There are many incredible day trips from Naples that you can take – whatever your interests and budget, and regardless of the season you are visiting. The capital of Campania is an excellent base to explore some of the most famous archeological sites in Italy; a plethora of charming coastal towns; royal palaces and nearby islands, and much more. In fact, you could spend months in Naples and never be quite done exploring.
Not sure where to start looking? Don’t worry. I have been to Naples and its surroundings, and I am happy to tell you everything about the best places you can visit on day trips from Naples. I will share information on how to get there independently and – when necessary – tip about the best guided tours.
The Best Day Trips From Naples
Caserta Royal Palace
This is one of the biggest royal residences in the world with 1200 rooms and it took many years to build at a cost of over $300 billion so it’s also quite lavish. I’m talking about the Caserta Royal Palace which is located only 20 miles (31 kilometers) north of Naples and is one of the top places to visit on day trips from Naples.
The palace was built in the mid-1700s by famed architect Luigi Vanvitelli. Today, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 11 acres of grounds to explore. Beautiful gardens, pools, fountains and buildings featuring stunning architecture are some of the things you’ll see. But the most amazing feature of the property is the massive succession of fountains and pools that extend for over 1.9 miles (three kilometers) from the main palace to a waterfall in the nearby wooded area.
There are regular trains departing from Naples to Caserta. The journey takes about 40 minutes and tickets only cost €3,40. You can get them on Trenitalia. The train station in Caserta is literally in front of the Royal Palace. The palace is actually massive, so you will be better off taking a guided tour. I took this one for sale on Tiqets and truly appreciated our guide Alessia – she is very knowledgeable and passionate about the region!
For a guided tour of Caserta Royal Palace, including tickets, click here.
Situated along high cliffs on the Sorrentine Peninsula along the Bay of Naples, Sorrento is a scenic town full of historical and cultural attractions. A walk down the town’s old streets gives a taste of laid-back Italian coastal life and Leonelli’s Beach is where you can slip into the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
Some of the great attractions you’ll find on your adventure around Sorrento include the 14th-century Chiesa di San Francesco, Villa Communale, Museo della Tarsia Lignea, Punta del Capo Ruins and Museum Correale di Terranova. You’ll find many shops, cafes and restaurants in the center of the town at Piazza Tasso.
To get from Naples to Sorrento, hop on a Circumvesuviana train from Napoli Centrale train station. There are regular departures. Once you are in Sorrento, you can easily explore on your own. Alternatively, you can join a guided walking tour. For more information, click here.
For guided day trips from Naples to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, click here.
The Amalfi Coast
At just over an hour’s drive away, the Amalfi Coast is a perfect destination for day trips from Naples – though granted, it deserves way more than a day. Renowned for its scenery consisting of high cliffs, quaint and colorful villages and rugged coastline, this stretch of stunning Mediterranean Coast in the southern region of the Sorrentine Peninsula is one of the top scenic drives in Italy.
This coast is so beautiful and culturally important that it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you drive along the sparkling blue sea, you’ll pass through the scenic towns of Atrani, Nerano, Ravello, Minori and Maiori, as well as obviously Amalfi and Positano. Top attractions include the Grotta dello Smeraldo and the ancient ruins of Villa Romana e Antiquarium. The Amalfi Coast is also home to many beautiful hiking trails and some of the country’s top restaurants, too.
For a guided hike along the Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei) departing from Sorrento, click here.
Ideally, the best way of appreciating the Amalfi Coast would be to drive yourself. In case you feel like it, you can rent a car in Naples – and check out the prices of car rental here. However, with terrible traffic during the peak months, the narrow windy road and parking being a nightmare, you may be reluctant to do that. In this case, you can hop on the Circumvesuviana train from Napoli central station to Sorrento, and then take the local bus to Positano and Amalfi.
For something even more comfortable, consider joining a guided tour of the Amalfi Coast departing from Naples. My friend and I opted for this option and truly enjoyed it. For more information, click here.
Positano is a Mediterranean paradise and the best thing about it for people visiting Naples is that it’s less than two hours away which makes it easy to spend a day there away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The cliffside location of Positano makes it one of the most scenic villages on the Amalfi Coast.
As you walk along the narrow streets you’ll find many boutique shops and eateries. The coastal areas have many pretty little beaches, including Marina Grande, Fornillo and Arienzo, where you can take a refreshing dip in the sea. Santa Maria Assunta and MAR Positano Archaeological Museum are some of the top attractions in the town. The Path of the Gods is a scenic hiking trail where you can enjoy spectacular views of the coast.
For a guided hike along the Path of the Gods departing from Sorrento, click here.
