Where to Stay in Naples, Italy First Time: 9 BEST Areas

The best areas to stay in Naples for first-timers are the neighborhoods of Centro Storico, Chiaia, Piazza del Plebiscito, Quartieri Spagnoli, Lungomare Caracciolo, Port of Naples, near the train station. These are the popular districts for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities. In this post, I will help you to decide where to stay in Naples for the first time, and the safest area to stay in Naples.

Originally settled in the 1st millennium B.C by the Greeks, Naples is one of the oldest continually inhabited locations in the world. With a population of 975,000, this birthplace of pizza is the third-largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan.

Located in southwest Italy on the coast by the Gulf of Naples, Naples is a good base to explore Sorrento, Capri, Ischia, Procida, and the Amalfi Coast. There are numerous cultural and historical sights nearby including the Palace of Caserta, Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the famous volcano, Mount Vesuvius.

Old Town, also known as the historic center is the best place to stay in Naples for the first time due to its prime location. if you book a hotel here, you will be located in the heart of Naples, within walking distance to all the historical sights, as well as restaurants and bars where you can try famous Neapolitan pizza. The main train station is just a short ride away!

Naple is safe for tourists. But like other big cities, you should use common sense and take the some precautions, especially in areas like the Garibaldi Central Station and Spanish Quartier. If you want to stay in one of the safest areas to stay in Naples, look into the historic city centre, Chiaia, Piazza del Plebiscito, and Vomero.

You can easily reach Naples by car, by train with three main stations: Central Station in Piazza Garibaldi, the Mergellina and Campi Flegrei station; and by air via the Naples international airport.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Centro Storico
💎 Best luxury hotel:Decumani Hotel De Charme
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Relais Della Porta
💰 Best budget hotel:MelRose Napoli

🎬 To get an overall idea of where to stay in Naples, check out this short video:

Best Areas To Stay In Naples, Italy for tourist

1. Old Town, where to stay in Naples for first-timers

Centro Storico, where to stay in Naples for first time tourists

Old Town is the best area to stay in Naples for first-time travelers because it is the most convenient location and it is home to the most famous tourist attractions. If you book a hotel here, you will be located in the middle of verything, within walking distance to the top sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

Located in the heart of Naples, Centro Storico, is also known as the Old Town, Decumani, or the historic center. Covering 1,700 hectares, this well-preserved area is the largest historic center in Europe and is the UNESCO World Heritage site.

This is the part of the city that draws the majority of the tourists in, as it is known for providing many of the most legendary attractions Naples has to offer. Magnificent Baroque Churches, squares, shrines, and museums, all dating back to the Roman era, fill ancient, narrow cobbled streets, beneath which mazes of underground Greco-Roman ruins provide even more incredible things to see.

Among the most prominent attractions are the Basilica Di Santa Chiara, a recreation of the original 14th- century cloistered church that was destroyed during the 2nd world war, and the Capella Sanservo, a beautiful chapel, filled with sculptures and works of art.

Perhaps its most impressive attraction is the Naples Cathedral (Duomo di San Gennaro), a stunning, 13th-century piece of architecture. It is filled with glorious works of art and mosaics, as well as the Royal Chapel Of The Treasure Of San Gennaro and its beautiful altars.

The cathedral is also known for the “Miracle Of The Blood” phenomenon, in which a vial of blood belonging to Saint Januarius is said to re-liquefy at 3 occasions each year. To one side of the cathedral is the oldest chapel in Naples, the 4th-century Basilica Santa Restituta with excellent ceiling frescoes and columns from a Roman temple.

There are several churches around the cathedral including the 14th century Gothic Santa Maria Donnaregina, the Baroque churches of San Paolo Maggiore, and San Filippo Neri. You can also visit an archeological site underneath the restored Gothic church of San Lorenzo Maggiore to learn more about the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and medieval civilization.

Piazza Bellini is a charming square with exposed ruins in the middle of the piazza. Nearby you will find Teatro Bellini, a private theater and opera just across the street from the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples on Via Conte di Ruvo.

Located just off Naple’s great public gathering spots, Piazza del Mercato is the Piazza del Carmine with its famous Basilica of the Carmine Maggiore. The Mercato area becomes a real shopping center during the Christmas period. The church is one of the most particular examples of Neapolitan baroque in the city: built in the Angevin era with Gothic style, transformed into baroque in the eighteenth century. 

The church holds the annual Festa del Carmine every May in celebration of the patron saint, starting with a solemn procession of the icon through the streets of the neighborhood, which turns into a party in the piazza where everyone is welcome.

