Naples is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Italy. With Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, the island of Capri, and the Amalfi Coast all within an hour of the city, it has become a major tourist hub. While the city has handled the crowds of tourists well, its airport leaves a lot to be desired.
We have family that lives outside of Naples, and we frequently pass through the city on our way to visit them. Throughout our visits, along with the time we’ve spent living in Italy, we’ve picked up a lot of tricks. One of them is that flying into Naples is almost never a good idea if you’re coming from the United States.
For many tourists, Naples is the first place they visit in Italy. For others, it may be the 20th. In either case, the wisdom in this post is likely to save you hundreds to thousands of dollars if you want to arrive to Naples from another country.
Does Naples Have its own Airport?
Naples does have its own airport. Naples Capodichino Airport (NAP) is the closest airport to the city, for obvious reasons. However, while Naples airport is close, it is not usually the best option for international flights.
Naples International Airport is located just a short 20-minute drive from the center of Naples. You can reach the city center by taxi or by the Alibus shuttle service, which departs from right outside the airport with a journey time of about 15-20 minutes.
Naples Airport Is not Usually the Best Option for International Flights
Naples International Airport is actually pretty bad, and for a lot of reasons. The airport itself is pretty outdated, and the flight offerings are scarce for such a big city. The reasoning for this is largely due to the city’s proximity to Rome.
Naples International Airport does offer direct flights to several places both inside and outside of Europe. These flights come at a high cost, though. Most affordable flights to Naples will have at least one layover, and even then will likely be more expensive than some other Italian cities.
Salerno Costa d’Amalfi Airport (QSR) is also very close by, but this airport doesn’t offer international flights. If you want a domestic flight from Northern Italy, it could be a great option! From the USA, though, it won’t be.
Best Airports Near Naples for International Flights
It’s important to keep in mind that Italy is about the size of Arizona. While Arizona is one of the largest states in the USA, it’s exactly that – a single state. Many people just assume that they need to fly into Naples if they want to visit Naples!
This is simply not the case, though. There are several other major international airports that are within a reasonable distance from Naples. At these airports, there is a good chance you’ll get a better deal on your flight, and it may even be direct.
I wrote an entire post on the best airports in Italy for cheap airfare. This list is very similar to that one, except some of those are simply too far from Naples to be reasonable options.
Rome is Italy’s capital city, and it is one of the biggest cities in Europe. As such, you can expect it to have a pretty major airport! Fiumicino is absolutely massive, and it is the largest airport in Italy by far.
In my guide to finding cheap airfare, I mentioned that it is almost always best to use hub airports. Hub airports tend to offer the most direct flights and the most affordable airfare. Rome Fiumicino is the best example of this in Italy.
While it may sound inconvenient to fly into another city and then transit to Naples, it’s actually easy. Italy has one of the best train systems in the world. From Fiumicino Airport you can get to Naples Central Station in two hours, and the trip can cost as little as 15 euros.
You can buy your tickets directly on the website of Trenitalia, which is Italy’s train system, or in person at the station at a bilingual kiosk.
My typical flight to Naples would go from Pittsburgh to London, then London to Naples on British Airways. This is 10 total hours in the air plus at least a 3-hour layover in London. Flying to Rome usually costs me as much as $1,000 less and is faster if I can get on a direct flight.
2. Naples Capodichino International Airport (NAP)
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it really isn’t. Because of how close it is to central Naples, Naples International Airport places second on this list. However, it’s important to note that you might not find the best airfare into this airport!
If Naples is your final destination, and you can’t find any good airfare into Rome Fiumicino, I’d look next at Naples International Airport. Your chances of direct flights and affordable airfare are slim if you fly from outside of Europe, but the convenience of landing right in Naples is hard to understate. There are many international routes to countries in Europe and the United Kingdom on major airlines like ITA, Air France, and United Airlines.
The arrivals hall is pretty rough looking, but that can be said about many parts of the city of Naples! Naples has a grungy charm to it, and you can feel it all the way through the exit of the arrivals concourse. The terminal building is actually much nicer for departing flights than arrivals!
Rome Ciampino Airport is the smaller of Rome’s two airports, but there is a good chance you’ll find affordable flights into it. Ciampino is especially popular with European budget airlines like Wizz Air, which makes it a great option for travelers that are already in Europe.
Rome is essentially the bridge between Northern and Southern Italy. Just like with Fiumicino, you can get from Ciampino to Naples in about two hours on the train and for about 15 euros. Ciampino is a great low cost option for some travelers, but it may not be practical for foreign citizens arriving from the Americas and Asia.
Should You Rent a Car in Naples International Airport?
Many visitors want to rent a car in Naples. This may be because they want to drive along the Amalfi Coast and the Bay of Naples in a convertible. Or maybe they want to explore the nearby ruins at their own pace.
Personally, I would not recommend this. I would recommend hiring a driver if you can afford it. Italian roads can be treacherous thanks to some bold driving habits, and this can be especially nerve-wracking on the tight cliffside streets of the Amalfi Coast.
Car Rental Tips for Naples and the Amalfi Coast
Driving in the Amalfi Coast area can be very dangerous. The roads are narrow, and there’s a good chance of getting in an accident if you aren’t careful. Accidents on cliffside roads are never a good thing.