Safety in Naples: Is Naples safe for tourists?

When the theme is “traveling through Italy”, there’s always a lot of chatter about whether Naples is a safe spot to explore, or even, if it is “worth the risk”.  

So before you make any unreal assumptions about the city, or skip it for some unsubstantiated claims, let me step in, as I feel inclined to share not only my sincere opinion but also bring some facts and numbers. 

So, before we start my brief analysis, let’s jump to the short answer first:

Is Naples dangerous? No, Naples is not dangerous. It has indeed made a name for itself, but despite all the chatter, the numbers show us that Naples is safe and the criminal rate is low. 

How safe is Naples

Generally speaking, Italy saw a decrease in the crime rate in the past three years. This by itself is already good news.

So to prove my point here, let me bring a graphic, because numbers never lie:

As we can see here, despite what we hear and the impression that we have, Naples compared to other cities in Italy has a relatively low crime rate. It is behind pretty much every famous city in Italy: Parma, Genoa, Rome, Turin, Florence, and Milan (leading in the 1st spot!).

So despite what you hear, Naples is probably the safest city you will visit on your trip to Italy. You may feel like Naples is not as secure as the others, once you arrive there though, but I truly believe it has more to do with the appearance of the city, than with the actual crime scenario.

Naples is famous for being a graffiti city, so yes you will see graffiti every, also, not gonna lie, the city doesn’t seem clean, and many buildings are screaming for a new layer of paint. I think these are factors that contribute to the “bad impression” some of us have when we visit Naples (don’t take me wrong, I’m judging by my personal experience here).

How to keep safe in Naples

Take care around the main station

The main station of Naples is located in the heart of the city, in a busy area, with a lot of people walking around and travelers coming and going all the time. 

All this makes this area a prime location for petty crime, such as pickpocketing and scams.  So pay close attention to your belongings, never leave your baggage unattended, and also remember to keep your bags closed and close to your body. 

Avoid wearing jewelry or walking around holding your phone, as one of the common crimes that can happen in this area (and of course, other areas of Naples as well) is someone riding a Vespa runs over you and stealing your bag or phone. 

Pay Attention to pickpockets on public transport

When using public transportation, especially metro, trans, and buses, as those can get crowded sometimes, keep a close eye on your belongings, try leaving your bag in front of you, where you can see it, as pickpockets are very common in public transportation. 

Avoid leaving valuables in easily accessible pockets or bags. And pay extra care when boarding or disembarking from vehicles as it can provide an opportunity to ill-intentioned people. 

Don’t leave your belongings unattended 

It is not only about stations and public transportation though, it is important to always keep an eye on your belongings. 

I know that there are places in Europe where you can leave your bag in a shop or a phone on a bench, and come back minutes later to find it exactly where you had left it. But this doesn’t mean we need to take this as a norm anywhere in the world. Because unfortunately, it is not. 

Naples is one of these cities where you shouldn’t take the risk of doing it. 

Plan your route carefully at night

This is another good safety measure, as the darkness falls, certain areas of the city may become less illuminated or populated, increasing the potential for safety concerns. 

So Before heading out, take the time to research your destination and map out your route using reliable sources such as your hotel concierge service, or a travel app. 

Stick to well-lit and populated streets, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Avoid nontouristy areas as those tend to have fewer people on the streets at night, and If possible, travel with a companion or in a group. 

Avoid Alcohol & Drugs in unfamiliar areas

I know sometimes people just want to go somewhere to party hard and forget about it the next day. But I bring up the obvious here: thats not the safest thing to do, especially when you are alone in an unfamiliar place. 

Consumption of alcohol or drugs can impair judgment, making you more vulnerable to accidents, theft, or other safety risks. Who could guess? 

Naples is definitely no Caracas, but anywhere can be dangerous when you are not in full control of your body and mind.

But now, if you still want to consume alcohol, do it in moderation and never leave your drinks unattended.

And remember to always prioritize your well-being and make smart choices to protect yourself while exploring the city. Be responsible.  

Trust your guts

Your intuition can often sense potential danger or risky situations before your rational mind can fully process them. If something feels off or makes you uncomfortable, it’s important to listen to your gut and take action accordingly.

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel uneasy or threatened, don’t hesitate to leave the place/area or seek assistance from authorities or any trusted individuals. 

