One of the most enchanting places of Italy, the Royal Palace of Caserta has nothing to envy to the Venaria Reale of Turin or to other European royal residences. Compared in beauty to the "French sister" Versailles, a visit to Luigi Vanvitelli's masterpiece is likewise exciting, with its majestic Royal Park, the English Garden and the wonderful Bourbon rooms open to the public.
Incredibly beautiful at first glance, yet some kind of negative travel reviews about the Royal Palace of Caserta can be found online: complaints are about poor cleanliness, a lack of care and superficial management.
Considering all the pros and cons, let's see together how to plan a visit to the Royal Palace of Caserta with some useful tips to spend a pleasant day in the world's largest royal residence, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
- What to see at the Royal Palace of Caserta
- Caserta Palace: Historic rooms and apartments
- The park and the English Garden
- Useful tips for visiting the Royal Palace of Caserta with the Family
- Caserta Royal Palace: Travellers’ reviews
- Caserta Palace: Entrance fee and skip-the-line Tickets
- Audioguides and Private Tours
- Discounts and reductions
- How long does a visit to the Royal Palace of Caserta last?
- How to get to the Royal Palace of Caserta
- Travel from Naples to Caserta by train
- What to see in the surroundings of Caserta Royal Palace
What to see at the Royal Palace of Caserta
The visit to the Reggia di Caserta (Italy) takes place inside the palace, through the Bourbon apartments and outside of it, in the immense royal park and garden with waterfalls and fountains.
Generally speaking, our advice is to visit the apartments first and then focus on the more than 3 km of parks and gardens, the ideal place for a few hours of relax surrounded by greenery.
However, your plans depend on the period of the year you’ve chosen, on Caserta Palace opening hours and on the time of your arrival.
- If you come to visit the Reggia from November to March, consider that the last admission to the Park and Gardens is around 14:00/15:00 so, if you arrive late in the morning, it would be better to start your tour from the park and then continue the visit inside the Palace.
- If you come during the summer months instead, in our opinion the smartest travel plan would be to arrive at the opening time, that’s to say around 8:30 a.m., start the visit from the gardens (perhaps the best time of the day, not too hot) and then go on visiting the apartments in the hottest hours.
If you’re going to arrive late in the morning, you could start from the Palace and then move to the green area (in summer, the last entry is at 17:00).
Caserta Palace: Historic rooms and apartments
The interiors of the Royal Palace are truly impressive. You can visit all the rooms, including the theatre (open only on weekends) and the huge library.
Everything inside is very special to see: the Throne Room, for example, is the richest and most extraordinary environment of the royal apartments.
But according to what most of the visitors say, the true highlight is certainly the Grand Staircase of Honour, truly a masterpiece of architecture!
Not to be missed: the two enormous white marble lions halfway up the staircase, the vault frescoed with images of the four seasons and the Palatine Chapel in front of the staircase.
The section dedicated to the royal nativity scene is interesting too, with the reproduction of realistic characters at the time.
Unlike other cultural sites, you can take pictures of every detail even inside the rooms, all beautifully decorated.
The park and the English Garden
The beauty of the Royal Palace can’t overcome the magnificence of its park: this place is 10 and praise! Two long and parallel avenues, with spectacular fountains and statues all along, lead to the top of the Great Waterfall, a natural source that feeds the fountains.
According to almost all visitors, the best part of the tour takes place in the highest area of the park: walk along the entire route until you reach the English Garden, the Bath of Venus with the Cryptoporticus and the Fountain of Diana and Actaeon. Here you can take incredible pictures among green areas, hidden lakes and a beautiful collection of magnolias.
There are four possible ways to get around the gardens: on foot, renting a bike (4€ a hour), by shuttle (2,50€ a/r) or with a suggestive horse-drawn carriage ride (the price is higher, almost 50€, maybe it's not worth it).
In our opinion, the best way is to enjoy a nice walk up to the Great Waterfall, a bit tiring (especially during summer days), but once you get to the top, the view is worth the effort. Consider at least a couple of hours walking, the climb up to the top is absolutely feasible, with many shaded areas on either sides along the route where you can take a break under the trees.
- If you don't want to get too tired or you don't have too much time, you can opt for the "halfway walk", that's to say using the shuttle to get to the top and returning back to the Palace on foot. We assure you that in such a way you're going to miss nothing!
- On a beautiful spring day, renting a bike is really a pleasant experience: an option not to be discarded.
Useful tips for visiting the Royal Palace of Caserta with the Family
As mentioned above, the route to get from the Royal Palace to the Waterfall is a bit tiring; if you are travelling with small children, perhaps it would be better to use the shuttle or the carriage to get to the top. If your kids are old enough, a good option could be renting bikes.
