Day Trips from Naples


procidaWhenever I read that people should use a town like Sorrento as their home base and include Naples only as a day-trip, I get a little uppity. Yes, Sorrento is pretty and arguably more clean and tourist-friendly than Naples, but Naples is so much more real – at least to me. The truth is that for some people a day-trip into Naples from Sorrento will be all they can handle – and that’s fine. For anyone looking to get to know Naples a little better, however, making Naples your home base and taking day trips to nearby towns and attractions is a wonderful alternative.

Having professed my love of Naples, however, I do think that getting out of the city for a day (or a couple, depending on how long you’re staying) is a good idea. One of Italy’s most visited attractions is a good day trip from Naples, and you don’t have to go very far to end up in a town that feels completely different from Naples – which is a good way to add variety to your trip. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the day trips from Naples, but it’s a list of the most popular ones. If there’s a day trip destination that you think should be on this list but isn’t, please leave a comment below!

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Day Trips from Naples

  • Pompeii – A good percentage of the people who make Naples a home base do so because it’s such a good jumping-off point for a visit to Pompeii. It’s one of Italy’s most popular tourist sites, and you can see it as part of an organized tour (many depart from Naples) or you can do a DIY tour.
  • Herculaneum – Pompeii wasn’t the only city wiped out by Mount Vesuvius, but it’s much more famous than nearby Herculaneum. Still, some people prefer Herculaneum as it’s smaller, less crowded, and has a bit more of what’s been excavated still on site (as opposed to in a museum somewhere else). You can combine this with a Pompeii visit, if you plan well and are ready for a long day.
  • Amalfi Coast – The Amalfi Coast is one of the parts of Italy that repeatedly shows up in stunning photographs; the towns of Positano, Ravello, and Amalfi itself are incredibly picturesque – and tend to be expensive. Touring a few of the towns on the Amalfi Coast as a day trip from Naples could save you quite a bit on hotel costs. (If you can’t tear yourself away, consider these hotels in Positano and hostels in Positano.)
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  • Sorrento – Sorrento isn’t technically part of the Amalfi Coast, but it’s sort of the mid-point between Naples and the Amalfi and makes a really easy day trip from Naples. It’s fairly small, so it makes for a leisurely long day or can be combined with a stop at an island or two if you like. (Here’s some information on how to get from Naples to Sorrento, some cheap hotels in Sorrento, and some hostels in Sorrento if you decide to spend the night.)
  • Islands in the Bay of Naples – There are three major islands just off the coast that are popular day trips from Naples – Capri, Ischia, and Procida. Capri (pronounced KAH|pree) is fairly close to Sorrento, Ischia (EES|kee|yah) is the largest, and Procida (PRO|chee|dah) is the least visited.
  • Mount Vesuvius – For an up-close-and-personal look at the volcano that caused all that legendary destruction back in 79 AD, look no further than a day trip to Mount Vesuvius. The mountain looms over the city of Naples, and you can go on an organized day hike up the mountain or take a bus most of the way up and then climb the remaining distance on the trail to the crater.
  • Greek Ruins – Had enough of Roman ruins in Italy? Then take a day trip or two to explore the Greek ruins near Naples. Paestum has some amazingly well-preserved Greek temples dating from the 6th century BCE, and the site is still being excavated. Another former Greek city that’s still being excavated is Cumae, and those ruins date back to the 8th century BCE.
  • Phlegraean Fields – The Phlegraean Fields, or Campi Flegrei in Italian, is what’s left after the collapse of ancient volcano. Although the former crater is mostly underwater, some of the visible parts are other-worldly (pock-marked craters in the earth, hissing sulfur vents, and steaming mud pits) and fairly easy to visit. You can walk to the Phlegraean Fields from the bus station at Pozzuoli.
  • Caserta – The Royal Palace at Caserta is the main draw here, although the estate the palace sits on provides some lovely views as well. The palace dates from the 18th century and is sometimes considered to be the Italian Versailles (partly because of the gardens).
  • Pozzuoli – Pozzuoli is often a stop either going to or returning from a visit to the Phlegraean Fields, but if you’re looking for something to linger over while you’re there there’s a Roman amphitheatre to peek at near the train station. And soak up some of that diva energy, since this is the town that gave birth to Sophia Loren.
  • Rome – The high-speed trains in Italy have made the trip from Naples to Rome a speedy one hour and 15 minute trip, which means Rome is a do-able day trip from Naples. The trouble is that there’s no way to “do” Rome in a day. But I’ll leave the impossible task of narrowing all the things to do in Rome down into the space of one day to you. Good luck.

