How To Get Around Naples
Getting around Naples, Italy may seem a daunting task until you figure out the complicated network of subways, trams, buses, trains, and funiculars. Tourists will not necessarily have to be pros at using the public transportation system in Naples, though, because there are limited options that go by the main attractions of the city.
Still, if you are planning to spend a lot of time exploring the lesser known attractions and places throughout the city, it will help to be well versed in the Naples public transportation system.
But there are other reasons for depending on public transit in the city. Several fun options await! The funicular railway is a really enjoyable way to of getting around and provides awesome views of the city. Other transport options are hydrofoils and ferries. How fun is that?
While walking is the best way to get around the city, why not learn how to get around Naples like a local? When you set off on an adventure in any direction, be sure to leave heavy bags, briefcases or backpacks behind. See the city without the burden of bags by dropping your things at a Naples luggage locker.
How to get around Naples by train
Metro and Train
Naples has two underground metro lines that crisscross the city with 26 stops throughout. There are also trains that come into a few Naples’ metro stations from the coast. If you are taking a day trip to explore one of the coastal cities, going by train is the fastest and easiest way to travel. With only two metro lines, it is relatively easy to figure out how to use this underground train system.
If you are hoping to do a bit of sightseeing and are an art lover, hop on metro line 1, running every 10 minutes depending on the time of day, also known as Metropolitana dell’arte or the Art Line. Marvel at any one of the 19 stops that have absolutely breathtaking artwork that decorates the stations. You will feel like you are strolling through a museum at each of the 19 stops. Line 2 runs every 8 minutes most of the time and uses rail cars. It was formally the only underground service in Naples.
For those not familiar with funicular railways, it is basically a cable rail system that runs along a steep slope and connects points along the way. The entire system has two counterbalanced carriage or train cars that are attached at opposite ends of a cable and looped over a pulley at the uphill side of the track.
Naples has four fantastic funicular railways that many tourists love to use for the breathtaking panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas. Three of the funiculars connect Vomero, a hilltop district of Naples, to central Naples. The fourth funicular connects Posillipo Hill and Mergellina, two amazing coastal districts.
When in Naples, take a ride on all four of the funiculars:
Funicolare di Mergellina connects Via Mergellina to Via Manzoni along the waterfront
Funicolare di Montesanto connects Via Raggaele Morghen to Piazza Montesanto
Funicolare di Chiaia connects Via del Parco Margherita and Via Domenico Cimarosa
Funicolare Centrale connects Piazza Fuga and Piazzetta Augusteo
Since all public transportation is managed by UnicoCampania, the same travel passes and tickets can be used for buses, trams, funiculars, and metro within the city limits of Naples. For tourists, the sightseeing pass called the Naples Pass or Campania Arte Card is an absolute must.
The card includes unlimited public transport and great discounts and even free admission to many major attractions. You can also buy a single use ticket if you are only planning on riding one funicular.
Hydrofoil and Ferries
Naples has several hydrofoils and seasonal ferries that carry people along the coast. Hydrofoils are simply high-speed boats that get you from Point A to Point B faster than a traditional ferry. Head to the Porto di Napoli, also called Molo Beverello, and catch a ferry or hydrofoil to Capri, the Procida Islands, or Ischia. Get your ticket early, as many tourists love to ride the ferries and hydrofoils.
Ferries also go to Sorrento and seasonally visit Positano and other ports along the Amalfi Coast. You can also head to the Mergellina station along the metro and catch a hydrofoil that will take you along the Amalfi Coast and to Capri. Hydrofoils will get you to your destination a lot faster than a traditional ferry and many tourists love the experience of taking a hydrofoil.
Tourists can now take a day trip or even spend a weekend in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Sorrento. Simply take the Circumvesuviana trains that depart from Naples. Head to the Napoli Centrale Station and follow signs to the lower level where the Circumvesuviana trains come in and depart.
The lower level is part of the Garibaldi Station but is accessible only through the Napoli Centrale Station. Your ticket can be purchased at the Garibaldi Station or at the Central Station office. Plan to get there a bit early and get your ticket, seats fill up quickly.
How to get around Naples by bus
Naples Sightseeing Bus
The sightseeing buses that clog the streets of Naples really are fascinating when you take a ride. They take loads of sightseers past the historic landmarks and monuments throughout the city. Tourists will sit back and enjoy learning about the city from one of these iconic double decker buses with an open top. On nice days, sit up top and feel the fresh air blow through your hair.
