A day in Naples itinerary – Amazing activities


When doing research on visiting Naples, you will see things such as a city of volcanic drama, lots of energy, beautiful chaos and these are hugely accurate descriptions. This busy, volcanic city can leave you exhausted but left in admiration at its uniqueness. There is no city quite like it in Europe which I could compare it too, it is more comparable to Asian cities like Bangkok.

From one side you have the hectic streets with scooters and cars beeping with impatience, graffiti on many walls and buildings and then the other side containing classic Italian architecture, a beautiful promenade with a castle and a more relaxing atmosphere.

Rich in history, Naples will have something for everyone. Whether it being arts and museums, underground ancient caves, a perfect base to start the Amalfi coast itinerary or visit other nearby places such as Pompeii and the island of Capri.

Our 1 day itinerary for Naples will hopefully provide you with plenty of things to do. A day was perfect for us whilst we waited for a changeover flight. Having said that we’re already planning on coming back as it’s perfect for a short trip to the island of Capri or an adventure to Pompeii. There are plenty of things to do if you plan to visit for longer

When to visit

For when you plan your visit, you need to decide what trips you are after. For instance if you want to enjoy the island of Capri, walks to the beach and a relax then you will want to visit during summer. This allows you to sunbathe and capture some lovely images with blue skies. You will want to visit during the summer if you plan on travelling down the Amalfi Coast as the sea temperatures have warmed up for a swim and more restaurants, hotels and shops are opening for the peak season. This can range from the end of April to September/October.

However, if you plan on visits to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius and are planning walks around Naples you will want to go when it’s cooler. This March/April. We’re sure that you can still visit these places during summer, just make sure you are well prepared with the right attire and have plenty of water.

We visited during July, temperatures were soaring and we tried to stay out of the sun as much as possible because here was lots to explore. We had a famous gelato which melted on to our hands within seconds. Fortunately, there’s plenty of places to drink which is needed in the summer sun for a cool down.

Things to do in the city

The 1 day itinerary in Naples is more for staying in the centre and area and nowhere else. There are lots of ideas for different places to go to when staying in Naples. We only stayed for one day as it was a short lay over from our trip from Sardinia to our next main trip to Hvar. You can check the rest of our travel route here.

If there’s specific trips you’d like to go to then you need to consider the weather and how hot it will be. We only had a 1 day itinerary and were rushed with things to do, so we decided to keep it simple. If you are there longer then it allows you to do more day trips which look amazing. We highly recommend this.

Walk and explore

Naples itself has lots to offer and lots to take in. You can’t have a boring moment in it. When you walk out of the centre, you are suddenly greeted by the stunning sea view and a castle. We recommend visiting this area as it is a beautiful walk. If you are really hot, then you may want to have a dip in the water which is what we saw others do. It becomes a completely different contrast compared to the centre of the city which adds to this peculiar city.

Visit a castle

As you’ll see from our other posts and tags, we love visiting a castle. Castle d’Ovo is on the bay of Naples and across from luxurious hotels such as Grand Vesuvio. This castle was beautiful and nearby you could see boats docked and people swimming in the water. You’ll also notice on some of the pictures that there’s graffiti on the wall which keeps the characteristics of the centre on the bay. Nearby, there is also the Castel Nuovo if you fancy another short walk.

Trips away from Naples

Naples is in an accessible part of Italy and is near lots of famous landmarks and other places to visit. We check nearby places on all our travel route plans. The reason we visited Naples in the first place is because it was a cheap connecting flight from Cagliari to Split in Croatia. You may find that Naples works as a cheap flight link for you. Although this is a 1 day itinerary in Naples, check the other trips you can do nearby. You may want to extend your stay.

The stunning island of Capri

A view of the island of Capri as advised to visit as part of a 1 day itinerary in Naples.

As mentioned earlier, you may want to visit the stunning, but expensive, island of Capri. It’s famed for rugged landscape, upscale hotels and shopping, from designer fashions to limoncello and handmade leather sandals. One of its best-known natural sites is the Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue, the result of sunlight passing through an underwater cave. Similar to our trip in Hvar. It’s around a 45-minute ferry trip from Naples which occur regularly and costs around €20 one way. You can book here.

Ancient ruins of Pompeii

Ancient ruins of Pompeii.

A very popular trip is to visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii, which is famous for being destroyed by the volcano, Mt. Vesuvius . The best way to get to Pompeii from Naples is to ride a train. Take the Circumvesuviana line all the way to Pompeii. The train runs every 30 minutes so no need to book in advance. Ride the train and get off at the Pompei Scavi/Villa dei Misteri stop. Then Walk to Pompeii’s main entrance at Porta Marina. Each ticket is €13 per person and they don’t accept card. The heat was a struggle just walking around the centre when we visited Naples. Think about an appropriate time to visit.

The active volcano, Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius volcano

The 1913-1944 eruption is thought to be the end of an eruptive cycle that began in 1631. Vesuvius is an active volcano and will erupt again in the future, but hasn’t erupted since then so don’t be put off at all this popular volcano. If you’re visiting Pompeii then don’t miss out. Vehicles will drop you off at an altitude of 1,000m. The trail to the top climbs just under a further 200m. For most people in reasonable condition it’s no problem but if you are not 100% fit or have a medical problem you may want to take advice.

Many tourists turn up in T-shirts not realising it is a lot colder at this altitude than on the coast. You may need rain gear, you may need a hat, sun screen and lots of water – just make sure you arrive fully prepared with layers of clothing. 

To get here you need to get the train from Naples to Ercolano Scava or Pompeii train station. From the train station, you can get a tourist shuttlebus service called Vesuvio Express. This runs every 40 minutes from Ercolano Station. From Pompeii station there is a tourist service up to Mount Vesuvius with ticketing at the station. Another option is, walking 15 minutes into the town of Pompeii. Then using a public bus service runs from in front of the main gates.

Where to eat and stay

Staying in Naples proved very cheap. We paid £30 for a 1 night stay and were bang in the centre. A central location is necessary to avoid walking around unnecessarily in the heat. We recommend visiting booking.com for this, there are plenty of options.

Next for your 1 day itinerary in Naples is food. Well you won’t be short of places to eat in Naples. We researched the best places for Pizza in Naples and they all looked delicious. However, when we visited the places the queues were extremely long and this was in between lunch and dinner, I have no idea how long the queues would be during peak eating hours.

Realistically the amount of restaurants there are, there is too much choice and for that reason we weren’t waiting in the ridiculous queues. We couldn’t imagine anywhere not producing delicious food and we weren’t wrong (as you’ll see from the picture below). If the queues are really busy, we’d recommend trying to find your own hidden gem.

To summarise, despite not staying here long, it had a lasting effect on us and one which has made us want to visit in the future. It has so many nearby trips which makes a stay here seem desirable, not to mention it’s central hub which makes it an easy place for cheap flights to other major cities. We’ve decided to use this a starting base for an Amalfi Coast trip and we certainly recommend at least a short visit to this city if you haven’t yet visited.

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