With its beautiful beaches, colorful architecture, incredible views, and mouth-watering cuisine, the Amalfi Coast has become one of the most popular places to visit not only in Italy but in the entire world.
Here you’ll find everything you need to know to organize your trip, plus the 15 best things to do on the Amalfi coast that you cannot miss.
Stretching around 50km across the Italian coast and home to 13 different towns and villages, putting together a list of things to do on the Amalfi Coast can be a major challenge for first-time visitors.
Every restaurant claims to serve the best pizza in town, and every boat trip promises to cover the best parts of the coast at a “reasonable” price.
There are plenty of legitimate places around. But it can be hard to find them without a bit of trial and error.
So, I’ve decided to share my wisdom on visiting the Amalfi Coast and tell you how you can make the most of your trip without breaking the bank!
This in-depth article will cover everything from the best things to do on the Amalfi Coast to transport recommendations, great places to stay, and the top restaurants in each area (yep – the real ones!).
Just sit tight, grab a notepad (or open a Word document!), and prepare to plan the trip of a lifetime.
Best Things to Do On the Amalfi Coast
1. Visit Positano
Positano is one of the quintessential Italian towns on the Amalfi Coast. It’s one of the most iconic romantic spots in Italy, and hundreds of proposals and honeymoons take place here every year.
It should undoubtedly be on your Amalfi Coast itinerary. Known for its glorious pastel buildings, breathtaking cliffs, and glimmering port area, this near-vertical resort destination is a dream for travel lovers.
Now, before diving into the centuries of history you’ll uncover in Positano, let’s start by talking about the spectacular views.
This town is picture-perfect and home to some of the Amalfi Coast’s most iconic postcard photos.
Like this one below.
You can admire expensive yachts near the Marina Grande. Or stare at the colorful houses on the cliffs. Honestly, Positano is the place to be for unforgettable Instagram snaps.
Walk through the boutique shops on the Viale Pasitea. Then explore the Spiaggia Grande’s famous hidden coves before grabbing an aperitif at one of the many beach clubs that line the waterfront.
If you’d prefer to sink your feet into the sand with a refreshment, you can purchase a bottle of limoncello from Sapori e Profumi di Positano (otherwise known as the most famous lemon shop in town!) and sip away while watching the sunset.
While you’re here, I also recommend checking out some of the historical stuff.
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta is in the center of Positano. It’s a Catholic Church built in the 12th century and is one of the Amalfi Coast’s architectural marvels.
From the outside, you’ll find an ornate façade topped by a beautiful dome visible throughout most of the town. Inside, there’s an iconic Byzantine-era statue of the Black Madonna perched over the altar.
To refuel after an afternoon of sightseeing, you can stop for some delicious food at one of the many restaurants.
If you’re looking for high-quality seafood right on the waterfront, you can’t go far wrong with Osteria Le Tre Sorelle. This place has been family-run since opening its doors in the 1950s.
You can easily spend an evening sipping local wine, nibbling seafood, and eating wood-fired pizzas.
How long should I spend in Positano?
Although you can easily spend a few days exploring the local delights of Positano, I’d say that you can cover the most important points in 2 days. This gives you enough time to visit historical places of interest, dine at local restaurants, and lounge on the stunning beaches.
2. Hike The Path Of The Gods
Known locally as Il Sentiero Degli Dei, this incredible pathway winds through nature, offering sweeping views of the coastline from every angle.
It’s one of the most breathtaking hikes Dan and I ever did, and the photos don’t give it justice. With a camera, you can’t really capture the immense stunning views your eyes can take in.
As you’re moving along the trail, you will see farmlands and beautiful vineyards. Then you’ll come across the “Grotta del Biscotto” area, home to ancient stone houses. And Via Santa Domenica, regarded for its religious imagery and impressive views.
And after a couple of hours, you’ll get an incredible vantage point of Positano’s pastel houses – just stunning.
The Path of the Gods takes between 3 and 5 hours to complete. Allow plenty of time in your itinerary to avoid rushing through it.
Although the trail only stretches for 8km, it took us 4 hours. We stopped several times to take pictures and needed time take in all the incredible beauty around it.
How to Get to the Path of the Gods
The best way to get to the Path of the Gods is by public transport from Amalfi. The local SITA buses are easy to find and are an efficient way to get to the trailhead.
The SITA bus is ~€2.20 for a one-way trip or ~ €6.80 for an all-day pass. If you’re planning on doing any other traveling on the day, opt for the all-day pass to save some cash.
Just be aware that you’ll need to purchase your tickets in advance. You won’t be able to buy them on the bus.
If you’re already in Amalfi, get the 5080 bus that runs directly to Agerola. The bust leaves from Pizza Flavio Gioia in Amalfi. You need to get out in Bomerano (the stop is via Villani, Pianillo).
It takes about 30-40 minutes to reach the trailhead from Amalfi.
If you want to catch the sunrise on the trail and avoid the crowd, go by car or taxi. The public transport system doesn’t run early enough.
You’ll need to spend upwards of 100 euros each way for a taxi. If you can’t budget for a cab or don’t want to rent a car, try and catch the earliest bus possible. The eraliest bus leaves at around 7:10am from Amalfi – here you can find the timetable.
