If Rome is the heart, then Naples (Napoli) is the soul of Italy. Napoli is not the dreamy muse Puglia sleeping on the sand, not the arrogant Sicilian boy, Napoli is the unruly child of Italy: rushing, bustling, passionate, and enchanting with every breath. The Neapolitans are not the sweet, romantic Italians in our imagine. They are both straightforward and a little mischievous that they don’t hide. Naples will push your senses to the extreme in every touchpoint. This article will share with you the experience of traveling to Naples, the southern port city of Italy. So, is Naples worth visiting, what to do in Naples and how to plan a perfect budget trip to Naples for the first-time? Let’s check out our Naples blog (Napoli blog, Naples travel blog, Napoli travel blog, Naples Italy travel blog) with the fullest Naples travel guide (Napoli guide, Naples city guide, Naples guide, Naples visitor guide, Naples tourist guide, Napoli travel guide, Naples Italy travel guide) from how to get to Naples, best time to come, where to stay, best places to visit, what to eat and things to do in Naples to find out the answer!
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Naples blog (Napoli blog): Overview of Naples
Naples seems to be a city that has it all, as it is home to Pizza, Gelato, Mandolin and the mesmerizing red volcano – Vesuvius. But that’s just the surface, but deeper than that, Naples is a city untouched by modern tourism, with historic and artistic streets, and an incredible culinary culture.
It is likened to a masked city with two opposing halves. This contrast consists of a very positive part with respectable historical and cultural value, the other side is a negative part related to the Mafia world, and the scandalous garbage crisis with lingering consequences. persisted the city until much later.
The port city of Naples is considered the capital of the vast Campania region. Here, in the nineteenth century, Joachim Murat – the king of Naples, built the Piazza del Plebiscito. The semicircular square is closed on both sides by the Royal Palace and the church of San Francesco di Paolo.
Where is Naples?
Napoli is also known as Naples. Naples is the largest city in Southern Italy, with population and economic size only after Rome and Milan. Just over an hour’s drive south of Rome, Naples is a bay and the most important economic and military port in the Mediterranean. This is a large city and is considered the capital of the Campania region of Italy. The area of Naples is about 117.3 km² with a population of more than 2,1 million people. The central area of the city of Naples is the largest historical area of Europe and has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
Most visitors only stop by Naples when they are on their way to the beautiful island of Capri, or the beaches of Sorrento and Postiano, all of which are recognized as wonderful destinations. But if you love people-watching, love getting lost in ancient streets that seem untouched, untouched by time, and above all, if you want to try some of the best street food of your life, then spend a few days in the city of Naples is perfect for you.
What is Naples famous for?
First, and foremost, Napoli is famous around the world for its football. Just mentioning Napoli, Diego Maradona, San Paolo stadium, millions of hearts who love Italian football have sobbed.
The second, and equally famous, Napoli offers the world another masterpiece: Pizza. Pizza was born in Naples and nowhere else in Italy, Pizza has its original taste and crispy, soft, aromatic become the norm in Naples.
The third most famous thing in Naples is Sofia Loren, who has glorified the Italian cinema and set the standard of beauty for Italian women.
The fourth thing is definitely the landscape. The southern coastline of Naples is perhaps the most filmed coastline in the world, with dreamlike seaside cities by the deep blue water of Mediterranean. Downtown Naples is a jumble of side streets packed with food stalls and restaurants, cafes, Diego Maradona t-shirts, and hot Southern Italian girls.
The soul of Italy: Contrary to an Italy facing an aging population, Naples is a youthful city that is always jubilant. This is true Italy!
Is Naples safe for tourists?
There’s a reason why Naples has always been a poor ‘cousin’ to nearby cities like Florence, Rome or Venice when it comes to tourists. Admittedly, other cities have amazing works of art and architecture, but so does Naples, even its beauty is somewhat wilder and harder to define. For decades – if not centuries – Naples has always been considered a dangerous destination, because of petty crime, and poverty. (Sadly, even the Italians themselves rekindled such segregation.) The key point to this in Naples, as in any other prosperous metropolis in the world, is that you must approach it with understanding. Strongly holding on to your bags and keep an eye on your surroundings every time you stop, but especially in the stations, and especially if you venture stepping into some of the most notorious areas for crime like Quartiere Stella neighborhood. During the day, most downtown areas are safe, but again, watch out for quiet neighborhoods or crowded markets. After dark, not all the streets are lighted, but if you follow the main routes, you will have a peaceful ride.
