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25 Best Things to Do in Naples, Italy

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The vibrant coastal city of Naples, Italy, is known as the gateway to southern Italy. It’s the third largest city in Italy, just after Rome and Milan, and sits on the country’s western coast along the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city is filled with so much history, particularly within the city’s historic center. Not to mention, it’s the birthplace of modern pizza!

Popular tourist attractions include the Royal Palace of Naples and the Via San Gregorio Armeno shopping street. But that’s not all that Naples has to offer. Underground, you’ll find some mind-blowing hidden gems like the Bourbon Tunnel and the San Gennaro Catacombs.

If all of this isn’t impressive to you yet, Naples is also a fantastic place to base yourself to visit some of Italy’s most remarkable locations like the Amalfi Coast and Capri. If you love learning about history, the ancient ruins of Pompeii are just a short drive away.

We’ve put together this guide to the best things to do in Naples, Italy, so you can maximize your time in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Continue reading to find out what to do, where to stay, and why you must add Naples to your list of places to visit.

If you want the top ten, watch the ViaTravelers YouTube video below from our visit to this underrated gem in Italy.

TL;DR

  • Most significant landmark – Royal Palace of Naples
  • Best park – Piazza del Plebiscito
  • Free activity – Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola
  • Activity for kids – Zoo di Napoli
  • Activity for adults – San Gennaro Catacombs
  • Place to eat – L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
  • Nightlife – Pepi Vintage Room
  • Place to stayRenaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo

Things to Do in Naples, Italy

1. Royal Palace of Naples

Royal Palace of Naples, Italy
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Piazza del Plebiscito, 1, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

One of the best things to do in Naples, Italy, is to visit the Royal Palace of Naples. It was first built in 1600 and was a residence for kings of Spain until 1734, when Charles of Bourbon became the King of Naples, making this palace the monarchy’s official seat. The palace was eventually given to the state in 1919 and became home to public functions, including the National Library.

The palace embodies a fascinating history, as it was passed through many royal families during its over 300 years as a royal palace for those who ruled Naples. Today, it’s recognized as an “autonomous museum of significant national interest” and welcomes visitors from all over the world.

It houses stunning paintings, sculptures, furnishings, and tapestries. Three central gardens and three courtyards are also filled with beautiful landscaping and art.

One of the main areas of the royal palace that you must visit is the Historic Apartment. The apartment comprises 30 rooms, including the court theater, royal chapel, and throne room. Outside the palace, you’ll see eight marble statues, each representing the various kings of Naples.

You can purchase your ticket to skip the line at the ticket office. It is open every day except Wednesdays, and visitors can enter up to one hour before closing each day.

You can stay just a couple blocks away at the Renaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo, which boasts stunning views of the sea and Mount Vesuvius from its rooftop terrace. Read our full review of staying at the Renaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo.

See Related: Things to Do in Genoa, Italy

2. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

A man wearing an apron handling a pizza before it goes into the oven at L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples, Italy
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele / Facebook

Address: Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy

While I wouldn’t usually recommend a pizza restaurant as a “thing to do” in just any city, I think this one is a notable exception. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is famous for being one of the oldest pizzerias in Naples. It first opened its doors in 1870 as a small pizzeria. I highly recommend visiting to get a taste of authentic Neapolitan pizza.

There are only two pizzas on the menu of this iconic pizzeria: the Marinara, which is tomato sauce, oregano, and garlic, or the Margherita, which is cheese and tomato. The pizza is made with simple ingredients but is so delicious that it is even featured in the Michelin guide.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is open every day for lunch and dinner. This is quite a popular pizzeria and can be counted as one of Naples’ top tourist attractions, so count on waiting in line when you arrive. Each customer gets a number, and since there are only two menu items, your wait for delicious pizza shouldn’t be too long.

Read Also: Is Naples Safe to Visit?

3. Naples National Archaeological Museum

The bright red exterior of the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy
Anamaria Mejia / Adobe Stock

Address: Piazza Museo, 19, 80135 Napoli NA, Italy

One of the top things to do in Naples is to visit the Naples National Archaeological Museum. The museum’s collection focuses primarily on ancient Roman sites but also includes art and artifacts from the Greek and Renaissance periods. Additionally, you can find many pieces from the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which is excellent if you don’t have time to visit those sites during your trip.

