Best places to visit in Naples: top attractions you don't want to miss

From ancient sites like Pompeii to the spectacular art of Capodimonte, Naples is packed with essential sites. Pack your itinerary with these 20 top places.

Whether you're sampling authentic Neapolitan pizza at Pignasecca Market or you're touring the glistening Amalfi Coast, Naples is one of Italy's most exciting cities. A popular spot for romantic weekends, the city's blessed by breathtaking beaches that are fun for the whole family. Luckily, this beautiful city has diverse tourist attractions that span natural wonders, ancient ruins, legendary cuisine, and thrilling sports.

Naples is brimming with brilliant places to visit. Lose yourself in the classical world of Pompeii and Herculaneum, or head up to the source of it all at Mount Vesuvius. You can get lost in art at Capella San Severo and Pio Monte della Misericordia. Whatever you choose, these essential sites will add prestige to your Naples itinerary.

Best places to visit in Naples for history

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1. Pompeii

Pompeii is famous all around the world. This ancient Roman city, destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD, is one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the world. No trip to Naples would be complete without wandering the ruins and admiring the beautiful mosaics.

Highlights:

Learn more about the city with a tour guided by an archaeologist. You’ll journey around Pompeii, showing exactly how the Romans lived before the destruction of the city.

Address and opening hours:

Pompeii, 80045 Naples. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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2. Herculaneum

Pompeii was not the only city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in its fateful eruption. Herculaneum, once a flourishing port, also fell victim to the angry volcano. Today, its beautifully preserved temples, bathhouse, villas, and forum are fascinating attractions to visit.

Highlights:

Take a tour with an archaeologist to find out the stories behind the ruins, such as the tragedy of the 300 residents who died in their attempt to escape by sea.

Address and opening hours:

Corso Resina 187, 80056 Ercolano. Open Monday-Sunday, 8:30 AM-6:00 PM.

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3. San Gaudioso Catacombs

Above the ground, Naples is a lively, bustling modern city, but it has a chilling secret past. Go into the San Gaudioso Catacombs to learn about the dark side of Neapolitan history, when the earliest Christians worshipped in secret.

Highlights:

A tour of the San Gaudioso catacombs is not for the faint of heart, as you’ll explore the catacombs with their historic cemeteries. Many of the ancient tombs are decorated with skulls, and your guide will explain the meaning behind the sinister rituals.

Address and opening hours:

Via Sanità 123, 80136 Naples. Open Thursday-Tuesday, 9:30 AM-5:00 PM. Closed Wednesdays.

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4. Pozzuoli

Pozzuoli and the Phlegraean Fields are ideal for history lovers. The enormous Flavian Amphitheater is the third-largest amphitheater in Italy, and the Temple of Serapis is packed with interesting ancient sights.

Highlights:

A walking tour is a great way to explore this ancient settlement. Don't miss the great views, sweeping across the coast and the sea, from the Macellum of Pozzuoli.

Address and opening hours:

Corso Nicola Terracciano 75, 80078 Pozzuoli. Open Wednesday-Monday, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM. Closed Tuesdays.

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5. Bourbon Tunnel

Built in 1853, the Bourbon Tunnel is one of the most intriguing sights in Naples. It was first designed to give the king a getaway route if needed, but it later played a crucial role during Italy's fascist period and World War II. The tunnel offers a fascinating glimpse into Italy's troubled 20th-century history.

Highlights:

The best way to see the tunnel is with an expert, so book a guided tour. Watch out for the ruined fascist-era cars and motorcycles.

Address and opening hours:

Vico del Grottone 4, 80132 Naples. Open Friday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Closed Monday-Thursday.

Best places to visit in Naples for art

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6. Cappella San Severo

Giuseppe Sanmartino's Veiled Christ is renowned as one of the greatest sculptures in art history. When this incredibly detailed masterpiece was first revealed in 1753, many people thought it was the work of an alchemist or magician. Enter the Cappella San Severo to view this glorious piece.

