Best art museums in Naples: discovering the city's artistic wonders

From the days of Ancient Rome to cutting edge design, the 10 best art museums in Naples have it all.

Naples is known for its historic landmarks like Pompeii and its exceptional food (not to mention the world's first pizza). But don't miss the art galleries in Naples. These stunning museums are sure to be a highlight of your trip to Italy.

You'll find all kinds of great art in Naples. From stunning mosaics recovered from Pompeii and Herculaneum to Renaissance paintings by the likes of Caravaggio, there are centuries of masterpieces to admire. At the best art museums in Naples, you can also admire some of the world’s most extravagant jewelry. You’ll even find cutting-edge exhibits that use the latest technology to let you see old masters in a new light.

Best art museums in Naples

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1. Admire the ancient mosaics at the Archeological Museum

The Archeological Museum of Naples is home to some of the finest recovered pieces from Pompeii and Herculaneum. If you're an art lover, you'll probably head straight for the mosaics. The most impressive of all is the incredible mosaic depicting Alexander the Great, found in Pompeii.

Highlights:

The best way to get around this impressive museum is with an Archaeological Museum 2-Hour Guided Private Tour. Your expert guide will help you understand the historic context behind the art and architecture on display.

Address and opening hours:

Piazza Museo 19, 80135 Naples. Open Wednesday-Monday, 9:00 AM-7:30 PM. Closed Tuesdays.

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2. Take a journey through the history of Italian art at the National Gallery of Capodimonte

No trip to Italy would be complete without admiring some Renaissance artwork. The best place to do that in Naples is at the National Gallery of Capodimonte, which features works by great masters like Caravaggio, Raphael, and Michelangelo. There are also more modern exhibits, as the museum covers centuries of art from Italy and beyond.

Highlights:

A guided National Gallery of Capodimonte Tour means you won't miss a thing. Make sure to head up to the third floor to see Andy Warhol's colorful, pop art image of Vesuvius erupting.

Address and opening hours:

Via Miano 2, 80131 Naples. Open Thursday-Tuesday, 8:30 AM-7:30 PM. Closed Wednesdays.

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3. Check out the art on the water at the Casina Vanvitelliana

The exterior of the Casina Vanvitelliana is incredible. Built on the shore of Lake Fusaro, this Baroque building looks at first like it's floating on the water. Inside, you'll find sights that are just as impressive.

Highlights:

Your Casina Vanvitelliana Entry Ticket gives you access to an ever-changing rotation of temporary exhibits. There are often works of modern art that are strikingly different in this Baroque building.

Address and opening hours:

Piazza Gioacchino Rossini 1, 80070 Bacoli. Open Friday-Sunday, 6:00 PM-11:00 PM.

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4. Be dazzled by bling with the Treasures of San Gennaro

This religious art museum is an incredible collection. While there are some great paintings on display, the real highlight is the jewelry, including the Mitre of San Gennaro. Made in 1713, this ornamental headpiece has almost 4,000 separate gemstones, including diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.

Highlights:

Take a Chapel and Museum of San Gennaro Guided Tour to admire the incredible jewelry and the Baroque art that makes up a major part of the collection.

Address and opening hours:

Via Duomo 149, 80138 Naples. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:30 AM-6:00 PM.

Best design museums in Naples

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5. See the world in miniature at the Museodivino

You've never seen design like this before. The Museodivino takes the Neapolitan tradition of the presepio (nativity scenes) and shrinks it to a tiny scale. You'll need a magnifying glass to see the tiny nativities inside cherry pits and pistachio shells.

Highlights:

Enjoy a visit to the Museodivino as part of a Sculptures Walking Tour with Museodivino Ticket. You'll also see the Veiled Christ, perhaps the most famous sculpture in Naples.

Address and opening hours:

Via San Giovanni Maggiore Pignatelli 1B, 80134 Naples. Open Monday-Sunday, 11:00 AM-4:00 PM.