In fact, Naples is the city with the most bad reputation in Italy: Theft, pickpocketing, mafia, superstition, environmental pollution, reckless speeding motorbikes, but according to my observations, Naples is a safe city for tourists, even very worth to visit. Of course, when traveling anywhere, it is important to ensure personal safety such as: Bring a cross-body bag containing wallet and passport, credit cards when going out, do not go out late at night, do not go into small alleys that are rarely passed by or not arbitrarily talking to strangers is always necessary. If you hear a motorbike screeching behind you, be careful, a Napoli guy with a rough face and slut eyes can rush his motorbike at you.
Naples travel blog: When to visit?
Italy is a country located in the middle of the Mediterranean. Therefore, spring and summer here will often be very hot and winter is very cold. You should come here from March to June every year. At this time, it is no longer cold, the weather is quite cool and pleasant with the average temperature of only about 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. In addition, you can also come here from September to October every year.
Naples travel guide: How to get to Naples?
Getting to Naples is quite convenient and easy because Napoli is only 1 hour from Rome by car or train. In addition, Naples also has an international airport called Capodichino that connecting to many major cities in the world. Another way is to take a bus. Buses to Naples with very many firms, this is a company with an English interface that is easy to book.
To travel from the airport to the city center, you can choose from many different means of transport such as bus, tram, etc. You should go by bus to Stazione Centrale (Naples Station) for only about 3 Euro/way.
Naples visitor guide: Getting around the city of Naples
Naples is a fairly modern city, so the public transport system is quite good and convenient. Usually, backpackers often travel by a fairly modern metro system in the inner city. The central station is Via Toledo station, just stop at this station and walk along the street of the same name, an attractive Napoli is already in your hand.
Public transport is still a type of transportation chosen by not only residents and tourists in Naples. If you need to travel a lot, you should buy a daily pass. With a price of 3 Euros you can go all kinds of means of public transport in the city. As for the 1 Euro pass, you will be able to go in 90 minutes on all types of public transport. However, you need to know is that you should not take the bus at off-hours. Because this is the time when the bus is very crowded.
Naples blog: Where to go, things and what to do in Naples?
Usually, tourists visit Naples and combine other famous cities such as Pompei, Sorrento, Positano or the island of Capri. The cities I just mentioned are even more famous and filmed than the capital Napoli. However, if you only visit Naples center, it only take about a day.
Like the Champs-Élysées of Paris, Via Toledo is a lavish boulevard that brings together all the cultural and architectural values of Naples. Here you can shop from designer brands to affordable items. After eating pizza, dessert with babà, watching the street with countless shops and people pass by, strolling along to the end of the boulevard to reach the harbor to get some fresh air. If you are bored on the ground, take an underground trip to explore Toledo Central Station – a contemporary art work famous for its uniqueness.
From the mall Galleria Umberto I, follow the West exit to the shopping street Via Toledo. Along cobblestoned street, on both sides are palatial ancient houses. Here, visitors can shop for souvenirs for their Naples trip such as jewelry, watches, eyeglasses, clothes and even electronics at a fairly cheap price.
Address: Via Duomo, 147, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy
Hours: 8AM–2PM, 2:30–7:30PM.
Admission: Free entry/Baptistery: € 2 (US$ 2.10)
Naples San Gennaro Cathedral is a famous religious structure not only in Italy but also around the world thanks to the sacrament of the liquefied blood of Saint Gennaro. On three days of the year, in a rite presided over by the Bishop of Naples: September 19, the first Sunday of May, commemorating and on December 16, the vial of Gennaro’s blood will be brought before all parishioners. If the vial of blood liquefies, then Naples and the world will be at peace. On the contrary, the world will encounter great disasters such as natural disasters and epidemics. In 2016, the vial of blood did not liquefy and there was a volcanic eruption off the coast of Italy. And the most recent time, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the blood vial was still liquefied. On normal days, visitors will not have approach the vial of blood, but we can still admire this magnificent Gothic style church. Unlike most cathedrals in Italy, this church does not have its own square but is located on a street.
