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3 days in Naples Castel Sant'Elmo

How to spend 3 days in Naples – the perfect itinerary (map included)

How to spend 3 days in Naples – the perfect itinerary (map included)

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How to spend 3 days in Naples? In this blog post, you’ll find tips on the best things to do in Naples, but also other tips for planning your trip to this Italian city.

Naples is quite a special city. There’s no doubt about that! They say that Naples is where you find the real Italy. I don’t know if it’s the real Italy or not, but one thing’s for sure, Naples is a city that has nothing to do with some of the charming cities in Northern Italy, such as Venice or Verona, for example.

Visiting Naples is a unique experience. Whenever I commented that I was going to Naples, there were only two possible reactions: “I LOVED IT” or “I HATED IT”. Naples is probably the Italian city that divides the most people. It’s not a city for all travellers, that’s for sure.

For example, the city is quite dirty, the buildings are old and dark, the streets narrow, and the driving daring and confusing (motorbikes everywhere). None of this helps the perception people get of the city, especially if you have been to other Italian cities.

But if this isn’t something that worries you and you like the authenticity that certain places have, then Naples is a perfect city for you 😄.

In my case, I can only say that I loved Naples and all its liveliness and confusion 😍. Despite the stark reality we see there, its historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has lots of places worth visiting.

And I wouldn’t mind returning to the city one day. Especially because Naples is also an excellent starting point for visiting other interesting places nearby, such as Pompeii, the Vesuvius volcano, Capri Island or the Amalfi Coast.

3 days in Naples Castel dell’Ovo
Castel dell’Ovo

So, keep reading to find out what to do in Naples in 3 days and other tips for visiting the city:

  • How many days to spend in Naples
  • Best months to visit Naples
  • Accommodation in Naples
  • Getting to Naples
  • Getting around Naples

Where is Naples?

The city of Naples is in the southernmost part of Italy, about 230 kilometres from Rome. It is located in the Campania region and next to the Gulf of Naples. It is a port city and its harbour is of significant economic importance to the country.

3 days in Naples Piazza del Plebiscito
Piazza del Plebiscito

What is the best time of year to visit Naples?

As a city break, it’s almost always a good time to visit Naples. However, summers are generally too hot, so avoid July and August. This is also when prices are usually inflated.

Therefore, one of the best times to visit Naples is from April to June and September and October, as the temperatures are more pleasant and there is less chance of rain.

In my case, I visited at the end of January and, while on some days the temperatures were quite pleasant (around 18 °C), on others the temperature dropped to 5 °C during the coldest periods of the day.

How many days in Naples?

Many people visit Naples in just one day. Frankly, the city has too much to offer to visit it in just one day. So, I suggest staying in Naples for 2 to 3 days.

Ideally, visiting Naples in 3 days will be more enjoyable, as you’ll be able to get to know the main points of interest and wander around the city without rushing around. Anyway, although this post focuses on things to do in Naples in 3 days, at the end of the post, I’ll also provide alternative versions of itineraries for Naples: 1 day, 2 days or more than 3 days.

In addition, Naples is very close to the island of Capri, the Amalfi Coast, the Vesuvius volcano and the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. This means that you can choose Naples as a base for looking for accommodation, staying more days in the city and going on some day trips to these just as incredible places nearby.

Is Naples worth visiting?

I’ve never had so many doubts about what to write in this section of the post as I have about Naples 😝. I say this because I really felt that Naples is a city that divides people’s opinions. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. Most people either hate or love Naples.

3 days in Naples Lungomare Francesco Caracciolo
Lungomare Francesco Caracciolo

However, if I just consider my opinion, I can say that Naples is TOTALLY worth it! It’s a completely different city from what I’ve seen in Italy. It certainly feels more authentic and raw.

I can also offer an additional recommendation if you’re in doubt about whether you’ll like Naples! If you prefer pretty and quite neat cities, then Naples might not be the kind of trip you’re looking for. Otherwise, I think Naples is a really good idea and one of the most authentic Italian cities you can visit.

Is Naples safe to visit?

Apart from the appearance of the city, one of the points most mentioned by those who didn’t enjoy visiting Naples was the safety factor. Some people told me that they didn’t feel safe in the city. Indeed, Naples doesn’t have the best reputation, especially because of the Italian Camorra mafia.