Outside of the historic attractions, the area is also filled with bars, restaurants, shops, and live music venues. You can try many cusine here such as Neapolitan pizza, tiramisu, and wine! This gives you the opportunity to mix up your visit and combine both the modern and historic cultures of the city into every single day of your stay. 

Centro Storico has plenty of accommodations that suits all kind of travelers, from cheap backpacker hostels, to family-friendly, traditional, stylish, and luxury hotels.

Stay in Centro Storico you are a first-time traveler; you prioritize seeing the city’s most historic sights, you enjoy quality bars and restaurants, you don’t want to hire a car; you have only one night in Naples;

Best places to Stay in Centro Storico:


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2. Chiaia, upscale district, one of the safest place to stay in Naples

We move now to the district immediately south of the Spanish Quarter, Chiaia. One of the most affluent districts in the city with full of high-end shopping and stylish bars, this is a great spot for those looking to enjoy a slightly more upmarket visit to Naples.

Despite being slightly further away from the historic center of the city, Chiaia still has plenty of its own attractions to offer. More than a dozen historic churches are scattered around, surrounding a number of more featured locations.

The Fontana del Sebeto, a monumental fountain; The Palazzo Ravaschieri di Satriano, a monumental palace, and the Villa Pignatelli, a 19th-museum, are all located within the district, while the Castel dell’ Ovo, a 12th-century castle and the oldest fortifications in the city, lies on a small island in the bay.

Possibly the most famous attraction in the area though is the Villa Comunale. Created in the late 18th-century as a royal garden, it was opened to the public after the unification of Italy in 1869, becoming the city’s largest park in the process, a distinction which it still holds to this day. 

Featuring beautiful, lush green gardens, scenic coastal roads and stunning fountains, you can easily get lost in your surroundings for an afternoon or more. It is even home to the Anton Dohrn Aquarium, a renowned scientific institution established a year after the park was opened to the public.

Lungomare Caracciolo is the seafront promenade of Naples where you can enjoy beautiful views of Mount Vesuvius and Castel dell’Ovo, its music, street vendors, and lovely bars, restaurants, and pizzerias.  

It is known as the most romantic setting in Naples, and it is common to see couples in love walking along or enjoying a meal. The seafront promenade (“lungomare”) stretches from the charming Marina Santa Lucia to the little port of Mergellina.

When you combine all of that with a district full of exclusive shops, bars, and restaurants, you get a location that is perfect for a cultured trip away, allowing you to sample a range of the finer things on offer in the city.

You can find accommodations in Chiaia with spacious rooms with sea views, gardens and rooftop terraces.

Stay in Chiaia if you are looking for the safest area to stay in Naples Italy for a more upmarket location, you want high-end shops, bars, and restaurants, you enjoy aquariums, you want to stroll through the city’s largest park.

Best places to stay in Naples in Chiaia:


3. Piazza del Plebiscito, where to stay in Naples for families

Piazza del Plebiscito is located right in the heart of the city, on the borders of both the Chiaia and Quartieri Spagnoli districts, close to Centro Storico and the sea. It is the safe area to book your accommodations for family!

Piazza del Plebiscito is the biggest piazza in Naples and is famous for being the main gathering spot for both locals and tourists. This large pedestrian area holds the occasion events or concerts.

The piazza was known as ‘Largo del Palazzo’, translating to the square of the palace, for the dominating Palazzo Reale and the Bourbon’s royal palace. Piazza del Plebiscito gets its name from the plebiscite held here in October in 1860, under the Kingdom of Two Sicily, to consent to the takeover of Italy.

The square is framed by four historic buildings, known as the Royal Palace, the Basilica of St. Francis of Paola,and the twin pastel palaces, Palazzo Della Prefettura and Palazzo Salerno.

The Palazzo Reale is a 17th-century royal palace, one of four palaces in the area that were used as residences by the Bourbon kings. The Basilica of San Francesco da Paola was built to mimic the world-famous Pantheon in Rome.

The excellent Teatro San Carlo is next door to the Royal Palace while the Galleria Umberto I, a stunning, late 19th-century building, is just across the road from that.

Important attractions such as the Castel Nuovo and Castel dell Ovo are both within walking distance while if you just stand where you are and gaze skywards you’ll find Castel Sant’Elmo which looks down onto the square. 

After sightseeing, you can visit bars and restaurants around the square’s historic buildings. Noteworthy spots include Naples’ favorite coffee bar, Gran Caffè Gambrinus, which is great for a quick snack and delicious local coffee.