The Naples archeological museum was previously used as military barracks before it was converted into a university and eventually the museum. It houses fascinating items, including mosaics, coins, carvings, and pottery. One of the more popular collections in the museum is The Secret Room, which houses over 250 pieces of sexually-themed artifacts and erotic art from both Pompeii and Herculaneum.

A popular non-European collection is the Egyptian Collection, Italy’s second-largest collection of Egyptian artifacts. The expansive collection fills seven rooms and covers aspects of Egyptian civilizations, including power, socio-economic organization, and the world of the dead. Other great collections include the daily life in the Vesuvian area, frescoes, the Temple of Isis, and a scale model of Pompeii.

This awesome national museum is open every day except Tuesdays. It is a great place to learn more about the history of Naples and the surrounding cities. You can purchase your tickets in advance and skip the line.

See Related: Best Tours in Italy

4. Piazza del Plebiscito

Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Piazza del Plebiscito, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

Piazza del Plebiscito is the main plaza in Naples. It’s in Santa Lucia, between the Royal Palace of Naples and Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola.

This pedestrian area is a fantastic place to stroll or take a break from all the fun things to do in Naples. It’s reminiscent of the grand plaza before the Vatican and features Ferdinand I and Carlo III statues.

Surrounding the Piazza del Plebiscito are several great cafes and gelato shops. One of the most popular coffee shops in the area is Gran Caffè Gambrinus, which has been around since the 1800s. If you’re in the mood for a refreshing gelato, I recommend Cento Gelato for its big portions and delicious flavor offerings.

This piazza is in the city’s heart, so many guided walking tours start here. If you’d like a mix of sightseeing and food sampling, I highly recommend this two-hour walking tour by Raphael Tours & Events.

5. San Gennaro Catacombs

Dimly lit interior of San Gennaro Catacombs, Naples, Italy
Maurizio De Mattei / Adobe Stock

Address: Via Capodimonte, 13, 80100 Napoli NA, Italy

If you want to explore Naples underground, you must visit the San Gennaro Catacombs. This ancient Paleochristian site of worship and burial dates back to the second century and is believed to be the tomb of a noble family.

Everything in the catacombs was carved from the earth, including a bishop’s chair, altar, and tombs. It is named after Saint Januarius, the patron saint of Naples.

Visitors can discover ancient basilicas, frescoes, mosaics, and paintings throughout the San Gennaro Catacombs. Seeing how these artifacts have stood the test of time is truly incredible. Through a guided tour, your expert guide will show you its fourth-century expansion, Bishop Paul II’s baptism from the eighth century, Byzantine paintings from the ninth century, and more.

In order to visit the San Gennaro Catacombs, you must make a reservation in advance. This entry ticket comes with a guided tour. Tours are available in English and Italian and take approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

See Related: Real, Magical Castles in Fairytales to Visit

6. Teatro di San Carlo

The red and gold interior of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy
photogolfer / Adobe Stock

Address: Via San Carlo, 98, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

You’ll find the extraordinary Teatro di San Carlo near the Royal Palace of Naples. This beautiful opera house opened in 1737 and is the oldest opera house in the world. It features stunning ceiling frescoes and a horseshoe-shaped auditorium. This stunning theater is one of the city’s main symbols and one of Naples’ best things to see.

The Teatro di San Carlo still hosts events and live performances, including classic plays, ballet, and symphonies. It is home to an orchestra, choir, children’s choir, ballet, and dance school. I highly recommend buying tickets to a show here for a memorable experience if you have time.

Within the theater, you will also find the Memory and Music Museum. It features interactive displays of theater artifacts, costumes, books, and more.

Visitors can enjoy a guided museum tour or at their own pace. Guided tours are also available in French, English, and Italian when no performances or shows are happening at the theater.

