Capri Marina Grande Beach, Italy

Naples Cruise Port to Capri: Your Essential DIY Day Trip Guide

Capri’s picture-perfect villages, breathtaking Blue Grotto, and legendary charm make it a must-visit from the Naples cruise port. Even with limited time, a DIY day-trip to Capri is surprisingly easy. Let’s get planning!

Not sure Capri is for you? Here’s two of my alternatives itineraries for your day at port in Naples – a DIY day trip to Sorrento, the gateway to the Amalfi Coast and exploring the archaeological wonders at Pompeii.

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Naples Cruise Port to Capri: Is a DIY Excursion Easy? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Straightforward)

Capri Marina Grande, Italy
Marina Grande, Capri. Image by Bilal EL-Daou from Pixabay

Dreaming of the turquoise waters in Capri? While a day-trip to Capri does involve jumping from a ship to a ferry, it’s surprisingly straightforward. Here’s why:

  • Direct ferry to Capri: Walk next door to the ferry terminal and there’s a direct ferry to Capri
  • Frequent bus services connect the entire island’s main centres – Marina Grande, Capri Town, Marina Piccola and Anacapri
  • Boat or Bus to Blue Grotto: Capri’s star attraction, the Blue Grotto, is accessible either by boat from Marina Grande or by bus from Anacapri.

If you’re visiting during the peak summer months (mid-June to end-August), be sure to plan ahead and secure ferry tickets before your port day. Alternatively, if you prefer to be spontaneous, there’s multiple excursion options at Naples. This means you’ll always have a Plan B. Be sure to check out my DIY guides on visiting Pompeii and a day-trip to Sorrento before deciding how to spend your port day at Naples!

Naples Cruise Port Essentials: All You Need to Know

Naples Cruise Port Address: 80133 Naples, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

  • Currency: Euros
  • Language: Italian
  • Official websites: Regional train website EAV is most helpful for train schedules & ticket information. 
  • Recommended Transport App: I would recommend using Citymapper to navigate around the city. Google Maps also worked fine!
  • eSIM for roaming in Italy: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when youโ€™re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout
  • My Naples Map: ๐Ÿ‘‡ Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version. (If the map isn’t loading correctly, you can view it directly on Google Maps)

You’re in the birthplace of pizza ๐Ÿ•, so to indulge in some Neapolitan pizza before returning to the ship. Recommendations in my map. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Getting from Naples Cruise Port to Capri

The easiest and most direct route to get to Capri from Naples Cruise Port is via ferry.

  • Fastest & Most Scenic: Ferries zip you across the Bay of Naples in about 40 minutes, offering breathtaking coastal views.
  • Departure Point: Conveniently located at the Molo Beverello pier, right next to the cruise port – see my Naples map above.
  • Companies: Choose between NLG ferries & SNAV โ€“ check their schedules and pre-book tickets, especially in peak season. Both operate fast ferries or hydrofoils on the Naples <–> Capri route. Fares vary according to demand. Cheapest one-way tickets I found was around โ‚ฌ25.
    • Note: Caremar also operate ferries on the Naples <–> Capri but the ferries depart from Calata Porta di Massa (also walking distance from Naples cruise port). Be sure to take note of which ferry terminal you’ll be departing from.
  • Pre-booking required: The Naples/Capri route gets very busy during the summer months, so be sure to pre-book your ferry tickets if you want to visit.

Follow in the Footsteps of Icons: Discover Capri’s Celebrity Allure

Capri’s allure has captivated people for centuries. Capri’s stunning beauty and seclusion captivated even Roman emperors. Emperor Augustus built villas in Capri to escape the hustle and bustle of Rome. Tiberius, seeking escape from Rome’s politics, moved to Capri and ruled primarily from the island.

The rediscovery of Tiberius’ villas fuelled Capri’s mystique, attracting a new wave of artists and intellectuals in the early 1900s. Capri’s tranquility and inspiring vistas drew D.H. Lawrence, George Bernard Shaw and Graham Greene there. But it’s Hollywood stars like Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor that made Capri synonymous with luxury, relaxation and glamorous escapes.

What to See in Capri Town: Top Sights for Your Day Trip

Here’s my Capri map ๐Ÿ‘‡. If the map is not loading, click here to see it on Google Maps.