Highlights:

Head on a downtown tour and you’ll be able to see the masterpiece, along with other sites of religious interest, many of which have their own stunning art on display.

Address and opening hours:

Via Francesco de Sanctis 19/21, 80134 Naples. Open Wednesday-Monday, 9:00 AM-6:30 PM. Closed Tuesdays.

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7. Archeological Museum

If you're interested in Ancient Roman art, there's only one place to go. The Naples Archaeological Museum houses the Farnese Collection, the world's finest collection of antiquities from Ancient Greece and Rome.

Highlights:

A private tour means you won't miss a thing. One of the most impressive highlights has to be the incredible mosaic of Alexander the Great, recovered from Pompeii.

Address and opening hours:

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

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8. Spanish Quarter

Diego Maradona, the legendary Argentinian soccer player, is seen as a demigod in Naples. As the player who led the city's beloved soccer team to great success, he is celebrated across the city. In the Spanish Quarter, massive murals depict Maradona, showing an unusual artistic tradition.

Highlights:

Take a  street art tour to learn more about Maradona's troubled life, and admire the dazzling murals, some of which are several stories high.

Address:

 Via Emanuele de Deo 46, 80132 Naples.

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9. National Gallery of Capodimonte

At the National Gallery of Capodimonte, you can see rare drawings by Michelangelo and Raphael and stunning paintings by artists like Caravaggio, Masolino, and Tiziano. Once the private collection of the kings of Naples, today, this gallery is one of the finest museums in the city.

Highlights:

Don't miss the third floor, which houses 20th and 21st-century pieces, including Andy Warhol's colorful depiction 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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10. Pio Monte della Misericordia

Caravaggio was not born in Naples, but he fell in love with the city and produced many of his finest works here. In return, the Neapolitans have embraced him as one of their favorite sons, and the augmented reality exhibit at Pio Monte della Misericordia is a tribute to his genius. Armed with a pair of AR glasses, you'll feel like you've been transported inside Caravaggio's paintings.

Highlights:

The immersive experience is truly worth it — you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into 17th century Naples. You'll be stunned by the incredible interplay of light and shadows in this magical exhibit.

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.

Best places to visit in Naples for families

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11. Amalfi Coast

The Bay of Naples has some of the best beaches in Europe, making it a great spot for families seeking fun in the sun. Get out of the city and explore charming historic towns like Positano and Amalfi. The water here is great for swimming from May to early October.

Highlights:

Your kids will love the fun of a boat ride. Some even include a tasting session of refreshing lemon granita, one of the most popular local desserts.

Address:

Amalfi 84011.

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12. Città della Scienza

The Città della Scienza is Naples' very own science museum. This complex includes a stunning planetarium, the biggest and most advanced in Italy. There are also great shows about robots, so it's sure to be a hit with any science-loving kid.

Highlights:

As well as the planetarium, don't miss the section of the Città della Scienza dedicated to the human body. You can even have a dance-off against an animated skeleton.

Address and opening hours:

Via Coroglio 57/104, 80124 Naples. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. Closed Mondays.

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13. Museodivino

The Museodivino is a remarkable museum where everything is on a microscopic scale. Exhibits include scenes from the Divine Comedy carved inside walnut shells, a Christmas nativity inside a hemp seed, and more. You'll be given a magnifying glass to admire the artwork on display in this magical museum.

Highlights:

Grown-ups can admire the incredible statues, while kids will be enchanted by the teeny tiny artwork.

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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14. Valle dell'Orso Adventure Park

Just 20 minutes from the center of Naples, Valle dell'Orso is one of the best spots for a family day out. The adventure park includes treetop trails, zip lines, balance beams, and all kinds of fun. There's also a water park, complete with massive slides for thrill seekers and hydromassage areas for tired parents.

Highlights:

Kids will go wild for the fun attractions at Valle dell'Orso. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you can just sit back and admire the incredible views of Mount Vesuvius in the background.