Procida photo by Porfirio


16 thoughts on “Day Trips from Naples

  • Keith

    La Reggia di Caserta is amazing!!! I went there last summer, and I spent the whole day there. It’s immense, but it was too much to do in one day and some of the sections of the grounds were being renovated or were closed for works. I advise going on the morning and spending an hour or two inside and then heading out and exploring the grounds. I suggest taking the “bus” that runs from the palace to the waterfall (you can walk it, but, to save time, I suggest taking the bus to the waterfall and then walking back).

    When you arrive in Caserta by train, the train station is literally next to the Reggia so it’s just a short walk to it. “Downtown” Caserta is nice too and is not far from the station or the Reggia.

  • Jessica Post author

    Hi, Lisa – Yes, that’s Procida. I wish I could say it was my photo, but it’s not. πŸ™‚ It’s a lovely picture, though!

  • linda

    Your advice on Naples is great! Question to all: In October I’m spending one week in Rome and one week in Amalfi, with three days in between that are not yet planned. Where would you recommend I spend those three days? I’m not yet committed to a car, but could easily be.

  • Jessica Post author

    Well, since we’re talking about Naples, I’d say spending those three days in Naples between Rome and Amalfi is a fantastic idea. It’s definitely an easy mid-point, and three days will give you enough time to explore the historic center, get some amazing pizza, see the National Archaeological Museum (which is amazing), and even do a day-trip to Pompeii if you wanted to.

  • catherine

    hi jessica! this website has been extremely helpful and im very happy to have stumbled across it while googling ” 2 weeks italy”.
    im following your sample 2 week itinerary but backwards (rome to venice) but i wanted to add naples, positano and amalfi to my itinerary since i have an extra two and a half days.if naples became my home base. i would like to know which would make a better day trip: sorrento or amalfi coast? thanks!

    my itinerary will look like this:
    may 30: rome to naples. explore the city
    may 31: go to amalfi or sorrento.
    june 1: pompeii and herculaneum
    june 2: naples to florence in the morning

    • Jessica Post author

      It depends a bit on whether you want your day trip to involve more or less transfers. Going to Sorrento from Naples is a leisurely day trip – it’s a train or boat over there, a good part of the day spent wandering/exploring/shopping/eating, & a train or boat back to Naples. Going to the Amalfi Coast could mean several transfers – Naples to Sorrento, Sorrento to Positano, Positano to Amalfi, Amalfi back to Sorrento, Sorrento back to Naples. It may be easier to be sure you’re able to squeeze it all in by booking a day tour of the coast from Naples, or picking two spots to visit (Sorrento and Positano, for instance). If you’re doing a DIY tour, the thing to make absolutely sure of before you head off is the transportation times – you’ll want to know when the boats/buses/trains leave each place so you don’t miss the last one. πŸ™‚

  • catherine

    thank you for the input. i am leaving out the amalfi coast because it has too many transfers for a day trip.

    will be doing naples to sorrento then sorrento to procida and procida to naples for a more relaxing daytrip

  • Joe

    Hi Jessica, first of all I’d just like to say this website is giving me loads of help planning our itinerary, we our staying in Sorrento at the start of may. I can’t seem to find any info on travelling to Ischia and back and would really like to spend a day there, I assume there is a regular ferry service from naples or sorrento hopefully?

  • Paula Psaila Soler

    My family and I, 4 in all, will be visiting Naples for a day whilst cruising on the NCL Epic. We should be there on Tuesday 4th June and have 8 hours maximum to sightsee, 09.00-17.00.

    Could you kindly advice us, the best way to fit in the most important sights in the time we have available. We are prepared to walk, but do not want a strenous day.

    Many thanks and regards

    Paula

  • Harriet

    Hi Jessica my husband and I are planning a 2 week holiday Naples region – Not too sure where to book accomodation to be nearby for main attractions. Our flights arrive at Naples, we would ideally like a mixture of sightseeing and opportunities to laze and soak up the sunshine within a country setting your suggestions would be much appreciated,
    Thank You

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