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One Day in Naples itinerary: Best One Day in Naples from Cruise ship (+Map & Tips)

Little time shouldn’t be a reason to skip visiting Naples, in this guide, I will show you how to visit the best of Naples in one day. We will cover highlights of Naples, its churches and piazzas, admire the beautiful views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, and eat plenty of pizza.

If you are arriving in the city on a cruise ship, this is the perfect guide for you, as I have tailored this guide, for people looking for the best one day in Naples from Cruise ship.

Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links that I earn a small commission for at no extra cost to you. Any purchases you make through my links help keep the site running. Thanks in advance for your support!

Quick links to plan your 1 Day in Naples, Italy

Get around Naples

Car: Secure the best rates with DiscoverCars.
Trains: Check Omio for schedules and book your ticket online.
Ferries: Check schedules and book your ferries through DirectFerries (Ferries to and from Naples, Positano, Capris, Amalfi, and Ischia)
Transfer: Book your private airport transfer.
Naples Sightseeing Bus: An easy way to navigate the city.

Recommended Accommodation
Palazzo Firenze – Located close to the Central Station
La Casa Sul Nilo – Luxurious apartments on a budget
Relais Della Porta Located in the heart of Via Toledo
Grand Hotel Santa Lucia – Hotel with a beautiful view of the sea

Naples one-day tour
Pizza Workshop
Naples Street Food Walking Tour
Naples Underground

How To Get To Naples From Cruise Port

If you are arriving in Naples on a cruise ship, you can simply walk from the Naples port terminal to the city center. The port is located just 20 minutes away from the central train station, and 10 minutes from some of the highlights on this list.

Map showing Naples port, some landmarks and the main train station of Naples.

Getting around Naples

If you are spending just one day in Naples, your time is short and you need to take advantage of each minute! 

Metro

Two ways to get around Naples that will save you time, the first one is their metro system, of course, this is the fastest way to get from point A to point B. The downside of it though, is that you need to make your way to the stations and from there, figure your way out to the landmarks you want to visit. 

Still a good option though, especially if you want to have a feeling of how daily life is in Naples. 

Sightseeing bus

But a fun way to discover Naples in a short period of time is through the Sightseeing bus. The tourist inside me LOVES hop-on hop-off tours. 

The Sightseeing Bus is a practical way to get from landmark to landmark without having to worry about getting lost or not getting to the point at the right time. This is one of the advantages of the Sightseeing Bus, it will stop just steps away from each highlight of the city. 

It is also a fun way to visit a place, different than the metro, riding the bus will give you a chance to actually see the city, its streets, shops, and people while you move around it. 

You can also control your time better with the hop-on hop-off bus, as you can plan to leave the bus to see one landmark and catch the very next bus to head to another landmark. 

Every time I travel to a new place I buy at least a 1-day ticket to make sure I can see everything at once, and on the other days I focus on the ones I like the most and want to learn more about, and even if you do not visit all the landmarks, most of the time you can at least see them from inside of the bus. 

24 Hours in Naples Overview

Naples is a relatively big city with many interesting places to visit. Most people visit Naples as a short stop before heading to Capri, Amalfi Coast, or the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, others get the chance to spend one day in Naples from Cruise ships.

24 hours in Naples is not enough to fully visit the city, but it is a good amount of time to give you an idea of how Naples is. Unfortunately, as you have a short period in the city, in this one day in Naples itinerary we won’t have much time to spend in each place, nor we will be able to visit the museums in the city.

We will be able to cover a great part of the city, and you will be able to see most of the highlights of Naples at least from outside.

Map of our 1 day in Naples, Italy

What to see in Naples in one day

In this one day in Naples itinerary, we will start our day close to Naples Port, admiring a beautiful view of the city of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, an iconic sight that is a must for anyone visiting the city.

From there, we will make our way to the Central part of the city, stopping at the most famous landmarks along the way.

As no visit to Naples is complete without a pizza break, I include two famous pizzerias on the itinerary and another pizzeria in the “Restaurant Suggestions” section at the end of this guide.

We will finish our tour close to Naples Central Station, where you can choose whether to walk back to the port (15-minute walk) or take bus number 151 (7 minutes, and costs 1 EUR – 2 EUR).

