It’s 2018 so time to sort this drama once and for all. Is Naples safe for tourists or not? Let’s spill the truth!

It’s the elephant in the room of every discussion around Naples. Just like happened when I visited Rio de Janeiro, most of my conversations before heading to Italy’s third largest city had to do with safety.

Naples stands out as the crazy chaotic brother of all cities in Italy. A huge contrast to Milan‘s elegance or Rome‘s classic beauty, the maze of crumbling narrow streets can be daunting at first.

I confess I started questioning my safety when reading online some reviews and posts.

Actual quotes you can find online about Naples, Italy

I’ve dig in TripAdvisor, the Rick Steves forum and other places where travelers share their “experiences”. This are some of the quotes I’ve found:

  • 1. “Naples is a very unpleasant and unsafe city, with very rude people”
  • 2. “There are pickpockets everywhere on the city center”
  • 3. “It’s one of the cities with most crime in the world”
  • 4. “You can get easily run over by scooters”
  • 5. “The Mafia can assault you anytime”
    and my personal favorite:
  • 6. “Neighbours throw homemade bombs to each other”

So is it really like this? Should you be paranoid? How much of this is true and how much is being dramatic?
I’ll try to put it clear as water.

 is naples safe for tourists in 2018 - galleria umberto I.
Is this where they throw bombs at each other?



Safety facts about Naples, Italy: What is really true?

How safe is Naples compared to other cities?

To start, nothing better than putting things in perspective. If you look at the Criminality Index in Numbeo, Naples ranks #65 on the world.

Definitely not an amazing result, but this means Naples, Italy is safer than many US cities like Houston, Philadelphia or Atlanta.. According to this, the unsafest city I’ve been is Rio de Janeiro, in #10. Top 10 is way more scary!

safety napoli criminality index

In fact, Italian sources state that crime in Naples is less frequent than in Rome or Milan. What about that?

But there’s more. Let’s see what the US State Department’s report has to say.

Visitors are generally safe and are not singled out/targeted based on nationality. However, tourists and foreigners may be targeted for petty theft.

And Lonely Planet.

Naples has long suffered a reputation as a dangerous place. In reality, the city today is a relatively safe place, especially if you heed the following basic safety tips.

So… that’s it? No violent crime or risk of being murdered? No homemade bombs thrown at me? I can actually get out of Naples ALIVE?

Yap. Like in any big city in Europe, pickpocketing, bag snatching and fraud at street markets can occur in Naples. It’s mostly small crime of convenience which can be relatively safeguarded with some basic safety rules. As for violent crime, is extremely rare amongst tourists.

But what about the Mafia?

As shocking as is to believe that Mafia still operates in Europe, it does. For the past 400 years, the secretive and mysterious Camorra is deeply related to Naples’s black economy as well as honest businesses. Even its most famous pizzeria was blackmailed by Camorra at some point.

Now as a tourist, what do you have to do this? Probably nothing. It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be targeted by a Mafia thug. Their focus is on business owners and locals, they simply don’t care about yet another tourist coming to their city.

is naples safe for tourists in 2018 - seaside promenade
Via Caracciolo, a completely safe area in Naples.

Dodgy areas in Naples, Italy

To be fair Naples looks and feels disorganized and it has indeed some dodgy and even ugly areas. The streets near the Central Station Garibaldi are an example. But how’s that different than any other city like New York or Paris?

Again, even Rome has a dodgy area near Termini Station too and doesn’t suffer from this terrible travel reputation.

And what about the absolutely safe areas no one mentions about? From what I’ve experienced Caracciolo, Lungomare and other zones in Centro Storico can be considered safe.

⭐ Seeking a safe place to stay in Naples? (1/2)⭐

ToledoStation B&B
 
Located a 2-min walk from the gorgeous Toledo metro station, this B&B is perfect for a short stay in Naples. The travel-inspired décor is just awesome! Book now

Or just use this shortlist of the best-reviewed hotels in Naples (9+), with WiFi and in the best areas of the city.

Careless driving

Oh the infamous italian scooters and vespas. Yes, traffic can be chaotic, noisy and confusing. In this particular topic and in a much smaller scale, Naples is the Bangkok of Europe. Seeing 3/4 people on a scooter is not uncommon.

To be honest, walking through the narrow, poorly-maintained and crowded streets of the city center while motorcycles race around might be riskier than crime or petty theft.

I completely understand this uncivilized driving behaviour can be shocking for some. However if you’re an experienced traveler and have visited places like India, Thailand or Vietnam before, Naples shouldn’t shock you.

Seagull. ITALY iPhone SE A seagull enjoying the gorgeous view over Mount Vesuvius in Castell dell'Ovo. Not many people roam here, making it a tranquil alternative to Naples chaotic city center. Specially compared to Castell Nuovo where all the cruise tourists go to! @visitnaplesofficial #naples #napoli #napolipix #visitnaples #seagull #igerseurope #mountvesuvius #castelldellovo #gulfofnaples #italia #igersnapoli #lp #italy #lppathfinders #Travelgram #travelblogger #betterwithpixter #fodorsonthego #travelingthroughtheworld #TourThePlanet #TheGlobeWanderer #OurPlanetDaily #WeLiveToExplore #aquelasuaviagem #RoamThePlanet #ThePhotoSociety #exploreeverything #PassportReady #MeetTheWorld #travelinfluencer I own GeekyExplorer.com, a travel website focusing on sharing detailed guides, itineraries and the best insider advice to make you travel smart. Let's make you a geek of your next destination

Uma publicação partilhada por BRUN, The Travel Geek (@bruno_mb) a

Tips to stay safe in Naples, Italy

If you want to maximize your chances of staying safe, follow the tips below. Note the majority of them are standard safety rules to follow ANYWHERE!

