Are you planning a day trip to Naples? Are you planning to spend only one day in Naples? Wondering if it is possible to see Naples in one day? What are the best things to do in Naples Italy in one day? If that is the case, check out my one day in Naples itinerary!
Naples is the third largest city in Italy. Most importantly, it is a city of history, art, architecture, archeology, museums, galleries, great food, and hospitable people.
Naples in Italy is among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The first settlement of today’s Naples goes back to the Bronze Age. Ancient Greeks established a colony there 2,000 years BC and, finally, the ancient city of Neapolis in the 4th century BC.
The city of Naples had a turbulent past for the next 27 centuries. Ancient Greeks, Romans, Goths, Byzantines, Lombards, Saracens, Normans, Spaniards, Austrians, and Napoleon ruled and left their mark on the city. The rich history resulted in fascinating architecture, fantastic archaeological sites, art masterpieces, and an excellent food scene.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Naples is one of the best places to visit in Italy for history buffs, art lovers, museums and galleries goers, and food gourmands.
The historic center of Naples is a World Heritage Site, and the most popular tourist attractions in Naples are within the historic center.
While a minimum of 3 days in Naples would be enough to visit all the famous sites in Naples, you can still see many of them in only one day in Naples. And yes, you can stroll Naples and visit them all on foot. A day in Naples may seem not enough. But, if you follow my suggested itinerary, you will experience the best of Naples in 24 hours.
Here’s my one-day in Naples itinerary.
Spend 1 day in Naples following my Naples 1 day itinerary and have the best 24 hours in Naples.
- One day in Naples itinerary
- One day in Naples: Morning
- 1. Start your day with coffee and pastries at Cafe Gambrinus
- 2. Piazza Plebisicito (Plebiscite Square)
- 3. Check out Basilica Reale Pontificia di San Francesco di Paola
- 4. See Galleria Umberto I
- 5. Stroll Via Toledo
- 6. Visit Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo
- 7. Enjoy the cloister of Saint Claire Monumental Complex
- 8. See the jaw-dropping Veiled Christ in Sansevero Chapel Museum
- One day in Naples: Lunch
- One day in Naples: Afternoon
- One Day in Naples: Evening
- One day in Naples: Morning
- Where to stay in Naples for one day
One day in Naples itinerary
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One day in Naples: Morning
1. Start your day with coffee and pastries at Cafe Gambrinus
Head to the Piazza Plebisicito, the main square in Naples and the heart of Naples.
But let Gran Caffè Gambrinus be your first stop on your Naples itinerary. This gorgeous historic cafe is in Via Chiaia, 1, next to the Piazza Plebisicito. It overlooks Piazza Plebiscito and Palazzo Real.
Start your day with Italian espresso. You are in Italy, and espresso is one of the best coffees in the world. Italian espresso is not just a quick caffeine hit but a social and cultural ritual strongly related to Italian identity.
Gran Caffè Gambrinus is among the most beautiful old-world cafes in the world, like famous coffee houses in Vienna, Austria. Gran Caffè Gambrinus opened in Naples in the late 19th century. This famous coffee house belongs to Italy’s Cultural Association of Historical Places.
The elegant Art Nouveau style adds to its upscale atmosphere. The cafe has been a favorite cafe in Naples among intellectuals, writers, artists, prominent figures, and celebrities for decades and decades. For instance, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway are among the famous figures who enjoyed Gran Caffè Gambrinus.
Gran Caffè Gambrinus serves delicious pastries along with coffee. Make your start of the day in Naples sweet and order traditional Neapolitan sfogliatella, zeppola di San Giuseppe, babà, cannolo or crostata con fragoline di bosco.
Gran Caffè Gambrinus opens at 7 am and closes at midnight seven days a week.
Start your day in Naples earlier and head to Gran Caffè Gambrinus as earlier as possible. You will escape the crowds coming to Gran Caffè Gambrinus earlier in the morning. Plus, remember, a long day of sightseeing in Naples awaits you!
