3 Days in Naples: Everything You Should Know
Napoli, more commonly known as Naples, is an Italian city filled with both history and tradition as well as modernity and excitement. The Greeks founded the town back in the 8th century B.C. making it nearly 3,000 years old. As Naples expanded throughout the years it grew into the third biggest city in all of Italy and is also one of the most highly populated. This is the very birthplace of pizza making it an optimal location for foodies, and it is also well known for its castles which any history buffs will love to visit.
There are lots of reasons to visit this city and you can definitely spend a week or more here and never get tired of its charming atmosphere. However, if you only have a couple of days in Naples then you will need to be more strategic about how you choose to spend your time. We've planned out the perfect itinerary for 3 days in Naples so you don't have to worry about missing the best sights in the city. Keep an eye out for a Naples luggage storage facility that can keep your bags for you while you are out discovering the town. Busy shopping and weighted down? Heading to lunch and want to drop off heavy backpacks? Bounce has you covered.
Naples Itinerary - Day 1
Morning: Hike up Mount Vesuvius
Everyone has heard of the story of Pompeii, the city that was covered in ash after a volcanic eruption back in 79 A.D. That very volcano is Mount Vesuvius which caused one of the most catastrophic eruptions in all of history and it is situated close to the city of Naples. If you are up for the challenge we definitely recommend that you take a trip up the mountain to see views of the city below.
The volcano is still active, in fact, it is the only active volcano in the whole mainland of Europe, but it is currently safe to climb. If you have some time you should make a trip to the city of Pompeii afterward, where you can see some pretty incredible sights.
For brunch, we recommend stopping by the Tenuta Le Lune del Vesuvio, which is a vineyard, restaurant, farm and winery located right in Mount Vesuvius park. Come get a tour of their 300 acres property and buy some wine for later tonight, or just stop by their restaurant for a delicious breakfast. This is a great start to day one in Naples.
Afternoon: National Archaeological Museum
Definitely one of the most famous museums in the city of Naples is the National Archaeological Museum. Since the late 18th century this establishment has been a great place to learn about the history of the whole region of southern Italy. Come see one of the biggest collections of Roman and Greek antiquities including some Roman erotica that has been saved from the ruins of Pompeii.
Aside from the incredible carved statues and sculptures, you will see bowls and cups that have been engraved in detail, and the Farnese Marbles that the Medici brothers assembled. The old Herculaneum scripts, which were made from carbonized papyrus during the volcanic eruption that covered Pompeii, are definitely one of the highlights and were found back in 1752 at the Villa of the Papyri.
For lunch why don't you stop by the Vitto Pitagorico restaurant which is situated right by the museum in the Piazza Museo? Their entire menu is vegan or vegetarian but even meat lovers will enjoy their delicious dishes. They are open every day of the week, so come try their tasty meals anytime.
Evening: Shopping at Via San Gregorio Armeno
The Via San Gregorio Armeno is definitely unlike most of the other streets in Naples, and many people call it Christmas Road. The holidays never leave this part of Naples so you can enjoy the festivities and do some Christmas shopping at any time of the year. It is situated in the Old Town on a road in Saccanapoli.
Some of the things that you can buy here include a presepe, which is a kind of crib similar to that found in a Christmas scene, as well as some creative and unique nativity scenes. This is a great place to get some gifts for your loved ones before the holidays or just to explore.
For dinner why don't you snack on some traditional Italian street food? Decumano 31 offers all sorts of Neapolitan specialties including fried seafood, pizza or mozzarella balls. You can choose to eat at the restaurant or take your food to go. They are open every day from 12 pm until 8:30 pm and are just a few streets away from Via San Gregorio Armeno.
Naples Itinerary - Day 2
Morning: Beach Day on the Amalfi Coast
If you are looking to spend some time on pristine sandy beaches then the Amalfi Coast is the perfect place to go. It is one of the most beautiful areas in Italy and you won't want to miss an opportunity to stop by in person.
You will definitely want to take a couple of hours to admire the natural beauty along the coastline, and then spend the rest of the morning just basking in the sun on the beaches. Make sure that you bring a bathing suit and lots of sunscreen.
Finding food around the coast will be easy, and there are some wonderful restaurants located on the beach. Treat yourself to a delicious meal at Silver Moon which is a gorgeous open restaurant right along the water. They serve all of the best Italian cuisines.
Afternoon: Discovering Naples Underground
There is already so much to see on the surface of Naples, but did you know that the city has even more attractions and sightseeing under the ground? If you explore Naples Sotterranea, you can see all sorts of incredible things dating back from the times of ancient Greece or the rule of the Romans. They are sure to be a highlight of your trip to Naples so leave a couple of hours in your schedule to explore them.