1. Don’t go there paranoid.

This might be the most useful piece of advice. Don’t get scared by the online reviews of Naples. The first step for your Naples trip is to take reviews from TripAdvisor and similar websites with a pinch of salt.

Online reviews are a topic for a post alone. But in a nutshell just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s the general rule. To start, you don’t know who’s writing them. People who heard a story from someone who heard a story from someone who heard a story? Have they even been to Naples? Even if they have been, there many travel personas and chances are they don’t see places the way you do.

If someone that has only traveled in luxury cruises lands in Naples, of course he’s only going to regurgitate what he knows about its reputation. Expect a dissertation on “Oh it’s so unsafe and ugly”. Most likely he will struggle and/or refuse to see past the graffiti (Italian word for a reason) and a couple of dirty streets.

When you are faced with these comments, challenge back. Ask why exactly they say is unsafe. Dig deeper. Perspective is key in the online world.

2. Learn the neighborhoods.

Like any major city, there are areas you should avoid. The cheapest hotels are concentrated around the Garibaldi Central Station, but staying there will give you a wrong idea of the city.

The Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quartier) zone can also be unsafe at night time. Only go there during the day – maybe to have lunch at the lovely Trattoria Da Nennella!

is naples safe for tourists in 2017 - spanish quartier streets
The lovely streets of Spanish Quartier.

3. Don’t show off shiny jewelry or expensive gadgets.

This one is obvious. You shouldn’t even do this on your home town.

4. Take care of your belongings.

Another obvious one. Never leave your bags unattended. In restaurants and bars, loop your bag’s strap around your leg or arm. Avoid keeping valuables in easy-to-reach pockets – a money belt might be useful if you’re too concerned.

5. Take extra measures on the Circumvesuviana.

The Circumvesuviana train seems to be the root of many issues affecting tourists in Naples. If you want to be extra safe, take the Campania Express train instead.

is naples safe for tourists in 2018 - campania express
Campania Express feels like a premium experience.

For an extra fee, you can get to places like Pompeii, Vesuvius and Sorrento quicker. It’s a premium express train that only stops on the touristy places. Locals don’t tend to use it.

If you still want to board the Circumvesuviana, at least board it in Porta Nolana instead of Garibaldi train station. It’s less crowded, so it will guarantee you a seat.

Not only this is more convenient, it’s an additional protection to potential pickpockets who normally target people next to the door.

6. Walk carefully…

Some of the streets in Naples‘ city center are narrow and badly lit at night. Be careful with the vespas racing by.

7…. but confidently.

Many people overlook this. If you are entering a problematic zone already afraid, it will show. It will show on your body language, the way you walk, on your eyes. Keep a positive attitude and walk with a purpose. In my case, I also recur to my “not amused” face.

8. Blend in.

If you walk around with a t-shirt “I ❤️ NAPLES”, you’re not putting yourself in a good position. I mean, this is not a theme park.

Watch how locals behave and dress themselves and try to blend in as much as possible. This should be one of the most exciting aspects of travel anyway!

⭐ Seeking a safe place to stay in Naples? (2/2)⭐

Grand Hotel Oriente
 
In the heart of Naples, this hotel boasts great views over the Vesuvius and Castell Sant’Elmo. The breakfast on the terrace is an O-M-G moment. Book now

Or just use this shortlist of the best-reviewed hotels in Naples (9+), with WiFi and in the best areas of the city.

Is Naples Safe? The Verdict

Quick answer to the title of this post is yes, Naples is safe for tourists. You just need common sense and to take the same precautions you’d take in other big cities. Maybe add an extra level of awareness in some areas like the Garibaldi Central Station. That’s it.

Here’s a graph that scientifically put things in perspective.

safety in naples - reality vs expectation
Safety levels in Naples: Expectation vs Reality.

Not gonna lie. Naples is far from being perfect. Yes, it has some dodgy areas. Yes, pickpocketing targeting careless tourists can be frequent. Yes, you’ll need to be aware of your stuff.

But is this a reason to avoid Naples completely? Which big city in the world doesn’t have these issues?

Don’t be paranoid with safety and try to look past the crumbling buildings or traffic jams. IMHO the danger for tourists is massively overstated and the city has things to keep you busy for at least a full day. It’s lively, authentic and has some of the best value in food in Western Europe. And the world’s best pizza (!) which personally is a big bonus for me.

And most of all, keep a positive attitude. Just like when I worried about visiting Rio de Janeiro, I realized fear is always your number 1 enemy.



Did you feel Naples was safe? Did it lived to its reputation?
Did you take any extra safety measures? Share your experience below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

98 comments

  1. Hi,

    We are planning to visit Naples in end of December and plans to stay in Le Cheminee Business Hotel. Is that area safe for Couple?

  2. Naples is great! We have a house just outside and have been going there for 40 years. Never had a problem. Understanding and embracing the culture is key! Everyone is loud! No one understands privacy( there is no Italian word for that). Driving is about owning your space not about giving way to others. Pride of ownership is confined to internals. Flashy externals just draw unwanted attention. There is beauty pride and passion alongside filth and chaos. Every time we go we see something new.

