A weekend in Naples: city break itinerary

Piazza del Plebiscito in the historic centre of Naples.

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Naples, or Napoli, is a bustling Italian city with an identity all of its own. Sitting in the shadow of the mighty Mount Vesuvius, the city is ideally located for exploring this area of Southern Italy.

The people here love their football, it’s the birthplace of pizza, and it’s home to amazingly-preserved Roman ruins. All of this was enough to make me want to visit! Read on to find out more about city breaks in Naples.

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Sam standing on the back steps of a Jet2 aeroplane raising one arm in the air.

How to get to Naples

Most major airports in the UK fly into Naples International Airport. Flights to Naples from Manchester take around two hours and 40 minutes.

Naples is also easily accessible by train and bus from other European cities.

We went to Naples on a Jet2CityBreak with flights from Manchester Airport. Jet2CityBreaks are package holidays where the flights and hotel are included.

They are ATOL protected, and you have the peace of mind that you can contact Jet2 if anything goes wrong, which you can’t do if you have booked everything separately.

Booking a package like this with flights and accommodation can often save you money. Luggage is also included, and you get a huge allowance of 22kg.

I’m always trying to save money on my flights by not taking additional luggage, so this was a big bonus for me. No more struggling to fit all my outfits into a tiny hand luggage case!

As well as city breaks to Naples and other Italian city breaks, Jet2 offers trips to a range of European destinations including Prague, Palma, and Budapest.
 A cityscape of Naples with a view of the castle on the hill above the city.

Getting around in Naples

Naples has a range of public transport options to choose from, including city buses, funicular lines, regional buses, train lines, and a metro system. Lots of the main attractions are also within walking distance.

I would only recommend driving a car in Naples if you are a very experienced driver and have driven in Italy before. The driving here is definitely the craziest I’ve seen!

I couldn’t even begin to work out the rules here, there seemed to be no giving way on roundabouts, and if any cars hesitated for even the tiniest of seconds, they got beeped at. It’s also super busy in the city centre, so getting anywhere might take a while.

One thing to note is that there is no Uber or Bolt here. Instead, there is a local taxi service.

We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel (a little out of the city centre in the bay). The ride was around 25 minutes and cost about 35 euros.

Things to do in Naples

Naples was somewhere I hadn’t really considered as a city break before. You hear less about it than other Italian cities like Rome and Venice, and when I arrived, I soon learned that it was very different from these.

It’s busy and bustling, and at first glance, it looks a bit run down. There is lots of street art, graffiti, and some litter, but don’t judge a book by its cover.

There’s plenty to do and see here, the people are super friendly, and the city has a vibrant atmosphere that you can’t help but be swept up in.

Free walking tour

My favourite thing to do in any new city is to take a free walking tour. Seeing Naples with an expert local guide is a great way to get your bearings and to learn more about the history and culture of the city.

The free walking tour of Naples takes you around the historic sights of the city including Port’Alba, Piazza Bellina, and the via dei Tribunali, the oldest street in Naples.

Book a free walking tour of Naples

The Maradona Mural in Naples

Maradona Mural

A must-visit for any football fan is the Maradona Mural. You can find it at the top of Via Emanuele in the Spanish Quarter of Naples.

Obviously, English football fans aren’t that keen on him after the Hand of God incident. Still, Neapolitans absolutely love him as he helped Napoli win the league twice, the Coppa Italia, and the UEFA Cup.

We visited when Napoli was going to win Serie A, so it was even more crowded than usual here. The streets were packed with people, there were street vendors selling shots of limoncello and Maradona merchandise, and there was a real party atmosphere – even at 2 o’clock in the afternoon!
The ornate interiors of Naples Cathedral.

Naples Cathedral

Naples has 450 churches and religious buildings, from small chapels to massive cathedrals. Naples Cathedral is one of the grandest. It’s free to go in and look around, and the inside is really impressive, with lots of decadent decoration, huge arches, and fantastic artwork.

There is also a museum where you can learn more about the cathedral.

Archaeological Museum

We actually didn’t get a chance to do this while we were in Naples, as the queues were too long, but it was something that we wanted to do. The museum is full of artefacts found at Pompeii and Herculaneum, so it’s the perfect place to visit if you’ve been to the Roman ruins or are interested in archaeology.

