You realize Naples is a big city when you get out of the train station. « Busy » was the first word that crossed my mind when I walked my first miles trying to find my hostel. And it wasn’t just because it was the main train station area, it was just how Naples makes you feel. But on the other hand, you could also find some serenity in many places in the city.

Before going there, people here in Paris told me to be careful about the city because it was dangerous! Which is a negative publicity and also a false one? Big cities are dangerous, I don’t see how Naples can be worse than Paris, London or Barcelona. You need to take care of your stuff and be careful where you’re going especially at night. And the whole  » be careful about the Italian mafia » just makes locals laugh.

 

THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY TRIP IN NAPLES

 

  • JUST CROSS THE STREETS. This one is the funniest and the first thing I can think of. Cars never stop for you and since there are not so many crosswalks, you just need to be brave and cross the street. But let’s not be stupid and forget about the basic crossing rules: check your left and right and make sure the cars coming are not driving too fast.
  • MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS ARE WORTH SEEING OUTSIDE THE CITY CENTER. Pretty beaches especially will be a few minutes ride from Naples and totally worth it since it will be less crowded ( yet still crowded). For example, the Gaiola Beach (which is Instagram and Pinterest famous) is not in the city center. Same for the Virgiliano parc which offers a great view of the bay and some islands like Capri.
View on Nisida Bay and Campi Flegrei from the Virgiliano Park
  • HOSTELS are the best way to stay in Naples in my opinion. It might depend on who you are and what kind of trip you want to experience but I totally loved staying in a hostel. I might travel alone because I love the freedom of waking up at 6 am to take pictures (and taking naps at 2 pm) but I also love the part when you spend time with new people knowing you don’t have to be with them during all your trip. And also my Hostel was probably the best I could have chosen.
  • MEET LOCALS. I wouldn’t have done 50% of the amazing I did by myself or with other travelers. Simply because sometimes you have to know the places but also the people that work there. Because sometimes Google doesn’t give you the right information and you might end up driving for an hour to a closed place. That’s what happened the first time I went to Gaiola and I could get in for a few minutes to take pictures because it was closed at 4 pm. Also, I wouldn’t have known it was possible to get to the island any time of the day just by kayaking. And of course the most important reason, I got to eat the best ( seriously ) pizza in town thanks to a local.
gaiola island
View on La Gaiola Island from the sea.
  • EAT THE FOOD AND DRINK THE WINE. Italy has a lot of food to offer. Some are amazing and some are even more amazing. Trying everything is key! I remember one night I refused to try some « cookies » because I was just not in the mood for trying something new. The girl told me: Just try it and if you don’t like it, it’s okay. I took a bite and fell in love, ended up eating the whole thing and buying lots of it for home (it was for my family but I ate it all by myself and don’t feel bad about it, at all). And I still miss my Tarallis, so if some of you have a recipe…
Tarallis

 

WHAT TO SEE / DO IN NAPLES

 

  • TAKE A WALK ALONG THE LUNGOMARE. It’s so peaceful, especially in the mornings. The nights are very animated and it just feels like home at any time of the day. And also you will find the Castel dell’Ovo and the Castel Nuovo on your way.
Peaceful Lungomare in the morning.
  • ENJOY THE VIEW FROM CASTEL DELL’OVO. By one of its big windows you can get a great deal of fresh air ( really needed in mid-July ) and a beautiful view of the sea and the city.

    Castel dell’ovo big windows
  • TRY THE PIZZERIA SORBILLO. Three locals told me it was the best pizzeria in Naples. And I might have only tried 3 of them but this one was the best. And it shows because it takes at least an hour to get in for dinner. The pizzas are not even expensive and they have great Limoncello!
  • VISIT THE NAPOLITAN COAST. It includes the Amalfi coast, Ischia, Procida and Capri, and in my case, Ponza. I didn’t go to Capri because I just wanted to go have a reason to go back and stay for more than a day.

    Positano
  • TAKE A KAYAK RIDE FROM POLLISSIPO TO GAIOLA. You can go further but it was enough for us. You just rent a kayak for an hour or more, I think we went for 2hours. We met many other riders but it was quiet enough to relax and even take a nap. We rented our kayaks with Kayak Napoli.
  • ENJOY A VIEW ON NAPLES FROM SAN’ELMO. I missed that one but it’s a reason to go back! And it’s something not to be missed if you go to Napoli.
  • GO TO CHURCH. There are so many churches in Naples and whether you’re religious or not, you have to get in and discover the beauty of those buildings. I’ve always loved the architecture of churches and Naples was a paradise for that since it’s one of the cities that have the most churches (448) I didn’t count them but I trust Google.
  • GET LOST IN THE STREETS. And don’t be afraid to climb up. Because you will be rewarded with an amazing view of the city and the Vesuve.
  • VISIT THE METRO STATIONS. Especially Toledo and  Università.

    Toledo metro station
  • TAKE TIME and be patient. The transport system takes time. And I just realized you need to relax and wait for the train or bus to come because you have no other choice besides walking or taking a taxi.

View on Nisida Bay and Campi Flegrei from the Virgiliano Park