However, having mostly visited the historic centre, I have to be completely honest and say that I never felt unsafe on the streets of Naples. I walked the streets early in the morning and late at night (not much later than 9-10 pm) and didn’t feel uncomfortable. In fact, I visited the city in low season, both on weekdays and at the weekend.

3 days in Naples Castel Sant'Elmo
Views from Castel Sant’Elmo

For example, near the railway stations, I felt a “heavier” atmosphere (unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see a few homeless people on the streets), but even then I didn’t feel unsafe. What’s more, this is something I usually experience near many of the railway stations in some European cities.

3 days in Naples Mercato della Pignasecca
Mercato della Pignasecca

So, even though there may be some areas of the city that are more vulnerable in terms of safety, I think it’s a relatively quiet city and, for that reason, I don’t think it’s worth worrying too much about this 😄.

How to get to Naples?

By plane

There is an airport in the city of Naples – Naples-Capodichino International Airport. This airport has many connections with other European cities and also with some outside Europe. These connections with countries outside Europe include Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, the United States (New York and Philadelphia) and Egypt.

3 days in Naples Lungomare Francesco Caracciolo
Lungomare Francesco Caracciolo

By train/bus

However, given the proximity of Naples to other Italian cities, you can always choose to travel to those cities and arrange transport to Naples from there.

In my case, for example, I chose to fly to Rome and from there I took buses to get to Naples. However, the most convenient option for travelling between Rome and Naples is by train.

How to get to Naples
Bus Central station in Naples

One of the options is to take one of the Trenitalia high-speed trains that connect Roma Termini with Napoli Centrale station. Although the cities are more than 200 kilometres apart, some trains only take 1h15.

The price of this fast train journey is slightly higher than other options that take more time and start at 25€. I suggest buying your ticket in advance to secure the best prices. There are several timetables available every day.

💡 EXTRA TIP: I suggest you also check the ticket prices for Italo‘s fast trains from Roma Termini to Napoli Centrale, as they sometimes have more competitive prices than Trenitalia.

Another cheaper option is to travel between Rome and Naples by bus, in which case the journey takes at least 2h30. I particularly recommend the Flixbus service.

How to get from Naples airport to the city centre?

Since Naples International Airport is very centrally located, the distance between the airport and the historic centre is relatively short.

Alibus buses are one of the best options for getting to the centre and the journey takes around 15 minutes. Tickets can be bought online, but also at the ticket machines in the arrivals area of the airport. The ticket costs 5€. You can find the most up-to-date information here.

However, there are more convenient options – taxi or transfer (I recommend Welcome Pickups). This may be a better option, especially if you arrive in the city quite late. I didn’t find Naples to be an unsafe city, but to avoid bad first impressions of the city, it might not be a bad idea to leave the walking tour of the city until the next day.

What’s the best way to get around Naples?

Most of the best places to go in Naples are relatively close to each other. Therefore, I particularly recommend walking around the city to get from one point to another.

When the distances are too far, I suggest using the Naples metro, which has good coverage. There are single tickets (1.3€) and daily tickets (4.5€). However, taking into account the number of journeys you’ll need for this Naples 3-day itinerary, it’s unlikely that the daily pass will be worth it. That’s why I suggest buying single tickets whenever you might need them.

Transports Naples
Metro in Naples

To ride the funicular linking the historic centre of Naples to Castel Sant’ Elmo, you can use the same Naples metro tickets.

Renting a car in Naples is not a good idea at all. Neapolitans drive aggressively, so driving in this city is not for everyone. What’s more, it would be a waste of money, as most journeys can be made on foot or by public transport.

💡 EXTRA TIP: If you’re doing a road trip through the Campania region or South of Italy, I suggest leaving Naples for the beginning or end of your itinerary, ensuring that you don’t need a car for that part of the trip.

Accommodation in Naples

I really liked the accommodation I stayed in in Naples –  Domus Sansevero. It was a set of renovated flats located in an old building. The room was relatively spacious and comfortable.

The only problem was the sound insulation from the street. If you’re a light sleeper, perhaps you shouldn’t choose this accommodation. Otherwise, it’s excellent value for money.

Finally, one of the most positive aspects of this accommodation is its location. It’s very central, so I was almost always able to walk to the main tourist attractions in Naples. And even if you’re planning day trips to nearby places (such as Pompeii), the location is perfect because it’s located only 1.6 kilometres from the train station.