It is also a great choice for people visiting with kids as well. The larger, more open spaces, as well as its vicinity to the inner city, will help you limit the time spent traveling and make it less of an issue when they do decide to go a little wild and act like kids.

Stay here if you are traveling with children; you want to witness some of the most important sites in Naples’ more recent history; you want centrally-based with plenty of hotels.

Best places to stay in Piazza del Plebiscito:


4. Quartieri Spagnoli, where to stay in Naples on a budget

Quartieri Spagnoli, where to stay in Naples on a budget

The Quartieri Spagnoli, or Spanish Quarter as it translates to, is located to southwest of the Centro Storico, near the Port Of Napoli.  It spans from the area west of the city’s main shopping thoroughfare, Via Toledo to the area below the hill leading up to Vomero.

Founded in the 16th-century to house Spanish garrisons and stop revolts from the Neapolitan people, their language is stronger here than anywhere in the world.

The Spanish Quarter is relatively modest in price and located adjacent to the very heart of the historic center of the city. It’s also within walking distance from Piazza Plebiscito, Italy’s biggest opera house- Teatro San Carlo, and the Galleria Umberto I. 

This makes it a perfect choice for anyone who wants to explore the historic side of Naples but needs to do so on a budget.  And for those who want to experience an authentic slice of Neapolitan life in this bustling district,

The main draw in the area is the incredible collection of churches, with more than 16 historic offerings dotted around, for enthusiasts and tourists alike to explore and marvel in the beauty. The Sant’Anna di Palazzo, the 1560 Santa Maria Della Mercede a Montecalvario, Chiesa di Santa Maria Francesca are the popular ones.

You will also find one of the most incredible buildings in all of the city here, as this is the location of the medieval Castel Nuovo (Maschio Angioino). It was built in 1279 and subsequently rebuilt two centuries later. Featuring 5 individual towers, visitors will be in awe at its glory, both inside and out, before climbing to its top to take in some stunning views of the city. If you are a keen photographer, you will get plenty of opportunities to use your camera here and along the shores. 

The Port of Naples (Pier Beverelli) is one of the oldest ports of the entire Mediterranean Sea. From here you can take ferries to Ischia, Capri, and Procida – the islands of the Gulf of Naples, and Sorrento, Ravello, Positano, Amalfi – resort towns in Amalfi Coast.

Then, when you think you have seen everything there is on offer, a whole new world will open up underneath the city. Geothermal tunnels and catacombs are just waiting to be explored, which will give you an entirely new perspective on the city and its history.

If you want to learn the history of Naples since the Greek times, visit the nearby National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale). It displays a huge collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, and artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Stand at the beginning of Via Toledo is a beautiful square, Piazza Dante, which is named after its large statue of the Italian poet, Dante Alighieri. You can enjoy stunning surrounding buildings and visit the quaint bookstores and small bars and restaurants in the small alley Via Port’Alba.

While attractions are always important when selecting a destination, there are other things on people’s checklists that this location is ideal for as well, such as cost and location.

It is also worth noting that the area is known for its incredible restaurants, traditional trattorias, and pizzerias, meaning this is a perfect spot to experience the local cuisine of the city, even for those who can’t afford to splash out on a high-end restaurant.

You can easily find affordable accommodations around Quartieri Spagnoli. There are the form of guest houses, bed & breakfast, and 3-star traditional hotels.

Stay in Quartieri Spagnoli if you’re looking for where to stay in Naples for two nights. you are a big fan of churches, you are working on a budget, you want to be near the center of the city, you want to sample the cuisine of the city;

Best places to stay in Naples in Quartieri Spagnoli:


5. Port of Naples, staying near ferries

Port of Naples, where to stay in Naples near ferries

If you have only one night in Naples and plan to travel by ferries, Molo Carlo Pisacane, or Port of Naples, is the best base for you. This is also one the safe neighborhoods to stay in Naples. Located in the south area of the city, it is one of the largest ports in Italy and the Mediterranean.

Porto Napoli has a cruise terminal is known as Stazione Maritima. The ferries and hydrofoils to the Gulf of Naples (Ischia, Capri, and Procida), Sorrento Peninsula (Amalfi, Sorrento, Positano), Salerno, Sicily, Sardinia, and the Pontine Islands depart from the port area of Molo Beverello.

You are also within walking distance to the historical churches, palaces, and famous attractions such as the San Carlo opera house, the Piazza del Plebiscito, the Castel Nuovo, Piazza del Municipio, and Neapolitan Quartieri Spagnoli.

