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3 Days in Naples

3 days in Naples will allow you to see a lot of this fascinating city in southern Italy and the surrounding area.

The historic center is full of amazing spots such as the Royal Palace, catacombe di San Gennaro and lots and lots of murals of Maradona and Napoli footballers!

I loved my time in Naples Italy and didn’t want to leave. The city is a bit run down and has a bad reputation, but in some ways, it adds to Naples’ appeal. The chaos is what makes Naples great and such a fascinating place to visit!

This Naples itinerary will provide you with all the details you need about visiting this incredible city. From where to stay, rough estimates on costs, the best time to visit and how to get around.

Keep scrolling to find out what to do in Naples in 3 days!

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3 Days in Naples Itinerary

Quick 3 Days in Naples Itinerary

Day 1 – Walking Tour, Spanish Quarter, Maradona Mural
Day 2 – Naples Cathedral, Naples Archaeological Museum, Pompeii
Day 3 – Naples Underground, Mount Vesuvis, Amalfi Coast

Top Tip – Skip the lines at over 20+ activities with the Naples Pass
Check out some of the best places to eat in Naples with this food tour
Get transport to/from Naples Airport to Naples City Centre

My Experience in Naples

Tom atop Mount Vesuvius with the inside of the cone visible in the background
Me atop Mount Vesuvius

After spending 3 days in Florence, I headed down to Naples on a high-speed train to visit a city I’ve wanted to check out for ages.

I’ve heard so much about Naples, good and bad, that this was probably the place I most looked forward to visiting on my 3-month trip around Europe.

Well, it didn’t disappoint and was the highlight of the trip. The city is unlike anywhere else in Europe and Italy for that matter. It’s a bonkers place that’s pure grit and chaos, but that’s what makes it so great!

I think the epitome of this was wandering around the old town and hearing someone busking. Assuming it would just be someone busking on the street, I found a guy singing on his balcony, a screen mounted to it and a basket dangling beneath for tips!

This is normal in Naples. The city is mad, a bit rundown but a spectacular place that has so many fascinating places to check out.

What I liked about Naples wasn’t just how much there is to do in the city, but how much there is to do outside of it too.

Pompeii and Vesuvius are just outside of the city and make some of the best day trips from Naples. You can also visit the Amalfi Coast and check out places such as Capri and Sorrento.

Naples is either a good place to base yourself or to use as a gateway to the Amalfi and some of the best spots in southern Italy.

I loved Naples and even though I saw a lot of the city, I’ll be back again as the combination of amazing places to see and great food makes it too good of a place not to!

Here are a few things I liked about Naples and a few things I didn’t:

Good

  • You won’t get bored during your 3 days in Naples. There’s so much to do in the city the challenge will be fitting it all in rather than finding things to do. With so much to do in the surrounding area, if you can visit for 5 days, you’ll still be trying to fit things in!
  • The vibe in the city is unlike anything I experienced while backpacking Italy. The character of the people is very different from those in the north and there’s always something happening, whether it’s an event or fireworks going off at night! It’s a chaotic city but that’s what makes it fun!

Bad

  • Naples isn’t the cleanest and if you’ve visited Turin, the difference between the two cities is stark. I thought this only added to the character of Naples, but there are lots of rubbish, broken buildings and run-down areas. This isn’t necessarily bad, but you might get a shock if you’ve been to southern Italy before.
  • Naples is much bigger than you might realise before you visit. It was only when I got to a viewpoint above the Spanish Quarter that I realised this. If you like walking around cities like me, this makes it hard to stroll around and see everything without public transport. You should be able to see almost everything in 3 days, but if you’re not prepared you might struggle.

What to do in Naples in 3 Days

walking down Christmas alley in Naples

There are so many things to do in Naples that you won’t have any difficulty finding stuff to do during your 3 days there.

The city is full of fascinating sights such as the buzzing Spanish Quarter, underground tunnels and some brilliant museums too.

