If you spent any time on social media this past summer, it is almost inevitable that the ever popular Positano has crept its way into your feed. This coastal town in Italy on the Amalfi Coast is easily one of the most beautiful places in the world. The town is a popular day-trip for tourists visiting Naples or other towns along the Amalfi coast. However, a visitor can easily spend at least several days here.
Positano is 1 of the 16 municipalities that make up the Amalfi Coast, and one of the most popular at that, the sum of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This guide will dive into everything you need to know about visiting Positano Italy, Amalfi Coast on your next trip to Italy.
How to get to Positano, Italy
The closest airport to Positano, and the entire Amalfi Coast, is Naples Capodichino airport. However, most international flights arrive into Rome, located a bit further away.
You can easily take the train one hour from Rome to Naples, and navigate to Positano from Naples. If you’re arriving into Rome, you should expect it to take around 4 hours to reach Positano via train and bus.
There are a number of options to get from Naples or Rome to Positano. depending on time and budget.
Private Car Transfer
We decided to splurge on the private transfer from Naples. Our driver quoted us 120 EUR for up to 3 people, and 160 EUR for 4-5 people. We were picked up in a large, air conditioned van. The door-to-door service was super convenient, especially before our long train ride from Naples to Milan. That said, while a private transfer is easy and comfortable, it is of course not the cheapest way to get to Praiano.
Another option would be to take a private transfer all the way from Rome to Positano, but you can expect prices for that to be a lot higher.
From Naples Central Station, the Circumvesuviana train departs to Sorrento every half hour in the high season, and a bit less frequently in the low season. The trip takes just over an hour and costs around 3 EUR. Note, you may need to wait for a train that has available tickets as you cannot purchase tickets in advance.
Campania Express Train
Another option is to take the Campania Express for a few more euros than the Circumvesuviana train, but guaranteed seats that can be purchased ahead of time.
Once you reach Sorrento, there is a Sita bus that will take you to Positano. Tickets cost between 10 and 12 EUR and can be purchased at local newspaper stands or the Circumvesuviana station. The journey takes between 45 mins to an hour, depending on traffic.
There is no ferry going directly from Naples to Positano, however you can take a ferry from Naples to Sorrento, and then from Sorrento to Positano instead.
There ferries only operate seasonally, so you’ll want to make sure you are checking the current schedule. You can check the current schedule and rates here.
Lastly, another affordable and convenient way to get to Positano is by renting a car and driving yourself. The majority of the drive is rather straightforward, however once you reach the Amalfi Coast you’ll find narrow winding roads. It is important to make sure that you feel comfortable driving in another country in these conditions.
Getting around Positano and the Amalfi Coast
It is relatively easy to get around the Amalfi Coast, but it takes some time. There is a bus that leaves a few times a day between Praiano and Positano for just 1,20 EUR, but you can expect a very crowded bus in the high season.
I recommend taking a water taxi if you have it in your budget. A round trip water taxi between the two towns takes under 15 minutes and typically costs between 50-80 EUR round trip total for the group. We booked ours through Sharks. Most boats fit up to 6 people, but some fit as many as 8. You can pre-arrange your pick up time for a smooth ride back to Praiano.
Do you need a car in Positano?
You definitely do not need a car in Positano! Having one would be nice for exploring the greater Amalfi Coast, since Uber is not available in Positano. However as I mentioned above, please only rent one if you are a super confident driver. The roads are narrow and windy and the driving can be a bit crazy.
When to visit Positano
There is a clear high and low season for Positano. In fact, many locals choose to travel during the low season as much of the town shuts down.
July, August and September are easily the busiest months in the area, while May and October offer less crowds and cooler temperatures.
Things to know about Positano before visiting
- Pebble stone beaches – the beaches in Positano are rocky rather than sandy! If you have flip flops or waterproof sandals, I recommend packing them to save your sensitive feet!
- Prepare for lots of steps – Positano has a lot, and I mean a LOT, of steps. Make sure to pack proper walking shoes and prepare your legs (and booty) for a whole lot of incline.
- Cash – A lot of places are cash only, so make sure to have Euros!
- Busy – Positano gets super busy during the high season! If you want to avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons.
Where to stay in Positano
I’m not going to lie, accommodation options in Positano tend to be very pricey. If you’re looking to visit Positano on a budget then I recommend 1) booking as far in advance as possible and 2) checking out airbnb and bed and breakfast options. Otherwise, another option is to stay in a nearby town, but I will go into more detail on that below.
