Follow my ultimate guide to 3 days in Naples and the Amalfi Coast. It’s possible to spend 24 hours in Naples if you’re short on time, but 3 days gives you a bit more flexibility to see some top sites in the city and maybe even to visit the Amalfi coast.
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Ultimate 3-Day Sample Itinerary to Naples and the Amalfi Coast
Give yourself a minimum of 3 days to enjoy Naples. Visiting the Amalfi coast will take about a day or so, while the other 2 days gives you time to leisurely explore the city of Naples. The sample itinerary below mixes walking activities, pizza and seafood restaurant visits, and a trip to the Amalfi coast (including Sorrento and Positano).
Day 1: City of Naples
Take a stroll through the city and stop by the Gallerie d’Italia to admire their permanent collection of Attic and Magna Graecia pottery. They also have a Caravaggio exhibition every now and then where you get to see the artist The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula and other works by his students. Then take a walk to the mall of Galleria Umberto I to admire its vaulted, glass ceilings and decorative floor. You can also treat yourself to some genuine, hand-made Italian leather goods here.
Visit the Royal Palace of Naples to see if there are any exhibitions on and also to admire the architecture. We were lucky to walk right into a huge book exhibit which gave us a chance to walk in the open courtyards of the palace. Right across the street is the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, a church built in the style of the Pantheon in Rome. It also has a beautiful dome with a portico in the centre and, as of October 2023, it’s still free to enter.
Then make sure to re-energize at happy hour (usually starts around 5PM) at one of the local bars where you’ll get snacks on the house with your drinks. Near the Royal Palace of Naples is a charming seafood joint called Attori e Spettatori. Sit down for some cold beer and snacks which could include fried calamari, fried bread balls, and even some Japanese crackers.
Then for dinner, head over to Gino Sorbillo for some local pizza. There’ll be a line up so be prepared to wait a bit and don’t forget to pair your pizza with one of the local red wines such as Lacryma Christi.
Day 2: Tour the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii
Speed boats leaving from the main ports of Naples can take you to Sorrento or Positano in about 45 minutes. Check FerryHopper for departure times and to buy tickets in advance (and don’t forget to check when’s the last trip back to the city of Naples).
You can definitely do a self-guided tour of the Amalfi coast, but I recommend buying a full-day Amalfi Coast tour with Viator instead if you only have a day to visit the Amalfi coast. The full day tour packages lasts about 8 hours and tour the Amalfi coast, Sorrento, Positano, and Pompeii.
Viator tour packages can save you time, money, and the hassle of transport. Yes, the tour can be a bit rushed because of all the sights you’ll see, but you’re getting a taste of all the best sights in one day.
Once you’re back in the city of Naples it’ll probably be dinner time. Take a break from pizza and try seafood at L’ostricaio. Sit on the terrasse if the weather allows it and enjoy fried cod for appetizers and a mixed seafood pasta for your main. Order the tiramisu for dessert (no exceptions!) as the restaurant makes one of the best versions of it.
Day 3: Tour Naples Underground
Day 2 of touring the Amalfi coast should’ve been exhilarating, yet probably exhausting. Take it easy on your last day by exploring the rest of Naples. The Napoli Sotterranea (Naples underground aqueducts) is a fun way to explore the city’s ancient aqueducts built by the Greeks which was also used as a bomb shelter during WWII.
The tour is also a great way to get out of the heat during the hotter months of the year. The tour also includes a visit to an ancient Greco-Roman theatre (where emperors Nero and Claudius used to perform) and on top of which now sits modern-day apartments.
The tour lasts a good 3 hours or so. Once you’re out, the statue of Pulcinella isn’t that far off so you’re welcome to rub his nose for good luck, if you’re so inclined. Assuming you like pizza and would like to have some more on your last day, pay a visit to Pizzeria da Attilio. Show up at least 30 minutes before opening time to line up for a spot. The pizzas here are truly perfect. The dough is chewy but not filling, and the ingredients are as fresh as they can be (especially the seafood toppings because the restaurant is located directly next to a fishmonger).
Then treat yourself to some gelato to finish off your 3 days in Naples on a high and sweet note.
Fly directly into Naples International Airport if your place of departure lands there. The high-speed trains are also easy and convenient if you’re already in Europe. Buy tickets online at one of the operators (such as ItaliaRail or TrenItalia) for an assigned seat and you might even score a few discounted business class tickets online, which come with snacks and wider leg room.
Where to Stay
Maison Dante de Charme is in a prime location almost directly across from a subway station (Dante’s Square) for easy access to transport. Naples streets are busy everywhere but this hotel is tucked just far enough away from the main streets that you’re mostly guaranteed a restful sleep. It’s also located next to a charming café called Blanco Pasticceria dal 1891 which serve lovely fresh croissants and sfogliatella for breakfasts.