delicious Neapolitan pizza or explore historic sights safely. Remember to use common sense safety measures like those advised when visiting any other large city.
Still, while aware of potential risks, visitors will appreciate their stay without letting negative assumptions obscure their enjoyment.
See Related: Things to Do in Italy
Is Naples Safe? The Reality
Visiting Naples is a safe experience if you take the necessary precautions. Its petty crime levels are comparable to those of other big cities, and it won’t affect tourists directly due to organized crime operating behind the scenes.
Despite the Mafia activity in this vibrant city, there are plenty of reasons to visit Naples without fear. Still, ensure safety measures are taken before your journey!
When you visit Naples, it’s wise to take precautions against petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, which falls under “petty theft” prevalent in the area. It can be especially common in crowded areas like public transport or even Napoli Centrale Train Station, so exercising caution when traveling through them is key.
To protect yourself from being a victim of these crimes, you should remain alert and keep your belongings close by. Secure any valuable items away out of sight, too, if possible. By using basic common sense steps, you will reduce the risk significantly while still enjoying all that this bustling city has to offer without fear of encountering petty criminals spoiling your experience!
In Naples, the Camorra (a historic Mafia group notorious for its influence in organized crime) is present but not openly visible to tourists. It mostly operates with local businesses and citizens, so vacationers are unlikely to face any direct harm.
Dangerous Parts of Naples
It’s always important to do your research and stay up to date on neighborhood trends. While the city is working on it, there are a few places in Naples that you may want to avoid. These areas include
- Rione Sanita
Safe Neighborhoods and Areas to Stay
Do you want to stay in a place where it’s impossible to find bad pizza? Centro Storico sure is the locale for you. Grab a yummy slice to see ornate churches like the Cathedral Santa Maria Assunta. Or, take a look at the city’s vast underground tunnels with a walking tour.
Best place to stay in Centro Storico: Napoli Centro Storico
Vomero is one of the classiest places you’ll ever visit. Take the funicular up the hill and dress nicely for the alfresco cafes and fancy dinner joints. Stop by the Certosa e Museo di San Martino and admire the church’s fantastic frescoes.
Best place to stay in Vomero: La Chambre
Garibaldi Central Station
Ya’ll, there is so much to do in Piazza Garibaldi it’s hard to know where to begin. The Basilica di San Pietro ad Aram is a must-see. Its spectacular ceilings stand out even among the churches of Naples. Plus, this is a great area for people just stopping in and planning to take the train to their next destination.
Best place to stay near Garibaldi Central Station: Central Station Garibaldi
Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarter)
The Spanish Quarter used to have a sketchy rep. It was once a place where Spanish soldiers stayed in the 1500s, but now it’s a popular tourist attraction. The open-air market of Pignasecca offers all kinds of foods, clothing, and accessories. Plus, you’ll see street murals by famous artists everywhere you look.
Best place to stay in Quartieri Spagnoli: Dimora Scura
See Related: Best Tours in Italy: Food, Walking & Bike Tours
Navigating around the city of Naples safely is easy to do if you keep a few tips in mind. Utilizing public transportation is an affordable way for visitors to explore and get accustomed to how it works.
Be aware when traveling, especially in congested areas, to ensure your items are always secure on you, and avoid displaying any lavish objects that may attract negative attention while walking confidently like a local throughout central Naples.
For nighttime travel, use ride-sharing services or licensed taxis rather than trekking alone to ensure safety by adhering closely to the advice from people who reside there, which will let them enjoy its vibrant culture along with delectable foods without fear or worry about being unsafe within this incredible city center of chaos!
Solo Travelers and Female Travelers in Naples
Naples is a great city for solo and female travelers if specific safety tips are followed. The most important one is to stay in safe neighborhoods, avoiding going out alone late at night or any situations that make you feel unsafe. Be polite but assertive if you’re fending off unwanted advances.
To ensure an enjoyable yet secure trip around the big city, it’s highly recommended to remain alert to your surroundings when walking through narrow streets and near train stations. Apply the same vigilance as you would do elsewhere while traveling.
Neapolitans are generally pretty friendly, and the locals can also be asked for their insights on how best to protect themselves, which helps solo and female vacationers capture Naples’ charm safely and memorably!