To get to Positano independently, take the Circumvesuviana train from Napoli central station to Sorrento, and then the local bus to Positano. Alternatively, once in Sorrento you can take a hop-on hop-off boat tour that goes to Positano and Amalfi. You can book that here or here.
Finally, you could also join a guided tour of the Amalfi Coast departing from Naples which stops in Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi. For more information, click here.
There are many islands to explore off the coast of Naples including beautiful Procida, the 2022 European Capital of Culture. The only way to get to this small island is by boat but that’s all part of the adventure! Another reason to pick Procida as your day trip destination? It’s significantly lesser known compared to Capri, which means it’s not nearly as crowded!
The island is mostly known for its brightly-colored buildings, cultural attractions and incredible sunsets. These are best enjoyed in one of the ocean-facing restaurants serving the seafood dishes that the island is also known for.
There are many lovely beaches on the island including Chiaiolella Beach, Cala del Pozzo Vecchio and Spiagga Chiaia. A number of historic sites and attractions, such as Palazzo d’Avalos, can also be found around the area.
To get to Procida, you’ll have to take the ferry from Naples tourist harbor Beverello. It takes about 40 minutes and there are regular departures throughout the day. Alternatively, you could join a guided tour. For more information, click here.
Every little island in the Gulf of Naples is unique in its own way. Ischia is a volcanic island best-known for its thermal springs. That being said, this pretty little island has many other things to offer, including beautiful beaches such as San Francesco Beach, Citara Beach and Maronti Beach, which is set to the backdrop of Aragonese Castle.
Of all the islands that can be visited on day trips from Naples, this is the one that’ll offer you the most authentic Italian experience. Its laid-back atmosphere and scenes of Vespas zooming along narrow streets and lack of modern commercialism will take you on a trip into the past when life was simpler. As you explore the island, you’ll find many attractions including Palazzo dell’Orologio, the Sea Museum, the Gardens of La Mortella, Villa la Colombaia, Pitthekoussai Archaeological museum and the Angelo Rizzoli museum.
To get to Ischia take the ferry or hydrofoil from Naples tourist harbor (Beverello, close to the Municipio and Maschio Angioino Castle). It takes about one hour and 15 minutes to get there. There are departures throughout the day. Alternatively, you can join a guided tour. For more information, click here.
If high-end shopping, opulent hotels, rugged coastline, world-class cuisine and a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous are what you are looking for during your day trips from Naples, Capri is the place for you! This world-renowned island in the Bay of Naples has so much to see and do, one day might not be enough!
Some of the top attractions around the island include Marina Piccola, Giardini di Augusto, Monte Colaro, Villa San Michele and the fascinating rock formation of Arco Naturale. Be sure to check out the scenic views along the Belvedere of Tragara, the Runs of the Imperial Roman Villas and the incredible Blue Grotto which is an underwater cave with glowing blue water. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings!
To get to Capri from Naples, take a ferry from Beverello harbor. There are regular departures throughout the day. The crossing takes approximately 40 minutes. You could also consider joining a guided tour. Most tours include a stop at the Blue Grotto. For more information, click here or here.
If it’s not one of the most intriguing historical sites in the world, Pompeii is certainly one of the most intriguing historical sites in Italy! This ancient city was destroyed in 79 A.D. when the mighty Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted and buried it in a thick layer of ash. It would be hundreds of years before it was uncovered again and what archaeologists found were the incredibly preserved final moments of the townspeople and evidence that Pompeii was once a very advanced society.
Today, Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that welcomes visitors to see these incredible discoveries. As you explore the area, you’ll wander down ancient streets lined with ancient ruins with wall writings that have stood the test of time and destruction. Some of the sites you’ll see include the Villa dei Misteri and the House of the Faun. However, the most intriguing, albeit haunting, thing you’ll see at Pompeii is the plaster casts of real people who were entombed in the fallen ash.
The archeological site of Pompeii is open daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (April to October) and from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (November to March). Admission is €16 and you must book it in advance. To get your tickets to Pompeii, click here or here.
Although not as well-known and smaller than Pompeii, Herculaneum is no less fascinating. This ancient town was also destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius, but its ruins are actually better-preserved. When it was rediscovered in the early 1700s, many items were recovered fully intact including furnishings, doors and ancient writing materials.
Archaeological evidence points to a prosperous community that was likely a coastal retreat for wealthy Romans. The House of Aristides, the House of the Genius, the College of the Augustales, Central Thermae and Villa of the Papyri are some of the sites you’ll see as you explore the ruins of Herculaneum.
The site is open daily from 8:30 am to either 5:00 or 7:30 pm depending on the season. It is closed on December 25th and January 1st. Admission is €11.
