While there are plenty of things to keep you busy in Naples it’s true that most travellers only spend a day or two visiting the area. To help you maximise your time here are our top 5 things to do in Naples.
Top 5 things to do in Naples
If you haven’t already then check out our Kayak Napoli post. It has been the best adventure we have had in Italy so far and it was a great way to explore the Naples coastline.
Warm turquoise water laps against the side of your kayak as you paddle along beside the cliffs. With huge caves to explore and ancient roman ruins to snorkel around there is much more than just paddling involved as well. And it’s not only for the super adventurous as it’s at a very leisurely pace.
Eat Pizza in Naples
Naples is the birthplace of pizza. And not the crusted cheesy crap that you would usually get from Pizza Hut or the local chippy after a big night out, but genuine pizza.
With wafer thin handmade bases and fresh mozzarella spread across a deep red tomato sauce there is nothing better than a Naples Margherita pizza. Definitely recommend checking out Sorbillo Pizzeria on Via dei Tribunali for the finest in town.
Explore the ruins of Pompeii
In the height of the Italian summer there are not many things worse than spending a few hours in the intense heat. However, if you get to Pompeii early in the morning you will be rewarded with cooler temperatures and a fascinating look into the lives of a whole town that was frozen in time.
Paintings on brothel walls and garden statues still stand basically untouched from when they were buried under metres and metres of burning hot ash. Humans and animals lie contorted in pain where there lives were suddenly lost.
Make sure you take an official guided tour when you get there and this shouldn’t cost more than 12 euro per person. The audio guides in our opinion suck but not having anything will leave you wandering around aimlessly for several hours.
Swim along the Amalfi Coast
If you are not planning on a separate trip to the Amalfi Coast then you will need to take a day trip to visit the area. While some of the towns are touristy there is a very good reason for it. Amalfi is worth visiting just for the scenery!
The small towns cling to the rocky shoreline with the Tyrrhenian Sea lapping at their bases. Grabbing a gelato in one hand and striking along the coast by boat or in a bus on butt-puckering windy roads is a must for anyone visiting the Naples area.
Take your togs, jandals and a beach towel and escape the city madness for a few blissful hours of relaxation.
Catch the Cable Car
We love a good view.
Catching the central city cable car to the Castle standing guard over Naples provides an excellent vantage point to gaze into the distance. From Naples to Sorrento the various developments crowd the waterfront as far as the eye can see.
In the background Mount Vesuvius towers silently above it all waiting patiently until one day (hopefully never) it may rain fire again.
Obviously there are dozens of things to do in Naples but these are just our favourite five things to do in Naples.
Where to stay in Naples? Hostel of the Sun of course!
If you are spending a few days exploring the top 5 things to in Naples then you definitely want a good base. And you can’t go wrong with Hostel of the Sun.
Situated next to the harbour it is only a minutes walk to the public tram and a few minutes walk into central Naples. Basically the perfect location for resting your feet and head after a day of adventure travels.
Hostel of the Sun is perfect for travelling couples as they have really nice private rooms which seem more like hotel rooms. The shower was a little small but having your own private bathroom is a huge plus.
The dorms, which we stayed in one night, have typical bunk beds with private lockers and were surprisingly quiet. The perfect option if you are on a budget.
We love free stuff like most budget backpacking couples so having free breakfast is the key for a good hostel. A simple affair but a tasty one with cereal, toast and random cold meats and cheese. Tea and coffee is also available all day.
WiFi is free and available in every room as well as in all the common areas.
The kitchen has all the trimmings but is a wee bit on the tiny side. You have to wait your turn or have an experience like Adela with a disgusting, topless English guy reaching over you to wash his dishes.
No doubt you will meet the owner Luca as he pops in and out all the time to check up on things and he truly loves his hostel. We couldn’t have asked for better recommendations from the staff like our Kayak Napoli adventure and guided tour of Pompeii.
For a tiny common area the social scene was surprisingly good. They have a small bar and huge collection of DVDs with comfortable couches but most people seemed to just want to chat and catch up with everyone else. A really chilled out feel to the whole hostel.
Hate to nit-pick but even though they provided a kitchen it was just too small for 70 odd people. We were just lucky most of them were too lazy to cook so ordered Naples Pizza every night.
Per person: $35 Euro for a private room and $18 Euro for a 8 bed mixed dorm room.
Highly recommend the Hostel of the Sun for backpacking couples who want a bit of privacy as well as other travellers on a budget for the dorms. Having free breakfast, WiFi and a kitchen is how every hostel should operate and there is a reason why it has won so many HostelWorld awards.
Disclaimer: We were guests of HostelWorld but as always our thoughts are always our own.
Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos
These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.
El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.
To be honest, I was relieved.
The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.
So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.
There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.
Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.
There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.
And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.
Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.
Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.
Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!
While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.
Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.
I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.
Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel
Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.
Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel
On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)
Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!
With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.
It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.
The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!
From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.
The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!
Middle Earth Travel Review
- The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
- We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
- It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
- In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
- Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
- Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.
Amsterdam Food Guide
If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.
We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)! We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.
We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!
However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.
The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.
As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.
The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices. The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!
Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!
Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.
Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!
But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.
Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.
We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!
If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.
If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!
If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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