Where should I start?
In my experience, the best place to start the hike is from Bomerano, a metropolitan area between Sorrento and Amalfi.
If you’re looking for a landmark to signal the start of the trail, look out for Piazza Paolo Capasso. If you love planning your routes on Google Maps (I know I do!), then simply start here.
You can also head out from Positano, but you’ll have to deal with an ascent of 500 meters instead of a general downhill trajectory.
There’s also a section of the hike that forces you to climb 1,800 steep steps, so you’ll need to decide whether you’ll be treating the Path of the Gods as an alternative to leg day or would prefer to keep your heart rate low.
And hey – descending towards Positano to enjoy a delicious reward of seafood, pizza, and cocktails by the beach is a way better option than going uphill.
Where can I park?
If you opted for a rental car, I would suggest parking in the free parking lot next to Via Principe di Piemonte. It’s very close to the start of the trail and is one of the safest spots to leave your car.
There are usually plenty of spots available if you get here early, but it can get busy later in the day.
Remember that once you reach Positano, you’ll have to either climb back up (another good 4 hours). Or grab a ferry to Amalfi to then catch the bus back to Bomerano.
Tips for making the most of your hike
Be sure to grab food before you go. There’s not that much to eat along the trail itself. So, I recommend grabbing a delicious pastry from this Panificio. Then head to Salumeria Manna for incredible sandwiches packed with local produce, fresh cheeses, and melt-in-your-mouth deli meats. Their sandwiches are seriously good, so be sure to pick some up while you’re here.
Drink regularly and fill up your water bottle. There is a water fountain around halfway along the trail to fill up your water bottle, so don’t feel the need to ration your supplies.
How difficult is the Path of the Gods?
We are no professional hikers, but we found it ok. If you are someone that never hikes and spends most of the time on the sofa or walking in the city, it’s definitely challenging.
It’s a rocky, uneven trail with some steep bits, so make sure to bring decent shoes. Flip-flops won’t cut it here. Wear hiking shoes or boots.
If you do find it difficult at any point, there are several clear stopping points. Here you can snap photos, take a breather, or sip some water.
I found this guide very helpful when I planned our trip there.
3. Explore Amalfi
Amalfi is considered one of Italy’s most stunning coastal towns.
You can spend hours walking the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea, snorkeling through the harbor’s clear waters, and exploring the Romanesque and medieval architecture at Museo Diocesano Amalfi.
This 9th-century building was built to honor the Apostle Saint Andrew, and it’s a great way to escape the blazing heat if you need a breather! And it’s free to enter, which is always a bonus.
After leaving the cathedral, head to the Fountain of St Andrea. It’s one of the town’s most beloved landmarks, boasting several ornate sculptures and refreshing drinking water.
You can then spend a couple of hours walking through Amalfi’s streets, filled with boutiques, charming courtyards, and local eateries.
If you’re looking for suggestions, I adore Pasticceria Pansa for sfogliatelle and Delizia al Limone (lemon delight).
Sfogliatella is a beautiful, layered pastry that crackles as you cut into it. It’s a popular Neapolitan delicacy you must try while you’re here.
If you’d prefer to beat the heat with a glorious scoop of ice cream, check out Cioccolato Andrea Pansa for the best gelato in town!
Before leaving Amalfi, don’t miss the popular Paper Museum. It may not sound like the most exciting place in the world, but it’s tucked inside an ancient 14th-century paper mill and is worth a visit.
Paper was once a super coveted material. The museum guides visitors through traditional production methods and documents Amalfi’s history with document-making, trading, and engraving.
It only costs ~ €4.50 for adults and €2.50 for children, making it an affordable way to spend an afternoon in Amalfi.
How long should I spend in Amalfi?
You can cover the best of Amalfi town in a day.
4. Admire The Panorama From Villa Rufolo in Ravello
If anyone asks me where they can find the best views on the Amalfi Coast, I’ll always direct them to Villa Rufolo.
Located right in the heart of Ravello, this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site offers an incredible panorama over the waterfront that stretches as far as the eye can see.
The villa was built in the 13th century by a wealthy Italian family who frequently hosted banquets for royalty. They threw seriously lavish parties for themselves when they weren’t entertaining King Robert II of Naples or the Normans.
I find that visiting Villa Rufolo provides a much-needed escape from the sometimes congested areas of Positano and Amalfi.
It’s a bit of a trek to reach Ravello, but the immaculate gardens and mountain vistas you get from this charming area are second-to-none.
I mean, Wagner found them so beautiful that they inspired his description of Klingsor’s magic garden in the popular three-act opera Parsifal!
The gardens cost ~€7 to visit, but the views are worth the entrance fee.
If you don’t have much time to spare, check out the Neo-Moorish cloister, the impressive stone watchtower, and the gardens.
If you visit Ravello during the summer, you can also grab tickets for the annual music festival held here.
How do I get to Villa Rufolo?
Finding the entrance to the gardens can be tricky, as Google Maps can sometimes send you off-piste. You’ll want to look for an entryway just before a tunnel that leads out to the bus stop on the nearby road.
