Naples is exactly what you would expect from a traditional Italian city. The combination of beautiful old buildings, the best pizza in the world, and the lovely sound of Italian conversations on every street is enticing to say the least. A visit to this beautiful city is a must while exploring Italy. If you have limited time, one day in Naples is not quite enough time to see everything, but it’s enough to get a good taste for it so you can come back for more at a later day.
When visiting Naples be prepared for a cultural, historic, and scenic overload in a city that is as Italian as it gets, with a vibrant pulse and chaos around every corner. Naples is a city commonly used as a starting point before embarking on a further journey to the Amalfi Coast. If you have more than one day, taking a day trip to one of the beautiful coastal cities like Positano, Sorrento, or Capri is highly recommended, but a stop in Naples before heading off is definitely a must.
Here is a list of the top things to do in Naples in one day.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to get to Naples
- 2 How to get around Naples
- 3 Where to stay in Naples
- 4 Best time to visit Naples
- 5 One day in Naples – Things to do
- 5.1 Walk around Naples Historic Center (Centro Storico)
- 5.2 View the art in the Metro Stations
- 5.3 Visit Piazza del Gesu Nuovo
- 5.4 Admire the Real Teatro di San Carlo
- 5.5 Soak in Piazza del Plebiscit
- 5.6 Hike to the top of Castel Sant’Elmo
- 5.7 Indulge in authentic Neapolitan Pizza
- 5.8 Marvel at the grand Galleria Umberto I
- 5.9 Sit and take in the waterfront views
- 5.10 Planning your trip to Naples
- 6 Travelling to Italy? Check out my other Italy articles
- 7 Like this post? Pin and save for later
How to get to Naples
You can get to Naples the following ways:
- By Plane: Naples has its own airport called Naples Capodichino International Airport. It is located fairly close to the city center, a 15-minute ride away by shuttle bus.
- By Car: If you are touring Italy and have rented a car, the city of Naples is easily accessible. Italy is a relatively small country and perfect for a road trip.
- By Train: Naples is very well connected to other Italian cities by train. Trains run quite often, and they tend to be fast. With this option you can fully enjoy the Italian countryside views.
How to get around Naples
The best way to get around Naples and see everything is by foot. This is the easiest way to see all the attractions and things to do outlined in this one day in Naples itinerary, plus you may discover some hidden gems along the way. Naples also has a good public transport system that you can use if walking isn’t for you. Public transport is a low cost and quick way to get around.
Where to stay in Naples
The best place to stay in Naples is in an Airbnb. There are various Airbnb’s that cost very little but offer a very authentic and unique Italian experience. Find one with a balcony or a rooftop patio for amazing views.
Alternatively, there are other accommodation choices. Here are a few that come highly recommended:
Best time to visit Naples
You can enjoy Naples any time of the year really, but the best time to visit is in the spring. During the spring months of March to May the temperatures are warm and there are far fewer tourists than in the summer. Therefore, you get to enjoy all the perks of a summer getaway without visiting in peak season.
One day in Naples – Things to do
Walk around Naples Historic Center (Centro Storico)
The historic city center of Naples has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995 and is a unique and beautiful area to explore. It is the perfect place to spot old churches, sift through small shops, and observe locals going about their daily life. Prepare to be amazed and enthralled by the narrow streets filled with locals chatting, street musicians, artists workshops and much more. The highlight of the historic center is Spaccanapoli, a street that cuts the city of Naples in two. This is the most Italian and enchanting area of Naples which will make you feel like you’ve fallen into an Italian daydream.
View the art in the Metro Stations
Viewing the stunning metro station artworks in Naples is one of the top things to do in Naples in one day. Various stops on Line 1 of the underground metro system in Naples are decorated with stunning artistic paintings that cover the walls floor to ceiling. The paintings will surely grab your attention, especially the most famous stop at Toledo. A metro ticket costs only 1.10 EUR for 90 minutes, which makes it a very affordable art show. You can use this as an excuse to get off your feet and use public transport to get around to any attractions that are further apart.
Visit Piazza del Gesu Nuovo
A quick visit to the quaint yet beautiful Piazza del Gesu Nuovo is a welcome adventure. This is a beautiful little square that is easy to miss amongst the narrow alleys of Naples. The center of the square holds the huge spire of the Immaculate Virgin, an unmissable sight in Naples. This is surrounded by various churches in the Neapolitan baroque architectural style that date back to the 16th century. From the outside they are impressive, but even more so from the inside!
Admire the Real Teatro di San Carlo
The Real Teatro di San Carlo is one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world and a must see even if you are only seeing Naples in a day. This is an old and stunning opera house that was reconstructed in 1816 after a fire burnt down the original one. The neoclassical structure is beautiful, and the elegant and luxurious interior is something to be admired. Viewing this theatre can be done by either going to a performance or as part of a walking tour. Either way, going here to admire its splendour is essential.
Soak in Piazza del Plebiscit
Piazza del Plebiscit is a grand piazza in Naples that is a main point of interest of the city. This large public square is a magnificent place to visit to enjoy a historic spot in Naples. One of the most noticeable points of interest in the square is the 19th century church called San Francesco di Paola. This is a neoclassical church that was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.
Hike to the top of Castel Sant’Elmo
There is no better way to view Naples than from above. The best way to do this is by hiking to the top of Vomero Hill to admire the views from the 13th century fortress that sits on top of it. From the top of the hill and from within the fortress, you are blessed with stunning 360 degree views of Naples and Mount Vesuvius in the distance. For the ultimate experience, try visiting this attraction at sunset for a view like no other.
Indulge in authentic Neapolitan Pizza
Naples is the birthplace of pizza and there is no better place in Italy, or the world, to indulge! The fresh ingredients, centuries of practice, and the secret touch gives Naples the title of the world’s best pizza. Authentic Neapolitan pizza cannot be imitated and has to be tasted straight from the source. Eating Neapolitan pizza must be on everyone’s Naples itinerary! And two great places to do that are L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele and Gino Sorbillo.
Marvel at the grand Galleria Umberto I
Galleria Umberto I is a shopping center in Naples full of shops and cafes. However, it is not a place to go shopping but rather to admire the stunning architecture of the dome shaped building. Not only is the glass and iron building beautiful, but the floor is decorated with signs of the zodiac.
Sit and take in the waterfront views
Naples has a beautiful waterfront that is magical to walk down and enjoy the sea breeze. The waterfront has views of the surrounding mountains and a charming seaside experience. There are places to sit along the whole waterfront area perfect for relaxing after a busy day. Plus, there are some restaurants that are ideal for a glass of Italian wine and the best views in the city.
Planning your trip to Naples
Do you have any questions about other things to do in Naples in one day?
Let me know in the comments!
Travelling to Italy? Check out my other Italy articles
- The Perfect Itinerary for Rome in 2 Days, Including the Vatican City
- 15 Awesome Things To Do In Lombardy in One Week
- Discovering Val di Sole – 8 Awesome Things to Do in Trentino in Winter
- Summer in Trentino – Adventure Activities you Must Not Miss
- Accommodation Guide to Trentino – Hotel, Albergo or Agriturismo?
- 6 of the Best Hikes in the Dolomites
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Samantha Karen is the founder of the travel bog Sam Sees World. She is a twenty-something traveller on a mission to explore the world to seek the new and unknown so she can document her experiences and inspire others to explore this wondrous world. Her objective is to learn about the world while also searching for her place in it. Check out Sam Sees World for valuable information on the best things to do, see, eat, and experience while traveling and making memories along the way.