3 days in Naples PIazza S. Domenico Maggiore
PIazza S. Domenico Maggiore

Given the location of this accommodation, there are also several cafés nearby to have breakfast. I always ended up going to Gran Caffé Neapolis for a pistachio croissant and a cappuccino 🤤.

However, I would like to share with you other accommodation options in Naples that I also found interesting:

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TRAVEL insurance with -5% discount

Naples Map

To help you plan your trip to Naples, I’ve put together a map with the must-see things in Naples.

Activities & tours in Naples

How to spend 3 days in Naples

Itinerary for 3 days in Naples – Day 1

» Via Toledo

I suggest starting this Naples itinerary on one of the city’s main streets – Via Toledo. It’s a very busy street, where you’ll find many shops selling the most diverse brands from around the world.

Also, take advantage of the walk along Via Toledo to head down to Toledo metro station – one of the most beautiful in the city. Unfortunately, to visit the most interesting part of this metro station, you need to buy a ticket.

3 days in Naples Toledo Metro station
Toledo Metro Station

💡 EXTRA TIP: To avoid buying a metro ticket on purpose to visit the interior of Toledo station, I suggest you visit this station during one of your trips using Naples metro.

» Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarter)

A must-do in Naples is the Spanish Quarter. This was the Spanish neighbourhood when the city was part of the Spanish Empire. It’s relatively close to Via Toledo, but has a very different atmosphere.

3 days in Naples Quartieri Spagnoli

The streets are dark and narrow. When I visited, the streets still had decorations alluding to the title that SSC Napoli had won the previous year. You only have to walk around the streets of this Italian city for a few minutes to realise how passionate Neapolitans are about their football club (the only thing they might love even more is Diego Maradona, who also pops up hundreds of times in the city) 😅.

I visited in the late afternoon, so the streets weren’t very busy. However, I did notice some bars and it seemed to be a much more lively place at night. This part of the city was once considered unsafe due to the mafia, but I didn’t feel unsafe at all.

» Galeria Umberto I

Naples may be a city that stands out for its authenticity and untouched beauty, but not everything is dark and dirty. There are beautiful buildings in the city and Galeria Umberto I is proof of that.

3 days in Naples Galeria Umberto I

Built at the end of the 19th century, this gallery has some shops inside. For those who have been to Milan, it will certainly remind you of Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II.

Pay attention to the details on both the floor and the ceiling of the gallery, which will leave anyone in awe. The Art Nouveau style makes this gallery one of the most beautiful places to visit in Naples.

» Castel Nuovo

Continue towards one of Naples’ many castles – Castel Nuovo. Built in the 13th century, this castle is beautiful from the outside.

3 days in Naples Castel Nuovo

Although not very large, the castle has five towers joined by a wall. Inside the castle, you can visit the Palatine Chapel, where you’ll find well-preserved frescoes. It is also in this building that you can visit the Civic Museum of Naples, where you can see various works of art.

I ended up not visiting inside, as the ticket to go inside costs 6€ (prices as of January 2024) and I ended up prioritising other visits. But even if you just want to look at it from the outside, it’s worth it!

» Teatro San Carlo

The San Carlo Theatre is another hidden treasure in the middle of the streets of Naples. From the outside, the theatre is nothing special, but the neoclassical-style performance hall inside is beautiful.

To visit the inside of Teatro San Carlo, you need to book a guided tour, which can be done in Italian and English. The ticket costs 9€ and you can see the timetables available on the official website.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to visit the inside of this theatre, but judging by the photos I saw online, I think it’s well worth a visit. Especially as it is considered one of the most beautiful theatres in Europe and is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

» Piazza del Plebiscito

Piazza Plebiscito is one of the most iconic squares in Naples and even in Italy. It’s quite big (over 25,000 square metres) and is home to some of Naples’ most iconic buildings.

3 days in Naples Piazza del Plebiscito

To begin with, we have the Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola. It’s one of the largest churches in Naples and admission is free.

Basílica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola

Just opposite, and just as impressive, is the Royal Palace. Inside, you can visit the former quarters of the kings of Naples, which are in excellent condition.

3 days in Naples Piazza del Plebiscito
Royal Palace

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The Royal Palace is open from 9 am to 8 pm every day except Wednesday. Tickets cost 10€. See all the latest information here.

At the other two ends of the square, you’ll find Palazzo della Prefettura and Palazzo Salerno.