Avoid ignoring red flags or dismissing your instincts, most of the time, they are right!

Is Naples safe for solo female travelers?

Yes, Naples is safe for solo female travelers, as long as you take precautions. We all know the world is a dangerous place, especially for women. 

Be mindful of your surroundings but more than that, avoid giving too much attention to people you don’t know. We, women, know that sometimes people can interpret this “attention” in the wrong way. 

Always prioritize your safety when seeking information or assistance, if you need directions or information, it’s better to approach police personnel or use information posts at stations rather than asking random people on the streets.

If you find yourself unable to locate a trustworthy individual to ask for assistance, consider seeking out a reliable woman to ask for help. I’m not here saying that all men have bad intentions, please don’t get me wrong, but some can try to take advantage of it. 

Also, I’m not trying to portray all women as pure people who will never take advantage of you, but we know that women can sometimes be more empathetic. 

I just hope you are getting my point here and won’t think I’m trying to offend this or that group of people. 

Ultimately, try traveling in groups when possible. I know it wouldn’t be called “solo female travelers” if you traveled in groups, BUT sometimes it is good to have a companion, and it is safer as well. 

Places to avoid in Naples

As we said before, Naples is a safe city with a relatively low crime rate, but of course, there are areas that you will want to avoid as a tourist. Some have a higher criminal rate than the average, others are less touristy. 

These are the places to avoid in Naples:

  • Scampia: This neighborhood is known for its high crime rates and the presence of organized crime groups. It’s best to avoid this area, especially after dark.
  • Secondigliano: Another neighborhood with a reputation for crime, particularly related to drug trafficking and organized crime. 
  • Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarter): While this historic neighborhood is popular with tourists during the day, it’s advisable to avoid it at night, especially the narrow alleys and side streets.
  • Forcella: This area, located near the central train station, has a reputation for petty crime and street-level drug dealing. It is mostly safe during the daytime, but avoid it after dark. 
  • Garibaldi Square: While the main square itself is generally safe, the surrounding area near the train station can be crowded and chaotic, with a higher risk of pickpocketing and scams.

Safest place to stay in Naples

Don’t let the list of places to avoid in Naples turn you away from the city, as there are also plenty of good neighborhoods as well. 

Before choosing your hotel, check the area, and make sure to book a hotel that is located in one of the areas mentioned above. 

  • Chiaia: Located along the waterfront, Chiaia is an upscale and residential neighborhood known for its elegant streets, boutique shops, and vibrant dining scene. It’s a popular choice for travelers seeking a safe and upscale environment with easy access to attractions.
  • Vomero: Perched on a hill overlooking the city, Vomero offers panoramic views of Naples and the Bay of Naples. This residential area is known for its quiet streets, green spaces, and cultural attractions, making it an ideal choice for travelers looking for a peaceful and safe environment.
  • Posillipo: Situated on a scenic peninsula overlooking the sea, Posillipo is a tranquil and affluent neighborhood known for its luxurious villas, upscale restaurants, and picturesque coastline. It’s a great option if you are looking for a serene retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
  • Mergellina: Located along the waterfront, Mergellina is a bustling neighborhood known for its seafood restaurants, lively atmosphere, and scenic promenade. It’s a vibrant area with easy access to transportation options, making it a convenient base for exploring Naples and beyond.
  • Historic Center (Centro Storico): While the historic center of Naples can be lively and bustling during the day, it’s generally safe for tourists, especially around well-trafficked areas such as Piazza del Plebiscito, Via Toledo, and Spaccanapoli. 

Is Naples safe at night?

Once a friend told me: “any place in the world can be dangerous at night”, of course some, more than others, but I couldn’t agree more with this statement. 

While Naples has its share of safety concerns like any major city, it’s generally safe to walk around at night in certain areas, especially in areas such as the historic center, Chiaia, and Vomero. 

But it is always good to take precautions, when walking around at night, for examples, try to stick to well-lit streets and avoid poorly lit or deserted areas, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the neighborhood.

It is better to walk around more tourist-friendly areas and busy streets than wandering in isolated alleys or shortcuts. 

Another good tip is to keep your belongings secure and avoid displaying valuable items such as jewelry, cameras, or smartphones, as mentioned before. 

Be mindful of your surroundings and keep an eye out for pickpockets or suspicious individuals.

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