If you’re looking to splurge on an unforgettable luxury experience, Positano is definitely the place for you.
Here are a few luxury hotels to consider for an incredible visit:
Where to stay nearby to Positano – check out Praiano
Praiano, located on the beautiful Amalfi Coast in Italy, is Positano’s sleepy sister. Just 15 minutes down the road from this bustling town, you’ll find the much quieter village of Praiano. With just 2,000 locals, and far less tourists, you’ll find some peace and quiet even during the busier summer months.
We stayed at La Valentina apartment, which we booked through Airbnb. It was perfect with our group of four, with a gorgeous
More luxurious accomodation options in Praiano
Best restaurants in Positano
Ristorante Bruno – you’ll need to head up a whole lot of stairs, but Ristorante Bruno is a delicious and affordable option in Positano. Service is slow though so expect a long meal. At least the views from here are perfect!
Bar Buca di Bacco – this is a great option for casual sandwiches right along the beach
Franco’s Bar – location inside Le Sirenuse Hotel, you won’t be getting any food here, but you can expect trendy (and pricey) drinks with a view
Da Vincenzo – established in 1958, this family-owned restaurant is known for their seafood and pasta dishes, like braised beef rigatoni and chargrilled octopus.
Collina Positano Bakery – go for lemon sorbet in a sorbet, enough said.
Things to do in Positano
Lounge on the beach
There are two main beaches in Positano. Spiaggia Grande is the main beach that essentially acts as the center of the town! Whereas Fornillo, just a quick walk down the road, offers something a bit quieter and cheaper.
A beach chair rental at Spiaggia Grande costs 25€ for the front two rows, and 22€ for any chairs behind that. Rental chairs at Fornillo beach, however are just 10€.
Enjoy sunset drinks with a view
One of the best reasons to visit Positano is for the epic views. One of the best ways to enjoy those views is with a drink in your hand as the sun is setting.
There are tons of boutiques in Positano to explore – from souvenirs to handmade sandals and clothing. I recommend spending a bit of time out of the sun exploring all of the shops.
Explore the whole town, not just the beach area. Make sure to catch a bus all the way up to the top and walk back down again. The views are absolutely amazing from the top of the city.
Enjoy a lemon sorbet (in a lemon)
When we added Positano to our Italy itinerary, I was determined to find myself a delicious lemon sorbet, appropriately served in a real lemon. I had seen this on Instagram, and loved the idea of it so much. Lemons are a staple in Positano, as you’ll find it all over gift items in the shops, and strongly featured in the local dishes. Collina Positano Bakery is your best bet for one of these sorbets.
Hike the Path of the Gods
If all of the steps of Positano weren’t already enough for you, then tack the Path of the Gods hike onto your itinerary. This 5-mile hike starts west of Amalfi in Bomerano and ends in Nocelle, above Positano.
Rent a private boat
One of the best things that you can do in Praiano is book a boat tour. This was one of the top things that we wanted to do, but were getting a lot of different price points. Here is what I learned:
- Booking in person tends to be a lot cheaper than booking via email or through an online platform. Most companies via email were quoting 1000 EUR+ for the day, while rates in person started at 500 EUR.
- A boat tour that visits Capri is more expensive than a trip that just goes along the Amalfi Coast.
- If you’re on a budget, consider a shorter boat trip or one of the smaller inflatable boats.
We ended up booking our trip with La Boa. We paid 500 EUR for a 4 hour trip along the Amalfi Coast on one of their nicer boats. This includes a skipper, 4 passengers, soft drinks, beer, and wine. It was the perfect amount of time for us, and one of the best parts of our trip!
How much does it cost to visit Positano?
Positano is definitely one of the pricier places in Italy to visit, and easily the most expensive town along the Amalfi Coast. That said, there are definitely ways to visit on a budget, especially if you are staying in a nearby town.
Here are some estimated costs for prices in Positano:
- Average hotel price in Positano: 300-700€ (stay in a nearby town for cheaper rates)
- Meals: Pasta dishes rage from 15-25€, mains from 25-40€ and drinks 10€+
- Round trip local ferry: 35-40€ euro
- Beach chair rental: 10-25€
Exploring the rest of Italy? Here are some other articles to check out:
- Praiano, Italy Travel Guide
- 7 Spots you Can’t Miss in the Dolomites
- A Guide to Hiking Seceda, Dolomites
- How to Get to the Dolomites, Italy
- Road Trip in the Dolomites
- 24 Hours in Rome, Italy