» Castel dell’Ovo

To end the first day of this itinerary in Naples, I suggest walking to Castel dell’Ovo. The walk is very pleasant, as part of it is by the sea. On days with good visibility, you can see Mount Vesuvius on the horizon.

3 days in Naples Castel dell’Ovo

The castle dates back to the 12th century and has this funny name (‘Egg Castle’) because legend has it that the Roman poet Virgil hid a magical egg, which protected the city from catastrophes, under the foundations of the castle.

3 days in Naples Castel dell’Ovo

This castle has served as a defensive element, a prison and a royal residence, but today it is an exhibition centre. Admission is free and it’s a must-see in Naples for the magnificent views over the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius (from Terrazza dei Cannoni). When I visited, however, it was temporarily closed.

Itinerary for 3 days in Naples – Day 2

» Basilica di San Domenico Maggiore

It’s time to start the second day of this Naples itinerary and I suggest beginning at the heart of Naples’ historic centre at Basilica di San Domenico Maggiore. Entrance is completely free and it’s especially beautiful inside.

» Cappella Sansevero

Museo Cappella Sansevero is one of the smallest but most fascinating places you can visit in Naples. It’s a small baroque-style chapel with a beautiful frescoed ceiling and several marble sculptures.

In fact, in the centre of the chapel, you can see the famous sculpture of the Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino. The chapel is indeed very small and the price is a bit high for the time you spend inside, but I enjoyed my visit and so, I had to recommend it.

Given the popularity of this place and its small size, they control the number of visitors per hour, so it is recommended that you buy your ticket in advance.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: Cappella Sansevero is open from 9 am to 7 pm and it closes on Tuesdays. Tickets cost 10€ and must be purchased on the official website. It is not possible to take photographs inside.

» Mercato della Pignasecca

Continue towards the Pignasecca Market. This is a small open-air market where you’ll find fresh produce such as fish, fruit and vegetables.

It didn’t seem to be a very touristy market, which made me like it even more🥰.

» Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo

If you think Naples doesn’t have any beautiful churches to visit, let me tell you that you’re wrong! Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo was probably my favourite in the city because as soon as I stepped inside, my jaw dropped! Anyone who passes by on the outside can hardly imagine such a beautiful interior.

It’s located in Piazza del Gesù (very pretty, by the way) and it is a Jesuit church. Visiting its interior is free and totally unmissable. You only have to look at the pictures I’m sharing to realise it, right?

3 days in Naples Piazza del Gesù
Piazza del Gesù

» Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara

A few metres from this fantastic church, you can also visit the Monumental Complex of Santa Chiara. One of the buildings that is part of the complex is a Basilica. However, this basilica is much simpler and less opulent than the religious temples we’ve visited on this itinerary so far.

3 days in Naples Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara

However, the main reason for including this spot on the itinerary is not the Santa Chiara Basilica, but the cloister in the Santa Chiara convent. As well as visiting this colourful cloister, you can also visit the crypt, an archaeological museum and a monastery. Entrance to the Basilica of Santa Chiara is free, everything else is not.

This visit is well worth it for the cloister of the former convent, which has several pillars with majolica tiles in the rococo style. In addition to the colourful tiles that give the cloister a lively look, I would also highlight the frescoes in the courtyard’s corridors. Too beautiful not to visit!

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The ticket to visit the Santa Chiara Complex costs 6€ and includes an audio guide that can be used on your mobile phone. The cloister is open from 9.30 am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10 am to 2 pm on Sundays. The Basilica’s opening hours are slightly different. I suggest you check all the information on the official website.

» Spaccanapoli

Although often referred to as a street, Spaccanapoli is actually more of an area made up of several streets that make up a long, narrow “street”, especially for those who see it from above.

3 days in Naples Castel Sant'Elmo
View of Spaccanapoli from Castel Sant’Elmo

Some of the places mentioned above are actually located in Spaccanapoli. However, I decided to set this area aside in this 3-day Naples itinerary, as the streets that make up Spaccanapoli deserve particular attention.

I would like to highlight Via dei Tribunali, Via Benedetto Croce, Via S. Biagio dei Librai and Via Vicaria Vechia. To walk along these streets is to experience the authenticity of Naples, near the local shops and people.

It’s one of the oldest “streets” in Naples and it deserves some time on this itinerary. It’s full of hidden treasures, and one of my favourites (apart from those already mentioned in this post) is Chiesa dei Santo Filippo e Giacomo, which I discovered completely by chance.