Some of the main sights are the Roman theatre, the old cisterns, bunkers from World War II, and the Greek-Roman aqueducts. You can even see some of the city's original foundations, which are quite impressive!
When you get hungry and are looking for lunch consider stopping by La Sicilia Di Serafino Napoli. This rustic and inviting restaurant can give you a taste of Naples from savory meals to sweet snacks. It is not too far from the entrance to Naples Sotterranea so you won't have to walk for long.
Evening: Sightseeing at the Royal Palace
The Royal Palace of Naples, which was completed in 1620, is open from 9 am to 8 pm every day except Wednesday, making it a fantastic evening activity on your 3 day itinerary of Naples. This building is an important part of the history of the city and is also beautiful, so there is no reason to not see it on your trip to Naples. In the past, this palace was used as the residence for some powerful people like Spanish noblemen and even French kings.
Although it might not look too impressive from the outside, you will definitely be impressed once you step through its doors. Take your time admiring the marble staircases, incredibly ornate ceilings as well as beautiful paintings and sculptures in every room. The palace is also where you will find the Teatro di San Carlo, and you should see if there are any shows happening.
After you've had your fill of sightseeing you should make your way to A Kitchen Ra Casa Mia for a delicious dinner. Their menu includes antipasti, main courses with meats, seafood and a few options for dessert.
Naples Itinerary - Day 3
Morning: Visit the Piazza Plebiscito
The historic area of Naples is filled with things to do and places to see. One of the best and most symbolic attractions is the Piazza Plebiscito which is not only important to the history of the city but is often used as a venue for events, too. It has two notable buildings connected to it, one of which is the Royal Palace that you saw yesterday and the other is the Basilica of San Francisco da Paola.
The square was actually named after the plebiscite which, back in 1980, made the annexation to the Kingdom of Savoy official. It is well worth a visit, especially if there are events going on. Take your time to explore the square before heading to a nearby cafe for breakfast.
Right next to the square is Gran Caffe Gambrinus, one of the best places to grab breakfast in the area. Order some of their fantastic traditional Neapolitan espresso coffee along with some freshly baked pastries so you are fueled up for an exciting last day in Naples. They also have an ice cream shop if it isn't too early for you to have sweets!
Afternoon: Sightseeing at Castel Dell'Ovo
Naples has some of the most interesting castles in the world, and the Castel Dell'Ovo is one of them. There is a popular local legend claiming that a magical egg was hidden inside the castle by a man named Virgil who was a Roman poet. The tale says that it was placed there to protect the fortress and the citizens of Naples, Italy, and if the egg were to break then a catastrophe would take place.
The Castel Dell'Ovo was actually constructed by the Normans but has gone through significant changes since then and most of the modifications occurred during the Aragon and Angevin dynasties. With such a unique story and an interesting history, it is definitely one of the city's top attractions.
There are several good restaurants on the island where the fortress was built, so finding lunch will be a breeze. The Officina Del Mare is a great choice, offering seafood delicacies that are cooked and plated to perfection.
Evening: Discovering Art in the Metro Stations
If you are looking for a fun and special way to end your vacation in Naples, we recommend taking a trip through the city's metro stations. If you ride on either line 1 or line 6 you can hop off at any point to see an incredible display of art. Each metro station on these lines is transformed into free art galleries, each displaying something unique.
In total, you can admire about 180 works of contemporary art, and since they are currently planning to transform even more of the stations there will soon be new ones to see. Some of the most popular are the Museo station, the Toledo station and the Garibaldi station. It can be fun to ride the metro and hop off at random stations, or just when one catches your eye.
This is a memorable way to end your vacation in Naples and is something unlike what other cities offer. For your final supper in Naples you just have to eat pizza, since this is where the world-famous dish was invented. Did you know that the first ever pizzeria still stands in Naples and is open for business? It's called the Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba. You can head there for dinner, or stop by L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele which is also a fantastic choice.
The Best Way to See Naples
There is no doubt that the capital of Campania is unlike other cities around the world, and we hope that this article has helped you to come up with the perfect travel itinerary. It is often fun to choose your own attractions instead of just following a guided tour, especially if you only have three days in Naples and won't have time to see it all.
We recommend spreading out your time in the historic city center which is one of the highlights of the city, with ancient castles and tiled streets. There is lots to do outside of the city limits as well, like hiking the incredible Mount Vesuvius or spending time on the beach. Now that you've figured out how to spend your vacation, you can start looking at where to stay in Naples and book your tickets!
Still planning your visit to Naples? Check out these guides for more ideas!