Address and opening hours:

Via Giovanni XXIII 54, Torre del Greco. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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15. Blue Grotto

A day trip by boat is one of the top choices for a family activity in Naples. The ideal destination is the Blue Grotto on the nearby island of Capri. Visitors find themselves enchanted by the glowing waters of this cave.

Highlights:

You'll have an action-packed day ahead, with local food, adventures in the town, and plenty of time to explore the beautiful Blue Grotto.

Address:

Anacapri, 80071 Naples.

Best places to visit in Naples for culture

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16. Sorrento

Sorrento is a neighboring town that retains a lot of classic Italian charm, with narrow alleyways, colorful buildings, and dozens of artisan workshops to discover. It's also the home of limoncello, so be sure to enjoy a glass of the tangy citrus liqueur before you leave.

Highlights:

Sorrento it the home of limoncello, so be sure to enjoy a glass of the tangy citrus liqueur before you leave.

Address:

Sorrento, 80067 Naples.

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17. Royal Palace of Caserta

Once home to the Kings of Naples, the Royal Palace of Caserta is one of the most stunning mansions in Italy. Its interiors are lavishly decorated, filled with beautiful art and incredible furniture. The gardens, with pristinely manicured lawns and elegant fountains, are also ideal for a stroll.

Highlights:

Don't miss the royal bedroom, where you can see where the kings used to sleep.

Address and opening hours:

Piazza Carlo di Borbone, 81100 Caserta. Open Wednesday-Monday, 8:30 AM-7:30 PM. Closed Tuesdays.

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18. Holy Mile

Walk the Holy Mile, the sacred route that leads from the tomb of St Gennaro to his Treasure. This is a fascinating pilgrimage through Rione Sanità, an area that still contains lots of religious symbols despite now being one of Naples' most multicultural districts.

Highlights:

Despite the short distance, there is plenty to see on the Holy Mile, so allow yourself a few hours to enjoy it.

Address and opening hours:

Via Capodimonte 13, 80136 Naples. Opening times of the churches along the way vary.

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19. Mount Vesuvius

Vesuvius hasn't erupted since 1944, and visitors today can get up close and personal with this incredible volcano. Go right to the ridge and take a look inside the crater, gazing with wonder at the monster that destroyed Pompeii.

Highlights:

Strike out on a guided hike to learn more about Vesuvius' explosive history and for the chance to admire the views of the Bay of Naples.

Address:

Vesuvius, 80044 Ottaviano, Naples.

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20. Pignasecca Market

Pizza was invented right here in Naples, and it would be a crime to leave the city without tasting a slice, so head to the Pignasecca Market to enjoy a freshly baked margherita. This is the city's largest food market, with a wonderful array of fresh produce available.

Highlights:

To go beyond the basic slice, take a dedicated tour of the Pignasecca. Your guide will also help you pick out freshly fried veg fritters, cheese, ham, and more.

Address and opening hours:

Via Pignasecca 28, 80134 Naples. Open Monday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM. Closed Sundays.

FAQs

How many days should I spend in Naples?

As Naples is a small city, you might just want to spend a weekend there. However, if you want to take day trips to Pompeii, Capri, or the Amalfi Coast, you'll need more time.

What is the best time of year to visit Naples?

Summer in Naples can be extremely hot, and the beaches fill up. If you prefer some room to breathe, visit between fall and spring.

How do I get around Naples?

You'll probably have to familiarize yourself with the metro, the city's subway system. Private cars are not allowed in many parts of the city center, and driving in Italy is chaotic at the best of times. You can get around the center on foot.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Naples?

Start at the Centro Storico, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its incredible architecture. Vomero has the best nightlife, while the Quartieri Spagnoli offers excellent food and a more authentic atmosphere.

What are the best places to go shopping in Naples?

If you're looking to splash the cash, you'll find all the top designer labels in the Chiaia neighborhood. For shopping that won't break the budget, head to Via Toledo instead. Wear comfortable shoes, as this massive shopping street is over 7 miles long.