Visit the Royal Palace of Naples: tickets, prices, opening hours

Royal Palace of Naples

Are you visiting Naples, Italy’s most emblematic city? Discover the majestic Royal Palace of Naples, a must-see tourist attraction in Europe’s second-largest Mediterranean city!

The Royal Palace of Naples is one of the best places to visit in Naples: this historic site, rich in a complex and fascinating history that you can discover below, is indeed one of the emblematic places of Neapolitan culture; it was one of the four royal residences in which the Bourbons resided during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

It also acts as an architectural element symmetrically locking in the superb Piazza del Plebiscito, facing the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola and its massive neoclassical façade.

To help you make the most of a cultural break in a city too often reduced to its role as the cradle of the Mafia, we’ve put together a short guide to the Royal Palace of Naples that will give you peace of mind: a brief history, attractions and places to discover, directions, prices, opening hours and many other essential information.

So what are we waiting for?

History of the Royal Palace of Naples

Royal Palace of Naples

Photo Credit: De Viacheslav Lopatin /

The palace was built in the early 17th century under Spanish rule by the architect Domenico Fontana. It was one of the four royal residences of the Bourbons during their reign over the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and was of course extensively modified over the centuries by the successive residents who had the honor of living here. For example, Ferdinand I, husband of Marie-Caroline of Austria – Marie-Antoinette’s sister, who would soon be at her wits’ end in a Paris in the throes of the Revolution… – decided to extend the palace and add the now-famous court theater.

But the palace was eventually relegated to the role of secondary residence by the couple, before its decoration was extensively reworked in the neo-classical style then in vogue in Europe, by the Murats – sister and brother-in-law of Napoleon I – who ruled the Kingdom of Naples at the time. Elements of this French heritage can be found here, with furniture and many features reminding tourists visiting the Royal Palace of Naples of the codes governing the typical French palace style!

After suffering a fire in the 19th century, it took almost twenty years to restore the building, during which time it welcomed the sovereigns of Savoy. Among them was Humbert I, who, after the unification of Italy, installed the busts representing the great sovereigns of the kingdom in the façade. In 1922, the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library, then housed in the Museum Palace, was moved here… before the bombardments that marked the arrival of the Allied forces during the Second World War caused heavy damage to the Royal Palace of Naples, which underwent a complete restoration. It’s this perfectly restored palace that travellers can discover today!

What to see and do in Naples’ Royal Palace?

The best way to visit the Royal Palace of Naples is to follow a typical « circuit » drawn up by the administrators of the Historical Museum of the Royal Palace… since the latter has, after all, become a Museum!

A visit to the Royal Palace of Naples inevitably begins with a stroll along the sublime garden and courtyard paths. Once under the majestic palace gate, you can discover the gigantic Great Staircase: a colossal Carrara marble staircase, built by Picchiatti in 1651, symbolizing royal power! Over the years, and particularly in the 19th century, neo-classical elements were added by the Genoese, helping to break down the original austerity of the place by taking advantage of the colored marbles and mastics.

The tour continues with a visit to the splendid court theater, which was in fact a private hall designed to welcome and entertain kings and dignitaries. The decor is sumptuous and was, in fact, perfectly restored after the Second World War! The apartments are open to the public and can be wandered around freely; they remain as they were, with decorative elements you’d expect to find… in a palace: furniture, tapestries, master paintings, all in a rather overloaded mix of neo-baroque and neo-classical styles. We strongly recommend that you take a close look at the ceilings, which are veritable works of interior architecture.

Once you’ve completed your visit to the apartments, you’ll need to discover the king’s and queen’s apartments, which surround a small square courtyard, as part of your tour of the Royal Palace of Naples! In the former, the influence of the French occupants is clearly visible, with tapestries inherited from their taste and coming from the Gobelins manufactory, as well as the beautiful ceilings, including those in the spectacular antechamber, painted by the great master Francesco de Mura. Next come the throne room and the ambassadors’ room: in the former, the massive throne impresses the visitor, while the latter offers yet another breathtaking spectacle for those who can raise their heads to admire the truly splendid ceilings! The queen ‘s apartments are even more lavishly decorated, offering her a splendid view of the Mediterranean Sea!

The visit concludes with the Palatine Chapel: in this very large chapel, built in the purest neo-classical style, you’ll find a majestic altar and a large 18th-century nativity scene.

How to get to the Royal Palace of Naples

If you want to visit the Royal Palace of Naples, you have to pass through the oversized Piazza del Plebiscito, on the edge of which this colossal building is perfectly integrated. It’s a sure sign of the Italians’ taste for architectural geometry!

The palace is located in the heart of Naples’ tourist area – in fact, its historic heart – and therefore just a few hundred meters from the port. It’s extremely easy to get to on foot, since most of Naples’ tourist attractions are within easy reach: in any case, if you’re coming by metro – by far the easiest way to get here, in our opinion – you’ll need to take line 1 and get off at the « Municipio » station.

Cabs are plentiful, but prices are totally random, depending on your head and the driver…

If you’re renting a car, or driving your own, there are parking lots on both sides of the city where you can park if, and only if, spaces are available, which can be difficult during the high tourist season!

Royal Palace of Naples opening hours & rates

Royal Palace of Naples

Photo Credit: Flickr – kaysgeog


The palace is open every day except Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; the ticket offices close at 7 p.m., but don’t worry: this one-hour delay will allow you to visit the entire Royal Palace of Naples.


Admission is €6 full price, €3 for 18-24 year -olds with ID, and free for under-18s resident in a European Union country. Admission is also free on the first Sunday of every month!

An audio-guide can also be provided on arrival, for a fee of four euros.

Good to know

  • You’ll need about an hour to visit the Royal Palace of Naples.
  • The city has a worldwide reputation for being, shall we say, slightly removed from the bosom of the Italian state… which means a lot of work, a rather chaotic management of the Neapolitan city and tariffs that can change at any time, whether for public transport or for tourist sites. This doesn’t necessarily hinder your visit, but think about it!