Where to Stay in Naples first time: 9 Best areas & safe neighborhoods

Wondering where to stay in Naples for the first time? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas/neighborhoods in Naples for tourists, the best hotels for all budgets, safest parts, and areas to avoid.

Naples (Napoli in Italian) is the capital of the Campania region, located in southern Italy, between Mount Vesuvius and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its strategic location in the Gulf of Naples offers stunning views and easy access to the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Capri, Ischia, and Procida.

Choosing the right place to stay in Naples is crucial for a memorable first-time visit. Whether you prefer to be immersed in history, indulge in luxury, enjoy breathtaking views, or seek a peaceful retreat, Naples has an area to suit your needs. 

Where to Stay in Naples for the First time?

The best areas to stay in Naples for first-timers are Centro Storico, Piazza del Plebiscito, Chiaia, Vomero, Posillipo, Spanish Quarter, Mergellina, Central Station, and Port of Naples. Each area has its own charm and is generally safe, so consider your preferences to choose the right base.

Centro Storico is the best overall area for first-time visitors due to its central location, safety, walkability, and well-connected public transportation. You will be located within walking distance to major attractions, and easy access to other parts of the city.

Piazza del Plebiscito is great for families. Chiaia offers a safe and upscale atmosphere, Vomero boasts panoramic views and lively nightlife, and Posillipo is ideal for a peaceful retreat. 

The Spanish Quarter is vibrant and authentic, Naples Central Station is convenient for travelers, and the Port of Naples suits those looking to explore the islands.

What are the safest areas to stay in Naples for tourists?

The safe areas to stay in Naples for tourists are the Historic Center, Piazza del Plebiscito, Chiaia, Vomero, Posillipo. These areas are popular among tourists due to their relatively lower crime rates, well-maintained streets, and vibrant atmospheres. 

Naples is generally safe city to visit. But like any popular touristy destination, there are the risks of pickpocketing and petty theft. It is always recommended to take care of your belongings, be aware of your surroundings, and stay in well-lit areas to mitigate risks.

Where to avoid staying in Naples?

It’s recommended for tourists to avoid staying in Scampia, Secondigliano, Sanità due to higher crime rates compared to other central neighborhoods. Also avoid Quartieri Spagnoli, Piazza Garibaldi, and the Central Station late at night because it can be sketchy after dark.

While organized crime is a reality in Naples, it rarely affects tourists directly. However, it’s still advisable to avoid areas known for criminal activity and seek advice from locals or your hotel regarding safe areas to visit.

It’s important to remember that millions of visitors enjoy their time in Naples without encountering any significant issues. By taking safety precautions and being aware of your surroundings, you can have a pleasant experience in Naples.

Overviews of best neighborhoods in Naples, Italy

Here is an overview of recommended areas:

Centro StoricoBest overall area for first-timers. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site with narrow streets, historic buildings, and vibrant atmosphere. Staying here puts you close to attractions like Naples Cathedral, many traditional pizzerias and trattorias.
Piazza del Plebiscitois one of the city’s main squares in the heart of Naples. It offers easy access to the Royal Palace and the San Carlo Theater. This area has a central location, making it a great base for first-timers and families to explore the city.
Chiaiais a charming and upscale neighborhood known for its elegant shops, boutiques, and waterfront promenade. It’s one of the safest areas in Naples, great base for upscale shopping and waterfront views.
VomeroPerched on a hill overlooking the city, Vomero offers panoramic views of the bay. This area is well-connected by funicular and offers a mix of residential streets, safety, vibrant nightlife, and cultural attractions like Castel Sant’Elmo.
Posillipois a safe and picturesque area located on the western edge of Naples. It’s known for its stunning coastal views, luxurious villas, and peaceful atmosphere. It is a fantastic area for a tranquil retreat with breathtaking scenery.
Spanish Quarteris a lively and vibrant neighborhood known for its narrow streets, local shops, traditional atmosphere, and budget-friendly accommodations. It offers an authentic experience and is located near Castel Nuovo and Naples Harbor.
Mergellinais a safe and charming neighborhood known for its scenic seafront promenade, seafood restaurants, and bars. It’s a great option for those who want to be close to the sea and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.
Central StationIf you’re arriving in Naples by train or plan to take day trips to nearby destinations, staying near the Central Station can be convenient. It offers excellent transportation links and easy access to other parts of the city.
Port of NapleIf you’re planning to explore the islands of Capri, Ischia, or Procida, staying near the Port of Naples can be a practical choice. It allows for easy access to the ferry terminals and offers a bustling maritime atmosphere.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Naples for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map Best areas to Stay in Naples first time
Map Best areas to Stay in Naples first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Naples, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Naples have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them.