2. Piazza Plebisicito (Plebiscite Square)
After the delicious start of the day in Gran Cafee Gambrinus, start sightseeing in Naples.
Start it with Piazza Plebisicito, the heart of Naples. There is no better place to start sightseeing in Naples than its heart.
Piazza Plebisicito is the main square in Naples. It is vast. It is one of the largest squares in Italy. There are four impressive buildings on the edges of this majestic square: the Basilica Reale Pontificia di San Francesco di Paola (the Royal Papal Basilica of San Francesco di Paola), Palazzo Reale di Napoli (Royal Palace of Naples), Palazzo della Prefettura (Palace of the Prefecture) and Palazzo Salerno (Salerno Palace).
I suggest visiting Basilica Reale Pontificia di San Francesco di Paola (the Royal Papal Basilica of San Francesco di Paola) on this Naples itinerary, as there are no queues and it is free to enter.
However, you can tour Palazzo Reale di Napoli (Royal Palace of Naples) instead. But, in that case, expect queues.
3. Check out Basilica Reale Pontificia di San Francesco di Paola
The Royal Papal Basilica of San Francesco di Paola (the Basilica Reale Pontificia di San Francesco di Paola) is one of the iconic churches in Naples.
The Basilica’s architecture resembles Rome’s Pantheon. The Basilica Reale Pontificia di San Francesco di Paola in Napels is among the most beautiful Neoclassical buildings in the country.
The Royal Papal Basilica of San Francesco di Paola is open daily from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.
Plan your visit around 9 am. Plan a 15-min visit to the Basilica.
4. See Galleria Umberto I
Galleria Umberto I is only 6 min walk (450 m) from the Royal Papal Basilica of San Francesco di Paola.
The Gallery is among the most beautiful buildings in Naples. It belongs to the Italian Risanamento architectural style from the late 19th century. Today Galleria Umberto I is among the top Instagrammable places in Naples for its beauty.
Visit the Gallery (it is free) and snap a few photos!
5. Stroll Via Toledo
The famous Via Toledo street is only 2 min (120 m) west of the Galleria Umberto I.
Walk to Via Toledo and start strolling a top commercial street in Naples. It is the main shopping street in Naples that goes through the historic center of Naples. Via Toledo stretches from the port of Naples to the Main train station in Naples. The Via Toledo Street is known for its luxury brands shops, souvenir shops, pizzerias, pizza street vendors, bars, and restaurants. Enjoy leisurely strolling Via Toledo while heading to Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo (the church of New Jesus), the next stop on your Naples itinerary.
Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo is only 0,13 mi (1,2 km) from Galleria Umberto I via Via Toledo.
6. Visit Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo
Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo (the church of New Jesus) is arguably the most beautiful church in Naples. Its Baroque interior contrasts the quirky exterior. Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo is the finest example of the Neapolitan Renaissance and Baroque. The church was originally the 15th-century palace, which Jesuists took over at the end of the 16th century. Masterpiece frescoes, reliefs, paintings, and statues in the church are must-sees in Naples.
The church is free to visit (no admission fee). Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo (the church of New Jesus) is open for visiting from 8 am-1 pm and 4 pm – 6:30 pm (Mon-Sat) and from 8 am-1 pm and 4 pm – 8 pm (Sun). Plan to spend about 15 minutes on your visit to the church.
7. Enjoy the cloister of Saint Claire Monumental Complex
Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara (the Saint Claire Monumental Complex) is only a few steps from the Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo (the church of New Jesus).
The Cloister of Saint Claire Monumental Complex is the most beautiful site in Naples. It is the most photographed place in Naples.
The cloister walls are covered with beautiful 17th-century frescoes, while the 18th-century majolica tiles cover the pillars and benches of the garden.
The cloister of Saint Claire Convent is one of the most peaceful and inspiring places in Naples.
This gorgeous place needs to be on any one day in Naples itinerary! Visiting the serene cloister of Saint Claire Convent is a beautiful escape from tourist crowds in Naples.
