14 Things to do in Naples with Kids on Your Italy Family Holiday
Naples, in the South of Italy is famous for being the home of Italian pizza and some of the best food you will try in the country. Naples tends to be overlooked by those planning a family trip to Italy. Most travellers favour cities such as Rome, Florence, and Venice. While Naples may not be a city on water, have the famous Colosseum, or known for its art, it oozes culture, and has some of the most delicious food you will come across. Below we will go through things to do in Naples with kids or families, if not in the city itself, but in its surroundings.
Can you visit Naples with Kids?
Ok, so Naples doesn’t have the best reputation, but it is definitely worth a visit. You may have heard that it is noisy, dirty, crazy, and that you will get mugged. Well, yes, it has a rubbish problem, so it can be dirty in some parts. It is also noisy and crazy just like other major cities. As for getting mugged, that can happen anywhere in Italy or around the world.
If you are visiting Naples with kids, or even without, a little common sense will go a long way.
Southern Italy – Things to do in Naples with Kids
Now we have that out the way, Naples is definitely a city on your bucket list when travelling to Italy. Strategically positioned near some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, and close by to some of the most famous ruins in the country. Here are the best things to do in Naples with Kids.
1. Eat Pizza or Take a Pizza Making Class
First on our list of things to do in Naples with kids is of course try some pizza!!! What is more exciting for kids than trying out their favorite food, Pizza, in its birthplace! Yes, pizza was born in Naples in the late 18th century and went on to become the world’s favorite fast food.
Today, Naples is home to more than 800 pizzerias. Spot a good one with a long queue, place your order, and relish a slice of authentic Neapolitan pizza. We recommend Da Michele!
You could also try making one at a pizza-making class. You can also attend world pizza-making championships right here in Naples. The options are endless!
2. Family Tour of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale
When you are in historical Naples, it is best to start with a family-friendly tour of the National Archaeological Museum.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale contains so many interesting artifacts (mosaics, frescoes, sculptures) from the buried cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum that you would actually want to visit this place first before taking day trips there. It also has a large model of Pompeii that can help kids appreciate the lost city.
A Numismatics section and the Egyptian collection will interest curious minds. And the innovative MANNHERO exhibition will appeal to Star Wars fans. Steer clear of the Secret Room or “Gabinetto Segreto” at the museum that hosts a collection of erotic art from ancient Roman cities.
3. Explore the underground city of Naples
One of the most exciting things to do in Naples with kids is to take a tour of Underground Naples or Napoli Sotterranea. There is a whole city including aqueducts, secret chambers, catacombs, air raid shelters, and even vegetable gardens tucked away under the Historic Center of Naples.
Kids find it quite interesting to discover and walk around this hidden labyrinth of tunnels and passageways. If they are not afraid of the dark, then an underground tour is a fascinating way to teach them more about Naples’ history.
You can only do guided tours of Napoli Sotterranea. Tours last about 90 minutes. Find more information on their official website.
4. Touch and learn at The Science Centre of Citta della Scienza
The Science Centre of Citta della Scienza is an interactive science museum in Naples and one of the first in Italy that helps kids learn by touching and experimenting.
Their exhibition consists of a Human Body Museum, a 3D Planetarium, an Aquarium, and a Bugs Museum. Plus, there are specialized labs and workshops where you can observe, play games, draw, code, simulate, and put your scientific ideas into practice.
Citta della Scienza also organizes several temporary exhibitions. You can check them out and book your tickets on their official website.
5. Have Fun at the Piazza Plebescito
One of the largest public squares in Naples, Piazza Plebescito offers children enough space to run around and chase pigeons. It is wide open, clean, and filled with sunlight which is exactly what kids need to keep going.
This is also the perfect spot for parents to sit down, sip some coffee, and take in the beauty of historic Naples. From here, you can admire the Royal Palace and the Church of San Francesco di Paola. A few steps away is Via Toledo one of the most important shopping streets of Napoli. Via Toledo is beautifully adorned during Christmas if you are here then.
6. Explore one of the ancient castles of Naples – dell’Ovo or Nuovo
Castles are interesting for kids because they conjure up so many images – of knights in shining armor, banquets & balls, and killing of fearsome creatures. Good news is there is not one but two historic castles that you can visit in Naples.