7. Certosa e Museo di San Martino

The internal courtyard of the Certosa di San Martino, a former monastery complex, now a museum, in Naples, Italy
Enrico Della Pietra / Adobe Stock

Address: Largo S. Martino, 5, 80129 Napoli NA, Italy

Perched at Vomero Hill, Certosa di San Martino, or the San Martino Monastery, offers amazing city views. Construction on the monastery first began back in 1325. Of the original building, only the cellar remains.

It was severely damaged and occupied by French forces during the Revolution of 1799 but was eventually returned to the monks in 1804. In 1867, the monastery became a museum open to the public.

One of the highlights of visiting the Certosa e Museo di San Martino is the central courtyard. The well-maintained courtyard gardens are beautiful and perfect for photographs, especially on a sunny day. Check out the details of the courtyard railings, which feature skulls and other unique designs.

You’ll find various interesting artifacts within the museum, including paintings, statues, old carriages, and nativity scenes. Some of these items date back to the 15th century. You’ll definitely want to make sure you visit the chapel, which is one of the most beautiful parts of the monastery.

The trek up Vomero Hill can be somewhat challenging, particularly during the hot summer months. Instead, take the funicular train up from the Montesanto metro stop. It’s fast, easy, and fun, and uses the same ticket system as the metro.

See Related: Affordable Castle Hotels in Europe

8. Zoo di Napoli

A bench outside of an exhibit with overhanging flowers at the Zoo di Napoli in Naples, Italy
Zoo di Napoli / TripAdvisor

Address: Viale John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 76, 80125 Napoli NA, Italy

Checking out the Zoo di Napoli can be a fun and affordable attraction for the entire family to enjoy while visiting Naples. The small zoo is home to over 400 animals and 200 plant species, with a mix of traditional enclosures and botanical gardens. While the zoo is small, if you go at a medium pace, it will take a few hours to enjoy every exhibit.

Unique animal species that call the Zoo di Napoli home include the black rhino, small African antelope, king vulture, and Arabian oryx. The zoo’s mission is to protect and educate about endangered animals, and you can tell that the zookeepers care about the well-being of the animals they look after.

The zoo can be visited every day, with varying hours depending on if you’re visiting in the spring and summer or fall and winter. If you’re looking for a fun and funky place to grab a bite to eat after your zoo visit, check out Pizza Social Lab on Via Corrado Barbagallo. Nearby, you’ll also find the charming Hotel Nuvò, which offers standard and family rooms.

See Related: Things to Do in Sorrento, Italy

9. The Bourbon Tunnel

The dimly lit interior of the Bourbon Tunnel in Naples, Italy
Galleria Borbonica / Galleria Borbonica

Address: Vico del Grottone, 4, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

The Bourbon Tunnel, or the Galleria Borbonica in Italian, was built in 1853 for King Ferdinand II of Bourbon. Originally built as an emergency escape route from the palace to the military barracks during the unrest, the tunnel transformed into an important air raid shelter and military hospital during World War II.

Within the tunnel, you’ll find memories of the Second World War, including handwritten messages of wishes and hopelessness along its walls. In addition to the evidence of war and civil unrest, you’ll also find plenty of antiques like cars and motorcycles, along with statues in the tunnels and displayed.

Skip the line and purchase your entry ticket to the Bourbon Tunnel beforehand. This option also includes a guided tour that will take approximately one hour. Children under 10 do not require an entry ticket.

See Related: Things to Do in Bolzano, Italy

10. Via San Gregorio Armeno

The colorful alleyway of Via San Gregorio Armeno full of souvenirs in Naples, Italy
Arcady / Shutterstock

Located in Naples’ historic center, Via San Gregorio Armeno is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for unique souvenirs and mementos from your trip. The picturesque street is lined with local artisan shops and is surrounded by trendy restaurants along its cross streets.

A popular item in many artisan shops along this street is unique renditions of the nativity scene. You’ll also find a ton of bobbleheads and mini statues of celebrities, politicians, and famous footballers.

I love collecting magnets, so I pick one up from every new city I visit. If you’re the same, this is a great place to do that. If you’re tired of pizza, head to Antica Trattoria Da Carmine on Via dei Tribunali, on the north side of Via San Gregorio Armeno.

