Situated on the Gulf of Naples, on the western coast of southern Italy, Naples is a compact city with history around every corner. Naples' main tourist attractions are centered along the seafront and Centro Storico (historical center), and it's not only easy to get around on foot but the best way to experience the vibrant third largest city of Italy.

And though you're usually better off walking to get around Naples, the city does offer a comprehensive network of public transportation: the Naples public transit map makes it easy to figure out how to get to all the key tourist sites in the city. Here's our comprehensive guide to getting around Naples.

Getting to and from Naples Airport

Naples International Airport is located just 4 miles (6 km) northeast of Naples Centro Storico. Alibus connects the airport and the city center with daily departures every 20 minutes. The bus makes two stops — at the Piazza Garibaldi Railway Station and the Municipio (Molo Beverello) Maritime Station — and the journey takes between 15 and 35 minutes depending on traffic and where you get off the bus.

Taxis are widely available at the airport, and the ride rate is fixed, so check current taxi rates before you hop into a taxi to avoid overcharges.

Taxi stand in Naples
Be sure to agree a rate and check the meter is running before getting in a taxi © Jean-Bernard Carillet / Lonely Planet

Hail or prebook a taxi

Uber and other rideshare services are not widely available in Naples, but you can easily catch a taxi from set stops on the street — look for the TAXI placards. Official taxis in Naples are white.

Taxis are metered, but there can be several surcharges, so check the rates and negotiate a rate before stepping into a taxi in Naples. Always make sure the meter is running once inside the taxi.

You should expect price increases on Sundays, public holidays, and at night. Contact Radio Taxi Partenope or Taxi Napoli if you need to schedule a journey in advance. Taxi Napoli offers an app similar to a rideshare service, making it easy to schedule a driver or track your ride on the go.

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A man stands looking at a small fast food cafe and shop in the historical center of Naples, Italy
Buses and trams can't make it down the narrow cobbled streets of central Naples © Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock

Navigate Naples using the bus and tram

Though there is no central bus station in Naples, Piazza Garibaldi is the main hub of bus and tram transport. You'll find a bus stop at most major intersections, but you'll need to walk to reach many of the tourist sites that can be found among the Centro Storico's winding, narrow streets.

Buses generally run from around 5am to about 11pm. A handful of buses, marked with an 'N' before their route number, run through the night. Some routes do not run on Sundays and public holidays.

Regular tickets can be purchased at tabacchi (tobacco stores), news kiosks, and ticket machines at select bus stops. Bus/tram tickets must be validated when you board the bus by inserting the ticket in the small machine that stamps the date and time.

Consider purchasing The Naples Pass: sold in 3 or 7-day increments, the pass includes free and discounted admission to attractions, plus free travel on all public transportation.

Remember to enter the bus or tram via the front or rear doors and exit via the middle door.

Catch the Metro and explore Naples' suburbs

Two Metro lines connect the city. Trains run from about 6am to around 11pm. Metro Line 1 runs from Napoli Centrale (Garibaldi) to Vomero and the northern suburbs, with stops at Università (southern edge of the Centro Storico), Municipio (ferry/hydrofoil terminal), Toledo (Via Toledo and Quartieri Spagnoli), Dante (western edge of the Centro Storico) and Museo (National Archaeological Museum).

Metro Line 2 runs from Gianturco to Napoli Centrale (Garibaldi) and on to Pozzuoli with stops at Piazza Cavour (northern edge of centro storico), Piazza Amedeo (Chiaia) and Mergellina (Mergellina ferry/hydrofoil terminal).

Metro tickets can be purchased at tabacchi (tobacco stores), news kiosks, and ticket machines at Metro stations.

Explore Campania on the Circumvesuviana trains

Circumvesuviana trains connect Naples to other tourist destinations in the Campania region, including Sorrento, Herculaneum, Pompeii, and coastal resort towns. They run daily, about every half hour during peak hours, from about 6am to around 10pm.

Buy tickets at the Circumvesuviana ticket window at Napoli Centrale. Since it's not a state rail line, there are no tickets for sale online. You will need a Unico Campania TIC ticket or an EAV ticket (only valid on EAV transport) to ride the Circumvesuviana. Tickets are "integrated" and are valid for all transport within Naples and the surrounding region and will range in cost from €2.50 (valid for 120 minutes) to €4.50 (valid for 180 minutes), depending on your destination.

For details and pdf timetables, visit the official Circumvesuviana website.

Naples Funicular
If you're heading to Naples' hilltop neighborhoods, using the funicular may be your best bet © Greg Elms/ Lonely Planet

Put the fun in Funicular

First opened in 1928, Naples' Funicular (inclined railway) is a major mode of transportation for locals heading to the city's hilltop neighborhoods.

The funicular runs daily, from 7am to 10pm. Regular tickets can be purchased at tabacchi (tobacco stores), news kiosks, and ticket machines at funicular stations.

Four funicular lines connect Naples' Centro Storico to the city's upper neighborhoods:

  • Funicolare Centrale runs from Piazzetta Augusteo to Piazza Fuga.
  • Funicolare di Chiaia runs from Via del Parco Margherita to Via Domenico Cimarosa.
  • Funicolare di Montesanto runs from Piazza Montesanto to Via Raffaele Morghen.
  • Funicolare di Mergellina runs from the waterfront at Via Mergellina to Via Manzoni.

Cycle along the seafront in Naples

Biking isn't recommended for tourists visiting Naples due to uneven road surfaces and chaotic traffic. However, the seafront (Lungomare) is bikeable, and the city recently published an online map of bikeable routes in Naples.

Colorful boats sit in the marina in Capri
Explore beyond Naples and set sail for the island of Capri © Gimas / Shutterstock

Take a ferry or hydrofoil to the islands

Three ferry (Traghetti)/high-speed hydrofoil (Aliscafi) ports in Naples — Mergellina, Beverello, and Porta di Massa — connect the city to the nearby islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida, as well as to the coastal resort of Sorrento.

Ferries and hydrofoils for Capri, Sorrento, Ischia (both Ischia Porto and Forio) and Procida depart from Beverello. Ferries and hydrofoils for Capri, Ischia, and Procida depart from Mergellina.

There are many carriers and their schedules vary by the day of the week. Check the ferry/hydrofoil schedule and reserve tickets, or head straight to the port to purchase tickets and hop on the next departing ferry or hydrofoil.

Hire a car or motorbike for a Neapolitan road trip

Renting a car or motorcycle in Naples isn't advised since parking is scarce, the narrow, one-way streets can be difficult to navigate and traffic is always an issue. Additionally, non-resident vehicles are banned in much of central Naples.

That said, if you plan on visiting multiple cities in southern Italy, you may want to rent a car. Rental agencies can be found at the airport or at several locations in downtown Naples. Before your trip, register for an international driving permit from AAA or and read up on the rules of the road in Italy.

Accessibility in Naples

Navigating Naples can be a challenge for tourists and travelers with disabilities. The Centro Storico (historical center) is dense and crowded, and most sidewalks are cobblestoned. According to ANM (the agency that manages Naples' public transportation system), 80 percent of the network is accessible to travelers with mobility issues. Consider getting around via taxi or reserve a wheelchair-friendly tour.

You might also like:
The best things to do in Naples: livin' la dolce vita
Everything you need to know before your trip to Naples
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