Naples is a vibrant city in southern Italy very rich in history and boasting a hearty and delicious culinary tradition. Planning 2 days in Naples is the minimum you can do to grasp the vibe this one-of-a-kind society conveys.
Incredibly beautiful, overwhelmingly messy, loud, and proud, Naples boasts a long history and a great deal of cultural landmarks to visit.
Our 2-day Naples itinerary will be a useful guide to the best places to see and the best way to maximize the limited time you have in the city. Finally, we are giving you a few tips for breakfast, what to pack, and where to stay for 2 days in Naples.
2-day Naples itinerary – Know before you go
Is Naples worth visiting?
I always try to include Naples in my tailored Italy itineraries because it’s such a cultural hub. You should visit Naples whether you are a history buff, a foodie, or a beachgoer.
Is 2 days enough for Naples?
Two days in Naples are barely enough to see the main highlights. If you decide to stay longer, you can certainly add more experiences, but if that’s impossible, our simple 2-day Naples itinerary will still give you plenty of options and activities.
How many days should you stay in Naples?
For a deeper experience, I suggest at least 3 to 4 days in Naples so that you manage to enjoy the city, the world-famous archaeological sites of Pompeii and Ercolano, and also the sea lapping the Amalfi Coast.
However, if you are on a 10-day trip to Italy and want to visit other destinations, you can definitely see much of Naples in 2 days and even in one if necessary.
Is Naples safe?
Naples is known for being unsafe. While I have never had any problem whenever I visited, I wouldn’t dismiss the warnings.
If you are visiting crowded places, be it streets or markets, or you are using public transport including the Circumvesuviana to Pompeii, I suggest making sure your bags are tightly zipped.
If you are carrying a backpack, I advise you to wear it in front and, if you can, wear also anti-theft clothes. This is what I always suggest when packing for Rome and big cities in general, especially around the biggest tourist draws as this is where pickpockets concentrate most.
What to do in Naples in 2 days – Day 1
Breakfast at Pasticceria Giovanni Scaturchio
Start your day the right way, with breakfast at this famous pastry shop in the beautiful Piazza San Domenico in Naples city center.
They are famous for the babà cake but it contains rum, so if you are not comfortable kicking off your day and sightseeing with booze, you can go for their excellent croissant and the very local sfogliatella pastry.
- Where: Piazza San Domenico Maggiore 19.
- When: Every day 7 am-9 pm. Friday and Saturday until 11 pm.
See Piazza San Domenico Maggiore
Known as Piazza San Domenico, this is one of the most important and history-rich squares in Naples.
Your breakfast will be here so either when you are enjoying the first meal of the day or when you are done, I suggest taking a moment to admire the architecture and the historical obelisk of this piazza as you might not go past here again in your 2 days in Naples.
Visit the Archaeological Museum
15 minutes on foot from Piazza San Domenico Maggiore
From Piazza San Domenico is some 15 minutes walk to reach the museum but after the hearty Neapolitan breakfast, you might agree with me that it’s very much necessary.
Naples Museo Archeologico Nazionale is a must for everyone visiting Naples but especially so for history enthusiasts. It’s one of the world’s oldest archaeological museums boasting one of the richest collections.
I suggest starting the day with this museum because it’s going to be the attraction that requires more time and more attention, so better if you are bright and fresh. You can start as early as they open at 9 am!
It was founded in the 18th century when King Charles III of Spain (Carlo di Borbone) promoted the research on the cities of Pompeii and Ercolano buried by the Vesuvius.
To enjoy this museum, you can carve out around two hours of the first day of your 2-day Naples itinerary. In these two hours, you will be immersed in the long history of Naples, southern Italy, and the related royal families.
Among the collections housed in the museum are the Egyptian, the artwork from the private Farnese collection, mosaics, frescoes, and objects from the Isis temple.
- Where: Piazza Museo 19
- When: Wednesday to Monday 9 am-7.30 pm. Closed on Tuesdays, December 25th and January 1st.
- How much: 22€. From June 15th to December 15th, 2023, the ticket costs 23€.
See the Cristo Velato in Sansevero Chapel
13 minutes on foot from the Archaeological Museum
This visit won’t take long because Sansevero Chapel is not too big and it’s close to Spaccanapoli, roughly the area around which the first day of your Naples itinerary will be.
