One of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world, Naples is Italy’s third largest municipality and the regional capital of Campania. If you stand a chance to visit this city, make sure you try out all these 14 best things to do in Naples. There are cities that preserve art in museums and daily life happens on streets but Naples is a city where art is a lifestyle.
Located in the Western Coast of Southern Italy, on the Bay of Naples, this ancient city has gorgeous sea – facing views. With history dating back to the 2nd millenium BC, Naples has many old major landmarks. Yet, this place, just like its name that means ‘new city’ has stood strong throughout its life.
‘See Naples and die’ but before that, you have some exquisite things to do in Naples
‘Vedi Nepoli e poi Muori’ is famous phrase which means ‘see Naples and die’ referring to the beauty of this city saying that if you have seen Naples, you have seen it all. You will agree if you see it yourself. Excited? Knowing about the things to do in Naples will further raise the excitement bar.
1. Excursion to the ancient cities of Pompeii & Herculaneum
Pompeii and Herculaneum were two ancient Roman cities that are famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites today. These cities were destroyed by the volcanic catastrophe of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The cities and nearby areas were buried under 4 to 6 volcanic ash and debris. The site remained lost until its final rediscovery 1748.
The remains of the city including structures, streets and object are preserved on the sites. The latter is infact one of world’s most preserved ancient cities. Pompeii and Herculaneum are one of the top tourist attractions in the world. You can also opt to explore Pompeii wearing a VR gear adding that special effect to your excursion.
Entry Fee: Pompeii – INR 1500 / Herculaneum – INR 1000
Timings: 1st April – 31st October 9am – 7.30pm (last entry 6pm)
Rest of the year 9am – 5:30pm (last entry 3.30pm)
How to get here: There are regular Circumvesuviana trains running twice an hour between Naples and Sorrento stopping at Pompeii. Herculaneum is 10 minutes walk from local Circumvesuviana railway station, Ercolano Scavi.
2. Climb Mount Vesuvius
Located just 6 miles away from the modern city of Naples is world’s one of the most dangerous volcanoes, Mount Vesuvius. It is an active volcano with the eruption cycle of 20 years, though the last eruption was in 1944. Mount Vesuvius has been a National Park since 1995. It has become an interesting spot for the tourists and hiking along the narrow path till the crater is pretty safe too. Climbing this angry mountain is worth the effort considering the astonishing view of the Bay of Naples, some of the Apennine mountains and a large part of Amalfi Coast from the top.
Entry Fee: INR 500
Timings: 9am – 4pm (Closing time varies)
How to get here: Take a Circumvesuviana train from Naples or Sorrento to Ercolano Scavi or Pompeii railway station, then a minibus or taxi to Mount Vesuvius.
3. Explore Naples Underground
Forty meters below the Historic Centre of Naples is the heart of Naples – Napoli Sotterranea or Naples Underground. This is the place from which the city was born 2400 years ago. Every epic event in the history, even the bombs of WWII have left a mark on its yellow tufa walls. This journey will undoubtedly you as your eyes unveil air raid shelters of WWII, the War Museum and even an underground vegetable garden – the Hypogeum Gardens.
Entry Fee: INR 800
Timings: Tours are taken from 10am – 6pm (every 2 hours)
4. Hop on world’s longest funicular ride
If you are a traveller at heart you would know that journies are far more interesting than the destination itself. And what better than travelling within your destination using the local transport. Maples has the longest funicular lines in the world and carries over 10 million passengers annually.
Naples Cable Railway Lines, i Funicolari, operates four car cable lines the city centre with the Vomero and Posillipo hill districts. The funicular journey around the city and up and down the hill is a joy ride for tourists.
Faresares: INR 120 (for 90 minutes)
Timings: 6.30am – 10pm/2am
How to get here: Your nearest station in Naples
Suggested Read: 10 Tourist Places In Italy That Are Sinfully Gorgeous
5. Treasure hunt for the real works of Michelangelo
The ancient Italian artist, Michelangelo Merisi o Amerighi da Caravaggio, commonly known as Caravaggio has made some masterpieces that are famous worldwide. Michelangelo’s contribution in the Renaissance and bringing intense realism by depicting religious figures and biblical scenes in human form.
Three of his popular real works are preserved in different locations in Naples. First: “The Seven Acts of Mercy” (1607) placed in Pio Monte della Misericordia Church; Second: The Flagellation of Christ” (1607) placed in Capodimonte National Museum; and Third: “The Martyrdom of St. Ursula” (1610) placed in Gallery of Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano. If you coming to this city, it’s a loss if you miss the chance of spotting and clicking the three.
Entry Fee: First: INR 600/ Second: INR 1500/ Third: INR 400
Timings: First: 9am – 2pm/ Second: 8.30am – 7.30pm/ Third: 10am – 6pm
6. Munch Pizza right where it originated
If you are a fan of the cheesy world popular delicacy called pizza then you are at in the right city. Naples is where the world’s first pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, opened its doors in 1830. In fact, the famous Margherita Pizza got its name when the Neapolitan pizza-maker Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita”, to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. The pizza was garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, to represent the national colours of Italy as on the Italian flag.
Spotting a good pizzeria corner and enjoying this heavenly dish with your companion is one of the best things to do in Naples at night. You stand the best chance to try the authentic versions of your favourite pizzas. Some of the best pizza spots are Sorbillo, Gorizia 1916, Carminiello, Starita, Pizzeria da Attillo and many more.
Common Price: INR 300 – 400
7. Ride a boat to the Islands of Amalfi & Capri
Roughly two hours away from Naples is Amalfi, a lovely town in Salerno Province. The city is set up in the deep gorge at the base of Monte Cerreto featured by dramatic cliffs, facing the Gulf of Salerno. Picturesque building stacked down the hill with colorful rooftops look like a ‘beautiful mess.’