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

9 Best areas to Stay in Naples for first time visitors:

1. Centro Storico

Centro Storico is the overall best neighborhood in Naples for first-timers due to its central location and its reputation for safety. Staying here allows you to be located within walking distance to major attractions, and some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and shops.

The Centro Storico, or historic center, or Decumani district, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a great base to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. 

You’ll be surrounded by ancient architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, and numerous landmarks, giving you a true sense of Naples’ authentic character.

You can explore the historic center by strolling around its popular streets such as Piazza del Gesù, Via dei Tribunali, Spaccanapoli, and San Gregorio Armeno to soak in the vibrant atmosphere, and stops by some of the shops, cafes, and historic sites along the way.

Some of the most popular attractions in the historic center are:

  • Duomo di Napoli (Naples Cathedral), a magnificent Gothic cathedral dedicated to the city’s patron saint, San Gennaro.
  • Napoli Sotterranea (Naples Underground), an underground network of tunnels, catacombs, and ancient structures that offer insight into the city’s past.
  • Piazza del Gesù, a square dominated by the Church of Gesù Nuovo, known for its distinct façade made of tuff stone and the obelisk at its center.
  • Church of Santa Chiara, a beautiful church, is known for its serene cloister adorned with colorful majolica tiles.  
  • Capella Sansevero, a chapel is known for its stunning sculptures, including the famous Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino.
  • Orto Botanico di Napoli, a beautiful botanical garden with tropical and Mediterranean plants, and relaxing in the serene surroundings.

History buffs and art lovers can explore museums, galleries, and theaters such as the National Archaeological Museum with a collection of Roman artifacts, the Donnaregina Contemporary Art Museum, and the 19th century Teatro Bellini di Napoli.

Centro Storico is compact and walkable so you can easily explore on foot. Additionally, it is well-connected by public transportation, including buses, metro stations, and Napoli Centrale (the main train station), making it easy to explore other parts of Naples.

Naples is famous for its delicious cuisine, particularly its pizza. The Centro Storico is home to many traditional pizzerias and local eateries where you can savor authentic Neapolitan dishes. You’ll have a wide range of dining options at your doorstep.

The Centro Storico is a lively and bustling area, especially during the day when the streets come alive with vendors, street performers, and locals going about their daily routines.

While Centro Storico is generally safe, like any other tourist area, it’s important to remain cautious and aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. Petty theft and pickpocketing can occur, so it’s advisable to keep an eye on your belongings.

Centro Storico has a wide range of accommodations ranging from budget backpacker hostels, B&Bs, guest houses, to luxury hotels. You will be sure to find something that suits your budget.

Due to its popularity, Centro Storico can get crowded and noisy, especially during peak tourist seasons. Some parts of the Centro Storico may have limited vehicle access due to the historic nature of the area.

Overall, despite a few drawbacks, Centro Storico is a fantastic area to stay in Naples for first-timers due to its historical charm, central location, safety, and authentic experience. It is a great base for exploring the city’s highlights and immersing yourself in its unique atmosphere.

Best places to stay in Naples Centro Storico:

  • Mid-range: BB Casamatta This bed and breakfast is centrally located in the historic center of Naples, close to the popular attractions such as the Museo Cappella Sansevero and San Gregorio Armeno. 
  • Mid-range: Napoli Squares Suites This B&B is set in the center of Naples, and offers full-day security, a lift, and luggage storage for guests.
  • Budget: Parthenope Suite budget-friendly accommodations, located in the heart of Naples. It has a shared kitchen and daily Italian breakfast.

2. Piazza del Plebiscito

Piazza del Plebiscito is a grand and historic square in the heart of Naples, near many popular attractions. It is home to several important buildings, such as the Royal Palace, San Francesco di Paola church, and Teatro di San Carlo, which is one of the most prestigious opera houses in Italy.

Adjacent to Piazza del Plebiscito, the Galleria Umberto I is a beautiful 19th-century shopping gallery and is a popular place to shop and eat. This elegant structure features a glass-vaulted ceiling, intricate mosaic flooring, and a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants. 

Staying in Piazza del Plebiscito offers several advantages for first-time visitors. Firstly, the area is centrally located, making it convenient to major main attractions and neighborhoods like the Castel Nuovo, the waterfront promenade, Spanish Quarters, and historic center, and Chiaia.

