10 things to do in Naples on a port day

A day in the port of Naples, Italy gives travellers the chance to see some of the best in Italian history and culture.

Naples is famous for Pompeii and Herculaneum, Mount Vesuvius, The Amalfi Coast, Sorrento and Capri - and of course it's the city that gave us pizza!

Sitting on the Bay of Naples the city is the 3rd largest city in Italy and is the capital of the Campania region in the south of the country. The history of Naples stretches back 2000 years BC when it was first settled by the Greeks. Since then it has a thrilling history including being conquered by the Romans and the ever-present threat of Vesuvius.

Getting around

  • Cruise ships dock into Naples Stazione Marittima, from which you can walk into the centre of Naples and explore the city on foot or get a taxi from the rank at the front of the terminal.
  • We recommend that you check prices for where you want to go with the taxi driver and agree on a price before you set off.
  • The hop-on-hop-off bus service will get you around Naples and the train service can take you further afield to Sorrento and Pompeii.
  • A hydrofoil services the island of Capri.

There is so much to do in Naples that we couldn’t fit everything into one article - so we choose our top 10 things to do that represent the very best of what Naples and the area have to offer and can make a fabulous day whichever one you choose to do.

Visit the National Archaeological Museum of Naples

  • The museum has one of the world’s best collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, including frescos and mosaics from Pompeii and the wall paintings and artefacts from the Temple of Isis.
  • The museum also has a collection of erotica items held in the Secret Cabinet room. Book tickets in advance to avoid the crowds.

Get arty at Museo di Capodimonte

  • The Museo di Capodimonte, originally built as a hunting lodge for Charles VII of Bourbon the museum is now home to southern Italy’s largest art gallery.
  • The collection includes a wide range of artists and periods from exquisite 12th-century altarpieces to works by Botticelli, Caravaggio, Titian and Warhol.
  • The museum is set in beautiful grounds which are now a public park and are perfect for refreshing the mind after so much art.
  • The museum offers an hourly shuttle-bus service – Shuttle Capodimonte – between central Naples and the museum and tickets can be bought on the bus or book them in advance online.

Lose yourself in nature at Real Bosco di Capodimonte

  • If art isn’t your thing, it’s still worth hopping on the bus to the Museo di Capodimonte to explore the palace grounds which are now a public park.
  • Visitors can explore the immaculately kept lawns and formal gardens, or go wild in the woods. Take a picnic and enjoy one of the most beautiful settings in Naples.

Go underground at the Catacombs Di San Genarro

  • The resting place of bishops and saints, these catacombs are the oldest and most sacred in Naples, housing as they do the remains of San Gennaro, the patron saint of the city.
  • The catacombs are on two levels and include a basilica where mass is still celebrated.

Go for Aperitivo at Piazza Bellini 

  • If you want a taste of local life, head to the Piazza Bellini and take a seat in one of the many bars that line the square. One of the most popular meeting places in the city, the piazza, with its exposed central ruins, is a fun and vibrant place for a pick me up.

Eat pizza!

  • As the birthplace of Italy’s most popular food export the chefs of Naples takes all things pizza very seriously. There are even rules on the ingredients that can be used to create a true Neapolitan pizza.
  • Look for a restaurant that has a wood-fired oven and is serving “pizza vera Napoletana” and experience pizza at its finest.

Discover Italy’s finest street food at Spaccanapoli

  • The long, narrow street of Spaccanapoli runs across the old heart of the city and is the main route to many of the city’s historic churches and palaces. As you walk and explore, be tempted by the street food vendors and their offerings of pastries, pizza and other treats.

Go back in time at Pompeii and Herculaneum

  • Pompeii is easy to get to on the EAV train from Piazza Garibaldi railway station.
  • You can explore the ancient city of Pompeii and discover gladiatorial arenas, homes and businesses and even a brothel that was frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79.
  • It’s close neighbour Herculaneum is smaller, better preserved and often less busy.

Relax in style in Sorrento

  • Further up the coast, perched on the cliff is the pretty town of Sorrento. Eat lunch at one of the clifftop cafes looking out over the Gulf of Naples and enjoy an afternoon swim at the beach.

Live like a millionaire in Capri

  • Take in the millionaire lifestyle for a day at Capri. Book a return ticket on the hydrofoil from Molo Beverello, south of the cruise port. Spend the day sunning yourself and swimming or visit Anacapri village, ride the chairlift up to Monte Solaro and walk to quieter corners.

Naples is a city that is steeped in history and beauty, so much so that our list barely starts to explore all the city has to offer. If you’ve got a favourite must-see spot in Naples we’d love to hear about it. Share your Naples story with us on social media and we’ll share it with the rest of our travellers!

If you’ve been inspired by our Naples guide you can see all our Mediterranean adult holiday offers here.