Campania welcomes you for your next trip: these are our suggestions on the best areas to stay in Naples!
Naples, Italy’s third largest city, is populated by 968,736 inhabitants. It is the second largest Mediterranean city after Barcelona. More than 4 million inhabitants live in its agglomeration, which extends over 117.27 km², from the western side of the Bay of Naples, to the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, near the famous villages of Herculaneum and Pompeii. A densely populated city at the foot of a dangerous volcano? Let’s just say the city is playing with fire… With more more than 28 centuries worth of history, the city was from its foundation one of the main commercial, cultural, philosophical, and political centers of the Roman Empire. Blessed with a rich gastronomic, artistic, and cultural heritage, Naples is also known for the powerful Camorra – the Neapolitan mafia -, Mount Vesuvius, and its historical landmarks. Staying in Naples is not difficult, you’ll find a wide range of accommodation options, from the five-star hotel to the cheap hostel. However, prices are higher in the summer.
The Neapolitan territory consists of ten municipalities, which are divided into thirty districts around the Amalfi Coast. Here is a presentation of the neighbourhoods of the city to help you decide where to stay in Naples.
Spaccanapoli, the historic center
Photo credit: Flickr – Eric Parker
Naples’ beating heart, the historic center was populated by the Greeks during Antiquity. The area is split into two parts by Spaccanapoli Street, which dates back to Greco-Roman times. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic center is home to more than 1,000 churches as well as countless fountains and palaces. Naples’ hive of activity, the Centro Storico has it all: a range of shops and boutiques lining the Via Toledo, a myriad of places to go out to (bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, discotheques, etc.), and of course many museums and landmarks, including most of Naple’s famous castles and Palace, with the exception of the Royal Palace of Caserta, located out of the city to the North. Don’t miss the National Archaeological Museum, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of Greek and Roman antiquities, including the remains of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 bc in Pompeii).
It will also be necessary to visit the underground Naples – Napoli sotterranea -, a vast network of 80 kilometers of cavities and underground tunnels dug by Man in the volcanic tuff. Though accommodation will be among the most expensive in the city, you can’t be more central: a good compromise and one of the best places to stay in Naples.
Photo credit: Flickr – sarahtarno
Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarters) are very popular in Naples. The district was built in the 16th century to house Spanish garrisons – hence the name – who came to quench the insurrections of the Neapolitan population. The neighborhood is overlooked by Castel Sant’Elmo and crossed by Via Toledo. Quartieri Spagnoli is the shopping district of Naples and making your way through its maze of narrow streets, you’ll come across a jumble of pizzerias and crowded trattorias – Italian cuisine restaurants. In terms of accommodation, there’s something for every budget, from hotel rooms to local homestay options. Why stay in Quartieri Spagnoli? It’s a great mid-range compromise between the city center– which can be very touristy – and the upscale neighbourhoods along the Bay of Naples where accommodation is often unaffordable…
Photo credit: Flickr – Aidan Wakely-Mulroney
If you are not afraid to give your bank account a hard time, and if you’re keen to maybe get a glimpse of a World leader, a famous athlete or a movie star, you must stay in Chiaia. Nestled along the Bay – the wealthy would never have built their homes on the slopes of Vesuvius… -, this is Naples’ most upscale neighborhood – matched only perhaps by the ritziest areas on Capri – filled with a plethora of luxury hotels, high-end shops, and jet-setter bars. But there’s more here than just pure bling. Take a moment to appreciate the refined taste of Italian wine in one of Chiaia’s lovely wine bars, where food is always served with a glass of wine. Chiaia is also favoured by the Neapolitan youth who frequently gather here to party at the end of the week. Ideally situated at the water’s edge, you can easily go for walks on the quays to admire the seafront along the Via Francesco Caracciolo.
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