The sightseeing bus does make several stops where you can get out and explore different areas of the city and get a closer look at many of the attractions and monuments. Plan to spend a few hours and listen to your guide regale the group with stories of times gone by and the significance of each stop made during the tour.
There are two different routes to choose from, each route with over 20 stops throughout Naples. The first route, called Line A, takes you to the major monuments and museums such as the Archaeological Museum and Palazzo Caracciolo. Line B takes you around the Bay of Naples to see several must-see places. During the summer months, there is a third route added that stops at San Martino Monastery.
Airport Shuttles and Buses
When you fly into Naples, you do not have to worry about transportation from Naples International Airport into central Naples. There are buses and shuttles available just outside the airport entrance. Alibus service takes you to several places including the train station. Alibus does cost a bit more than the C3 bus line, which will only take you to the Napoli Centrale Station.
Alibus offers buses from 6:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. and leaves the airport every 15 minutes. Purchase your Alibus tickets at the arrivals hall or one of the kiosks throughout the airport. The C3 bus line tickets can be bought at several of the kiosks.
The public transportation network has 150 different bus lines that take you throughout Naples and even to points on the outskirts of the city. Unless you are staying in a neighborhood outside the city center, you really will not need to take the bus much, except for the sightseeing buses where you can see more of the city’s fantastic attractions.
You can find a map of the public transportation options available in Naples, including the bus lines and bus stops, online. The best place to catch the bus when you are looking to see more of the city as a tourist is at the bus stop in Piazza Garibaldi. Drop in and explore the plaza before hopping on the bus and heading out to see the city.
Hailing a taxi in Naples is different from hailing a taxi in New York City. It is unusual to hail a cab directly from the street. Instead, you will have to be picked up at the different taxi stands around Naples. These taxi stands are usually situated near touristy areas and major transport hubs, such as the train stations and airport.
For the most part, taxis in Naples are clean and the price is reasonable. There are several reputable taxi companies in the city including Consorzio Taxi Napoli, Consortaxi, and Taxi La Partenope. The official taxi cabs in Naples are white and do use a meter to calculate fees; there are also additional charges for extra services and stops along the way.
Most tourists do not use rental cars to get around Naples. Parking can be a nightmare and many hotels do not even have attached parking. Make sure you call ahead and verify that there is a place to safely park your rental car and be sure to get directions to the appropriate lot. There may be fees for parking your rental car.
Naples is really one of the best places to explore on foot. There are several walking paths and pedestrian streets that allow you to meander through the city and visit the main attractions. Driving through Naples can be difficult if you are not used to the streets and then finding parking near the attractions can also be tricky.
If you absolutely want to have a rental car so you can drive yourself to attractions and nearby cities and towns, there are car rental agencies located at the Capodichino Airport and near the Napoli Centrale train station. If you are not used to driving in Italy, you will want to brush up on your skills and knowledge of street signs before slipping behind the wheel.
Can I get around Naples by foot?
Naples is a very walkable city, with main attractions that are easy to access on foot. With most of the major sights being located between the Centro Storico or historic center and the seaport, walking is ideal. There are a few landmarks and attractions that will require you to take public transport to reach as they are a bit of a hike away from the city center.
Order a taxi or take the metro to visit the sights. You may even sign up for a sightseeing bus tour that heads a little further out of the city to see these out-of-the-way attractions. Pack comfortable shoes when you visit Naples, you will definitely want to take a few walking tours and see Naples on foot. You will stroll through the historic streets soaking up the culture and history of this iconic city.
Public transit in Naples does generally shut down at 11:00 p.m., making it imperative that you are able to walk to your hotel from wherever you plan to visit at night. There are plenty of bars and nightclubs to choose from in the city center and close to the hotels of the city. Ask your hotel’s concierge for a list of places to visit that are near the hotel.
Train services around Naples and more
It can be a bit confusing when visiting a new city and trying to figure out the public transport system. Naples is no exception, with its various public transportation options for tourists and locals to use. Remember, you will want to get a Naples Pass or Campania Arte Card that allows you to use public transit for free including the metro, train, bus, and funicular.
Taxis are not included on the Naples Pass and most sightseeing buses are not free when you use your card. Discounts for sightseeing buses may be available and many of the attractions and landmarks you will visit will be free or discounted when you present your card. Walking throughout the city is one of the best ways for getting around Naples and will help you learn more about the history of the city.