Public transport in Naples explained for visitors
Bus, Metro, tram and train services for tourists including fares and passes
Bus transport: Naples city bus service is complex and a map will help
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Naples public transport
The Naples public transport system for the first-time visitor can at first seem fragmented and daunting to make sense of. There is a wide array of transport options to get you around the city. Bus, tram, Metro, funicular railway are all there in the mix but are operated by several different companies.
Thankfully these options are regulated by a single organisation called Unico Campania that regulate fares, provide integrated multi-journey passes and put together transport maps and information for the whole city.
Unico Campania fulfil this role not just in Naples, but the whole Campania region.
Map to find your way around Naples
A simple transport map can describe the scope and coverage far better than any number of words. The Unico Campania map linked below as well as being available to print and download is also normally available free of charge in tourist offices around the centre including the one at Central Station.
Unico Campania also have another useful transport map available in tourist offices just covering the centre of Naples encompassing all the area covered by the main sights.
This includes the routes of the Naples hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses and has other major sights marked.
The scale is such that you could also use it as a walking map.
It should be said that the area of Naples that visitors want to see is a relatively compact area and the few times you will use local transport it will be for short journeys. For many visitors you will not need public transport at all, everything can be visited on foot.
For perhaps the majority, a short ride out to the National Archaeological Museum on the northern perimeter of the historic centre and up the hill to San Martino would be welcome. Almost everyone will take a bus from the Central Station to the centre of Naples.
The funicular railway could be classified as a visitor attraction in itself.
The Metro and funicular railway
Naples hotels close to
Getting around Naples & sights
Tours + independent sightseeing
Transport from Naples
For the average visitor to Naples the Metro system is of limited use at this moment in time. There are plans to extend the network, for example from the Universita terminus south of the historic centre to Central Station and to the airport but that is all for the future.
Line 1 is the Metro line of most interest to visitors connecting Central Station and the historic centre, plus a stop close to the port, but most of the network is further out to the suburbs.
The Universita station is at the southern edge of the historic centre, not too far from the ferry/cruise port and several sights. It offers a quick option to the National Archaeological Museum at Museo Station with a stop along the way at Dante/Toledo Station near Santa Chiara and at the western end of Spaccanapoli.
Line 6 of the Metro in its current length is of no interest, but is due to be extended into the city centre.
Line 2 of the Metro is operated by a different company to lines 1 and 6. Again it has limited use to the visitor apart from perhaps as an alternative to the bus between Central Station and the National Archaeological Museum near Cavour Station.
The 4 funicular railways (inclined railways), take you up the hill to the Vomero district where you'll find fabulous views. Castel Sant'Elmo, and Certosa and Museum of San Martino are major attractions but for many the journey may be the memory that lingers.
Funiculare Centrale, one of the longest in the world, leaves from Via Toledo by Galleria Umberto.
A full list can be found by clicking through on the banner link below.
Note if you have a vision of a tourist like experience for the funicular with great vistas of the city as you ascend, think again - most of the journey is through tunnel underground.
Buses and trams
The most useful local transport getting around the centre of Naples are the buses. There is for the first time visitor an impenetrable number of route numbers.
Unless you are staying in a hotel in the suburbs your travel will be in and around the centre of Naples. Here the buses travel down just a few main roads that cut through the centre. For most tourist journeys you will have a choice of several routes to complete your journey.
If you want to be prepared and not waste time finding out which bus you want, print out the central part of the transport map or pick one up from the tourist office and it will be much, much simpler.
City tickets are not valid on the boat services, the airport bus, hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses or the Circumvesuviana rail network outside Naples city centre.
Unico Campania regulate a uniform fare system applicable to all local public transport in the city of Naples.
There are over 500 outlets in Naples listed as places where you can buy tickets, typically bars and tobacconists. You can also buy at Metro, funicular and train stations where there are ticket machines.
There are different kinds of tickets and passes covering the city of Naples: hourly, daily, monthly or annual passes.
On buses there are ticket stamping machines. You put your ticket in the machine on the first time of use of the ticket and the ticket is valid from that moment.
Don't expect any sympathy from a ticket inspector if caught with an unstamped ticket. At Metro stations the ticket barriers will automatically stamp the ticket.
Types of ticket
Single journey ticket - Valid for 90 minutes
Day ticket - Valid for unlimited rides on the calendar day the ticket is stamped
Monthly & annual passes - Self explanatory
Unico Artecard - 3 day tourist pass for Naples, Pompeii etc, including public transport
Aimed squarely at the visitor to Naples this pass combines public transport in Naples for 3 days, (including the Naples airport bus) plus entry to two attractions from a long list that includes the National Archaeological Museum in Naples and Pompeii and Herculaneum.
From the third attraction onwards you enjoy up to a 50% discount on standard tickets.