Piazza del Municipio is one of the most important squares in Naples due to its proximity to the of the main tourist routes New castle, cruise port, historical center, San Giacomo palace, and a Via Toledo. The piazaa is surrounded by the Mercadante Theater, the Bank of Italy Palace, the Banco di Roma headquarters, the Grand Hotel de Londres, and the maritime station.

It is where you find Neptune Fountain, which was built during the Spanish viceroy by Giovanni Domenico D’Auria following a design by Domenico Fontana, the Swiss architect. It relocated to this square in 2014 due to the construction of the Municipio underground station nearby.

Behind the fountain lies the Palazzo Municipale, the town hall which was commissioned by the Bourbon King Ferdinand I and now the seat of the local government of Naples. Adjacent to it is the castle Maschio Angioino, also known as Castel Nuovo, the new castle, built by King Charles of Anjou.

Port of Naples is a great place to stay if you plan to take a ferries; you want to stay in the hotels with ocean views. You can find cheaper accommodation around Piazza del Municipio and more expensive if you want to stay near the waterfront.

Best places to stay in Port of Naples:


6. Lungomare Caracciolo, beautiful waterfront neighborhood

Lungomare Caracciolo, beautiful waterfront neighborhood

Lungomare Caracciolo is named after Via Caracciolo seafront street. This 3 km seafront starts from from Via Nazario Sauro in Santa Lucia to Mergellina, and ends at via Caracciolo.

Here you will find important points of interest like the Villa Comunale, the Riviera di Chiaia area, Via Santa Lucia with the famous church of Santa Lucia, the area of Borgo Marinaio which is home to a beautiful little port with bars and fresh fish restaurants and the Castel dell Ovo.

Lungomare Caracciolo has four ways Lungomare Caracciolo, via Partenope, via Caracciolo, and via Mergellina. Stroll along these promenades and enjoy the views of Mount Vesuvius, the island of Capri and Ischia. 

On the via Nazario Sauro which stretches from Santa Lucia pier to Castel dell’Ovo, you can find well-known restaurants and luxury hotels such as the Hotel Miramare and the Grand Hotel Santa Lucia.

On the Via Partenope, you can find renowned seafront restaurants and pizzerias like Vesi Pizzagourmet and Sorbillo Lievito Madre al Mare, and brand hotels such as the Grand Hotel Vesuvio and the Royal Continental Hotel.

via Caracciolo near the Villa Comunale offers beautiful views of the Posillipo and Vomero hills. Here you will find the Rotonda Diaz and General Armando Diaz.

Meanwhile, the via Mergellina connects Caracciolo to Piedigrotta, at the base of the Posillipo hill. Here you will find the Port of Mergellina, the lighthouse, and the famous chalets with coffee, ice cream.

Lungomare Caracciolo hosts numerous events such as  America’s Cup, the Davis Cup, sailing championships, the New Year events.

You can easily reach Lungomare Caracciolo by train, the nearest metro station is Mergellina in line 2; and there are buses that go through Via Marina and stop in Santa Lucia.

Lungomare Caracciolo offers high-end accommodations, with ocean views. it is a great area for a romantic getaway.

Best places to stay in Lungomare Caracciolo:


7. Vomero, where to stay in Naples for nightlife

Vomero, where to stay in Naples for nightlife

Located to the west of Quartieri Spagnoli and north of Chiaia, Vomero is located on a hilltop and is best known for its medieval fortress, Castel Sant’Elmo. With its high-up location, it provides some of the most stunning views in the city, including vistas of the city, Mount Vesuvius, the Gulf of Naples, and the Tyrrhenian Sea. 

While visiting the castle, you can explore the surrounding area including the Pedamentina in San Martino, Certosa e Museo di San Martino, the Neapolitan Museum, and the Belvedere San Martino. You can take the funicular cable car on Piazza Montesanto to the top of the hill. The funicular journey up is pretty spectacular too.

This already makes it a beautiful and cultured location, which is only furthered by other surrounding attractions, such as a number of churches, monuments, and museums. However, despite all of that, it isn’t necessarily culture and beauty that will draw people to this region.

That’s because Vomero has developed a reputation for its thriving nightlife scene. With a range of bars and restaurants from the streets around Piazza Vanvitelli, this is a district that has something to offer each and every night of the week.

Piazza Fuga has some cool lounge bars, and Via Aniello Falcone is a long road filled with bars too. You’ll find a historic market in the Rione Antignano area which is especially good at Christmas.

It is however worth noting that anyone coming here for the nightlife needs to be ready to pay for it, as it is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. This also makes it a perfect destination for anyone looking for a more exclusive vacation.

There are a good range of mid-range accommodation options and luxury hotels in Vomero.

