Average costs in Naples
Stay – The south of Italy is surprisingly cheap compared to the rest of the country. A charming hotel in Naples doesn’t have to be expensive! Those who are satisfied with a youth hostel can already spend the night for €20 or less in Napoli and a budget double room or apartment can be booked for only €25! Those who want a little more comfort can look for a star hotel. One star is almost impossible to find in Naples, but two stars are still very cheap. For €20 I found a room in a two-star hotel for one person. Three stars start at €30 to €40 per night and a hotel with four stars can be arranged for €60 per night.
Compare prices on different websites. I noticed that Booking.com has a fairly limited offer. Agoda seems to have more choice.
Eat – The food in Naples is delicious and doesn’t cost any money! For delicious pizza I recommend to go to ‘Sorbillo’ (Via Dei Tribunali). A gigantic pizza costs between €3 and €8 in Naples. Other dishes don’t cost much more. For €6 to €8 you can order a delicious pasta. For a ‘secondi piatti’ (meat or fish) you pay a bit more. Between €10 and €18. A dessert of only €2 to €5 can’t be skipped either…
Don’t forget that a ‘coperto’ is asked for in many restaurants. This is a kind of mandatory tip. Usually costs €2 to €3 extra per person.
Transport – I didn’t use public transport in Naples very much, because everything is quite close together. However, a subway or bus can be convenient from the airport or the central train station. If you want to visit the ‘Cimitero delle Fontanelle’ and the ‘Catacombe di San Gennaro’, a bus is also a good idea. A bus / metro ticket is valid for one hour and costs €1.50. A day pass costs €4.50 and a weekly pass can be bought for €15.80.
To commute from the airport to the center of Naples you have to take the Unico Alibus. This costs €3 if you buy your tickets in advance, and €4 if you buy your pass on the bus.
If you would like to commute to Vesuvius and / or Pompeii from Naples, I recommend reading this article too.
Excursions – The most popular day excursion from Naples os of course a visit to Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius and a day trip to the Amalfi coast. A day trip can already be arranged from €60, and for €5 extra you can visit the Amalfi coast and Pompeii together. Those who would like to discover the catacombs and corridors under Naples can already buy tickets for €9.
If you want to book tickets or tours in advance, I recommend comparing prices and availabiliy via GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Viator.
Saving money in Naples
Walk – Most sight of Naples aren’t located very far from each other. You therefore need very little public transport. Only the central station or the ‘Cimitero delle Fontanelle’ and the ‘Catacome di San Gennaro’ are quite far from the city center.
Order your coffee while standing – In Italy it’s customary to drink a coffee while standing up. This way you pay less (often only €1) and you also have more time to see the many sights in Naples.
Drink tap water – The tap water in Naples is perfectly drinkable. So fill up your bottles with water from the faucet. It can get very hot in Naples, so it’s important to stay hydrated.
Buy your wine in the store – In any case, it’s not expensive to drink a glass of wine in a cozy Neapolitan bar, but it’s even cheaper in stores. For only €5 you already have a bottle of delicious wine or spumante (fizzy wine).
Things to do in Naples
For an overview of all must-do’s I recommend to read this post as well.
Galleria Borbonica – Under Naples there are many catacombs and underground mazes. There are so many tours and possibilities that you might not know which one to visit anymore. Completely different from the other catacombs is the Galleria Borbonica. In this underground labyrinth you can see old-timers once used by the mafia, beautiful sculptures in honor of Mussolini and much more interesting stuff. The best thing about the Galleria Borbonica are the exciting stories. I highly recommend a visit to this place!
Catacombe di San Gennaro – If you would like to discover some more catacombs, I recommend visiting San Gennaro. This attraction isn’t exactly in the city center, but it’s very interesting to see nonetheless. Here you see graves of many centuries old, where people from all ages were buried. In this catacomb you’ll also find the last resting place of San Gennaro, one of the many saints of Naples.
Find out how these catacombs came about, what the tombs say about their (ex) residents and get carried away in this exciting history of Naples.
Cimitero Delle Fontanelle – One of the most special places to visit in Italy is located in Naples! A cave completely taken over by (real!) skeletons, bones and skulls. It may sound creepy, but it really is worth your time. Thousands of human remains are beautifully exhibited here in one of the strangest cemeteries in the world.
Cappella Sansevero – In the center of Naples you’ll find a small chapel. The exterior does’t look very impressive at first, but the interior is insanely beautiufl! There are different eye-catchers here. The beautiful wall and ceiling paintings and – especially – the exceptionally beautiful ‘Cristo velato’. A sculpted work that looks so real that you can’t believe how someone could ever make this.
Don’t forget to also descend into the cellar. There you’ll find a body of which you can see all of its nerves. Interesting, but mostly creepy. Very creepy.
Chiostro di Santa Chiara – Naples is a very religious city, and that means that there are many churches, basilicas, monasteries and chapels. The Santa Chiara monastery isn’t very special, but the beautiful courtyard is. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Naples, I advise you to come and stay here for a bit.
Santa Lucia – I think Santa Lucia is the nicest neighborhood in Naples. You immediately see that this is a less rich neighborhood, but that’s what makes it so much fun to walk through. The narrow streets makes only little sunlight come through, and the lack of sunshine also has a lot to do with the fluttering clothes that -so it seems- are drying everywhere in between these streets. Make sure to pay close attention some of the chapels that you see on almost every street corner. The sculptures are illuminated with neon lights and are rather different of what you would expect from a place of worship.
The Amalfi Coast – From Naples you can take the boat and sail to the beautiful Amalfi coast. Perfect for those who want a day at the beach during their stay in Napoli! The transparent waters and the brightly colored houses are gorgeous, so perhaps you should immediately book an overnight stay at this romantic place?
Vesuvius and Pompeii – The Bay of Naples already gives a spectacular view of Mount Vesuvius, but why should you be satisfied with that? Arrange a trip to Mount Vesuvius and climb this steaming volcano. Many centuries ago it spit out its ashes and lava over Pompeii. As a result, this Roman city has been preserved exceptionally well. Combine your visit to Mount Vesuvius with this attraction. Even if you don’t like history, this is truly an exceptional experience.
Eat! – There are so many great restaurants in Naples! The pizzas I ate there still make my mouth water. Be sure to try a deep-fried pizza, a Neapolitan specialty and damn tasty!
Things not to do in Naples
Not bringing comfortable shoes – The charm of Naples is of course its historical center. There are a lot of cobblestone paths, and a large part of the city is also sloping. Don’t forget to pack good shoes. This certainly applies if you also plan a visit to the Vesuvius and Pompeii.
Going to Pompeii in the afternoon – If you arrange a day trip to Pompeii, I advise you to leave early. Especially if you want a guide. After noon it seems impossible to book one, and then you have to explore the city on your own. And believe me; that makes it much less interesting!
Pompeii, Vesuvius, Herculaneum, Amalfi coast in one day – Woah! Take it easy! A day trip to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii is more than enough. You wouldn’t expect it, but Pompeii is in fact huge… If you want to visit the Herculaneum and the Amalfi Coast on the same day, you hardly have time to see anything.