The church is considered one of the most historically significant landmarks in Naples. Most tourists come here to visit this church, because of the beauty that blends architecture and works of art.
Naples Eastern University (L’Orientale University of Naples)
Address: Via Chiatamone, 61/62, 80121 Napoli NA, Italy
Hours: 8AM–6PM/Saturday, Sunday: Closed
This is where Phuong, my companion on this trip to Naples has studied. This is the University specializing in Oriental culture in Naples, where many Vietnamese students have studied. The campus is both peaceful and quaint. It’s really a different experience that not every trip has.
National Museum of Capodimonte
Address: Via Miano, 2, 80131 Napoli NA, Italy
Hours: 8:30AM–7:30PM/Wednesday: Closed
It is a famous tourist destination in Naples. It exhibits many Burgia, Farnese and Borbon collections with Italian Baroque and Renaissance paintings.
National Archaeological Museum of Naples
Address: Piazza Museo, 19, 80135 Napoli NA, Italy
Hours: 9AM–7:30PM/Tuesday: Closed
It has many wall paintings and other artifacts from Pompeii, Herculaneum and Farnese’s collection of Roman sculptures. It is recommended that you buy an English guide at the souvenir shop because the items on display are described in Italian only.
Address: Via Vittorio Emanuele III, 80133 Napoli NA, Italy
Hours: 8:30AM–5PM/Sunday: Closed
West of the pier, visitors will admire the ancient citadel of Castel Nuovo. This is definitely the ideal place to take photos for visitors to get great moments to mark their exciting Naples journey.
The castle was built in a square shape with four circular watchtowers at four corners. Each watchtower has a gun hole. This is considered a medieval castle in Italy. The towering wall was built of solid black Sandstone, surrounded by a deep moat. The entrance gate is located on the west side and connects to the road by a small bridge.
Having existed for more than 800 years, through many renovations, today the citadel is a place to display works of art such as paintings, sculptures and Royal utensils from the Middle Ages. This is considered the main museum of the city. The most important and worthy of visitors’ attention is probably the gallery with many famous works of Italian Painting created in the nineteenth century.
Egg Castle (Castel dell’Ovo)
Address: Via Eldorado, 3, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy
Hours: 9AM–6:30PM/Sunday: 9AM–2PM
The was built in 15th-century on the Megaride peninsula, located just off the coast of Naples, a popular tourist attraction in Naples. The castle is connected to the mainland by a causeway over 100 meters long and is a great photo spot for newlyweds. Around the castle on narrow streets are seafood restaurants and cute little cafes.
Royal Palace of Naples
Address: Piazza del Plebiscito, 1, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy
Hours: 9AM–8PM/Wednesday: Closed
Another place for tourists to visit and take pictures is the Royal Palace of Naples. This is a luxury palace built in the early 17th century (1616), located in the heart of Naples. Initially, it was the residence and working place of the Spanish rulers in Naples, but in the 18th – 19th centuries, the palace became the residence of the Bourbon kings. Located before the facade of the palace are statues of the eight kings who ruled Naples from the 12th century until unification.
You can visit the rooms inside with gilded items and extremely unique murals. In particular, the white marble double staircase or the family garden is a place where visitors take pictures to create a very luxurious and impressive aristocratic style.
Bourbon Tunnel (Galleria Borbonica)
Address: Parcheggio Morelli, Via Domenico Morelli, 61 c, 80121 Napoli NA, Italy
Hours: Friday, Sunday: 10AM–5PM
The place to visit that visitors can combine in the journey is the mysterious Bourbon tunnel. Located about 150m from the square, there is a passage leading down to the tunnel. With a depth of 30m above the ground and a large space, the tunnel was built with the purpose of connecting the Royal Palace to the military barracks, an escape route when there was an emergency.
The tunnel system was unfinished due to the death of King Ferdinand II (who ordered the construction). However, this road is still an ideal place to carry out many intentions. It used to become a warehouse for illegal cars in the 1930s, a hospital and bomb shelter during the second world war, a warehouse for waste and sealed objects after the war.