3 days in Naples Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo
Chiesa dei Santo Filippo e Giacomo

» Via San Gregorio Armeno

Also, take advantage of your visit to Spaccanapoli to take a short diversion to one of the most famous streets in Naples – Via San Gregorio Armeno. This street is also known as Christmas Street, as it mainly sells nativity scenes.

For those who love Christmas, this street is a true paradise. Here you’ll find the best craftsmen and shops specialising in articles for nativity scenes. Although this street is largely associated with nativity scenes, the shops are open all year round. In fact, in some of the shops you can see the craftsmen building the terracotta figurines.

» Naples’ Cathedral

Naples Cathedral, also known as the Duomo di San Gennaro, is a real wonder. It is one of the most important places of worship in the city, as the cathedral is dedicated to the patron saint of Naples – San Gennaro (St Januarius).

3 days in Naples Cathedral

It is here that you can witness the “miracle of San Gennaro” every year. Legend has it that if the blood of San Gennaro remains liquid, it will be a good year. The containers in which the saint’s blood is kept are brought out three times a year in a procession. If the blood remains liquid, it’s a good omen.

From the outside, this temple doesn’t look anything extraordinary (it’s a church with a neo-Gothic façade), not preparing us for the astonishing interior. I’d especially like to highlight the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro, which has a dome full of frescoes. Absolutely divine 🥰!

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: Entry to Naples Cathedral is free, except for some parts inside.

» Napoli Sotterranea

I suggest ending the day with one of the most amusing activities you can do in Naples – Naples Underground. Naples hides other treasures than the ones you can see when you walk through the city streets.

The city has several tunnels under the ground, kilometres long. These tunnels require a guided tour to be visited. For example, these tunnels that I suggest you visit were built to extract stone for the construction of the city, later served as an aqueduct until the plague broke out and, more recently, as a shelter during the various bombings that Naples suffered in the Second World War.

I chose to book this 1-hour tour, which allows you to visit a small part of the tunnels hidden underground. The tour cost 15€ and I found it really fascinating, as I learnt a lot about the city’s history.

However, this visit is not recommended for claustrophobics. Some of the tunnels are quite narrow and dark, which can cause some distress. I don’t suffer from claustrophobia, and I have to confess that I felt a bit trapped sometimes. However, the part that includes narrow tunnels only lasts about 2 minutes.

Other experiences in Naples allow you to explore the city’s underground world. I only ended up doing one of the tours because it’d become too expensive otherwise and also because of the time I had available, but here are some other suggestions (one of the most popular is Galleria Borbonica):

Itinerary for 3 days in Naples – Day 3

» San Gennaro Catacombs

Don’t think that because it’s your last day in Naples, it’s going to be any less interesting. Start the day with a guided tour of the Catacombs of San Gennaro – another of Naples’ great surprises.

3 days in Naples San Gennaro Catacombs

This is the largest complex of Christian catacombs in southern Italy and dates back to the 2nd century. Catacombs are basically a kind of cemetery, where there were different types of graves depending on the social class of the person buried.

In many of the graves, frescoes are still visible, which is truly fascinating. What’s more, since the remains of San Gennaro (the town’s patron saint) were once here, this was a place of pilgrimage for a long time.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: You can only visit the catacombs on a guided tour, which takes around 45 minutes. I found the tour quite interesting. I bought my ticket here and it cost 11€. You need to book a time slot for the tour.

3 days in Naples San Gennaro Catacombs

Since the catacombs of San Gennaro are far from the historic centre, I suggest taking a bus from the centre to the catacombs, then walking back.

» San Gaudioso Catacombs

When you buy a ticket for the catacombs of San Gennaro, a guided tour of the catacombs of San Gaudioso is also included. You have a year to book this second visit, and in this case, too, you need to book a time slot.

If you have the opportunity to book for the same day, I suggest you do so, as the catacombs of San Gaudioso are relatively close to those of San Gennaro. I didn’t end up visiting due to lack of time, but I recommend it as it allows you to get more out of your visit. In addition, the catacombs of San Gaudioso are the second most important cemetery of this period in Naples.

» Rione Sanità Neighbourhood

Descending from the Catacombs of San Gennaro to the historic centre of Naples, take the opportunity to visit the less touristy district of Rione Sanità.