Stay in Vomero if you want nightlife; you want to be in a safe area; You aren’t too worried about price;

Best places to stay in Naples in Vomero:


8. Posillipo, wealthy residential area in Naples

Posillipo, a wealthy residential area in Naples

Posillipo is located to the south-east of the historic centre, on the northern coast of the Gulf Of Naples. A  wealthy residential area, removed from the built-up confines of the city centre, this hilly peninsula is a destination perfect for those looking to explore some of the history of the area and witness some stunning coastal views, without worrying about mobs of tourists at every turn.

Climb to the hill in Posillipo you will have the best views of Mount Vesuvius from its top.

The biggest draw to the area is the Pausilypon Archaeological Park, which is known locally as one of the most beautiful places in the city. It is also home to the Posillipo Market, which opens on Thursdays.

Among its most prominent features are the Imperial Villa, a 1st-century B.C structure, featuring a 2000 seat theatre; and the Tunnel Of Sejanus, a 770-metre long path through the cave of Sejanus, which joins the Imperial Villa to the other ruins in the area.

Beyond those, the site also contains the ruins of the House Of The Spirits, the School Of Virgil, a Roman Aqueduct, as well as other villas, baths and monuments.

While the area has been left largely untouched around the ruins, a few more modern attractions are present, including the Villa Rosebery, the residence of Italian presidents during their stays in Naples, and the Mausoleo Schilizzi, a mausoleum dedicated to those who gave their life for their country.

Staying Posillipo, you will also be close to the Fuorigrotta neighborhood. Fuorigrotta is home to the famous Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, a good place for sport lovers.

Combine all of this and you’ve got the recipe for a magical stay in a beautiful, historical part of the city, that you can enjoy at a slightly slower pace than elsewhere. You can choose to stay at its guest houses and B&B.

Stay in Posillipo If you want to sightsee without all the crowds, you prefer a more residential, less developed location, you are particularly interested in Roman ruins, you love stunning coastal views.

Best Places to Stay in Naples in Posillipo:


9. Naples Central Station, staying near train station

If you just stop over in Naple for one night before traveling to others destinations, I suggest staying near the train station. Central Station (Napoli Centrale) is located next to the Centro Storico, a popular area with the station itself worth seeing. An obvious place to make a base for any holiday is a transport hub. That applies here and the neighborhood is hectic, crowded, and noisy.

Centrale is connected to the Napoli Piazza Garibaldi underground station which is served by Metro Line 2 and the Circumvesuviana trains that link Naples with Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento, and other towns in the region.

There are also rains to Rome which is 1 hour 10 minutes, to Florence which is 2.5 hours, and to Salerno to Naples which is a 35-minute. There buses to Capodichino Airport, depart every 15 minutes.

50 million passengers a year use the station and Piazza Garibaldi is never quiet. You will find plenty to see and do. Boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment venues fill the district. 

Attractions nearby are Porta Capuana, Piazza San Francesco a Capuana, and Piazza del Mercato Square.

The best accommodation for someone new to Naples is right on the Piazza itself. There are plenty of places to choose from and they include B&Bs and apartments as well as a few hotels. If you are on a budget, Stazione Centrale may just be the place for you.

Stay in Stazione Centrale if You want to be close to a transport hub; you’re looking for where to stay in Naples, Italy for one night; A noisy environment is no problem to you; You are happy with the choices of accommodation.

Where to stay in Naples for first time visitors?

Naples Old Town is the best place to stay in Naples for tourists, especially first time visitor. Booking hotel in this historic center, you will be within walking distance to the most famous tourist attractions in the city. There also plenty of hotel options, restaurants, and bar nearby.

What are the safest areas to stay in Naples?

The areas frequented by tourists are all safe. If you are searching for the safest areas in Naples, look into the historic center, Chiaia, and Vomero. They are both tourist areas with plenty of things to do but as you travel to any other city, it’s essential to be aware of surroundings and avoid the Central Railway Station and the Quartieri Spagnoli at late night.

Check out my virtual tour of the best places to stay in Naples in this video:

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Naples is a fantastic city, just bursting with incredible history, culture and architecture. While there are certainly a handful of districts that will be preferred by most, there is so much to offer city wide that there really isn’t a bad place to go, it all just depends on what you are looking for.

Overall, The Old Town is the best area to stay in Naples because it is the heart of the city and it has a wide range of accommodation options that suit all budget travelers. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of action, within walking distance from many tourist attractions, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops.

Hopefully, this article will have helped you decide where to stay in Naples to match your own needs, so all that’s left is for you to start getting things booked, so you can experience it all for yourself.

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