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How to Visit Naples in 2 Days Itinerary

Thinking about visiting the home of pizza, Pompeii, and some of the most passionate soccer fans in the whole of Europe? Follow my Naples in 2 Days Itinerary to make sure you don’t miss anything.

I’ve put this together as someone who has been to Naples many, many times, and I had my friend, Rebecca, who is from there, add her expertise as well. Let’s get started!

How to Visit Naples in 2 Days: The Best Naples Itinerary

Honestly, being able to visit the whole of Naples and the surrounding area in just two days is a near-impossible ask.

So, instead of doing a step-by-step itinerary for you to follow, I’ve put together some of my favorite sights, attractions, and activities in the Napoli area, for you to pick and choose from. 

With that little explainer out of the way, let’s dive right in and discover all the amazing things you can see and do in and around Naples in just two days!

Day 1 in Naples

Spend the First Day Exploring Naples

Look, you can’t come to a city and immediately leave it to head to the islands or disappear down the coast. There’ll be time for those things later!

First things first, a great way to kick off arriving in any city is a walk around the historic regions. 

This way you can get your bearings, find out where the best food is, make a note of where the different train stations and ferry ports are, and just get a feel for the vibe of the city.

In Naples, that’s crucial. It’s easy to get lost here, and although that’s part of the magic of the place, we only have two days to explore!

Wander through the Historic Center (Centro Storico)

I love a historic center of a city, and Naples has an amazing one, just begging to be explored.

If you’ve ever seen a photo of Napoli, you’ll see winding alleyways with washing lines draped up to the skies, street food stalls, and locals hollering across to each other.

That is the bustling and vibrant Spaccanapoli in the heart of the Historic area of the city, known in Italian as Centro Storico. 

people walking in the street in Naples

Literally, the word “Spaccanapoli” means Naples Splitter. This is because this iconic Italian street goes straight down the middle of the Centro Storico, splitting it in half. If you find yourself on Spaccanapoli, you know that you’re never too far from a historical sight or two. 

If you can’t find it on a map, that’s because it’s also called Via dei Tribunali, but whatever it’s called on your maps, it’s amazing and a must-visit if you want to immerse yourself in the true Neapolitan culture and atmosphere!

After you’ve explored the bustling vibes of Spaccanapoli, head around the corner to Christmas Alley.

It’s actually called Via San Gregorio Armeno, but it hasn’t been called that by anyone – locals or tourists – for years now. 

people shopping on Nativity Alley in Naples

Why is it called Christmas Alley you might ask? Naples has sunshine and warm weather the vast majority of the year, so it’s hardly bursting with festive, Christmassy vibes after all.

Well, this particular street is full of artisans and elite craftspeople dedicated to building exquisite nativity scenes, otherwise known as a Presepe or Presepio. 

You can wander into these workshops and see these artists at work before buying a couple of figures, baubles, or even a full scene.

Even if you’re not religious or aren’t into Christianity, the decorative skill that’s on display on this particular street is too good to miss out on. 

Before you leave Centro Storico, you need to visit the Santa Chiara complex. Honestly, you could spend an entire day in this one place if you had the time.

Santa Chiara isn’t just one amazing church, it’s also home to galleries, tombs, monasteries, and even the archeological museum. It’s basically a cultural village all of its own.

If you like sculptures and Renaissance art you definitely have to check out the Cappella Sansevero, home to Giuseppe Sanmartino’s world-famous Veiled Christ.

It’s said to be one of the best sculptures ever created, and has even been rumored to be the work of alchemy – that’s how eerily good this marble sculpture is!

Shop & Take Photos in Galleria Umberto

Once you’ve had your fill of history, head over to the glorious Galleria Umberto. Built in the late 19th century, this amazing shopping mall is one of the most visited sights in the whole of Napoli.

Here, you can find little touristy souvenir shops, delicious cafes, and amazing gelato stores.

Obviously, it’s a little more expensive than some of the other spots in Naples, but even if you don’t buy anything, Galleria Umberto is worth visiting for the architecture alone!

With high domed ceilings and beautifully tiled floors, it’s an amazing place to just wander and take photos for a little while.

Visit the Birthplace of Pizza

Can we even talk about visiting Napoli without talking about pizza? It’s a fact that Naples is the birthplace of pizza (and I will not hear any theories that contradict this stone-cold fact!).