After being forgotten for a long time, in 2000, this tunnel was rediscovered and cleaned up and remodeled into a gallery, attracting a large number of visitors both at home and abroad.
Coming to Bourbon, visitors can see antique cars, ancient vestiges of bomb shelters, water tanks, etc. It is also a silence to return to the past.
San Carlo Opera House and Galleria Umberto I
Not far from the ancient city of Castel Nuovo to the north is the San Carlo Opera house (Address: Via San Carlo, 98, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy) with a large square and many ancient architectures. Opposite it is the shopping mall Galleria Umberto I (Address: Via San Carlo, 15, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy/Hours: 8:30AM–8:30PM/Saturday, Sunday: 8:30AM–10PM). The façade of the mall is carved with many intricate patterns in the same old architectural style but is much more sophisticated and unique. For those who like to admire ancient works with ancient architecture, this is definitely a place worth stopping.
The overall architecture is cross-shaped with a curved dome roofed with transparent glass, making the interior full of light. Four doors face four directions, of which the main door faces west towards Rome. The polished marble floor looks like a cathedral.
The Veiled Christ
Address: Via Francesco de Sanctis, 19/21, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy
Hours: 9AM–6:30PM/Tuesday: Closed
Naples has some incredible museums and galleries, including one of the world’s finest collections of Greek and Roman antiquities at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Or visit the stately monastic complex at the National Museum of San Martino, just outside the city, with spectacular views over Naples. Of course, in case you’re focusing on other aspects of the city (like the food!) and you don’t have time to indulge in every other cultural experience, a standout recommendation is to visit the Veiled Christ at the San Severo Chapel museum, right in the heart of the city. This statue of the deceased Christ was sculptured from a single marble by Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753. He somehow made the marble as thin as silk, like a shroud covering the body of Christ. A masterpiece, incredible!
This is a classic masterpiece sculpture in Western art history, the English name is The Veiled Christ. The statue is located in a small museum in central Naples, and photography is not allowed inside the museum. The statue depicting Jesus after his death is commemorated with a thin cloth. The statue is made of marble but shows the thinness of the fabric, you can even see the blood vessels on the body of Christ. Many people line up to see this famous statue.
Naples blog: Castel Sant’Elmo
Address: Via Tito Angelini, 20/A, 80129 Napoli NA, Italy
This is the point to see the whole city of Naples from above and learn about the military level of the Italians. Also in the Fortress is a gallery displaying many works of Italian art.
One of the destinations that anyone traveling to Naples cannot ignore is Pompeii. This is an ancient town. Pompeii was once a busy and thriving town in Roman times. However, in AD 79, the volcano Vesuvius erupted and engulfed the town. At that time, an estimated 11,000 people were killed. It was not until 1599 that this town was discovered by archaeologists. UNESCO has also recognized it as a world heritage site. Every year, about 2.5 million tourists visit this place near Naples.
Strolling through the stone roads, admire the beautiful scenery and admire the beautiful scenery, frescoes at Villa Dei Misteri and Casa del Centenario, and ancient temples. The Circumvesuviana train is easily accessible from Naples station, getting off at Pompeii stop. Adult tickets cost 11 Euros, discounts apply.
Take an expedition to the volcano Vesuvius
Vesuvius volcano today is not only a famous tourist destination in Naples but also considered as a symbol of this city. Today, this volcano is inactive. You can join the Vesuvius volcano discovery tour or explore on your own. The path leading to the top of the mountain is not too difficult to hike. It only takes your about 30 minutes walk. The majestic natural scenery on the top of Vesuvius volcano will definitely be an extremely worthy reward for you.
Go to the island of Capri
When traveling to Naples, you definitely do not miss the opportunity to explore the paradise island of Capri. To get to Capri island, you will have to go by speedboat for about 1 hour. Ticket prices are around 20 Euros. Or if you want to save more money, you can go by wooden boats for only 12 to 15 Euros. However, it will take up to 90 minutes to reach the island.
You’ll definitely want to hop in a cab as soon as you reach Capri to visit the crowded town, perched along the cliff top. During the summer months, hop on a boat to visit the island’s famous Blue Cave, or take the cable car up Mount Solaro. It’s also famous for its upscale markets and shopping boutiques too!