I recommend booking tickets in advance if you want to go here so you can get in without queueing.
Castel Nuovo in Naples.

Castel Nuovo

Castel Nuovo was initially built in 1282 and is a large Medieval Renaissance fortress next to the harbour. Its name means new castle, and it is also called Maschio Angioino or Angevin Keep.

It has five round towers and imposing stone walls, making it an impressive sight.

Inside you can visit the chapel, view the historic frescoes and look at the Roman ruins beneath the glass floor in the armoury hall.
Sam standing on the edge of the waterfront, looking over to Castel dell'Ovo.

Castel dell’Ovo

Located on the Gulf of Naples, Castel dell’Ovo has been a prison and a royal residence in its previous life. It is the oldest standing fortification in Naples, taking its name from an ancient myth.

In the legend, the Roman poet Virgil hid a magical egg in the castle grounds.

He said Naples would suffer from awful catastrophes if the egg were broken. The castle’s name means Egg Castle in English.

You can stroll around this impressive fortification and head inside to learn more about its history.

Piazza del Plebiscito in the historic centre of Naples.

Piazza del Plebiscito

The Piazza del Plebiscito is a large square in the historic centre of Naples. Designed in the early 19th century, the square was originally intended to be a tribute to Napoleon.

However, this changed along with the politics of the time.

It was then named after the plebiscite that brought Naples into the Kingdom of Italy. The piazza is home to a beautiful basilica, Francesco di Paola, and the Royal Palace.
Galleria Umberto I, a beautiful shopping centre in Naples.

Galleria Umberto I

If you’ve visited the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, you’ll know all about beautiful shopping centres. This one in Naples is super similar to the one in Milan with its high ceilings, arches, and domes.

It seems more like a religious building than a shopping centre.

If you fancy a bit of retail therapy while in Naples, this is the place to go. Inside you’ll find high-end designer shops, souvenir shops, and places to grab a gelato or a coffee.

Pizza and aperol spritz on a table.

Eat pizza

Of course, you can’t visit the birthplace of pizza without sampling at least a couple of them! I had pizza every single day while we were there, and each one was delicious.

We found that the simpler, the better on this trip – you can’t go wrong with a simple margarita. The combination of the fresh tomato sauce with the creamy mozzarella, all atop the thinnest base, is just spectacular!

A few famous pizza places are said to do the best pizza in Naples – L’antica Pizzeria da Michele, Sorbillo, and Pizzeria Gorizia 1916. However, we ate pizza from lots of different places, and they were all amazing, so I don’t think you can go far wrong.

Another great thing is that they are so cheap, ideal for travelling on a budget. A margarita pizza will set you back between 5-7 euros, with the prices increasing when you add toppings to the mix.

The view over Naples from Mount Vesuvius.

Day trips from Naples

Naples is ideally situated for visiting other interesting places in the area. It’s close to the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the magnificent Mount Vesuvius, and the stunning Sorrento and Amalfi Coast.

No matter your interests, there’s something for you to see here.

The gladiator training arena at Pompeii.


Buried in the ash and rocks from the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii is a ruined Roman city. It is accessible from Naples via train, or if you don’t fancy getting there yourself, you can book a day trip to Pompeii with pick up from your hotel.

You’ll get a two-hour tour with a guide during the guided tour, or you can explore the ruins yourself with an audio guide.

It’s an awe-inspiring sight and so big you might need a week to see everything, the city is 6 square kilometres. Although discovered after Herculaneum, much more of Pompeii has been excavated because the city was covered by rock and ash rather than lava flow.

You’ll see the main square, the public baths, Roman villas, shopping streets, the amphitheatre, and more. There are even brothels!

My favourite part was finding the bar(!) and learning more about the wine they drank then. It was mixed with water and honey as it was so strong.

The main square at Pompeii.

We couldn’t believe how well-preserved some of the paintings and mosaics were. Walking through the streets, you could really place yourself back in Roman times and imagine everyone going about their daily business in Pompeii.

Pompeii is a definite must-visit when in Naples.
Sam standing at the top of the crater of Mount Vesuvius.

Mount Vesuvius

The large volcano which towers above the city of Naples is called Mount Vesuvius. Its most famous eruption in 79AD buried the city of Pompeii, but it has also been very active since then, last erupted during the war in 1944.

