Naples is a year-round destination, with the best time to come really depending on the type of trip you hope to enjoy. Many feel that the shoulder season months, around mid-March through early June or mid-September through the first half of October are particularly ideal. Temperatures during these periods range from the low 60s to the low 80s while the crowds won’t be nearly as thick as they are in the summer. It’s also possible to find some discounts on accommodation and airfare. The peak tourist season follows the summer months, mid-June through mid-December, and there’s another surge of visitors who come for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Of course, the hot summer temperatures make it a great time to visit Naples for a beach getaway. If you plan to come in either busy period, you’ll want to book well in advance and will need to be prepared to pay higher hotel and airfare prices.
The best time to enjoy Naples if your primary goal is sightseeing is in the spring. The weather is often just right, not too cold or too hot while the crowds won’t reach their peak until summer. It’s likely to be warm and dry with plenty of sunshine and fewer visitors to get in the way of that perfect shot. If you want a more budget-friendly trip, plan your visit so that you’ll be here on the first Sunday of the month, perhaps in early April or May. This is when all of the state-run parks, galleries, museums, gardens, and archaeological ruins will be free to visit. July and August may be the worst months to come for sightseeing as you’ll be bumping elbows with many sweaty visitors. Many avoid August, with Italians closing up family-run shops, eateries, and other businesses to enjoy their vacations, which means there may be more tourists than locals here.
No matter where you plan to visit in Italy, including Naples, you’ll find the best time for shopping to be during the summer and winter sales. They’re typically held in Naples starting January 5th, running through February, and then again during the months of July and August. This is when shops tend to offer big discounts, from a third to half off. As the inventory gets depleted they’re marked off even more, usually at least 70 percent off. During the early days of the seasonal sales, you’re likely to have to battle it out for the best goods and stand in a long line at check-out. If you’re most interested in purchasing handmade presepi, or nativity scenes, it’s a bit different. Head to Christmas Alley (officially San Gregorio Armeno) in September or October – these months are ideal as the local artisans will be preparing their shops for the holiday season.
Naples hosts many festivals throughout the year, bringing an energetic vibe and the chance for visitors to enjoy an authentic glimpse of life in the city. As they’re spread across the calendar, there is no one best time to visit Naples for festivals but summer does host several big events, including the Napoli Teatro Festival Italia. This theatrical and arts festival is held over three weeks in June and brings extraordinary performances throughout the city. The Festa del Carmine festival is held over five days in mid-July with a variety of celebrations and pop culture events. One of the most important events is the feast of San Gennaro which celebrates the city’s patron saint at the end of the summer season, over the third week of September. Of course, there will be many festivities over the Christmas holidays too, including Natale a Napoli held through December. It includes a variety of free exhibitions, plays, concerts, and parades,
Avoid the summer months and the Christmas holidays if you’re hoping to enjoy a more budget-friendly trip to Naples. Generally, the second half of January through the first half February is the cheapest time to come. Airfares tend to dip quite a bit during this period too, as those who’ve traveled for the holidays are staying home and travel typically doesn’t pick up again until late February or March. Your next best bet is November through early December for a cheaper visit. No matter which of these times you choose, hotels, guesthouses, self-catering rentals, and other types of accommodation will lower their nightly rates with some fantastic deals on advance bookings. They can be as much as a third of the high season summer or Christmas holiday rates. Not only will you save money, but you’ll avoid the long lines at major attractions and the big crowds.
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