Take a look at the best things to do in Naples! We will make a journey among art, culture and authentic food. Let’s find out what to do in Naples in two days
Developed at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, Naples is a place where tradition meets modernity, where art, culture and food intertwine to create a unique experience.
In this guide, I will show you the best places to visit in Naples in 2 days. We will start from Piazza del Plebiscito to the Duomo, and we will walk through the most popular streets, where people like Boccaccio and Petrarch lived. Then, we will visit the most interesting museums of the city.
Of course, there are many fun things to do in Naples Italy. But a trip to this amazing city should not be complete without a few stops to savour traditional local foods such as pizza, fried fish, frittata di maccheroni or sfogliatelle… Hungry already?
Let’s start this journey to explore Naples in a weekend! 😋
The best things to do in Naples in two days:
Let’s take a walk from Piazza del Plebiscito to the Duomo.
Piazza del Plebiscito
We start our walk from Piazza del Plebiscito, located near the seafront of Naples. The square is undoubtedly the most famous in the Neapolitan city and one of the best places to visit in Naples.
The name is in honour of the Plebiscite, the moment in 1860 when the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was united with Savoy’s Piedmont.
As we all know, Naples is not only a place rich in tourism, art and culture, but also the home of Italian gastronomy. So why not start the day with a noteworthy breakfast? Right in Piazza del Plebiscito there is the oldest bar in the city, I am talking about Gran Caffè Gambrinus.
Once inside you can breathe in the real Neapolitan life: the smell of sfogliatelle, pastiera and struffoli will fill your heart with joy. The real dilemma will be what to choose… Not to mention the coffee, here it tastes completely different!
What to see in Naples on Piazza del Plebiscito? In addition to the Gran Caffè Gambrinus, you’ll also find the Royal Palace. It is a residence that had been the meeting place of the most important people from all over Southern Italy for centuries.
There are statues of eight kings of Naples on the exterior façade and once inside you will be amazed at the amount of frescoes, marble, paintings, stucco and Neapolitan furniture made by the best local artists and concentrated in one majestic palace.
Inside there are more than 30 rooms that tell the story of the various royal families who lived in this magnificent monumental building over time. Among the most impressive are the Hall of Hercules, the Hall of Maria Cristina of Savoy, the Court Theatre and the Palatine Chapel, a must-see if you want to explore Naples in two days or more.
Galleria Umberto I
Continuing our walk, from Piazza del Plebiscito we move on to Galleria Umberto I.
Along this short walk is the oldest pizzeria in Naples, the ancient place where the pizza Margherita was invented, I’m talking about Pizzeria Brandi. This is not just eating a simple pizza: the scent of basil, the crispness of the freshly baked dough, the flavour of San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella create a journey with the palate, a culinary experience that is difficult to replicate elsewhere!
Once you have finished your stop and arrived at the Galleria Umberto I, you will be enraptured by the grandeur of this building with four exits. Built in just three years at the end of the 19th century, the Galleria is in honour of Umberto I of Savoy who managed to control the cholera epidemic that attacked Naples.
The Galleria is undoubtedly one of the best points of interest in Naples. Over the years, it became the meeting place of the city’s bourgeoisie, so much so that the “Sciuscia”, an attendant whose job it was to polish the shoes of the nobility, was always present.
Leaving the Galleria Umberto I, you’ll find yourself surrounded by rivers of people busy shopping. Welcome to Via Toledo!
This street is one of the most iconic sites in Naples: 2 kilometres long, it links Piazza Trieste e Trento to Piazza Dante. It was built in 1540 and its orientation corresponds exactly to the sundial of Naples. At midday the sun’s rays will be perfectly aligned with the street.
What to do in Naples in two days if you love shopping? Along this street, there are both historic shops and very famous brands, so you can satisfy everyone’s tastes.
Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Neighbourhood)
Via Toledo marks the start of the Quartieri Spagnoli, which have recently been re-evaluated and made one of the most interesting places to visit in Naples. They were originally the place where the Spanish soldiers lived in the 16th century. These neighbourhoods tell the authentic history of the city.
Here, time seems to stand still: it is a place of narrow alleys, markets selling fish and vegetables, clothes hanging in the streets, murals with the city’s most important figures such as Diego Armando Maradona and much more.
If you want to wander through the picturesque streets of these neighbourhoods, you have to do it on a full stomach and enjoy the typical street food of Naples. I cannot fail to mention the Cuoppo di mare, a cone with fried seafood inside, or the Crocchè, potato panzerotti with ham and cheese. Not to mention Neapolitan pizza, fried pizza and His Majesty the Macaroni Omelette!
For the more daring, just above the Quartieri Spagnoli, there is the Belvedere di San Martino. From the Belvedere you can enjoy an enchanting view over the rooftops of Naples and admire Spaccanapoli from an exceptional position.
Once our stomachs are full, we continue our Naples sightseeing tour to Spaccanapoli. If you want to visit Naples in two days, you won’t want to miss it. This is an imaginary line that divides Naples.
It dates back to Roman times and starts at Via Toledo (Spanish Neighbourhood), then crosses the city to Via Vicaria Vecchia. Along this street, you can admire the true essence of Naples, with a myriad of churches, craftsmen and artists living together.
On this street, which was never called “Spaccanapoli” but Via Benedetto Croce, there are more than 20 drinking water wells dating back to Roman times. Its charm is such that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Santa Chiara Monastery
Also on Via Benedetto Croce is the entrance to this imposing church, the largest Gothic-Angevin basilica in Naples, undoubtedly one of the most amazing places to visit in Naples in two days.