This neighbourhood was once a dangerous part of the city, but it is no longer so, largely due to the restoration of the catacombs of San Gennaro and San Gaudioso, which until a few years ago were closed to the public.

One of my favourite parts of this neighbourhood was exploring it without much of a destination in mind. However, there are a few places worth keeping an eye on. This includes:

  • Basilica di Santa Maria della Sanità
  • Via Sanità
  • Piazza Sanità
  • San Gennaro Gate

» Castel Sant’Elmo

We’re almost ending the list of what to visit in Naples, but there’s still time for that one place that will make you fall even more in love with this city. I’m talking about Castel Sant’Elmo. This castle is located high up and has a privileged view of the Bay of Naples and the astonishing Mount Vesuvius.

3 days in Naples Castel Sant'Elmo

The castle itself has little to visit. In fact, I’d go as far as to say there’s nothing to see. But the views… the views 😍. There are no words!

You can walk 360º along the castle and see various perspectives of this incredible city. I especially recommend visiting on days when the sky isn’t overcast, for unobstructed views of Vesuvius.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The entrance ticket to Castel Sant’Elmo costs 5€ and can be bought at the ticket office at the castle’s entrance.

Since the castle is located high up (on Mount Vomero), the easiest way to get there is by funicular railway – Funicolare di Montesanto. The journey is relatively short and cheap. You can use the metro tickets, which cost 1.3€. You can use a ticket you already have or buy a new one from the machines available at the funicular station.

If you’re following this itinerary, I recommend taking the funicular at Montesanto station and getting off at Morghen. There is an intermediate stop but please don’t get out here. If you get off at the last station, it’s an easy 5 minute walk to the castle.

💡 EXTRA TIP: Personally, I think a visit to Sant’Elmo Castle is worthwhile. However, if you’re travelling with a low budget, you can choose not to pay for the entrance ticket to the castle and have similar views from Via Tito Angelini.

» Lungomare Francesco Caracciolo

Use the funicular from Montesanto to get back down to the historic centre, from where you can take the metro to Lungomare Francesco Caracciolo. This is a very pleasant area to stroll by the sea and capture some last images of the beautiful Bay of Naples framed by Mount Vesuvius.

We were already here on the first day when we visited the Castel dell’Ovo, but I chose to separate these two visits so that the days wouldn’t be too packed.

What to visit in Naples – 2 days Itinerary

2 days in Naples is also a good length for a visit to this amazing city, as it allows you to see some of the city’s main attractions. Here’s my suggestion for a 2-day itinerary in Naples:

  • Day 1: Via Toledo + Quartieri Spagnoli + Galeria Umberto I + Castel Nuovo + Piazza del Plebiscito + Castel dell’Ovo + Castel Sant’Elmo
  • Day 2: Cappella Sansevero + Mercato della Pignasecca + Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo + Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara + Spaccanapoli + Via San Gregorio Armeno + Naples Cathedral

This itinerary leaves out, for example, the catacombs and a visit to Naples’ underground tunnels. Although these are two very interesting things to visit in Naples, the visits are guided and take up more time.

What to visit in Naples – 1 day Itinerary

If you only have one day to visit Naples, my suggestion is that you focus your itinerary on the streets of Naples’ historic centre, which is one of the parts that makes Naples so special.

So, for a day in Naples, I suggest travelling around the following points of interest:

  • Via Toledo
  • Quartieri Spagnoli
  • Galeria Umberto I
  • Piazza del Plebiscito (and all the monuments there, from outside)
  • Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo
  • Spaccanapoli
  • Via San Gregorio Armeno
  • Naples Cathedral
  • Choose one of these two for views over the Bay of Naples with Mount Vesuvius in the background: Castel dell’Ovo or Castel Sant’Elmo

What to visit near Naples

Naples is a strategically located city, as it is close to many other interesting places. So you can use Naples as a base for some day trips relatively close by. Here are some suggestions of places you can visit near Naples.


In Pompeii, you’ll find the ruins of an ancient city that was destroyed after an eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. It is one of the most visited sites in all of Italy. Access the complete guide to visiting Pompeii.

What to know before visiting Pompeii

Travelling from Naples to Pompeii using the Circumvesuviana train is quick and easy. However, if you don’t want to bother with the logistics of taking the train and prefer a more leisurely journey, I recommend this half-day tour of Pompeii, departing from Naples. There is also an option that includes a visit to Mount Vesuvius, which is also something quite interesting you can do nearby.

