Naples / Naples attractions & sightseeing

Things to do in Naples Italy: attractions

Top 25 Tourist attractions, sightseeing and what to do in Naples Italy

Naples attractions

Top 25 best things to do in Naples (Napoli), sightseeing and all must-see sights, tourist attractions and landmarks. What to do, the highlights and best places to visit in Naples Italy?

What to do in Naples Italy: Attractions & Sightseeing

What to see in Naples Italy? The city in the south of Italy initially exudes chaos in everything from filthy streets to the traffic, but beautiful museums and churches are often hidden behind the facades of the dilapidated buildings. You can easily spend several days to visit all the sights, because not only famous places such as Pompeï, Herculaneum and the Naples underground are worth seeing, but the city of Naples offers you much more than that. The city's history is so closely linked to the present, that unique landmarks can be found on several places in the city. On the list of 'Things to do in Naples' there a lot of impressive churches that are unique in the world such as the Duomo and the Gesù Nuovo.

In addition, Naples is rich of museums, of which the themes vary widely. You have the national archaeological museum which is very famous, but also the beautiful museum of Capodimonte. In addition, the city has special places such as Cimitero delle Fontanelle, an old cemetery with skulls and the impressive Cappella Sansevero. The region of Naples is also worth a visit, where you can stroll around in small villages of the Amalfi Coast. Or visit islands such as Capri and Procida, which are located off the coast of Naples. Click on one of the highlights below for more information about the Naples tourist attractions and sightseeing. View our '25x What to do in Naples?':

25x Best things to do in Naples


1. Must see: Pompeii

The excavations of the archaeological area of Pompeii are one of the most famous attractions of Naples and Italy. It was a place that was located near the volcano of Mount Vesuvius. In AD 79, the volcano erupted and covered the city with volcanic ash. Many people died and the city fell into oblivion. Until the 18th century, when efforts were made to remove the city from the ash layer. Today, Pompeii is thriving for tourism, historians and archaeologists. More info about 'How to visit Pompeii and book tickets?'.

📌 Recommended: The most easiest way to visit Pompeii is by a day trip from Naples, often combined with a visit to Mount Vesuvius. No worries about transportation, tickets and time slots, and your guide will tell interesting stories behind the excavations (compare Pompeii & Vesuvius day trips from Naples).

Vesuvius Naples

2. Visit Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is a volcano located southeast of Naples. The great eruption of Mount Vesuvius took place in AD 79 and the cities that lay at the foot of this volcano, Pompeii and Herculaneum, were destroyed. Today this stratovolcano can be visited. It is possible to walk around the crater and there are hiking trails on top of the moonlike landscape of the volcano. You see some smoke and swallow vapors coming from Vesuvius, but no more than that. In addition, you get a beautiful view of Naples at the top.

📌 Important: Don't forget to book your tickets in advance, this is really necessary! More info 'How to visit Mount Vesuvius?'.


3. Places to visit: Herculaneum

When you talk about the great volcanic eruption of Vesuvius, the city of Pompeii is often mentioned. On the other side of the volcano you had another city, which was Herculaneum. This city had less destruction than Pompeii and was only covered by a 20 meter thick lava flow. When you walk through Herculaneum you really have the feeling that you are walking through an authentic Roman city. Buildings are much more preserved during the volcanic eruption, it is also a lot smaller than Pompeii and even closer to Naples. More info 'Herculaneum'.

Sightseeing Naples Underground

4. Sightseeing of Naples Underground

Naples not only has a rich history above ground, but there is also plenty to do underground. There is a network of squares and streets built by the Greeks and Romans and which were later used as air raid shelters during the Second World War. You have different routes that you can only visit with pre-booked guided tours, such as Napoli Sotteranea (more info & tickets) where you can admire the Greek Roman Aqueduct and Roman theater. Another highlight is the Galleria Borbonica (more info & tickets), an escape tunnel created by King Ferdinand II Bourbon. More info about the different tours of 'Naples Underground'.

Gesu Nuovo

5. Gesù Nuovo

Gesù Nuovo, also known as the 'New Jesus', is one of the most important churches and also the most beautiful church in Naples Italy. The church is called Gesù Nuovo to distinguish the basilica from the ancient church of Jesus. It was built in 1584 in order of Prince Salerno Roberto Sanseverino. Today, the Gesù Nuovo owes its popularity to the overwhelming interior, many frescoes, colorful garden and decorated rooms. The church became the leading example for the Neapolitan Renaissance and Baroque. More info 'Gesù Nuovo church'.

What to do in Naples

6. Catacombs of Naples

The Catacombe di San Gennaro is a large tomb of a noble family from the 2nd century AD, cut from the tuff and later available to the Christian community. The remains of the first patron of Naples, Saint Agrippinus, and later of the martyr San Gennaro were added in the 4th century. The Catacombe di San Gaudioso is the tomb of the bishop of Abitinia, Gaudiosus. He ended up in Naples by accident and died between the year 451 and 453. His tomb received a lot of attention and gradually the Catacomb of San Gaudioso was created. More info about how to visit the 'Naples Catacombs'.