You’ll find simple and delicious Italian classics, including gnocchi, spaghetti, and Caprese. Nearby, you’ll find great bars like Pepi Vintage Room and Moon Bar, both great for late-night cocktails.

11. Naples Street Food Tour

People gathered outside of a restaurant in Naples, Italy
Raphael Tours & Events / Viator

You can’t possibly visit the modern birthplace of pizza without taking a tour of some of the best eats in Naples. This food tour includes Neapolitan pizza and other amazing Italian delicacies like stuffed squash blossoms, ragu, and gelato. You may not want to eat before going on this culinary adventure through the city.

This guided tour takes approximately 2.5 hours and is offered in English. The tour can accommodate vegetarian dietary requirements but may not suit those on a vegan diet. During the tour, you’ll explore some of the city’s most scenic areas and hidden gems.

Speaking of food, while visiting Naples and the rest of the Campania region, you’ll definitely want to try some foods and drinks native to the region. This includes Neapolitan pizza (of course), sfogliatelle, zeppole, mozzarella di bufala, and limoncello.

See Related: Best Traditional French Food & Dishes to Try

12. Royal Palace of Caserta

Stunning interior of the Royal Palace of Caserta in Caserta, Italy
Takashi Images / Adobe Stock

Address: Piazza Carlo di Borbone, 81100 Caserta CE, Italy

While Naples has a royal palace of its own, you’ll definitely want to head to nearby Caserta to admire the vast and stunning Royal Palace of Caserta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the largest palace built in the 18th century and was also the residence of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Today, the estate is a museum consisting of the royal palace, royal park, English garden, and the Caroline Aqueduct.

The enormous royal palace covers over 484,000 square feet and 1,400 rooms. It remains one of the most prestigious royal residences in all of Europe. Directly behind the palace, you’ll find the royal park. The park spans 100 hectares and features six fountains and 60 statues in the French-style garden. Along the Via d’Acqua, you’ll spot some majestic fountains before ending up at the peaceful English garden, home to over 200 plant species.

If you’re not renting a car, you can get to the Royal Palace of Caserta directly by regional train. Take the train from Napoli Centrale towards Caserta and get off at the Caserta stop (the last stop).

13. Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola

Aerial view of the Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola by the Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy
Kyle J Little / Shutterstock

Address: Piazza del Plebiscito, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

In the main square of Naples, you’ll find the Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola. It is directly opposite the Piazza del Plebiscito from the Royal Palace of Naples and is also known as the Basilica Royal. It was created in 1836 at the direction of King Joachim Murat and is often compared to the Pantheon in Rome.

The stunning display of architecture makes it one of the most notable buildings in Naples. Its main features include the 173-foot-tall central dome and 34 Corinthian columns. The basilica interior is open daily and free to visit, though you’ll want to ensure you are dressed modestly.

At nightfall, the majestic building is illuminated with colorful lights, allowing you to admire the architecture even at night. Visiting the basilica is certainly one of the best free things to do in Naples and can easily be combined with visiting the royal palace and opera house.

See Related: Day Trips from Rome, Italy

14. Toledo Metro Station

The interior of the Toledo Metro Station in Naples, Italy
luckyraccoon / Shutterstock

I get it – a metro station is probably not what you’d think of when imagining things to do in Naples, Italy. However, the Toledo Metro Station is more like an art installation and is considered Europe’s most beautiful metro station. It’s part of a cooperation between the Naples public transit department and local artists to bring art into people’s everyday lives.

Each level of the metro station is decorated with a different color palette, each representing the city of Naples. There are mosaics to represent different moments in the city’s fascinating history. There are special nods to Mount Vesuvius and the Tyrrhenian Sea using volcanic stone and LED lights to represent the movements of the sea.

The metro station has three exits: Toledo, Diaz, and Piazza Montecalvario. Just a block from the Toledo Metro Station, you’ll find the Grand Hotel Oriente, one of the best luxury hotels in Naples.