I especially recommend booking a guided tour of Pompeii, as the complex is huge. I booked this 2-hour guided tour of Pompeii and I think it was an excellent option that allowed me to enjoy my visit to Pompeii much more.


Although less well known, Ercolano is another ancient city that was also destroyed by the same eruption of Vesuvius. Like Pompeii, the fact that the city was covered in ash for centuries has allowed it to be found in an excellent state of preservation.

I recommend this 2-hour tour of Ercolano with an archaeologist.

Mount Vesuvius

Did you know that it’s possible to climb to the top of the Vesuvius volcano? This is one of the most iconic volcanoes in all of Europe and it’s well worth a closer look. You can even combine a visit to Pompeii with Vesuvius and there are buses that connect the two sites.

3 days in Naples Castel Sant'Elmo
Vesuvius in the back

However, I would warn you to buy your ticket to Vesuvius in advance, as you can’t buy it on-site and there’s no internet up there.

Islands of Capri, Ischia or Procida

Especially on warmer days, I recommend visiting the islands of Capri, Procida or Ischia, which are relatively close to Naples.

Capri is much better known than the other two islands. It also has a reputation for being an extremely expensive island. However, if you go on a day trip, you can visit this famous island without spending a lot of money. For example, this tour includes a trip to Capri and lunch.


If you’re a fan of palaces, you could also take the opportunity to visit the beautiful palaces of Reggia di Caserta or Reggia di Capodimonte. As you might expect, the interior of these palaces is quite opulent. Their gardens are equally magnificent and well worth a visit.

Amalfi Coast

And finally, I couldn’t fail to mention the Amalfi Coast, which is also one of the most popular places in Italy. Be sure to visit Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano and other photogenic towns in this region of Italy.

Must-eat foods in Naples

One of the most unforgettable things about Naples is undoubtedly its cuisine. Neapolitans say that pizza was born here. Whether this is true or not, the truth is that Naples is home to some of the best pizzas in Italy.

So, on a visit to Naples, I recommend trying:

  • Pizza napolitana;
  • Ragù: minced meat with a tomato-based sauce;
  • Sfogliatella: the most typical sweet in Naples. It’s made with several layers of puff pastry and there are various fillings, but one of the most popular is ricotta cheese;
  • Babà: sweet, surprisingly fresh, washed down with rum;
  • Fried pizza and other fried street foods: It’s very common to see stalls selling cones (cuoppo) with fried food inside (from vegetables to seafood).
  • Taralli: a very tasty salty cookie
  • Fiocco di Neve: sweet with cream filling
Naples Restaurants

Restaurants in Naples

A Naples itinerary should also include restaurant suggestions. I had the chance to try a few, which I’d like to share with you:

  • Lombardi A Santa Chiara (€€): the pizza was wonderful! Best pizza crust I’ve ever had. And the prices were very affordable for the restaurant’s quality. Personally, I thought the pizzas were better than the famous Pizzeria da Michele.
  • Tandem Ragù (€): good place to try the famous ragù with pasta or on bread. It was very tasty and the prices were affordable.
  • L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele (€): the most famous pizzeria in Naples, as it appeared in the movie Eat, Pray, Love. The queues are huge (I waited 45 minutes for a table in January), but the tomato sauce on the pizzas is great and each pizza costs just 5.5€. It’s also possible to buy for take away.
  • La Locanda Gesù Vecchio (€€): slightly more expensive restaurant, but the food was great. There are two restaurants with the same name on the same street. It’s a good idea to book a table as they are both very small.
  • Il Cuoppo Friggitori Napoletani (€): street food stall where you can try the fried specialities served in the famous cones. The seafood one was my favorite and the prices are very affordable. However, they only have room to sit outside.

Although I didn’t try it because the queue was too long, one of the most famous restaurants in Naples is Trattoria Nennella. The food is said to be good and the meal a real entertainment (just search the internet for a video to see what I’m talking about 😄).

Disclaimer: this post may contain some affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy something through my links. This doesn’t represent any additional cost to you and you’ll be supporting my work here on the blog😊

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about me

A Ticket To Take Off About Me

I am Mariana from Porto, Portugal. I am truly passionate about traveling and all things travel related. And that’s exactly what led me to create this page: so I can inspire others to travel and help plan all those trips with my tips and itineraries.





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