Naples Archaeological Museum

7. National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum is world famous for its great treasures from Antiquity. For example, the first two floors of this museum are largely devoted to Pompeii and Herculaneum. These two cities were destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius in the year 79. In addition, you will find all kinds of different frescoes, mosaics and a large coin collection in the museum. History buffs will love this national archaeological museum. More info 'Naples National Archaeological Museum'.

8. Old town: Spaccanapoli & Via San Gregorio Armeno

Spaccanapoli sightseeingThe Spaccanapoli splits the old town in two parts
Naples landmarksPlaces to visit: Christmas figures in Via San Gregorio Armeno
Things to do in NaplesThe obelisk in front of San Domingo Maggiore

What to do in Naples old town? The old center of Naples literally gets a split by the Spaccanapoli, a long narrow street. From the hills of Vomero you can see exactly how this (tourist) street divides the old tonw in two parts. Spaccanapoli therefore means 'split Naples'. Spaccanapoli was part of the earlier Roman street plan. Thus Spaccanapoli follows streets such as the Vicara Vecchia, the Via Benedetto Croce and the Via Pasquale Scura. You walk straight into Neapolitan life via these streets and the best way to discover the neighborhood is to just explore all the side streets and churches you will encounter along the way.

One of the more famous sights is Piazza del Gesù Nuovo; the church Gesù Nuovo is from the inside one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Naples Italy. A little further on, on a small square with a large obelisk, is the San Domenico Maggiore, another beautiful church. Be sure to visit the famous side street, namely Via San Gregorio Armeno, a narrow and very touristy street that is famous for its many miniature figures and nativity scenes. A special place for football fans is also 'Bar Nilo', a small coffee shop with an altar to Diego Maradona. For a relaxing drink you can visit the atmospheric courtyard of 'Palazzo Venezia'.

Napoli Italy

9. What to do: Funicolare to Castel Sant'Elmo

This impressive Castel Sant'Elmo is a castle located on the top of the Vomero hill, looking down impressively on the center of Naples. In addition, you have a view of the hinterland, the islands and the Sorrento peninsula. The castle has a large moat and has the shape of a hexagonal star. The most beautiful view of Naples makes this a very touristic attraction. With one of the funiculars like 'Funicolare di Montesanto' you can easily reach the castle. More info 'Castel Sant'Elmo'.

what to see in naples

10. Castel dell'Ovo

This castle is one of the oldest buildings in Naples and worth a visit. Castel dell'Ovo is also known as the 'egg castle'. According to legend, the Roman poet Virgil laid an egg in the foundation. If the egg broke later, the castle would perish. Castel dell'Ovo is still standing, so basically that would mean the egg is still whole. Not all parts of the castle have withstood the time, but it is certainly worth a visit to the castle with its beautiful view. More info about the 'Castel dell'Ovo'.

what to do in naples italy

11. Monastery of Santa Chiara

The monastery 'Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara' was built in the 14th century by order of King Robert of Anjou and his wife Sanscha of Mallorca. Today the church still has the same Gothic style. It has a simple facade with an old rose window and lacework and it is above all the place where the King of Naples and Sicily is buried. You will find frescoes depicting scenes from the Old Testament in Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara. There is also a museum with a number of treasures from Roman times. More info 'Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara'.

Naples Area Attractions

Extra: Day trips from Naples

The city of Naples itself has a lot to offer, but what about the Naples Area? If you have enough time you can easily make some day trips outside Naples city. My favorite tour is this Amalfi Coast day trip from Naples to visit the amazing Amalfi Coast, which is considered as one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe. You will find here charming villages, each with its own character. These villages have one thing in common and that is the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea. This day trip from Naples to the island of Capri is very popular. It's a green island with steep cliffs. The villages on Capri are pleasant and full of color. Ischia is a volcanic and small island. This island is known for its mud baths and thermal springs. The colorful island of Procida (photo) is also easy to visit by ferry. In this article you can read about the 8 best day trips in the Naples area.

Naples activities

12. Cappella Sansevero

Another highlight is the beautiful chapel 'Cappella Sansevero' of the Prince of Sansevero, Raimondo di Sangro. You will find beautiful marble sculptures in this chapel in the heart of Naples Italy. The great artists Corradini and San Martino made these beautiful statues in the 18th century. The chapel was erected for Santa Maria della Pietá, who can be admired today on the medallion above the front door. More info 'Cappella Sansevero'.