Castel Sant’Elmo

Let’s start our one day in Naples by visiting the Castel Sant’Elmo, which provides one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city of Naples and its bay. 

The Castel Sant’Elmos is a fortress built in the 14th century by the ruling Angevin dynasty. It is strategically located on top of the Vomero hill, giving the fortress a good view of the surroundings. 

From this vantage point, visitors can see iconic landmarks such as Mount Vesuvius, the historic center of Naples, and the coastline stretching along the bay.

To access the most traditional viewpoint at Castel Sant’Elmo, visitors must buy a ticket and enter the fortress itself. However, other points around the fortress can be enjoyed for free. 

To get there you can hike up the hill, it is a steep climb but a very scenic walk. Of course, this climbing is not for everybody so if you have any mobility issues or don’t want to get tired early on in this itinerary, you can take the funicular at the Montesanto station instead. 

  • Location: Via Tito Angelini, 20.
  • Opening Time: 8:30 AM to 19:30 PM, open every day.
  • Entrance Fee: 5 EUR ticket includes a visit to the museum.

BOOK YOUR TICKET: You can guarantee your ticket here. But if you bought the Naples City Pass, you can use it to have free access to the Castel Sant’Elmo.

Piazza dei Plebiscito 

Piazza del Plebiscito is one of the largest in Naples. The piazza is famous for its iconic Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, a neoclassical church modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. It was commissioned by King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies in the early 19th century. 

Facing the basilica is located the Royal Palace of Naples. This magnificent palace served as the residence of the Bourbon kings of Naples and now houses a museum open to the public.

It is possible to visit some of the rooms in the palace such as the royal apartment. However, as we only have 24 hours in Naples, we will skip this tour. 

  • Location: Piazza del Plebiscito.
  • Opening Time: 9 AM to 12 AM – 4 PM to 19 PM, open every day.
  • Entrance Fee: Free.

Castel Nuovo

A short walk distance from the Piazza del Plebiscito is the Castel Nuovo, a medieval castle built in the 13th century during the reign of Charles I of Anjou, who commissioned its construction as a royal residence and seat of power for the Angevin dynasty in Naples. 

Today, Castel Nuovo can be visited inside, with some rooms open to the public. The fortress also houses the Civic Museum, displaying armor and art. 

As we only have 1 day in Naples, we will only admire the exterior of the building, and honestly speaking, I think the exterior is way more impacting than the interior of the Castel Nuovo. 

  • Location: Via Vittorio Emanuele III.
  • Opening Time: 8:30 AM to 5 PM. The castle is closed on Sundays.
  • Entrance Fee: 6 EUR.

Antica Pizzeria Port Alba

Lunchtime

Lunch break shall we? As we are in Naples, nothing better than having pizza for lunch, right?

For this, we will take the metro, Line 1, to the Dante station. Our restaurant is located close to the Port’Alba and is called Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba. 

Antica Pizzeria is considered the oldest pizza place in the world! It opened in 1738, and sells one of the best pizzas in the whole of Italy, according to the Internet. 

I’m not the best person to give opinions about Italian pizza, I don’t want to sound mean here, but, they just don’t amaze me, they all taste the same (FORGIVE ME ITALIANS!!). 

Immaculate Virgin spire a tall marble column topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary. 

Church of Gesù Nuovo

A walk distance from the Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba is one of the most famous churches in Naples, the Church of Gesù Nuovo. 

The church was originally built as a palace in the late 15th century, the building was acquired by the Jesuits in the 16th century and converted into a church. It was consecrated as the Church of Gesù Nuovo, meaning “New Jesus,” in 1584. The church played a significant role in the Counter-Reformation and the spread of Jesuit influence in Naples.

One of the most distinctive features of the Church of Gesù Nuovo is its façade, which is covered in rusticated ashlar stone and features alternating concave and convex shapes. This unique architectural style is known as “diamond-point rustication” and gives the church a striking appearance.

Inside the Church of Gesù Nuovo, you can admire the beautiful Baroque high altar, which is adorned with marble columns and sculptures, as well as the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, which features a painting of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by artist Giuseppe Bonito.

Naples Cathedral

Naples Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta or the Duomo di Napoli. 