Additionally, Piazza del Plebiscito is well-connected to public transportation, including buses and metro lines, making it easy to venture further and explore other parts of Naples.

The square itself is lively and vibrant, often hosting cultural events, concerts, and markets. There are also numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops in the vicinity, providing plenty of options for dining and shopping.

However, Piazza del Plebiscito can be busy and crowded, particularly during peak tourist seasons. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, you may want to consider other areas. 

The area around Piazza del Plebiscito is generally safe for tourists, with a visible police presence and well-lit streets. It is a popular tourist spot, so there are often other visitors around.

Overall, Piazza del Plebiscito offers a fantastic location for first-time visitors and families to Naples. It provides easy access to attractions, a beautiful setting close to the sea, and a vibrant atmosphere, allowing travelers to experience the essence of the city.

Best places to stay in Naples Piazza del Plebiscito:

  • Luxury: Grand Hotel Vesuvio, 5-star hotel, located right in the seafront, opposite the Castel dell’Ovo. It offers stunning views of the Gulf of Naples, Capri island, and Mount Vesuvius.
  • Mid-range: Relais sul Mare Boutique Hotel, 4-star hotel, located within walking distance from the historic center and the harbor.
  • Budget:  Chiaja Hotel de Charme, 3-star hotel, centrally situated on Via Chiaia shopping street, close to the waterfront and historic center area.

3. Chiaia

Chiaia is a safe and upscale district, situated along the coast, close to the neighborhoods of Mergellina and Posillipo. It is known for its elegant and affluent atmosphere, featuring upscale shops, restaurants, and residences.

Chiaia is a popular destination for both locals and tourists due to its vibrant atmosphere and its proximity to attractions such as the Villa Comunale, a scenic waterfront park, and the Castel dell’Ovo, a picturesque castle located on the islet of Megaride.

The area’s scenic promenade, Lungomare Caracciolo, offers stunning views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. It’s a great place to take leisurely walks, enjoy the sunset, or dine at one of the many seaside restaurants and cafes.

Chiaia is known for its high-end shopping options, with luxury boutiques and designer stores lining the streets. Via Chiaia, Via dei Mille, and Via Calabritto are the main streets in Chiaia where you can find fashion brands, jewelry stores, and upscale retailers.

Chiaia is also home to a variety of trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Neapolitan cuisine, seafood specialties, and international dishes.

Overall, Chiaia is a charming district in Naples that offers a mix of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and upscale amenities, making it a popular destination for those looking to explore the city’s more refined side.

Best places to stay in Naples in Chiaia:


4. Vomero

Vomero is an upscale and safe residential area, with lively shopping streets, and vibrant nightlife. It is located on the hills overlooking the city and offers stunning views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.

One of the main attractions in Vomero is the Certosa di San Martino, a former monastery that now houses a museum. It contains a vast collection of artwork, historical artifacts, and exhibits showcasing the history and culture of Naples.

Vomero is also home to the Sant’Elmo Castle, a medieval fortress that dominates the skyline of the neighborhood. It offers breathtaking views of Naples and the surrounding areas and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

There is also Villa Floridiana, a beautiful park that offers lush greenery, peaceful gardens, and a Duca di Martina National Ceramic Museum. It’s a great place to relax, have a picnic, and enjoy the views of the city below.

Vomero is also famous for its shopping district along Via Alessandro Scarlatti, where you can find a variety of shops, boutiques, and cafes. Sample delicious local specialties such as pizza Margherita, sfogliatelle pastries, and try the famous Neapolitan espresso .

If you’re looking for a local shopping experience, head to the Antignano Market. This vibrant street market offers a wide range of goods, including fresh produce, clothing, accessories, and much more.

You can Grab a coffee or a gelato, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere while people-watching at Piazza Vanvitelli, a bustling square and is a popular meeting place for locals and visitors.

The neighborhood is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars and restaurants, especially the areas around Piazza Fuga and Via Aniello Falcone.

There are also offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional Neapolitan trattorias to trendy cafes and restaurants. Sample delicious local specialties such as pizza Margherita and sfogliatelle pastries, try the famous Neapolitan espresso, and authentic gelato.

Vomero is well-connected to the rest of Naples by public transportation, including the historic cable car system called Funicolare Centrale. It’s a great place to stay if you want to explore the city while enjoying a quieter and more residential atmosphere.

Overall, Vomero is a delightful district that combines safety, historical sites, local atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and picturesque views, making it a must-visit destination for travelers.