    1. Angelo, I agree! We recently traveled to Naples with kids and the only danger was to lose them because it is overcrowded. But we knew if we lose them where we would find them: probably in some bakery or some pastry shop I wrote a story about Naples with kids but it is for all those travelers who feel like kids. https://www.momthemuse.com/naples-pizza-home-town/

  3. Just back from a long weekend in Naples with 7 male colleagues. The average age of our group is 58 and we are well travelled. We were residing in a traditional 3 star hotel just to the back of the Garabaldi train terminus and near to where the airport shuttle bus stops. Yes the area is edgy with rough sleepers and other types hanging about but we encountered no hassle and were never approached by any beggars unlike other cities and even our home country of Scotland.
    Yes you have to take the normal precautions as in any city and in fact one of our party had his wallet stolen from his shorts in the local train to Pompei as did another gent we spoke to the airport.
    Take great care on these trains and keep your wallet in your hip pocket with hand in top.
    The city is litter strewn in areas but it is atmospheric and every restaurant or cafe we visited was good and enjoyable.
    We enjoyed it but be careful as you always should be.

  4. Hi, I just came back from a week staying in Sorrento that included a couple of days exploring Naples. I found Naples to be grimy-looking in places and quite rough-and-ready, but I loved it: it’s full of life and great things to see and do – and it’s got an amazing history. Such a privilege to visit it. I thought your article was spot-on. Travellers should heed basic safety tips just as in any big city and then just concentrate on having a good time. Get into the swing of it and enjoy!

    I’ll be reading more of your website now I’ve found it – thanks for your wise perspective.

  5. The city of Naples is a dump. Articles like this that promote tourism to such a dirty and dishonest city really need to reflect on what they are promoting. I didnt even come close to being robbed, but the unfriendly arrogance of the locals, the constant underlying threat from theives, combined with the filth of the city adds upto anything but a tourists hotspot. Why spend your hard earn money in a place where people give stuff all about the environment and even less about visitors to there city.

    1. I can’t understand why people say Naples is dirty, in my opinion it’s old and well lived in. There is plenty to do with fantastic art and churches. The streets are full of character and life. If you go into the Spanish Quarter, where we stayed the food and wine was outstanding in restaurants that were all full of locals. Herculanium and Pompeii are world class ancient sites and to top top it all off where else can you visit a live volcano? Regarding crime on the occasions that we strayed into some areas the locals were quick to advise us and i was told to put my Rolex in my pocket. Naples is a fantastic place to visit don’t be put off.

  6. We loved Napoli!! We took our six year old daughter and never once felt unsafe. Yes there is litter, but look up! There’s Vesuvius! The people were very friendly, the food was great, shopping was great too. Look past the trash and you are in for an exotic Italian treat.

  7. Guys, If I was you I would watch out for some of the comments reporting extremely negative tales about Naples. While I am sure some of them are genuine, it’s common practice among people who working in the tourism industry in Florence, Venice and Milan to add very negative reviews about Naples for fear of losing tourists in their own cities. It’s a nasty world out there and people are willing to do anything not to lose market shares. Even unfair competition. Peace.

  8. I’m going Naples for 6 days on Tuesday to celebrate parents 80th birthdays. (Sorrento for 3 days later) We’ve been to Marseille and Genoa, neither salubrious but loved them. Staying in Vomero which seems lovely. Planning on getting Campania Express from Porta Nolana to Sorrento so they get a seat. Although Dad could pass for Italian, mum and I are pale and we all look like tourists. They are also not so mobile. I am a bit apprehensive but we are not innocents abroad. We do want to go to local markets etc and get authentic experience so guess we just keep wits about us. Am really looking forward to it. Will post when back.

  9. Just arrived in Naples today and was scammed by a taxi claiming we gave him a counterfeit 20€ (it wasn’t because I got it from the ATM this morning). He had it planted it his wad of money and threatened us. We both went to the police station near Molo Beverello and spent 30 minutes talking with officers. They barely believed us and took the crook’s side at first until we could back up our withdrawal and all spending with receipts. The crook was just let go.

    This article is garbage. It is an ugly, dirty place full of craven individuals. Seriously, this article is terrible.

    1. Sorry for your bad experience. To be fair that could happen anywhere, I’ve heard the same exact scams in Lisbon and Barcelona, for instance. Personally, I don’t trust taxis at all anywhere, but that’s just me.

      What I don’t admit is saying this article is “terrible” just because you had a different experience than mine.

  10. This article is a crock of sh***. I just took a ferry from palermo to naples. Walked with luggage from the port to garibaldi to use a luggage drop-off service. After slogging through the disgusting streets, i had lunch in a highly touted pizzeria a few blocks from garibaldi. While i ate, i watched a group of thugs use a hacksaw to steal a bike, then steal gas from all of the scooters parked on the street. Went to pompeii & back, and saw about 50-100 homeless people in between. Gypsies begging on every train. Graffitti covered everything. Every single street i was on had piles of garbage. I later spotted one of the thug’s mates near the bag drop and booked it to my train to Rome.

    I’ve been to every populated area in the northeast, and the only place it reminded me of was Newark or Camden. Oh I almost forgot the group of a few thousand muslims praying to mecca surrounded by national police. Glad nobody decided to jihad that day.