Then you have excellent day trips that rival anywhere in Italy, such as Pompeii, Vesuvius and the Amalfi Coast.

If you’ve never visited Naples before, I’ve listed some places you should check out below. I’ve also a recommendation of some of the best tours you can do in Naples:

If you’ve visited Rome in 3 days, you’ll know that you can spend a long time queuing for attractions if you don’t buy tickets in advance.

That’s why I recommend getting a Naples Pass before you go. The pass is valid for three days and grants you free access to three major attractions and then reduced ticket prices after that.

You also get to use Naples’s public transportation systems for free, which is useful for getting around the city and will save you a bit of money.

Here are a few places you should check out during your 3 days in Naples:

  • Spanish Quarter – The Spanish Quarter is one of the liveliest places in Naples. You’ll find lots of brilliant cafes and restaurants here, while the Maradona Mural is also in this part of the city.
  • Naples Underground – This subterranean labyrinth of tunnels and chambers is a must if you want to learn more about the fascinating past of Naples. They’ve been used for a variety of reasons including as a passageway for the Italian resistance during World War II.
  • Pompeii – Pompeii is only a short ride away on the train and is a must while visiting Naples. It doesn’t need much explanation, seeing the site of the ancient city destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius will blow you away!
  • Mount Vesuvius – Vesuvius towers over Naples from almost every angle, and you can go right to the top. It’s a straightforward hike and provides a stunning view of Naples and the surrounding area!
  • Christmas Alley – This is one of the quirkier places to visit in Naples. A street, via San Gregorio Armano, that’s dedicated to Christmas all year round. You’ll find all sorts of trinkets here and it’s a great place to wander in the historic center!

Naples Itinerary – Day 1

The first day of this 3-day Naples itinerary sees you either join a walking tour or make your own way around Naples for a bit, head to the Spanish Quarter and then check out the Maradona mural in the same area.

Walking Tour

view of the Naples skyline with Vesuvius in the background

Whenever I get to a new city, the first thing I do after checking in is go for a wander and get a feel for it, especially the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I was excited to do this in Naples, because the entire city is a sprawling mass of activity. As fun, as my walk was, it was when I got up above the Spanish Quarter to one of the viewpoints I realised just how big the city is.

Unless you love walking and getting lost, I don’t advise doing this. Naples is a confusing city and you will get lost. It’s better to book a walking tour to get a feel for this historic city and be guided around.

This way, not only will you get to see and learn about most of the sights, but you’ll also get an idea of where everything is without getting lost like me and confusing Piazza Trieste e Trento for Piazza del Plebiscito for example!

By all means, go for a wander around Naples afterward. You’ll get a new appreciation of the city doing this. Walking along Spaccanapoli, also known as the Naples Splitter is a great way to get acquainted with the city.

But it’s better after being part of a tour, so you have an idea of where you’re going!

Spanish Quarter

walking around the spanish quarter in naples

After you’ve done your walking tour, I recommend heading to the Spanish Quarter for another stroll around one of the most interesting parts of Naples.

The quarter is right in the historical center of the city, so it’s not hard to find. But it can be hard to find your way around the quarter due to its layout.

walking around streets in the Spanish Quarter
a small mural of Napoli player Victor Osimhen on a wall in the Spanish Quarter

I got lost every time I was there due to the grid layout and the chaos that was going on there didn’t help either. Be prepared to see lots of people eating outside restaurants and scooters whizzing past you!

Still, it’s a great experience and a brilliant place to get something to eat. If you want to get a feel for what Naples is like, I don’t think many better places typify it more than here!

Maradona Mural

maradona mural ion a block of flats n naples

The next stop is still in the Spanish Quarter but deserves a mention of its own. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll know that one of the greatest footballers of all time, Diego Maradona used to play for Napoli.

His signing resulted in the club winning their first-ever championship (Scudetto in Italian), and he is almost worshipped as a God in the city as a result. I’d recommend watching the documentary film, Maradona to get an idea of the adulations he received in Naples.