For a coffee break you can stop at the food courts located at the beginning and the end of the Royal Palace: you will find one inside the building, just before entering the park, and one another near the English Garden.
- Along the avenues which lead to the top of the park you will find some benches where you can rest whenever you want.
- If you need a toilet, we suggest you to use the paid ones, which are cleaner than the free ones. Another useful tip is always to wear comfortable clothes and sneakers.
- Furthermore, don’t forget to bring a bottle of water with you, especially during the summer months.
Caserta Royal Palace: Travellers’ reviews
Despite so many reviews of a " ill-treated " Royal Palace, we assure you that it is absolutely worth visiting an attraction like this. In our opinion it remains one of the most fascinating in Italy.
About cleaning: According to many visitors, the big fault inside the royal apartments is the excessive dust that blurs the beauty of the furniture, paintings, chandeliers and windows of the interior.
The same happens for the gardens, which according to many travellers are wonderful but need a little more attention and care, especially because of bad grass cuts in some zones and not fully accessible areas.
However, the vast majority of travellers think that a visit to the Royal Palace of Caserta can't absolutely be missed: the carelessness of some areas can't affect the value of such a wonderful Italian jewel.
Caserta Palace: Entrance fee and skip-the-line Tickets
The full ticket which includes Historical Apartments, Park and Garden costs 12€. There is also a single ticket that allows you to visit the apartments (available when the park is closed, price €9) or the park only (price €8).
- There is also a €15 option, the "Reggia two-days", valid for one afternoon and the entire following day.
- The Royal Palace of Caserta is closed on Tuesday.
Is the ticket bought online recommended?
Tickets for the Royal Palace of Caserta purchased on the spot cost a few euros less than those booked online. If you choose to get the tickets once you've arrived, we recommend you to avoid weekends and arrive early in the morning; in this way you won’t probably find long queues at the ticket office.
If you've planned to come on weekends or late in the morning, then consider the possibility of queuing up for at least one hour, especially in high season or on public holidays (meters of queue are to be expected!).
To be sure not to risk spending too much time at the gates (consider also the hot temperatures during summer days), then it would be better to buy your ticket online which guarantees you immediate access to the Royal Palace.
Audioguides and Private Tours
If you've planned a self guided tour between royal apartments, park and gardens, you just need a standard full day ticket. You'll find informative panels inside each room and useful maps at the entrance of the Royal Palace and the Park.
For a more in-depth experience, you have two options:
- Rent an audio guide for 5 €, a complete support to be used in pairs (just one for two people).
- Book a guided tour of the Royal Palace. A friendly guide will accompany you through the various rooms, explaining stories and detailed anecdotes.There are different types of tours, which last about 2/3 hours.
Discounts and reductions
Visitors aged 18 to 25 years pay the reduced ticket (it costs half the price of the full ticket). For visitors under 18, admission is free of charge.
- Every first Sunday of the month admission is free only to the Historical Apartments. Entrance to the Park costs €5 (€2.50 for the reduced ticket).
- Finally remember that on Sundays the English Garden can only be visited with a guided tour.
How long does a visit to the Royal Palace of Caserta last?
The Royal Palace of Caserta is immense, so it takes at least half a day to see it all. Consider that the visit to the Royal Apartments lasts about an hour and a half, plus the visit through the parks and gardens: as suggested above, we believe that the best way for moving in the park is on foot or by bike rather than by shuttle or by the carriage ride (certainly fascinating but expensive).
How to get to the Royal Palace of Caserta
Caserta is easily accessible by train and the Royal Palace is located in front of the railway station, just 5-minute walk.
Travel from Naples to Caserta by train
The most practical option is to reach Napoli Centrale station and then take the regional train connection to Caserta (from Naples it takes about 40 minutes to get to Caserta station).
The alternative is to reach the Royal Palace by bus, via the AV 2 line (Caserta Staz. Trenitalia - TAV) or arrive by plane to Naples Capodichino and then move by bus service that connects the airport with Caserta.
What to see in the surroundings of Caserta Royal Palace
The Reggia is a must-see if you are on holiday in Naples and its surroundings. In Caserta there are no other remarkable attractions, so one day is enough for a complete visit and you will also able to focus on other beautiful places, such as the fascinating Sorrento Peninsula or the islands of Ischia and Capri and Capri.
If you're planning to visit other beautiful destinations in Campania, you should absolutely include a tour in the center of Salerno () and along the Cilento Coast; also a visit to the Temples of Paestum or the Certosa di Padula should not be missed.