But even if it’s only for the famous and suggestive statue of the Veiled Christ carved by Giuseppe Sanmartino, a stop here is very much worth it. The sculpture of the Cristo Velato is gorgeous but the museum continues with more stunning artwork. Unfortunately, it’s not allowed to take pictures.
- Where: Via Francesco de Sanctis 19/21.
- When: Wednesday to Monday 9 am-7 pm. Closed on Tuesday.
- How much: 10€.
Visit the cloister and complex of Santa Chiara
5 minutes on foot from Cappella Sansevero
The complex of Santa Chiara is a great addition to your 2-day Naples itinerary. The Basilica and the cloister were originally founded in 1310 by King Roberto d’Angiò and his devout wife Sancia of Maiorca.
Built and decorated throughout the centuries by the main artists of every era, the Basilica was partially destroyed by the bombings of 1943, while the stunning majolica tiles of the cloistered were miraculously spared.
The Basilica was rebuilt following its original Gothic style as much as possible and reopened as a worship place in 1953.
- Where: Via Santa Chiara 49c.
- When: Basilica every day 8 am-12.45 pm and 4.30-8 pm (on Sunday from 9 am). Cloister Monday to Saturday 9.30 am-5.30 pm, Sunday 10 am-2.30 pm.
- How much: 6€.
Stroll along Spaccanapoli
10 minutes on foot from Santa Chiara complex
Round off the first of your 2 days in Naples walking the long road known as Spaccanapoli that crosses the city center.
Actually, you have been strolling this huge road pretty much all day as many of the landmarks are along Spaccanapoli, including the Santa Chiara complex, the Sansevero chapel, and Piazza San Domenico Maggiore.
Make sure you don’t miss Via San Gregorio Armeno, famous for its busy artisan workshop. More so if you go during Christmas because the artisans pull out their best creations creating an ever more magical Yule atmosphere.
2 Days in Naples itinerary – Day 2
Breakfast at Gambrinus
Start the second of your 2 days in Naples with a luxury breakfast at Gambrinus, a famous bar and pastry shop near the Spanish Quarter. Their sfogliatella, the typical Neapolitan pastry stuffed with ricotta, is renowned and so are their coffee and cappuccino.
Gran Caffè Gambrinus is Naples’ most famous and likely most elegant coffee shop. While it’s more expensive than your average bar, Gambrinus offers an exclusive ambiance nestled between neo-classical, Belle Epoque, and Liberty art, professional service, and top-notch pastries and beverages.
- Where: Via Chiaia 1.
- When: Every day 7-12 am.
Explore the Spanish Quarter
In 2 days in Naples, you can’t miss the Spanish Quarter. What’s known as Quartieri Spagnoli is a large area next to Naples’ city center and is made up of three districts, San Ferdinando, Avvocata, and Montecalvario.
The Spanish quarters were founded in the 16th century as settlement camps for the Spanish soldiers during the occupation. From the beginning, the area became a breeding place for criminality and prostitution.
Fast forward to the modern days, until recently it was a neighborhood notorious for being dangerous and to avoid. Thankfully, in recent years, it was revamped and made safe to the point that now it’s a favorite tourist destination.
I suggest strolling around the Spanish Quarters to feel the vibe of the Neapolitan lifestyle through the huge love for Diego Maradona, their clothes hanging in between buildings, and scooters darting through narrow alleys.
There are several tours you can join to explore the Spanish Quarters. Some will take you to see the local street art mainly focused on Maradona football legend, some including a visit to a local market, and some tours that include also descending to the nearby spots of Napoli Sotterranea.
Visit Napoli Sotterranea
If you have limited time and want to include a variety of experiences in your 2 days in Naples such as a day trip, you can also join a tour only to the underground landmarks of Naples without touring the whole area.
The entrance to visit underground Naples is in the Spanish quarters. This is a fascinating experience that takes around an hour.
Underground Naples can only be visited with a certified tour that you can easily book online. During the walk, you will travel through some 2800 years of Naples’ history in a mix of adventure and culture.
- Where: Vico S. Anna di Palazzo 52.
- When: Tours run every day from 10 am to roughly 4.30 pm. Saturday and Sunday until 6 pm.
- How much: It depends on the tour but usually around 15€ per person.
Learn the secrets of pizza
Can you go to Naples and not tuck into pizza? I didn’t think so. One of the most popular Italian foods, this is also one of the things that make the city famous.