    Later napoli

    1. Nice. You’re comparing a city whose murder rate in 2016 was 2 each 100.000 inhabitants to cities in the US where it ranges between 4 and 8. Nice try. You didn’t see Gypsies in Rome? That makes me wonder about the authenticity of your comment, considering it’s the city with most Gypsies in Italy.

    2. Your comment is so full of obnoxious and xenophobic comments, it’s just sad.

      But I will ask – how was your experience in Rome? Crime rate there is HIGHER than in Naples and I’m sure there are “gypsies” there too. No mosques? No homeless people? I’m impressed.

      We see what we chose to see.

      PS: still find it funny you found a “highly touted pizzeria” and HAD LUNCH THERE ANYWAY.

  11. Just got back from a week in Naples, staying in the old historic quarter near the University. First impressions – can’t get away from the fact that the city is very dirty, truly filthy streets with broken glass everywhere, and graffiti on most buildings. The broken, uneven paving slabs with gaps between them made walking difficult in some areas.
    I’m nearly 60 and my daughters are in their late 20’s but we never felt unsafe. We found people were pleasant and helpful, especially when we were trying to work out which platform our train to Pompeii left from. The trains we took always left on time and were clean and air conditioned, very impressed!
    Getting boats to the near by islands such as Capri and Procito was easy and well organised.
    Naples has many pedestrianised streets but it’s important to always be aware of traffic,especially as some of the streets are very narrow and scooters rush down them at great speed. On several occasions, to our surprise, cars stopped to let us cross the road, we really didn’t expect that. If you are vigilant traffic isn’t a problem.
    The food in Naples was just amazing and such good value for money, one of my daughters is vegetarian and it was paradise, especially after Cuba and Spain. There is so much to do and see there, we had a wonderful week and would strongly recommend it to anyone.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience!

      I do agree some streets are dirty and gritty – especially around the train station – but fortunately dirty doesn’t mean unsafe. It’s just come as a shock for people used to impeccably clean and sanitized environments (note for those people: try visiting Asia!).

      Thanks for also mentioning the food, it’s extremely good value and I miss it dearly!

  12. Finally!! Thank you for this. I am going to Naples in December. It helps a lot.
    I learnt the bad reputation was mostly made by northern Italy to keep tourism away. I took an hotel once behind Termini station in Roma and never had any trouble when coming back at night.

  13. Just been on a five night stay in Naples with my husband and two children (16 and 13). We loved it. I was very apprehensive about going after reading reviews but we never once felt unsafe, travelled on the circumvesuviana twice, once from Garibaldi and once from Centrale. I wish we could have had a few more days, definitely recommend the underground walking tour. Oh, and we survived walking through the Spanish quarter, fascinating.

  14. Ignorance is bliss. I flew in with my family yesterday (7 of us) and we’re leaving mid day today. Never had a bad experience. I ran into your article on the way to Sorrento by pure coincidence. I don’t have anything bad to say about Naples other than some people at the hotel we stayed at were a bit rude. You get that anywhere you go though, so not singling it out for that reason.

    1. Sorry you had a bad experience at your hotel Star. To be fair, that could happen anywhere and doesn’t take away the raw beauty of the place 😉

  15. Just got mugged in Naples.

    Went to a supposedly nice restaurant recommended by the hotel. After leaving the restaurant Scialuppa in the best part of Naples near Castle dell’Ovo, a guy in a helmet was trying to pull off my Hublot watch. Couldn’t and ran to his accomplice on a scooter and raced off. Walked in shock with my wife for 50 meters and 3 guys jumped us, again trying to pull off my watch. Ended up in a full punching brawl. They even pulled my wives hair and hit her in the head. I got hit a few times, but fought back and now have bruised knuckles. Hopefully they used ice on their faces.

    In short, area around Castle dell’Ovo, including all the restaurants, seems to be linked to gangs. I suspect a waiter at the restaurant or nearby notify the gangs that i had a good watch, and they came specifically for us and the watch. Didn’t even try to rip off my diamond cross.

    They attacked at 8:30pm, on a big and well lit up street, full of people. People just watched, didn’t even scream or call the police. There were even lots of military police and actual police around. The gangs didn’t care.

    I would stay away from Naples. One of the worst cities we ever visited.

  16. Great advice. Just returned from Naples. Absolutely loved it. Although, because of reputation, I felt uneasy upon arriving, after ‘settling in’ I loved it. I felt completely safe at all times. Just follow basic rules of safety and you’ll be fine. I wouldn’t stay anywhere near the train station. We stayed on the Toledo and it was perfect. Please don’t avoid Naples. You won’t regret it.

    1. Exactly my experience. I felt all the reputation made me self-conscious and anxious, but once I was settled, I really enjoyed the place.

      Agree on the area around the train station – it can be very dodgy.

      Thank you for passing by!

  17. Went to Naples two days ago with the intention of spending the night. Couldn’t do it. Why risk when you don’t have to.

    1. If you’re used to sanitized environments, then the city is not for you.
      I recommend never visiting Africa, South America or Southeast Asia!

  18. I’m headed to Naples soon for employment. Thanks for the insight and advice. I read all of the comments. I’m looking forward to my adventure. I will be traveling and living with common sense. I’ve been as a cruise ship tourist but looking forward to my extended stay.