5. Visit Villa Cimbrone in Ravello
If you’ve caught “villa fever” after visiting Villa Rufolo, add a trip to Villa Cimbrone while you’re in Ravello.
It fits perfectly with the classic and romantic feel of the town, making it an ideal pitstop for honeymooners.
This attraction is renowned for its Terrace of Infinity, which offers unparalleled views of the Mediterranean and the dramatic cliffs.
It’s decorated with several marble busts, which beautifully contrast the glittering azure waters directly beneath you.
If you’re feeling particularly brave, you may want to take in the views of the Cilento Mountains from the Belvedere Terrace.
Located 365 meters above sea level and offering just a small railing for protection, this part of the villa isn’t for the fainthearted.
In addition to the gorgeous panoramas, you can also admire the beautiful blooms dotted all over the gardens. The whole atmosphere at the villa is relaxed and intimate, making it one of the best things to do on the Amalfi Coast for couples.
If you have plenty of cash, you could book a room at the hotel attached to Villa Cimbrone, as it’s one of the most luxurious accommodations on the Amalfi Coast.
Don’t worry if you can’t stay the night, though, as the gardens are open to the public for a fee of ~€7.
The attraction is open from 9 am until sunset. But it’s best to head here an hour before it closes. It’ll be much cooler, and you’ll get some incredible photos as the colors start to change.
6. Fiordo di Furore
If you’re spending a few days on the Amalfi Coast, Fiordo di Furore should certainly be on your shortlist.
Thanks to an impressive arched bridge and unique rock formations, this place is among the most Instagrammable spots in the area.
It’s located approximately 4 miles from Amalfi and can be reached via a steep stone staircase.
It doesn’t see much sun and is quite small, but it’s a beautiful beach for boat-watching or taking a quick dip.
A quick travel tip
You can’t park right by the beach. But you may be able to drop your car at the nearby hotel restaurant.
Just be warned that they won’t allow you to park if you’re not eating there. The best option is to catch a SITA bus instead.
You can hop on at Chiesa Nuova in Positano. Or get on the bus that goes towards Sorrento if you’re starting your journey in Amalfi.
It’s relatively close to Ravello, so I highly recommend tacking it onto the end of a visit to one of the stunning villas I’ve just talked about!
7. Take A Day Trip to Capri
The island of Capri is located around 90 minutes from Sorrento, and it’s one of the most popular places to visit on the Amalfi Coast.
We loved it!
Considered a glimmering jewel in the crown of southern Italy, it’s known for its incredible food, scenic hikes, and sublime vistas over the sea.
While you’re here, you can enjoy some time sitting at a cafe in Piazza Umberto I, drinking a strong espresso. Then wander to the Gardens of Augustus, where you can admire the views and take a picture of the Insta-worthy via Krupp.
Then take a boat trip to explore the hidden coves and famous grottos. The Blue Grotto and Faraglioni Rocks are particularly popular and should undoubtedly be on your Bucket List.
If you’d prefer to get a cultural education, explore the Villa of Tiberius.
The island of Capri is also known for its energetic night scene, and the Piazzetta and Quisisana areas typically buzz as soon as night falls. I’m a big fan of Taverna Anema e Core, as it plays traditional Neapolitan music and always welcomes tourists.
There are so many things to do in Capri. Sure, you can see the highlights in one day, but ideally, you’ll want to set aside at least a couple of days to visit it.
How to get to Capri
You can only get to Capri by water. I recommend catching a ferry from Naples or Sorrento for the easiest journey. Although you can travel from Positano, Amalfi, Ischia, and Salerno during the summer, the routes tend to be slightly more convoluted.
If you’re traveling from Naples, you can catch a ferry from the Molo Beverello or Calata Porta di Massa. You can get a ticket for the high-speed ferries for about 20 euros each way (so 40 euros for a round trip).
You can take in the sights on the slower ferry if you’d prefer to pay less. The journey takes around 40 minutes if you’re on the high-speed ferry and 80 minutes for the slow ferry.
You can purchase tickets at the pier or pay in advance via the Naples Bay Ferry website. Just be aware that tickets may sell out during the peak season, so I recommend grabbing your tickets ahead of time.
If you are planning a trip to Capri, you must check this guide. Here I share all the tips you need to plan the best vacation on this dream island (from where to stay, to where to eat, to what you cannot miss – and my 1-day perfect itinerary!).
8. Relax on One Of The Beautiful Beaches
It’s tricky to know what to do on the Amalfi Coast as there are so many options, but relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches is a must.
If you’re not sure which beaches to visit, you can’t go far wrong with Spiaggia del Cauco in Erchie, Marina Grande in Positano, and Marina Grande in Amalfi.
Each of these beaches offers plenty of sunbeds and will give you great access to nearby cafes. Oh, and the incredible sea views don’t hurt either!
For those visiting the Amalfi Coast for sunbathing, I’d say that Arienzo Beach in Positano is your best option.
It gets more sun than almost any beach during the afternoon. And you’ll get gorgeous views of local villas and gardens as you head down the famous stone steps.
The beach is also covered with picture-perfect orange umbrellas. And the Arienzo Beach Club is an incredible place to grab an Aperol spritz!