Although there are a ton of amazing pizzerias across the city – and I’ll go into more detail in the places to eat section below – there is one place in particular that claims to be the Birthplace of Pizza, specifically margherita pizzas.

Antica Pizzeria Brandi is located sort of in between Galleria Umberto and Piazza del Plebiscito and is famous for claiming to be where the first Neapolitan pizza was made by Raffaele Esposito in 1889.

In fact, there’s a plaque in the pizzeria denoting that it’s the birthplace of pizza. It’s actually become an obscure tourist attraction that’s a cool place to visit!

a plaque

Wander Through the Piazza del Plebiscito

After you’ve had your fill of delicious and historic pizza, wander over to the famous and expansive Piazza del Plebiscito. Back when the city was actually the capital of the Kingdom of Naples, this square was the hub of entertainment and society.

That’s because it’s home to the San Carlo Theatre, Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola, and even the Palazzo Reale di Napoli (The Royal Palace of Naples).

a series of buildings

Nowadays, you can wander around the square, admire the equestrian statues around the piazza, and even check out a performance or two that happens in the square.

Day-to-day you can see hundreds of visitors exploring the piazza and visiting the different cultural hotspots that are a part of this area. 

Visit the Castel dell’Ovo

Okay, so if you know Italian, you’ll already realize that this particular castle has a bizarre name. The Castel dell’ Ovo, or Egg Castle, stretches out into the Bay of Naples and gives amazing views out onto the water.

people walking and sitting while enjoying the beautiful scene

Around the base of the castle, you’ll find a ton of great bars and restaurants that come alive at night when the city is all lit up – I’d for sure recommend checking out Storie e Sapori for a chilled-out lunch and a quick drink.

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The castle itself is a mighty medieval fortress that was designed to protect the bay and the city itself. So, why is it called Castel dell’ Ovo?

Well, the legend goes that a siren called Partenope, whose body became the city of Naples, gave an egg to the Roman poet Virgil, who was told that if he buried it under the castle, the city would have good luck as long as it was protected and kept intact.

After that, it became known simply as the Egg Castle!

See the Best Views of Naples at Castel Sant’Elmo

Looking for the best views of the Bay of Naples and the entire city? Head up Vomero Hill to the beautiful Castel Sant’elmo.

In addition to being just a really nice hike, on a clear day, you can see all the way across to Sorrento. 

a beautiful view with buildings
View from Sant’elmo

Admission is normally 5 Euros but if you go on a Tuesday, tickets drop to 2.50, and if you visit on the first Sunday of each month, entry is entirely free.

You can wander around this amazing medieval castle and dive into the local history, but honestly, the jaw-dropping views are the main draw. The ground close at 6.30 pm, so if you want a sunset photo, come here in Fall or Winter!

Grab Dinner at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

If you took just one thing from the film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, it’s probably the scene where Julia Roberts basically has a religious experience eating one of the best pizzas in the world.

As it’s based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoirs, that pizzeria is a real place in Naples called L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. This amazing place only serves two pizzas; marinara and margherita.

It’s probably one of the most famous pizzerias on the planet and it shows when you’re trying to get a table. Inside, the place is tiny and most of the real estate is taken up by the giant mosaic pizza oven.

To get in, you can’t reserve a table, instead, you turn up, take a ticket like you’re at a deli counter, and wait your turn.

When you get there the staff will tell you the approximate wait time and then just add another 20 minutes on for Italian time.

Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

Day 2 in Naples: Day Trip or Extra Time in Naples?

Below there are two options for your second day in Naples, either you take a day trip to some of the most famous destinations in the world (like Capri or the Amalfi Coast) or you could spend your second day eating your way through the city.

Day 2: Take a Day Trip from Naples

The beauty of visiting Naples isn’t just about exploring the city, but diving into the whole surrounding area.

Obviously, unless you’re a speed demon or have a Time Machine, checking out all these places in just two days is impossible, but I’d recommend spending one day exploring Naples itself, and one day heading out of the city on one of these awesome day trips!

Start with Breakfast at Gran Caffe Gambrinus

With any of the day trips listed below, you’ll definitely want to be grabbing breakfast while in Naples before heading off on your adventure.

This stunning cafe and coffee house is located just around the corner from the Royal Palace of Naples, and the opulence is real!

It’s been going since the 19th century, and the interiors take you back in time and automatically make you feel like a VIP. 

This cafe is a bit out of the way, so you may want to take a bus here or plan to come here as an afternoon snack instead of breakfast.