Best places to stay in Naples in Vomero:


5. Posillipo

Posillipo is a safe and upscale neighborhood located along the coastline of the Gulf of Naples to the south of the Historic Center. It is known for its stunning views of the sea, picturesque landscapes, and luxurious villas.

The neighborhood is characterized by its hilly terrain, with winding roads that offer panoramic views of the bay and Mount Vesuvius. It has been a popular residential area for centuries, attracting affluent residents who seek a peaceful and scenic environment.

One of the main attractions in Posillipo is the Parco Virgiliano, a large park named after the ancient Roman poet Virgil. The park offers stunning views of the Gulf of Naples and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Posillipo is also famous for its historic Roman ruins. You can visit Villa Pausilypon Archaeological Park, an ancient Roman villa, explore the ruins, including the amphitheater to learn about the history of the area.

There is also the Grotta di Seiano, an ancient Roman tunnel carved into the tuff rock. The tunnel was used as an escape route by the Roman Emperor Tiberius and is now open to visitors.

Additionally, Posillipo is home to several small beaches where you can relax, swim, or sunbathe. Marechiaro and Gaiola Beach are popular choices, offering crystal-clear waters and a tranquil atmosphere.

The neighborhood is home to numerous elegant villas and palaces, many of which are surrounded by lush gardens and overlook the sea. These properties showcase the wealth and grandeur of Posillipo’s residents throughout history.

In addition to its natural beauty, Posillipo offers a range of amenities, including upscale restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops. It is a popular destination for those seeking a refined and exclusive lifestyle in Naples.

However, Posillipo is situated slightly outside the city center, so if you prefer to be in the heart of the action or have easier access to the main tourist sites, you may want to consider staying in areas like Chiaia or the historic center. 

Nevertheless, Posillipo’s breathtaking natural scenery, safety, exclusivity, and local atmosphere make it a highly recommended area to stay in Naples, especially for those seeking a more serene and upscale experience.

Best places to stay in Naples in Posillipo:

  • Luxury: BW Signature Collection Hotel Paradiso, 4-star hotel with breathtaking views across Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. It is well connected by public transport to the historic center and is close to the Mergellina Marina where ferries to Ischia and Capri.
  • Mid-range: Napoli d’Amare B&B, well-equipped bed and breakfast with stunning sea views.
  • Budget: PrimoPianoPosillipo, beautiful B&B, located close to Bagno Donn’Anna and  Bagno Ideal.

6. Spanish Quarter

The Spanish Quarter, also known as “Quartieri Spagnoli” in Italian, is a vibrant and historic neighborhood located in the heart of Naples. It is one of the city’s oldest and most iconic districts, characterized by its narrow streets, bustling atmosphere, and unique cultural heritage.

Staying here allows you to be located within walking distance of many popular attractions and neighborhoods, such as the historic center, Chiaia, Via Toledo, Piazza del Plebiscito, Galleria Umberto, National Archaeological Museum, and the seafront promenade.

The origins of the Spanish Quarter date back to the 16th century when Spanish military troops were stationed in Naples during the Spanish rule. Over time, the neighborhood developed, becoming a vibrant residential area known for its lively street life and traditional way of living. 

As you wander through its narrow alleys, you’ll encounter colorful buildings adorned with laundry hanging from the balconies, small shops selling local products, and street vendors offering delicious Neapolitan street food.

One of the main attractions of the Spanish Quarter is the food scene. It is home to numerous  traditional pizzerias, trattorias, and street food stalls where you can taste authentic Neapolitan cuisine. 

Aside from its culinary offerings, the Spanish Quarter also has some notable landmarks worth exploring such as the Church of Sant’Anna di Palazzo and the Santa Maria della Mercede a Montecalvario.

Compared to other areas in Naples, the Spanish Quarter often offers more affordable accommodations. You can find budget-friendly hotels, guesthouses, and apartments for different budgets.

While Naples has improved in terms of safety in recent years, the Spanish Quarter is still known for having some rougher areas. It’s essential to remain cautious and be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.  

Ultimately, choosing to stay in the Spanish Quarter depends on your preferences and priorities. It offers authentic atmosphere and budget-friendly accommodations, but you should consider the potential drawbacks, such as safety and noise, before making your decision.

Best places to stay in Naples in Spanish Quarter:


7. Mergellina

Mergellina is a picturesque upscale and safe residential area, situated in the western part of Naples, just a few kilometers away from the city center. It is bordered by the neighborhoods of Chiaia and Posillipo.