Cloister of Saint Claire Convent is open from 9,30 am to 5,30 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10 am to 2,30 pm on Sundays. The ticket costs 6 €.
While you could spend up to two hours in this gorgeous place, plan to spend about 45 min at least.
8. See the jaw-dropping Veiled Christ in Sansevero Chapel Museum
The Veiled Christ sculpture is the absolute must-see in Naples, regardless if you are an art lover.
The marble veil covering the face of tortured Christ is jaw-dropping. It appears almost unbelievable that it is marble-made.
Sadly, taking photos in the Chapel is not allowed. But, trust me that the Veiled Christ is a masterpiece sculpture.
The Veiled Christ sculpture is Sansevero Chapel Museum. Sansevero Chapel Museum is 7 min walk from the church of New Jesus and 6 min walk from Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara.
Sansavero Chapel is open from 9 am – 6.30 pm from Wednesday to Monday. It is closed on Tuesday.
The entrance fee is 10 € and you can book the tickets only on the official site. And you need to book your visit to the Chapel in advance. Plan your visit accordingly! (PS: if you don’t catch tickets via the official site, check out this Downtown Tour with Veiled Christ Entry)An audio guide lasts 25 min. Plan to spend 30 min in the Chapel Museum. You could observe the exhibits for hours though!
One day in Naples: Lunch
9. Have an authentic Napoleatian pizza
There is no visit to Naples without enjoying authentic Neapolitan pizza in Naples. Margherita Pizza, the first pizza in Italy, was made in Naples.
Gino e Toto Sorbillo pizzeria has a long reputation for making the best pizzas in Naples. There is no better place in Naples to eat pizza than in Gino e Toto Sorbillo pizzeria. Head to Gino e Toto Sorbillo pizzeria and have the pizza of your life!
Gino e Toto Sorbillo pizzeria in Via dei Tribunali is close to the Sansevero Chapel, the Saint Claire Monumental Complex, and the church of New Jesus. Gino e Toto Sorbillo pizzeria is open from noon to 11.30 pm seven days a week.
One day in Naples: Afternoon
10. Rub the nose of Pulcinella
When you finish lunch, head to the entrance of Naples Underground (Napoli Sotterranea). But, on your way, make a short stop and rub the nose of the iconic statue of Pulcinella.
Rubbing the nose is said to bring good luck. Check out the nose and see how battered it is. You can only imagine how many people rubbed it!
The Pulcinella statue is on Vico del Fico Al Purgatorio street, on the corner with Via dei Tribunali, 1 min from Gino e Toto Sorbillo pizzeria and 2 min from the entrance to Naples Underground (Napoli Sotterranea).
11. Tour Naples underground
An entrance to Naples Underground is in Via Tribunali and a few steps from the Pulcinella statue.
So, after lunch, tour Naples Underground. That is something I did on my trip to Naples.
Naples Underground (Napoli Sotterranea) is a fascinating underground complex of ancient tunnels, caves, passages, and water cisterns. Naples Underground complex covers over 2,000 km2. The first underground complex dates back to the 4th century. Later ancient Romans made their additions and modifications. During WWII, the underground complex was a shelter for more than 200,000 people.
Taking a Naples Underground tour is one of the best things to do in Naples.
You can buy a ticket at the entrance or book the tour online. I bought my ticket at the Napoli Sotterranea entrance and went to Gino e Toto Sorbillo pizzeria for lunch. After lunch, I returned to the Napoli Sotterranea entrance and toured the complex. I am not sure if I got lucky with the ticket, but you always book Naples Underground Entry Ticket and Guided Tour in advance to make your visit sure! The tour lasts 2 hours max.
12. Visit the National Archeological Museum
Naples National Archaeological Museum is known as the best archeological museum in Italy. It has an outstanding collection of ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek, and Roman (most notably, Pompeii, Herculaneum) artifacts and Renaissance artwork.