15. Museo Cappella Sansevero

The interior of Museo Cappella Sansevero in Naples, Italy, which features several marble statues, including the famous Veiled Christ
Museo Cappella Sansevero / Facebook

Address: Via Francesco de Sanctis, 19/21, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy

One of the best parts about visiting Italian cities is admiring the amazing works of art in gorgeous museums and churches. The most breathtaking piece of art in Naples lies in the Museo Cappella Sansevero.

This museum was once a chapel built in the 18th century. While the entire chapel and its many sculptures and paintings are stunning, thousands flock here yearly for one main reason: to see the Veiled Christ sculpture.

The hyper-realistic sculpture was created in 1753 by Neapolitan artist Giuseppe Sanmartino. As the main feature of this chapel museum, it sits directly in the center of the room so it can be viewed from all angles. Don’t miss out on the other artwork here, though. Another popular collection in the museum is the sculptures of virtues, which represent values such as modesty, sincerity, and decorum.

The Museo Cappella Sansevero can be visited every day except Tuesdays. As of 2023, all tickets for the museum must be booked online in advance to control the number of daily visitors. Tickets can be booked up to one month in advance.

See Related: Top Most Beautiful Cities in the World to Visit

16. Castel Nuovo

The exterior of the Castel Nuovo in Naples, Italy
reichhartfoto / Adobe Stock

Address: Via Vittorio Emanuele III, 80133 Napoli NA, Italy

The medieval Castel Nuovo is one of the most famous castles in Italy and can be found along the main thoroughfare of Naples, directly across from the Port of Naples. It is one of the most emblematic sites of the city and was first erected in 1279. If you love learning about medieval times and historical buildings, Castel Nuovo is hands down one of the best places to visit in Naples.

The castle comprises five massive towers and features two watch towers, an armory hall, and a chapel. On the upper levels, you can admire paintings and other works of art by Neapolitan artists from the 17th through early 20th centuries. Under the armory hall, you can view ancient Roman ruins through a glass floor.

The Castel Nuovo is open to visitors daily, though it is worth noting that the art exhibits on the upper floors are closed on Sundays. You can visit the castle on your own or go on a guided tour for an additional fee.

17. Spend a day strolling Via Toledo

Busy Via Toledo in Napoli, Italy
efesenko / Adobe Stock

Address: Via Toledo, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy

One of the best ways to get to know a city is simply by wandering its streets. You get a real feel for daily local life by experiencing the kindness of locals and seeing where they eat, work, and shop. The best place to do this in Naples is on Via Toledo, the longest street in the city.

The 3/4-mile-long street is one of the main shopping streets in the city and dates back to the year 1536. It connects Piazza Dante to Piazza Trieste e Trento, near Piazza del Plebescito. Along the route, you’ll find some of Naples’ most well-known museums and landmarks, including the Real Teatro di San Carlo, the Royal Palace of Naples, and the Toledo Metro Station.

Towards the south end of Via Toledo, you’ll see the entrance to the elegant Galleria Umberto I shopping center. You’ll probably end up on Via Toledo at some point during your Naples trip, but if not, it’s definitely something you shouldn’t miss out on.

See Related: Best Wine Regions in Italy

18. Murales Maradona in the Spanish Quarter

Murales Maradona in Spanish Quarter of Napoli, Italy
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Via Emanuele de Deo, Plebiscito, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy

Any football (soccer) fans heading to Naples should visit the Spanish Quarter of the city to admire the Murales Maradona (Maradona’s Murals). The Argentinian-born international football star Diego Maradona was renowned as one of the best football players ever.

He moved to Europe to play for FC Barcelona for two seasons before transferring to SSC Naples for seven seasons, where he brought the once-struggling football team to major success. He also played in four FIFA World Cup games for Argentina.

The original Maradona mural in Naples was painted in 1990 to celebrate the team’s second national championship. Once you find this large mural, I recommend walking around the Spanish Quarter to see other nods to El Pibe de Oro (The Golden Kid). You’ll find shrines, graffiti, and all art dedicated to Maradona.

Football lovers can enjoy this Maradona Guided Tour, which is a half-day tour starting off at Naples’ football history museum. Other tour highlights include a stop at the San Paolo Stadium, Maradona’s neighborhood, and a stroll through the Spanish Quarter.