But if you’re heading out on a day trip from Naples, this place isn’t far from Molo Beverello where most ferries leave from.

a pastry in a plate
Sfogliatella Pastry at Caffe Gambrinus

You can get great coffees and sfogliatella all over Napoli, so feel free to skip this but replace it with a closer pastry and coffee breakfast stop!

Day Trip Option 1: Procida

Procida is definitely an island that’s growing in popularity. It’s full of color and fishing heritage, so you know that the food is going to be good!

a colorful view of buildings

The lemons on the island are also so huge and juicy, so if you’re a foodie, head to Procida for half a day or so and avoid the crowds of Capri.

Option 2: Ischia

If you’re looking for relaxation and rejuvenation, head to the island of Ischia for the day.

Being a volcanic island, Ischia has tons of natural hot springs where you can relax, or you can explore the Aragonese Castle which is only attached to the island by a medieval stone bridge!

It’s fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in the area, so definitely carve out time in your itinerary!

Option 3: Capri 

The pure glamor of the island of Capri cannot be overstated. You can get across to this famous and popular island from either Naples or Sorrento, so it’s the perfect day trip no matter where in the Napoli area you’re staying. 

For my full guide on visiting Capri from Naples, check out this post.

amazing view of buildings

Known for its gorgeous clear waters (including the famous Blue Grotto), tons of designer stores, and gorgeous tilework, Capri has hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

It’s especially popular with celebrities and American tourists, so if you want to avoid the crowds, don’t visit in the summer months!

You can either clamber up a ton of rocky steps to get to the Anacapri area where all the designer stores are, or you can take the funicular for a few euros each way.

I’d definitely recommend getting the funicular one way as the Capri heat gets intense and you don’t realize until you’re like halfway up the stairs!

From Anacapri, you can also get amazing views of the Bay of Naples, Naples itself, and out towards Sorrento and the wider Amalfi Coast.

It’s definitely a must-visit if you’re in the Naples area, even if you’re not planning on splashing the cash in those fancier stores!

Option 4: Amalfi Coast

If you’re looking for sunshine, stunning views, and luxurious experiences, you need to spend at least a day exploring the Amalfi Coast. Essentially, the Amalfi Coast stretches around 50 km from Sorrento down to the city of Salerno. 

Here are my tips on how to visit the Amalfi Coast from Naples while staying on a budget.

Sorrento is about an hour’s drive or an hour and 20 minutes on a direct train from Naples, and this gorgeous town is known for its coastal views, historic side streets, colorful buildings, and bustling harbor.

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It’s worth noting now that the Amalfi Coast does tend to be a lot more expensive than Naples, but it’s more touristy and you’re paying for those amazing views!

When you’re in the Sorrento area, make sure to check out the local limoncello stores, bars, and even distilleries.

Sorrento is really famous for its lemons and tasty limoncello, so much so, that it’s actually called the City of Lemons!

Further along the Amalfi Coast, you’ll find the small village of Positano. So, what’s so special about this random village?

It’s actually one of the most popular places on the Amalfi Coast for its amazing views, cliffside accommodations, and awesome sandy beach.

It’s also super popular with destination weddings if you plan to get hitched in southern Italy!

One of the other big things that Positano is known for is coastal hiking. The Sentiero degli Dei or Path of the Gods trail is actually one of the most famous hikes in Europe and for good reason!

This four-hour hike takes you along the top of the cliffs overlooking the crystal clear waters, and giving you expansive views all the way to Sorrento.

If you are thinking about doing this hike, wear decent hiking footwear and bring a ton of sunscreen, water, and a hat – the Amalfi heat is no joke!

Option 5: The Mount Vesuvius Area

Honestly, whether you’re in Naples, on one of the islands, or down on the Amalfi Coast, it’s pretty impossible to ignore the hulking shadow of Mount Vesuvius.

Probably most well-known for erupting and burying Pompeii and Herculaneum, Vesuvius is still an active volcano. It hasn’t erupted since 1944, so a lot of experts are expecting an eruption pretty soon.

In the meantime, you can join a day tour up the volcano to the crater’s edge where you can – carefully – appreciate the power and natural beauty of this napping giant.

You can also visit one of the amazing vineyards and wineries along the slopes of Vesuvius.

The volcanic soil actually makes the ground unique for growing grapes and other crops. I’d recommend Cantina de Vesuvio for a tasting and a gorgeous lunch experience!