  19. We’re heading to Italy for a 3-week stay in August and we just took Naples off the list because of all the rumours flying about. After reading this, I may put it back in. We love to stay near the train stations when we travel, so hearing that those are the seediest areas is a bit disconcerting. We are travelling with our 11-year old child, so we wouldn’t be out and about much after dark anyways.

  20. I love Napoli. I spent a year there with a geology research team years ago (about 20) and it changed my life. The city is full of life, history, great food. I still miss the day-to-day encounters I had, a very lovely and social culture. I’ve been itching to go back for a visit and researching how things are now. I think the advice in this article is spot on. The city is not Disneyland and you do need to keep your wits about you, but I found it to be an unforgettable place.

  21. This is a fantastic piece. I am visiting Naples soon and was doing a quick Google search on safety as I heard it can be proper dodgy there (the Mafia scares me)! I have accidentally hung out with drug dealers in Mumbai and accidentally been drinking with Russian gangsters in a brothel in Marseille and it all was fine….I love these gritty (not shitty) cities and looking forward to it. Very informative blog

  22. Just Came Back From Naples June 22nd 2018
    After Eating At Pizza Place With 3 Members Of Family outside Restaurant Under Large Umbrellas . We Decided To Go Shopping I Was The Last To Get Up From My Seat After Taking 7 Steps My Gold Chain Was Snatched From My Neck By A White Male About 22 Years Old I Nearly Caught Him He Had Help My Hopping On Motorcycle With 2 Others Already On Motorcycle He Got Away !
    Went To 2 Napoli Police Departments No One Spoke English, They Didn’t Seem To Care About What Happened To Me !
    Came Along Way To See Napoli Very Disappointing Vacation!
    Police Department A Mess Will Never See This Place Again Nor Will I Recomend Anyone To Visit This Mess

  23. I find it interesting you mention the “streets near the Central Station Garibaldi” and “Circumvesuviana” train as some examples of the unsafe areas in Naples, and yet all your pictures are of the beautiful and safe places. It would come across more genuine if you would show the worst and the best, as well as the average. I was hoping for some pictures of the places people get mugged at, so I’d know what to stay away from.

    P.S. I came across your blog while google-searching Naples crime rate, as a result of hearing a story about someone getting dragged across the Naples streets by a motorcyclist who was trying to steal her purse. Her purse was stolen, and she lost her passport. She said she was staying in a dodgy part of Naples.

    1. Thanks for your comment, that’s a very fair point.

      In any way, I want to disguise the reality of Napoli with this article and I’m the first to acknowledge the gritty and dirty nature of the city is not for everyone (especially if you come from a resort & cruise travel style).

      My intention was to show the other side of Naples: the bustling lively city, completely different than European standards, with beautiful architecture and delicious food.

      Nevertheless, I accept your point. I will review the content of this post and consider adding some other pictures I took.

  24. My wife and I have this very day just returned from an 8 day holiday in the general area, including 4 days in Naples. Our hotel was in Piazza Bellini, right in the heart of the historic centre. Naples exaggerates all the faults and virtues of Italy. Chaotic streets, widespread graffiti, non-existent public services, incredible churches, staggering views of the bay and coast, amazing food and friendly locals, noisy piazzas, disfiguring piles of rubbish, precious art. By far, it is the liveliest city we have visited in Europe. We felt completely safe and saw nothing to suggest we shouldn’t.

  25. Heck, I just have to post a comment.
    I read all the comments, so, I won’t start on the city being no more dangerous place than many others.
    I will comment on driving in Napoli. I haven’t been to places like India before, so my experience was very fresh.
    Plaza Garibaldi, rented car. No GPS, a paper map on my laps. I was’t exactly a newbie driver then, but after I got out of there, I was like “never-ever-again”. Then I spend over a month driving around the city and learnt to navigate it rather well.
    Well, where else in Europe a policeman, seeing a 6-month old baby hanging out of the front window and waving him will… wave his hand back with a smile?! Driving there is a mix of concurrency and respect. You cut when you can, you give way when being undercut. I learnt to see the scooters around the car, and feel what maneuver would be safe. I learn to enjoy the vibe of the traffic, all this hoking around. I became a better driver. After we got back to our hometown in northern Finland, I was like “c’mon-what’s-the-slomo?” on the roads.
    Five years later we visited the city with our own car. An absolute joy! Finally a place for the road users, not the police watchmen.

    p.s. Take care & Drive safe!
    p.p.s. Safe or not, I believe the city is polarizing. Some people just can’t stand it. I personally am torn by the thought that visiting it is very different from living there.

    1. Thank you Sergei, loved your culture shock story! Haha
      Definitely is a polarizing city, and I don’t think that’s bad, on the contrary, it’s intense, vibrant and requires some “street smart” levels, many people simply don’t know how to deal with it as they’re expecting luxury treatment in sterile environments. Definitely not the case of Napoli!

  26. My husband & I returned yesterday from a wonderful 5 day trip to Naples, & both agree it is our favourite Italian city. We felt completely safe throughout, & had no issues with pick-pockets etc.
    In the afternoons my husband had a siesta, & I, a 57 year old woman, wandered happily around the city alone.
    We had superb food, both in local restaurants & one fancy Michelin starred place, & delicious local wines.
    There are so many marvellous things to see, I urge everyone to go…

  27. I am here in Naples now. While I have visited all of italy many times, I always avoided staying in Naples. Of course, I still prefer staying in Sorrento for longer visits, but Naples is a very beautiful city, and much more cosmopolitan that I would have thought.

