Looking for the best things to do in Naples Italy? This guide has got you covered. Naples is a beautiful city on Italy’s southern coast and is known for its vibrant culture. Here I will describe 15 of the best things to do in Naples, Italy.

I have travelled solo throughout this region of Italy, with my most recent visit being in September 2022. Naples is a big city, so it will help to know where all the attractions are and how to get to them.

An aerial view of the city with views of mountains and the sea.
Naples and Vesuvius

15 great things to do in Naples Italy.

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Naples (or Napoli) is Italy’s third-largest city and is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its rich history, beautiful beaches and active nightlife. Let’s take a look 15 of the best things to do in Naples Italy.

Here are some quick Naples links:

1. Visit the Naples National Archaeological Museum.

The Naples National Archaeological Museum is one of the best things to do in Naples Italy. This museum is located in one of the oldest parts of Naples and it holds one of the largest collections of Greek and Roman antiquities in the world.

The museum’s collection includes many items from Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae, as well as objects discovered during excavations at other sites in Campania and Basilicata. It also houses some smaller items from other ancient Mediterranean cultures, as well as Etruscan and Egyptian art. You can buy tickets here.

An ancient roman sarcophagus, decorated with many intertwined marble statues and figurines.
Naples Archeaological Museum

2. Explore the San Gennaro Catacombs.

The San Gennaro Catacombs are a series of underground burial chambers that date back to the 2nd Century AD. They were originally used by the Christian community as a place to bury the dead, but eventually, they became the final resting place for the bishops of Naples.

A tourist attraction showing heritage elements and interior views of caves and catacombs.
Catacombs of San Gennaro in Naples, Italy

The catacombs have 6-metre-high ceilings, and there are hundreds of rooms with niches where bodies were laid to rest. In addition to these rooms, some of the passages also lead to chambers and crypts.

There are actually quite a lot of underground things to do in Naples Italy, this one is the most well-known. You can book tickets to the catacombs here.

Further reading: Naples Travel Guide: Tips for Visiting Napoli, Italy.

3. Head to Castel Nuovo.

One of the best things to do in Naples is to visit Castel Nuovo, which was first erected in 1279. It’s one of the main landmarks of the city and is located in front of Piazza Municipio, which is also worth checking out for its impressive architecture and history. Castel Nuovo was originally built as a royal seat for the kings of Naples, Aragon and Spain until 1815.

A medieval castle with a garden in front under the blue sky for tourist attraction.
Castel Nuovo

The castle itself includes a museum where you can learn more about its history, as well as an outdoor garden with a reflecting pool and fountain, which is perfect for a spot of relaxation after a long day of sightseeing.

4. Stroll around Naples harbour.

Naples is a bustling area, and its busy seaports prove it. The city is home to Naples Harbour, which stretches from Castel Nuovo to Piazza San Giovanni Battista. This bustling seaport is full of ships and boats that bring goods from around the world, and you can walk from one end of the port to the other in about 20 minutes to really get a sense of what goes on here.

A harbour with 2 rows of tall yachts with a large volcano across the sea in the background.
Naples harbour.

If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat, you’ll find plenty of trendy restaurants and cafes along Porto di Mergellina at the other end of the harbour.

5. Spend a day at Piazza del Plebiscito.

The historic centre of Naples is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The old town is filled with impressive buildings, statues and museums, but one of its most popular attractions is the Piazza del Plebiscito.

This main square in Naples features the Royal Palace and the Basilica Roya (royal chapel). It’s also home to other important buildings such as Palazzo Salerno, the Prefecture Palace and a statue dedicated to Charles III of Spain.

Aerial view of a city in daytime, light coloured European buildings can be seen with a central pizza in a semi circle shape with a grand building supported by many plinths. Hazy blue sky, with the sea in the distance.
Piazza del Plebiscito

The Piazza del Plebiscito is filled with shops, restaurants and cafes, so it’s easy enough to spend an entire day exploring this beautiful area of the city. This is one of the most popular things to do in Naples, so you will find it is always busy. My 2 day itinerary also starts here.

I recommend booking a walking tour to see the piazza or even a bike tour so you can cover more ground.

6. Walk around the Santa Lucia district.

The Santa Lucia district is one of the most beautiful and charming parts of this historic city. Located to the west of Piazza del Plebiscito, it’s home to narrow cobbled streets that wind down towards the sea. At its centre is a small plaza surrounded by cafes and restaurants. The area also contains different craft shops, as well as stores selling everything from clothing to souvenirs and more.