Option 6: Pompeii

Of course, if you’re into history, archeology, or culture, you need to check out the ruins of Pompeii. Devastated by the eruption way back in 79 AD, the former town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that’s visited by around 2.5 million visitors each year.

Once you’re there, you can actually walk around the carefully preserved ruins of ancient houses, markets, and more. 

Option 7: Herculaneum

If you really love archeology you can get dual access tickets for both Herculaneum and Pompeii, but if you have to pick just one, controversially I’d say just go to Herculaneum.

This lesser-visited archeological marvel is actually way better preserved than Pompeii and is a lot less busy.

In fact, when you want around the site, you can find wooden balconies that still exist from almost 2000 years ago, and some of the houses, taverns, and other societal structures even have two floors.

Herculaneum is also smaller, so if you’re on a time crunch, this might be the better option, and gives you a lot more for your money, in my opinion.

Finish the Day with Pizza at Pizzeria Da Attilio

So, there are plenty of amazing pizzerias in Naples, but Pizzeria Da Attilio is a little different. Instead of traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas, Pizzeria Da Attilio serves up star-shaped pizzas with ricotta cheese stuffed into each point of the star.

You can also opt for traditional Neopolitan-style pizza there if that’s what you prefer.

pizza on a plate
Pizzeria da Attilio

It’s definitely different, but worth checking out. Pizzeria Da Attilio is also super cheap, so perfect if you’re exploring Napoli on a budget.  

Day 2: Stay in Naples & Focus on Food

If you want to spend more time in Naples instead of heading out on a day trip, that’s a great idea! Make sure to cover anything from the Day 1 itinerary that you might have missed and then spend Day 2 eating your way through Naples.

The Foods You Need to Try in Naples

Okay, now onto the important things – food. If you’re coming to Napoli, you know that pizza is going to be high on the must-try list, but there are plenty of other local foods that you’ve got to eat while you’re here. 

First up, we have the Portafoglio pizza. In English, this literally means wallet pizza, and it’s a slightly smaller margherita pizza that’s folded in four so that it looks like a little square. It’s portable, it’s tasty, what more could you want?

If you’re in the mood for something a little bit greasier – to cure a hangover from all that limoncello, perhaps – grab yourself a pizza fritta.

This fried pocket of deliciousness is normally filled with ricotta and some sort of meat, like pork crackling.

It looks a lot like a fried calzone, and if you want to sit down and eat one, you can get one with marinara sauce poured over the top. 

Onto sweet treats, if you want to be like a local and have a small pastry with your espresso, you’re probably going to have a sfogliatella, which is layers upon layers of crispy pastry.

Like a traditional cannolo in Sicily, the sfogliatella is also filled with sweet ricotta to give you a mix of textures.

Finally, if you’re looking for a delicious dessert, or something a little bit more filling, the rum baba is calling your name.

Essentially, it’s a soft sponge that is soaked in a ton of rum and served with some kind of cream. You can find them all over the city, from takeout bakeries to high-end restaurants.

Have Lunch at Gino e Toto Sorbillo

If you’re on Spaccanapoli and are in need of a serious pizza fix, head straight to Gino e Toto Sorbillo. They serve up delicious Neapolitan pizza, and it’s been a family-run joint since 1935.

It’s super popular with locals and tourists alike and for good reason. You don’t get to be a popular pizza joint in the Centro Storico of Napoli for almost 90 years unless you’re seriously good.

Cool Down with Some Gelato from Il Gelato Mennella

Did you even visit Italy if you didn’t have gelato? Il Gelato Mennella has three sites in central Napoli, so you’re always close to one of them.

They have possibly the creamiest gelato I’ve ever had and they have such a wide range of flavors that even the pickiest traveler is going to be satisfied. 

Want to Stay Longer?

If you want to stay in the Naples area or the wider Campania region longer (who could blame you), there are still plenty of amazing things to do.

You could work your way through the day trips above, either on your own or by joining one of the many day trip tours that leave Central Napoli every, single day.  

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Feeling outdoorsy? You could check out the many coastal hikes both on the mainland and on the islands, or strap on your snorkel and discover the protected marine ecosystem of the Parco Sommerso di Gaiola (Gaiola Park), which dates back to Roman times when it was connected to the mainland.

Want to show some local pride? Head to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium and catch a Napoli football game.