    I do recommend pushing your hotel budget a little more here and find the nicest hotel you can comfortably afford. Being in a nice area gives you the opportunity to stay out a little later at night without worry.

    I also would suggest using a money belt even if it is just for peace of mind. Losing your valuables can ruin any trip. Why take the chance.

    As for the circumvesuviana line. Take it. It is such an adventure. Just be cautious. Pickpockets are very good at their “job”. My husband wraps a very thick rubber band around his wallet which makes it harder to pull out smoothly. My wallet is attached to the inside of my purse.

    Rick Steves suggest that you never carry more money in your wallet or purse than you can afford to lose. Good advice.

    Come to Naples. It is beautiful, and while you are here, consider renting a car (at the airport so you don’t have to drive in town). And explore all of the south. As much as I have always loved Italy, I love it ten times more after traveling in the south…Matera, Otanto, Polignano a Mare. There are some beautiful UNCROWDED places to explore here.

    1. Thanks for your tips, especially the money belt is a great idea (I use it all the time, not only in Naples). I think you agree with me when I say to keep an eye as you’d do in any city abroad and you’ll be fine 😉

  28. A few days ago googled to see if Naples is now a safe place to visit, and came across your article regarding Naples, not yet planned to visit there, but hopefully in the near future. Imagine the disbelief after seeing the list of unsafest cities, Marseille is rated at 55th, and Naples 10 down on 65th, I had been to Marseille a few years back without knowing it! Anyway, thought it is a really good article.

  29. I just came back from Naples and was positively impressed. The architecture and the panoramic view of the gulf and Mt. Vesuvius are simply stunning. The moment you find yourself in the Plebiscito squadre, in front of the Royal Palace and next to the San Carlo theather (the most ancient one in Europe which is still active) you immediately get the feeling this used to be more than just a city: it was really a capital (the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily existed for around 7 centuries before Italian unification). Not very far from this square you can find two beautiful castles: the castel dell’Ovo, from the Aragonese period, and the Maschio Angoino, from the Anjou period. And right next to it they just found some ancient Roman ruins while bulding a new metro station. Amazing. The tourist guide told me: “you can’t build anything in Naples without discovering some ancient thing”. Recently they also discovered the remains of three ancient Roman ships. The Archeological Museum is probably the biggest one in Italy and full of interesting stuff. The Capodimonte Museum is also worth a visit. I also went to the Royal Palace of Caserta, the second biggest one in Europe after Versailles, but you have to go there on a separate day because it’s literally HUGE and it’s outside the city of Naples (45 minutes by train), kinda like the Potsdam Pace is outside of Berlin. The food was amazing. I ate in a restaurant called “50 Kalò” and their Pizza was the best ever. They also have very yummy traditional pastries. Seafood is very good too. Plus restaurants are cheap compared to Rome or Florence. As fas as safety is concerned, my impression is that many people confuse Naples’ chaotic nature with a higher risk of something bad happening to them, so they will tell you scary stories even though nothing actually happened to them or to people they know. In Barcelona they robbed me twice. In London they tried to. In Naples I could walk for 5 days around the city without anybody bothering me. People are actually very friendly and cheerful, definitely more than in Northern Italy, although not many speak proper English. So by all means take all precautions you would take in any other big city, but don’t go there thinking you’re entering a warzone. You’re most likely gonna be fine. I noticed that the area around Piazza Garibaldi (Central Station) is full of (probably) illegal immigrants trying to sell (probably) fake products. So avoid that area. There’s nothing there to see anyway. Another thing I didn’t expect was Naples’ beautiful metro stations. They turned some of them into some kind of free modern art galleries. Still, the trains are not always on time and some crucial stations are still under construction. I hope they complete them soon because this would definitely improve a tourist’s experience and final rating of the city. If you want to do some shopping, try via Toledo and Galleria Umberto (which is also a sightseeing attraction). They also told me the Vomero area is good for shopping but it was quite far from the historic center so i didn’t go there.

    1. Thanks for the positivity and for sharing some knowledge, learned something today 🙂
      Yes I agree Piazza Garibaldi (Central Station) is one of the most gritty areas, but again, which city doesn’t have these?

  30. I’m traveling around Italy for a few weeks and just left Naples yesterday and wow… That city is one of the worst cities i’ve visited. Here are some highlights:

    1. Every square inch of the city is covered in terrible graffiti. Even the famous monuments, churches, and statues.

    2. You can see criminals operating in the daytime. Literal gangs of immigrants pick pocketing in broad daylight without a cop in sight.

    3. The streets are filled with dirt, trash, and human and dog feces. You can see the used toilet paper right next to it…

    4. The food is terrible. All the little stands that usually present their dishes are barely filled and instead of nice laid out meals it’s cheap processed bread with stale looking meat and cheese.

    5. The parks are filled with homeless camps. Not one park wasn’t filled with people sleeping in tents and boxes.

    Unless you want to see “old Italy” covered in graffiti and filth while being run by immigrant gangs of pick pocketers, stay away…

    1. 1. Not a reason to consider a city one of “the worst” in the world. Sad, but hundreds of cities have this problem.

      2. Never seen this.

      3. Again, don’t want to say I don’t trust you, I will just say I definitely didn’t have the same experience as you.

      4. Sorry, but you’ve completely missed out and lost credibility for me here. Food in Naples is amazing, it’s a shame you just went to tourist traps.