To find out more, check this list of the 19 Most Beautiful Beaches on The Amalfi Coast.
9. Drive the Coastal Road
The Coastal Road (otherwise known as the SS163) stretches for 60km along the Amalfi Coast. Driving on it is one of the best things to do here.
It seamlessly links the towns of Praiano, Ravello, Positano, and Amalfi.
It offers some of the most incredible views of the Amalfi Coast, but it comes at a cost – your sanity.
Okay, I’m kind of joking, but driving through the Coast’s narrow lanes and jagged cliffs is going to stress some people out. As a result, I don’t recommend tackling this trip if you’re an anxious driver or don’t have full insurance on a rental car.
If you decide to give it a try, be sure to stop here for a fantastic panorama over Positano.
Don’t have time to stop? You’ll still enjoy the stretches of lemon trees, olive groves, and charming pastel houses that line the hillsides.
Should you rent a car on the Amalfi coast?
Although driving the coastal road is by far one of the best things you can do, you also need to be an adventurous driver to do so.
The streets are incredibly narrow in places. There are big tourist buses that will pass inches from your car, and the traffic from June to September is insane. It can take you an hour to drive 3 miles! No, I am not kidding.
If you want to experience this drive, I suggest you visit the Amalfi Coast between March and April or October.
10. Visit Sorrento
Tourists can overlook the town of Sorrento in favor of Capri, Amalfi, and Positano.
I genuinely love Sorrento, as it’s way flatter than other areas. If you’re staying in the other main towns, you’ll quickly realize that you’ll need to climb tons of steps to get anywhere. So, if your mobility is limited or you simply don’t want to tackle stairs wherever you go, you should consider staying here.
If you’re not planning to use Sorrento as your home base, it’s still a great place to visit on a day trip. With a fascinating cultural heritage and breathtaking scenery, it’s worth a few hours of anyone’s time.
You should start by basking in the sunshine at Marina Piccola.
You can then head to the more authentic Marina Grande. It’s an actual fishing harbor where you can still watch working fishermen!
Here you can grab a delicious plate of seafood at one of the local terrace restaurants.
Make sure to check out the Cloister of San Francesco and the Correale Palace if you love architecture. As Sorrento was famously ruled by everyone from the Romans to the Arabs, you can see fascinating architectural influences from several historical periods on the façades of these iconic buildings.
If you’re visiting Sorrento with your significant other, set aside time to explore the Villa Comunale. Located right by the cloister of San Francisco, it offers breathtaking views of the water, the main town, and the ever-imposing Mount Vesuvius.
Before leaving, I highly recommend walking to Bagni Regina Giovanna. Here you’ll find a hidden swimming cove. This is by far one of the best swimming spots on the Amalfi Coast, relatively unspoiled by tourists yet.
With crystal-clear waters, it’s the perfect place to take a dip on a hot sunny day without much of the crowd that you’ll find on the most famous beaches in town.
11. Take a tour in Atrani
This lesser-known spot is a short drive from Amalfi and oozes small-town Italian charm.
It offers everything: from picturesque passageways and winding streets to a maze of multicolored houses that line the cliffs.
It encapsulates everything that makes the Amalfi Coast appealing. Oh, and because it’s not as popular as the other main towns, it isn’t super touristy either.
If you’d like to kill two birds with one stone, I recommend taking this Amalfi & Atrani 2-Hour Private Walking Tour to uncover the best of both areas in a couple of hours.
The tour takes you through the historic center of Amalfi, where you can marvel at vaulted houses and ancient chapels before bringing you to Atrani.
Here, you’ll explore Flavio Gioia Square, the Arsenale, and St. Andrew’s Cathedral.
Don’t worry, though – you’ll get plenty of time to walk through the medieval alleys packed with souvenir shops and limoncello stalls!
12. Enjoy the Food
If you’ve always wanted to sample authentic Italian dishes, then you’ll love the Amalfi Coast.
You’ll find plenty of local restaurants serving pizza and pasta. But there are a few local delicacies you should try during your trip.
The Amalfi Coast is famous for its lemons, so you’ll want to grab several glasses of Limoncello while you’re here.
But anyone with a major sweet tooth should also grab a sfogliatella and a few scoops of gelato.
And don’t forget to try the authentic granita al limone, made with fresh lemons from the Amalfi Coast.
If you have time to head to Pasticceria Pansa, try a slice of Caprese: a deliciously moist cake made with almonds and chocolate.
Antica Gelateria Sorrentina serves the best gelato on the Amalfi Coast.
Don’t leave without trying Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (potato gnocchi served in a delicious red sauce with mozzarella), Gnudi (dumplings made of creamy ricotta), and Scialatielli (the freshest pasta ribbons you’ll ever try that are native to Campania).
And since we are close to the sea, there are plenty of fish delicacies you should try: fritto misto, pasta ai frutti di mare (which is pasta with clams and mussels), and pescato del giorno (catch of the day).
You’ll need to roll home after dining on the Amalfi Coast, so prepare to loosen your belt buckle!
13. Take A Boat Tour
A boat tour is one of the most popular things to do on the Amalfi Coast. It’s a highly efficient way to see the area and is the best way to go sightseeing if you’re only visiting for a day or so.