This is an interesting district and lots of walking tours will take you here to show you something a little different from the main sights.

A narrow alley between old buildings with vehicles parked and a person riding a bike.

7. Explore Spaccanapoli.

This street is a hidden gem – not found on any map, but made up of many streets that seamlessly form one. It’s the lifeblood of the city and one of the most popular things to do in Naples, therefore it is usually teeming with tourists.

There are cafes and eateries serving delectable Italian pasta and pizza, chic boutiques and souvenir shops.

Some people walkign down a very busy Italian steret with vendors selling their products on both sides of the street. This is one of the best things to do in Naples Italy.
Spaccanapoli, Naples Italy

Spaccanapoli’s most iconic site is the Piazza del Gesù Nuovo, which translates to ‘The Square of New Jesus’.

Also in the heart of Spaccanapoli lies San Domenico Maggiore, where two remarkable structures can be found: The Church of San Domenico Maggiore, and an obelisk honoring those lost to a past plague. The Museo Cappella Sanservero is also nearby.

You can book a guided tour of the Spaccanapoli here.

8. Sample the best pizzas on Via Tribunali.

Naples City is best known for its pizza, and while you can try it all over the city, there’s no better place than Via Tribunali. This street is home to some of Naples’ most famous pizzerias, including Sorbillo and Di Matteo.

Sorbillo, in particular, has been named one of the best in the world by many publications. Di Matteo is known for making the best arancini (rice balls) in the city, so it’s a great place to try some traditional Neapolitan dishes.

A shop window displaying rows of pizza slices in Italy. Eating pizza is one of the best things to do in Naples Italy.
Pizza in Naples

Be aware this street gets extremely crowded and you will probably have to stand in long lines to get your pizza, but it will be worth it. There is a stop at Via Tribunali on my planned 2 day Naples itinerary. You can also book food tours which include the best pizza here.

Further reading: Food from Naples: all the best foods, and where to eat them.

9. Take a tour of Pompeii.

Pompeii is one of the most popular attractions in Naples, and it’s not hard to see why. This ancient Roman town was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and buried under ash in 79 AD. The ruins of Pompeii are incredibly impressive, especially when you consider how well-preserved they are after so many centuries.

Ruins of the historical structure with a distressed statue and pillars on a sunny day.

The site is huge and there are lots of things to see – you could easily get lost wandering around the maze of streets and houses. The best way to reach Pompeii is by taking the Circumvesuviana train from Napoli Centrale station, which is a 35-minute journey.

You can book tours of Pompeii here.

10. Climb Mount Vesuvius.

No journey to Naples or the Campania region is complete without a trip up Mount Vesuvius, the iconic volcanic peak overlooking the Bay of Naples. This volcano is renowned for its destructive eruption in AD 79 that buried two populous towns – Pompeii and Herculaneum – beneath tons of ash and lava.

Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano, but you can hike up to the summit. The trail is about 4km long and there are a couple of little shops along the way, although be aware there is no shelter. Book your tickets here.

Further reading: Ultimate Guide to the Best 10 Day trips from Naples, Italy.

A volcano caldera in the foregrouns, with clouds and an ocean view in the background.
Vesuvio National Park.

11. San Gregorio Armeno church.

If you want to see how the nativity scene is made and get a feel for the Christmas spirit in Naples, then a visit to San Gregorio Armeno church is a must. This historic church is home to the world-famous nativity scene workshop of Neapolitan artisans.

You can also find other artisanal shops selling traditional Christmas decorations and souvenirs on this road, which is also known as ‘Christmas Alley’. This is one of the best things to do in Naples for Christmas lovers.

The decorative classical interior structure of the Church with an image of Lord Jesus Christ
San Gregorio Armeno church in Naples, Italy

There is a beautiful baroque cloister which is quite breathtaking. The church is only open in the mornings, it costs a few euros to enter, and you need to make sure your shoulders are covered. I recommend taking a scarf with you like this one.

There is a great tour of the baroque buildings in Naples here.

12. Take a boat tour

A boat tour around the Bay of Naples is one of the best ways to see the city from a different perspective. You will pass by hidden coves, beaches and islands. From the water, you can observe Naples’s two active volcanoes – Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Epomeo as they stand tall in the sky! You can book your boat tour here.