      5. Even Rome has more homeless people per capita, how about that? Also same with NYC for example – does that makes it a terrible city too?

    2. I’ll agree with all that you pointed. That is the true… Italy is another country that is going down because of the multicultural Europe. I hope that Easter European countries will be away from such shit…

    3. Vasil, the city is dirty because of the mafia, not the migrants. It is the mafia who owns the waste business.

    4. Also, Portland, Oregon, is plagued with homeless. Not specific to Naples. I have never seen that many in a “developed” country!

  31. My mother was born and raised in Naples until the age of 18 where she married my father and moved to the U.S. As a child she took me back frequently to visit relatives. As an adult i lived and worked there. As husband and father I have taken my wife and children back there frequently. That being said it I have never been a victim of crime mentioned and I have visited many areas of Naples. I agree with many of the posts. You must be observant, be aware of the surroundings of course. Many of most are spot on about the vespas, the traffic and driving and how to avoid being “swarmed”. As well as how if you try and speak the language or being courteous to the Neapolitans you will have a wonderful experience. Petty crime is a large issue because of the economy and high unemployment rate, However, a lot of crime is now coming from immigrants that have have been funneled through Naples. These crimes are not just towards the tourists but towards the locals as well. The fake goods are rampant. The chinese flooded the area about 12 years ago and demolished alot of local merchants. I have spoken with my family frequently about these issues. The majority of my family were small business owners and have had to deal with all of these issues. With all of this being said I still I still feel safer in Naples than many of the large cities in the U.S. and I have traveled frequently in the U.S. and in the world. My grand mother lives in a “not so safe” neighbor hood and every time i take a cab back to her house i always get a second glance and a question of “are you sure this is where you need to go”. The Neapolitans to me are unique. The city of Naples is unlike so many cities in the world. Neapolitans for the most part still like Americans and for me that is wonderful. That is becoming rarer in the world as the years go by. They don’t like our politics but how many of us actually like are politics? I am truly sorry for anyone who has had a bad experience there.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s really important to people share these real stories because Naples is made of humans, just like anywhere else in the world. From what I’ve seen in the media people talk like it was a city of criminals.

  32. I spent three nights in Naples in October of 2017. I had a wonderful time. The things to do are endless. Great Castles, Churches, Museums and Naples Underground was awesome. The historic old section was fun and interesting. Good small restaurants up and down Via Toledo and the side streets for pizza, beer and coffee.
    I didn’t think it was filthy dirty and never once saw piles of trash in the streets.
    I would recommend a trip to Naples to anyone had a great time.

  33. Hey, Thanks for the nice review of an amazing city. Naples will amaze you with its art history and warm people. I think it’s sad that some tourists base they’re review on a holiday spent around the Garibaldi station area. There are many areas that even locals avoid ( areas around Garibaldi station and airport ), visiting them as a foreigner is definitely a no-no. There are amazing neighbourhoods and safe areas that are weirdly overlooked by most travel guides. Places like Via dei mille, via chiaia, the vomero and the beach areas are very elegant and very safe, and will give you a taste of the beauty this city has to offer, without the noise, dirt and petty theft. Naples isn’t just Pompeii, Spanish quarters and the old town! those are definitely the most chaotic places and they can leave certain types of people feeling uneasy. Naples is truly one of a kind and you will not regret visiting it.

    1. Exactly, I feel people form this opinion about Naples based on the Garibaldi area – which is indeed gritty – and miss out on the potential the city has elsewhere. I really enjoyed getting to know the little streets, the vibe of the city and of course, the amazing food!

  34. Bad experience here. Being robbed 4 times in 6 months. Assaulted for no reasons by baby gangs 2 times in one year. People didn’t even react or helped me. Nah. Big nope.

  35. Hello,

    I worked in Naples area for 3 years and me and my family loved it, we were treated like family by our landlords invited for diner often, our child at the time was born there and people loved him, it is a very family , social place that introverts have issues with. I found that most of the folks that had issues in Naples were those that 1. refused to speak the language 2. Stayed in an isolated area with only Americans for the entire time working there and 3. where very closed minded. We enjoyed the Food, well the people were a little over the top if your not used to it but we adapted and enjoyed it so much we went to Sicily for another four years. If you try and blend in and try embrace and learn from where you are it can really be surprising. We still have life long friends from both Naples and Sicily. We would go back in a heart beat.

    1. Completely agree with you. If you don’t open yourself and really dig into the culture, you’re most likely be targeted by someone. That happens everywhere, by the way.

      All it takes is a bit of open-mind, positive vibes, it can go a long way 😉

  36. I was born in Napoli and lived there until I was 13, at which point my family moved to the US (my father is American, my mother Italian). I currently reside in Orlando, Florida but make a yearly trip to Napoli to see friends and family and play tourist.
    That being said, I feel so much safer walking on my own around the gritty Napoli city center with its reputation for being unsafe than I do my own neighborhood in Orlando, which I would consider a middle class/upper middle class gated community. I’m not even exaggerating.
    The thing a lot of American tourists in particular don’t understand or haven’t been told is that random crime in Napoli (especially against foreigners or tourists) is extremely rare and practically unheard of, whereas in the US we have A LOT of random crimes – kidnappings, rapes, shootings. In Napoli you should mostly be worried about petty crimes, but even then if you’re an experienced big city traveler you probably won’t have any issues. As other contributors have recommended, I’ll echo that you definitely should use common sense – don’t walk around with an expensive camera hanging around your neck. Don’t wear your gold jewelry and diamond earrings out in public. Keep your money close to your body, especially if you’re taking public transportation. If a group of kids begins to swarm around you then make sure you make a swift move around the kids and keep walking (little kids use the swarm and distract maneuver to go for pockets and purses). And another tip that I never see mentioned — if someone is making you feel uneasy, make eye contact. Firm eye contact. Neapolitans aren’t shy about eye contact and don’t consider it rude to stare. Don’t be shy…if someone is making you feel uneasy, look them in the eye, let them know that you see them and that you’re aware of them.