Several excellent boat tours head around the Amalfi Coast, but my favorite one is this 8-hour tour from Sorrento that covers Amalfi and Positano. It’s not a private tour but allows you to see the best of the area with a professional guide.
While cruising around, you’ll cover the La Galli Islands. Here you’ll learn more about Ulysses and the Sirens (who doesn’t love a touch of mythology!), the Ancient Marine Republic of Amalfi, and the picturesque town of Positano.
You’ll also have time to take a dip in the gorgeous azure waters and grab a few Amalfi Coast lemons to take back with you! Before arriving back at the port in Sorrento, you’ll get to see the gorgeous Islet d’Isca, which is an excellent photo opportunity.
Although there’s a lot to love about this impressive tour, it is so convenient that you’ll be picked up and dropped off at your hotel.
This can make life a lot easier if you’re just staying on the Amalfi Coast for a night and don’t want to worry about arranging transport.
I suggest taking motion sickness tablets before heading out too. You may think you won’t get seasick, but the water can be choppy at times, and you never know how your body will respond to unexpected movement.
In my book, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
14. Check out Minori and Maiori
Minori and Maiori are lesser-known spots on the Amalfi Coast. But these stunning towns are well worth checking out if you have time to spare.
They’re both wonderful places to visit for food and culture lovers, thanks to their incredible seafood restaurants, stunning beaches, and charming boutiques that are perfect for souvenir shopping.
Minori is a tiny town and is home to approximately 3,000 people. Despite being small, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and continues to be one of the Amalfi Coast’s most glimmering gems.
The town center is pleasant, and it’s a beautiful maze of winding streets and alleys that are largely pedestrianized. You can spend hours people-watching here, grabbing an aperitif, and sitting along the waterfront.
Don’t leave without checking out the Church of Santa Trofimena for its Neapolitan Baroque architecture, ancient relics, and iconic yellow façade.
Then, you can visit the famous Roman Villa, which dates to the 1st century. It’s free to visit and offers a fascinating glimpse into how Italy’s upper classes may have lived.
Once you’ve eaten a decent amount of seafood from one of the local restaurants (I love Ristorante Pizzeria Giardiniello for oysters and shrimp!) and picked up something sweet from the world-famous Pasticceria Sal De Riso on Via Roma, I suggest visiting the Path of Lemons.
It overlooks the local lemon groves, takes around an hour to walk, and guides you right through to the nearby town of Maiori.
Maiori is best known for its enormous sandy beach, which stretches an impressive 930 meters along the coast. It’s most popular with sunseekers and sunbathers. But you can also spend time exploring the nearby caves if you have a taste for adventure.
The Cave of Sulphur is a particularly popular spot. But you should also stop by Baia Verde if you have the chance.
After you’ve had your fill of beach life, walk along the Maiori Promenade to see the Castello Mezzocapo and the Norman Tower, perched precariously on the edge of a cliff.
If you’re willing to travel further out, check out the Abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia, a church carved out of cliffside rock. You’ll get an insane ocean view from here and be able to see fascinating artwork inside the church.
Before leaving, you should stop by Pasticceria Napoli for sfogliatelle or a babà (a yeast cake soaked in liquor!).
15. Take a Day Tour of Pompei
If you are on the Amalfi coast, a trip to the nearby Pompei is a must, as it’s essentially Italy’s very own time capsule.
The city was famously destroyed and covered by volcanic ash in 79AD after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (which is still active, by the way!).
It was uncovered by the architect Domenico Fontana in the 16th century.
The area is truly fascinating. You’ll be able to see everything from the Archaeological Park to iconic villas, old brothels, and ancient forums while you’re here.
You can easily spend a few hours wandering through the ancient streets on your own, but I suggest booking a tour to give you historical context and help you plan your time better.
Day tours to Pompei
If you’re looking to cover Pompei and much of the Amalfi Coast in one day, I recommend this tour from Rome. You’ll need a glass of wine and an ice bath for your feet at the end of it (the tour runs for 13 hours!), but it covers the main ruins and allows you to see two major towns in a short time.
To be honest, though, I suggest heading on this affordable Full-Day Pompei and Mount Vesuvius Tour that runs from Naples or Sorrento instead. It’s a more manageable 8 hours and takes you through the archaeological site, the ruins, and up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius.
It includes transfers (not from your hotel, just FYI), a 2-hour guided tour, skip-the-ticket-line access to Pompei, and a 2-course meal. In my opinion, it’s excellent value for money and allows you to see the best of Pompei without breaking the bank.
How to get to Pompei from the Amalfi Coast
If you don’t want to take a tour and have a rental car, you can drive via SP1 directly to Pompei from Amalfi. It takes around an hour and is a reasonably easy drive from any of the major towns.
If you need to take public transport (which is by far the most convenient option), you’re best starting in Sorrento as you can take the Circumvesuviana train that runs between Naples and Sorrento.
The train is run by EAV and stops at Pompei Scavi – Villa Dei Misteri Station, which is 2 minutes from the main entrance to Pompei.