Located a little over an hour away from Naples, Paestum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another fascinating place to visit on day trips from Naples. It was a major city in ancient times, but today the ruins, which date back to around 500 BC, are a top historic site featuring well-preserved Greek temples, houses and piazzas.
Some of the top sites include the Tempio di Nettuno, the Tempio di Cerere and the Basilica. At the Paestum Museum, you’ll see many exhibits showcasing artifacts that were unearthed at the site.
The best way to get to Paestum independently is by train from Napoli Central Station. You can opt for a cheaper direct regional train (Regionale Veloce, marked as RV) which takes around one hour and 15 minutes, or an intercity train (also direct) which takes just one hour. There are regular departures throughout the day.
Mount Vesuvius is quiet now, but the mighty volcano that destroyed many towns, including Pompeii, is still very much an active volcano. Its looming form is the centerpiece of the scenic Bay of Naples and the immediate area around it is now a national park with many attractions including the hiking trails that lead to the top of the volcano.
At the summit, you’ll enjoy amazing views of the bay and you’ll walk around the crater and even get a look inside. The climb to the top is steep but easy – it tales about one hour there and back. It really is something that shouldn’t be missed on a visit to Naples. After your descent, be sure to check out the winery at the bottom of Vesuvius. The park is a great place to chill out for the day, admiring the scenery and enjoying a picnic surrounded by sparkling blue sea and farmland.
The park is open every day from 9:00 am. The last admission to walk to the crater is at 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 or 6:00 pm depending on the season. Admission is €10. You must get tickets in advance here.
The easiest way to get to Mount Vesuvius from Naples is by bus. The EAV bus departs from Piazza Piedigrotta in Naples. Alternatively, consider joining a guided tour that also includes transportation. You can book it here.
Campi Flegrei / Phlegrean Fields
Campi Flegrei, also called Phlegrean Fields in English, is another active volcano near Naples. Actually, it’s a supervolcano and the biggest one in Europe. As you explore the site and surrounding park, you’ll see the main caldera, 24 craters, the mud holes of the Fangaia and the main crater of Bocca Grande.
In ancient times, the volcano had mythical significance, but today it’s a top tourist attraction and 81-acre nature reserve where many birds, small animals and plants can be observed. In the vicinity, you’ll also find the Stufe which are small caves that fill with hot steam that were once used as saunas.
To get to the Campi Flegrei from Naples, hop on a Pozzuoli Solfatara bound train from Naples central station. The train takes 50 minutes and there are four departures per hour. Once there, consider joining a guided tour such as this one. For a tour that includes transportation from Naples click here.
It might only be nine miles (15 kilometers) away from Naples, but Bacoli is far enough to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a while! This is where you’ll find a mix of everything; coastal views, history, nature and world-class cuisine. However, it’s the Roman Ruins that the town is mostly known for.
Piscina Mirabilis, Centro Camerelle, Tomba Agrippina, Frazione of Miliscola and various villas and spas are some of the ruins you’ll see. Other area attractions include Aragonese Castle of Baia, Casina Vanvitelliana, the Archaeological Museum of Campi Flegrei and Cape Miseno. The Underwater Archaeological Park of Baia is an amazing place to see but you’ll need to get in the water with some snorkel gear to enjoy it! Alternatively, if you’re a certified diver, you can scuba dive to the site.
The easiest way of getting to Bacoli from Naples is by bus. Buses depart regularly from the bus station in Via Galileo Ferraris. You will need a bus headed to Bacoli / Torregaveta. The trip takes around one hour.
National Park of Cilento
Situated about an hour and a half away from Naples by car, the National Park of Cilento is one of the largest park areas in Italy and is the perfect place to go when you want to escape the noise and crowds of the city and immerse yourself in natural surroundings. The scenery in the park includes mountain peaks, rugged coastline, rolling hills, forest areas and pretty little fishing villages.
Wildlife viewing is a popular activity in the park and as you explore it, you might spot a fox, marten, badger, or wolf. Birdwatchers often observe peregrine falcons, golden eagles, hawks and owls. Some of the interesting attractions you’ll find in the area include Certosa of Saint Lawrence, Temple of Hara and Temple of Athena. At Velia, you can explore some ancient ruins and Cervati has some excellent hiking trails. If you have time, take a tour of the underground limestone caves at Pertosa-Auletta Caves.
This is one of the most difficult day trips from Naples to do on public transport. You will be significantly better off renting a car for the day! You can check out the prices of car rental here.
To better plan your trip to Naples, you should also read the following posts:
- Where To Stay In Naples
- A Guide To Renting A Car In Naples
- The Best Itinerary To See Naples In One Day