Construction of the monument began in 1310 at the behest of King Robert of Anjou. However, it was destroyed by bombing during World War II and later rebuilt in the Gothic style. Once you’ve completed your visit, you’ll be able to admire the remains of a Roman bathhouse, very similar in shape to those in Pompeii!
Via San Gregorio Armeno
From Spaccanapoli you can walk down Via San Gregorio Armeno. This is the ideal place to appreciate the skilled craftsmanship of the artisans who have been making terracotta nativity scenes and shepherds entirely by hand for centuries.
The perfect time to visit this street is certainly the Christmas period, when all the artisans prepare cribs according to the requests of their customers. However, this art can be admired at any time of the year. Prices vary according to the type of request: from €10 for the simplest works to thousands of euros for those that recall the eighteenth century.
Via dei Tribunali
Having finished Via San Gregorio Armeno, here is Via dei Tribunali. This is the oldest street in the city, a place not to be missed if you want to try the best things to do in Naples in two days. The name of the street derives from the fact that there are the 5 courts of the city.
This street is undoubtedly the heart of Naples and has always been a very important street over the centuries. In fact, in the centre is Piazza San Gaetano, built initially on the remains of an ancient Greek market, the agora, and later used as a court in Roman times.
Right along Via dei Tribunali there are two unmissable Naples attractions: I’m talking about Naples Underground and the Duomo.
In Naples things to do are really countless! Anyone who has been to this city at least once can confirm that even just the Naples underground is worth a visit. Excavations in the underground of Naples began as long as 5000 years ago, because underneath the city there is tuff, a particular rock that is extremely light and stable, and very suitable for construction.
Over thousands of years of excavation to extract the rock for the construction of buildings, a veritable historical relic was created in the subsoil, consisting of tunnels and basins used both as wells to irrigate the houses and as hiding places during the bombings of the World Wars.
Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
We have now reached the last stage of our walk, again from a side street of Via dei Tribunali we find the majestic cathedral of Naples.
The building dates back to 1348 and its uniqueness lies in the fact that it contains architectural styles from very different periods, as it was often restored due to several earthquakes caused by the Vesuvius.
The styles range from Gothic to Baroque to Neo-Gothic, with an infinite number of embellishments by the most significant artists of the time, a place not to be missed for architecture lovers!
What to do in Naples in two days?
Let’s discover together the castles and museums at the foot of Mount Vesuvius!
Strolling along the cliffs of Naples, you can’t fail to notice a castle standing on a small tufa island, Castel dell’Ovo.
Its name derives from a legend according to which the poet Virgil placed an egg in the foundations of the building to support the entire castle, and on this egg depended both the structure of the castle itself and the fate of Naples. The castle is a place rich in history: it dates back to the 1st century BC and was inhabited by several famous people such as Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
Even from the outside of the castle, you can enjoy a priceless view over the Gulf of Naples, but it is only when you enter the building that you will be amazed by the number of frescoes, columns and pointed arches. A sight not to be missed if you want to discover the best things to do in Naples in two days!
Not far from Castel dell’Ovo we find Castel Nuovo (or Maschio Angioino), built at the behest of Charles I of Anjou (13th century), to whom the name of the palace also relates. It was built as a residence when the capital of the kingdom moved from Palermo to Naples.
The Maschio Angioino is already a magnificent monument from the outside. Inside you can fully admire the beauty and uniqueness of the castle.
The building consists of five towers and inside there are several rooms that over the years have hosted personalities such as Giotto, Petrarch and Boccaccio. But what is most striking about it are the prisons. In fact, a legend says that between the prisons there is a tunnel leading directly to the sea where, in the past, there was a crocodile with the purpose of making the prisoners disappear without a trace.
In short, this castle is truly a mysterious place full of extraordinary events. A place not to be missed among the stuff to do in Naples in two days.
Sansevero Chapel and the Veiled Christ
What to do in Naples in two days? The Sansevero Chapel is a must-see museum, considered by many to be the best museum in Italy.
A visit to the chapel is not just a visit to a museum, but an inner journey that every visitor takes. As soon as you enter the chapel, you will be surrounded by a luminous Carrara marble that will leave you astonished. Important works such as Disillusionment and Modesty surround the enchanting Veiled Christ, a representation of Christ’s suffering. This is an extremely complex marble work by Sanmartino, a young Neapolitan artist who created it in just three months.
How to get around Naples?
The city can be reached by motorway, train or plane. The easiest way is undoubtedly by train as the railway line connects Naples to the capital. It is also easy to reach the city centre from Naples railway station on foot.
The airport is about 5 kilometres from the city centre and can be reached by bus or taxi.
The Naples Metro
Once you arrive in the centre of Naples, the city is easily accessible on foot. However, I recommend that you try the Naples metro, as it is not only a good means of transport but also a museum.
In fact, thanks to the “Art Stations” project, Line 1 of the metro has been transformed into a triumph of architecture and contemporary art. Several internationally renowned artists have participated in its creation, such as Gae Aulenti, Mario Merz, Kharim Rashid and many others, making it one of most amazing places to visit in Naples in two days.
The railway line also takes you to Porta Nolana, home to one of the city’s oldest fish markets. Here every day the best fresh fish arrives and can be tasted directly on the spot, a real treat for the palate!
Now that you know the best things to do in Naples in two days, explore the city and admire all its beauty! With Italia Delight, you can create your own tailor-made trip with the Local Expert, a tour operator who lives in the Italian destinations. What are you waiting for? 😉