The cathedral has ancient origins, dating back to the 4th century AD when it was constructed on the site of a paleo-Christian basilica. Over the centuries, the cathedral underwent several renovations and assumed its actual form in the 13th to the 14th centuries.

It features a mixture of architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements. The façade of the cathedral is characterized by its three portals decorated with sculptures and reliefs, while the interior is known for its soaring nave, ornate chapels, and richly decorated ceilings.

Naples Cathedral is famous for the Treasure Chapel (Cappella del Tesoro), which houses a collection of precious religious artifacts and relics related to San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples.

One of the streets in Spaccanapoli district
Spaccanapoli district

Spaccanapoli District

The district name comes from the fact that it runs through the historic center as if dividing Naples. It is a very popular area great for those who are looking for a souvenir or just want to stroll through local shops.

One of its main streets is the Via dei Tribunali, which is one of the gateways of the district, it was an important street during the Greek-Roman era known as Decumanus Maximus. Nowadays, it is popular for its artisan workshops, offering handicrafts and souvenirs.

Nearby, the Via San Gregorio Armeno has traditional Christmas shops selling decorations and figures all year round.

Via Duomo, named after Naples’ Cathedral, counts with important churches, such as the Cathedral itself, but also the Church of Santa Restituta and the Museum Complex of Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco.

L’antica Pizzeria Michele 

Dinner

Every meal is an opportunity for a new pizza, and with this in mind, you can head to the L’antica Pizzeria Michele, a very traditional pizza place near the central station in Naples. 

This is one of the oldest pizzerias in Naples, founded in 1870. Despite being very famous, ordering and receiving your pizza doesn’t take much time, because the pizzeria issues a ticket to each client, to make sure the place doesn’t get too crowded.

It is also easy to choose the topping, as they only serve two pizzas: the traditional Margherita, and Marinara (tomato, oregano, and garlic). 

Naples one-day tours

Here are some interesting guided tours and experiences that you can take in your one day in Naples.

Pizza Workshop: In this 2 hours workshop, you will learn how to make authentic Neapolitan pizza. In the class, you will learn the traditional cooking techniques, and taste local ingredients.

Naples Street Food Walking Tour: Taste the most traditional dishes of Naples in this 2-and-a-half-hour tour. You will try pizza fritta, gelato, arancini, and more in it.

Naples Underground: If you are looking for an alternative tour, and like history, this is a nice option, On this tour you will visit the underground ruins of Naples, and see the remains of the Greek-roman period, which you would be able to see from the surface of the city.

Restaurant suggestions

Gran Caffe Gambrinus

This is a very traditional and historic cafe, the coffee opened in 1860. Over the years, Gran Caffè Gambrinus has become a cultural icon of Naples, frequented by locals, intellectuals, artists, and tourists alike.

Once you get inside, it feels like you are back in time, the décor reflects the café’s Belle Époque heritage, it is adorned with marble floors, gilded ceilings, and intricate decorations. 

It is okay if you get inside just to admire the cafe, but if you have the chance, do try some of their specialties. I recommend their sfogliatelle, which is a very traditional Neapolitan pastry. 

More than one day in Naples?

There are many things to see in Naples, and if you have the chance to stay more than one day, you will have the chance to visit museums and some churches that will not be possible to visit in just 24 hours in Naples. 

If you are planning more days, I suggest checking our guide of 2 days in Naples itinerary. It covers the main landmarks and important places to visit in the city, including the National Archeological Museum and some of the most important churches in the city. 

Now, if you are interested in exploring other areas near Naples, you should check out this day trip from Naples, with a list of the best cities and towns, beaches, and attractions near Naples that you can visit in one day. 

And if you love history, just like me, I can bet that you are interested in visiting Pompeii, if thats the case, here is a guide to how to get to Pompeii from Naples. 

FAQ

Can you visit Naples in one day?

Yes, visiting Naples in one day is doable, however, I recommend spending at least two days in Naples to fully enjoy it. 

Naples is a big city, and has a lot to offer, from historic places to nice restaurants to eat, one day will not be enough to see it all, it will just give you a brief idea of what this city is about. 

Can you visit Naples and Pompeii in one day?

Yes, you can, however, I don’t recommend it. Naples has a lot to offer on its own, and the same goes for Pompeii, I recommend choosing one of these places instead, as doing both in just one day will be very overwhelming.

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