You’ll need Google Maps to find the mural, but it’s worth walking around to find it, as it’s an impressive piece of street art. I was also surprised by how much there is going on in this area. There are numerous shops nearby and stalls selling all sorts of products.

Another fun thing was all the banners in the streets celebrating Napoli’s most recent championship victory in 2023. I don’t know whether these decorations will stay up long term but they certainly make walking around this part of the city more interesting!

If you’re a football fan, you have to visit here and even if you’re not I recommend doing it. Football and Naples are tied together unlike any other city in Europe apart from Liverpool. So you can’t understand the city without understanding its passion for football!

Naples Itinerary – Day 2

If you can get up early and visit the first two places on this list, that will give you more time to explore Pompeii, which is the highlight of this second of your 3 days in Naples.

Naples Cathedral

exterior of Naples Cathedral

Naples Cathedral (Duomo di Napoli) is the first stop of your second day in Naples and is one of the most striking places in the historical centre of the city.

The building doesn’t look too special from the outside when you approach it from Piazza di Duomo, but inside it’s magnificent with some of the most beautiful artwork and architecture you’ll see in Italy.

The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Restituta and houses a vial of blood from San Gennaro in the Royal Chapel, which is said to change from dried to liquefied blood when it’s brought out for festivals three times a year.

You can make your mind up on whether this is true or not. But legend has it that if the blood fails to liquefy then disaster will befall Naples.

A visit to the nearby Sansevero Chapel to see the incredible sculpture of the Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino is a must too! There’s also Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco di Paola in Piazza del Plebiscito to check out!

National Archaeological Museum

entrance to Naples Archaelogical Museum

The Naples National Archaeological Museum is one of the most underrated places to visit In the city. I didn’t realise it was here until I stumbled across it while walking around.

This was one of the highlights of my three day Naples itinerary due to this and because the museum is full of some of the most incredible Greek and Roman antiquities you’ll find in Italy.

scupltures of figures from roman history in Naples Archaelogical Museum
a fresco on the ceiling in naples archaelogical museum

There are hundreds of amazing sculptures depicting Roman Emperors, philosophers and ancient Gods, which is what makes it one of the most famous museums in Italy.

Most of them are from Pompeii, so it’s worth visiting the museum before or after you visit Pompeii to get a deeper perspective on the ancient Roman city.

It’s not the cheapest museum to visit at €22 but it’s full of fascinating historical artefacts and a must if you’re a history lover. It will also help you understand the rich history of the area and why it’s such an interesting place.

Pompeii

view of the ancient city of pompeii

One of the best things to do during three days in Naples is to visit the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The Roman ruins here are incredible and a sight to behold!

Once you’ve finished the first two activities, you can catch the train to Pompeii and see the archaeological site. I recommend you book your tickets in advance, as it can get busy here and you don’t want to queue for ages to get a ticket, especially in the high season.

Something I didn’t realise until I visited was the size of Pompeii. It’s massive! It’s a huge place and it will take you most of the afternoon to walk around and see everything.

ancient theatre in pompeii
the courtyard of an ancient villa in Pompeii

I managed to see most of the site in a couple of hours. But if you want more time, you can book a tour, which might last all day and skip the other two activities for later if you have time or another day.

Pompeii is a place you can’t miss while you’re in Naples as it’s fascinating walking around seeing the ruins and imagining what life was like there. You can also visit Herculaneum, which is nearby if you want to see more fascinating ruins!

Naples Itinerary – Day 3

The third day of exploring Naples starts with a trip to the underground part of the city and then involves either a day trip to Mount Vesuvius or somewhere on the Amalfi Coast.

You might be able to climb Vesuvius and visit the Amalfi Coast in one day, but it will be a lot of travelling and it’s probably better to choose one to visit instead.

Naples Underground

entrance to naples underground

One of the quirkier and more fascinating things to do in Naples is to visit Naples Underground, a series of tunnels underneath the city.

