Naples Italy Travel Guide: Everything to Know [2023]

Aug, 04, 2023
aerial view of coastline cit of naples during sunset

Naples is one of the most popular places to visit in all of Southern Italy. As the international entryway to the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, and Mount Vesuvius, the city of Naples has a lot to offer its guests. While there are some wonderful day trips from Naples, the city itself is an incredible place to explore.

We pass through Naples frequently on our way to visit family members that live a couple of hours south. Each time we stop in Naples, we always find something new and exciting to do or see. While Naples isn’t our favorite place in Italy, it’s hard to turn away from an Italian city with such rich history!

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This Naples Travel Guide will lay out everything you need to know about visiting Naples Italy, including the best things to do, the best time to visit, how to get around, safety, and more.

We recommend staying in the Grand Hotel Vesuvio for the best views of the Bay of Naples.

Does Naples Really Serve the Best Pizza?

If you’ve ever visited Italy, you’ve likely noticed that pizza is an entirely different food than what is served in many other countries. Pizza in the United States, for example, is loaded with grease, cheese, and toppings like pineapple and bacon. 

Pizza in Italy is an entirely different food! The dough is thin and chewy, the meal is light, and you can eat an entire 12-inch pizza without feeling too full. This is the case all throughout Italy.

While the pizza in places like Rome and Florence is wonderful, there truly is nowhere that does it as well as Naples (or chefs FROM Naples). Naples is recognized as the birthplace of Pizza, and boy does it live up to the title.

Neapolitan pizza, or pizza napolitana, is one of the greatest dishes on Earth.

The best way to find out if Naples really serves the best pizza in the world is to try it for yourself. Pull up a chair at a popular pizzeria in Naples, like Sorbillo in the Centro Storico. I promise you…it’s special.

Best Time to Visit Naples, Italy

As far as I am concerned, there is absolutely a right time to visit Naples – the winter and spring! Some people will caution you to avoid visiting Naples during the winter because of lower temperatures, but that only really matters if you want to go to the beach.

Summer Is the Worst Time to Visit Naples

Thousands of people visit Naples over the summer for family vacations and other reasons. Despite the heat that could melt your socks off, the summer is the most popular time to visit Naples. This is also the least pleasant time to visit, as the crowds are massive and the prices are exorbitant.

The fall is a decent time to visit, but there is usually rain every day during the fall. The prices are also a bit high compared to the winter.

Winter and Spring Are the Best Times to Visit Naples

Naples is hot. Even in the winter, temperatures are comfortable with highs that hover in the 50s or 60s. Despite the nice weather, the number of tourists in Naples is reasonable during this time.

Since the number of tourists is relatively low, so are the tour and accommodation prices. While you probably won’t be able to go to the beach in Naples in winter, it is probably the most comfortable time of the year to visit.

If visiting in the winter isn’t in the cards for you, visiting in the spring is also a great time. Between March and May, temperatures are often warm enough to go to the beach. Also, as it is the shoulder season, there are significantly fewer tourists during the spring when compared to the summer.

How to Get to Naples, Italy

Naples is the third-largest city in all of Italy, and as such has its own international airport. However, Naples International Airport is not the greatest, and Naples is within reasonable distance of several other major airports that may be better options. You might have better luck finding affordable airfare or direct flights into other Italian airports.

Luckily, I wrote a comprehensive guide about getting to Naples! Many people want to visit Naples on a trip that also visits other Italian cities. If this is you, or if you don’t mind taking a train for a couple of hours once you arrive in Italy in order to save hundreds to thousands of dollars, be sure to read my guide on how to get to Naples.

How to Get Around Naples, Italy


Naples is equipped with several methods of public transportation that make getting around Naples much easier. Naples has a subway system, local trains, buses, trams, and even a cable car, or funicular. Tickets for the subway can be good for a single ride, a time period of around 90 minutes, or even multiple days if you get day passes. 

The subway is a very convenient way to get around as long as you are staying in the central areas of Naples. We see very little need for anything else as long as you are staying within the city itself.

If you need to get anywhere that isn’t very well connected by the subway, you can opt to take either a bus or a taxi. There is no Uber in Naples or anywhere in its surrounding area. Cabs work fine, but be sure to agree on a price before getting in because drivers in Naples may try to scam you.

Is Naples a Walkable City?

Naples is one of the largest cities in Italy, and it is far too big to just walk everywhere. While walking around the Historic Center, or Centro Storico, is often possible, actually getting from one end to the other is pretty far. 

We like to stay in the Grand Hotel Vesuvio, which is within walking distance of the Spanish Quarter and the Castel Dell’Ovo but very far from many other downtown areas. From here, getting to true downtown Naples would require walking several miles. This is a tough task in the Southern Italian heat!

