The Top 11 Free Things To Do In Naples

Published by: Bounce22 February, 2022

The third biggest city in Italy will leave you breathless when you visit. Naples, the capital city of the Campania region, offers so much for you to see and experience. It's terrific to know there are many free things to do also. Overflowing with parks, basilicas, museums, and historic streets, Naples is a fantastic place to hang out and learn about Italy without spending a dime!

Keep reading to find several wonderful and free things to do in Naples to keep you entertained while you discover the awe-inspiring history of this beautiful Italian city. You can easily see most of the city without having to spend a small fortune. While some of the more popular tourist attractions will cost, there are plenty of free places where locals love to hang out and explore.

Traveler tip: Along with saving dollars, you can hold on to your energy too. Rather than lug heavy bags and backpacks from place to place, find a luggage locker in Naples and stow your belongings while you see the sights.

Metro dell’Arte

While Naples is one of the best cities to get around on foot, you will definitely want to take a ride on the Metro along lines one and six. Stop at some of the sixteen stations along these lines where there are permanent and temporary art exhibitions you can view at no charge.

With over 180 different pieces of art that have been created by over 100 local and international artists, you don’t have to be a lover of the arts to appreciate the vibrant and beautiful artwork that creates an exhibition space along the Metro dell’Arte or the Art Stations of Naples’ Metro.

The Museo Station on line one offers exhibits of ancient artifacts that were unearthed when the station was constructed. The Università Station is a great place to view colorful, vibrant large paintings that symbolize the digital and technological age.

Complesso Monumentale San Lorenzo Maggiore

Address: Piazza San Gaetano, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy

The city is brimming with basilicas and while many of them are no longer open to the public for tours, the Complesso Monumentale San Lorenzo Maggiore is one of the oldest churches in Naples and is open for people to visit for free. You can give a small donation when you visit. Head to the historic city center of Naples and check out this breathtaking basilica.

Having been rebuilt and remodeled over the centuries, the architecture of this basilica is a rather interesting mix of French Gothic and Franciscan. The interior boasts a single nave with 23 side chapels and an apse. Wander through for free and check out the architecture and artwork on display.

The church was built over the top of the Macellum of Naples, an ancient outdoor market that was covered by a devastating mudslide during the 5th century. The San Lorenzo Museum is located at the basilica in the three floors that are above the courtyard and covers the history of the site including the Macellum of Naples.

Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina – MADRE

Address: Via Settembrini 79, 80139 Naples

This fabulous Museum of Contemporary Art is located right in the heart of Naples in the Palazzo Donnaregina and within walking distance of so many other fascinating attractions. It is close to the Duomo di Napoli, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and the Accademia di Belle Arti. It is also very close to the San Lorenzo district where you can spend a few hours strolling through the streets.

You will want to plan your visit on a Monday when the museum does not charge an admission fee. This is the only day of the week that is free for everyone. The three floors of this art museum are filled with the work of local and international contemporary artists. Aside from sprawling exhibition spaces, there is also a bookstore, library, gift shop, and small cafeteria.

You can easily spend an afternoon exploring the history of the Campania region through art at the MADRE. Exhibits do change frequently so there is almost always something new to see and experience when you visit. Check their calendar of events for special exhibits.

Museo Duca di Martina at Villa Floridiana

Address: Via Domenico Cimarosa, 77, 80127 Napoli NA, Italy

Villa Floridiana is a breathtaking house that was built between 1817 and 1819 on Vomero Hill next to Chiaia. The house sits in a large park where you can enjoy beautiful green spaces, stroll along scenic walking paths, and enjoy looking out over the Gulf of Naples. While walking, you will enjoy local flora such as palms, cypress, and flowers.

There are even life-like reproductions of Ionian and Roman ruins for you to explore. The Verzura Theater is a small amphitheater located in the park and is a great place to explore and snap some photos. Take a seat on one of the benches scattered through the park and then head inside the villa.

The villa was converted into the Museo Duca di Martina in 1931. Also known as the National Museum of Ceramics, you will see some of the most interesting and decorative collections of ceramics in all of Italy. Grab some refreshments as you explore all the Villa Floridiana has to offer.

Castel dell’Ovo

Address: Via Eldorado, 3, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

You will have to catch a boat or ferry to visit Castel dell’Ovo, located on Megaride, a small island in the middle of the sea. Walk along the terrace for stunning views of Naples and the sea. Check out the castle interior while here. Take a tour of the castle and spend time hanging out with other tourists. Since this is a big tourist area, there are several bars and restaurants located on Megaride.

Visit the gift shop at Castel dell’Ovo for books and souvenirs relating to the castle. Tourists can also find wonderful shops throughout the island and find great gifts and souvenirs. Boating enthusiasts will love visiting and checking out the many workshops that are offered on the island. It is free to visit Megaride and the Castel dell'Ovo but you will have to pay for your pizza or other food at the bars and restaurants.