Escape to the beaches of Sorrento along the coast of Amalfi
Once summer arrives, temperatures soar in Naples, it’s time to escape from the sweltering inland air to head out to the bay. Sorrento, located along the coast of the Gulf of Sorrento, is a lively town with commercial and tourist activities that take place in the summer. There aren’t many beaches here, but the well-appointed boardwalks with sunbeds and parasols, coupled with attentive table service, will provide hours of enjoyment, and take a dip under the cool blue beach too.
Be sure to learn about local wines including Sorrento’s Limoncello, as well as traditional wood inlays. Sorrento can be easily reached from Naples’ main train station by the Circumvesuviana train – the same train to Pompeii, but this time you have to go to the last station. It will probably take about 1 hour.
Naples blog (Napoli blog): What to eat in Naples?
Naples is the birthplace of pizza – and you can’t walk its streets without visiting the street food stalls or pizzerias beckoning you with arguably the best pizza in the world.
Neapolitan pizza is usually a pizza made in a deep pan with a thick crust, but they have a special dough that makes the pizza soft and light. L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele (Address: Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy/Hours: 11AM–11PM) is one of the most popular pizzerias in the city (long before it appeared in Julia Roberts movie Eat Pray Love). Located on Via Cesare Sersale, in the bustling heart of the city, it has only two types of pizza – tomato with mozzarella or tomato and anchovies – but both series are perfect!
Napoli is also the culinary paradise of Italy with the best pizza in the world. In my opinion, you can just call the most basic pizza a Margherita consisting of only buffalo cheese mozzarella and tomatoes to better see the sophistication of the original pizza. Good pizza is not difficult to find in Naples, just go around the Quartieri Spagnoli area near Via Toledo and then go to a restaurant and it is definitely delicious.
Also you must try the babà cake, a rather special cake with cream and a bit of enchanting rum. Babà is a type of street food, so if you go along Toledo, you will see many shops selling it.
Naples travel blog: What to buy as a gift in Naples?
T-shirts, statues, caricatures of Diego Maradona. I bought a Maradona t-shirt for my dad. Limoncello, specialty of this region. Finally, ceramics in the shape of garlic, lemon, and chili peppers are used to exorcise evil spirits according to Napoli folk concept.
Naples guide: Where to stay?
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Grand Hotel Santa Lucia (Agoda, Booking)
- Hotel Cristina (Agoda, Booking)
- Hotel Piazza Bellini & Apartments (Agoda, Booking)
- Palazzo Salgar (Agoda, Booking)
- UNAHOTELS Napoli (Agoda, Booking)
- Palazzo Caracciolo Napoli MGallery Hotel Collection (Agoda, Booking)
- Grand Hotel Vesuvio (Booking)
- Chiaja Hotel de Charme (Agoda, Booking)
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Naples you can refer to
- 4G SIM Card for Europe from Xplori (SG Delivery)
- Pompeii Ruins Admission Ticket In Naples Surroundings
- Naples Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour
- Guided Day Tour of Amalfi (Naples Departure)
- Naples & Pompeii Guided Day Tour from Rome
- Pompeii: Fast Track Entrance Ticket with Audio Guide
- Naples: Boat Tour to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
- Naples or Sorrento: Full-Day Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Tour
- From Naples: Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi Full-Day Tour
- Naples: Street Food Tour with Local Guide
- Naples: Make Your Own Neapolitan Pizza Workshop
- Pompeii: Archeological Site Entry Ticket
- Pompeii: Small-Group Tour with an Archeologist
- From Naples: Skip-the-Line Pompeii and Vesuvius Tour
- From Naples: Island of Capri Full-Day Tour with Lunch
- From Rome: Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius Volcano Full-Day Trip
- From Naples: Pompeii Ruins & Mount Vesuvius Day Tour
- From Naples: Gulf of Naples & Capri Sightseeing Boat Tour
- From Naples or Sorrento: Amalfi Coast Full-Day Trip
- Underground Naples: Entry Ticket and Guided Tour
- From Naples: Amalfi Coast Full-Day Trip
- Naples Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: 24-Hour Ticket
Read more Italy travel guide here.