Is Naples Safe to Visit?

As a whole, Southern Italy has had a long history of crime. Particularly, Southern Italy is where the mafia tended to do the most damage decades ago. You may be wondering “is Naples still dangerous?”

Yes and no. It is true that the mafia still has a strong presence in cities throughout Italy. There is no denying this. 

Their influence is also especially strong in Southern Italian cities, like Naples and Palermo.

However, while they still have a foothold in these places, they operate very differently than they used to. The mafia does not go after foreign tourists visiting Italy. These stories are thankfully now just a part of history.

The Mafia Isn’t the Issue Anymore

The mafia is pretty much invisible to tourists now and isn’t really an issue. The bigger issue is simply that as such a major tourist hub, Naples is filled with pickpockets and scammers. While I have never felt threatened in any way, I personally know of many people whose bags and wallets have been stolen.

As far as my friends go, this has never been done violently. Rather, if you put your phone in your back pocket or set your backpack down below a bench, there’s a good chance you’ll never see it again. 

When you visit Naples, it is crucial that you practice common sense and use caution. Avoid using debit cards at all costs, carry only the cash that you need, keep your phone and valuables in your front pockets, and keep your belongings in sight at all times. If you do this, your chances of anything bad go down significantly.

cute family with baby posing on italian roughtop overlooking castle on the sea
We have had wonderful visits in Naples, but we are still very weary of pick-pocketers.

How Many Days in Naples Is Enough?

Naples is the third-largest city in Italy and is packed with things to do. If you plan on visiting Naples, I recommend staying for at least four days. 

If you plan on visiting Naples, I recommend staying for at least four days. 

If you are able, staying in Naples for a week is a great amount of time. But many people visiting Italy hope to visit other parts of the country, which is understandable. If this is the case, I recommend budgeting at least four days to spend in the Naples region.

You Need Time for Day Trips and Exploring Naples

You should budget one full day to visit Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. This day trip is simply a must-do.

You should also budget a day for visiting the Amalfi Coast, as it is a bit of a drive outside of the city. The Amalfi Coast might be the most iconic place in Italy, and you can’t visit Naples for the first time without heading there.

Finally, you should have at least a day and a half to truly visit and explore Naples. The museums in Naples are awesome, and they alone can take up a full day of your time. Naples is so full of history and culture that you simply can’t experience enough of it in just a day. 

ruins of Pompeii

Is Naples Worth Visiting?

As one of the biggest cities in one of my favorite countries in the world, it’s hard to say anything but yes. Naples is ripe with adventure, packed with incredible food, and is unlike many other places in Italy. 

On top of that, the day trips from Naples are extraordinary. Having the Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvius, Paestum, and Pompeii all within a couple of hours is absurd, and all of these places belong on any list of the best places to go in Italy. 

The pizza in Naples truly is better than anywhere else on Earth, and the seafood is nothing to scoff at either. Located on the Bay of Naples, Naples has always been a famous port city. The fresh seafood here, along with the vast array of Neapolitan seafood dishes, make for the perfect combo.

The museums in Naples are world-class, the city’s vibes are gritty and inspiring, and there is no shortage of stunning Catholic Churches. While Naples isn’t my favorite city in Italy, it is still magnificent. If you’re planning on visiting Southern Italy, you can’t just pass through Naples – you need to stop and explore.

The Best Things to Do in Naples, Italy

1. Tour the Naples National Archaeological Museum

The Museo Archeologico di Napoli is widely considered to be one of the best museums in Italy. It is filled with incredible statues and artifacts dating back thousands of years. Being so close by, it’s no wonder that so many artifacts from the archaeological site of Pompeii are housed here.

From gorgeous statues and pottery to exquisite mosaics and paintings, there is no shortage of things to see in the Naples National Archaeological Museum. If you get thirsty, there is a coffee shop located on the museum’s ground floor with very affordable prices. 

Entrance to the museum costs roughly $20-25 depending on the season. It is open every day except for Tuesday from 9am to 7:30pm.

black and white marble statue in museum

2. See the Unexploded Bomb at the Church of Gesu Nuovo

The Church of Gesù Nuovo is one of the most stunning churches in Southern Italy. It is absolutely gorgeous, and it is home to a full wall of saintly relics. While the relic collection is extensive, it isn’t even the most awe-inspiring thing in the church.

The Church of Gesu Nuovo, or New Jesus, is famous because it was bombed during WWII but not destroyed. In fact, a bomb landed right on the church and never exploded. The unexploded bomb remains on display in the Church, and it is a can’t-miss attraction while in Naples.