Photo taken at sea, looking back at land with a volcano in the distance and a blue sky
Naples Boat trip

Boat tours from Naples also sail to destinations such as the island of Capri, Ischia and the Amalfi Coast.

13. Visit the Galleria Umberto I.

This 19th-century shopping arcade is a great place for visitors to experience some of the city’s architectural beauty and its many galleries, restaurants and shops. You can admire the art nouveau design from the balconies, have a coffee or window shop at one of the many boutiques located here.

An ornate circular rooftop, picture taken from inside the building looking up at the circular design
Galleria Umberto I, Naples Italy

14. Visit Santa Chiara Monastery

Located near Piazza del Plebiscito, this religious complex includes a basilica, monastery and museum. There is also a beautiful cloister. It also offers plenty of interesting artworks as well as a collection of books dating back to medieval times.

Book your tickets here.

Colorfully painted wall in front of a relgious building
Santa Chiara Monastery, Naples Italy

15. Take a street food tour.

For those looking for an unforgettable culinary experience, Naples is home to some incredible street food stalls. From traditional pizzas to seafood dishes and many other delicious treats, you will find plenty of tasty options here.

I recommend booking a food tour like this Naples Food and Wine tour which is truly excellent.

Food Market, Naples Italy, with many round containers of different seafoods.
Food Market, Naples Italy

Examples of foods you can try on Naples food tours are: supplì (fried rice balls filled with cheese or meat), fried pizza, arancini (rice balls with a variety of fillings) and the classic Neapolitan street snack sfogliatella. This is an absolute must-do for any foodie!

Map of the best things to do in Naples Italy.

The map below shows all the things to do in Naples as listed in this post. To use the map, you can click the blue icons to see more information about each place. Click the star to add to your own Google Maps.

Other Great Things to do in Naples Italy

Other fantastic things to do in Naples include seeing the beautiful artwork within the Toledo Metro Station, visiting Castel Dell’Ovo and seeing a show at San Carlo theatre and Naples Cathedral.

If you have seen the main sights, or it’s not your first visit to Naples, consider the more unusual and unique things to do in Naples too.

In Naples you are also close to the Italian towns of Sorrento, Positano, and Salerno too.

Further reading: Naples Travel Guide: Tips for Visiting Napoli, Italy.

Where to Stay in Naples.

First, check out my post on where to stay in Naples. With so much to see and do, deciding where to stay in Naples can be a bit of a challenge.

However, Centro Storico is probably the best spot for your first visit. Situated to the east of the city centre, it’s within walking distance of the main attractions and restaurants, so it’s perfect if you’re keen to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of daily life here.

People walking on a narrow street with vehicles parked on both sides and clothes hanging on ropes in between old buildings.
Napoli Streets.

If you’re hoping to enjoy some of the nightlife in Naples, Vomero is an excellent choice. An upscale area of the city, it is quite hilly, so be prepared to do a lot of walking if you stay here.

Finally, another popular spot is Chiaia, which is lined with artsy boutiques and designer stores. A trendy area of the city, it’s a little further away from the historical centre, so you may have a longer commute to reach some of the popular attractions.

An aerial view of a city located within a bay on a sunny day with a blue sky and white clouds. Blue sea to the east and a large vocano towering over the city in the distance.
Naples and Vesuvius

Hotels in Naples Italy

First, check my Naples travel guide to the best neigbourhoods in Naples before deciding where to stay.

Here are my overall top picks for Naples hotels on Booking.com:

  • Best luxury hotel: Romeo Hotel is a 5 star hotel with rooftop and spa, opposite the ferry port.
  • Best mid-range hotel: Toledo Boutique Rooms in the Spaccanapoli district, central location.
  • Best budget hotel: Hotel Alloggio Del Conte in the historic centre and close to the train station.
  • Best Sustainable hotel: Duomo 152 Naples in the historic centre. This property has met the Travel Sustainable Level 2 criteria from Booking.com, read more here.

Here is a map showing hotels in Naples by location:


If you prefer, you can check the current best Naples stays on Booking.com here. I recommend reserving your room immediately to get the best price. It’s usually free to reserve, and you can always cancel later on.

An aerial view of the city with a mountain on a sunny day.
Naples and Vesuvius

FAQs About Naples Italy

Q: Is Naples Italy worth visiting?