Duomo di Napoli

Address: Via Duomo 147 80138 Naples, Italy

This Roman Catholic cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary or the Naples Cathedral, was completed in 1272 and is the main church of Naples. The Duomo di Napoli is a complex of buildings and architectural styles paying homage to the changing designs of the ages. It is truly a unique experience when you explore the Naples Cathedral.

As you wander through the complex, especially the main cathedral, you will learn much about the rich history of Naples. The cultural, spiritual, religious, and political influences of the times can be seen throughout. Plan to visit the Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro where the Baroque frescoes can be seen. You can also see vials of the patron saint’s blood on display and a variety of marvelous artwork.

San Gregorio Armeno

Address: Via S. Gregorio Armeno 80138 Napoli NA, Italy

Head to the old center of Naples and take a leisurely stroll down San Gregorio Armeno, one of the most interesting and vibrant streets in Naples. Christmas happens all year round on this street where artists are making masterpieces that are inspired by the nativity scenes. It is many times referred to as Christmas alley. Many of the artists are famous worldwide for the shepherds and the manger but the other figurines and nativity scenes are also exquisite.

The street is jam-packed during the Christmas season with tourists and locals but if you really want to have time to watch the artists at work, you will want to visit any other time. Then you can watch the artists at work and marvel at their skill and watch art come alive. Grab a quick snack or light meal while here and sit back to watch the people meandering along the street.

Piazza del Plebiscito

Address: Piazza del Plebiscito, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

Located between Piazza Trieste and Trento and the Borgo Santa Lucia, the Piazza del Plebiscito is the biggest square in Naples and is even one of the biggest throughout Italy. When you are in town, make sure you spend some time exploring this historic piazza. The Royal Palace, which was built in 1600, is located here.

It is free to stroll through and look at the architecture and do a little window shopping but you will need to fork over some dough to go inside some of the attractions. The San Francesco di Paola Church was built in front of the Royal Palace and was completed in 1846 for the Borboni family. It is a great place to visit when you are at the Piazza del Plebiscito.

Jardín Botánico de Nápoles

Address: Via Foria, 223, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy

Just a short walk from Napoli Centrale, the Naples Botanical Garden is actually a working research facility for the University of Naples Federico II and covers over 37 acres. The garden has over 25,000 plant samples of over 9,000 different plant species. The botanical garden is located across from Albergo dei Poyeri and is a great place to visit when on a budget.

Wander through the different ecological areas that have been set up. Spend time exploring the arboretum, orchard, bog, desert, rocks, greenhouse, and palm grove. You will be able to learn about the plants that thrive in each climate around the world. Visit for free and spend an afternoon enjoying nature.

Spaccanapoli

Address: Via Benedetto Croce, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy

This fantastic main street is also an open-air museum that separates the old city into two distinctive parts. The name literally means Naples splitter as it splits the old city in two. It is free to visit Spaccanapoli and there are so many fantastic places for you to see and experience.

Start your adventure in the Piazza del Gesu where you can check out the Gesu Nuovo Church as well as the Obelisk of the Immaculate Conception. Take a stroll along the San Biagio dei Librai and take a tour of the Monastery of Santa Chiara. Then visit the San Domenico Maggiore Church. The Palazzo Carafa has intriguing horse head decorations that were gifts from Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Jardín Botánico de Nápoles

Address: Via Foria, 223, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy

The Naples Botanical Garden is actually a working research facility for the University of Naples Federico II and covers over 37 acres. The garden has over 25,000 plant samples of over 9,000 different plant species. The botanical garden is located across from Albergo dei Poyeri and is a great place to visit when on a budget.

Wander through the different ecological areas that have been set up. Spend time exploring the arboretum, orchard, bog, desert, rocks, greenhouse, and palm grove. You will be able to learn about the plants that thrive in each climate around the world. Visit for free and spend an afternoon enjoying nature.

Spaccanapoli

Address: Via Benedetto Croce, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy

This fantastic main street is also an open-air museum that separates the old city into two distinctive parts. The name literally means Naples splitter as it splits the old city in two. It is free to visit Spaccanapoli and there are so many fantastic places for you to see and experience.

Start your adventure in the Piazza del Gesu where you can check out the Gesu Nuovo Church as well as the Obelisk of the Immaculate Conception. Take a stroll along the San Biagio dei Librai and take a tour of the Monastery of Santa Chiara. Then visit the San Domenico Maggiore Church. The Palazzo Carafa has intriguing horse head decorations that were gifts from Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Art Exhibits to the Bay of Naples

Manty exciting things await the traveler looking to see the best of Naples. Park Virgiliano offers fabulous views of the Bay of Naples. Wander through Piazza del Gesù to admire the architecture of a basicila. And of course, don't miss Museo station where marveling at art is totally free!

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