One of the main attractions in Mergellina is its beautiful seafront promenade, known as Lungomare Caracciolo. It stretches along the bay and provides a fantastic setting for a leisurely stroll or a jog. The promenade is lined with restaurants, cafes, and bars, where you can enjoy delicious Neapolitan cuisine while enjoying the views.

Mergellina is also home to a marina that serves as a hub for recreational boating and yachting. You’ll find a variety of boats and yachts docked here, and it’s a popular spot for boat rentals and excursions to nearby islands, such as Capri and Ischia.

Mergellina is well-connected to other parts of Naples. The Mergellina railway station provides train services, and there are also bus and tram stops in the area. Additionally, the Naples Metro Line 2 has a station in Mergellina, making it convenient to explore other parts of the city.

Mergellina is generally considered a safe area to stay in Naples. Like any city, it’s advisable to take standard precautions, but overall, it has a reputation for being relatively safe and peaceful.

Mergellina retains a sense of authentic Naples with its local markets, small shops, and neighborhood feel. It offers a more tranquil and laid-back experience compared to the bustling city center.

Best places to stay in Naples in Mergellina:

  • Mid-range: Boutique Hotel Metro 900, 4-star hotel, set within easy walking distance from a few steps from Mergellina Train Station. It has car hire service and daily buffet breakfast.
  • Mid-range: Gramsci Suites, comfortable guest house, a short walk from Bagno Elena.
  • Budget:  Lux Caracciolo, this bed and breakfast has family rooms, and located right next to the ocean.

8. Naples Central Station

The Naples Central Station area, also known as Napoli Centrale, is a bustling transportation hub located in the heart of Naples. It is one of the main railway stations in the city and serves as a major transportation gateway for both domestic and international travelers.

Naples Central Station has trains to various cities within Italy, including Rome, Milan, Florence, and Venice. It also offers international connections to cities such as Paris, Munich, and Vienna through the EuroCity and Italo high-speed trains.

The station building itself is an architectural landmark, featuring a neoclassical design with impressive facades and a large central hall. It was designed by the architect Enrico Alvino and opened in 1866.

The station is situated in Piazza Garibaldi, a vibrant square that serves as a meeting point for locals and tourists alike. The square is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, a key figure in the Italian unification movement.

Due to its central location, the Naples Central Station area is surrounded by a wide range of hotels and accommodations suitable for different budgets, making it a convenient base for day trips to nearby destinations such as Pompeii and the Herculaneum.

As with any bustling transportation hub, it’s important to keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Best places to stay in Naples Central Station:


9. Port of Naples

The Port of Naples is an important maritime hub located in Naples. It is one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean and serves as a major gateway for both passenger and cargo traffic. 

The Port of Naples is a major departure point for ferry services to various destinations in the Mediterranean, including islands like Capri, Ischia, and Procida. It also connects Naples to other Italian cities such as Palermo, Catania, and Cagliari.

The Port of Naples covers a significant area along the coastline, comprising docks, quays, and warehouses. It is a bustling hub of activity with cargo ships, fishing vessels, and other maritime operations.

Adjacent to the port, there is a scenic waterfront promenade called Via Caracciolo. It offers stunning views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. The promenade is lined with restaurants, cafes, and parks, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists.

Within the vicinity of the port, you can find several historical landmarks. The Castel dell’Ovo, a seaside castle dating back to the 12th century, is located nearby. Additionally, the historic center of Naples, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is within walking distance.

The Port of Naples is well-connected to the city’s transportation network. There are bus and metro stations nearby, providing easy access to other parts of Naples. Additionally, taxi services and car rental facilities are available in the area.

If you plan to take frequent day trips to the nearby islands, staying near the Port of Naples could be convenient for you. Additionally, if you have limited time in Naples and want to prioritize island hopping, staying close to the port can save you travel time.

Best places to stay in Port of Naples:

  • Luxury: ROMEO Napoli, 5-star hotel, located opposite the ferry port for Capri and Ischia. It has a rooftop pool overlooking Naples Harbour.  
  • Mid-range: Cortese, The bed and breakfast has family rooms, lift, and terrace.
  • Budget: La Casa Di Bruno Napoli, 5-minute walk from Università Metro Station.

See more:

In conclusion, Centro Storico, Piazza del Plebiscito, Chiaia, Vomero, Posillipo, Spanish Quarter, Central Station, and Port of Naples are the best places to stay in Naples for first-timers and tourists. These are generally safe areas with plenty of accommodations for all budgets.

I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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