19. Castel dell’Ovo

Castel D'Uovo on the Sea in Naples, Italy
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Via Eldorado, 3, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

The seaside Castel dell’Ovo is one of the most scenic attractions in Naples. The castle, whose name translates to “Egg Castle,” is located on a peninsula formerly an island in the Gulf of Naples. It was built in the 12th century and is the oldest castle in the city.

Castel dell’Ovo was named after a legend about the Roman poet Virgil, who was considered a great and powerful sorcerer. The myth goes that Virgil hid a magical egg within the castle’s fortress, and if it were to break, the city would suffer through catastrophic events.

Today, the castle is used for temporary art exhibitions and events. Castel dell’Ovo is free to enter, though you won’t find much when no art exhibits are happening.

Instead, we recommend strolling the exterior of the castle to admire the stunning views of the sea and the city that it offers. It’s also the perfect spot to admire Mount Vesuvius. For a unique perspective, this boat tour of Castel dell’Ovo allows you to admire the castle by sea as you learn about its myths and legends.

See Related: Best Car Museums in Italy

20. Fountain of Neptune

Fountain of Neptune in Napoli, Italy
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Piazza Municipio, 80133 Napoli NA, Italy

One of the most stunning pieces of art that you’ll see within the city is the Fountain of Neptune, located in the Piazza Municipio. The fountain features Neptune holding his trident at the top and center, supported by two nymphs and two satyrs. It was created during the 1590s and was moved throughout Naples before it found its permanent home in front of the Town Hall.

Surrounding the main feature of the spectacular fountain are noble lions and fearsome sea monsters. Each lion holds up the coat of arms of the city. It’s in the center of the piazza and is close to the old town and Castel Nuovo.

If you’re looking for a great place to dine nearby, check out the Sea Front Di Martino Pasta Bar. This Michelin Guide-featured restaurant serves up some of the freshest pasta in town, prepared with amazing flavors. The chef’s tasting menu includes four pasta dishes and a dessert, as well as an amuse-bouche. It’s a definite must if you’re looking to sample Italy’s most iconic dish.

21. Galleria Umberto I

Galleria Umberto I, Napoli, Italy
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Via Santa Brigida, 68, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

What’s better than shopping and admiring works of art? Being able to do those things together! The Galleria Umberto I is a shopping center in the heart of Naples, just across from the Teatro di San Carlo. The gorgeous shopping center is a piece of art in its own right and is one of Italy’s most popular shopping arcades.

It looks quite similar to the shopping center in Milan, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Both were built at the end of the 19th century and feature glass and steel domed roofs.

You’ll find many beautiful sculptures and murals throughout the Galleria Umberto I. You’ll find a mix of small local boutiques, souvenir shops, and big brands such as Sephora.

Galleria Umberto I is a public shopping center, so it’s free to enter and open daily. Along with shops, many cafes and restaurants are perfect for a mid-day coffee break between all of Naples’ sights and attractions.

See Related: Things to Do in Florence, Italy

22. Day Trip: Amalfi Coast

View of Amalfi town from the beach along the Amalfi Coast of Italy
Brittney Liu / ViaTravelers

I highly, highly suggest making time for a couple of day trips during your time in Naples. It is the gateway to the rest of Southern Italy, after all. One of my favorite day trips from Naples is cruising down the Amalfi Coast.

The Amalfi Coast is a 34-mile stretch of scenic coastline that includes stunning coastal villages like Sorrento, Positano, Ravello, and Amalfi town. This beautiful coastline is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along it, you’ll find gorgeous sea views, colorful buildings, and harrowing hairpin tours.

If you plan to drive yourself, ensure you are comfortable with tiny roads and hairpin turns. If you don’t feel comfortable driving, hire a professional! This private tour of the Amalfi Coast will allow you to enjoy the journey without worries.

The tour guide will work with you to create a fully customizable itinerary. Make sure to leave time for stops at scenic restaurants and to get gelato in Amalfi!

23. Day Trip: Pompeii

People walking through the ancient ruins of Pompeii in Southern Italy
Woodrow Matthews / ViaTravelers

Another absolute must-do day trip from Naples is the ancient city of Pompeii. It’s just 25 minutes outside of Naples, making nearby Pompeii a great and easy day trip.

