The 4 must-see museums in Naples

musée royal de Capodimonte Naples

Discover the best museums in Naples, Italy, for an enchanting journey of historical and artistic discovery!

Close your eyes and think hard about Naples. Several images should follow one another in a jumble and make you want to take a nice stroll through southern Italy. First, you should see crowded terraces, dizzying gastronomy and the sound of scooters whirring through the alleyways. Then, if you concentrate a little more, you’ll see statuettes of the idol Maradona and feel the mildness of the Mediterranean climate.

Can you also smell the perfume of old-fashioned boutiques and the sea air that rises to the heights? Yes, Naples has it all, but it also boasts an incredibly rich culture. This vibrantItalian city, the birthplace of pizza, has a rich and tumultuous history. Our selection of the best museums in Naples offers you a rich and varied experience.

Surrounded by the best guides, you’ll explore the different facets of Naples to understand its contours. Archaeological history, modern history, contemporary art… You’ll be able to see for yourself what makes this city so special. Yes, Naples is a city apart. It has a special vibe, and not just because Vesuvius is nearby. Naples is simply a unique city!

Naples National Archaeological Museum

A visit that complements Pompei
musée national archéologique de Naples

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  • 📍Address: Piazza Museo, 19
  • Tour duration: 2h
  • 💙 We love: taking a tour of the secret cabinet… Shhh, we won’t say any more!

The Naples Archaeological Museum is one ofthe most famous in the world. Why is it so successful? For one thing, the Farnese collection is a major contributor to its reputation. Indeed, it isone of the finest collections of ancient sculpture on the planet. Secondly, the remains of Pompeii add an exceptional touch to the Naples Museum of Archaeology.

The infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 BC preserved many artifacts and traces of daily life at the time. These have since been excavated and many are preserved in this museum. It offers a unique testimony and is a great way to round off a visit to the Pompeii site. During your visit to the Naples Archaeological Museum, you’ll be fed historical anecdotes to help you understand the works.

Coins, sculptures, wall paintings, representations of Roman gods… You’ll be amazed and feel like you’ve stepped back in time! And a little bonus between us… Don’t hesitate to head for the secret cabinet, one of Naples’ jewels: here you’ll find some surprisingly erotic sculptures!

Capodimonte Royal Museum

Enjoy the view over Naples!
musée royal de Capodimonte Naples

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  • 📍Address: Via Miano, 2
  • Length of visit: unaccompanied tour
  • 💙 We love: the porcelain gallery, unique in the world!

After a sojourn into antiquity, the Capodimonte Museum transports you to the 18th century. It was during this period that the building that now houses the museum was requested by the royal family. The Bourbons, rulers of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily at the time, used it as a hunting lodge. It later became a home for subsequent generations of sovereigns.

In fact, the royal family’s collections are on display in this magnificent venue, now an important Naples museum. You’ll find great artists such as Parmigianino, Titian, Carracci and Borgia. In addition to the collections, the visit includes the intimacy of the royal apartments. You can stroll through the former salons and private rooms of the Bourbons. You can also immerse yourself in the porcelain gallery, including a visit to the famous china cabinet.

And the highlight of a visit to the Royal Museum of Naples is the incredible view. Since Capodimonte stands atop a hill, it offers a promontory overlooking the city of Naples and the Mediterranean. You’ll feel just like the royal family, who loved to get up high and contemplate the panorama.

San Gennaro Treasure Museum

A visit to feast your eyes
musée du trésor de San Gennaro

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  • 📍Address: 149 Via Duomo, 80138
  • Tour duration: 1h15
  • 💙 We love: the wealth of works on display

In 2023, the San Gennaro Museum in Naples celebrates its 20th anniversary. This building holds a very special place in the hearts of Neapolitans and Italians alike. In fact, since its inauguration, it has revealed many works and pieces that were long kept secret.

Adjacent to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, the San Gennaro Museum is a testimony to religious and royal art. In all, the museum occupies an area of 700m² and brings together works and objects that belonged to the city’s various elites. The museum’s contents include over 70 pieces dating from 1305 to the present day. Among the « stars » of the collection are the famous San Gennaro necklace and a breathtaking emerald, one of the largest in the world.

Of particular interest to visitors is a mitre (bishop’s cap) set with precious stones (diamonds, emeralds and rubies). Dating from 1713, this object was made by a great Italian silversmith, Matteo Treglia. As you can see, a stroll around San Gennaro isguaranteed to be a feast for the eyes.

The MADRE Museum at Palazzo Donnaregina

Discover contemporary art in Naples
musée de la MADRE au palais Donnaregina

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  • 📍Address: Via Luigi Settembrini
  • Length of visit: unaccompanied tour
  • 💙 We love: the incredible architecture of Palazzo Donnaregina and the eclecticism of the works on display

If you’re a lover ofcontemporary art, this Naples museum is for you! Here, the focus shifts away from the history and ancient art of the Neapolitan city to more global art. Of course, some of the local artists on display draw direct inspiration for their work from Naples, the surrounding region, Vesuvius, Pompeii and Italy as a whole.

The permanent collection also features international stars such as Jeff Koons, Rebecca Horn and Sol LeWitt. One of the strengths of this permanent collection is its eclecticism! All the works are housed in over 2,600m² of exhibition space. The sumptuous Palazzo Donnaregina, in which the museum is housed, is worth the detour alone. This monumental 19th-century palace was renovated in the early 2000s.

The Naples region bought it back after a flood in 2001 and decided to turn it into a museum of contemporary art. Naples and art are a great love story, and you have everything to gain by taking an interest in this romance. In keeping with all the historical collections to be found throughout the city, Naples’ MADRE museum offers an intense cultural experience.

You now have the keys you need to visit Naples through its museums. Modern history, contemporary art, religious art, archaeological treasures… You’ll love this immersion in what makes Naples so charming and beautiful. And of course, after you’ve worn out your soles in the museum halls, don’t forget to grab a bite to eat in a trattoria! That’s Naples: culture and unforgettable cuisine. A perfect combo when you’re traveling!

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