Naples. Historical, noisy, chaotic and beautiful. Before my last trip to this city, I was looking for posts of travel bloggers who visited this city and most of them were not exactly positive. They recommend a visit to Naples only as a starting point for trips around the area (Amalfi coast, Vesuvius, Pompeii and the neighboring islands such as Capri and Ischia). Yes, there is garbage in the streets (but I think the situation is altogether improved since my first visit in the spring of 2015) and there are some areas, which are probably better to avoid. And yes, the traffic is a big and loud mess. Otherwise, Naples to me has a lot to offer and deserves ideally at least one week stay! I visited Naples already four times and it was still not enough to see for example Pompeii, a hike on Mount Vesuvius, go to the local cable car or see Naples underground. We go to Naples with my boyfriend regularly, because he is from there so we are visiting his family. I am grateful that I can discover this city with locals by-side and get to know their culture so much better than “just as a tourist” Now here goes couple of my tips what to do in this vibrant city.
1. Walk through “Lungomare”
One of my favorite places in Naples is 2.5 km long seafront promenade. I love walking, I love the sea, so it is clear why this place is my favorite. When walk you can enjoy for example view of Mount Vesuvius or make a stop for ice cream, coffee or lunch, there are a lot of spots around the promenade!
2. Explore the streets of Quartieri Spagnoli
Tangle of narrow streets in this district seems to me very interesting. A complete contrast to the rich neighborhoods, located near the coast. The borough was originally built for the Spanish soldiers, hence the name.
3. Eat the best pizza
Because where else to eat pizza than in Naples? Apparently you can find the best one in traditional pizzeria Sorbillo. You can tell by the amount of locals waiting for the table outside the pizzeria. On arrival you have to tell the hostess your name and number of people and wait until your name is announced. The waiting can last about an hour but sometimes longer. If you’re hungry, you can get some goodies from surrounding shops, like for example tasty taralli which I recently shared on my Instagram (here) and have some Aperol spritz. True is that in my country (the Czech Republic) we are not used to wait for the table and I do not like waiting, but here is the waiting really worth it! And if you are wondering how much such a perfect pizza costs, do not panic, those basic costs just about 5 euros 🙂
4. Visit the Gaiola island and the adjacent beach
At the beginning of this year I found this photo (link here) on Pinterest and when I found out that this awesome place is in Naples, I started to persuade my boyfriend that when we go there next time, we just have to visit this island! Unfortunately, this time I did not search any information prior arrival and by the time we arrived, we discovered that the place is closed. You can see the island from Gaiola Underwater Park, which is open only from 10:00 to 14.00 (except Mondays) and at the same time can be a maximum of 100 visitors in the park. However, when I sadly stood at the closed gate, my best boyfriend somehow managed to chat up a local worker to let us go for a moment inside, so I could take at least a few photos from the main building of the park and I hope that next time I will be lucky enough to see this place in all its glory! Below the entrance to the park is a tiny beach, which offers a beautiful view of Mount Vesuvius. The beach itself is nothing special, but the sea was very beautiful and clear. The photo is from the end of March, although the beach was relatively full, in sea were swimming just few brave men, water was terribly cold, of course 🙂
5. See the most beautiful metro station in Naples
Station Toledo from 2012 is decorated with mosaic, which symbolizes the ocean and light. Station Toledo have been repeatedly declared the most beautiful subway station in Europe. How do you like it? To me it is really magical.
6. Walk in the park Virgiliano
Park Virgiliano would definitely ranked among the most beautiful parks I have ever visited. Park is located in the beautiful and rich Neapolitan Posillipo district, on the way to the park you can notice a lot of luxury villas. From the park you can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding islands like Ischia, Capri and Procida. There are also plenty of food stalls and a seating areas.
7. Wander through the historic center and get some gelato
I definitely recommend just browse historic streets and occasionally even a peek into the courtyards, which sure have their own charm. I can also recommend ice cream chain Casa Infante, in Naples there are many branches and ice cream here is just wonderful.
8. Admire the view from Castel Sant ‘Elmo
And those views again! This 13th-century fortress is located on the hill of Vomero and offers truly magnificent views of the entire city. Nowadays it is a museum of history of art and admission is 5 Eur. We were here during my second visit to Naples in August 2015, and until now, I can not forget about this place!
Have you ever been in Naples? How did you like the city? Let me know in the comments 🙂 If you’re going to this city and need an advice on what part of Naples to stay or how to get around the city, feel free to write me.