Capri is another beautiful island with the easy reach from Naples. Located off the Sorrentine Peninsula in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the island is a popular resort destination. The island has several churches, museums and monuments but the main attractions are the natural wonders and beaches. The Blue Grotto is the island’s most well known attraction. It is a sea cave where the sunlight passing through the underwater opening gives the water a cobalt blue color. There are frequent ferries connecting Amalfi and Capri to eachother and Naples. You can also opt for riding on a speed boat. Make sure you do not miss the view of the city of Naples from the sea.
Charges: Starts at INR 160014 interesting
Timings: 6am – 9pm
8. Taste some finest vines on your Vineyard Tour
If you are too overwhelmed with the beauty of the city and are now looking for some unusual things to do in Naples, this is you thing. Naples produces a great range of quality wines. Hit any of the vineyard on the slope of Mt. Vesuvius. Experience how local wine is made right from the presses to the barrel room where it is aged.
Fall in love with this divine beverage as you taste some varieties of wines such as the famous Lacryma Christi, Taurasi Red or fiano di avellino white. Also indulge in samples of local dishes like bruschetta, homemade bread, pastiera napoletana. There are guided packages available that take you a vineyard tour. Request the tour in advance as you head to the volcano mountain.
Fee: INR 4000
Suggested Read: 15 Best Hotels In Italy: From Classy To Affordable Ones
9. See the wild of the city at Zoo di Napoli
If you are looking for some fun things to do in Naples for you kids, there’s no better place than the Naples zoo. The Zoo is the symbol of the city that has been reborn recently as it was left completely abandoned for many years. Zoo di Napoli is now a favourite spot for tourist kids as they get to see some really rare animals.
Entry Fee: INR 800
Timings: 10am – 7pm
10. Relax in Terme Stufe di Nerone
This comes after accomplishing all the action filled plans here like climbing the volcano, boating to islands, exploring the undergrounds roots and so on. When you just want to relax and have no things to do in Naples today, head to Terme Stufe di Nerone. Just an hours away from Naples is Terme Spa and Wellness. Stufe di Nerone are spas in Campania known for the care and relaxation.
The large thermal park with natural springs, palm & olive trees and pergolas allow you to enjoy a pleasant relaxing day outdoors in the pool. You can buy a coupon and you are sorted for the day.
Charges: Starts at INR 4300
Timings: 8am – 11pm
11. Read the city at The National Library of Naples
If you are that extraordinary combination of a book lover and a traveller, then this is your perk of being in a city with the third largest library in Italy (in terms of quantity). The National Library of Naples or ‘Vittiro Emanuele III’ is a part of the east wing of the Royal Palace. There are around 19.000 manuscripts, 4.563 incunabula, 1.792 Herculaneum papyri, around 1.800.000 printed volumes and over 8.300 periodicals to choose from. Pick a book for yourself and head to the sea. This is one of the best things to do in Naples long beach.
Timings: 8.30am – 7.30pm
How to get here: There are buses available from various prominent spots in the city including Central station, Beverello mall and airport. The buses will drop at San Carlo – Piazza Trieste e Trento where the library is located.
12. Participate in the events and carnivals
Italy loves to celebrate and this is one of Naples’ “Italy” things to do. Naples party in all seasons with festivals, and carnivals happening throughout the year. Carnevale (carnival) is Italy’s one of the biggest winter festival during the 40 days before Easter, and a final party before Ash Wednesday and Lent. In fact, you won’t even need to think about what to do in Naples if you are visiting in the months of February and March.
A number of performing art festivals & music festivals also happen during the year such as Neapolis Festival, Ethnos Festival, Cornetto, Notte Bianca and many more. The events include various activities like jazz, marathon, processions, parade, band performances, etc. To experience the true spirit of Naples, you must participate in at least one event during your visit.
13. Go fashion street shopping at Via Toledo
Naples is a shopping paradise. Its street markets display the latest trends and are inexpensive too. Clothes and shoes, antiques and handicrafts, cribs and souvenirs, you can shop for anything. The best places you can go for street shopping is Via Toledo, Via Chiaia, Via dei Mille, Via San Gregorio Armeno and Via Scarlatti.
Via Toledo is the longest shopping street in Naples. There are boutiques, cafes, department store and branches of big chains on the street. Via Chiaia has high brand boutiques, antiques and art stores. Via San Gregorio Armeno on the other hand, gives an ancient vibe with ample of antiques, craftworks and wonderful nativity figures.
Timings: 10am – 1:30pm & 4pm – 7pm
14. Get some custom-tailored apparels for yourself
Naples is one of the biggest hub for high-end handmade menswear in the world. There are hundreds of tailors in and around the city and with thousands working in small factories or at home. Best in shirtmaking, Neapolitan tailoring offers comfort and lightness. The style emerged as an attempt to loosen up the stiffness of English tailoring.
To get your custom-tailored apparel, some shops you can visit are Rubinacci, E Marinella, E&G Capelli, Barbarulo, and Mario Talarico.
How to reach Naples?
Capodichino Airport which is Naples International Airport has an efficient and frequent service of connecting flights between the Naples City and major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai.
How to travel within Naples?
Though there are city buses available, it is not an option most tourists go opt for. There are narrow-gauge trains to the south-east and the west, or ferries and hydrofoils to all points around the bay. Naples’ system of underground & overground railways and trams, are the fastest way to get around parts of Greater Naples.
“Naples is not so much of a city, but rather an ingredient of the human spirit that can be detected in everyone.” Be it enjoying a glass of vine standing on one of the world’s most dangerous volcanic mountains or be it eating a national flag colored pizza on its discovery land. The experiences are going to be one of a kind. Naples City has centuries of stories to tell you, when are you planning to listen?