They’re known to be super rowdy and festive, especially if it’s the Champions League and teams from other countries are in town!

Some Extra Information & What to Know About Naples

Located in the sunshine-filled south of Italy, Naples has a vast history ranging from being a Roman hotspot for politicians to a rough and ready mob town to a culture-filled classic European city break destination. 

First of all, let’s clear something up. Napoli is the Italian name for Naples – it’s the same place. So, you might see it used interchangeably in different guides, on travel tickets, and more. Don’t worry, it’s all Napoli!

Honestly, Naples has had a really bad rep in the past. There were a lot of mafia connections, and really aggressive football fans, and many tourists were just afraid to visit.

That is not the case and definitely not the experience I had when I visited Naples – and I’ve been a lot!

It’s located on the stunning Bay of Naples, under the shadow of the mighty Mount Vesuvius. The city itself is a huge rabbit warren of side streets, amazing food smells, and architecture from all periods of history.

Interestingly enough, Naples was actually a Kingdom from the 13th century all the way up to the mid-1800s. So, there are tons of amazing palaces, royal chapels, and castles.

I think this regal historic aspect gets overlooked a lot when people think about Naples, so it’s definitely worth knowing and checking out when you get there. 

How to Get to Naples

So, you know that you want to visit Naples but how do you get there? If you’re based in Europe, it’s super easy and super affordable. 

Flying

Airlines like EasyJet, Ryanair, WizzAir, and more all fly into Naples from around Europe. We bought round-trip flights with the budget airline EasyJet for just $20 per person. It’s kind of ridiculous!

You can fly into Naples from pretty much anywhere in Europe, so it doesn’t matter whereabouts on your European journey you’re on.

For instance, you can get budget flight tickets from the UK for around $80 return. It’s a popular route, so the flights tend to be pretty reasonable all year around.

As Naples doesn’t have the biggest airport in the world, you won’t find flights to or from the US, Africa, or Asia into Naples directly, but you can get a direct train from Rome Fiumicino Airport straight into Naples city center.

It only takes around two hours, and tickets start from $16 each, so considering you’re going to a whole new city, it’s not too bad at all!

Buses

If you don’t want to fly, the cheapest way to get to Naples is by bus. Flixbus runs all around Europe and there are plenty of connections to Naples city center.

If you look at the Flixbus’ destination map, you can see that there are bus journeys as far as Manchester, UK, Warsaw, Poland, and even Lisbon, Portugal.

Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend spending 30 hours on a coach, but if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to get around Italy or get from southern Germany or the south of France down to southern Italy, it’s a great option.

For instance, you can get a direct bus from Rome to Naples for as little as $9. If you’re on a budget and want to go to Milan, you can jump on a 12-hour bus directly for just $22. You can even get an overnight bus to save on accommodation costs!

Trains

Of course, if you’re traveling through Europe, one of the most popular ways to get around is by train. The train network in Europe is insanely good and links pretty much every country together in one way or another.

If you have an interrailing pass, you can easily use it to get down to beautiful Naples.

Don’t have a pass? You can buy a one-country interrail pass, so you can travel around Italy for up to a month for as little as $125.

I’d recommend checking your itinerary in advance because if you book certain trains you might be able to travel between Italian cities for a lot less than this.

If you’re already in Italy, the country-wide train network is amazing. You can get from all the major cities like Rome, Pisa, Milan, Venice, and more directly into Naples city center.

Tickets aren’t super expensive which is always a plus, and if you’re traveling further south to Sicily, you can even get the train straight to Messina! Yep, the train goes right across the water to the island, it’s insane!

How to Get from the Airport to Napoli City Center

Unlike a lot of major European city airports, you won’t find a train station at Naples Capodichino International Airport. That means that there are only two ways to get from the airport to the city center: by taxi or by bus.

Obviously, one is a lot cheaper than the other, but it depends on the time of your flight and how much you want to pay for convenience.

If you’re getting a taxi from the airport, there’s a flat rate of just 16 Euros, and the ride should take you around 12 minutes – the airport is only 5km away from the heart of Naples. 

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Alibus Shuttle costs just 6 Euros per person for a one-way journey.

a woman standing waiting for a bus

As the shuttle bus takes pretty much the same route as most taxis, the journey time averages around 15 minutes due to any extra stops.

So, if there are three or more of you heading into the city, you might want to weigh up the convenience of being dropped off right outside your hotel. 

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