Piazza del Plebiscito Napoli

13. Piazza del Plebiscito & Palazzo Reale

Piazza del Plebiscito is the largest square in Naples. The construction of the square was in the name of Joachim Murat, who was King of Naples from 1808 to 1815. Murat was the brother-in-law of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Attractions on this semicircular square are the beautiful Palazzo Reale di Napoli, the Royal Palace, which is definitely worth a visit. On the other side of the square is the church San Francesco di Paolo, which was built after the example of the Pantheon in Rome. On the square you can see two statues: Statua di Carlo III di Borbone and Statua di Fernando I di Borbone. More info 'Piazza del Plebiscito'.

Places to Visit Naples Italy

14. Visit Quartieri Spagnoli

Quartieri Spagnoli is a neighborhood that has a special reputation. Many travel guides call the neighborhood dangerous and a place you should avoid. But nothing could be further from the truth, because Quartieri Spagnoli is very cozy and colorful. Quartieri Spagnoli literally means 'Spanish quarters' and is adjacent to Via Toledo, one of the largest shopping streets in Naples. Its construction was from the 16th century during the Spanish rule. The Spaniards provided housing for the Spanish troops and their families in this district, hence the name Quartieri Spagnoli. In the early days of this neighborhood there was a lot of violence, but that bad reputation has now disappeared and it is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Naples where local entrepreneurs work hard to create a friendly atmosphere. The streetscape is dominated by hanging clotheslines. Especially in the evening the neighborhood comes alive with bars and especially the pizzerias, where you can find the best and cheapest pizzas in Naples.

best things to do in Naples

15. Discover the highlights of Naples by bike

Personal favorite: With a rich history and many beautiful landmarks, Naples is the ideal city to discover by bike, especially since several highlights are not within walking distance of each other. Book this bike tour and go past all the major Naples sights with a local guide. You will be taken through narrow cozy streets in the Old Town and explore the Bay of Naples. The bike tour is a first introduction to Naples sightseeing and it is therefore recommended to book the bike tour at the beginning of your trip (more info & booking of bike tours).

Lungomare Naples

16. Walk on the Lungomare Caracciolo

The boulevard of Lungomare Carracciolo stretches all the way along the coast of Naples. It owes its name to Admiral Francesco Caracciolo, a historical hero of Naples from the 18th century. He was executed for his rebellion in the sea near the coast. Lungomare therefore means the part of the city that has a sea view. One of the main landmarks of the Lungomare Carracciolo promenade is Castel dell'Ovo with fantastic views over the city. In the evenings and weekends, this is the place to go for a walk among the locals. More info 'Lungomare Caracciolo'.

Naples cathedral

17. Duomo di Napoli

The Duomo di Napoli (Santa Maria Assunta) or Cattedrale di San Gennaro was built in the 13th century and is located in the heart of Naples. Many consider this church to be one of the most beautiful in Naples, although the cathedral is disappointing compared to other famous cathedrals in Italy such as the Duomo of Milan or Florence. This is partly due to the variety in architecture from 14th-century architectural style to 19th-century Gothic. More info to visit 'Duomo di Napoli'

Naples tourist attractions

18. Cimitero delle Fontanelle

Unique places to visit in Napoli: the Cimitero delle Fontanelle is an old cemetery that has become popular because of the rituals that took place there. Every Neapolitan adopted a skull and cared for it. What they got in return was protection. Today, Cimitero delle Fontanelle is rich in history, anecdotes, legends and other interesting stories. You really have to go there yourself and experience these stories. More info 'Fontanelle cemetery'.

Naples highlights

19. San Carlo Theatre

Next to the main square Piazza del Plebiscito you will find the Italian Opera Theater 'Teatro di San Carlo'. The theatre was founded in 1737 by the King of Bourbon, Charles II. The opening of the Teatro di San Carlo in 1737 was celebrated with a performance of Achilles in Sciro. You can visit the theater with an opera performance or by taking a guided tour. More info 'Teatro di San Carlo'.

Naples activities

20. Certosa e Museo di San Martino

The Carthusian monastery (in Italian 'Certosa di San Martino') was built in the 14th century on the Vomero mountain next to the Castel Sant' Elmo. Little is left of the original building. You will now only find the Gothic cellar, which is a fine example of engineering. The Certosa di San Martino has had a lot to do with restoration work and today it is a museum with a diversity of images, paintings from the 15th century and even carriages. You will also find beautiful courtyards and cloisters in the Carthusian monastery, as well as a beautiful chapel. More info 'Museo di San Martino'.

Napoli highlights

21. Capodimonte Museum & Park

Capodimonte, a little further from the city center, is a beautiful park with excellent views of the city. The Capodimonte area covers about 134 hectares of land. In the past it was mainly used for hunting, but today Real Bosco di Capodimonte is used for escaping the city or a relaxing walks. The highlight is the surprising Museo di Capodimonte with important works of art by Italian painters (e.g. Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian), but also exhibitions of old weapons, beautiful rooms and changing exhibitions. More info 'Capodimonte'.