A: Absolutely! Few cities in Europe can match the impression Naples leaves imprinted in your brain. From its loud and hectic traffic to its breathtaking piazzas, Unesco-listed historic centre, and stunning surroundings – Naples is a city impossible to forget. Read my guide on where to stay in Naples for helpful tips on neighbourhoods.

Q: What is Naples Italy best known for?

A: Naples is iconic for its pizza, and there’s no greater example than the classic Margherita. Created in honour of Queen Margherita by Raffaele Esposito, this beloved dish has become an icon that symbolises both Naples and all of Italy.

Q: Is 2 days enough for the best things to do in Naples Italy?

A: If you’re an art and history enthusiast visiting Naples for the first time, then I’d highly suggest that you extend your stay to three days if possible. But even with only two days in this beautiful Italian city, there’s still plenty of vibrant sights to explore and discover. I have created a planned 2 day Naples itinerary for you which will remove much of the guess work! There’s also a whole host of unusual things to do in Naples which I recommend you check out.

Further reading: 2 day Itinerary for Naples Italy.

Q: Is Naples a walkable city?

A: Naples is the ideal city for strolling around, particularly if you stay in its historical downtown district which hosts most of the must-see sights. You can do most of the best things to do in Naples Italy on foot.

Q: Can you suggest some must-visit museums in Naples?

A: Certainly! Don’t miss the Naples National Archaeological Museum, which houses an incredible collection of Roman and Greek artefacts, and the Madre Museum, dedicated to contemporary art.

Q: Is it worth visiting Castel dell’Ovo?

A: Yes, Castel dell’Ovo is worth visiting for its historical significance and stunning views of the Gulf of Naples. You can explore the castle’s interiors and enjoy a walk along the seafront.

Q: Can you recommend any markets to explore in Naples?

A: Mercato di Porta Nolana and Mercato di Pignasecca are popular markets where you can experience local life, find fresh produce, seafood, and various local products.

Q: How can I best experience Neapolitan cuisine in Naples?

A: To experience Neapolitan cuisine, indulge in authentic pizza at pizzerias like L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele and try local dishes like pasta with ragù, sfogliatella pastries, and seafood.

Further reading: Food from Naples: all the best foods, and where to eat them.

Q: Are there any nearby islands or day trips that can be visited from Naples?

A: Yes, Naples is a gateway to several beautiful islands. You can visit the stunning island of Capri, the thermal baths of Ischia, and the charming fishing village of Procida. You can take day trips to the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, explore the Amalfi Coast with its stunning landscapes, or visit the historic city of Caserta.

Further reading: Ultimate Guide to the Best 10 Day trips from Naples, Italy.

Q: What are some family-friendly activities in Naples?

A: Families can enjoy a visit to the Naples Aquarium, explore the zoological park in Capodimonte Park, and take a day trip to the Science Centre Città della Scienza.

Q: How can I experience the local street life in Naples?

A: To experience the vibrant street life of Naples, explore Spaccanapoli, visit local markets, and enjoy people-watching in piazzas like Piazza del Plebiscito.

Q: How to get from Naples to Amalfi?

A: To reach the picturesque Amalfi Coast from Naples, take a train ride to Sorrento and then board an SITA Bus which will stop at all of the major coastal towns like Positano, Praiano, and Amalfi. It’s a stress-free way to travel and is very straightforward. You could also do a road trip if you prefer.

Further reading: Planned road trip itinerary for the Amalfi Coast, Italy.

Nighttime aerial view of a large city lit up orange and sprawling with a large volcano in the background and a sunset.

Travel Advice for your trip to Naples Italy.

I have published a complete travel guide to Naples which contains information on transport, weather, food and drink, where to stay, trips and tours, festivals in Naples and more.

Further reading: Naples Travel Guide: Tips for Visiting Napoli, Italy.

Climate: Naples has a temperate Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers, mild and wet winters, and abundant sunshine throughout most of the year. Summers tend to be very warm and humid with temperatures averaging in the mid-to-high 80s Fahrenheit (30°C).

Getting Around: I don’t recommend driving in Naples, as the traffic is crazy and the parking rules are very difficult to understand. However if you really need to rent a car, try a rental comparison site like Discover Cars.

Money: The currency in Naples is the Euro ().

Below are some helpful links for your trip:

Here are some quick Naples links:

15 Great Things to do in Naples Italy: Related Reading

Here are some more Naples travel guides which may interest you.

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