The National Archaeological Museum is a must-see in Naples for history fans and all who wish to visit one of the best museums in the world.
Naples National Archaeological Museum is open from Wednesday to Monday, from 9 am to 7:30 pm. It is closed on Tuesday. Check out National Archaeological Museum Ticket and Pemcards. While you could spend several hours in the museum, plan to spend a minimum of 2 hours.
13. Enjoy the sunset from Castle d’Ovo or Castel Sant’Elmo
Castel Sant’Elmo overlooks Naples from Vomero Hill. The castle has the best views of Naples, the Bay of Naples, and Mt Vesuvius. And, the views get magical in the sunset.
Finish the long day of sightseeing in Naples with sunset views from Castle Sant’Elmo.
Castel Sant’Elmo closes at 6.30 pm. If you visit Naples in spring, autumn, and winter when sunsets come earlier, head to Castel Sant’Elmo for unbeatable sunset views of Naples.
But, if you are traveling to Naples in summer when sunsets come later (around 8.30 pm), head to Castle d’Ovo. Castle d’Ovo is a seafront castle in the Chiaia district in Naples. Sunset sea views from Castle d’Ovo are known as the most romantic in Naples.
So, depending on the time of the year of your visit to Naples, head for sunset views of Castle d’Elmo or Castle d’Ovo.
To reach the castle from Naples National Archaeological Museum, take the metro L1 line next to the museum and get off at Vanvitelli station, the 4th station. From there, walk 10 min up to the castle. The journey from Naples National Archaeological Museum to Castle d’Elmo takes about 20 min.
To reach Castle d’Ovo from Naples National Archaeological Museum, take the metro L1 line at Piazza Garibaldi, and get off at Municipio station, the 3rd station. From there, walk about 25 min to the castle. The journey from Naples National Archaeological Museum to Castle d’Ovo takes about half an hour.
One Day in Naples: Evening
14. Have dinner at a Michelin-star restaurant
Traditional Neapolitan cuisine is famous for some of the best traditional food in Italy. Naples is the birthplace of pizza. Besides pizza, minestrone napoletano soup, frittatina napoletana, ragù Napoletano, mussel soup are some of the must-try authentic Neapolitan dishes.
Naples has 31 Michelin-star restaurants. Michelin awarded La Locanda Gesù Vecchio restaurant for serving the best traditional Neapolitan food in the city.
La Locanda Gesù Vecchio restaurant is in via Giovanni Paladino 26, a 5 min walk from Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo, in the historic center of Naples. La Locanda Gesù Vecchio is open from 7 pm until 11 pm every day, except on Monday when it is closed.
Book a table in La Locanda Gesù Vecchio restaurant and enjoy an authentic Neapolitan dinner in Naples.
Where to stay in Naples for one day
Piazza Garibaldi is the main transport hub in Naples. The central train station, two subway lines, the Circumvesuviana train (a regional train to Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento, etc.), a bus station, taxis, and several historic hotels are in the area around Piazza Garibaldi. Piazza Garibaldi is close to the most popular tourist sites in the Historic Center of Naples. Therefore, Piazza Garibaldi is the best area to stay in Naples for one day in general. Check out UNAHOTELS Napoli (luxury), Hotel Potenza (mid-range), or Hostel Mancini Naples (budget) in the Piazza Garibaldi area in Naples.
However, if you are planning to visit Capri, Ischia, or Amalfi after Naples, the Port of Naples might suit you best. Port of Naples is conveniently located within walking distance of all city attractions on this Naples 1 day itinerary. Mollo Beverello (the ferry port to Sorrento, Capri, Ischia, etc.) is in the port. Alibus station from and to Naples airport is there too.
So, if you are continuing your trip to Sorrento or the islands, the Port of Naples is the top location to stay in Naples. Check out ROMEO Napoli (luxury), Municipio Sea (mid-range), or Hostel of the Sun in the Port of Naples. Or, read my complete guide: Where to Stay in Naples Italy!