To do in Naples

22. Things to do in Naples: eat pizza

Italians enjoy their food. Pastas, cheeses and pizzas are known all over the world. Did you know that the original Pizza Margherita was discovered in Naples? You will also find the best pizzerias of Italy in Naples. Take a look in well-known pizza restaurants such as Sorbillo, 50 Kaló, Starita and Pizzeria Di Matteo. These are pizzerias where you can eat the tastiest pizzas of Naples and which offer you the best quality in the city. Also try the hype in Naples, the 'pizza fritta', a deep-fried pizza that can be found on almost every street corner.

📌 More fun: you can join this street food tour to try typical Neapolitan dishes or even learn how to make your own pizza during this pizza workshop.

Naples Things to Do

23. Castel Nuovo

In the 13th century King Charles I of Anjou moved the capital from Palermo to Naples. With a change of the capital, of course, came a new castle. He ordered to build Castel Nuovo, which means 'new castle'. In the 15th century, the castle was extensively renovated to its present form after it was conquested by the king of Aragon. Today you will find in the west wing of the castle the 'Museo Civico'. This moderate and too pricey museum (6 euros) mainly consists of a few paintings of the castle, where it will also be noticeable that the sober castle has not been very well maintained. For an extra 10 euros you can also admire the 'Hall of the King', the prison and the view on top with a guided tour. If you want to visit the castle, you have to book online via this website. Actually it is enough to take a picture of the imposing exterior of the castle.

Naples Italy

24. Toledo Metro Station

Free things to do in Napoli? The city of Naples has made of metro stations special and attractive places. They call them the most beautiful metro stations in Europe. The most famous metro station is Toledo (line 1) named after the nearby Via Toledo. The theme for the most beautiful metro station in Europe is water and light. The water is represented by silver and blue mosaics on the ceiling and walls. And the light is the heart of this project, as the designer Oscar Tusquets Blanca calls it. Expect a surreal experience when you visit this metro station.

Naples sightseeing

25. Galleria Umberto I

In the 19th century shopping arcade Galleria Umberto I you will see one of the most beautiful shopping arcades in Italy with many cafes, restaurants and fashion boutiques. The gallery is named after King Umberto I who was king during the construction of the gallery. The impressive glass ceiling gives you an enchanting feeling and creates a feeling of a lot of space and light. On the floor is beautifully beautiful mosaic work. A free place to visit in Naples.

Visit Naples

Extra: Plenty of other churches

The most famous churches of Naples are undoubtedly the Duomo di Napoli and Gesù Nuovo, but of course Naples has much more to offer for lovers of authentic churches. In the old center there are a few hundred churches, sometimes also fantastic pearls behind a meaningless church facade. A few churches that are well worth a visit: Chiesa di San Giovanni a Carbonara (photo), a Gothic church near the eastern borders of the city. Sant'Anna dei Lombardi is a church from the 15th century in the center of Naples. Located on the Spaccanapoli, the Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore is a 13th-century Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Spanish Saint Dominic Guzman. The San Gregorio Armeno is a baroque church and monastery located in the 'nativity street'. Finally, Chiesa dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo a Roman Catholic church from the 16th century, completely in a Renaissance style, is worth a visit.

Popular activities in Naples Italy

Where are the landmarks in Naples?

Not all the highlights and landmarks of Italian Napoli are within walking distance of each other, so you have to rely on public transport for some tourist attractions. Where are the highlights, tourist attractions and places of interest in Naples? You can zoom in further on the attractions in this Italian city via the map with sights below:

FAQ Tourist Attractions Naples Italy

What are the Top 10 Things to Do in Naples?

The main attractions around Naples are the archaeological areas of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were made famous by the eruption of the adjacent Vesusvius volcano. In the city of Naples, the beautiful chapel Cappella Sansevero, the underground Naples of Napoli Sotterranea, the catacombs of San Gennaro and the archaeological museum are the most visited places of interest. In this article you can read all about the Top 25 of Naples attractions.

What to do in the Naples area?

Only a short drive from Naples are the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but you can also choose to visit the Mount Vesuvius. South of the city is the beautiful Amalfi Coast with picturesque places like Sorrento and Positano. You can also easily visit beautiful islands such as Capri, Ischia and Procida by ferry. More info about these places of interest in the naples area.

What is Napoli Sotterranea?

Under the city of Naples is a vast expanse of caves, passageways and ancient catacombs. With a guided tour you can see the remains from the Roman era as well as from the 2nd World War. More info about Naples underground.

What museums does the city have?

The most famous museum is the Archaeological Museum with many excavations from Pompeii and Herculaneum. In addition, the museum of Capodimonte and the museum of the Cappella Sansevero are frequently visited. In this article you can read all about the museums in Naples.

Naples Attractions
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