Those who expect a classic tourist city can be disappointed. Or even surprised - like me. Because this city is different, and yet has so much to offer. Here are my recommendations for places of interest in Naples.
[Why don't you stop by here sometime? Useful tips for your trip to Naples]
... in the middle of the old town
Let's go to the "Centro Storico" of Naples - because there is a lot to see here:
- The cathedral (Cattedrale di San Gennaro): Not very big, but definitely worthwhile
- Via dei Tribunali: This street connects important points of the historical centre. Here you will definitely walk more than once - and you will definitely not starve ;). A food tip from me at this point: The restaurant "Casa Capasso" (address: Via dei Tribunali 100) offers a top price-performance ratio, super delicious food and friendly service.
- Street Art by Banksy: Directly at the Via dei Tribunali you will find Banksy's "Madonna with a pistol" - of course behind glass (address: Piazza Gerolomini, 106-115)
- The crib street: The Via San Gregorio Armeno is famous for its numerous shops and stands where crib figures are sold. Here, one finds figurines in any kind of design..
- Piazza Vincenzo Bellini: Definitely one of my favourite places in Naples. This small green oasis (see picture) is a great place to relax. In the evening there is so much going on here. My recommendation: The "Bar Lemmelemme" - The bar is not earth-shattering now, but there you can sit comfortably and the staff is super friendly!
- Basilica Santa Chiara: The church itself is beautiful - but I liked the direct surroundings of the basilica even better: At the forecourt there is a small dog park, diagonally in front of it, behind a really special front, the Jesuit church Gesù Nuovo is hidden and in the Piazza del Gesù Nuovo, there is also a nice atmosphere
- National Archaeological Museum: At the northern edge of the historic old town is the "Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli". To be honest, I did not expect much, which led to the fact that I was positively surprised. There are numerous excavations from Pompeij and Herculaneum but also some really fascinating and beautiful ancient statues. A little tip from me: it is best to come in the morning, as some areas of the museum are closed in the afternoon!
... beyond the core of the oldtown
Also in the rest of the city of Naples there are many places of interest (strictly speaking, some points on this list belong to the historical centre - I'll just take the liberty of separating them from the rest of the old city centre):
- Toledo: Even if I found the Via Toledo as rather exhausting, it should not be missing on this list. Here, there are numerous shops and one gets to the Galleria Umberto I, a really nice gallery that is flooded with light. The subway station "Toledo" is also considered as one of the most extraordinary subway stations of the world
- Spanish Quarter: Directly adjacent to Via Toledo is the "Quartieri Spagnoli". Many narrow streets form a dense network of houses, shops and some churches. Ground floor apartments, so-called bassi, characterize the image of the quarter. The living room or kitchen in these apartments is separated from the street by a single door - so that you can look directly into the lives of the people when the door is open..
- Piazza del Plebiscito: This square not far from Via Toledo connects the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola with the Palazzo Reale di Napoli, a royal palace from the 17th century. There is always a lot going on here and the square is a popular photo spot. It is worthwhile to stop by!
- Via Chiaia: The charming alternative to the large shopping street Via Toledo. It is indeed narrower but offers a lot: the huge bridge Ponte di Chiaia for example does not seem to fit into the picture at first, beside all the small residential and commercial buildings. Here, one finds bakeries, bistros and ice cream parlors, but also boutiques and famous brands. Perfect for discovering, strolling and taking a break.
- Via Partenope: The promenade street is ideal for an evening walk at sunset. It is surprisingly quiet here, as cars and motorcycles are only allowed to pass by with restrictions. The view of the sea and of the Castel dell'Ovo , golden in the evening light, invites you to dream..
...and all that?
- Naples underworld: Deep under the alleys of Naples there is a labyrinth of about eighty kilometres length. Napoli sotterranea, the "city under the city", is definitely worth seeing. The tuff caves have been used for various purposes since the fourth century BC. There are several above-ground entrances distributed throughout the city, from which one can reach the underworld. A guided tour is very useful here (about 10 Euro per person)!
- A cemetery of the somewhat different kind: In this catacomb-like grotto, the Cimitero Delle Fontanelle, besides the many victims of the plague, also the Neapolitans, who could not afford a funeral in the Middle Ages, rest. The thousands of bones and skulls stacked on top of each other are from four generations. Really impressive! You can reach the Cimitero, for example, by taking a walk through the Sanità quarter. On the way to the cemetery you can admire many beautiful and special street art works in this rather poor area
Of course, these are by far not all sights that Naples has to offer. By strolling around alone you can already discover many special places. Naples is a city where you will find something new at every corner. Have courage (and a little caution )!
If you want to get more travel tips or learn about healthy eating, mindfulness or sustainability, take a look here over.
What are your favorite sights in Naples? Share them with us in the comments!