    1. Hello,

      I worked in Naples area for 3 years and me and my family loved it, we were treated like family by our landlords invited for diner often, our child at the time was born there and people loved him, it is a very family , social place that introverts have issues with. I found that most of the folks that had issues in Naples were those that 1. refused to speak the language 2. Stayed in an isolated area with only Americans for the entire time working there and 3. where very closed minded. We enjoyed the Food, well I agree with you about the safety issue and state side issues that are more frequent in the states my wife is more concerned here than we were in Napoli.

    2. Thanks Erika for your input.

      I also have the sense people make a big deal about safety in Naples and when we dig into facts, their own cities are more insecure and have bigger crime rates.

      There are some common things one can do to lower the probability you get robbed that work ANYWHERE in the world. My top one is to have a positive attitude.

  37. Loved Naples! Spent a week there in May 2017 and will go back for another week in 2018. I am a single female traveler and I had no issues with safety at all. The food is fantastic and can also be very inexpensive. The sea views are lovely. The people are friendly. The promenade along the seafront is fabulous. Yes, it is “gritty” in places but what city doesn’t have such areas? Give it a chance and you might be surprised…..

    1. Where did you stay? I am traveling there solo for a week in September and looking at an apartment near Dante metro

  38. I loved Naples! Visited in July/2017 and had no problems whatsoever. We stayed in the very centre and travelled with 2 girls.
    It was the most magical place in Italy for us!

  39. I love Naples , the bay of Naples overlooking Mount Vesuvius is really gorgeous! Stay at Best Western Paradiso …….panoramic view. It is just like any other big cities in the world. Enjoy pizza, strolling around the promenade or corniche, visit beautiful areas nearby such as a day trip to Capri Island, Almafi Coast…… really breathtaking…..

  40. I’m a 23 year old girl, went to Naples completely alone and had a great time. It’s gritty, dirty and noisy, but that’s part of its personality and authenticity! Take the time to explore and find the nooks and crooks.
    My B&B host and a cab driver recommended to avoid being outside after 9pm or so. Fine for me, just wake up early and enjoy the day, have dinner, go back to rest, repeat.
    I HAVE to recommend this place: La Terrazza Napoli B&B. Incredible host, incredible breakfast!! on the terrace, clean and spacious and comfy rooms, great location. I wish I could go back. I found it on AirBnB.
    Don’t miss the Santa Chiara complex, it’s a hidden gem, go sit and enjoy the scenery.

    1. Thank you a lot for sharing your experience and debunking some myths Claudia! Next time I’m in Naples I’ll definitely check out La Terrazza and Santa Chiara 🙂

  41. I think it’s a lovely city with great historical buildings. There is a two tier society like in any major city of the world, but the people both rich and poor are very well coming and there is a great buzz about the streets

  42. Naple (Napoli!) is a wonderful and very safe city, or, at least, safe as any other city in the world! Go there to visit and you will have a very nice esperience, where Art, monuments, people, Archeolgy, history and beautiful panoramas, specially on the coast, will give a present to your vacation becoming a golden dream.

  43. Seoul doesn’t have such issues. I’m guessing Tokyo as well. It’s all the culture of the country. Nothing bad in mind, but that’s true.

    1. You’re completely right: completely different culture, society and way of looking at life. Speaking very generally, most people in Eastern Asian countries are unable to do anything to harm others in any way.

  44. I’m from the UK and I’ve been volunteering in Naples for 4 weeks. I can honestly say that there isn’t much difference between London and Naples. You have to be street smart in any big city and take care of your valuables. I was told that girls shouldn’t walk alone anywhere, yet I’ve been walking around the city alone whilst going to my volunteering placement and I’ve never felt unsafe or threatened. Naples definitely does not deserve its bad reputation, I’ve fallen in love with this city and will most likely visit again in the future.

    1. Thank you a lot for sharing your experience and help debunk this myth Amal. I wasn’t in Naples for that long but I got the same impression: although gritty, it’s as safe to visit as many other European cities.

  45. I’m from the UK. I lived in Naples for 4 years in the early 90’s. You have nothing to fear. Use the same common sense approach that you would use in any major city in the world and you’ll be fine. Wallet and keys in front pocket of jeans, backpack over both shoulders, etc. You wouldn’t wander “off the beaten track” too much anywhere….even your home city so apply the same principal. Mafia are not a problem. They prey on the businesses, those businesses rely on tourists in the main so the mafia is not going to hurt it’s revenue stream….simple economics.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      Exactly what I felt in just a few days in the city. For some reason, media make a big deal out of safety in Naples when it’s really a place where you only need common sense and basic laws of awareness.