It’s an incredible experience delving beneath the surface of the city and exploring an area that’s been part of the city for over 5000 years!

There isn’t another attraction like it in the city and you’ll be taken on a tour through the tunnels that feature aqueducts, Roman and Greek artefacts and discover what it was like to be in the tunnels during the Second World War when they were used as air raid shelters.

Naples has plenty of charms at ground level, but there’s a lot to see below ground and you’ll be blown away by how big and extensive the area beneath the city is!

Mount Vesuvius

atop Mount Vesuvius looking into the cone of the volcano

If you’re not an outdoors person, I’d skip hiking Vesuvius as you might not enjoy it. Especially, as it takes a while to get there and back.

You’ll need to book a ticket in advance and then get a train to Pompeii before hopping on one of the shuttle buses that take you up mainland Europe’s only active volcano to the starting point.

I did this and regretted not booking a transfer as it would have made it much easier to get there and back. You also need to bear in mind your ticket has a time limit for entry, so if you get there late, you might not be able to enter.

The hike up Vesuvius is easy enough and will take you around 20 to 30 minutes. You’ll get some incredible views of the volcano, the coast and Naples itself from the top.

But I did feel it was a bit underwhelming when I was at the top. The views are spectacular, but other than looking into a giant cone, there’s not an awful lot else to do.

Amalfi Coast

Town of Amalfi on the Amalfi Coast

If relaxing at the beach is your idea of fun, a day trip to one of the towns on the Amalfi Coast is a must.

There are plenty to choose from but the easiest to get to is probably Sorrento, as you can jump on a train from Napoli Centrale Station, which will take you straight there.

Another option is to rent a car and drive down to the coast. This is a good idea if you want to see a few places. This is one of the best European road trips, and its short length means you can see a lot of it in one day.

Another option is to visit the island of Capri, which while not on the Amalfi Coast is in the vicinity and is another beautiful spot to check out.

If you have time, it’s worth booking an extra day or two to discover the area and spend more time there, as it’s a beautiful part of Italy!

Other Places to Visit in Naples

exterior of the royal palace in Naples

If you’re looking for more places to check out during your three days in Naples, check out some of the suggestions below:

  • Stadio Diego Maradona – This is the home of Napoli and is a must-visit if you’re a football fan. I recommend trying to arrange your trip to coincide with a match so you can experience the atmosphere inside the stadium. If you can’t, a guided tour is a good alternative! Book Your Tour Now!
  • Pizza-making class – Naples is the home of pizza and you’ll many great places to eat it in the city. But why not learn how to cook this delicacy the Neapolitan way? This cooking class will show you how! Book your class now!
  • Citta della Scienza (Science Museum of Naples) – If you like museums, this is a great place to visit. There’s a lot to see and do here, such as visit the planetarium, insect laboratory and much more! It’s a good substitute for one of the above activities as it will take a while to see everything here! Book your ticket now!
  • Royal Palace – This was the Royal Residence of the House of Bourbon when they ruled the Kingdom of Naples. It’s located in Piazza del Plebiscito and is now a museum that will tell you all about the history of Naples and the Bourbon’s role in it! Book Your Tour Now!

If you want even more places to see and activities to do in Naples and the wider area, click the link below:

Naples Travel Tips

This section will provide you with actionable and practical tips to help you plan your trip to Naples. It includes advice on where to stay, rough estimates of prices, the best time to visit and how to get around the city.

Where to stay in Naples

piazza del plebiscito in naples

The good thing about Naples is that there are plenty of places to stay in the city. Whether you want budget accommodation or something a bit more fancy, you’ll be able to find it.

Whether you want luxury hotels, cool hostels or a rental apartment, there are plenty of options for you 3 days in Naples.

I was surprised that hostels cost €50 a night when I stayed in October but this was cheaper than other parts of Italy at the same time, so the price might fluctuate depending on when you visit.

One thing to consider is where in the city to stay. I’d recommend being in the center and this is probably where you’ll end up as there aren’t many options in the outskirts of Naples.