Pompeii is famous for being the site of a once-thriving city that was buried under ash after a catastrophic explosion by Mount Vesuvius. However, the ash perfectly preserved many parts of the city and even made casts of some bodies.

The site of the ancient city is huge; you could take a whole day to explore it if you wanted to. While there are a lot of signs everywhere, the best way to explore Pompeii is with an expert archeologist.

This two-hour guided tour includes your entry ticket to Pompeii and will guide you through the ancient ruins’ main highlights. After the tour, feel free to explore for as long as you’d like.

Highlights of visiting Pompeii include the Great Theater, Forum, mosaics, ancient pottery, and homes. I loved strolling the old streets; they transport you back in time. If you’re planning to rent a car and make a lot of day trips, I recommend staying outside of the city center.

There’s less traffic to deal with, and it’s easier to find parking. My favorite hotel outside the city is the Holiday Inn Nola – Naples Vulcano Buono. They have free parking, and it’s in a mall with many affordable food options.

See Related: Destination Weddings in Europe​​

24. Day Trip: Capri

The Faraglioni rock formations off the coast of Capri in Southern Italy
Brittney Liu / ViaTravelers

One of the most beautiful places you can visit on a day trip from Naples is the stunning little island of Capri. It’s known for its amazing limoncello and citrus products, handmade leather sandals, steep sea cliffs, and luxury shopping.

Since it’s so secluded, you may find a few celebrities hanging out here. Hotels are extremely expensive on the island, so a more affordable way to see it is to take the ferry from Naples for a day.

Once you arrive on the island, you might be overwhelmed by the many boat trip options available. Capri is best enjoyed on the water, so it’s a must. Coming from experience, I highly recommend hiring a private boat for your group instead of a big boat tour. You’ll be more comfortable and can customize how you want to spend your time. I recommend this private boat tour from Marina Grande.

Some amazing things you’ll see around Capri include the Faraglioni rock formations, the Grotta Verde, and the famous Blue Grotto.

Boat tours don’t usually include Blue Grotto admission since you’ll have to transfer to a smaller row boat to get inside the cave, but it’s definitely a majestic sight you’ll want to see. Another thing you definitely should do in Capri is to take the funicular train up to Capri town for stunning panoramic views.

If you feel like you need more than one day in Capri, you should definitely consider a vacation rental over an expensive hotel. Located in the center of Capri town, this charming house boasts the most breathtaking views.

25. Day Trip: Mount Vesuvius

Aerial view of Mount Vesuvius in Naples, Italy
jul14ka / Adobe Stock

Still considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Europe, Mount Vesuvius is one of the most iconic parts of the Naples skyline. You can’t miss it if you’re flying into Naples Airport or driving from a different part of Italy. Though it’s still considered to be an active volcano, many visitors climb Mount Vesuvius every year, and it’s one of Naples’ biggest attractions.

Mount Vesuvius offers visitors the most incredible panoramic views of Naples and the Bay of Naples. The drive up is just as scenic as the national park itself.

Once you arrive at Vesuvius National Park, you can explore 11 different hiking paths. The most scenic trail is The Great Cono, which is at the highest point of the mountain.

The drive up to Mount Vesuvius is only 35 minutes from the Naples city center, and if you’re renting a car, it can easily be combined with a visit to Pompeii. Otherwise, this half-day tour of Vesuvius National Park includes your entry ticket and a guided hike through the park.

FAQs

What is Naples, Italy, known for?

Naples, Italy, is most famous for being the birthplace of modern pizza. You can’t pass up ordering a delicious Neapolitan pizza when visiting Naples!

How many days do you need in Naples?

Three days are long enough if you’re mostly looking to explore the city with a limited number of day trips. However, Naples makes a great base for exploring the best parts of Southern Italy, so I recommend spending at least five days here.

Is Naples cheap to visit?

Compared to other major Italian cities like Rome, Milan, and Florence, Naples definitely offers a better value for your money. Most of Naples’ attractions are affordable, and food and accommodations are relatively affordable.

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