How to Spend One Day in Naples, Italy

Disclaimer: This post might contain affiliate links, which means we get a small commission if you make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).

When people think of Italy, Naples, or Napoli, is probably one of the cities that come to mind after Rome and Venice. Historic Naples is full of so many things to do for all interests! Here is how you can spend one day (or a few days) in Naples, Italy!

Naples was first settled by Greeks in the second millennium BC and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world! Naples’ long history has left the city with beautiful historic buildings and rich culture. The city center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

Things to do in Naples in One Day

Top Things to do in Naples Italy

Visit Piazza del Plebiscito

Piazza del Plebiscito is the main square in Naples. Here, you’ll see the beautiful Royal Palace of Naples and the church of San Francesco di Paola. This church is quite reminiscent of the columns at Saint Peter’s Square in Rome and the facade at the Pantheon. This square serves as a social, shopping, and cuisine hub for Naples. Naples, or Neopolitan cuisine, claims to have invented the pizza! However, if you talk to Italians from the north, they might have something different to say! Interestingly, pizza originated as a food of the poor, but under Ferdinand IV it became popular among the upper classes as the Margherita pizza was named after Queen Margherita of Savoy after her visit to Naples.

Explore Near Spaccanapoli

This VERY long street in Naples is worth taking a stroll down! Spaccanapoli literally means city splitter as the street seems to cut Naples in half! Along this street, you can find anything Italian you could imagine including food, markets, shops, and art.

Naples National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum in Naples houses one of the largest collections of ancient Roman and Greek antiquities. Their collection includes bronze work, art, mosaics, and marbles. The main collection, the Farnese Marbles, were uncovered by the Pope during the Italian Renaissance and are some of the finest examples of Greco-Roman sculpture.

Hours: Open every day (except Tuesday) 9.00 – 19.30 

Price: 12€

Explore a Castle

Naples is surprisingly full of castles! The most ancient castle is Castel dell’Ovo, or the “Egg Castle”, which was built where the original colonists had founded the city. Castel Nuovo is one of the city’s landmarks in the heart of the city and was built during the time of the first king of Naples. The castles in Naples were built between the 11th and 14th centuries and served military purposes. Today, you can tour some of the castles, while others are only ruins. Read more about the seven castles in Naples!

Tour a Church

Like many of the cities around Europe, you can always find beautiful churches to tour! Naples is full of Roman Catholic churches, over 500 to be exact! The most well-known church in Naples is the Cathedral of Naples for Saint Januarius, the city’s patron saint. This church is famous for the Saint Januarius Blood Miracle.  The church houses a vial of the blood claimed to be from Saint Januarius. The vial is brought out twice a year and according to the church, the dried blood liquefies. Legend says if the blood fails to liquefy, disaster will befall Naples. Scientists have recently hypothesized that the vial contains a thixotropic gel, which changes the viscosity of the liquid when it’s not stirred. However, limited scientific investigation has been allowed. Either way, it’s still an interesting legend!

If You Have More Than One Day in Naples…

Take a Day Trip to Pompeii!

For those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of a modern city, spend your afternoon exploring the ancient ruins of Pompeii! Read more on our post about Pompeii!

For the Adventurous: Climb Mount Vesuvius

If you’re adventurous or outdoorsy, consider taking a day trip to Pompeii and climb Mount Vesuvius! Mount Vesuvius is the famous volcano that claimed the ancient city of Pompeii. Mount Vesuvius is maintained as a national park.

Like this post about one day in Naples Italy? Give it a share!