As close to the historic centre is best in my opinion, as you’re near all the main sights and it’s not hard to get the shuttle bus to the airport or the metro to Napoli Centrale Station.

I’ve listed some places I recommend staying at below:

Product Image Product Name / Primary Rating / Description Primary Button
Our Pick
  • 5.0
  • Brilliant hostel in the centre of Naples that's lively and a great place for solo travellers. It has a bar, a kitchen with free food and spacious rooms!

  • 4.0
  • A lovely hostel in the centre of Naples that feels like an escape from the chaos outside.

  • 4.0
  • If you're looking for a place to stay outside of Naples City Centre, this eco hostel in Ercolano has everything you need in a quiet environment!

Our Pick
5.0

Brilliant hostel in the centre of Naples that's lively and a great place for solo travellers. It has a bar, a kitchen with free food and spacious rooms!

4.0

A lovely hostel in the centre of Naples that feels like an escape from the chaos outside.

4.0

If you're looking for a place to stay outside of Naples City Centre, this eco hostel in Ercolano has everything you need in a quiet environment!

Cost of Travel in Naples

Galleria Umberto I in Naples

Despite being one of the biggest cities in Italy, Naples isn’t that expensive compared to other cities in the North. Visiting Turin in 3 days will cost you much more than three days here.

As a general rule, the south of Italy is cheaper than the north. Even in a big city such as Naples, you should expect to pay less than you would in small cities in the North.

That said, I did end up paying €50 a night for a bed in a hostel dorm in October, which surprised me. But then the prices in Italy were similar everywhere I went so it wasn’t a localised thing.

One thing that did surprise me was how cheap some of the food was. I got an excellent Margherita pizza for €6 in the old town! I don’t know if this is the same across the city, but I didn’t expect to pay so little for pizza.

Overall, you can visit Naples and not overspend your budget by a large amount. Food is reasonably priced and you can visit a few places for free such as the viewpoints and the Maradona mural.

You will have to pay to get into some museums and if you want to visit Pompeii and Vesuvius, but you can factor those into your budget before you visit.

If you do want to save money I’d recommend staying at a hostel. Ostello Bello, the one I stayed at had free food in the kitchen. This is unusual for a hostel but also a brilliant way to keep costs down if you’re on a budget.

Other than that, most of your expenses will be food and drink, booking tours or day trips and purchasing travel gifts for friends and family, which could add up depending on how many you get.

I’ve included a rough guide to prices for accommodation, eating out and transport in Naples below.

Prices for other expenses such as nights out at a bar/pub, club entry fees, souvenirs/clothing purchases, tours. etc. aren’t included.

You’ll need to budget extra for these purchases as they are ‘non-essential!’ 

Bed icon

Accommodation

Hostel: Dorm – €20-50; Private – €60-120
Hotels: €70-130
Rental Apartment: €40-130

Restaurant Icon

Food and Drink

Breakfast: €2-€5
Dinner: €8-20
Takeaway meal: €3-8+
Pint of beer: €3.75-5

 

Transport icon

Transport

Single ticket: €1.10
Day ticket: €4.50
Bike rental: €15 for the day

 

Best Time to Visit Naples

tourists walking in the historic centre of Naples

My trip to Naples was in October and the weather in the city was still warm and comfortable during this time. Temperatures were in the 20s most days and the city was still busy during this time too.

I think this is a good time to visit for two reasons. The first is that the temperatures are cooler than during the summer and the second is that the city should be quieter too.

That said, I’m not sure Naples is ever quiet! But there will certainly be more tourists during the summer.

As Naples is in the south of Italy, it will be much hotter during the summer than it would at other times of the year. If you don’t like the heat, I wouldn’t visit at this time.

You can visit during the shoulder seasons from March to May in Spring and from September to November in Autumn and still get decent weather.

You’ll also get fewer tourists too. You can also do your Naples trip during winter when it will be cooler but not freezing like many places in Northern Italy.