Castel dell’Ovo (The Egg Castle) was originally built on a tiny island and has an interesting legend behind its name. You can climb up the tower and spot the island of Capri at a distance. Some private tours offer an egg hunt at the end of the castle tour!
You could also visit Castel Nuovo, a medieval castle, that lets kids and their imagination go wild. It also has some cool terraces to check out the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius.
7. Run around in Parco di Capodimonte
Give your children an opportunity to run around in a huge park from the medieval ages, the Park of Capodimonte. Spread over 124 acres, the park is filled with lakes, woods, medieval buildings, and lots of green spaces. Your kids will love you for bringing them here.
8. Learn about trains at Museo Nazionale Ferroviario di Pietrarsa
Museo Nazionale Ferroviario di Pietrarsa is one of Europe’s most important train museums. And that is because it is located at the actual site where Italy’s first railway track was inaugurated.
The museum is an absolute delight for train lovers of all ages. There is a huge collection of steam, electric, and diesel locomotives. Kids can ride on a mini train and step on some of the old engines. They organize special events too such as journeys on vintage carriages and engine modelling workshops. Check them out on their official website.
Housed in an old Bourbon workshop that was used to build steam engines and boilers, the National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa takes you on a fascinating journey of Italian railways.
9. Bite into a delectable Neapolitan dessert
Neapolitan desserts are delicious. Anyone who has taken a bite of the ricotta-filled, flaky pastry called Sfogliatella or fluffy, deep-fried Zeppola will know exactly what I am talking about.
There is no way you and your family is leaving Naples without tasting any at least one of many wonderful desserts that Naples has to offer. Sfogliatella, Babà, Pastiera, and Zeppola are some of the popular ones. The scene is even better during Christmas when markets are stuffed with Struffoli, Sapienza, and Cassata Napoletana.
10. Take a ride on Funicolare Centrale
Funicolare Centrale is one of the longest funiculars in the world and carries millions of passengers every year. Taking a ride on the Central Funicular can be a thrilling thing to do with kids in Naples.
The train ascends at an angle of 30 degrees that seems like real adventure. The ride lasts about 5 minutes. At the end of it, you alight at Piazza Vanvitelli – a charming square dotted with plenty of gelato shops. You can travel on the funicular with UNICO Napoli TIC tickets or ANM tickets.
11. Hang out at the Hanging Gardens of the Certosa di San Martino
Certosa di San Marino, a former monastery, is located on the Vomero Hill. Now it is a museum and has an impressive chapel and pretty hanging gardens that your kids will love. Plus, the views from the museum are breathtaking. Definitely one of the hidden gems of Naples.
12. Hike up Mt. Vesuvius
Children across the world have read about Mt. Vesuvius in their history textbooks. They probably remember the deadly eruption that destroyed Pompeii. No doubt, kids will enjoy staring down the crater that spewed lava hundreds of years ago. And it will, definitely, be a worthwhile lesson to share back in school.
Hiking up the mountain is safe, dusty, and not too difficult if you do not have breathing issues. Getting a good pair of shoes, a hat, and lots of water is highly recommended. Make sure you go early in the morning to avoid the midday sun.
13. Enjoy panoramic views of Naples by the bay
Once you are done with all that Naples has to offer, head out to one of the strategic viewing points at either Posilipo or Vomero and take in stunning views of Naples by the bay. Mt. Vesuvius in the background adds to the beauty of the frame.
You can get to both Posilipo and Vomero by using the funicular or the metro. Apart from the views, you can have some good Neapolitan food and gelato here.
14. Take a Day Trip from Naples
Naples is located close to the Almalfi Coast, which his home to some of the most beautiful little towns in Italy. In around an hour you can arrive to Sorrento or Almalfi, take the ferry over to the Island of Capri, or you can even head over to explore the ruins of Pompeii.
Italy Family Holiday
We hope this post gives you a range of things to do in Naples with kids along your travels in Italy. If you are looking for more inspiration check out our main post: What to see and do on your Italy Family Holiday