See Related: Totally Awkward Solo Travel Situations & How to Cope
Avoiding Scams and Unpleasant Experiences
When traveling to Naples, it is paramount that you are aware of the potential risks and scams to make your stay truly unforgettable. In particular, watch out for “The Bracelet Scam” and other tricks such as “The Rose” con or spurious gold rings being distributed.
Also, fake 500 Lira coins. It’s an old scam, but some less-than-honest folk will still try and pull it on Americans. Count your change carefully!
If possible, try not to get embroiled in unnecessary disputes when visiting – be non-confrontational where appropriate and involve local authorities should anything arise that causes undue concern.
With these safety tips, you can venture confidently around this charming city without fear by remembering one fundamental point: remain vigilant against deceitful situations yet fully enjoy every moment within its boundaries!
Natural Disasters and Emergency Situations
To make the most of your stay in Naples, knowing there is a medium risk of earthquakes here is important. Know key contact information, such as dialing 112 in case of emergencies, and details about your embassy or other essential and emergency services available in this city.
Being informed means being safe when traveling through Naples, so take some time to familiarize yourself with applicable protocols that guarantee safety and enjoyment during your visit!
See Related: Best Pompeii Tours from Naples, Italy
Top Tips for Visiting Naples
- Buy Travel Insurance: Most travel insurance covers lost or stolen property, emergency medical bills, and the cost of getting you back home. I’m a big fan of SafetyWing but shop around on TravelInsurance.com for the right plan for you.
- Be Vigilant in Crowded Areas: Naples can get crowded, especially around tourist attractions and public transportation. Keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings to avoid pickpocketing.
- Use a Money Belt or Hidden Pouch: Consider using a money belt or hidden pouch to carry your important documents, cash, and cards. This can help protect your valuables from theft.
- Avoid Displaying Valuables: Do not flaunt expensive jewelry, cameras, or electronic devices in public. This can make you a target for theft. Keep your belongings secure and out of sight when not in use.
- Stay in Well-Lit Areas at Night: Like many cities, Naples may have fewer safe areas after dark. Stick to well-lit and busy areas when exploring the city at night. Consider using reputable transportation options if needed.
- Use Licensed Taxis: When taking a taxi, use licensed and official taxis. Be cautious of unmarked or unofficial cabs, as they may overcharge or engage in scams.
- Be Cautious with Street Food: While Naples is famous for its street food, buy from reputable vendors. Ensure that the food is prepared and handled hygienically to avoid foodborne illnesses. You could also consider booking a Naples food tour!
- Know the Emergency Numbers: Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers, including the police, ambulance, and fire department. In Italy, the emergency number for all services is 112.
- Respect Traffic and Crosswalks: Naples traffic can be chaotic, so be careful when crossing the street. Always use crosswalks and wait for the pedestrian signal. Not all drivers may stop for pedestrians, so exercise caution.
- Don’t Wear Tennis Shoes: Yes, they’re comfy. Yes, they tell the world that you’re an American tourist.
- Keep Out of Mafia Affairs: While the Mafia survives in the shadows and it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever be faced with a scenario involving mafiosi, don’t seek out or get involved with anything to do with the Mafia.
Naples is an extraordinary and largely safe city. It boasts a lively culture and long-standing history that needs to be experienced. Despite its mixed reputation, it’s easy to enjoy an incredible visit to this unique Italian metropolis.
Naples has so much to offer. Just be sure to take basic precautions, and you’ll be completely fine!
See Related: Pros and Cons of Living in Italy
Is Naples worth visiting?
Yes, Naples is a beautiful, walkable city worth visiting. From delectable dishes to its spectacular views of the Bay, there’s plenty for travelers to enjoy on their vacation. Traditional Neapolitan pizza and pasta are just some of the delicious culinary offerings.
Likewise, Naples’ historical sites are ideal for those interested in Italy’s past. When mingling with locals here, you’ll find them as vibrant as the area!
Can you drink tap water in Naples?
Yes, you can safely drink tap water in Naples. Local people usually prefer to buy bottled water, though.
Is it safe to walk in Naples at night?
Walking at night in Naples is safe if you remain aware of your surroundings. Avoid unsafe areas as a general rule, and don’t bring too much cash with you so you don’t attract petty thieves. Don’t leave your drink unattended at a bar, especially if you’re a solo traveler, to avoid drink spiking.