You can also experience Naples during the run-up to Christmas, which will be an experience given what it’s like visiting the city at any other time of the year!

I’ve put together a quick summary of what to expect when visiting Naples depending on which time of the year you visit below. I also recommend checking out my packing list for Italy before you go so you know what clothes to take whatever the weather!

Naples in Spring

Spring is a good time to visit Naples to avoid the stifling summer heat and because there will be fewer people too. It will still be hot but more comfortable in the mid-20s.

Average temperatures from low to high: 6.3°C – 23°C / 43.3°F – 73.4°F

Naples in Summer

You’re almost guaranteed to get sunny weather during the summer but the caveat is that temperatures will be in the 30s most of the time, which in a big city can be hard to bear. Still, if that’s not a problem it’s a good time to visit and check out the surrounding area such as the Amalfi Coast.

Average temperatures from low to high: 16.2°C – 30.8°C / 61.2°F – 87.4°F

Naples in Autumn

Autumn is another good time to visit if you want cooler weather and to experience Naples when the city isn’t as busy. I visited in October and the temperatures were a good mix of sunny but not too hot!

Average temperatures from low to high: 7.8°C – 26.8°C / 41.7°F – 80.2°F

Naples in Winter

Winter isn’t the most common time to visit Naples but experiencing the city in the run-up to Christmas is an experience, there will be fewer tourists in January and February too if you can brave the cold!

Average temperatures from low to high: 4.4°C – 14.3°C / 39.9°F – 57.7°F

How to Get Around Naples

the inside of Toledo metro station in Naples with escalators visible

It’s only when you start walking around that you realise how big Naples is. The city is huge and the view from a vantage point shows just how big, as it sprawls almost as far as the eye can see.

You can walk around the city center without too much difficulty, even though it’s spread out. But if you want to go further afield, you’ll need to use public transport.

Thankfully, Naples does have a good public transportation system so getting around isn’t too difficult. There’s a metro network, buses and the Circumvesuviana service, which is a loop around Naples and the surrounding area.

The latter is notorious for pickpockets, so I’d be on guard if you use it. Although when I used it to get to Pompeii I didn’t see anything untoward, I’d still be cautious.

The metro is perfect for getting around the city and is ideal to use if you don’t fancy walking between places, which can be difficult in Naples. Make sure to visit Toledo Metro Station, pictured above, at least once during your trip as it’s a sight to behold.

One thing to bear in mind when walking in Naples is that if you’re waiting to cross the road at a crossing, cars won’t stop. You need to start walking across and then they’ll stop.

This can be intimidating at first, and it threw me off. But you’ll soon get used to it. I never felt like an accident was about to happen.

The train network is perfect for getting to places in the surrounding area such as Sorrento and Pompeii. If you’re coming to Naples from elsewhere in Italy, I think it’s the best way to get to the city as Garibaldi Station is in the heart of the city and it’s easy to get to most places from there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 3 days enough in Naples?

3 days is enough time to see the majority of Naples. But if you want to see nearby places such as Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri, you might need a few more days. A week will allow you to see everything in the surrounding area and the Amalfi Coast.

How many days should you spend in Naples?

3 days in Naples is the minimum you should spend in the city. This will allow you to see the majority of the city and give you some time to explore Pompeii, Vesuvius and maybe Sorrento.

Looking For More Travel Guides?

3 Days in Palermo – If you fancy a trip to Sicily off the coast of Southern Italy, Palermo is a city you have to visit that’s full of fascinating sights!

3 Days in Bologna – A beautiful city in the north of Italy that’s not too hard to reach via a high-speed train. Lots of great sights and museums to check out.

3 Days in Milan – Another of the biggest cities in Italy that has a wealth of museums and art galleries to check out and is home to Da Vinci’s Last Supper!

3 Days in Venice – One of Italy’s most beautiful cities and a perfect place to visit if you’re on a wider trip of Italy!

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