The journey takes 30 minutes and costs around €3 in each direction. You shouldn’t need to book in advance as the trains run every 30 minutes and are usually quite empty.
You can get a direct bus from Amalfi to Pompei, which costs around €20 for a round trip. You can usually buy a ticket on board, but there’s also a nearby travel agency called Divina Costiera that sells tickets and is right by the bus station.
The bus takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes, and the buses usually depart from Amalfi twice a day at 9:25 am and 10:25 am. The return buses are at 3:15 pm and 5:15 pm. Although these are usually the times, you’ll want to check the Tramvia Napoli for the latest information before traveling.
The buses depart from Piazza Flavio Gioia and will drop you at the Porta Marina side of Pompei.
Best Time to Go to the Amalfi Coast
The best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is in April, May, or October.
You can certainly head to the Amalfi Coast during the height of summer, but you will have to deal with heavy tourist crowds and blistering heat. It’s ideal for sunseekers and beachgoers, but if you want to explore the historic sites or hike around the stunning coastline, you should stick to the shoulder months.
During these months, you’ll still get gorgeous weather, but queues will be shorter, hotel prices will be lower, and you won’t struggle to get a seat at beachside cafes or restaurants.
How Long to Stay On the Amalfi Coast
I’d say that anywhere between 5 and 7 days is ideal.
As there are so many things to do on the Amalfi Coast, you’ll feel rushed if you try to cover everything over a single weekend.
It’s possible to cover this part of Italy quickly, but you’ll need to sacrifice visiting at least one of the major towns, and you probably won’t have time to do top attractions like the Path of the Gods.
If you have three days, you can probably cover a couple of the major towns, but you’ll have to pass up relaxed afternoons on the beach, and mealtimes will be more “grab ‘n’ go” than a slow-paced Italian affair.
For anyone trying to cover things in a single day, I suggest going on a mega-boat tour (this one from Sorrento is excellent). You’ll cover the main attractions, and it’s a great way to tick things off if you simply can’t stay longer.
Sadly, you can’t just hop on a plane and arrive on the Amalfi Coast. You’ll need to fly into Rome or Naples before heading over via car or public transport. In this small section, I’ll run you through the best options for getting to the Amalfi Coast from these two Italian cities.
How To Get To The Amalfi Coast
Airport Near The Amalfi Coast (Italy)
Naples International Airport and Roma Fiumicino Airport are the nearest airports to the Amalfi Coast. There are pros and cons to coming from both airports, but Naples is the closest (and I think easiest!) option.
The first thing you’ll want to do is decide which airport works best for you. The main thing to consider is whether you want to see the sights in each area. For example, if you’re planning a trip to Rome, it makes far more sense to travel from there!
If you’re not planning a separate trip to either destination, I recommend flying into Naples as it’s way closer (it’s just an hour away from Positano).
There’s a local shuttle service run by Curreri Viaggi that runs to Sorrento 8 times a day from the airport. It takes approximately 80 minutes and costs just €10 per person.
It’s a great option if you don’t want to navigate the public transport system and leaves the airport parking area from “P1”.
You need to book this in advance as it’s an extremely popular service and tickets aren’t available on the bus.
Once you reach Sorrento’s bus station, you’ll have to switch to a local SITA bus that goes from Sorrento to Positano, Praiano, and Amalfi.
If you’re planning to reach the Amalfi Coast by public transport, your options depend on whether you’re traveling from Naples itself or whether you’re heading straight from the airport.
If you’re in Naples, you’ll want to get a direct train to Sorrento from Napoli Porta Nolana. These trains run every 20 to 30 minutes and take 70 minutes or so. It costs between 6 and 10 euros (depending on when you travel!), which makes it quite a cheap way to travel.
If you’re traveling from the airport, your only option is the Curreri bus unless you fancy getting into the center of town first.
Once you’ve reached Sorrento, you’ll need to hop on a SITA bus that runs to the Amalfi Coast. Just be warned that these can be extremely busy during the summer months and make several stops.
The drive from Naples to the Amalfi Coast is only about 1.5 hours, but it’s full of winding, narrow streets.
You may appreciate the gorgeous coastal roads, but driving in this area is extremely challenging. And I can’t stress this enough: you’ll find parking quite tricky (and expensive – starting from €25 per day – but in many places, you can pay up to €8 per hour) during the high season.
Many of the cars around the Amalfi Coast look seriously beat up, mainly because cars literally scrape by at times.
The heavy traffic during the high season can also eat into your exploration time. So you’ll want to weigh up the pros and cons before booking a rental car.
If you do, just make sure you’re properly insured and take care when driving!
Taking the ferry to the Amalfi Coast is probably the most aesthetic way to travel, and you can catch the local boat from Molo Beverello Harbor.
You’ll need to get a taxi to the terminal, so keep this in mind before making your decision. Alilauro is the primary company that operates ferries during the summer months.
The ferries run to Positano or Amalfi once or twice a day, and they’re pretty expensive.
These trains run regularly and are extremely fast, getting you to Salerno in approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The fast trains vary in price, and you might get a good deal if you purchase a ticket in advance. However, the average cost is usually ~€50-100, so you’ll want to work this into your overall travel budget.