Mount Vesuvius is a dormant volcano, meaning the crater is closed but could erupt at any time. Apparently, it is well overdue an eruption, and it is impossible to predict exactly when it will erupt.

But don’t worry – there will be warning signs!

We did a day trip that included Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius in one day. A yummy pizza lunch was included, or you could opt for wine tasting as well, and we thought it was a really good trip.

The bus dropped us off around 200m from the top of the volcano, and we walked the rest of the way to the top. The walk is quite steep, so not suitable for everyone, but anyone who is reasonably fit will be able to manage it easily.

The closed crater at the top of Mount Vesuvius in Italy.

The crater was huge, and steam was coming from various places in the rock. It was an incredible sight, and we enjoyed the walk up and the various views along the way.

At the top is a gift shop and cafe where you can even grab a wine to drink on the way back down if you fancy it. Once you’ve seen enough, it’s time to head back down.
View of Positano on the Amalfi Coast from the other side of the bay.

Amalfi Coast

I’ve wanted to visit the Amalfi Coast for so long after seeing so many pictures of the beautiful towns built on the hillsides of the coast. When I learned that you could take a day trip there from Naples, this was top of my list of things to do.

You can easily get to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast by train from the city centre. We took an organised day trip to the Amalfi Coast with stops in Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.

I really enjoyed seeing these beautiful towns in real life, and they definitely didn’t disappoint. I just can’t wait to spend longer there!
The ruined Roman city of Herculaneum, seen from above.


Not as famous as Pompeii, Herculaneum is another Roman city ruined by Pompeii’s eruption. Unlike Pompeii, it was covered completely with the lava flow from the volcano, not ash and rock.

Because of this, some parts of the city are even better preserved.

It is much smaller than Pompeii, and only a fraction of the city has been excavated because some of it lies underneath modern houses built before they knew anything was there.

None of the public buildings here have been excavated, so it is primarily residential houses and shops that you can see. Some are so well preserved that even the original wooden beams can be seen.

Again, it’s an easy train ride from the city centre of Naples to Herculaneum, but you can also book a half-day tour. With the tour, you get a guide for two hours, and our guide was brilliant.

She was so knowledgeable and really brought the ruins to life.
The reception area at Hotel Paradiso in Naples.

Where to stay in Naples

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to where to stay. There are so many places to stay with Jet2holidays, including the Best Western Hotel Paradiso where we stayed.

This hotel is in the Posillipo area of the city. Inside it was lovely, bright, and modern but with elements of the traditional, like the decorative floor tiles in the reception area.

The view from the balcony at Hotel Paradiso of the sun rising over Mount Vesuvius.

The incredible view is the first thing you see when you walk into the reception area. You can see the harbour below and right across the bay, the whole city, and Mount Vesuvius.

We were lucky enough to have the same amazing view from our room too. It was incredible waking up to the sun rising over Vesuvius each morning.

A double bedroom at Hotel Paradiso in Naples.

Everything looked like it had been freshly decorated, and our rooms were cleaned daily. The staff couldn’t do enough for us from the moment we arrived, from taking our bags up to our room to booking us a taxi to the airport on our way home.

We had breakfast at the hotel every day, and it was a fantastic breakfast with hot and cold options. Highlights for me included the Italian meats, fresh bread, and mozzarella balls.

There were plenty of sweet treats, too, with pastries and different cakes on offer each day.

One of the breakfast buffet tables at Hotel Paradiso with ricotta, mini pizzas and fresh tomatoes.

The hotel is a bit of a way outside the city centre, but Jet2 offers plenty of options if you’d prefer to be more central. I was just completely sold on the incredible view.

Because of this, we chose day trips that included pick-up from our hotel, and we got taxis to and from the city centre when needed.

There are some bars and restaurants within walking distance. We also ate in the hotel restaurant one night, and the food was delicious. We particularly loved the prosciutto and mozzarella starter.

A prosciutto and mozzarella starter at the restaurant in Hotel Paradiso, Naples.

I really enjoyed my trip to Naples with Jet2CityBreaks. It was one of my favourite city breaks so far, and travelling with Jet2 made everything simple. We can’t wait to explore more of Italy!

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