Once you are satisfied with your pizza intake, how about you learn how it’s made so you can surprise your friends and family back home?
We recently joined this Secrets of Pizza tour in Naples and learned so many things even though I enjoy cooking and more than once made my own version of pizza.
In this pizza tour, you will learn the difference between wood-burning and electric ovens and who prefers what, as well as the tricks and secrets that are very important to produce the real deal.
Visit Castel Nuovo
Known as Maschio Angioino, Castel Nuovo is an imposing medieval fortress in Naples’ city center not far from Piazza del Municipio. Ordered by Carlo d’Angiò in 1266 as a stronghold and royal residence, Castel Nuovo is an iconic symbol of the city skyline.
To visit the Maschio Angioino fortress, booking is mandatory. You can do so only from the official website of Naples’ Council.
- Where: Via Vittorio Emanuele III.
- When: Monday to Saturday 8.30 am-6.30 pm (last entrance at 5 pm). Closed on Sunday.
- How much: 6€.
Visit the Royal Palace
The visit to the stunning Appartamento Storico of Naples’ Royal Palace located in the famous Italian square of Piazza del Plebiscito takes around an hour. Here, you can see the precious furnishing and decorations of the theater, the royal chapel, and the throne hall.
There are several external places to visit and for an extra 2€, you can also add a tour of the famous hanging gardens (giardini pensili).
If you are short in time and can’t enter all the castles and palaces but still want to learn about the life and history of Naples’ royal families, you can join a walking tour around the area where a local expert will allow you to relive the city’s grand past.
- Where: Piazza del Plebiscito 1.
- When: Every day 9 am-8 pm, closed on Wednesday, January 1st, and December 25th.
- How much: 11€.
Got an extra day?
Explore Pompeii and Ercolano
Pompeii and Ercolano are probably the most popular highlights of the region. If you are planning 2 days in Naples to take a day trip to these famous archaeological sites, you will obviously need to sacrifice some other landmarks in the city.
If you are going to Pompeii on your own, you can take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples and visit the ruins by yourself. If, on the other hand, would like a more insightful visit, you can join a tour with a historian or archaeologist like this one.
Visit the Amalfi Coast
If you can stay more than 2 days in Naples and are attracted by VIP-packed areas, make a trip to the Amalfi Coast. Depending on the season and the weather, you can arrange a boat tour from the tourist port in Piazza della Concordia. The boat ride to Amalfi takes 40 minutes.
To reach Positano from Naples, you can take the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento and then either the SITA bus or the boat.
Join a food tour
If you are a real foodie and want to eat your way around Naples, you can skip some of the cultural landmarks and opt for a complete culinary experience. Even though Naples is famous for being the birthplace of pizza as we know it, there are so many local foods and recipes that are undeservingly forgotten.
The best way to know what you shouldn’t miss in the landscape of Neapolitan cuisine during your visit is to take a food tour with a local expert.
Starting with the delicious sfogliatella pastry for breakfast and carrying on with typical deep-fried seafood, the Ultimate Naples Food Tour covers all the highlights.
Click here to book your spot on the Ultimate Naples Food Tour!
What to pack for 2 days in Naples
- Walking shoes. Whether you are going in summer or winter, a pair or two of walking shoes is a must when you pack for Naples.
- Sling bag. I suggest a crossbody bag to carry your personal belongings as you can safely keep then in front of you when you walk through crowded areas.
- Camera. Naples offers plenty of photo opportunities so a camera is very much necessary.
- Comfortable clothes. In summer, T-shirts will be your best friends, while in winter, a coat will be necessary even though the temperature remains quite mild.
- Sunscreen. From spring through fall, you are likely to need sunscreen in Naples, especially if you have fair skin.
Where to stay in Naples for 2 days
Here is a short list of some of the best accommodation options for 2 days in Naples for every budget.
- High-end: ROMEO Napoli, Grand Hotel Vesuvio, Grand Hotel Oriente, Renaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo, and Grand Hotel Santa Lucia.
- Mid-range: UNAHOTELS Napoli, Villa Elisio Hotel & Spa, Relais Della Porta, and Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel.
- Budget: Hotel Europa, BnB Simy2, aroma – Neapolitan B&B, Royal Gismonda, and B&B Infinity.
- Apartments: L’Oasi di Luis, Michy Apartment, and Casa Vittoria.
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