Visit the National Archaeological Museum in Naples: tickets, prices, opening hours

Discover the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, a veritable institution focusing on ancient history. Its Greco-Roman collection is one of the most impressive in the world.

Whether you’re passionate about art, history, archaeology or simply passing through the beautiful city of Naples, don’t miss a visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. Located close to the historic center, it houses one of the world’s largest collections of antiquities, with pieces of extraordinary variety accumulated over the centuries, in a remarkable state of preservation.

History of the National Archaeological Museum in Naples

devanture du musée archeologie de naples

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Giannis Papanikos

The museum’s origins can be traced back to Charles III de Bourbon, King of Naples. Its origins date back to the end of the 18th century. The King inherited a rich collection of paintings and antiquities from his mother, Elizabeth Farnese. Until then, these had been kept in Rome and Parma. Curious, the sovereign quickly undertook archaeological excavations to explore the cities buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Research began with Herculaneum in 1738, followed by Pompeii in 1748. The result was an impressive collection of ancient artifacts.

The idea of bringing the two collections together in a single building and adding a library took shape in 1777. The collections were housed in what is now the Palazzo degli Studi, built at the end of the 16th century. Until then, the Palazzo had been the headquarters of a cavalry barracks and then of the University of Naples. It was Ferdinand IV, son of Charles III, who oversaw the expansion work and then succeeded in bringing the works back to Naples, despite the Pope’s desire to keep the Farnese collection in the Eternal City.

The arrival of Napoleonic troops, followed by French domination between 1806 and 1815, put a stop to the project. However, Ferdinand IV regained his throne in 1816. Impatient, he finally opened the museum under the name of Real Museo Borbonico.

The museum became the National Museum of Naples in 1860 after the unification of Italy. The collection continues to grow with the acquisition of finds from excavations in the Campania region and southern Italy. Numerous private collections are added to the collection. The library and the picture gallery were later transferred to other locations, leaving the museum dedicated solely to archaeology, and in 1957 it became the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.

What to see and do at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples

Musée archéologique de Naples / vestiges de Pompéi poteries

Photo credit: Rrrainbow via Shutterstock

Like all great museums, you’ll find it hard to cover all the rooms in a single day. Nevertheless, you can visit the National Archaeological Museum in Naples by building your itinerary around the different areas we present.

The Museum basement

Here, lovers of Egyptian art will be delighted. However, the basement of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples holds many other secrets and mysteries. These include, of course, the many epigraphs, but also the magnificent statues, including the Lady of Naples in room 19. Don’t hesitate to stop by the Canopic vases in rooms 21 and 23.

First floor

The first floor houses the Farnese collection, with its famous statues of Hercules and Aphrodite. The Farnese Bull, in room 16, is one of the most monumental sculptures of classical antiquity. Carved from a single block of marble and measuring over 5 meters in height, it impresses with the richness of its detail. Also on this level are precious stones and jewels, as well as the Garden of Fountains and the Garden of Camellias.

The floors

You can continue your visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples on the second floor. You’ll discover mosaics, the numismatic area and the secret cabinet. The mosaics are those found at Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabies. Don’t miss the depiction of the Battle of Alexandria, recounting Alexander’s victory over Darius, King of Persia.

The secret cabinet houses the frescoes and erotic objects discovered during the excavations. Surprisingly, this area is often crowded!

On the second floor, you’ll find numerous Pompei-related exhibits, including frescoes, the Temple of Isis and a model of the buried city. You’ll also be able to observe a wealth of everyday objects, bringing you back to life in ancient times. The sundial room and the papyrus villa at Herculaneum will complete your visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum presents temporary exhibitions focusing on the work of a particular artist or on a specific theme (Egypt in Naples, nature and myth…), as well as occasional events: meetings with artists, exchanges with other museums…

How do I get to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples?

Ideally located in the heart of Naples, you can combine your visit to the museum with a tour of the old town and the church of San Gregorio Armeno, the Torture Museum or Via dei Presepi Napoletani, a street decorated with all manner of nativity scenes and santons.

You can easily visit the National Archaeological Museum in Naples by bus, train and metro.

By metro

The museum is located close to the city’s two metro lines:

  • Line 1, Museo stop, 100-metre walk
  • Line 2, Piazza Cavour stop, 500 m walk.

By bus

The Museo Nazionale stop is served by lines 139, 147, 168, 178, 460, 604, C63, N3, N4, N8 and is a 100-meter walk from the museum.

By train

The Piazza Cavour railway station is a 500-metre walk from the museum. It is also connected to bus routes 147 and N4, which stop at the Museo Nazionale.

Opening hours and prices of the National Archaeological Museum in Naples

Opening hours

You can visit the National Archaeological Museum in Naples from Monday to Sunday, 9am to 7.30pm.

On certain Thursdays in June and July, the museum closes at 11 p.m. For more information, visit the official museum website.

The museum is closed on Tuesdays, December 25 and January 1.

Ticket office closes at 7pm.


  • Full day rate: €15
  • Under 18s: free
  • European citizens aged 18 to 25: €2
  • Night ticket 7-11pm: €2
  • ArteCard special ticket: €7.50

The OpenMann card entitles the holder to visit the National Archaeological Museum in Naples and its temporary exhibitions for 365 days from the date of activation at the museum ticket office. It also entitles the holder to discounts on museum events, on sites on the ExtraMann circuit, at the museum bookshop and café… It is sold at 25 euros for adults, 40 euros for families (2 adults + all children) and 13 euros for 18-25 year-olds.

Tip: it’s possible to buy a ticket online to visit the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, which is valid all year round and allows you to skip the queue. An additional cost of 2 euros is charged, for a total of 17 euros.

Visit the National Archaeological Museum in Naples free of charge during the following periods:

  • Every first Sunday of the month between October and March
  • During Museum Week in March
  • March 21, the first day of Spring
  • Feast of Saint Gennaro, September 19

Audioguides are available for €5 in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German.

One-hour guided tours are available daily at 11am and 12.30pm in Italian and English, at a cost of 5 euros.

Admission for schools is 5 euros (groups of 12 to 45 people). One-hour educational tours are available for school groups (maximum 30 people) in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German.

Good to know

  • Personal photos are permitted inside the museum, without flash, tripod or selfie stick.
  • The entire museum is accessible to people with reduced mobility, thanks to elevators and ramps. Wheelchairs and tablets with video guides in sign language are available at the information desk. Tactile itineraries and workshops for the blind and visually impaired are available by prior arrangement.
  • A free checkroom is available for umbrellas, backpacks and other bulky items.
  • A cafeteria offers refreshments. It is located on the first floor, near the lobby, opposite the museum entrance.