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6. See design come to life at the Madre Museum

The Madre Museum is one of the most modern and innovative sights in a city better known for its classical history. The building has colorful walls and floors, modern mosaics, and glorious frescoes.

Highlights:

The Madre Museum features a rotating series of temporary exhibits showcasing modern art and design. The incredible design of the building is really the main attraction here.

Address and opening hours:

Via Luigi Settembrini 79, 80139 Naples. Open Wednesday-Monday, 10:00 AM-7:30 PM. Closed Tuesdays.

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7. See fantastic plastic at the Plart

The Plart Museum is a celebration of all things plastic. It contains a mixture of colorful exhibits and close-ups of everyday items, celebrating 20th and 21st-century design. This is a fascinating museum, offering a fresh take on a much-criticized substance.

Highlights:

Don't miss the artistic sections of the museum. They include colorful cacti, oversized furniture, and giant dolls, all made of plastic.

Address and opening hours:

Via Giuseppe Martucci 48, 80121 Naples. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30 AM-1:00 PM and 3:00 PM-6:00 PM. Closed Sunday-Monday.

Alternative museums in Naples

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8. Use augmented reality for a brand new take on Caravaggio

When you arrive at the Caravaggio exhibit at Pio Monte della Misericordia, you'll be handed a pair of augmented reality glasses. Put them on and take a trip back to 17th-century Naples. You'll feel like you've stepped into Caravaggio's incredible paintings, and you'll discover a fresh appreciation for this great Italian master.

Highlights:

At the Pio Monte della Misericordia Immersive Experience, you'll be able to explore Caravaggio's world in a brand new way. It's a great way to encourage kids to take an interest in art.

Address and opening hours:

Via dei Tribunali 253, 80139 Naples. Open Monday-Saturday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM-2:30 PM.

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9. Enjoy the art of literature at the Historic Libraries

Naples' Historic Libraries are a kind of living museum, a temple to the written word. There are three to explore: the Vittorio Emanuele II National Library, the State Archives, and the Girolamini Library. All are incredibly beautiful, in old buildings covered with frescoes and filled with a wealth of interesting volumes.

Highlights:

A Historic Libraries Walking Tour and Palazzo Reale is a surprisingly interesting way to spend a couple of hours. You'll learn how the women of Naples fought against censorship during WWII, preserving the collections in the libraries.

Address and opening hours:

Piazza del Plebiscito 1, 80132 Naples. Open Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM.

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10. See where tradition and innovation meet at Made in Cloister

One of the most original and unusual art museums in Naples, Made in Cloister is set in a historic religious building that was left in ruins. It houses a rotating series of modern installations, and the juxtaposition of the ancient building and the cutting-edge art is truly fascinating.

Highlights:

Check to see what events are on at Made in Cloister while you're in town. Concerts, wine tastings, and talks are all common.

Address and opening hours:

Piazza Enrico de Nicola 48, 80139. Open Wednesday-Thursday, 11:00 AM-10:00 PM, and Saturday-Sunday, 11:00 AM-2:00 PM.

FAQs

Are there any free-entry days for art museums in Naples?

Yes. All the state-owned museums have free entry on the first Sunday of the month. That includes the Capodimonte and the Archeological Museum.

What are some unique and lesser-known art museums worth visiting in Naples?

Naples has interesting modern art museums like Made in Cloister and the Madre Museum. Visitors often miss them as they are focusing on the ancient past.

Which art museums in Naples have works by famous artists?

Head to the Capodimonte for the most famous artists. There are works here by Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Warhol, and more.

Are the art museums in Naples wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the main art museums in Naples are wheelchair accessible. That includes the Archeological Museum and the Capodimonte.

Are there any art museums in Naples that are suitable for children and families?

Kids who are interested in the Romans will enjoy the Archeological Museum. The Pio Monte della Misericordia Caravaggio exhibit is great for kids, as it uses augmented reality to make art more fun.