Our hotels in Naples
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Points of interest
Founded by Greek colonists, it's older than Rome, displaying layers of history and influences from its many rulers, who have left their mark over 2,500 years. And today, graffiti is everywhere. That's Napoli – a raw, compelling and incomparably beautiful city.
The city sprawls around the shore of its famous namesake gulf, with panoramas of slumbering Vesuvius in the distance, while its ebullient ancient heart is cleft by Spaccanapoli, a disarmingly madcap street with a heady mix of souvenir shops, fast-food stalls and the occasional impromptu operatic performance.
Looking for Naples luxury hotels for doing the sights with family or for a romantic weekend in Naples? However long you are in town, Accor properties include family hotels in Naples, Italy, as well as 4-star Naples design hotels. One of these will definitely fit the bill for your stay.
Things to See in Naples
There are so many attractions in Naples for tourists that we have suggested a few of the showstopper sights to get you on your way. The seminal National Archaeological Museum of Naples is a good place to start your exploration of the city – this 18th-century behemoth houses a peerless collection of ancient Greek and Roman finds. Among them are many artefacts from the pumice-ridden remains of Pompeii and its near neighbour Herculaneum, including a rather endearing display of erotic statues, mosaics and reliefs.
Another pick of Naples museums is the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, standing in a magnificent park in the north of the city. This former royal hunting lodge offers a comprehensive tour of Italian art masterpieces, including Caravaggio's dark Flagellation of Christas well as works by Bellini, Titian and Raphael.
A short walk away is Corso Amedeo di Savoia, where you can uncover some of Naples' subterranean secrets. With around 450 kilometres of tunnels, aqueducts, mausoleums and charnel houses snaking under the city, we recommend a visit to the Catacombe di San Gennaro to see ancient tombs overlooked by 5th-century mosaics, and frescoes sparkling amid the sepulchral gloom. Further down the same street, the Neapolitan Baroque Basilica di Santa Maria della Sanità hides the Catacombe di San Gaudioso, smothered in eerie frescoes of skulls and skeletons.
Back in the historic centre of Naples, the ornately frescoed Museo Cappella Sansevero is one of the city's greatest art treasures, packed with marble sarcophagi watched over by Giuseppe Sanmartino's sublime, 18th-century statue of the Veiled Christ.
One of the best places in Naples to wander is the seafront Lungomare promenade. It's home to the fortified, medieval Castel dell'Ovo, host of the occasional art exhibition and offering wonderful Bay of Naples and Vesuvius panoramas from its ramparts. The fortress squats on the minuscule islet of Borgo Marinaro, a popular spot packed with al fresco bars and restaurants overlooking bobbing yachts in the marina.
A short walk from there leads to the city's major square, the Piazza del Plebiscito; this much-loved meeting place is buzzy, traffic-free and overlooked by the majestic colonnades of the Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola. Opposite stands the grandiose Royal Palace of Naples, where you can tour lavishly gilded royal apartments, the throne room and the ornate San Carlo Theatre, prestigious venue for opera and ballet performances.
Excursions around Naples
The Bay of Naples has plenty to show off about: romantic islands, cliffside towns, ruined cities and dramatic coastlines. To catch a ferry in Naples, head to the Porto di Napoli: it takes 1.5 hours (or an hour by high-speed hydrofoil) to Ischia island to discover its wonderful restaurants, vineyards and Bay of Naples views from the monumental Castello Aragonese. The exclusive enclave of Capri island makes another interesting boat trip from Naples, with ruins of once-lavish Roman palaces and open-air seafood dining in pretty – and famous celebrity hang-out – Capri town.
Hovering ominously over the city is the mighty, cone-shaped volcano Vesuvius – and one of the most popular activities in Naples is to take the short climb to its summit to peer into the smouldering caldera and admire the wonderful views over the bay and city rooftops. Currently snoozing, the volcano's last major eruption in 79AD caused one of the greatest natural disasters in history, coating nearby Pompeii and its hapless inhabitants in thick volcanic ash and thus preserving them for posterity. Visiting ruined Pompeii is a must for everyone – a ghost city it may be, but you don't need much imagination to bring the ruined temples, villas and forum back to life.
South of the city, day trips from Naples through the olive groves and lemon orchards of Sorrento Peninsula lead to the world-famous Amalfi Coast drive. From here, you'll need a head for heights as the clifftop switchback road swings defiantly along the coastline to the iconic seaside gems of Amalfi, Positano and Ravello, squeezed between their rocky backdrops and the turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Alternatively, you can take the spectacular Naples-Amalfi coast train journey from the station at Piazza Garibaldi to beachside Vietri sul Mare in about 90 minutes.
If you'd like a day on the beach in Naples, Bagno Elena resort has grey volcanic sand as well as sun loungers atop a wooden jetty on stilts, or you can go snorkelling and kayaking around two small islets in the clear waters off Spiaggia della Gaiola public beach.
Best Restaurants in Naples
Everyone falls in love with Neapolitan cuisine – the bountiful produce from land and sea makes dining here an adventure. Although there are award-winning restaurants serving creative haute cuisine, we recommend that you head to a beachfront restaurant to dine on the freshest seafood brought in with the daily catch.
There's certainly no need to spend a fortune on gastronomy in Naples; you'll fare just as well poking around in the backstreets until you come upon a cosy trattoria with checked tablecloths and settle down for a steaming plate of linguine alle vongole (pasta with clams). Another of the city's signature dishes is pizza Margherita, a thin, crispy crust topped by mozzarella and tomato sauce flavoured with fragrant basil leaves. You can buy slices of Napoli's best pizza from street vendors or sit at a table in the ubiquitous pizzerias.
Other tasty Neapolitan street-food options include arancini rice balls stuffed with mince and cheese, and panzarotti, delicious deep-fried potato croquettes flavoured with parsley. Anyone with a sweet tooth will adore babà pastries filled with rum, piping hot candied sfogliatella pastry – great as a breakfast accompaniment dipped in your espresso – or zeppole deep-fried cream puffs. And of course, there are endless street-corner opportunities to buy an equally endless variety of gelato ice creams.
Best Naples Hotels
All Accor hotels in Naples city centre are within walking distance of the Centrio Storico and lively Piazza del Plebiscito. They include a well-priced family option with bright, cheery décor, an informal bar and a buffet breakfast service. Our stylish 4-star spa hotel in Naples is set in a beautiful 13th-century palazzo with elegant dining rooms and space for coworking in Naples, while the contemporary Mercure is a favourite choice for the views of the imposing, medieval Castel Nuovo (also known as Maschio Angioino) from its terrace.
Naples Transport Information
If you're flying in, you'll land at Naples International Airport, which is served by budget airlines from across Europe and the UK. It's just 4 kilometres north of the city centre, and you can make the short journey by taxi or the Alibus shuttle bus, which stops at Piazza Garibaldi outside Naples train station and close to the metro.
Trenitalia trains run from Rome in under an hour, and it's also possible to reach the city from other popular destinations including Venice, Milan and Sorrento by rail. If you're heading to Pompeii for a day's sightseeing, trains leave Piazza Garibaldi station regularly and take about 40 minutes.
We don't advise driving in Naples; most of the streets in the Centro Storico date back to medieval times, are extremely narrow and have few parking spaces. It's better to use the efficient – and cheap – public transport system of buses, metro and funicular when sightseeing.