Europe,  Italy

How to Spend 2 Days in Naples

Naples, Italy is one incredible place. Before I went, I had heard terrible things about Naples – that it was dirty, dangerous, and completely not worth going to. I am SO glad I went despite those opinions, because wow. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Naples and I highly recommend it for a weekend trip. Here’s my guide to spending 2 days in Naples!

How to Get to Naples from Rome

By Train: This is by far the most convenient way to get from Rome to Naples. There are three options here.

  • The Frecciarosa train. It only takes an hour and 10 minutes, but it is the most expensive. If you book WAY ahead, you can get a really good deal on these.
  • The Intercity train. This takes 2 hours and is typically much cheaper than the Frecciarosa.
  • The Regional train. Whilst this is the most affordable train, it takes nearly three hours to get to Naples.

By Plane: There are multiple flights a day that take one hour and 10 minutes to get from Rome to Naples. I wouldn’t advise this, though, as you have to spend money to get to and from the airports, and you also need to arrive at the airport early. It would take just as long as the slowest train, and cost more.

By Bus: Again, wouldn’t advise this when a train is an option. However, there are many regional bus services and inter-Europe bus services that go to Naples.

How to Spend 2 Days in Naples: Recap & Itinerary

Day 1

Am I the only one who likes to just settle into a new location the first day you arrive? Nothing too planned, lots of time for wandering around… that’s my favourite way to spend the first day or half day I have in a destination after arriving.

Naples is the perfect place for this kind of slow travel. I had heard that Naples was dangerous and dirty before arriving… I’m not sure the people who told me that were in the same Naples I was in. I loved everything about the city when I first arrived.

We wandered through the streets, lined with food vendors and amazing light pouring in through trees, hanging laundry, and incredible architecture. I thought we were walking through a really touristy area because it was so cute and charming, but nope! That’s just Naples.

We eventually made our way down to the sea to walk along the lungomare, the promenade. This, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to first ease yourself into Naples. It was stunning and we got to explore around Castel Dell’Ovo. A beautiful place for great views and sea breeze. It’s free to enter and there’s so much history within the walls. It’s actively being used by businesses, so not every part of the castle is accessible.

Via Mezzocannone turned out to also be a lovely place to walk – tonnes of vintage stores lined the streets and I found their selection WAY better than Rome’s! The prices were a little expensive, but I found that most of the shops altered the items to make the vintage pieces more modern.

If you’re looking to stroll a little while longer, snack in hand, Via Toledo is your place. All the shops you can imagine are located here, and there’s so much takeaway food (& dessert!) to sample.

Day 1: What to Do

  • Lungomare
  • Castel Dell’ovo
  • Wander through the little alleys & get a little lost!
  • Naples National Archaeological Museum (depending on how tired you will be day 2)

Day 2

We took the opportunity to go to Herculaneum during our 2 days in Naples. Whilst Pompeii is definitely more well-known, Herculaneum is an absolutely amazing place. When Vesuvius erupted, all of the rock and volcano debris fell on Pompeii, destroying many of its buildings. The ash and smoke that descended on Herculaneum, on the other hand, preserved it. You can still see the petrified wood that once was on the homes.

Herculaneum is a quick hour trip from Naples, which you can get to by the Circumvesuvia train. You can also take a Trenitalia train towards Ercalano, but you’ll have to walk about 30 minutes from the station to the ruins. The Circumvesuvia is the easier option, but remember you have to buy your tickets at the window near the Circumvesuvia. You cannot buy your tickets at a Trenitalia machine.

I recommend using the guidebooks they give out for free at the entrance of Herculaneum, as they have quite a bit of information in them. You can also download their free audioguide, but the information is the same as what’s in the little guidebook pamphlet.

Herculaneum is fantastic. It is absolutely incredible and it is CRAZY to me that you can still walk on 2000-year-old mosaics and see two-story buildings. It is astonishing how well preserved the city is.

Also, if you’re in Ercolano (the modern town), go to Luna Pizza and get the Margherita con Cordone ripieno di ricotta! It is a Margherita pizza with RICOTTA STUFFED CRUST. Also, the older gentleman who runs the restaurant is so sweet and lovely.

After spending 3-4 hours in Herculaneum, you’ll probably be ready to head back to Naples. I would then go to the Naples National Archaeological Museum for more ancient history and artefacts. Alternatively, if you are pooped from the travel and day, you could do this on day 1. We were pooped and accidentally took a three-hour nap upon returning to our hotel.

Day 2: Other Places to Visit from Naples

  • Amalfi – beautiful seaside town!
  • Positano – well known for the charming town & incredible beaches
  • Sorrento – famous for its lemons, beaches, and limoncello!
  • Mt. Vesuvius – you can take a bus here and climb up to the top! It’s about a 30 min walk.
  • Pompeii – incredible ruins that give us so much insight into what life was like in an ancient Roman city.
  • Capri – the most luxurious island – visit the blue grotto!
  • Procida – the lesser-known Capri with tonnes of bright colourful homes and sweet fishing towns.

If you get carsick, I’d try to take the train or a boat to these destinations rather than a bus. The coastline near Naples is full of hairpin turns.

Alternate Day 2 – No Day Trip

If you’ve fallen in love with Naples (I don’t blame you!) and are keen to spend your second day in the city, I would definitely check out the underground of Naples, the Napoli Sotterrenea.

Did you know that there are little streets all underlying the modern city? These underground tunnels were used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, and up until WW2. SO COOL! A hidden city under the city!

If you’re claustrophobic, these tunnels might not be the best idea. You can skip the really narrow parts, so if you’re keen, you can still go. Alternatively, the modern art museum is fascinating. And if you didn’t have time to go to the Archaeological Museum, now’s your chance!

I would spend the rest of your day trying to find Naples’ best eats. Naples is known for their pizza, but there are so many other dishes that are worth trying too! Fried pizza is another speciality and is definitely worth a try, though I was STUFFED after only a few bites. Desserts, such as baba, should also be discovered!

Day 2: Things to See

  • Napoli Sotterrenea – Naples’ Undergound
  • Christmas Alley (via San Gregorio Armeno) – all the Christmas decorations, all year round! Great gifts to bring home.
  • Catacombs of San Gennaro
  • Churches! There are so many churches in Naples worth wandering into – peep your head into the church and see what’s inside!

And just like that, you’ve spent a weekend in Naples! There’s so much to do in Naples beyond what I’ve listed here, and so many places to explore with Naples as a hub.

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