1. Marina Grande

Marina Grande at Capri Island, Italy
Image by Pete from Pixabay

Welcome to Capri! Your ferry from Naples will drop you off here. This is the heart of Capri and the starting point for your island adventure. Here, you’ll find ticket booths for boat tours to the Blue Grotto, taxis to take you up to the winding hills to Capri town or the funicular, a charming tram that offers a scenic ride to the main square.

๐Ÿ–๏ธ Just looking to chill? Then the public beach Spiaggia Marina Grande, is just on the other side of the pier. Paid beach club facilities also available there. If you’re up for a walk in return for a lesser-visited beach, Spiaggia Bagni di Tiberio also has paid beach club facilities. Note: the water is lovely and clear but the beach itself is fairly pebbly!

2. Piazzetta di Capri

The “Piazzetta” is the centre of Capri town. From there, you can grab an expresso or a gelato or just wander around Via Roma.

  • How to get there:
    • Funicular: Connecting between Marina Grande & the Piazzetta, the funicular is a quick 4-minute ride up to the Piazzetta.
      • Tickets: One-way tickets are โ‚ฌ2.40.
      • Ticket Office: Facing the harbour with your back to the funicular entrance, the ticket office is across the street to the left, opposite “Ristorante Da Peppino”. Cards are accepted.
      • Frequency: While timetabled to run every 15 minutes, in reality it runs on a continuous loop during the summer months.
      • Tip: If your aim is to get to Capri town, save your sightseeing around the Marina Grande for your return trip. Get to the ticket office as soon as you disembark from the ferry to save queuing time. And buy your return ticket at the same time, unless you plan to walk down.
    • Bus: Close to the Funicular station is the “Bus Terminal” – they’re actually mini-buses that fit only 10 people at a time. Tickets are โ‚ฌ2.40 as well. Buy it from the same ticket office as the funicular tickets (see above). Buses operate every 15 mins.
    • Walk: It’s a 20-minute walk via the stairs starting at Piazza Angelo Ferraro | Via Don Giobbe Ruocco. The walk up is not as bad as it looks, as the stairs are not that steep.

3. Augustus Gardens

Aerial view of Via Krupp, linking Augustus Gardens with Marina Piccola in Capri, Italy
Aerial View of Via Krupp, on route to Marina Piccola. Image by moise gh-marian from Pixabay

Get ready for some stunning views at Augustus Gardens! From there, you can get a 180 degree panoramic of the island of Capri. If you’re keen to explore, follow the winding path (Via Krupp) down the cliffs and eventually, you’ll reach Marina Piccola in about 30 minutes. From there, you can walk back to the Piazzetta in 20 minutes (note uphill) on Via Mulo, or catch a bus back.

  • How to get there: It’s about 5-7 minutes walk from the Piazzetta.
  • Opening Hours: 9am to 8pm daily from April to October, 9am to 4pm daily from November to March.
  • Tickets: โ‚ฌ2.50 or combined ticket with Villa Lysis is โ‚ฌ5. Pre-booking not required but online ticket may save you time. Official website is here. Note Villa Lysis is a 45 minutes uphill walk from the Piazzetta, so I skipped it! ๐Ÿ˜…

Alternatively, take a short stroll next door from the Augustus Gardens and visit the Certosa San Giacomo Capri. This beautiful monastery, dating back to the 1300s, offers a glimpse into Capri’s rich history. It now serves as the Diefenbach Museum, showcasing the German painter’s mixed media paintings. The Certosa is open 10am to 2pm daily, except Mondays. Tickets are โ‚ฌ6 for adults andโ‚ฌ4 for kids.

Anacapri & Blue Grotto

1. Blue Grotto: Nature’s Mesmerising Light Show

Courtesy of Travel Insider YouTube channel

The Blue Grotto is probably the most famous natural wonder on the island. As soon as your boat enters through a small opening in the rock, you’ll be transported into a world of ethereal blue light. Sunlight filtering through the underwater cave entrance creates this mesmerising glow, reflecting off the water and bathing the cave walls into a magical hue. The cave extends some 50 metres (165 feet) and is about 150 metres (490 feet) deep, with a sandy bottom.

The grotto was supposedly used as the personal swimming hole of Emperor Tiberius. The statues that used to decorate the grotto were discovered in the 1960s and are now displayed in a museum in Anacapri.