If you want to go the cheaper route, you can hop on a commuter line that makes more stops. These trains usually take between 4 and 5 hours and will cost you around €20-25.
Once you reach Salerno, you will need to catch a ferry from Salerno to Amalfi from the main tourist port or hop on a regional train that heads through the major towns.
If you want to travel as cheaply as you can, then you’ll want to hop on a bus that’s operated by Marozzi.
The bus will take you straight through the Amalfi Coast, but it can take up to 6 hours. For those traveling via Salerno, you can get on an hourly service that will take you to Amalfi.
If you’re planning to rent a car for your trip, you’ll want to take the A24 Autostrada to the E45. But I wouldn’t recommend driving if you’re uncomfortable with winding, coastal roads!
As I mentioned earlier, they can be very narrow in places, which may put you on edge if you’re not used to them!
How To Travel Between Places On The Amalfi Coast
As I briefly mentioned in the “How to Get There” section, traffic can be insane around here unless you travel out of season. To avoid the worst of the gridlock, it’s best to travel by bus or ferry.
I’d say ferries were the best option as they can’t get stuck in traffic, you’re in the open air (so it’s less stuffy!), and you’ll typically make fewer stops.
You’ll still have to deal with crowds if you’re traveling by ferry during the peak season.
But if you check ferry times using the handy Naples Bay Ferry website, book ahead, and start your days as early as possible, you should be able to travel around with relative ease.
Where To Stay On The Amalfi Coast
Best Hotels In Sorrento
Sorrento is an excellent base for anyone traveling to the Amalfi Coast, as it has great links to Capri, Positano, Amalfi, and nearby Pompei.
Although it’s not quite as picturesque as Positano or Capri, the number of attractions and historical buildings in Sorrento makes it a better choice if you’re visiting the Amalfi Coast for several days.
And hey – it still oozes classic Italian charm, so you certainly won’t feel short-changed!
I find that Sorrento is extremely easy to reach by train from Naples and is generally flatter than the other towns. This is super-useful if you’re lugging heavy bags, as you won’t feel like you’re getting a surprise workout in.
Grand Hotel Royal boasts a private beach, an impressive palm-lined garden, and breathtaking views (as it’s located right on a clifftop).
You’ll have to pay a lot for a room, but the stunning Sorrentine wooden furniture, marble bathroom, and sprawling balcony make parting with every cent worthwhile.
Bellevue Syrene offers incredible cliffside views and panoramas over the Bay of Naples.
This hotel is just a minute from the local beach, offers a private sunbathing deck, and serves high-quality Campanian cuisine at both of its onsite restaurants.
If the amenities weren’t enough to sway you, then perhaps the fact that you’re just 5 minutes from the heart of Sorrento will. You’re so close to the action here, which makes it ideal if you’re pressed for time.
Palazzo Jannuzzi Relais is right in the heart of Sorrento, and it’s just 200 yards from the Cathedral and a 5-minute walk from the port (ideal if you’re interested in a day trip to Capri!).
Palazzo Marziale is set in a restored 15th-century building opposite the Cloister of St. Francis in the heart of Sorrento’s historical center. Although its proximity to the center is the main draw, you’re just 350 yards from Piazza Tasso and 10 minutes from the Marina Piccola, both beautiful areas to explore.
Il Roseto is set in a restored family home, just 8 minutes from the beach and close to the historical center. I recommend booking a room with a garden view. It feels slightly quieter and gives you a lovely view from your window. It’s not super cheap, but I’d say it was worth stretching your budget slightly to avoid staying in hostels while visiting Sorrento.
Best Hotels In Capri
Capri is one of the most popular places to stay on the Amalfi Coast as it boasts stunning coastal views, glorious ruins, and an idyllic, Mediterranean feel.
Although Sorrento is more convenient, I’d totally recommend a few nights in Capri for couples sticking around for slightly longer.
Capri Tiberio Palace is a 2-minute walk from Capri’s central Piazzetta, and it’s literally what a luxury boutique hotel should be all about. Boasting an outdoor pool with panoramic views, a wonderful terrace with an incredible Mediterranean restaurant, and a stunning relaxing Spa.
La Terrazza sul Mare may not be the glitziest hotel in the world, but this charming B&B has everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay, including an onsite restaurant, coffeemaking facilities, and complimentary toiletries.
La Reginella is an excellent 2-star pick that offers incredible views of Marina Piccola Bay. Although the trek to the top won’t be suitable for everyone, this hidden gem is cozy and relaxing and feels worlds away from Capri’s tourist traps.
Best hotels in Positano
Positano is known for being a rich-folk magnet, but there are several mid-level and budget hotels that will keep you comfortable during your stay on the Amalfi Coast.
Aside from being completely stunning, it’s also a popular tourist town with convenient shops, a pleasant beach, and plenty of local attractions.
You can also easily catch ferries or water taxis to neighboring towns, making it an excellent home base for most people.
Le Sirenuse is the perfect place to stay if money isn’t a problem (upwards of 2000 euros for a single night!). Not only is this 5-star hotel easily walkable from the center of town, but it’s home to a seriously gorgeous pool and is 5 minutes from the beachfront.