The people of Naples welcomed this miracle during the pain of the war. To this day, the square outside of the church remains one of the main areas to hang out in the evening in Naples.

beautiful interior of Italian church

3. Eat Pizza on Via dei Tribunali

Naples is regarded as the true home of pizza, which is one of the most popular staples of Italian cuisine. While you can get incredible pizza all over the city, there is no area more famous than the Via dei Tribunali. This street is packed with incredible pizzerias, and you can’t go wrong at any of them.

The most famous pizzeria in Naples is Gino e Toto Sorbillo, and it is found on this street. If you’ve never had true Naples pizza, this is a great place for your first time. As long as you can stand waiting in long lines, you will not be disappointed. 

If you don’t want to stand in long lines for your pizza, that is understandable. Just about anywhere you go in the Naples area will serve incredible pizza made from the best local produce. But if you want the best, you should really try heading to the Via dei Tribunali at a good time, like earlier in the evening right when the restaurants open.

4. Admire the Veiled Christ Statue at Cappella Sansevero

The Veiled Christ Statue at Cappella Sansevero is one of the most esteemed statues in Italy. It is a carved marble sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino that was completed in 1753. The level of detail is truly stunning.

On top of that, the Sansevero chapel is gorgeous itself! We have not yet had the chance to visit the Veiled Christ statue, but our family members have. According to them, it is truly remarkable and a must-see while in Naples. 

The Veiled Christ Statue is at the top of our bucket list next time we’re in the city!

A black and white veiled marble statue

5. Grab a Drink in Piazza Bellini

While the Peach Bellini is not a Neapolitan drink, the Piazza Bellini is one of the best places in Naples to grab libations. This square is very popular among both tourists and locals for Aperitivo. Every evening, the bars around this square are absolutely teeming with life.

Aperitivo is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Italian culture, as a true experience means you are surrounded by locals. While you can grab a drink at any bar in Naples during this time of day, many will tell you that nowhere does it as well as Piazza Bellini.

6. Tour the Royal Palace of Naples

The Palazzo Reale is one of the most opulent buildings in Naples. Located off of the Piazza del Plebiscito, this palace was built in the 17th century and has been a symbol of the city ever since. While the Royal Palace is gorgeous from the outside, it is also beautiful inside. 

The Royal Palace is located just south of the Spanish Quarter (Quartieri Spagnoli), so it is a bit far from the city center. While you’re in this area, I recommend checking out the Teatro San Carlo, which is the city’s stunning opera house located just around the corner.

beautiful  white marble stairway in Italian museum

7. Visit Pio Monte della Misericordia

Pio Monte della Misericordia is a stunning Catholic church in the city center located right by the Duomo. It is most popularly known for the Caravaggio painting housed inside. Caravaggio’s “The Seven Works of Mercy” is housed here, and it is a must-see while in Naples.

When you visit major cities in Italy, one of the best things to do is go on a tour of its iconic Catholic churches. Many travel guides recommend visiting this church because of the painting, but the church itself is gorgeous as well. This can also be said about San Domenico Maggiore, which is an epic Gothic Church located right near the Church of Gesu Nuovo.

8. Go for a Stroll Along the Lungomare

The Lungomare is a 1.5-mile-long stretch of land along the bay of Naples, located to the southwest of the historic center. This area is essentially a long pedestrian strip along the beach. The name means “along the sea” in Italian.

This is one of the best places to go to the beach in Naples. It’s also a great place to slow down and grab a drink while absorbing the mountainous views in the distance. 

9. Take a Day Trip to One of the Area’s Many Highlights

The Naples region is absolutely packed with incredible places to visit. While the city is great in its own right, most tourists visit because of the surrounding treasures. From nearby Pompeii to the iconic Amalfi Coast, some of Italy’s best treasures are within two hours of Naples.

Some of the best ruins from Roman times can be found here, like Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Paestum. Stunning views can be found here, like in Sorrento and Positano. And some truly magnificent islands, like Ischia, Capri, and Procida are also worth visiting.

ruins of Pompeii
Pompeii is a MUST SEE. My wife, Angel, has been multiple times and it’s high on my own bucketlist!

10. Explore the Castel dell’Ovo

The Castel dell’Ovo is a large fortress located south of the Spanish Quarter and along the Lungomare. This castle is normally open to the public, but was recently closed for renovations. Just outside of the fortress there is a marina filled with small boats and fantastic seafood restaurants.

We have stayed in the Grand Hotel Vesuvio a couple of times, which is located right across the street from this marina. The seafood here is truly great, and the tables offer great views of the bay! Be prepared for long lines if you plan to eat here, as it is a very popular area.

the beautiful coastline along naples
The Castel dell’Pvp rests along the Lungomare.

Do you have more questions for us about Naples? Or did we miss any big attractions?

Please comment your thoughts and questions!



Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.

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Meet The Author - Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.