Blue Grotto visit is weather dependent: Because the entrance is so small, safe access inside the grotto is only possible when the tides are low and the sea is calm. You’ll be on small rowboats and asked to lie as flat as possible to enable the rowboat to safely enter the grotto. The blue light is supposedly strongest between 12 noon and 2pm on sunny days but midday tends to have the longest queues too.

  • How to get there: There are two options –
    • Boat: (Recommended if not interested in Anacapri or the chairlift): Return boat tours start from Marina Grande; once at the Blue Grotto, you will transfer to a small rowboat for entrance into the Blue Grotto. This is the easier option and will save valuable sightseeing time.
    • Bus to Anacapri with one change: Note there are two bus companies operating on Capri island and you’ll be taking different bus companies’ routes to the Blue Grotto
      • Marina Grande to Anacapri Bus Terminal: ATC bus leaves from Marina Grande stop and will take you to the main Anacapri Bus Terminal (see stop marked on my Capri map above ๐Ÿ‘†). Costs โ‚ฌ2.40 – buy bus ticket as above before you board the bus. See timetables here; use drop-down box to select “Capri – Anacapri” route.
      • Anacapri to Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra): Staiano Autotrasporti operates this route and stop just above the stairs leading to the floating platform. Costs โ‚ฌ2.40 – buy bus ticket from the Bus Terminal (Piazza della Pace). See timetables here; use drop-down box to select “Anacapri – Grotta Azzurra”
  • Opening Hours: Blue Grotto is typically open 9am to 6pm daily from April to October. 9am to 2pm daily from November to March. As above, opening hours are weather dependent and cannot be guaranteed.
  • Tickets:
    • Combined boat trip & Blue Grotto tickets: You can’t miss the ticket kiosks with big Blue Grotto signs! There’s two companies operating this tour – Motoscaffisti and Laser Capri. Both, unsurprisingly, sell tickets at the same price.
      • Return trips are โ‚ฌ40 for adults and โ‚ฌ34 for kids, of which the boat trip itself is โ‚ฌ23. โ‚ฌ11 is charged for the rowboats and โ‚ฌ6 is the entrance fee to the Blue Grotto itself. Kids are discounted, as they don’t pay the Blue Grotto entrance fee.
    • Blue Grotto only: For those taking the bus, the visit to Blue Grotto itself is โ‚ฌ17 for adults, โ‚ฌ11 for kids up to 17 and โ‚ฌ13 for 18-25 years (as the youth qualifies for โ‚ฌ2 entrance fee instead of โ‚ฌ6).
  • Pre-booking? Despite its popularity, this is an attraction which I won’t recommend pre-booking, as you can’t predict weather conditions even during the summer.

Pro Tip: If you’re prone to seasickness, be prepared and bring some seasickness tablets with you. (If you don’t have any, get them from the guest relations desk on your cruise ship.) There’s almost always a queue to board the rowboats to enter the grotto. In the meantime, you will likely be waiting in your boat, bobbing up and down.

2. Chairlift to Monte Solaro: Capri’s Ultimate Panorama

Chairlift to Monte Solaro in Capri during sunset
Image by Nimrod Oren from Pixabay

Ready for the best view on Capri? The chairlift to Monte Solaro offers a thrilling ascent to the island’s highest point. Embrace the open-air ride as you glide over vineyards and charming houses. At the summit, a breathtaking 360-degree panorama awaits. Gaze across the sparkling Bay of Naples, spot the Amalfi Coast, and marvel at the island’s dramatic coastline spread out below. It’s an unforgettable way to experience Capri’s natural beauty.

Note: This is not suitable for those with a fear of heights. The chairlift is a single-seater. I was panicking most of the way and did not want to look down.

  • How to Get There: A few minutes walk from the Anacapri bus stop.
  • Opening Hours: 9:30am to 5pm daily May to October, 9:30am to 3:30pm daily November to February, 9:30am to 4pm daily. Double check opening hours here.
  • Tickets: โ‚ฌ14 return or โ‚ฌ11 single, purchase at the ticket office near entrance
  • Journey time: Chairlift to the top takes about 15 minutes.

Whether you crave the glamour of Capri town, the quiet charm of Anacapri, or the unforgettable Blue Grotto, I hope this guide has inspired your Capri adventure. Wishing you sunny skies, delicious food, and countless memories made on this enchanting island. If you found this blog post helpful, please share it with fellow travelers who might be dreaming of their own Capri getaway!

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