Hotel Palazzo Murat has stunning sea views from the balconies. But you’ll also find gardens of beautiful blooms and fruit trees, a sprawling swimming pool, and a delicious breakfast buffet in the courtyard each morning. Plus, you’re just 250 yards from the beach, making it an excellent choice for anyone visiting Positano for a day or two.
Hostel Brikette is a great choice for budget travelers, as it’s approximately 20 minutes from the beach and never costs more than $100 a night. It’s usually closer to $50, depending on when you visit. You will have to use shared bathrooms, but you’ll get a private room which is a massive bonus if you’re a solo traveler.
Best Restaurants on The Amalfi Coast
Anyone who knows me well knows that I take food seriously. I’m particularly picky when I’m visiting places in touristy places in Italy, as several restaurants serve sub-par food as they assume tourists won’t know any better.
If you’re looking for the best restaurants on the Amalfi Coast (according to a local!), check out these incredible picks!
Oh, and if you want help avoiding the worst tourist traps, check out my post on Italy travel tips that’ll help you avoid any pitfalls!
D’ANTON Sorrento: This place is known for serving the best coffee and cocktails in Sorrento, but I recommend grabbing a charcuterie board or anything with their fresh mozzarella during your visit!
Antica Gelateria Sorrentina: If you’re trying to find relief from the summer heat, then visit this place. It’s been owned by the same family for three generations (it opened back in 1860!), and I think it offers the creamiest gelato in Sorrento.
Ristorante Donna Sofia: Tucked away on a quiet side street, this place is ideal if you’re looking for somewhere quiet to dine. They serve an incredible limoncello cake, but you can also dig into the pasta, pizzas, and fresh fish plates. As you may have guessed from its name, this restaurant is named after the actress Sofia Loren as she shot several scenes from the Scandal in Sorrento around these parts!
Trattoria Dei Mori: This is the place to be for local cuisine, and the service is truly second-to-none. It’s right in the heart of Sorrento, too, so the atmosphere is also excellent.
A’ Paranza: This place is slightly off the beaten track, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for fresh local fish. It’s located in the Atrani area, and you can grab anything from seafood pasta to a rich filet of salmon. Oh, and it’s Michelin star-rated, so you just know the food will be good.
Pasticceria Sal De Riso: Whether you’re searching for delicious profiteroles, handcrafted gelato, or refined liquor, you’ll find them all here. I recommend stopping for a dessert in the afternoon, as you’ll get wonderful sea views from the outdoor dining area. It’s technically in Minori, but you’ll easily be able to reach this place from Amalfi.
Da Ciccio Cielo Mare E Terra: Another excellent place to visit for seafood is Da Ciccio. It’s not easy to get to without a car, but it’s been around for over 100 years and serves everything from delicate beef carpaccio to super-fresh seafood. A meal here doesn’t come cheap (the popular tasting menu is around €90!), but the stunning sea views and excellent flavors make up for the cost.
Ristorante Savo: This is the place to be for fairly-priced pasta, seafood, and risotto dishes. The al pesto Amalfitano is particularly good and gives you a taste of Amalfi’s local herbs.
La Taverna Del Leone: This restaurant has been around since 1960, and it continues to impress with its family-friendly atmosphere, incredible presentation, and traditional Italian dishes. You can’t go wrong with any pizza (I’m partial to Frutti di Mare!), but the parfait with buffalo ricotta is seriously unmatched.
Il Ritrovo: I love this place for its casual environment and incredible views, but it also serves excellent pizza. I recommend getting here early and asking for a table outside to enjoy the breathtaking views.
Da Vincenzo: Da Vincenzo is on the pricier side, but it offers classic Italian dining, top-notch wine pairings, and friendly service. The use of family recipes is a major plus, but the fact that the restaurant is built into a mountain is its main selling point!
Lo Smeraldo: This one can be a bit of a tourist trap, but nothing beats taking in the Marina Grande while sipping local wines and chowing down on fresh seafood.
Gennaro Amitrano: It won’t be for everyone, but this fine-dining establishment boasts an unbeatable tasting menu that promises to take any evening in Capri to the next level. They have a gorgeous wine selection and always use seasonal ingredients to craft a constantly rotating menu.
Lo Sfizio: If you’re looking for hidden gems in Capri, you can’t beat Lo Sfizio. It’s tucked away a fair walk from the main tourist streets and serves up incredible pasta, seafood, pizza, and everything in between.
There you have it!
If you have any questions or need any further information about any of these points, don’t be afraid to reach out.
I am here to help!
My guides to Italy
- 27 Essential Italy Travel Tips
- Best Time To Visit Italy
- 35 Most Beautiful Places To Visit in Italy
- 23 Best Things To Do in Capri, Italy
- Travel Guide To Puglia
- Alberobello: Everything You Need To Know
- A Guide To Cinque Terre: Everything you Need to Know
- The Best Restaurants in Cinque Terre
- Where To Stay In Cinque Terre
- 15 Most Romantic Places in Italy
- 13 Best Italian Lakes
- 15 Best Italian Islands To Visit To Live La Dolce Vita
And also, check out these incredibly useful Italy Travel Tips for a stress-free vacation!