Planning a family holiday to Italy? Naples is usually known for its famous pizza and food scene but what many people don’t know is that it’s a surprisingly family-friendly city too. Although it’s a relatively old city, it offers a complete package when it comes to things to do with kids in Naples. From world-class museums waiting to be explored to a virtual exhibition of Pompeii and ancient castles full of hidden gems.
It’s best to visit Naples during spring when the temperatures are mild and the crowds are few or in autumn where temperatures are even cooler but you’ll miss the Christmas rush. Naples has a great public transport system so try to avoid renting a car as parking in the city center is expensive and usually quite difficult to find.
Explore the underground city of Naples
One of the most exciting things to do with your kids in Naples is to explore Napoli Sotterranea or Underground Naples. You can only do guided tours of Napoli Sotterranea but it is such a fun thing to do in the city. There is a whole city beneath that includes aqueducts, secret chambers, catacombs, air-raid shelters, and even vegetable gardens tucked away. The tour lasts about 90 minutes and it’s a fascinating way for the whole family to learn more about Naples’ history as you walk around this labyrinth of tunnels. You can find out more about the tour and book your space at Napoli Sotteranea’s website.
Day trip to Pompeii and Herculaneum
Take a short trip out of the city center to explore the excavated towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum which were destroyed and buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E.The excavations offer a glimpse of Roman life in the 1st century and your kids will be able to see how Roman cities looked almost 2000 years ago. Near the Pompeii ruins, you’ll find Virtual Pompeii which is an educational entertainment facility that features a 3D projection room a virtual reconstruction of the ancient town before the volcano erupted. At Virtual Pompeii you’ll also be able to watch live demonstrations of ancient Roman crafting techniques, it’s definitely one of the more unusual things to do with kids in Naples.
Play in Piazza Plebescito
This is one of the largest public squares in Naples and it’s the perfect place for kids to burn off some extra energy. You can sit down and relax at one of the many cafes while your kids enjoy the wide-open area and chase a few pigeons. There is also lots to see from here, you’ll be able to admire the Royal Palace and the famous Church of San Francesco di Paola and nearby is Via Toledo, one of Naples’ popular shopping streets.
Explore an ancient castle
Castles are always a fun place to visit and in Naples, there are two that you can explore. The first is Castel Nuovo which is a medieval castle that was first erected in 1279. This is one of the main architectural attractions in Naples and a must-visit while you’re in the city. The terraces of the castle also offer great views of the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. The second castle is the seafront Castel dell’Ovo (The Egg Castle) which is located on the former island of Megaride. If you climb the tower you’ll be able to see the island of Capri in the distance.
Indulge in the delicious Neapolitan cuisine
From the famous Neapolitan pizza to the delectable desserts, Naples is full of amazing foods that the whole family will enjoy. There is no way you and your family is leaving Naples without trying at least one Neapolitan dessert. From zesty ricotta-filled, flaky pastries called Sfogliatella to the light and fluffy, deep-fried Zeppola Once you’ve enjoyed a hearty helping of Neapolitan pizza it’s time to try some delicious sweet treats. If you’re wondering where to try all of this delicious food, take a look at our food guide or experience it all like a local with a local host by your side.
Take a hike up Mt. Vesuvius
Put on a good pair of shoes, grab a hat and plenty of water and take a hike up Mt. Vesuvius. The hike is safe, not too difficult but it can be quite dusty. It’s best to hike up in the early morning to avoid the hot midday sun. There’s no doubt that your kids will enjoy staring down the crater that spewed lava hundreds of years ago. It’s definitely a worthwhile experience and fun thing to share back in school. Not everyone can say they hiked up a mountain that once destroyed Pompeii.
Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Museo_naz
Visit the Museo Nazionale Ferroviario di Pietrarsa
This is one of the most important train museums in Europe because it is actually located where Italy’s first railway track was inaugurated. It is housed in an old Bourbon workshop that used to build steam engines and boilers. Any train lovers of all ages will find this museum an absolute delight with a huge collection of steam, electric, and diesel locomotives. Your kids will also be able to ride on a mini-train and explore some of the old engines which makes this one of the best interactive things to do with kids in Naples.
Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/cittadellascienza/33184
Explore the Science Centre of Citta della Scienza
Another interactive thing to do with kids in Naples is to explore this science museum. This is one of the first places in Italy that helps kids learn by touching and experimenting. You’ll be able to explore exhibitions about the human body, visit the 3D Planetarium, the Aquarium and discover all sorts of creepy-crawlies in the Bugs Museum. You’ll also be able to play games, simulate, code, and more at the various specialized labs and workshops throughout the center.
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