Italy’s cities are packed full of cultural treasures, Naples being no different. The great thing about them? They don’t have to cost you a fortune to explore. We have compiled a list of our favourite free things to do in Naples – saving you extra pennies for more of that famous pizza.
Explore the historic centre
At the heart of Naples is its historic centre, which luckily for us (and you) is free to explore. Spend hours wandering the narrow alleyways that lead to churches, ancient catacombs and underground caves. The historic centre is old, but incredibly well preserved – so much so, UNESCO took it under its wing.
Marvel at the Duomo
A visit to Naples wouldn’t be complete without stepping foot in its main Duomo. Although the stunning cathedral has undergone renovations over the years, it originally dates back to the 4th century. The Duomo’s real wow factor is its interior, boasting impressive Neo-Gothic style architecture. The Duomo is renowned for the Cappella di San Gennaro (Chapel of St Janarius) and the two phials of San Gennaro’s liquefied blood that are housed there.
Whether it’s to shelter from the weather (hot or cold) or to learn a thing or two, Naples has its fair share of museums – just make sure you visit on a Monday. One of Italy’s leading contemporary art galleries, the MADRE Museum of Contemporary Art offers free entry on Mondays, so take the opportunity to explore three storeys of superb contemporary art in the heart of old Naples.
Walk Christmas Alley
Despite its name, Christmas Alley is not just for Christmas. This charming street has shopping opportunities aplenty, but is also a sight in itself. Via San Gregorio Armeno (to give it its ‘real’ name) is lined with artisan workshops, all working to build statues and nativity scenes year-round.
Wander Park Virgilian
Park Virgilian offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of Naples’ main centre. This green oasis is dedicated to the Roman poet Virgil, who is buried in a tomb in the grounds. The park is also known as the Park of Remembrance, in honour of the fallen warriors of World War I. The gardens themselves are gorgeous, however the main reason to visit is for the terraces, which offer stunning panoramic views across the Bay of Naples.
See Piazza del Plebiscito
This 19th-century piazza is the perfect place for an afternoon of exploration. The two main features lining the piazza are the Royal Palace and the Neo-classical façade of the Church of San Francesco di Paola. The piazza is free to wander around, but you may want to put your hand in your pocket for a gelato or two.